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Four Indicators That The Economy Will Improve - 12/31/10 09:24 AM
Yeah, we've heard it before, but let's see if it works this time. First, the average workweek for all employees on private non-farm payrolls was 34.3 hours in November, a modest uptick from the 33.9 hours worked during the same time last year. An increase in worker hours is significant, especially since many employers dramatically cut hours during the recession that started in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. Second, business investment in capital equipment rebounded in November. Bookings climbed 2.6% after a 3.6% decline in October -- a decline that was smaller than previously estimated, according to the US (4 comments)
NAR - Pending Sales Up in November - 12/31/10 09:21 AM
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pending home sales rose again in November, with the broad trend over the past five months indicating a gradual recovery into 2011. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 3.5% to 92.2 based on contracts signed in November from a downwardly revised 89.1 in October. The index is 5.0% below a reading of 97.0 in November 2009. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. The PHSI in the Northeast increased 1.8% to 72.6 in November but is 6.2% below (0 comments)
Well the year is coming to a close, and despite a challenging real estate market we've more than doubled our business from last year! We wish all of our colleges prosperous growth in the coming new year, and the rewards which come with helping all our clients meet their dreams and goals of home ownership. Search For Properties Like The Agents Do! Find Your Ideal Home With Our Free MLS Search Engine! Every Active Listing On The MLS In REAL TIME! Waste No More Time With Listings Which Are Under Contract Or Sold! Germantown Clarksburg Darnestown & More! ~ MD ~ DC (0 comments)
Boxing Day Facts - 12/26/10 09:39 PM
Despite its name, Boxing Day, which is celebrated on December 26 in Great Britain, has nothing to do with pugilistic competition. Nor is it a day for people to return unwanted Christmas presents. While the exact origins of the holiday are obscure, it is likely that Boxing Day began in England during the Middle Ages. Some historians say the holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas Day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes. Church Alms Boxes Another theory is that the (1 comments)
FREE LAND!!! - 12/26/10 03:22 PM
It sounds too good to be true but there are at least seven places remaining in the United States where it is possible to get free land. That doesn't mean there are not a few strings attached; much like an earlier article where we wrote up the best places to find free houses, there are various eligibility requirements associated with some of the offers. However, that doesn't mean there isn't any merit in the offers; take a closer look to see if any of these sites sound enticing. By next year you might have be reading this while sitting beside a (3 comments)
Wells Fargo, in a settlement with California's attorney general announced Monday, agreed to provide $2 billion worth of loan modifications to nearly 15,000 homeowners. Under the deal, the bank is also paying a total of $32 million to borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure, according to the AG. Attorney General Jerry Brown said Wells Fargo will offer modifications to 14,900 homeowners, who have so-called "pick-a-pay" loans. "Customers were offered adjustable-rate loans, with payments that mushroomed to amounts that ultimately thousands of borrowers could not afford," said Brown, who takes over as California's governor next month. "Recognizing the harm caused (10 comments)
Fannie Mae Says Housing Market Getter Better - 12/26/10 03:02 PM
In its December 2010 Economics and Mortgage Market Analysis released today, Fannie Mae forecasts an optimistic outlook for both the economy and the housing market. 2011 will see marked improvements in consumer spending and consumer confidence, increased demand for goods and services and a decrease in unemployment claims. Signs that might tamper with the upturn can still be seen though - such as employment growth that is not as strong as predicted, Europe's continuing economic instability and runaway inflation issues in China. Real GDP in 2011 was forecast to grow by 3.9% for the fourth quarter compared to 2.5% for fourth (1 comments)
The Endowment Effect - 12/26/10 02:57 PM
Is your fear of losing money making you poor? According to behavioral economists, the answer is probably "yes". Nearly every investor has lost money at some point and time...if you haven't then chances are you are either brand new to investing or play it far too safe to earn any real returns over time. But, when the fear of losing money becomes the central factor in your investment strategy it is time to take another look. Chances are you are leaving money on the table. But that isn't all.... Understanding the endowment effect is critical to learning how to negotiate with (1 comments)
NAR: Existing-Home Sales Rise 5.6% - 12/26/10 02:50 PM
Existing-home sales got back on an upward path in November, resuming a growth trend since bottoming in July, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, rose 5.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.68 million in November from 4.43 million in October, but are 27.9 percent below the cyclical peak of 6.49 million in November 2009, which was the initial deadline for the first-time buyer tax credit.Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, is hopeful for 2011. "Continuing gains in home sales are encouraging, and the positive impact (1 comments)
Continue to Maintain Curb Appeal in the Winter Months - 12/26/10 02:43 PM
While the fall season may have just begun, now is the time for homeowners to prepare their concrete driveways and walks for the winter months. Colder weather brings snow and freezing ice that can cause damage and hinder a home's curb appeal and resale value. Simple steps to protect walkways and driveways from the winter elements include: Seal the surface: During October or November, a sealer should be applied to the driveway and walks to prevent flaking or pitting. Before applying the sealer, thoroughly clean the surfaces with a powerwasher. Most sealers need to be applied every three to 10 years. (1 comments)
Selling a Home in the Winter Months - 12/26/10 02:32 PM
Winter is officially here. While it is not the traditional "spring market," there are still advantages to selling your home during the winter months.
