Bulletproof Your Transactions

You’ve experienced “it.” Every agent has. The sinking feeling when the deal falls apart before it reaches the closing table. To avoid this, bulletproof your transactions! “In a changing or shifting market, bulletproof transactions are the difference between those that survive and those that don’t,” says Keller Williams agent Karen Scully of the Ballantyne Area (N.C.) market center. It’s not just about protecting the sale. It’s about “creating the best experience for our clients Read more [...]

Mortgage Broker vs. Direct Lenders: Which Is Best?

If you’re in the market for a home and have found the perfect place, your next step is securing a mortgage. For many people, this is the stressful part. You have get your finances in shape: verify your income, go over your credit report and make sure everything points to you're being a worthy borrower. Then the next step is figuring out where to get a loan. You have two options: mortgage brokers and direct lenders. There are several differences between the two. Read below to learn Read more [...]

Medicare Part D Could Drain Your Retirement Savings

Medicare Part D risks happen because, although enrolling in the program is meant to alleviate the drain increasing drug costs can be on your retirement savings, it’s not a perfect solution. For some retirees who develop serious health conditions, it could be more of a harm than a help. If you’re newly retired or approaching retirement, here’s what you need to know about how Medicare Part D can affect your net worth. ​Medicare Part D Risk: It May Not Cover Every Drug Healthcare can Read more [...]

The Best Toilet Plunger You Can Buy (Because Brown Friday Is Coming)

Owning the best toilet plunger doesn't really seem that relevant—that is, until you actually need it. With a clogged toilet just centimeters from spilling over, the last thing you'll want to do is run to the hardware store, especially on Brown Friday (the day after Thanksgiving, a.k.a. the busiest day of the year for plumbers).That's why you need to keep a reliable plunger stashed away."Having the proper equipment makes all the difference when tackling a dreaded clogged toilet," Read more [...]

How to Clean Stainless-Steel Appliances and Surfaces in Your Home

"How do you clean stainless steel?" That might sound like a ridiculous question; after all, it can't be stained, right? Wrong. Your appliances, range, or countertop may be stainless steel but that doesn't mean it shouldn't get any less of a cleaning than other surfaces in your kitchen. So let's take a look at why it's important to keep your stainless-steel appliances in tiptop shape and how easy maintaining them actually is.What is stainless steel?Stainless steel is a steel alloy that Read more [...]

5 Things You Didn’t Know a VA Loan Could Do for You

Because of the bravery and sacrifices of veterans and active military, the rest of the country’s civilians can live the American dream in safety. As one tangible way to say "thank you for your service," current and former members of the military have access to Veterans Affairs home loans. These unique mortgage options allow veterans and those still serving to own a piece of the American dream by potentially qualifying for homes they might have thought were out of reach.Veterans, Read more [...]

How to Negotiate Repairs After a Home Inspection: Haggling Tips for Buyers

If you're buying a home, you'll want to know how to negotiate repairs after a home inspection. After all, odds are even the dreamiest house will have problems, and sellers might be quite receptive to the notion of fixing a few flaws to sweeten their end of the deal.So once your trusty home inspector scrutinizes this potential purchase and hands you his report, what should you say to the sellers from there? Look no further than this handy haggling guide for home buyers on how to Read more [...]

8 Frightening Things in Sellers’ Homes That Can Scare Buyers Silly

No matter how gorgeous your home is, it could contain an item or two that happens to scare the pants off anyone who walks through your door. That might not be a problem if you don't like guests, but it could very well be a big problem if you're trying to sell your place!The reality is that it doesn't take much to scare off home buyers—with so much on the line, even the smallest detail can give them a shiver or icky feeling they can't shake. So, in case you want to make 100% Read more [...]

‘Our Home Was Renovated on a Reality Show’: What It’s Really Like, Warts and All

If you've ever watched "Fixer Upper," "Flip or Flop," or "Property Brothers," you've probably wondered what it's like to have your home renovated on a reality TV show. Alex Shaw, a casting producer in Los Angeles, had pondered that same question. So when she heard that TLC's "Nate and Jeremiah by Design" was looking for applicants last November, she applied—and was picked!At first, Shaw was beyond excited, knowing that Nate Berkus had gained fame designing Oprah's home and Read more [...]

7 Best Home Improvement Ideas to Try This Fall: Have You Done Them All?

Sometimes, the very best home improvement ideas come down to timing. And what better time for a refresh than the arrival of fall (Sept. 21, for those keeping track)? In addition to being a great season to go apple picking and admire the foliage, it's also the perfect time of year for making a number of home improvements. Here are some timely projects to tackle this fall.1. Build a fire pitLike the idea of being able to hang out and roast marshmallows in your backyard this winter?According Read more [...]