Recent Blog Posts

The amazing members of ActiveRain produce hundreds of blog posts every single day of the year.  There is a wonderful mix of all things real estate and beyond for your reading pleasure.

This board rolls all day long with the newest blog posts to our site. You’ll find some diamonds in the rough on this page, so check back often to peruse the blog roll and learn from our committed community of real estate professionals.

The newest blog posts on ActiveRain

By Richard Weeks, REALTOR®, Broker
Here is the Houston Association of REALTORS® real estate market update as of June 23, 2021.New properties for sale 418Back on market listings 118Price decrease listings 204Price increase listings 97Option pending listing 371Pending continue to show 54Pending listings 419Listings that have sold 381Coming Soon Listings 104Withdrawn Listings 49Expired Listings 15Terminated Listings 70
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Upgrading your rental doesn’t need to cut deeply into your profits. You can add curb appeal and help prospective tenants see your rental as their next home by making some simple changes. The following upgrades are all things that a handy landlord can do without needing to hire professional contractors.1.  Decorative Switch PlatesReplace ugly cream switch plates with either stainless steel models or decorative designs. Fancy switch plates for light switches and electrical sockets cost very little, yet make any room look nicer. The best part is, you can do the replacements yourself, using only a screwdriver.2.  Flower BedsBeautiful flower beds make any rental look more inviting. You can enhance curb appeal by planting inexpensive perennials around the front of the rental and along the pat...
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At the flowers begin to bloom and the weather starts to warm up, everyone is thinking about spring cleaning. It is critical to make sure the house is ready for the warmer weather. What are the top spring maintenance tasks that have to be completed? Do not procrastinate on these tasks, as the price could be high.Prune The Trees Before They Start To BloomTake a closer look at the trees, particularly those that hang over the house. As they begin to bloom, the weight on these branches could start to increase. If that happens, branches could snap over the house, leading to serious roof damage. Prune these trees before they start to bloom. If they are too high, it may be better to reach out to a trained professional who can prune them safely. Always Look For Signs of Leaks And Water DamageChe...
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Aside from owning a business, owning rental property has been one of the top investment choices for people, most commonly done through buying a second home. Handled right, income properties can generate significant gains for investors, both in terms of real estate appreciation as well as monthly income from tenants. However, it’s not sure a surefire approach to financial success. There are a lot of ways that a budding real estate investor can go sideways with an investment property home purchase as well.Watch Out for the Seller-RenterMany times people will sell a home but then offer to rent it from the buyer, essentially trading their home title for ready cash but not really moving out. These situations come up a lot where someone wants to stay where they are but doesn’t want to deal wi...
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Most of the focus on stimulus checks has been on “when” they will arrive, but if you are in the market for a new home (and mortgage) you should know how that payment will impact your financing. Part of the latest Covid 19 relief package includes payments and protections for existing borrowers and renters, but what about those who are looking to buy? According to the IRS, here are a few things to know about how your stimulus impacts your upcoming mortgage. Stimulus Money Is Not TaxableAny funds you are qualified to receive are not taxable; this is important to know as you move forward with your purchase because it allows you to properly anticipate your tax burden for the coming year. Stimulus Money Is Not IncomeWhile funds from the stimulus can be used however you’d like, including as pa...
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When you buy a home, you may have dreams of settling into a beautiful new space that meets your needs and that your family can feel comfortable in. While many will enjoy this vision of domestic tranquility after taking ownership of their dream home, others have had their dream turn into a veritable nightmare due to some simple mistakes or oversights on their part. By understanding these mistakes, you can avoid making them yourself.Paying Too Much For The PropertyOne the surface, the main cost of buying a home relates to the sales price, and it is true that your monthly housing payment may be the primary related expense. However, other expenses such as homeowners insurance, property taxes, repair and maintenance costs, utilities and more will all need to be factored into the cost of home...
