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 [...]

Don’t Know Your Mortgage Rate? You Could Be Costing Yourself Thousands

(TNS)—Not knowing your mortgage rate can be an expensive mistake, especially in this rising interest rate market. Yet nearly three in 10 mortgage holders (29 percent) either didn’t know their mortgage rate or wouldn’t say, according to a survey by Bankrate. This is a big problem, says Martin Choy, operations manager at Westwood Mortgage in Seattle. “Most homeowners should know what their rate is. If they have an adjustable rate mortgage [ARM], then they should contact their lender immediately Read more [...]

5 Ways to Get to Know Your Neighbors

Whether you're a social butterfly or a homebody, getting friendly with the folks next door will make your new house feel like home. Leaving friends and neighbors behind can be the toughest part of moving to a new home. These five tips will help you make connections and settle into your new community in no time. 1. Knock, knock For an extrovert, walking over to a neighbor’s home to say hello may feel like a no-brainer. But for more reserved personalities, this tried-and-true method usually requires 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 [...]

Millennial Buyers Face a Tough Housing Market

(TNS)—Yvonne Jimenez Smith and her husband, Brandon Smith, spoke in whispers recently as they visited a white stucco house they planned to buy on a leafy street in San Jose, Calif. After six months of aggressive hunting, they were on their way to a small suburban home of their own after spending most of their 20s in noisy city centers. “It was so quiet, it just seemed weird to speak out loud,” Jimenez Smith says. “We lived over a freeway entrance in San Francisco. It was always loud 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 Sneaky Low-Rate Mortgage Tricks

If you've never bought a home before, when you first start shopping for a mortgage it might seem like the obvious way to choose a lender is to pick the one that offers the lowest mortgage rate. After all, the interest rate on your mortgage will affect both your short-term and long-term financial well-being because it will determine your monthly mortgage payment and the total amount you'll pay for your home. Little Things Make a Big Difference Consider this example: Take out Read more [...]