November 2014

Found 20 blog entries for November 2014.

Living With the Whole Family

A big trend in real estate these days is making space for your in-laws, according to the Wall Street Journal. And it could potentially increase your home value as much as 60%.

More commonly known as "in-law suites" or "granny flats" and formally called "accessory dwelling units" (ADUs), these little homes, usually are somewhere between 300 and 800 square feet, are being built in backyards across the country. The multigenerational living trend has been becoming more popular due to the Great Recession, both as millennials return to their parents' homes and as baby boomers and their parents age.

The biggest obstacle is that cities tend to restrict the number of residences that can live on a property. But there are

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Good News for Many

Great news for thousands of people who lost their homes to foreclosure. If their loans were backed were backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac they are now eligible to buy back those properties at current market value. Fannie and Freddie required borrowers that wanted to repurchase their homes to be able to buy them for whatever amount they owed on the mortgage,  even if that amount was higher than the fair market value of the home. 

Fortunately, that policy was terminated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie. “This is a targeted but important policy change that should help reduce property vacancies and stabilize home values and neighborhoods,” Melvin Watt, FHFA director, said in a

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So Much to be Thankful For

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is an American celebration to offer gratitude for a plentiful harvest. Nearly all cultures celebrate this festival; south Indians celebrate it as Pongal in the month of January, while the north Indians celebrate it as Holi in the month of March. The American act of thanksgiving began during the early pioneer days almost four hundred years ago.

In 1620, one hundred people sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to land at Plymouth, Massachusetts. However, their first winter was severe and their crops failed in the new climate and inexperience with the unfamiliar soil. Half of them died due to lack of fresh food.  The few who survived were saved as Native

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Without Spending A Lot


Heating a home during the winter can be very consuming task. Keeping the house warm is difficult because every time the door opens to the outside, cold comes in.  Other factors that can hinder keeping your house warm are vents leading to the outside or even poor seal. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep a house warm throughout the entire winter. With the right preventative maintenance, it is possible to make a heating system more efficient and cost effective.

Install weatherstripping

Weatherstripping can save you a lot of money on heating bills, especially if you have drafty windows or doors. It’s also quick and easy, and is inexpensive. Place weatherstripping along doorjambs and in gaps between

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But Not Out

According to, the amount of houses being flipped is down but not completely out, adapting to a changing U.S. real estate market, as opportunity rests directly ahead. Flippers accounted for 4% of single-family home sales in the 3rd quarter, Which is  the lowest since 2009, in a RealtyTrac analysis. The 26,947 houses that flippers bought and sold again within a year were mostly under $400,000, and they delivered an average return on investment, absent fix-up costs, of 36%, or $75,990 per home.

Flipping houses dropped,  as home-price appreciation in some hot flipping markets cooled down. This brings the proportion of such investors back to its historical norm relative to all homebuyers and sellers, says RealtyTrac

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Good Indicator of Future Home Sales

According to, despite being a somewhat quiet week for interest rates, mortgage applications increased unexpectedly. The total application amount went up 4.9%  week-to-week for the week ending November 14th. The week's results were adjusted for both seasonal trends and for the Veteran's Day holiday. 

The increase was mostly pushed by applications to purchase a home, which is a turnaround from recent months. While refinance applications increased just one percent week to week, purchase applications rose 12% to the highest level since July. "Mortgage Banking association, (MBA) and other data are showing strength in the market for new homes, likely reflecting the boost from continued job growth in

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Start Now

One of the primary goals of home ownership should be the building of equity in the home.  Equity is simply the difference between the current value of a property and what the balance of all mortgages. Here are two ways to build equity, or ownership, in your home. One is to pay what you owe your lender which decreases the principle owed on your mortgage, and the other is to take advantage of the market upswings which will increase the value of your home.

Putting more money down on your home you want to purchase, is one way to build equity.  Lenders have gone back to the tried and true models of 'income-to-debt ratios', which requires that borrowers put more money down when they purchase a home. However, it is still possible to get

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It's Almost Here

Detroit’s 88th Annual America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will feature some new floats, but it won’t be changing its route. The parade will travel the traditional 2.5 mile route down Woodward Avenue between Kirby Street in Midtown and Congress Street in Downtown on Nov. 27 despite the M-1 Rail construction along Woodward Avenue, Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company, said Monday.

“It’s going to be great,” Michaels said. There will only be three spots along the parade route, which Michaels called “pinch points” where there will not be spots for spectators due to the construction. According to Michaels, 95% of the route will still be visible to spectators, and the construction cones along Woodward Avenue will be

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 Federal Reserve study finds that it’s  getting easier to qualify for a mortgage.

If you have applied for a mortgage and been denied in the past few years, now might be a good time to re-apply because, according to Ellie Mae research, in July 2014, 67% of mortgages applied for did close. That’s significantly up from July 2013, when the rate of mortgages that closed was 53%. 

More homebuyers are being approved for mortgages due to lenders easing qualifying standards, says Jonathan Corr, president of Ellie Mae, a mortgage tracker through which 20% of all mortgages pass. So, if you were thinking you didn’t have a high enough credit score or that you had too much debt to qualify for a mortgage, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Lower Credit Score

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Tips To Make Your Home Ready for the Holidays

Your family is visiting for the holidays and you are horrified at the idea of them noticing that items in your home are looking a little used and worn out.  Here are some tips to spruce up your house or apartment in time for the holidays. Each project costs $200 or less, and can be finished in an afternoon. They also include suggestions for renters who can't make permanent changes.

Repaint Kitchen Cabinets -  People always seem to gather in the kitchen around the holidays, so freshen yours up by sanding down and repainting your cabinet doors. While you're at it, switch out the hardware, knobs, pulls, and hinges. It is much less expensive than entirely replacing your cabinets and makes a big impact.

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