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If you’re selling a home today, you know that it’s a seller’s market in many areas throughout the country. What you may not know, though, is that there are still things you can do to make your home even more desirable. From adding SMART home features to properly staging a home, there are plenty of things you can do to drive up the price and create a frenzy of bidding activity for your home. One of those things is to add green features to your home.What Are Green Home Features?Adding green features to your home doesn’t mean you’re painting the walls green or going for some odd decor. Instead, it means you’ve added one or more environmentally friendly features to your home. The following are a few green features you can add to your home that will add incredible ROI when the time comes to ...
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Home buying is often made possible or unreachable due to the local and national economy. Fortunately, what goes up, must come down. So, for buyers who can wait, economic changes in supply and demand can create opportunities. These shifts in real estate are known as buyer’s markets and seller’s markets. The seller’s market specifically tends to be the harder one for homebuyers. In short, sellers see a lot of demand, so they can command higher prices for a sale. Things are competitive, sell fast, and inventory is low. For buyers, it’s a headache, but there are ways of handling the challenge.Understand Your Local Market BetterMany people might throw out the statement locally, “Oh good luck, it’s a seller’s market,” but that’s not necessarily the case until you can confirm it objectively. I...
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As a home buyer, you may go through a number of different steps to ensure that the property that you purchase is in great condition. For example, you may complete an initial walk-through or even several home tours before you make an offer. You may also order a property inspection and even negotiate for the seller to make some repairs on your behalf.A day or two before your closing date, you may set up a final home inspection to ensure that the home is still in the same condition as the initial walk-through. In most cases, there will be no problems with the final inspection. However, in the event that there is a problem with the final inspection, you will need to know how to handle it.Work With Your Real Estate AgentAs a first step, you should discuss the issues with your real estate age...
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The process of buying a home can be riddled with obstacles. However, you can avoid many of the most common home buying pitfalls with some advanced preparation. Below are some of the most frequent problems home buyers face, as well as tips for avoiding them. You Can’t Qualify For A Mortgage Nothing is more frustrating than learning that, even though you make enough money to afford your dream home, you cannot qualify for the mortgage you need. This may happen because your credit score is low or because you cannot verify your income in a way that satisfies your lender. To avoid this pitfall, investigate lenders’ requirements before you begin the application process and make sure you meet them all. You Discovered Problems With The Home After You moved InIn some cases, a home may seem perfec...
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One of the most significant factors a mortgage lender will review when you apply for a new mortgage loan is your credit history and rating. While some people have stellar credit, others have a troubled credit history with lower scores.If you fall into the latter scenario, you may be wondering how lenders will assess your credit situation when you apply for a mortgage in the near future.Reviewing Your Credit ScoresInitially, lenders will review your credit report to determine your credit scores. Your scores will have a direct impact on the interest rate that you qualify for or if you qualify for a loan at all. There are prime mortgages for good credit borrowers and sub-prime mortgages for those with a blemished credit rating.If your scores are too low, however, you may not qualify for a ...
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In 2019 many people expected that the home lending market was going to eventually grow more expensive. Instead, 2020 spent its entire 12 months becoming more affordable when it came to financing a personal home, moving in the opposite direction of what was expected. Not only did the loan cost drop break previous records, but it also presented an additional opportunity for homeowners to reposition and take advantage of lower borrowing costs again. The General Advantages of a Home Loan Refinance The refinancing of a mortgage has traditionally been three-fold. First, it is a chance to re-negotiate the loan on a home purchase for a lower interest rate, which means more of the borrower’s payment goes to the loan and less to an interest charge. Second, it gives people an option to change the...
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Whether you are preparing to purchase your first home or it has been many years since you last walked through the home buying process, you may be starting to feel overwhelmed at the thought of all of the work that lies in front of you. From concerns about finding the right home to the physical act of relocating all of your belongings after the closing, there is certainly a lot to think about. While each home buying transaction is unique, the most successful home buyers have typically adopted a few behaviors. You may keep these in mind to help you navigate through the process with success.Keep An Eye On Your BudgetFinancial stress when buying a home is common. You may have saved for years to afford your down payment, but there are various expenses that some may have not calculated or pla...
