Houston Real Estate Blogosphere
Houston Real Estate Blogosphere brings together all the blog posts of REALTORS from the Houston area in one place
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Safety & Security

The most recently published posts in the Safety & Security category
Young, first-time buyers are struggling to purchase a home. With low inventories of homes for sale, young first-timers are finding themselves competing against other bidders who are willing to pay cash. Meanwhile, many young buyers are having trouble qualifying for a loan, often due to high student loan debt.  Overall, young buyers have been left out of the housing recovery more th...
Read Post [Posted on 04/17/2014 By John Askins]
FIGHT OFF THE POLLEN THIS SPRING! Tired of that stuffy feeling that Spring brings along? Steer clear of the pollen so that your allergies don't wreck this beautiful season! There are many ways to let pollen into your home but are you taking the right precautions to prevent the mess from entering your home? Try these ten ways to fight off the pollen at your home. 1. Keep the car in the ga...
Read Post [Posted on 04/16/2014 By Pamela Franks]
Are you in a happy place? Healthways and Gallup wanted to find out the well-being of cities across the country. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index measures Americans’ perceptions of physical and emotional health, healthy behaviors, work environment, social and community factors, financial security, and access to necessities such as food, shelter, and healthcare. Gallup conducted ...
Read Post [Posted on 04/16/2014 By John Askins]
When reviewing their credit reports, one in five consumers are likely to receive a different credit score from what a creditor will use to price a loan, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The discrepancy has the agency concerned. Lenders use credit scores to help determine the interest rate they’ll charge customers—with higher credit scores often receiving the best rates. “Many...
Read Post [Posted on 04/16/2014 By John Askins]
Energy industry representatives are increasingly making an offer to home owners across the country: Let us drill for your natural gas on your land, and we’ll pay you for the lease.  The offer is increasingly being made to home owners in Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York. Drilling officials say home owners can earn extra income that can be used to pay off their mortgages and that the gas roya...
Read Post [Posted on 04/15/2014 By John Askins]
A massive security flaw exposed on websites could put at risk your private information, such as credit card numbers and other data. The bug is known as Heartbleed, and security experts are warning Internet users to change their passwords on sites they use — and then be prepared to change them again soon. Researchers uncovered the vulnerability in a Web security measure known as OpenSSL....
Read Post [Posted on 04/12/2014 By John Askins]
If and when Congress shuts down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, borrowers likely will end up paying slightly higher mortgage rates.  Proposed House and Senate bills would wind down the two firms over five years and scale back the government intervention in guaranteeing mortgage securities.The House GOP bill would virtually privatize the mortgage market, while the Senate's bipartisan plan ...
Read Post [Posted on 04/12/2014 By John Askins]
It's hard to believe but true: More than 5 million Americans eligible to receive a big tax break from the government miss out on it, according to the IRS.They're eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit—but they need to file a tax return to get it. The credit is designed to reward work and can offset federal taxes owed or create a tax refund, depending on the filer's circumstances.Nearly 26 milli...
Read Post [Posted on 04/12/2014 By John Askins]
A study by housing analysis firm RealtyTrac finds that over 300,000 “zombie” homes—properties where home owners receive foreclosure notices and move out, leaving the home vacant and deteriorating—exist in the U.S. The state with the highest number of “zombie” properties is Florida, according to data by RealtyTrac, in their analysis of “zombie” properties. Illinois ranks second in“zombie” ...
Read Post [Posted on 04/09/2014 By John Askins]
Household sizes are growing: More home owners are renovating homes to add second units so they can take in roommates to bring in extra cash or have a space for aging parents or adult children who want to move back home.  Michael Litchfield, author of In-Laws, Outlaws and Granny Flats, says many of these second units are either converted garages, attics, unused rooms or basements, or a...
Read Post [Posted on 04/05/2014 By John Askins]
Having an evacuation and communication plan, and making sure everyone knows where to go in case of an emergency, can be the key to protecting your home and family. Think about escape routes in advance It's hard to think clearly when the floodwaters are rising. That's why you need to plan how to safely exit your house now, not when you're panicking during an actual emergency. The particulars of y...
Read Post [Posted on 04/04/2014 By Susan Roddy]
Eighty-seven percent of 6,000 respondents recently said that their home design influences their overall happiness, according to a new survey by the remodeling website Houzz. Seventy-four percent of home owners credit a remodeling or redecorating job in the past two years for making them happier. Still, 51 percent of respondents who describe their home as “in need of work” say they’re ha...
Read Post [Posted on 04/03/2014 By John Askins]
HOUSTON, TX The month of April is Water Safety Awareness Month.According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, drowning is the country’s number one cause of death in children ages 1 to 4, and the second biggest cause in children ages 5 to 14.Harris County has the most drownings of individuals under 18 than any county in Texas.“These drowning statistics are horrific and we as a ...
Read Post [Posted on 04/02/2014 By Kenya Burrell]
Although many were surprised by a meth-lab bust at a townhouse in the swanky community of Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., in January, Wally Conway of HomePro Inspections didn't bat an eye. Conway says meth producers are more likely to choose vacant properties in high-end enclaves, because they are less likely to get caught there than in high-crime areas. And when it comes to cleanup,...
Read Post [Posted on 03/30/2014 By John Askins]
When it comes to mortgages and home improvement, many consumers have some complaints, according to a survey by the Consumer Federation of America, which reveals the top consumer complaints. Among its list of top “worst” consumer gripes: mortgage-related problems, home improvement, timeshare sales and resales, Internet sales, and fraud. Many of the mortgage complaints have stemmed from the fore...
Read Post [Posted on 03/27/2014 By John Askins]
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