Implement Zen Components into Your Home and Life

Let’s be honest. We all can stand to benefit from a little Zen inspiration in our lives. Our everyday activities can overwhelm and slow us down causing many to burn out. But adding a little serenity to your life (and home) can make a huge difference in how you think and feel. Today we’re featuring [...]

What to Know Before Refinishing Your Floors

About 20 years, most hardwood floors start showing their age; scratches, dullness and discoloring are the most common signs that the wood is due for refinishing. Fortunately, the typical ¾-inch-thick hardwood floor can be sanded about six to eight times during its lifetime. So unless you live in a particularly old house, or a previous [...]

Saving for a Home: How Much Is Enough?

It's easy to get caught up in credit scores when considering a home purchase. But as lenders continue to loosen requirements, the need to have money in the bank doesn't get any less acute. Getting prescriptive about how much you need in savings to satisfy a mortgage lender is tough business. The answer can depend [...]

Reverse Mortgages: New Rules Make Them Safer for Homeowners

The promises of a reverse mortgage -- never having to pay a mortgage bill again and using your home's equity to finance retirement -- can sound too good to be true. It almost was too good to be true during the Great Recession, when more borrowers were withdrawing most of their home equity at closing [...]

A Garage Addition Can Solve Your Storage Problems

For many Jacksonville residents, the garage is far more than a spot to park the car — it’s become more of a catchall for every outdoor item the family owns. Floridians spend a ton of time outside, so they often have to store their surfboards and windsurfers in addition to the normal gardening and lawn [...]

Professional Home Energy Auditors May be Worth the Cost

Energy prices may fluctuate from time to time, making it difficult for homeowners to estimate their monthly bills. However, there are a few actions individuals can take to keep their costs low without sacrificing efficiency. More owners conduct energy audits after initially buying a home, but it’s important to keep up on these examinations over [...]

Trust in your Real Estate Broker is the Foundation of Home Buying, and Selling

I bought a house for a bit under $2 million in Los Altos, Calif., (about average for around here). The seller and I were both represented by (different) agents from the same local branch office. I was encouraged by my agent to bid aggressively for the house as “several disclosure packets had gone out” and [...]

Mortgage Lenders Reportedly Accepting Lower Down Payments

The average down payment for 30-year fixed rate mortgages dropped to 15.73 percent of the home's value in the third quarter this year, down 2.74 percent from the second quarter, according to a report from LendingTree. A news release about report, which detailed the average down payment percentages by state, highlighted the relationship between down [...]

VA Loans Are A Beautiful Thing

The VA loan program was created in 1944 by the U.S. government as a benefit to veterans for their service to our country. VA loans are not made by the Veteran’s Administration rather the VA provides a partial guarantee to the lenders that provide them. This allows for favorable program features and terms for the [...]