Sellers who have their homes on the market now, can benefit from the following tips to help make their home stand out in the crowd: Prove energy efficiency: Prepare a list of all the things you have done to make your home more energy efficient, such as adding insulation in attics and around pipes, or replacing windows. Homebuyers are particularly interested in energy efficiency this time of year. Shed some light: The winter months can be (2 comments)
10 No-Cost Energy Saving Tips - 12/26/10 01:16 PM
10 No-Cost Energy Saving Tips Looking for fast, free ways to save on energy around the home this winter? There are many common-sense things you can do everyday in your home to lower energy bills. Tip #1 - Lock your windows. Don't just close them, but lock them to create an airtight seal that keeps out air leaks and drafts. Tip #2 - Plug power-draining computers and electronic equipment into a power strip with a switch, so they can all be easily turned off when not in use. Tip #3 - Turn off lights when leaving a room. Tip #4 - (5 comments)
Seven Green Tips to Slash Soaring Home Heating Bills - 12/26/10 01:08 PM
Here are seven tips from the Comfort Institute to make your home an energy sipper instead of a gas guzzler. They will help you save money, improve comfort and help the environment too. 1. Ask your heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor to test your duct system for air leaks. Many people assume that windows and doors are the major cause of a home's energy-wasting air leaks. But according to recent research by the U.S. Department of Energy, gaps, joints and disconnections in the typical home's duct system are much more significant. The DOE states that the typical duct system loses (1 comments)
Make Homeownership Your New Year's Resolution - 12/19/10 08:51 AM
The new year provides an opportunity to start fresh and develop goals and resolutions for the coming year. Some people strive toward financial aspirations or a professional achievement, while others might choose to pursue a lifelong goal, such as owning a home. If 2011 is the year to achieve your dream of homeownership, the following tips may be helpful:Talk to the experts. Work with a real estate professional, lender and attorney who are familiar with the area in which you would like to buy a home. A real estate agent can provide you with expert knowledge about the local market, including (3 comments)
Holiday Decoration Safety Tips - 12/13/10 01:23 AM
The Consumer Products Safety Commission suggests following these tips to make your holiday a safe one.Trees: When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant." Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not (3 comments)
BOA Resumes Foreclosures - 12/10/10 05:53 PM
Bank of America (BOA) said today it was ending its hiatus on foreclosure sales, and promised to get its act together after a series of sloppy home seizures prompted the bank to back off and re-examine its process. The bank said it plans to proceed with 16,000 foreclosures this month, though it will observe a "holiday suspension" of sales and evictions from Dec. 20 to Jan. 2. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have announced a similar holiday freeze. The Bank of America action ends the "voluntary freeze" that the bank initiated in October, after a series of messy real estate mistakes. (0 comments)
Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays - 12/10/10 05:38 PM
With cooking, candles and lighted decorations, there are more residential fires during the holiday season than at any other time of the year. Protect your property, and the lives of your loved ones, by taking these steps to reduce the fire risk in your home. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking is the top cause of holiday fires. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and learn how to use it. And, because kitchen fires most commonly occur when cooking food is left unattended, if you leave the kitchen, carry something with you that will serve as (0 comments)
Right Now Is The Prime Time To List Your Home On The Market! - 12/10/10 02:34 PM
'Tis the season, and one might think the last thing on anyone's mind is to buy a house during the holidays. In fact, this is a great time to sell a home. Buyers tend to be more serious and have extra time to shop together this time of year. Consider these benefits of keeping your home listed during the holiday season: First and foremost, your house definitely isn't going to sell if it's not even listed. By leaving it on the market, you are likely to attract the motivated buyers who tend to house hunt during the holidays. Buck convention. If everyone else takes their (0 comments)
Every family has their own holiday traditions, but when your home is on the market over the holidays it is important to decorate in a way that won't turn off buyers. These tips will help sellers strike a good balance: Too many decorations mask a home's selling points: architectural details, condition, location and price. Avoid too many personalized decorations. You want buyers to visualize themselves celebrating the holidays in your home. But, don't forego decorating altogether. People expect at least some decorations, plus they add warmth to a home. Choose an elegant, neutral palette of fresh greens, silvers and golds, and classic (4 comments)
Fireproof Your Christmas Tree ~ Retardant Formula Recipe - 12/10/10 01:56 PM
Everyone loves the sights and smells of Christmas, especially those of a fresh Christmas tree. Even my friends who decorate artificial trees place fresh cut evergreens around their homes to provide that wonderful aroma. This elicits childhood memories of our earliest Christmases and hopes to duplicate these wonderful images. For many reasons, fresh-cut Christmas trees still predominate, but few people effectively fireproof their tree. Over the years, we have reprinted the formula of household products that, when mixed together and fed religiously to your tree, will act as a fire retardant. Needless to say, exercise safety during Christmas, especially with electricity. (2 comments)
