Monday, June 10, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
Freddie Mac recently released a report entitled, “Perceptions of Down Payment Consumer Research.” Their research revealed that,
“For many prospective homebuyers, saving for a down payment is the largest barrier to achieving the goal of homeownership. Part of the challenge for those planning to purchase a home is their perception of how much they will need to save for the down payment…
…Based on our recent survey of individuals planning to purchase a home in the next three years, nearly a third think they need to put more than 20% down.”
Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”
Buyers often overestimate the funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the same report:
22% of renters and 31% of homeowners believe lenders require 20% or more of a home’s sale price as a down payment for a typical mortgage today. And,
“If a 20% down payment was required, 70% o ...
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
Having a lush green yard as a retreat is fantastic. But maintaining a yard? Easier said than mowed. So the question then becomes: How can you enjoy your backyard oasis with the minimum of effort on pruning, weeding, and anxiously hovering over every blade of grass?
Look no further than "Home Hacks," our weekly series on simplifying all aspects of home life. Since yard maintenance may be looming large over you right about now, here are some smart shortcuts to make the coming warm-weather months way easier.
1. Get your garden tools in good shape
After months in cold, damp storage, your gardening tools can likely use a spring cleaning. To shine rusty tools without elbow grease, soak them in white vinegar for 24 hours, then scrub with steel wool. Keep tools from rusting again by storing them in a bucket of builder's sand. (It really works!)
2. Water less for longer
"Instead of frequently watering your grass lightly, water it only two times per week for longer per ...
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
Whether you're putting your place on the market or just looking to give your crib some extra curb appeal, your property's exterior design deserves just as much attention as the interior.
But while you might've spent hours contemplating new window shutters, light fixtures, and foliage, there's a good chance one exterior improvement has fallen toward the bottom of your priority list: your hardscaping. After all, how much can you possibly change a pathway or sidewalk?
Well, a lot, apparently.
The truth is, hardscaping is one of the first—if not the first—things to consider when sprucing up your outdoor space. We're talking about the structures or materials that divide sections and provide places to walk and sit.
"Hardscaping should be the first component considered [because] it’s really the structure of the landscaping," explains Frederico Azevedo, founder and CEO of Unlimited Earth Care. "If hardscaping is left as an afterthought to the overall desi ...
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
According to a new survey from Move.com, the wave of first-time homebuyers hitting the market this summer has resulted in an interesting statistic. Nearly 60% of buyers searching for a home this spring are willing to consider buying a fixer-upper, with 95% believing that the projects needed will increase their new home’s value!
Realtor.com’s Chief Economist, Danielle Hale, pointed to low-inventory at the entry-level price range for the increase in willingness to renovate.
“The combination of rising home prices and limited entry-level homes for sale is prompting many home shoppers to consider homes that need renovating.
Replete with inspiration at their fingertips – like Pinterest, Instagram, and various home renovation TV shows – some home shoppers are comfortable tackling home renovation jobs to find a home that balances their needs with their budget.”
Just over half of all respondents who said they ...
Wednesday, April 03, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
Just because you have a septic system doesn’t mean you need to be an expert on it. But the real septic experts wish you knew at least a few things. And not just for their sake, but for yours. A little knowledge can go a long way toward preventing massively expensive (and massively gross) issues down the line.
We talked with the pros who service septic systems every day to dig up the most important dirt you need to know.
1. Know how your system works (please)
“What you have in your backyard is your very own water disposal plant,” says Kim Seipp, who owns High Plans Sanitation Service, in Strasburg, CO, with her husband. “When you live in the city, [your waste] goes away and you don’t think about it. It goes to a municipal plant and all kinds of great things happen to it. With a septic system, all that happens in your backyard.”
To give you the basics, everything that goes into your tank naturally separates into three layers.