How to Give Your Bathroom a Tropical Vibe

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Great Spaces: Historic Brownstone in Gramercy Park Real Estate Agents: 5 Ways to Create Shareable Content Great Spaces: House of the Rising Sun for Sale Looking to redo your bathroom? Adding a tropical twist is all the […]

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‘Soft’ Credit Checks: Do They Hurt Your Credit Score?

(TNS)—Lenders use your credit score to determine whether you are eligible for a loan and to decide what terms they are prepared to offer. Credit bureaus keep track of when companies check your score, regardless of the outcome, and checks designated as “hard inquiries” may lower your score. Understanding what constitutes a hard check versus […]

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How to Stay Cool and Save Money

Staying cool can be difficult during uncomfortable summer spikes and dreaded heatwaves. According to fan manufacturer Lasko, an average homeowner spends nearly $2,000 annually on energy bills, with 25 percent of that consumed by air conditioning. By simply turning the A/C thermostat up, and adding fans to any space, consumers can still stay comfortably cool […]

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How to Avoid Flying in the Dreaded Middle Seat

(TNS)—Flying in the middle seat is rarely a pleasant experience, but it’s considerably worse when you never saw it coming. While many airlines allow you to select a non-middle seat ahead of time, even that strategy isn’t fool-proof. After all, somebody has to sit in the middle, right? When a flight is overbooked, people are […]

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6 Flood Insurance Myths Debunked

(TNS)—If a flood swamps your home, will insurance cover the damage? That depends on the value of your home, the amount of water damage and whether you have a flood insurance policy. Regular home insurance doesn’t cover flooding. You’ll need a policy offered through the government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)—but note that those top […]

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5 Life Hacks Using Smart Home Devices

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: 5 Practical Water Conservation Tips to Keep Your Garden Lean and Green Are Shipping Containers the Future of Swimming Pools? How Agents Can Achieve Better Visibility With First-Time Homebuyers Clean floors and fresh java are hardly the […]

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5 Practical Water Conservation Tips to Keep Your Garden Lean and Green

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Are Shipping Containers the Future of Swimming Pools? How Agents Can Achieve Better Visibility With First-Time Homebuyers For Sale: Pacific Palisades Mansion Built for Former Tycoon You don’t need a degree in horticulture to know that water […]

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Luxury Homes: How to Tell If You’re Getting a Fair Price

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: $1 Million a Week, Starting With Quality Leads Don’t Let Clogged Gutters Wreak Havoc on Your Home Easy Tips to Stage Your Home With Toddlers Around Buying a luxury home isn’t as straightforward a process as one […]

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The Basics of Buying Investment Properties

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Great Living on the Great Barrier Reef Retirees Turning to Custom Homes to Get the Right Space Luxury Homes: How to Tell If You’re Getting a Fair Price Everyone wants a magic and immediate path to wealth. […]

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Don’t Let Clogged Gutters Wreak Havoc on Your Home

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Easy Tips to Stage Your Home With Toddlers Around 7 Gadgets From ‘The Jetsons’ That Have Become a Reality Historic Ridgefield, Conn. Estate Sells Before Auction As a homeowner, you undoubtedly understand just how important home maintenance […]

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Easy Tips to Stage Your Home With Toddlers Around

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: 7 Gadgets From ‘The Jetsons’ That Have Become a Reality Historic Ridgefield, Conn. Estate Sells Before Auction How to Make Your Home Design Pet-Friendly Selling your home can be an exhausting, overwhelming process, and it is even […]

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6 Ways to Keep Your Appliances and HVAC Running Strong This Summer

Most people enjoy summertime, but it can take a toll on home appliances. With kids out of school, families typically use them more frequently and the heat and humidity forces them to work harder and longer. Extreme heat, summer storms and power outages can also damage appliances. All these factors can spell trouble if you’re […]

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How to Make Your Home Design Pet-Friendly

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: SURVEY: Zillow Instant Offers Creates Industry Firestorm—Take the Survey and Tell Us Where You Stand Building Stronger Client Relationships: 5 Ways to Get Social With It 6 Easy DIY Projects That Will Boost Your Home’s Value Decorating […]

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No Magic Formula for ‘Best Time to Book Airfare’

