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When you apply for a mortgage loan, or any credit, the lender relies on information that is supplied by lenders, landlords, government agencies, courts, and credit card companies to three credit reporting bureau, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Numerical values are assigned to defaults and late payments, income-to-debt ratios, types of credit and other data. The values are compiled into credit scores which provide a snapshot of your credit worthiness …

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Don’t Assume That There Is Something Wrong with a House That’s Back on the MarketIf a home sale is pending and then the house goes back on the market, people often assume that the prospective buyer backed out after discovering a major problem with the property. That’s not necessarily true. If you see a house that has been relisted, don’t assume that there is something wrong with it. There …

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 Spending time outdoors surrounded by nature can improve your physical and mental health in a variety of ways. Bringing nature inside can also be beneficial. Here are several reasons why you might want to add some plants to your home. 1.Plants Can Improve Indoor Air QualityPet dander, cleaning products, and other contaminants can create poor indoor air quality that can aggravate allergies, trigger asthma attacks, and have other negative impacts …

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When you think about changes that you would like to make to your house, the list might keep growing and growing. You probably can’t afford to make all those upgrades, at least not right away. Here are some strategies to help you organize your wish list and set priorities. Figure out What Absolutely Has to Be DoneIf your house has any problems that can affect people’s safety or health, make …

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New-home ConstructionPros:Modern floor plan (open space, flex rooms, larger windows)Delayed major maintenance costs (such as roof or HVAC)Lower utility bills as a result of stricter building codes and newer energy-efficient productsMore upfront personalization Builder warranties on materials, workmanship and structural itemsCons:Higher upfront costsSpecial financing, such as construction loans, often neededLonger wait timesOften farther from amenities, jobsSparse landscaping Existing-home ConstructionPros:Lower-priced options availableEstablished neighborhoodsMature landscapingMove-in readyValue add-on potential with remodels and cosmetic …

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Spending time outdoors surrounded by nature can improve your physical and mental health in a variety of ways. Bringing nature inside can also be beneficial.  Here are several reasons why you might want to add some plants to your home.Plants Can Improve Indoor Air QualityPet dander, cleaning products, and other contaminants can create poor indoor air quality that can aggravate allergies, trigger asthma attacks, and have other negative impacts on …

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How to Make a Room with a Low Ceiling Seem More Spacious Older homes often have low ceilings. While you might enjoy the character and charm of a historic house, low ceilings can make it feel small and cramped. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to trick the eye and make a room with a low ceiling seem larger than it really is. Select Furniture That Will Make the Ceiling …

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When you think about changes that you would like to make to your house, the list might keep growing and growing. You probably can’t afford to make all those upgrades, at least not right away. Here are some strategies to help you organize your wish list and set priorities.Figure out What Absolutely Has to Be DoneIf your house has any problems that can affect people’s safety or health, make …

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Weeknight dinners can be a chore. The key to making sure you don’t end up in the drive-through every time your weeknights get hectic is to have a few easy recipes on hand and some tools that make the task simple.Electric Pressure CookerPressure cookers can be an excellent weeknight tool. They are perfect for busy or forgetful cooks. Electric pressure cookers can safely and quickly cook frozen meat or …

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Social Security recipients should be aware of several important changes scheduled in 2023. The changes will happen automatically and require no action by seniors currently receiving benefits, according to the Social Security Administration. Here are three of the most significant:A big raise in COLA – Because of surging inflation, and to ensure that seniors can maintain their buying power, the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) next year will be about 10.8%. …

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Whether you’re selling your home or you are just hoping to make it a better place to live day-to-day, improving your yard is key. While choosing new foliage options is an obvious way to upgrade, if you want your yard to truly look its best, opt for some fun ways to improve your yard without planting.Add Mood LightingString lights and solar path lights can provide additional visibility—keeping your yard …

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With consumer prices soaring, too many Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck—or running out of cash before month’s end. But with a little effort, you can make ends meet without putting in too many extra hours.Take Online Surveys – In this e-commerce age, more companies than ever are paying cash for your feedback and opinions. Search your browser for survey opportunities that pay as much as $50 per. …

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For many decades, hardwood has been the gold standard in flooring for homeowners and designers alike. But as lovely as wood floors are, they are not the most durable, and they are costly to install and maintain.Laminate Flooring – Laminates are made from layers of particleboard wood with a sealed photographic layer on top. Installation is the same as wood floor installation, with each board joined through a tongue …

