Where Housing Costs Less, Energy Costs More

In metros were home owners pay the least amount for housing, they often spend some of the highest amounts on energy each year. On the other hand, in some of the priciest areas, owners get more of a break, according to a new report by Redfin.

Energy costs should be an important factor guiding home buyers. After all, energy bills can increase total housing costs by as much as 50 percent or more. This is particularly common in the Rust Belt, Redfin researchers note.

Read more HERE.

5 Insurance Tips for Home Renovation Projects

A home renovation can be an overwhelming experience with high stakes for your clients. There’s creating the overall vision of the project, gauging its financial feasibility, finding a reliable contractor, and hoping for a smooth construction process. But an important consideration that often falls by the wayside is making sure the project is adequately insured.

Whatever a home remodel entails, it’s important that all the players involved are insured—from the homeowner, to the general contractor, to any subcontractors involved, says Mark Komiskey, Director of Homeowners Products at Esurance.

Here are five insurance tips to help keep financially sound as you consider a home renovation.

4 Lawn Maintenance Tips for Fall

Fall lawn maintenance isn’t just about clearing away leaves, says The National Association of Landscape Professionals. Your clients will want to do a few things in their yard not only to prep it for the colder months, but to ensure that it’s in good shape for spring.

Maintaining a healthy lawn is also great for a home’s curb appeal, and just adopting a standard lawn care program can recover 303 percent of the project cost, according to the 2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features.

Consider these lawn tips and remember that lawn care is something you need to think about throughout the year.

Staging Tips for Sprucing Up the Basement

Basements often have the reputation as being dark and dank. But the basement shouldn’t be forgotten when it comes to staging a property.

“Buyers will definitely poke their heads down in this cold, dark place,” notes an article at realtor.com®. “So, imagine their pleasant surprise when it’s actually a functional, comfortable room where they might even want to hang out.”

Here are a few tips.

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