(TNS)—Search on the web for “best time to book airfare” and you’ll find many conflicting answers, all of them completely wrong—and not only are they wrong, but they do a disservice to consumers who fall for this “voodoo” airfare economics. One site gives a “guide” of 47 days before travel, although it admits that there […]

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6 Easy DIY Projects That Will Boost Your Home’s Value

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: 5 Cities Millennials Are Flocking To The Most Expensive Home in Hawaii Is for Sale How to Showcase Your Property With a Virtual Open House Your house is likely to be the biggest investment you make in […]

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4 Ways Every Homebuyer Can Save on Title Insurance

(TNS)—When you find the home of your dreams, make an offer and apply for a mortgage, you might not give much thought to the cost of title insurance—but that can be a mistake. A title policy defends buyers (and their lenders) from future property ownership claims, surprise liens and other potentially costly complications with property […]

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6 Tips to Spring Clean Your Bills

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Light in, Prying Eyes out: Benefits of Light-Filtering Window Shades Drool Over These Epic Indoor Slides Get Paid to Move to Italy (Seriously!) Ah, spring. A time of renewal. A time to put out the old and […]

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Ask the Expert: What Tips Can I Give My Clients to Make Their New Home Safer?

Today’s Ask the Expert column features Dan Steward, president of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors. Q: What tips can I offer my clients to help make their new home safer and less expensive in the long run? A: As the real estate market continues to improve, housing is currently in great demand in many areas […]

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How-To Guide: Kitchen Appliance Care

Your kitchen appliances may just be the most used in the house—make sure you’re giving them the TLC they need in order to keep them running efficiently! Microwave Keep it clean.Whether you realize it or not, food and liquids spread across the inside of the unit and actually absorb heat later on, leading to burns […]

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Light in, Prying Eyes out: Benefits of Light-Filtering Window Shades

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Drool Over These Epic Indoor Slides Get Paid to Move to Italy (Seriously!) Are You Making These 5 Lawn Watering Mistakes? Want to let light in while keeping your nosy neighbors out? Special types of light-filtering window […]

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9 Grants and Programs for First-Time Homebuyers

(TNS)—Buying a home for the first time can be daunting. In addition to mountains of paperwork and new financial terms to sort through, you’ll face costs and fees that can quickly add up. In short, purchasing a home isn’t a financial step to take lightly. Perhaps that’s why 74 percent of millennials say that saving […]

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HOA Basics: What to Know Before You Buy

(TNS)—Before signing on the dotted line for your new home, make sure you know what your homeowners association fees are and what they cover. Because most new planned communities have HOAs whether you’re buying a detached home, condo or townhome, factoring in that added cost is a necessary part of your home-buying budget. Depending on […]

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Relocating? Here’s How to Feel at Home Faster

Moving to a new city, whether it’s 30 or 3,000 miles away from your last one, can be stressful to say the least—perhaps even more so after you’ve dealt with the last of the packing boxes, because now it’s time to get to know your new community and begin to feel comfortable within it. Relocation […]

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Are You Making These 5 Lawn Watering Mistakes?

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Homeownership: More Than Just the Facts Explore America’s Neighborhoods: Clarksville, Austin, Texas Splash! 5 Wacky Aquatic Living Rooms Proper watering nourishes lawns, just as proper hydration nourishes our bodies. Yet too many of us are failing at […]

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5 Types of Additions and How They Add Value

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: These 3D Floor Designs Are Perfect for Hours of Trippy Entertainment 10 Tips for Making Your New House Smart 6 DIY Backyard Projects From Lighting to Fire Pits A person’s home is their castle, but sometimes that […]

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How Is Conditional Approval Different From Preapproval?

When you inquire about qualifying for a home loan, you’ll likely hear the term “conditionally approved,” but might not be sure what that means or how it differs from a preapproval. We’re here to explain so you can be in the know! A conditionally approved loan is closer to closing than a preapproved one but […]

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Air Travel 101: How to Avoid Paying for a Checked Bag

(TNS)—Airfare is expensive enough as it is, but the added fees make things worse. Some of the discount airlines (think: Spirit, WOW Air and Allegiant) charge for everything from seat selection to printing your boarding pass. Some airlines even charge for carry-on luggage any bigger than a purse or small backpack. But if there’s one […]

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10 Most Common Real Estate IRA Questions Asked by Investors