One of the terrific things about investing in real estate is the flexible tax write-off's including some of the hottest headliners, great gadgets and best-selling books. Today's gotta get item of the week is the ultra-simple security system by Logitech. Perfect for the office or property, the master set starts at only $300 and installs up in mere minutes. Not only does the Logitech 750i Security System provide 24/7 surveillance but includes remote viewing, instant photo's sent to your cell phone or uploaded to a secure internet connection and even the ability to control lights or temperature settings remotely. (0 comments)
Final Guidance On Appraisals Is Here - 12/10/10 01:05 PM
Federal regulatory agencies released final guidance on how financial institutions will conduct real estate appraisals, the first nationwide update since 1994. The Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration jointly filed the "Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines," with the Federal Register. The guidelines were originally introduced in 1994 and submitted the proposal for industry comment in November 2008. The guidelines are effective upon filing with the Federal Register. With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act this summer, the agencies will determine whether (0 comments)
Holiday Foreclosure Freeze - 12/10/10 12:50 PM
Like last year, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two government-controlled mortgage giants, are freezing all foreclosure evictions on mortgage loans they own or back from Dec. 20 through Jan.3. For some of the big private banks, who also usually observe a freeze during the holidays, the situation is a little different this year, thanks to moratoriums they already have in place because of the robo-signing scandal. That freeze was initiated to give the banks time to examine whether they violated any legal procedures in processing foreclosures and to correct and refile questionable documents they uncover. A spokesman for Bank of (3 comments)
Tax Cuts Extended - 12/09/10 09:54 PM
President Obama announced a tentative deal with Congressional Republicans on Monday to extend the Bush-era tax cuts at all income levels for two years as part of a package that will also keep benefits flowing to the long-term unemployed, cut payroll taxes for all workers for a year and take other steps to bolster the economy. "It's not perfect, but this compromise is an essential step on the road to recovery," Mr. Obama said. "It will stop middle-class taxes from going up. It will spur our private sector to create millions of new jobs, and add momentum that our economy badly (2 comments)
TransUnion - Delinquencies To Decline - 12/09/10 09:46 PM
TransUnion expects the national mortgage delinquency rate to fall by about one-fifth to 4.98% by the end of 2011. The company projects the rate at 6.21% at the end of 2010, representing a nearly 10% decrease from the prior year. The national delinquency rate fell 3.5% from the second quarter to third quarter, which was the largest quarterly drop in four years, TransUnion said in late November. The number of delinquent mortgages peaked in July 2009. Slowly improving employment figures and continued stabilization in housing prices will fuel the declining delinquency rates, according to Steve Chaouki, group vice president in TransUnion's (0 comments)
Winter Holidays Safety - 12/09/10 02:08 PM
Suggestions from the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Fire Protection AssociationHoliday decorating:- Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.- Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.- Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.- Use clips, not nails, (0 comments)
Search For Properties Like The Agents Do! Find Your Ideal Home With Our Free MLS Search Engine! Every Active Listing On The MLS In REAL TIME! Waste No More Time With Listings Which Are Under Contract Or Sold! Germantown Clarksburg Darnestown & More! ~ MD ~ DC ~ VA ~ WV ~ VA ~ DE ~ This is the way to shop for properties! Narrow your search by entering exactly the features you're looking for! We Can Also Put You On Our Automated MLS Search Which Will E-Mail You When Properties Matching Your Criteria Enter The System On Day Zero On (2 comments)
Listing Your Home During the Holidays - 12/03/10 07:20 PM
Tis the season, and one might think the last thing on anyone's mind is to buy a house during the holidays. In fact, it's a great time to sell a home, especially this year as consumers look to take advantage of low interest rates. In general, buyers tend to be more serious and have extra time to look at houses together this time of year. Consider these other benefits of keeping your home listed during the holiday season: First and foremost, your house definitely isn't going to sell if it's not even listed. By leaving it on the market, you are (1 comments)
NAR Call for Action: Protect Mortgage Interest Deduction - 12/02/10 08:38 PM
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has initiated a phone call campaign to urge Congress to defend the mortgage interest deduction (MID). As you may know, the recently released Deficit Commission Report has suggested that the MID be limited, or even eliminated. NAR contends -- and we agree -- that while we all support efforts to reduce the deficit, further undermining the critical housing recovery now underway cannot be the price that is paid. Mortgage interest has been deductible for nearly 100 years, and the proposed changes will affect all 75 million homeowners in the United States. You may have already received (5 comments)
The kitchen has always been the focal point of a home's living area, and one of the first features buyers look at during their home search. As many people cut back on expenses by eating out less and cooking at home more, having a functional kitchen has become even more important than ever. If you are thinking of remodeling your kitchen, take the current economic climate into account when making your choices. Last month, builders and designers gathered for the International Builders' Show and discussed the following trends for kitchens:
Pick a layout that makes it easier for two (2 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.