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The better your credit score, the better the mortgage interest rate for which you should qualify. That can mean thousands of dollars saved over the life of the mortgage. If your credit score needs improving, get started prior to your search for a new home.Pay Bills On TimeThe simplest way to boost your credit score is by ensuring your bills are always paid on time. Nothing harms a credit score more than late payments.Check for Credit Report ErrorsCheck your credit reports for any errors. These issues are not uncommon, and can really impact your score. Each of the three major credit card reporting bureaus –Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion –will provide you with a free annual report.Credit Utilization RateLook into your credit utilization, or CU, rate. The CU rate is another big credit s...
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If your personal budget is similar to many other people’s budgets, your home mortgage payment is by far the largest expense that you pay for each month. In fact, this payment may easily account for 20 or 25 percent or more of your take-home income.Understandably, you may be focused on trying to pay this expense off early. By focusing on this payment, you can build equity and may be able to achieve financial security more quickly. You simply have to find a way to put aside a bit of extra cash regularly so that you can make extra payments, and there are few easy ways that you can consider.Use Your Tax RefundFirst, if you are one of the many taxpayers who receives a refund each year, consider setting aside some or all of this refund to reduce your outstanding mortgage balance.Some taxpayer...
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By Rocky Dickerson, Superior Service!
(Realty One Group)
Talk about a narrow window. The sellers wouldn’t let their home be shown until 6:30 pm tonight. My client asked for the 7pm showing (which would be the third showing). My client got caught in traffic and asked to reschedule to 7:30. The seller refused because their dogs were anxious. So we rescheduled until tomorrow. I just got the text that the seller is cancelling showings for tomorrow because they are accepting an offer tonight. 2 families got to see the home and it is already sold. Talk about a narrow window of opportunity.  
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Since you are reading my blog online, I assume you also spend a lot of time reading other stories online as well.  Don't you get frustrated when you click on a link only to have a pop up indicating you have read your limit of free articles and must register?  For example, I was doing some research this morning and hit a roadblock after reading a few results on Glassdoor . . .    With Google Chrome, I just open a new "incognito window" and it doesn't recognize I have been there before so it let's me continue.  All you have to do is . . .    then you can just open a new "incognito page" that won't recognize the cookies stored on your device. . .  Then, it opens up a brand new window in "Incognito Mode" and magically, you don't have to sign up or register! This hack works great for lots o...
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By Jared Chamberlain
(Chamberlain Real Estate Group)
Aaron is one of the newer agents at the Chamberlain Group, but that hasn’t stopped him from hitting the ground running! As he breezed through our mentorship program, he already had his own style that his clients really loved.  Read More...
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By James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results
(Fathom Realty)
Hymen L. Lipman was born in Kingston, Jamaica back in 1817.  In 1829, the family moved to the United States arriving in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he resided for the rest of his life.  He worked as a stationer in Philadelphia where in 1840 he was the leading stationer. In 1843, he started the first envelope company in the United States.In 1848, he married Mary A. Lehman daughter of Peter Lehman, who was one of the founders of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.  He died in 1893, he was 76.What you may not know about Hymen is that in 1858, he registered the first patent for a pencil with an attached eraser (U.S. Patent 19,783).  He sold his patent for $100,000.00 to Joseph Reckendorfer.  Reckendorger wanted to sure the pencil manufacture Faber for infringement.  The United State...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
6064 MILLER LANDING CV, TALLAHASSEE, FL For Sale Description Photos Maps & Local Schools Print Reviews Follow This Home Free List of Foreclosed Homes For Sale Avoid Foreclosure Free Home Values Manausa.com Short Sale Homes For Sale Mortgage & Refinance Homes Close to Where You Work FREE HUD Report: How to Buy Presented By: Joe Manausa Joe Manausa Real Estate850-888-0888Licensed In: Florida   Schedule a Showing/Request Info $ Click for current price4 BEDROOMS | 3 full, 1 half baths BATHROOMS | 5343 SqFt Just REDUCED ! Beautiful Lake Front! Custom home, Stone & Conv stucco, 1990built 3.59 Acres! Soaring ceilings, w/3 levels (Master BR on main floor), 3 BRs & Lounge area upstairs. Lower Level Rec Rm w/lots of windows. Two decks overlook the Lake. See Lovely Curved front wall & sweeping st...
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