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Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Real Estate Opportunities

 

As December approaches its Christmas and Kwanzaa celebrations, you’re probably scrambling to buy the remaining gifts for the last remaining people on your list or going to supermarkets looking for the ingredients to use in preparing your holiday feasts.  There’s also a possibility that one of your resolutions for next year is selling the home you’re currently living in.  December can actually be an opportune time for selling real estate.

 

Behind all the festivities and rapturous celebration lies some great perks you can use to your advantage in getting your home sold quicker.  Among them is making the extra effort to decorate your home to look its best and using this time that is quickly coming to a close to ensure it dazzles when the lights come on.  Particularly during such a time, an elegantly luminous home can sway a buyer who would otherwise not be interested in your home’s visual appeal.

 

So you’re all revved up and ready to astound real estate buyers with a carefully thought out blueprint of how you want to go about decorating your home for the holidays but alas, the price tags on those lights that do twenty different synchronized movements and the giant automated snow globe are simply out of the question.  If the window for selling is short, you may have to scale back your efforts to something closer to your budget.  Otherwise, the answer may be waiting the day after Christmas.

 

Head to any store selling holiday decorum and you’ll notice pretty much anything that has to do with the holidays has had its price chopped almost in half.  Something that carried a price of seventy dollars now costs an inexpensive $28.  You can either save these items for use next year or use them to complement the end of 2007 festivities.  Things are also shaping up to be favorable for the real estate market next year which should also justify these purchases.

 

As long as you’re not putting yourself into any kind of irrecoverable debt or setting back your saving efforts, don’t feel guilty about splurging a little more than you intended in getting your home sold.  December is when people can be convinced to overindulge more on items they’d normally scoff at so the odds of catching the eye of a young man looking to buy a home for him and his fiancĂ©e to live in is much greater.

 
Posted at 10:50:27 AM
 
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Updated: Monday, October 22, 2018


What the Fed Does and Doesnt Do With Mortgage Rates

nbsp;

The Federal Funds rate is the rate banks can charge one another for short term lending. Short term as in overnight. Why does a bank need to borrow money on such a short notice? Banks are required to keep a certain amount of liquid capital, in other words ldquo;cash,rdquo; at the end of each business day. These funds are essentially demand funds. When a consumer wants to withdraw some cash either at the bank or at any automated teller, there needs to be cash available to meet those withdrawal requests. If the bank sees their reserves to meet these requests do not meet the reserve requirements, banks seek out a short term loan from another depository institution to meet the reserve requirements. This is what the Fed adjusts, the overnight lending rate. But the Fed doesnrsquo;t directly impact the everyday 30 year conforming fixed rate mortgage.

When lenders set their rates each day, they refer to a specific mortgage bond. For example, with a 30 year fixed conforming loan underwritten to Fannie Mae standards, the lender will review the current yield on the FNMA 30-yr 3.0 mortgage bond.nbsp;Just like any bond, with the price of the bond goes up, the yield will fall. And when the price goes down, the yield will rise. Investors buy bonds, all types of bonds, as a safe place to park cash. When the economy appears to falter, investors can get a little skittish and pull some funds from the stock market and transfer those funds into bonds, including mortgage bonds. If on the other hand the economy is healthy and improving, the opposite will occur.

When the Fed makes an announcement at the end of their two-day meetings, investors are anxious to hear if the Fed raised, lowered or kept rates the same. If the Fed announces they decided to raise the cost of funds by 0.25, it can tell investors the FOMC decided the economy is doing rather well but to hold of any potential inflation, it will raise the cost of funds that banks will pay for short term lending. Itrsquo;s not a direct affect on mortgage rates, but definitely an indirect one.


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House Still Standing on Hard-Hit Mexico Beach After Hurricane Michael

ldquo;Hurricane Michael tossed cars into the canal, snapped trees in half and carved massive craters into U.S. Route 98rdquo; while killing 16 at last count, said NBC News. The hurricanes winds lifted another beach house ldquo;off its stilts and blew it 160 yards across the main road, where it landed on a grassy area next to a parking lot.rdquo;

Yet the Category 4 hurricane couldnt take down the house built by Dr. Lebron Lackey, a radiologist from Cleveland, TN, and his uncle, Russell King, an attorney from Chattanooga. There was, not surprisingly, some damage to the home, courtesy of 144-mile-per-hour winds and high water that had to go somewhere. ldquo;In a Facebook post, it was reported that the ground floor and the stairs up to the middle floor are gone, along with windows in one of the bedrooms,rdquo; said Q13 FOX. ldquo;All the utilities have to be redone, and one of the heating and air units is gone, too. Still, thatrsquo;s a far cry from the destruction of much of the neighborhood.rdquo;

So how did The Sand Palace stay standing while other homes were torn apart? ldquo;The house stayed upright because it was built last year to codes that were even more strict than laws required,rdquo; said Weather.com. ldquo;It took reinforced concrete walls, 40-foot pilings driven deep into the ground and other factors to keep the house safe in the storm.rdquo; The Sand Palace ldquo;was designed to survive a monster hurricane, and the reinforced concrete structure was meant to be the last home standing in the event of the unthinkable.rdquo;

The home, which is used for vacation rentals, lists many of its features on its Facebook page: ldquo;four-bedroom ocean front home with beautiful views, two fully stocked kitchens, inside and outside dining options, an elevator, plenty of living space, plus four and a half bathrooms.rdquo;
The post thatrsquo;s been pinned to the top of the page mentions that the home sleeps 10, has ocean views from the living rooms, master bedrooms, and decks, plus an outside shower, picnic table, porch swings, and a grill. If you scroll down a little further, there is some info about the products used in the home impact-resistant windows and doors from Custom Window Systems in Ocala, FL and the companies Southeastern Consulting Engineers behind the construction.

