|Torn Between Two Houses?|
As you find yourself heavily immersed in the house-hunting mode, you may encounter a situation in which you're torn between two houses. Perhaps you and your spouse each have a favorite, or perhaps you both like two houses equally - or think you do.
Making a final decision and determining which house to make an offer on shouldn't be taken lightly. The decision should be made rationally and not guided by emotion.
Of course, you may not have the luxury of taking your time on deciding which house you'd like to pursue. You
|Mortgage Rates |
U.S. averages as of May 31, 2007:
30 yr. fixed: 6.42%
15 yr. fixed: 6.12%
1 yr. adj: 5.57%
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may be in a market in which homes in your price range get snatched up as quickly as they go on the market, perhaps even attracting multiple offers.
But in some situations, you may
Many Consumers Ignore Energy Tax Credits
Climate change, turmoil in the world's oil regions and consumers' apparent refusal to drive less, conserve energy and reduce demand means rising energy costs are here to stay.
Yet few consumers take advantage of federal tax credits and related home improvements that could lower energy bills.
Most homeowners (74 percent) are aware of federal tax credits for certain energy-saving home improvements, but only 23 percent took advantage of it on their 2006 tax returns.
That's despite the fact that 78 percent of homeowners reported that their 2006 heating/cooling costs increased 5 percent or more than their 2005 costs, and only 32 percent believe that their home is already energy efficient.
"The 2006 Energy Efficiency Tax Credit Survey" of 1,040 American adults conducted by Opinion Research Corp. for building products manufacturer Johns Manville may sound a bit self-serving, but CONTINUED >>>
Secrets to a Successful Move
Planning to move this summer? You're not alone -- summer is the busiest time of year for professional movers, according to the American Moving and Storage Association. It's an arduous process, but these tips will make your transition much smoother.
If you're planning to use a moving company, call now. As busy as they are, they usually need plenty of notice -- often at least six weeks or much more if you're moving a long distance.
Be sure to build in some overlap between the closing/possession date of your new home and the last day of the lease on your rental (or closing date of your current home). Moving always takes much longer than you think. If you want to make any changes to your new home -- for instance, paint some walls, put in new carpeting or refinish wood floors -- plan enough time to do it BEFORE you move in so your furniture and belongings are not in the way.
Pare down your belongings. There's no sense moving things you don't need or want. Look through your house for rarely used items. Discard anything that's beyond repair, have a yard sale to get rid of the rest, and plan to load unsold merchandise into your car right away so you can take it to the charity of your choice. CONTINUED >>>
According to the National Association of Realtors, more than one million people bought vacation homes in 2006. Industry experts say the NAR data is good news for those considering purchasing a vacation home.
"Their data basically reported that vacation-home sales rose in 2006 based on a 4.7 percent increase over the previous year," says Christine Karpinski, author of, How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner, 2nd Edition: The Complete Guide to Buy, Manage, Furnish, Rent, Maintain and Advertise Your Vacation Rental Investment (Kinney Pollack Press, 2007).
Despite those results, is now really a good time to buy a vacation property?
Vacation home sales and investment home sales together accounted for 36 percent of all existing and new residential transactions. Karpinski says, the survey results signal a "definite green light to anyone thinking of buying a vacation
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