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If you’re thinking about buying a house that is a historic landmark or more than 40 years old, it may be challenging to find homeowners insurance coverage.Many companies refuse to cover these homes because of the high costs to repair or rebuild them if they get damaged.An HO-8 homeowners insurance policy is specifically designed for older houses. It covers a dwelling, other structures, additional living expenses, personal property and …

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Homeowners often fall in love with a particular design instead of focusing on how to make a space work better for their family.Think about how you and your family currently use your home and how to make it more functional and convenient for you.Consider traffic flow and look for ways to eliminate congestion.Change your home’s design in a way that will make it easier to keep an eye on …

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Your homeowners insurance policy covers structures that are on your property but aren’t attached to your house, such as a shed, a detached garage, a fence and possibly a pool.Those structures will be covered if they get damaged or destroyed by a peril that your policy covers, such as a storm or a fire.If you run a business out of your home, your standard homeowners insurance policy may provide …

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For many travelers, a vacation far from home can bust the budget. But if you’re longing to get away, there are lots of tips and tricks to help you travel in style on the cheap. A few suggestions from consumer advocates and experienced travelers include:Plan Ahead – If you have a destination in mind, travel in low season. You may not have perfect weather, but the costs will be …

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When planning a remodeling project, buying new furniture, flooring and appliances upfront may seem logical, but it can backfire.Renovations often don’t go smoothly. Mold, termite damage, electrical wiring and plumbing problems are just some of the issues that can cause delays, make you go over budget or force you to rethink your plans.If you already bought flooring, you may need more. You may not have enough money left after …

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Decluttering and organizing are rarely easy. They are not high on most people’s agendas. But if you can’t find the scissors in a cluttered junk drawer, and you’re tripping over toys in the night, it’s time to put your home in order. Take a 12-12-12 Tour – Walk through your home and pick out 12 things to throw away, 12 to donate and 12 to move to a better …

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After more than two years of pandemic-induced restriction, we have only to note the crowds at most airports to know that travel is back with a vengeance. But long lines, health concerns, and the physical and mental challenges that come with aging are stopping some seniors from picking up where they left off.Build Up Your Strength – Start now to slowly build up your walking speed and distance. Try …

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Retirement is an exciting life transition—so much so, that you may already be dreaming of all the things you will do when your time is finally your own. But if you are within five years of retiring, then job one should be determining how you will pay for them.No matter how confident you are that you are on solid financial ground, fiscal advisors lay out a five-step, pre-retirement checklist:Determine …

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FOR TODAY’S BUYERS, STORAGE IS DECORPop culture is driving a need for pretty storage. Here’s what home buyers are asking for.By Aly J. YaleOrganization is the focus of many TV shows and social media channels these days—and it’s starting to rub off on home buyers.They want storage that doubles as decoration. Designated spots for all their belongings. Built-ins that make for easy, organized, and aesthetically pleasing living.Essentially, experts say, …

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Data from Realtor.com’s August Housing Trends Report included some good news for would-be homebuyers. Property sales slowed, turning in their first year-over-year increase in days on the market since June 2020.Homes stayed on the market five days longer for a total of 42 days. Buyers also had more inventory to consider when compared to 2021 numbers, as homes for sale climbed more than 26%. While listing prices increased by …

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Unless you plan to entertain a crowd, a small dining area can be a blessing; an artfully cozy space that makes dining for two quietly romantic and for as many as four to six a comfy pleasure. Choose a round or oval-shaped table – The lack of square edges allows you to fit more diners around the table while saving space and providing a more sociable setting.  Select chairs …

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Source/Credits: builderonline websiteThe majority of respondents to a Rocket Mortgage survey indicated they would be able to buy a home sooner with the current student loan forgiveness plan.By Vincent SalandroNearly 80% of millennial student loan borrowers believe they would buy a home sooner with the proposed plan for student loan forgiveness, according to research conducted by Rocket Mortgage. The survey of 2,065 adults between the ages of 26 and …

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Source/Credits: bestinamericanliving websiteStairs have been used many times by designers as an element to emphasize innovation and a home’s personality. Although a staircase is typically used functionally as a transitional area between one level to another, some designers use it to create a journey for the users or as a focal point for the space.Stairs usually include standard components like landings, stringers, posts, newel posts, and balustrades. A good …

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When you walk into certain homes, they can feel extra luxe. It may not be the largest house, but it could have something special you can’t put your finger on. If you want to bring that luxurious feeling into your home, some insider tips can help you achieve that. Read on for the secrets to make your home feel extra luxurious.Pay Attention to ScaleEnsuring your furniture, art and rugs …

