14 Remodeling Projects That Increase the Value of Your Home

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Your home is likely your largest investment. Beyond repairs and regular maintenance to keep it clean, comfortable, and safe, there are a number of projects that can increase the resale value of your property. These renovations top the list of changes you can make that positively impact your home's value. Kitchen With the right strategy, your kitchen remodel could return up to 92.9% of your construction investment. The trick is to not overdo it. You don't need to gut and rebuild the entire room. Instead, make strategic upgrades that increase the comfort and usability of the room. Paint wooden cabinets…
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NAHB: Housing Market Index Flat in March

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Builder sentiment held steady in March as headwinds in housing markets affected homebuilder confidence, but National Association of Home Builders Chairman Greg Ugalde said that builders were looking forward to a "solid spring home-buying season." Builder sentiment mirrored February's index reading of 62; analysts expected an uptick to 63. Any Housing Market Index reading over 50 indicates that more builders than fewer have a positive outlook on housing market conditions. The average reading for 2018 was 67, which indicated that builders were less confident current market conditions for new homes than in 2018. HMI Component Readings Mixed in March Three…
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3 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Your First Home

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Hunting for your new home can be a confusing process. There are countless factors you need to take into account to ensure your new location fits your family's lifestyle and preferences. In their excitement, first-time home buyers can easily overlook some essential points about their potential property. When you're searching for your new residence, ask these questions to get exactly what you're looking for. Am I Financially Ready For A New Home Purchase? It takes more than money to find the right home. Your credit rating is an important factor in your ability to secure enough funding to finance your…
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5 Financial Terms Every Real Estate Investor Should Know

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The success of your real estate ventures depends on your ability to navigate the financial world. Learn these terms to make it easier to understand what's going on with your real estate investments. Cash Flow Contrary to popular belief, cash flow isn't just the amount of liquid assets you have available. Your cash and unused lines of credit are an essential indicator of your ability to complete projects and pay the cost of ongoing operations. However, these factors don't tell the whole financial story. Your actual cash flow is the difference between your gross income and your financial obligations. You…
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Sound Advice From Successful Home Sellers

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The real estate market and all the things involved in selling a home can seem complicated, and it can be very hard to know which tips to trust. While there's plenty of great advice to go around from many knowledgeable sources, here are some of the best tips from home sellers who have made a successful sale. Research Your Local Agents When considering an agent that will meet your home-selling needs, it can be tempting to go with someone familiar or recommended through a friend who seems like a safe bet. However, it's important to do some of your own…
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Down Payment Money Saving Mistakes

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Are you saving up money for a down payment? Saving money to put down on a home is always a smart idea, but there are right ways and wrong ways to go about it. Understanding how to best save for a down payment will go a long way toward ensuring you're ready when you finally find the house of your dreams. Here are four down payment money saving mistakes to avoid. 1. Not Saving Enough It's very admirable to have a goal of saving exactly 20% for a down payment. However, this is a common mistake new home buyers make.…
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Case-Shiller: December Home Price Growth Slowest in 4 Years

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Case-Shiller Home Price Indices reported the slowest rate of U.S. home price growth since November 2014. According to the 20-City Home Price Index, Home prices grew by 4.20 percent year-over-year and were 0.20 percent higher in December as compared to November. The 20-City Home Price Index fell short of analysts' expected gain of 4.80 percent year-over-year. Case-Shiller's National Home Price Index reported home prices increased 4.70 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. While home price growth is sluggish, home prices continued to rise faster than wages. This creates obstacles to affordability for many would-be home buyers. Fears about rising…
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Managing Finances Before Applying For A Mortgage

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Are you planning on using a mortgage to help cover the cost of a new home? If so, you will want to prepare your finances and figure out how you will manage all those wallet-draining monthly expenses. Let's take a look at how to run a quick financial health check to ensure you are ready to apply for a mortgage. Update (Or Start) Your Monthly Budget First, it is essential to get the basics out of the way. If you haven't already, it's time to start a monthly budget to keep track of your income and expenses. Once you have…
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FOMC Meeting Minutes: Why Fed’s Rate Policy Reversed Course

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After raising the target range for the federal funds rate in 2018, the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee did not raise the Central Bank's key interest rate at its meeting of January 29 and 30. While Committee members did not raise the Fed's key rate, members were divided on the interest rate decision. FOMC Members Divided On Interest Rate Decision Minutes of January's FOMC meeting indicated that member viewpoints varied about how the Fed should deal with the Fed's target interest rate range. One group said that interest rate increases may be necessary if inflation increases above the Federal Reserve's…
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Inexpensive Updates That Will Appeal To Buyers

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While you could spend tens of thousands of dollars or more completing a home makeover, there are more than a few budget-minded ideas that you may consider. Add Color To Molding And Trim One cool idea in home décor and interior design is to get rid of the standard white trim and molding and to add color to these areas. Neutral hues like grays and browns have universal appeal, or you can give your space a more contemporary look by adding black to these areas. Generally, you will want a more neutral color like a creamy beige on the walls…
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