Real Estate Blog

December 5

Lenders Wary of Self-Employed Borrowers

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When it comes to getting a home loan, self-employed borrowers are less likely to get quotes than other borrowers — even though they say they make more and have more cash on hand for down payments, according to a Zillow Mortgages analysis.

The likely reason? Self-employed borrowers typically have lower credit scores. They are twice as likely as other borrowers to report a score of less than 680.

Zillow was able to analyze millions of loan requests from Zillow Mortgages, and found that self-employed borrowers got 40 percent fewer loan quotes from lenders than other borrowers.

“Self-employed borrowers will no doubt face headwinds when trying to get a loan,” said Zillow Vice President of Mortgages Erin Lantz.  “Low credit scores, coupled with a

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December 5

4 Reasons to Buy a Home During the Holidays

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In the market for a new home? Here are four reasons to add real estate shopping to your December to-do list.

Bargain prices

Did you know that, historically, home prices are lower in December than in any other month?

As for the overall housing picture, if you’re not yet in the market, you’ll like this news: While home prices are continuing to rise, it’s happening at a much slower pace.

According to a recent report from Zillow, U.S. home values are currently up 6.4 percent year-over-year and have been slowing for nearly two years. Next year home values are expected to grow at 3 percent — roughly half their current pace.  These changing dynamics, and a shift toward healthy stabilization, put more power in the hands of buyers.

Low mortgage

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December 5

Are You and Your Family Protected From CO Poisoning?

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With colder weather upon us and furnaces in use, it’s a good time to think about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and remind folks to take steps to prevent deadly CO poisoning.

In order to stay safe, homeowners should have their heating systems serviced and carbon monoxide detectors installed and maintained.

CO is an invisible, odorless gas that can be fatal. The symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic those of the flu, including headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or loss of consciousness.

If several members of a household experience these symptoms when they are home, but feel better when they are away from the home, there may be a CO problem. Health officials recommend these universal safety tips to prevent CO poisoning:

• Install a

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November 20

How Smart Are Your Appliances?

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 by Courtney Soinski

What if your dishwasher knew how dirty your dishes are?  What if your oven actually made you a better cook?  Can your refrigerator help you surf the web, play music, or make a phone call for you?  What if your cooktop regulated the heat under your pan for even cooking?

Whether you’re selling a home as a consumer or real estate professional, kitchen appliances are a big deal.  According to ratings collected by CNET, here are the top five kitchen appliances in high demand right now:

1. Dishwasher:

 

dishwasherWhirlpool WDL785SAAM – Want a dishwasher that knows how dirty your dishes are?  This unit is included in Whirlpool’s line of 6th Sense Live smart appliances and includes a “sensor wash cycle” which uses Whirlpool’s Auto Soil

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November 20

Prepping Your Home for Holiday Guests

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As the holiday season arrives, more and more people will be trickling into your home. From the in-laws to the neighbors and everyone in between, it's easy to assume most homes are fuller around the holidays. In addition to the cleaning frenzy you're likely to embark upon, you may have realized that you sent more invitations than can fit around the table. Read on for three tips for comfortably fitting in all of those holiday guests.

Room swap  – While you might not have room for 20 guests in your dining room, did you ever consider your living room or den?  Move the couch to the dining room and the dining table to the living room! A quick room swap and reshuffle of the furniture could allow your guests to sit comfortably in a different room of the house.

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November 13

5 Things to Ask Your Contractor

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Home remodeling is a great option that allows you to get the house you desire, without picking up and moving or starting from scratch. However, there are many precautions to take when remodeling, from thorough planning and budgeting, to finding a remodeler that fits your needs. Below are 5 suggested questions to ask a builder before you decide to hire them.

How much experience do you have with this kind of project? Your home remodeler may tell you they have years of experience, but that doesn't mean they have years of experience on your job, specifically. You don't want to find out mid-way that this is the first bathroom they've built from scratch.

Who does your design? If your contractor doesn't have a specific go-to person for design, this means

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November 3

6 Tips for Smarter Kitchen Storage

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Whether you're getting ready to sell your house, or simply looking to reorganize, it's nearly impossible to have too much storage space. Below are six tips for adding storage space to your kitchen, which can streamline the look and improve the functionality of your home's most popular living space.

1. Corner drawers. While this storage solution needs to be built by a professional, corner drawers can give you added storage space and make use of those pesky corners.

2. End-cabinet shelving. Does the end of your cabinet or island jut uselessly out into the room? By building built-in shelving into the end of it, you can have a space to store small appliances or cookbooks for easy accesss.

3. Shallow roll-out drawers. These shallow drawers can be built

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October 9

Top 5 Fall Home Cleaning Projects

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Now that fall has arrived, and you've officially put away your grill and cleared out that patio furniture, it's a great idea to clean for fall. The following article offers 5 tips for prepping your home for the fall season.

1. Wash your windows. Spring and summer may have left a film of pollen and other debris over your windows.  Give them a rinse inside and outside to watch the leaves change through sparkling glass.

2. Clean chimney and flue. If you have a fireplace, you may already be stocking up on wood for those chilly fall nights. However, it's a good idea to hire someone to clean out your chimney and flue before lighting up, to rid your home of old ash and creosote that could be an irritant, and cause unwanted fires.

3. Have a dust party. During

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September 29

12 Tips to Prevent Fraud

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Protection starts at home (and your wallet)


Protect your information at home

  • Install a lockable mailbox at your residence to reduce mail theft.
  • Limit the number of credit cards you have and cancel inactive accounts.
  • Reconcile your check and credit card statements in a timely fashion. Immediately challenge any purchases you did not make.
  • Scrutinize your utility and subscription bills to make sure the charges are yours.
  • Keep a list of all your credit and bank accounts in a secure place so you can quickly call the issuers to inform them about missing or stolen cards. Include account numbers, expiration dates and telephone numbers of customer service and fraud departments.
  • Do not toss pre-approved credit offers in your trash or

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September 2

The Artistry of Color When Decorating

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Once known as the Industrial Triangle, because of the railroad yards and turn-of-the-century warehouses, today the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon is an award-winning, recognized leader in urban renewal. Known for its art galleries, fine restaurants, upscale shops, and high-end residences, the Pearl has become a most desirable neighborhood for those looking for culture and a smart, eclectic lifestyle.

The owners of this 1,569-square-foot penthouse with picturesque views of the Fremont Bridge and Willamette River, moved from a very large home in Boston, Massachusetts. The couple enlisted the talents of Garrison Hullinger, owner and principal designer of Portland-based Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, to help with their downsizing challenges. “The

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