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By Allison Pries | NJ Advance Media for NJ.comHomes sales have been declining for more than a year now.Experts blame rising home prices and higher interest rates, which are making homes in New Jersey less affordable. And there’s still an historically low supply of houses for sale.New Jersey saw huge growth in home sales during the coronavirus pandemic. They peaked in July 2020 with 15,343, according to data from …

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Summer is here and the sun has finally decided to crawl its way out from behind the clouds. While soaking up rays can feel good in the moment, it can lead to painful burns and serious long-term medical conditions. Enjoy the sun safely this summer with these easy ways to keep you safe from the sun’s rays. Check Your MoisturizerYou should be applying sunscreen to your face every single day. …

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A kitchen pantry is one of those places that can be hard to wrangle. A common receptacle for a wide variety of grocery products—from the frequently used to the might-need-it-one-day—a pantry closet can quickly become a disorganized, cluttered jumble.By putting the right routine in place, however, the pantry can become a tidy and efficient part of your kitchen and daily lifestyle. Stick to these strategies from home-organization expert Marie …

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If you’re getting ready to embark on a home-improvement project, you’re not alone. The 2022 U.S. Houzz & Home Renovation Trends report revealed that home renovation activity and spend in the U.S. have reached their highest rates reported since 2018—and this year, more than half of homeowners (55%) plan to renovate, while nearly half (46%) plan to decorate.In order to reap the full benefit of a renovation project—both for …

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By: Sarah FogleYour dog will lurve these features, which will look awesome in your home, too.Life with pets. They frustrate you, and they make things messy. But you can’t help loving them anyway.I’ve spent years DIYing with the world’s greatest sidekick, who likes to be in on the action at all times (even when I’m on a ladder or using an air compressor). Even so, I pause whenever I see …

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When you’re planning your landscaping scheme, a beautifully landscaped yard goes beyond a lush yard, diverse shrubs and blooming flowers. Hardscaping will give your exterior structure, shape and layers and help your yard’s overall function. So if you’re looking to give your home’s exterior an update, consider adding hardscaping to your plan to improve the function and beauty. Read on for everything you need to know about exterior hardscaping.What …

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by The CE Shop Team 99% of REALTORS® Believe That Curb Appeal Is Important in Attracting a Buyer  Many homeowners dream of having a lush, beautiful yard, but anyone who’s taken on a large landscaping project knows that it can be an expensive and time-consuming process. That’s why it’s important to take a step back and carefully select landscaping projects that will be worthwhile.  Whether you’re working with a …

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Moving can be exciting and full of new possibilities and adventures. However, for children, it also means leaving their sense of comfort, familiarity and friends. They may feel overwhelmed and intimidated by a new town, school, house and friends. With some kid-friendly tricks, you can help them feel comfortable and settled in no time. Read on for tips on helping your children adjust to their new home.Meet the NeighborsEven …

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Spring and winter weather elements can take a toll on a house. Assessing any damage and necessary improvements during the summer will keep your home’s appearance looking well-maintained, as well as protect your home from long-term damage. Staying on top of these improvements will maintain your home’s curb appeal and ensure it’s in good shape by the time fall comes around. Read on for the most essential exterior updates …

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Cracks in your walls are unavoidable, but are they a cosmetic problem or an early warning sign?By:Jeff SomersCracks in your wall can inspire a sense of impending doom, especially if your home is relatively new. Is it just a cosmetic blemish that a little spackle can fix? Or are you about to be buried in rubble?The good news is that most cracks are pretty superficial and easy to fix, …

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By: Amy Howell HirtBut not all are equal when it comes to investing in your home.After spending so much time at home, you want — you need! — a backyard getaway, not a bootcamp that’s all about mowing, weeding, and raking.Time for a second honeymoon with these ideas that’ll turn your labor-loving yard into a leisure-loving one. Some will even enhance your home’s value. Others, at least, won’t ding it. (You definitely …

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Whether you’re looking to update your home to accommodate your lifestyle better or boost its resale value to take advantage of a seller’s market, being strategic with your home improvements can add pay off in the short-term and long-term. With careful planning, you can make the updates that will allow you to enjoy your home better and benefit from those updates when it’s time to sell.Add Square FootageIn most …

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Summertime is here! The sun is out. The skies are clear. But day by day, back to school gets nearer. Let summer be a time to play, not just outside, but inside the pages of your kids’ favorite books. No matter what time of year, children should be exposed to stories of adventure, magic, tragedy, joy and exploration. Since they’re away from their desks, reading throughout the summer keeps …

