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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
Your credit score is an important factor in qualifying for the lowest, most competitive interest rate when purchasing a home. A new analysis by the credit bureau Experian reveals which cities tend to be more creditworthy than others.  In Experian’s State of Credit list, it compiled rankings of the nation’s cities based on the average of residents’ VantageScore, which has credit scores that...
Read Post [Posted on 12/20/2014 By John Askins]
Car insurance premiums rose on average 18 percent if you had one moving violation on your record, according to a report by insurance.com of 397,000 insurance quotes it generated last year. Two moving violations on your record? Your average rate increases 34 percent compared to drivers with no violations. And at three violations, annual premiums jump to 53 percent higher. In addition, wha...
Read Post [Posted on 12/19/2014 By John Askins]
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they plan to suspend evictions on foreclosed single-family properties nationwide during the holidays, from Dec. 17, 2014 through Jan. 2, 2015. Legal and administrative proceedings for evictions may continue, as well as pre-foreclosure activities, but families who are living in foreclosed homes will be allowed to remain in their homes during that time...
Read Post [Posted on 12/18/2014 By John Askins]
Home buyers who make cash deposits to their checking accounts that don't come from payroll checks or income tax refunds during the processing of a mortgage likely will face delays in closing, lending experts warn. That's because lenders are required to investigate possible suspicious activity for deposits that are not documented or cannot be explained, slowing down the process. Scott Sheldon, a s...
Read Post [Posted on 12/18/2014 By John Askins]
Black segregation in American cities has reached its lowest point in more than a century, according to a Manhattan Institute report. However, the report cautions that doesn’t mean segregation has disappeared completely from neighborhoods across the country.  But the report suggests the country has made strides in making neighborhoods more inclusive. “All-white neighborhoods are effectively e...
Read Post [Posted on 12/15/2014 By John Askins]
Whether they're snowy and frigid or just blah and wet, winter months drive many to spend more time in their homes. You can ward off cabin fever in advance with the tips posted by financial site Wise Bread on how to winterproof homes. Writer Mikey Rox offers nine tips to get through the winter happier and healthier. First on his list: Acclimate to the temperature by setting thermostats do...
Read Post [Posted on 12/10/2014 By John Askins]
Email END binder-item O Christmas Tree,O Christmas Tree,How should I string thee?The holidays always stir up a little controversy when it comes to Christmas tree preferences, like real or fake Christmas trees, and whether you’re a fan of tinsel or garland. But there’s another debate out there: How to string...
Read Post [Posted on 12/09/2014 By Marla Lewis]
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced a new policy that will permit some foreclosed home owners to purchase the homes back that they once had lost at fair market value.  To regain ownership, the ex-owners must be able to pay the full current value of the property, and they still must wait at least three years after their foreclosure to regain ownership, which is required t...
Read Post [Posted on 12/09/2014 By John Askins]
Cutting back unnecessary energy use is an easy way to keep your hard earned money in your pocket. Here are some suggestions you can do at home this winter, at absolutely no cost to you.Let the sunshine in. Open drapes and let the sun heat your home for free (get them closed again at sundown so they help insulate).Rearrange your rooms. Move your furniture around so you are sitting near interior wal...
Read Post [Posted on 12/06/2014 By John Askins]
The National Association of REALTORS® is calling on Congress to renew the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, an income tax exemption on mortgage debt forgiven in a short sale or a workout for principal residences. The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act expired at the end of 2013, which means that distressed home owners are responsible for paying taxes on "phantom income" from the forgiven debt once...
Read Post [Posted on 12/05/2014 By John Askins]
Cook County, Ill., is accusing Wells Fargo of making mortgages more expensive for black and Latino borrowers than whites. Officials in Cook County, which includes Chicago, allege that the mortgage giant is taking part in predatory lending, and they've filed a complaint with the federal court in Chicago. Other municipal governments in Los Angeles and Miami have recently filed similar complai...
Read Post [Posted on 12/05/2014 By John Askins]
More “accidental” landlords are surfacing as home owners turn their underwater homes into rentals to try to come up with some extra cash. But some of these accidental landlords are still unable to keep up with their mortgage payments and may become delinquent on their mortgage. So what’s this mean for the person renting their property?  Some renters may suddenly be served with an eviction no...
Read Post [Posted on 12/01/2014 By John Askins]
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says its new proposal aims to improve mortgage servicers' treatment of home owners who are facing foreclosure. The proposal requires lenders to provide struggling borrowers with foreclosure protections more than once over the life of a loan, if necessary, as well as to take steps to protect borrowers from a wrongful foreclosure sale. The proposal ...
Read Post [Posted on 11/25/2014 By John Askins]
Buyers have expressed more preferences to walkable communities in home-shopping surveys. Walk Friendly Communities, a national recognition program, has recognized the top places in the country for walking, taking into account such factors as safety, space in communities devoted to pedestrians, as well as whether walking is integrated into the city’s overall urban planning process. Here i...
Read Post [Posted on 11/23/2014 By John Askins]
Savvy home owners pine for lush, healthy trees and here's a few  facts and tips on how trees save energy and grow a home’s value.1. Three properly placed trees can save home owners between $100 and $250 a year in energy costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Their shade cuts cooling costs in the summer. In winter, they serve as windbreak and help hold down heat...
Read Post [Posted on 11/23/2014 By John Askins]
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