And while the home reportedly cost up to 20 percent more than it would have simply to meet existing building codes in Florida, the upside is obviousmdash;not just for this property, but also for the future of homebuilding in areas prone to extreme weather.


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Stylish Bath Storage Solutions: Ways to Complement Your Bathroom Vanity

Finding adequate storage is a particularly challenging problem in bathrooms, and not just because they are usually the smallest rooms in the house. Bathrooms have increasingly become the place to store a large and diverse number of items, including bath towels, beauty supplies, toiletries, hair care products, medications, soaps, shampoo, and assorted cleansers. And if the primary inhabitants of the bathroom happen to be teenagers, then the demand for storage space increases exponentially.

Fortunately theres a very easy and space-efficient way to gain storage in a bathroom: install a bath-vanity cabinet. Fully assembled, easy-to-install vanity cabinets are readily available in several sizes and designs, but they all serve two primary functions. First, a bath vanity has a countertop that supports the sink and faucet. And just as important, it provides plenty of storage space right where you need it.

Depending on the size of the bathroom, you can install either a single-sink or double-sink vanity. The double vanity will obviously provide more storage and counter space than a single vanity, but both options typically have under-sink storage and may have a bank of drawers on one or both sides of the doors.

If you need more space than a vanity can provide, consider installing an auxiliary cabinet. Most major cabinet manufacturers offer a line of auxiliary bath cabinets that provide an easy, cost-effective way to add storage to any bathroom. Below is a detailed look at the five most popular auxiliary cabinets. They can be used alone or in conjunction with other units to transform even the most compact, cluttered bath into a clean, well-organized space.

1. Linen Cabinets

Freestanding linen cabinets are available in dozens of sizes, >

  • Linen cabinets can be divided into two basic shapes: tall and narrow, and low and wide.
  • Taller cabinets are ideal for squeezing storage alongside the sink, next to a window or in a corner. Theyre often as narrow as 15 in. wide.
  • Low, wide linen cabinets range in width from 26 in. to 36 in., so they require a bit more wall space. However, their low tops can be used for placing everyday items or storage baskets.

Depending on the cabinet manufacturer, some assembly may be required. Linen cabinets come with all the necessary hardware and fasteners, and most can be assembled in less than 30 minutes using basic hand tools.

Safety note: To prevent freestanding cabinets from toppling over, be sure to secu>

2. Wall Cabinets

When floor space is limited, consider installing a wall-mounted bath cabinet. These space-saving storage units come in a variety of >

The most popular >

3. Medicine Cabinet

Gain a little extra storage space plus a mirror with a wall-mounted medicine cabinet. This type of cabinet is typically installed over the sink and features a hinged mirror door that opens to reveal a shallow cabinet lined with shelves. While the shelves are seldom more than 3 in. deep, they can hold a surprising number of small bottles, jars, tubes and boxesmdash;items that gets lost if tossed into a drawer or vanity cabinet.

Medicine cabinets are commonly available with one, two or three mirrored doors. Note that most medicine cabinets can be installed one of two ways: recessed or flush-mounted.

Recessed installation requires cutting a hole in the wall and setting the cabinet between two wall studs. This type of installation requires more work, but looks much neater. Flush-mounted cabinets are simply screwed to the wall, which is quick and easy, but doesnt look as integrated.

4. Freestanding Shelves

Freestanding shelves take up very little floor space, install in minutes, can easily be moved around and repositioned, and provide ample storage space for both bath linens and toiletries. Bathroom-shelving units come in a dizzying array of sizes, colors, >

Space-saving models are available for use in corners, taking advantage of floor space that typically goes unused.

5. Wall-Mounted Shelves

Wall-mounted shelves provide a quick, easy way to add storage to any bathroom, no matter how small and crowded it is. You can stack the shelves, spacing them 10 to 12 in. apart, to increase storage, without sacrificing floor space.

Bath shelves are typically made of glass or chrome-plated metal; both >

Its best to fasten the shelves to wall studs, but if theyll be used to store small, lightweight bottles and jars, then hollow-wall anchors will suffice.

If youre looking to add storage to your bathroom, start with an updated vanity that can provide plenty of room to tuck away towels, toiletries and cleaning and beauty products. Then, look for space where you can complement that storage with one of these shelving or cabinet ideas.

Joe Truini is a home-improvement expert who writes extensively about do-it-yourself home remodeling and repair. He has authored six books, including his latest, "Build Like a Pro: Installing Floors." You can research Home Depots full line of bathroom vanities, including >

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