Knowledge

REALTORS® are your market experts.

Found 34 blog entries about Knowledge.

Sometimes trying to save will actually cost you more. Here’s when that happens.

You've got all the loyalty apps (free burrito after you buy 10!), you shopped around for the lowest rate on your mortgage, and you never go to the grocery store when you're hungry. You're frugal, and the rising amount in your savings account is a testament to that.

Since saving cash is never a bad thing, you've got nothing to worry about, right?

Unless, of course, you venture so far past frugality you enter the world of cheap. And cheap homeowners always end up paying more in the end when quick fixes and half-solved issues become big, pricey problems. 

Here are six things homeowners do when they're trying to be frugal, but instead they're really being cheap

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Tax changes for 2019 change the landscape for homeowners.

Tax season is upon us once again, and to make it even more interesting this year, the tax code has changed — along with the rules about tax deductions for homeowners. The biggest change? Many homeowners who used to write off their property taxes and the interest they pay their mortgage will no longer be able to.

Stay calm. This doesn’t automatically mean your taxes are going up. Here’s a roundup of the rules that will affect homeowners — and how big of a change to expect.

Standard Deduction: Big Change

The standard deduction, that amount everyone gets, whether they have actual deductions or not, nearly doubled under the new law. It’s now $24,000 for married, joint-filing couples (up

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A messy environment is actually good for your psyche.

Breaking news: Humans like stuff. Stuff they have. Stuff they like. Stuff they need.

But stuff just gets everywhere. Hence the trendiness of uber-organized spaces, hyper-cleanliness, and Marie Kondo-like thank-your-stuff-for-its-service-then-toss-it attitudes. But living in that state of constant tidying is exhausting.

Enough.

It is not a moral failing to have a slightly cluttered home.

And you know what? Life can be better with slightly more stuff. Here are seven reasons why:

#1 A Messy Environment Is a More Creative One

Being too tidy will stifle your imagination. Science says so.

There’s a lot of research showing messy surroundings encourage you to break the rules of

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Refacing kitchen cabinets might be “superficial,” but the results and savings are dramatic.

Refacing your kitchen cabinets includes covering the exposed frames with a thin veneer of real wood or plastic laminate.

Doors and drawer fronts are replaced to match or complement the new veneer. New hinges, knobs, pulls, and molding complete the transformation.

What are the Pros and Cons?

Kitchen cabinet refacing pros:

  • Costs about half as much as replacing cabinets.
  • Takes less time (a week or less!) and money.
  • It’s less hassle than tearing out cabinets.
  • You can still use your kitchen while refacing.
  • It’s a green kitchen remodeling solution because you’re not adding to the landfill.

Kitchen cabinet refacing cons (there aren’t

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Private mortgage insurance is unavoidable for some homeowners, but don’t pay PMI premiums a day longer than required by your lender.

#1 Home Inspection

A home inspection helps protect you from purchasing a home that could be a lemon. So you don’t want to forgo it. 

REALTOR® Tip: Your inspector isn’t required to be an expert in everything. If you suspect termites, asbestos, and foundational issues, for instance, you’ll need to hire a specialist.

 Inspectors will look for signs of structural issues, mold, and leaks; assess the condition of the roof, gutters, water heater, heating and cooling system; and more. Inspections cost between $300 and $500, and whether or not you end up purchasing the property, you still need to pay this fee. 

#2

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Tax changes for 2019 change the landscape for homeowners.

Tax season is upon us once again, and to make it even more interesting this year, the tax code has changed — along with the rules about tax deductions for homeowners. The biggest change? Many homeowners who used to write off their property taxes and the interest they pay their mortgage will no longer be able to.

Stay calm. This doesn’t automatically mean your taxes are going up. Here’s a roundup of the rules that will affect homeowners — and how big of a change to expect.

Related: Are Closing Costs Tax Deductible?

Standard Deduction: Big Change

The standard deduction, that amount everyone gets, whether they have actual deductions or not, nearly doubled under the new law. It’s now

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The ultimate timeline ensures the smoothest of transitions.

A real yard. Closets bigger than your average microwave. The freedom to decorate however you darn well please!Making the switch from renting to owning is exhilarating, but many rookie homebuyers find the process trickier to navigate than they expected.

This is why we created our First-Time HomeBuyer Checklist. The 12-month timeline will help you sidestep common mistakes, like paying too much interest or getting stuck with the wrong house. (Yep, it happens!)

2 Months Out

Check your credit score.Get a copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com. The three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) are each required to give you a free credit report once a year. A Federal

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Ugh. Mold. It’s ugly. It’s tenacious. It’s the uninvited guest that keeps visiting — no matter how rude you are to it. But, unwittingly, you may be setting up the perfect conditions for mold’s return: a food source, lots of moisture, and a pleasant temperature.

“You’ve got to eliminate one of those three legs of the stool so mold won’t grow,” says Pete Duncanson, director of system development for ServiceMaster Restore. “And it’s always easier to prevent than to remediate.”

Assuming you like warm showers and a comfy thermostat setting, there’s not much you can do about the temperature mold loves. But you can get rid of mold — and permanently prevent it — by controlling the other two factors: food and moisture. Here’s how.

Starve It Out

Mold is

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First-time home-buyer advice: Ask a lot of questions.

Names: Anthony Tucker, 32, and Sammy Kallay, 31

City: Richardson, Texas, a suburb of Dallas

Year of home purchase: 2018

Sale price: $252,000

Home style: 46-year old ranch

Professions: He’s an IT business consultant; she’s a nurse.

When Anthony Tucker, and his wife, Sammy Kallay, had their first child, they knew it was time to buy their first house. Like so many new parents, they wanted the works for their son, Okiyan — safe neighborhood, good schools, nice yard. But their budget wasn’t limitless, and their knowledge of real estate was zilch.

They weren’t about to buy their first home without advice. So the Dallas-area couple started by finding the resources they needed for

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Real estate negotiation tips so you can buy your dream home — and not overpay.

You’ve looked at enough houses to fill an entire season of House Hunters and finally picked one to buy. Now you’re ready to make an offer.

Your agent can help guide you through this nail-biting phase of negotiating a house price, but ultimately, you call the shots. Here’s how to negotiate like a boss.

Fail #1: Thinking House Price is All That Matters

That house with a price point $15k below your budget? It may seem like a deal — until you add on the costs of maintenance and replacing the aging appliances.

Planning on repainting, remodeling, or landscaping, too? Suddenly the price looks a whole lot higher.

When developing your offer, calculate in the

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