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Safety & Security

The most recently published posts in the Safety & Security category
Rising student-loan debt is putting a dent in the housing market. A new report from John Burns Consulting estimates that 414,000 home sales — or 8 percent of all sales — won't happen this year because more buyers are strapped with too much student-loan debt. That will cost the housing industry an estimated $83 billion a year, according to the study.About 5.9 million households under the ag...
Read Post [Posted on 10/01/2014 By John Askins]
In an effort to prevent blight, municipalities increasingly are imposing ordinances that require mortgage servicers to cough up fees, post bond for repairs, and register homes headed toward foreclosure. The number of laws mandating registration of vacant or foreclosed property has surged more than 50 percent over the last few years, with California and Florida each approving more than 100 such or...
Read Post [Posted on 09/29/2014 By John Askins]
San Rafael, CA. city officials have adopted an ordinance that makes it illegal for residents to smoke in their homes if they share a wall with another dwelling. The ban applies to not only renters but owners too.   The ban applies to condos, co-ops, apartments, and multifamily residences with three or more units. The ordinance is believed to be the most stringent in the nation against smokin...
Read Post [Posted on 09/27/2014 By John Askins]
Several U.S. cities are losing population, according to census data. But according to a recent article at CNNMoney.com, many of these cities still make great places to live and raise a family. Here are four cities that make its list of best shrinking cities to live: 1. Ocean City, N.J.Population: 14,699Drop since 2000: 4.4 percent"It's very quaint," says Mark Grimes, a real estate broker...
Read Post [Posted on 09/27/2014 By John Askins]
Seventy percent of people trust online reviews, but only 14 percent believe online advertisements -- which makes a business’ focus on managing its online reputation increasingly important.  But a growing number of fake online posts that offer up bad reviews about a company is posing a challenge, Forbes reports.   “We’re seeing the increasing phenomena of posting by ‘exes’ — ex-emp...
Read Post [Posted on 09/26/2014 By John Askins]
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM RAIN     Get your roof ready for the rains. Inspect your roof twice per year to avoid costly problems that can escalate into tremendous cost. Look for cracks along the ridge of your roof and where your shingles fold over to form the cap. Inspect the valleys of your roof (the area of your roof with a downward slope). Make sure that the...
Read Post [Posted on 09/19/2014 By Michelle Cannon]
You've just gotten approved for a mortgage and now you’re waiting to make it to the closing table. Make sure you don’t throw your loan approval into jeopardy by making one of these common mistakes: Making a big purchase: Avoid making major purchases, like buying a new car or furniture, until after they close on the home. Big purchases could change your debt-to-income ratio that...
Read Post [Posted on 09/18/2014 By John Askins]
Knowing your neighbors may be good for your heart — and not just emotionally — according to a new study by psychologists at the University of Michigan. The more social connections you have in your neighborhood, the less likely you are to die from a heart attack, according to the study, which was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.The study is based on assessments...
Read Post [Posted on 09/14/2014 By John Askins]
You can help save the planet while also saving cash, according to the Alliance to Save Energy. The average U.S. household spends about $3,425 to power a car and $2,175 on home energy costs--in other words, about $5,600 on energy costs per year. That number is likely even greater with rising fuel and utility costs.The Alliance is offering up some pointers on how to trim those yearly expenses w...
Read Post [Posted on 09/14/2014 By John Askins]
A number of Texas state regulations are in effect that limit some of the powers of homeowner associations (HOAs).Homeowners living in a neighborhood with an HOA now must be permitted to: Display the U.S. or Texas flag, or flags of military branches. Free-standing flagpoles no more than 20 feet tall are also allowed. Hang a religious display on the front door. (HOAs can, ho...
Read Post [Posted on 09/11/2014 By John Askins]
Know about exclusions to coverage. For example, most insurance policies do not cover flood or earthquake damage as a standard item. These types of coverage must be bought separately. Know about dollar limitations on claims. Even if you are covered for a risk, there may be a limit on how much the insurer will pay. For example, many policies limit the amount paid for stolen jewelry unless items a...
Read Post [Posted on 09/08/2014 By John Askins]
As we enter the peak of hurricane season and the beginning of fall weather, many home owners may ask themselves: Have I done enough today to disaster-proof my home? Forbes has provided several tips on how to disaster-proof a home, including: Trim the trees. Make sure the trees around your property are trimmed and pruned. Forbes points out that if your overgrown tree is near a power line, you shoul...
Read Post [Posted on 09/07/2014 By John Askins]
Though the housing market is trucking along, that doesn't mean real estate scams have gone away. Home owners have been duped out of an average of $4,000 to $5,000 from scams, but even five-figure losses aren’t uncommon for those who have fallen prey to fake loan modifications and other housing fraud. Forbes highlighted three of the most common real estate scams today:1. Rental scams...
Read Post [Posted on 09/07/2014 By John Askins]
Drivers in Fort Collins, Colorado, can take another bow before calmly climbing behind the wheel. For the fourth time in a decade, Allstate has named it "America's Safest Driving City" in its annual analysis of car accidents.Fort Collins has been in the top 10 every year, according to the insurance company, which assessed drivers in the 200 largest U.S. cities. The most dangerous city to ...
Read Post [Posted on 09/06/2014 By John Askins]
From our family to yours...Have a Safe and Enjoyable Labor Day, 2014!John AskinsRoyce Realty - Houston ...
Read Post [Posted on 09/01/2014 By John Askins]
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