Remodeling Loan for Fixer-Upper Buyers

As homes age, more homeowners are looking to remodeling to spruce up their properties. Of the nation’s stock of 137 million units, nearly 80% are at least 20 years old, and 40% are at least 50 years old.

Freddie Mac says its new mortgage product is to help home buyers finance or refinance fixer-uppers. Eligible buyers will be able to finance the purchase of their home and the cost of renovations into a single-close mortgage.

Read more about the CHOICERenovation Mortgage HERE.

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Who’s Your Favorite Celebrity Makeover Specialist?

Design TV shows are having a big influence on homeowners and home buyers, driving them to get more choosy with their home style. Designers Joanna Gaines, Hilary Farr, and the Property Brothers have become household names. Who would you pick to transform your home?

Porch.com, a home remodeling website, polled about 1,000 people to find out.  See results HERE.

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Mortgages Are the Happiest Type of Debt

A mortgage may be Americans’ biggest amount of debt, but they view it as the best type to have. Americans with mortgages have the highest level of life satisfaction than those with other forms of debt, such as medical, student loan, or credit card debt. The findings come from the Ascent team by The Motley Fool, who surveyed more than 1,000 Americans with debt to learn more about the psychological impact of debt.

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Closed Churches Are Being Saved, Transformed Into Homes

For Sale signs in front of places of worship are becoming more common as attendance at smaller churches dwindles. Some developers and home buyers are stepping in to transform the churches into their new home. A handful of former churches are being converted into single-family homes or apartments.

In the U.S., church membership has been decreasing over the past two decades. About 50% of Americans belonged to a church, synagogue, or mosque in 2018, down from nearly 70% in the 1990s, a Gallup poll shows.

As attendance declines across nearly all denominations, the need for buildings to hold them has decreased.

A former place of worship for sale can be difficult to market, in having to respect former parishioners’ ties to the building and to find the right buyer who wants the size and configuration of a former church for their residence.

But some developers believe that a former church can be transformed into a unique, appealing home.  Read more HERE.

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Does the Home You Are Selling Have a ‘Blooper Room?’

The phrase “blooper room” is being used by real estate professionals to describe problematic spaces that turn off potential buyers to an otherwise ideal home. Just one room in the house that badly needs work could make prospects look the other way entirely.

Apartment Therapy recently spoke with some real estate pros about rooms that could potentially be the “blooper room” of your home.

Read more HERE.

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Home Upgrades Could Save Hundreds on Energy Bills

The right home improvements could help shave energy bills by up to 35% or unlock up to $627 in annual savings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Steve Chalk, who recently retired from his work at the department, told CNBC that a home energy assessment can help determine what the best savings projects are for a homeowner to take on.

Read more HERE.

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Make Sure Your Property Isn’t Getting Eaten Up

A termite infestation can be costly, and sadly, many homeowners don’t discover there’s a problem until these wood-eating pests have already caused a great deal of damage to a home or an inspection uncovers it during a home sale.

“Termites are referred to as the hidden enemy,” says Mike Duncan, an associate certified entomologist and eastern region trainer for Truly Nolen, a pest control company. The damage can reach $7,900 or more before they’re found, Duncan told realtor.com®.

Some homeowners may be unknowingly attracting termites to their homes. An article at realtor.com® recently flagged some ways owners may be creating a termite spot, beyond just rotting wood.

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Real Estate Pros Say These Design Trends Don’t Work

Real estate professionals know how to look at houses from a buyer’s perspective and can spot decor trends that are likely to turn their clients off. “I am selling space, and I need to be sure that the spaces are not distracting and that the buyer does not have to work too hard to take in the overall size, proportion, and scale of a room,” Robin Kencel of Compass told Apartment Therapy.

Some of today’s most popular design trends could prove to be less than ideal for your buyers. Real estate pros tell Apartment Therapy which interior design trends they believe won’t impress potential buyers—and may even make them want to pass on a home.

Read more HERE.

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Ventilation Is the ‘New Frontier’ for ‘Healthy’ Homes

Indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental risks to public health, researchers say. After all, most people spend 90% of their time indoors, whether in homes, office buildings, or other structures. Ventilation is the “new frontier for making houses healthy,” Carl Seville of SK Collaborative, a green building consulting and certification firm, told Forbes.com in a recent article.

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Popular Home Features Buyers Surprisingly May Regret

While some home features have the kind of buzz that makes home shoppers think they must be part of their next home, living with them may actually cause ongoing regret, according to a new article at realtor.com®.

One of those highly desired items: an open floor plan. An open layout may actually end up a nuisance as noise and privacy become issues, but that doesn’t stop it from holding a top spot on many buyers’ wish lists.

To find out about four more features buyers may regret, click HERE.

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