September 2012

Found 6 blog entries for September 2012.

 Visit for more articles like this. Reprinted from with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®."  

Budget Kitchen Remodeling: 5 Money-Saving Steps

By: Gretchen Roberts  

Published: January 19, 2012

 Can't afford an entire kitchen remodel in one fell swoop? You can complete the work in 5 budget-saving stages (and still cook dinner during the down time).  

 Stage one: Start with a complete design plan

Your plan should be comprehensive and detailed — everything from the location of the refrigerator to which direction the cabinet doors will open to whether you need a spice drawer.

To save time (and money) during tear-out and construction, plan on using your existing walls and kitchen

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Allergies at Home

By: Jan Soults Walker  

Published: June 22, 2012

If you have allergies at home, you’re hosting allergens with specific needs. If those pollutants could write classified ads, here’s what they’d want.  

DUST MITES in need of a cozy mattress. Please, no dust mite-proof covers (we can’t hack latex mattresses or silk bedding, either). Bedding and comforters must be rarely washed. Absolutely NO water heaters set above 130 degrees -- we’d be goners. Prefer natural materials for hanging out -- no synthetics or air purifiers with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, please, as we find them inhospitable.

POLLEN wants airy home with windows and doors frequently left open. Prefer windows where mold and condensation are never

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How to Remodel and Keep Your Marriage Together

By: Jan Soults Walker

Published: August 13, 2012

Remodeling can be chaotic, cluttered, sawdusty, noisy, costly, and stressful. So can marriage. Here’s how to keep your marriage from ending up in the Dumpster.


“Building or remodeling a home can be about the most stressful activity a married couple can engage in,” says Dr. Don Gilbert, a marriage counselor in West Des Moines, Iowa.

“It has all the components that couples stress over -- money, multiple decisions, and different preferences. In fact, there are so many opportunities for relationship stress during remodeling that it brings out in each person the weaknesses they may have in communication and conflict management.”

So if you and your

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Pre-listing Inspections

Eventually your buyers are going to conduct an inspection. You may as well know what they are going to find by getting there first. The author points out that having an inspection performed ahead of time helps in many other ways:

  • It allows you to see your home through the eyes of a critical third-party. It helps you to price your home realistically.
  • It permits you to make repairs ahead of time so that ... Defects won't become negotiating stumbling blocks later.
  • There is no delay in obtaining the Use and Occupancy permit.
  • You have the time to get reasonably priced contractors or make the repairs yourself, if qualified.
  • It may encourage the buyer to waive the inspection contingency.
  • It may
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Find the Home Loan that Fits Your Needs

By: G. M. Filisko

Published: February 10, 2010

Understand which mortgage loan is best for you so your budget is not stretched too thin.  

The basics of mortgage financing

The most important features of your mortgage loan are its term and interest rate. Mortgages typically come in 15-, 20-, 30- or 40-year lengths. The longer the term, the lower your monthly payment. However, the tradeoff for a lower payment is that the longer the life of your loan, the more interest you’ll pay.

Mortgage interest rates generally come in two flavors: fixed and adjustable. A fixed rate allows you to lock in your interest rate for the entire mortgage term. That’s attractive if you’re risk-averse, on a fixed income, or when

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4 Tips to Determine How Much Mortgage You Can Afford

By: G. M. Filisko  

Published: March 11, 2010

 By knowing how much mortgage you can handle, you can ensure that home ownership will fit in your budget.  


1. The general rule of mortgage affordability

As a rule of thumb, you can typically afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. If you earn $100,000, you can typically afford a home between $200,000 and $300,000.

To understand how that rule applies to your particular financial situation, prepare a family budget and list all the costs of homeownership, like property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community association fees, if applicable, as well as costs specific to your family, such as day care costs.

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