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A yard sale’s a smart way to declutter and make money. Check out these tips from experienced yard sale ninjas. Make it a team effort. Generally, more shoppers are drawn in by multi-family or neighborhood yard sales. It also makes the event more fun, and your fellow sellers can cover for you if you need a break. Prepare your inventory. Popular items include power tools, sports equipment, gaming systems, children’s clothes …

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Hate Inflation? Prices Are Falling for These ItemsOne of the best summer deals today are flat-screen televisions, as retailers are discounting these items to clear crowded warehouses. Another reason for cheaper TVs: slow sales, because 2021 saw record-breaking television purchases. There are plenty more summer bargains to consider, including the following: Baseball games: Ticket prices for sporting events are down 11% year over year, according to the Consumer Price Index.  Tech upgrades: Smartphones …

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After two years of scorching property markets, recent sales data tells us that the housing market has finally begun to decelerate. Here’s why a slowdown can be good news for would-be homebuyers.Home inventory is rising. NAR data shows that inventory of homes for sale began rising in April 2022, with more than 237,000 additional homes on the market by June. This number is expected to keep rising.Sales are cooling. …

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Design experts share the latest trends for today’s home buyers.By Aly J. Yale Christopher MayerLarge kitchen islands, like this one in Trumark’s Perch townhome community in Dublin, California, can also serve as a dining area, work-from-home space, or a dedicated place for homework.Grays, double sinks, and one-tone cabinets are on the outs with today’s home buyers. And in their place? Builders and designers are getting more requests for color, contrast, space, …

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By: Kelley WaltersYou may need to swap out your mop.Someone, somewhere probably gave you some bad information, which is why you may have some bad habits.Here are three things you need to stop doing in July:#1 Stop Watering Grass at NightRunning the sprinklers late at night might seem smart, since it’s cool and you’re less likely to soak dog walkers. But without sun to dry grass, water clings, encouraging fungal growth. …

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The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) practically disappeared while mortgage interest rates were low. Since they’re currently making a comeback, here are the basics.An adjustable-rate mortgage allows a buyer to “lock in” a mortgage rate for the first years of a loan. Generally, these are lower than the available fixed rate and are described as a starter rate. After this period is over, the mortgage rate will adjust – usually every …

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If you own a house, you or a member of your family will most likely forget or misplace a key and get locked out at some point in time. You might need to have a relative or a friend stop by and enter your house for some reason. For instance, you might need someone to walk your dog if you have to work late unexpectedly. Hiding a key outside …

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More and more Americans are aging in place, rather than moving into assisted living facilities. If you’re getting older and your goal is to remain at home and be independent for as long as possible, you have to think about how your needs might change in the future. The sooner you begin to prepare, the better off you’ll be. One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is …

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s also the most difficult to fit in. On days when you hit the snooze button one too many times, it’s important to have an easy, nutritious breakfast you can turn to. This basic smoothie formula will give you a base to build a variety of smoothies from to be sure you’re getting plenty of delicious nutrients to keep …

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If you’re like many Americans, you wish you were saving more money than you are. Maybe you toss your change into a piggy bank now and then, or swap your cans for cash at the recycling center. But whether you want to pay down credit card debt, increase your emergency savings or save up for something fun, you can find yourself with nearly $1,400 in savings at the end …

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Entertaining al fresco is one of the best parts of summer. Spending time with family and friends outside on a warm summer night should be a laid-back, stress-free affair. Eliminating common entertaining stressors is the key to enjoying yourself as much as your guests will. Read on for the entertaining tips you need to know for a seamless summer hosting season. Eliminate PestsNothing can make you want to venture …

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Whether you’re entertaining family, hosting a book club or cooking up a romantic dinner at home, a charcuterie board never fails to satisfy. It’s a lovely balance of an abundance of flavors that appeals to everybody’s palette. Try this blueprint for a charcuterie board so delicious that not even a crumb will remain at the end of the night. BoardFirst things first, you have to have something to display your …

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Avoid Falling Victim to Commonplace Cyber SchemesMore than half of U.S. consumers today think that storing their credit and banking information in the cloud is riskier than driving without a seat belt, according to one recent poll…and those consumers are correct. In fact, American consumers lost $30 billion to cyber-scammers in 2021, reported the FBI, as ruthless cyber criminals continue to develop new email schemes designed to separate consumers from …

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