Investing in real estate with your self-directed IRA isn’t too different from a regular real estate purchase; however, there are important rules and processes that you must follow to do it right. This is why when it comes to Real Estate IRAs, people have lots of questions. We’ve collected some of those questions asked by real […]

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10 Tips for Making Your New House Smart

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: 6 DIY Backyard Projects From Lighting to Fire Pits Americans Find Moving More Stressful Than Weddings Have $25 Mill? Call This Bel Air Compound Home Whether you want automatic doors and windows or color-changing lights that can […]

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6 DIY Backyard Projects From Lighting to Fire Pits

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Americans Find Moving More Stressful Than Weddings Have $25 Mill? Call This Bel Air Compound Home Upgrade Your Cool With These Hidden Rooms Remember backyards? Those things we’ve been ignoring for the past four months? They’re back! […]

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Dual Agency vs. Designated Agency: Understand the Difference

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: How to Have a More Modern Office: Alternative Work Arrangements Angelina Jolie Enters Escrow in Los Feliz Square Footage: It’s Not the Size That Counts, but How You Use It In an ideal world, you would be […]

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Tips to Beautify Your Property—Sustainably!

I recently attended a workshop on water conservation. Depending on which part of the country you live in, water conservation and preservation are a hot subject. One of the presenters said that if every homeowner did just one thing, it could make an exponential difference toward ensuring we could pour fresh drinkable water every time […]

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Home Inspections: Items That Aren’t Deal-Breakers

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Dual Agency vs. Designated Agency: Understand the Difference How to Have a More Modern Office: Alternative Work Arrangements Angelina Jolie Enters Escrow in Los Feliz After making an offer on a home, you’ll enter into a contract. […]

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How to Get Rid of Private Mortgage Insurance

(TNS)—If you bought a house with a down payment of less than 20 percent, your lender required you to buy mortgage insurance. The same goes if you refinanced with less than 20 percent equity. Private mortgage insurance, called PMI for short, is expensive—but you can remove it after you have met some conditions. You should […]

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Square Footage: It’s Not the Size That Counts, but How You Use It

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: 6 Things Professional Burglars Don’t Want You to Know Looking to Leverage Your Social Media Presence? Shift Your Viewpoint 4 Fictional Towns That Would Be Bad for Real Estate One of the first focuses for most people […]

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6 Things Professional Burglars Don’t Want You to Know

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Looking to Leverage Your Social Media Presence? Shift Your Viewpoint 4 Fictional Towns That Would Be Bad for Real Estate How to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient Even though a burglary occurs every 20 seconds in the U.S., you […]

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How to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Take Pet Pampering to the Next Level With These Fabulous Dog Houses Survey: Homebuyers Value Reliable Wireless Service Over Home Prices If You’re Ready Come and Get It: Selena Gomez’s Texan Mansion Is for Sale When it […]

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4 Quick DIY Projects for a Healthier Home

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: How to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient Take Pet Pampering to the Next Level With These Fabulous Dog Houses Survey: Homebuyers Value Reliable Wireless Service Over Home Prices All the green smoothies and exercise in the world […]

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Tax Refund? Why Not Invest in Your Home?

You may expect a sizable tax refund this year. That leads to the big question: What should you do with that money? Sure, you could save it. You could use it to pay down high interest rate credit card debt. You might even use it to start an emergency fund. But if you already have plenty […]

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Opportunities to Make a Home Green Exist on a Spectrum

The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD). What comes to mind first for consumers when thinking about green homes is often new-home construction and the opportunity to build a fully sustainable home from scratch. However, there are also vast unrealized opportunities to increase the resource efficiency of existing homes. In […]

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5 Key Steps to Protecting Your Smart Home

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Lisa Kudrow’s Recently Sold Ski Getaway in Park City 3 Things to Know Before Flipping Your Home Those With Bachelor’s Degrees More Likely to Own Home, Study Says Smart homes open the doors to new technological potential, […]

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Get Busy Now and Make the Most of Annuals

(TNS)—Everyone’s a gardener in April. That is when cars almost automatically turn in the direction of garden centers, where everyone stocks up on their favorite plants for spring. For many people, their first choices are some of the many annuals that are already in bloom with the promise of more to come in the months […]

