April 2014

Found 24 blog entries for April 2014.

How Does this Happen?

A western Pennsylvania woman - Eileen Battisti owed $6.30 in unpaid interest on school district taxes,  That was enough, a Pennsylvania court has ruled, for her to lose her house over. Battisti’s husband died in 2004, and she told the court that she had “struggled to assume responsibility for the financial matters previously handled by her husband” after his death. “I paid everything, and didn’t know about the $6.30,” Battisti told the Associated Press. “For the house to be sold just because of $6.30 is crazy.” By the time the house was put up for sale, the debt had ballooned to $255.84. The house itself, which was valued at $280,000 when it was sold, went for $116,000.

The decision last week turned down Eileen Battisti's

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15-20 or 30 Year Mortgages?

Does a 30-year mortgage seem painfully long? Well, it does for many homeowners, but fortunately, it's not the only option. Whether you're looking to purchase or refinance your home, you could save a lot by going for the under-the-radar 20-year mortgage.

20 year home loans can be the perfect mortgage for consumers not wanting to stretch their mortgages all the way out to 30 years and who are not 100% sure that they can afford the payments of a 15 year or 10 year mortgage. Most 20 year mortgages do not have pre-payment penalties meaning you could shorten your term to 15 years by making additional principle payments each month (ask your loan consultant if there are any pre-payment penalties associated with the loans you

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Doable, But With Sacrifices

In today's market, you usually need up to 10% of a home's purchase price for a down payment. Which means a $250,000 home could require $25,000 down plus closing costs. If you saved $1,040 a month for the next 24 months, you would hit that goal. Easier said than done... that may seem impossible—but it's not. You will however have to make some short term sacrifices now to save for a down payment on a house.

Give up that extra bedroom for the short term. If you rent in a premium location, think about moving to a less expensive area. It may take you a little longer to commute, but remember it won't be for long. If you can reduce the amount you are paying in rent by $500, and you will be halfway to your monthly goal.

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Middle Class Losing the Perk of Lower Mortgage Rates

For thirty years, the U.S. middle class has enjoyed a rare financial advantage over the wealthy, lower mortgage rates. Now, even that advantage is going away. Most ordinary homebuyers are paying the same or higher rates than the fortunate few who can afford much more. Rates for a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage are averaging 4.48%, according to Bankrate. For "jumbo" mortgages , which are those above $417,000 in much of the country — the average is 4.47%.

This trend shows the widening wealth gap between the richest Americans and everyone else. Bankers now view jumbo mortgage borrowers as safer bets even though conventional borrowers put less capital at risk. Even as the overall U.S. housing

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It's All About Customer Appreciation

On April 22, Stephanie and Ben Lang, from Lang Premier Properties hosted a Customer Appreciation event at the Townsend Hotel in downtown Birmingham. Ben and Stephanie wanted to show their appreciation to all of their clients for such a successful year. 

The event consisted of complimentary cocktails, and a delicious assortment of hor d'ouvres. In addition Ben and Stephanie had two dessert stations set up. The Detroit Favorites Station which included Sanders Cream Puffs with Sanders Vanilla Ice Cream, Hot Fudge and Whipped Cream. The Brownie Bar had Townsend Fudge, Caramel and Toffee Crunch Brownies with Whipped Cream. Definitely the hit of the night. 

The surprise of the evening was being able to celebrate

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10 Great Uses for Vinegar

Store-bought cleaning products can be harsh on your skin and they’re not as natural as they want to seem. So why not make your own cleaners? It’s actually very easy. Vinegar is the ultimate cleaning product. Not only can it clean just about anything, but it is also inexpensive, natural, easy to find, and safe for pets, family members, and the environment.

1. Vinegar makes a great hardwood floor cleaner. Just mix 1/2 a cup of white vinegar with a gallon of warm water and wash the floors with the mix. However, don’t use it on floors with a waxed finish.

 

2. Vinegar is also a great kitchen degreaser. You can use it to clean the stovetop and the oven. Use a brush or a sponge and distilled vinegar to wipe away those

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Beautiful Move In Ready Home In Royal Oak

Amazing opportunity for this beautiful brick colonial in Royal Oak within walking distance to popular shops and entertainment. This impeccably main- tained move in ready residence is highlighted by its freshly painted walls and preserved hardwood floors. A bright family room leads onto a relaxing deck complimented by mature trees in a private setting. This home features a bright, airy kitchen with garden window for growing herbs or flourishing flowers. A formal dining room allows for any elegant dinner party or family gathering and transitions to a cozy living room. Any buyer would also appreciate the open basement with ample storage and the desired 2 car garage with extended driveway. 

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Colors for Your Kitchen

The desire to update our kitchens. It never really goes away. Causing us to spend hours on home decorating websites. And the biggest problem in the kitchen is often the cabinets. Because if we want granite or quartz or some other solid surface slab countertop, there's not really a DIY solution - or a super affordable option. Changing out the appliances is also pricey.

Fortunately changing the color of your cabinets can be done quite easily. To get them professionally sprayed costs about $1,000, depending on how much cabinetry you have, the prep work needed, and the type of paint or stain you choose. Or, you can do it yourself with some time and patience and more time and patience. Here is a guide to cabinet colors that

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Egg-tra Fun for Easter

Makenzie Lang enjoying her day at Egg-stravaganza
Hop on over to Bunnyville at the Detroit Zoo!
April 18, 19 2014, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

An “egg-stravaganza” of family fun is happening for the Detroit Zoo’s 23rd annual Bunnyville celebration. This year, the Zoo will have two days of bunny fun on Friday and Saturday, April 18 and 19, 2014, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bunnyville features treats, games, crafts, live entertainment, animal enrichment activities, zookeeper talks and much more!

Bunnyville visitors are asked to bring a canned or other non-perishable food item to be donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank. Each guest with a food donation will receive a reduced admission price of $8, parking not included. Admission for

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Is the Bubble Back?

Housing bubbles are measured by comparing current prices to a reliable index of housing prices. Fortunately, we have one acccording to The New York Times. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has been keeping track of the costs of renting a residence since at least 1983; its index shows a steady rise of about 3% a year over this 30-year period. This is as it should be; other things being equal, rentals should track the inflation rate. Home prices should do the same. If prices rise much above the rental rate, families theoretically would begin to rent, not buy.

Housing bubbles, then, become visible — and can legitimately be called bubbles — when housing prices diverge significantly from rents.

In a housing or real

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