Selling Your Home

Why the Amount of Equity You Have Is Important If You Want to Refinance Your Mortgage

Refinancing your home loan could help you lower your interest rate and monthly payments. Lenders look at many factors, including the amount of equity an applicant has, to decide whether to approve a refinance and what terms to offer. 

Conventional Mortgage Refinance 
Conventional lenders set their own requirements when it comes to the amount of equity needed to refinance a mortgage. It’s generally easier to qualify for a mortgage refinance if you have at least 20 percent equity, but some lenders will approve an application from a homeowner with less equity and charge higher fees and interest rates. 

If you have less than 20 percent equity, you’ll most likely need to have...

Should You Gut and Remodel Your House or Tear It Down and Rebuild From Scratch?

If your house needs major work, or if you’re unhappy with certain features of the overall design, you have to decide whether to remodel it or to demolish it and start over. That will depend on the nature and scope of the problems, local zoning laws and your budget.

What is the Condition of the House?
Have your house inspected by a professional builder. If you don’t have construction experience, you most likely wouldn’t be able to accurately assess the condition of essential components, such as the foundation and roof.

Think about whether the house meets your family’s needs. Also consider how long you plan to live there. If you’re planning to sell the house...

Should You Paint or Stain Your Kitchen Cabinets?

So you’ve got new kitchen cabinets. Congratulations! But now what? For those wondering how to finish their brand-spanking-new cabinets, we run down the pros and cons of painting vs. staining—the two most popular finishing avenues. The kitchen is one of the most important factors in your home’s value, so consider how the following information impacts your real estate investment.

Pros for paint
– It’s flawless. Regardless of the color you choose, painting your cabinets covers up any quirks or blemishes in the natural wood, which can often be magnified by staining.

– Your color choices are endless. When it comes to picking a paint, the world is your multi-colored oyster. Get crazy and really customize the...

Wise Ways to Avoid Wind Damage

There doesn’t need to be a hurricane or a tornado for a wind event to wreak havoc on your property. In fact, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, branches can start breaking off when winds reach 40 miles per hour, and entire trees can be uprooted when winds reach 55 miles per hour. According to Hippo Insurance, extreme wind—exceeding 100 miles per hour—and hail are responsible for the largest share of property damage claims in the U.S. between 2013 – 2017.

Preparation is your best defense against damage due to wind, say the experts at Hippo, who offer the following advice to help protect your home and your family before a wind event occurs:

  • Start by taking a good look around your property and secure or store anything that’s...

Get Your Kid's Room Ready for Buyers

Staging is a vital step to take when putting a home up for sale, but prepping the rooms of young children can be tricky.

That’s because kids have a knack for messing up rooms. And while you want to make your house appealing to potential buyers, you also want your child to be comfortable in their room.

This is a task that can be done in a way that will make everyone happy. Here are some ways to go about making your child’s room look its very best.

Declutter
Kids rooms offer a terrific opportunity to clear stuff out of your house. There’s an excellent chance that the closets are filled with clothes they’ve outgrown and toys they no longer play with. Go through...

Are You Putting Things That You Shouldn’t Down Your Kitchen Sink Drain?

Drains and plumbing systems are designed to dispose of liquids, but many people mistakenly think it’s fine to put other things down the drain. Common foods, cooking byproducts, and household items can damage your pipes, leave you with clogs and expensive plumbing repair bills, and even affect human and animal health.

Foods That Are Dangerous to Drains
Greasy items, such as cooking oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing, butter, margarine and grease left over after cooking meat, can congeal and block pipes over time. They can also combine with other things that go down the drain and form sludge that makes it difficult or impossible for water to get through. Pour grease, fat or oil into a jar, let it cool, then dispose of it in the trash.

Coffee grounds can be a problem because...

Budget-Friendly Bathroom Upgrades

Bathrooms, though some of the smallest rooms in a home, can require the most work when it comes to upgrades. If your budget just isn’t ready to take on a remodel, taking the DIY path can be the best choice…and the most fun! With a quick trip to your local hardware store and the will to get creative, these budget-friendly projects can spruce up your bathroom:

Frame Your Mirror
No matter the size, a bathroom mirror is an essential piece that all eyes are naturally drawn to. Give the room a finished look by framing the mirror. Most hardware stores will cut wood to size and offer tips for staining or painting, so you can construct the perfect frame for the look you’re going for. Alternatively, you can purchase a frame that...

Eco-Friendly Kitchen Features That Won’t Break the Bank

Eco-friendly features are all the rage today as homeowners commit to living greener lives. But for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint, where do you begin?

For many, the answer is the kitchen. The central hub of the home, the kitchen offers a perfect foundation for incorporating green features and appliances.

Getting started, you may want to consider adding an induction stove, a stove that utilizes magnetic energy to induce a current that heats the food. Not only do pans heat up quickly on this type of stove, but the amount of time needed to cook meals is greatly reduced. In addition to the energy savings and coolness factor, induction stoves tend to be much safer than traditional stoves since there’s no open flame or hot electric element involved.

It’s also important to add energy-efficient appliances. If you’re...

Why Selling Your House Without an Agent Could be a Costly Mistake

When a real estate agent helps an owner sell a house, the agent receives a percentage of the sale price as commission. You might think that selling your home yourself would save you some money, but it could wind up costing you a lot more.

Many buyers and real estate agents don’t take homes listed as “for sale by owner” seriously because they assume that the seller has unrealistic or unreasonable expectations or will not behave professionally. Some buyer’s agents will only show their clients houses that are listed by a seller’s agent.

It’s easy to overlook problems with your house that you see every day, but a seller’s agent would spot those flaws....

Tips for Decluttering Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart and hub of any home. While you may spend most of your time in other rooms, the state of the kitchen is sure to reflect in all areas of your life. A messy and cluttered kitchen makes it difficult to have family dinners, healthy, home-cooked meals and can be an all around stressor. If you’re ready to clean out your kitchen, but don’t know where to start, these tips are for you.

Vet Your Spice Rack
If your spice rack is overrun, it’s time to toss anything unnecessary. Ground spices generally last only six months. Spice doesn’t necessarily expire the same way other foods can, but it does start to lose its potency overtime. Keep your meals fresh and tasty while decluttering your counters and pantry by discarding any old spices. An easy...