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Home Security Systems: What to Know Before Buying

Everyone wants to protect their home, their property, and, most of all, their families. In fact, market research suggests the home security business is growing at a rate of about 9 percent a year. Home security systems are not all alike, however. Some systems can not only warn you of intruders, but can also notify […]

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5 Ways to Upgrade Your Home Without Blowing Your Budget

(TNS)—Everyone wants to turn their house into their dream home, but that’s often easier said than done. Whether you’re upgrading your space or gearing up to sell, renovating your home is a big financial decision. After all, it’s not only the place you live—it’s most likely your largest investment. “So how much does a home […]

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Outdoor Kitchens: Still on the Way Out?

Outdoor kitchens became a must-have amenity for homeowners ostensibly overnight—and fell out of favor almost as quickly. A recent survey by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), however, proves outdoor kitchens are still in. In fact, the architects cited in the AIA’s Home Design Trends Survey report an uptick in demand for outdoor kitchens in […]

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Navigating the Home-Buying Process: 5 Tips

Buying a home for the first time can be complex and daunting, especially in a competitive housing market. A new book, “My First Home: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving the Ultimate American Dream,” aims to help first-time buyers navigate the process. Below are five tips from author Shashank Shekhar, a blogger, media source and radio […]

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3 Things to Know Before Flipping Your Home

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Those With Bachelor’s Degrees More Likely to Own Home, Study Says Trends in Housing: The County That Broke Texas’ 8-Year Streak Buying a New House? 5 Things to Check Before Moving In Thanks to reality TV, you […]

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Buying a New House? 5 Things to Check Before Moving In

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: ­A-List Apartment on the Upper East Side Tips to Assess and Evaluate the Real Estate Market in Your Area What Are the Best States for Millennials? The Answer May Surprise You Buying a new house is an […]

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Tips to Assess and Evaluate the Real Estate Market in Your Area

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: What Are the Best States for Millennials? The Answer May Surprise You A Comprehensive List of Fictional Real Estate Agents Exploring America’s Neighborhoods: Northeast, Minneapolis, Minn. The real estate industry constantly stays in a dynamic state and […]

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Which Type of Lender Is Right for You?

(TNS)—There was a time when most homebuyers obtained their mortgage loans through their banks or credit unions. Today, however, there are a number of additional home-financing providers. Which one is right for you? Let’s take a look at the options. Direct Lenders Banks, mortgage banks and nonbank lenders all are direct lenders; that is, employees […]

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Home Construction Loans Are Complex: Here Are the Nuts and Bolts

(TNS)—The complexities of home construction loans can hit you like a falling two-by-four. Be sure you understand the intricacies before you apply. Two Types of Construction Loans There are two main types of home construction loans: Construction-to-Permanent: With these loans, the lender advances the money to pay for construction. After the home is built, the […]

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Location, Location: Trading Up Costs $450 More a Month, With Exceptions

There are many benefits to trading up to a home with more square footage, especially for growing families—but with more house comes more cost, and, as a recent analysis by Zillow reveals, it can vary by location. Trade-up homeowners can expect to spend an average $447 more each month if they move from a home […]

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How to Decide If Your Dream Home Is a Good Deal

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Now You Can Own Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s Santa Barbara Villa How to Prepare Yourself for Becoming a Landlord 10 Easy Home Improvements to Make on Your Fixer Upper It’s an amazing neighborhood, the price […]

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How to Prepare Yourself for Becoming a Landlord

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: 10 Easy Home Improvements to Make on your Fixer Upper Brighten Up Your Kid’s Bedroom with ‘Beauty and the Beast’-Inspired Decor Mortgage Credit’s More Crunched Than in 2001—Here’s Why If you own some property that you are […]

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10 Tips for Homebuyers and Sellers This Spring

Spring is here, and so is spring home-buying and -selling. Buyers and sellers preparing to take action this season should put those plans into play now—according to Zillow Group’s Report on Consumer Housing Trends, the No. 1 regret for both buyers and sellers is “not starting their home search or prepping their home to sell […]

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The Basics of Second-Home Financing

The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD). Financing is often the biggest hurdle for second-home buyers and the transaction element of which they are least sure. Here is a quick breakdown of some basics, so that you can help educate your clients. If a second home’s rental income is needed […]

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