Mortgage Rates Fast Approaching 5%, a Fresh Blow to Housing Market

Mortgage rates hit their highest level in more than seven years this week at nearly 5%, a level that could deter many home buyers and represents another setback for the slumping housing market.The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.9%—the largest weekly jump in about two years—according to data released Thursday by mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac. Lenders and real-estate agents say that, even now, all but the most qualified buyers making large down payments Read more [...]

Foreign Buyers Are Purchasing Way Less U.S. Real Estate—Especially in These Top Markets

Much has been made of the dazzlingly wealthy foreign buyers who snap up luxury condos in New York City and Miami; breathtaking beach houses in Honolulu; and sophisticated modern estates in San Francisco and Seattle. For many of the international elite, money is no object when it comes to U.S. real estate.But foreign-resident buyers and recent immigrants closed on far fewer properties in the 12-month period ending in March 2018—by about 21%, according to a recent report from the National Read more [...]

The Most Common Rent-to-Own Scams—and How to Not Get Taken for a Fool

On the surface, rent-to-own deals can seem like a great idea. If you have shaky credit or lack sufficient financing, a rent-to-own plan can allow you to work toward homeownership.The premise is simple: You pay monthly rent toward the purchase of the home, and at the end of the set term, you’ll own the property. Sounds perfect, right? But beware: The rent-to-own landscape can be a minefield of scams and deceptions designed to take your money—and leave you in the dust.Common rent-to-own Read more [...]

How to Unclog a Drain: 3 Methods Every Homeowner Needs to Know

Knowing how to unclog a drain is one of the essential skills any homeowner or renter should have. With the amount of dirt, hair, and general debris that finds its way down a tub and shower drain on a daily basis, the occasional clog is all but unavoidable. Luckily, it's also a quick fix, as long as you don't mind getting your hands dirty.Read on below for your step-by-step guide on how to unclog a drain. We've included a few different methods, so pick the one that best suits your Read more [...]

Best Water-Saving Appliances and Faucets for Your Home

Homeowners know that conserving water is important. It can help preserve our environment and cut monthly utility costs, which—if you haven't added up your household's water bills in a while—can be lofty. While everyone's water usage is different, the average household spends as much as $500 per year on water and sewer bills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That's all the more reason to make little eco-friendly efforts like taking shorter showers and turning off Read more [...]

Your 7 Most Annoying Grilling Problems—Solved

Grilling seems fairly straightforward, at least compared with other cooking methods. You've got fire and you've got food. What could go wrong?Plenty, it turns out. From running out of propane to overcooking your steak to accidentally charbroiling your hand, you're literally playing with fire—so you shouldn't be surprised when your dreams of hosting the perfect backyard barbecue go up in smoke.But there is a better way: Just get your hands on the right accessories that solve these Read more [...]

How to Find a Handyman: Where to Look to Find a Helping Hand

Have you ever wondered how to find a handyman? The trick is finding someone trustworthy with a proven track record of success. There are plenty of websites and apps that make it a snap to recruit this much-needed helping hand. But hiring the wrong person to get a job done can turn a seemingly straightforward task into an expensive headache. What can you do to make sure your home project is snafu-free?Here are the essential things to consider.Do you need a handyman or a licensed professional?A Read more [...]

The Worst Mistakes You Can Make Before Selling Your Home

If you've ever gotten ready to sell a home, you know that in order to fetch top dollar, you need to get your place in good shape. But that costs money—hiring contractors, painters, and other pros—so you might be wondering: Why not save some cash by tackling a few of these fix-its myself? That's fine and good if you know what you're doing. But unless your DIY skills are fairly advanced, experts agree that this is one of the biggest mistakes a home seller can make. If you bungle Read more [...]

7 Things People Always Pack Wrong: How Many Have You Done?

No matter how carefully you plan for a move, we've got bad news for you: Odds are, there are at least a few things you'll pack all wrong. Why should you care? Because, of course, possessions that aren't packed well tend to break. Here's how to do it right. 1. Cleaning supplies Cleaning supplies and other potentially hazardous household materials are common things that people tend to pack incorrectly, says Cori Bamberg, a certified professional organizer at DitchTheClutter.com. People tend Read more [...]

Proof of Funds Letter for a Real Estate Purchase: Why Home Buyers Need It, Bad

A proof of funds letter is a document that proves that a home buyer has enough liquid cash to purchase a home. It's essential paperwork that all home sellers will want to see, so home buyers shouldn't feel prepared to make an offer without one.“Sellers won't want to take their property off the market without knowing that the buyers are truly able to afford it,” says Linda Walters, a real estate agent at Sage Realty LLC in Wayne, PA. Here's what buyers need to know about how Read more [...]