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Safety & Security

The most recently published posts in the Safety & Security category
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]
The beach is so central to California's identity that the right of surfers and sun lovers to access the sand is guaranteed in the state Constitution. But now so many local landowners want to block public access to their chunks of the coveted coastline that there are several hundred alleged violations pending before state officials, including a highly charged case in which Vinod Khosla, a green ene...
Read Post [Posted on 09/01/2014 By John Askins]
Home owners may find higher electricity costs are taking a bigger chunk from their wallet. The average price of electricity to residential customers reached its highest point in May than in the past two years, increasing 3.4 percent year-over-year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.In May 2012, customers were paying an average of 11.90-cents per Kilowatthour nationa...
Read Post [Posted on 08/30/2014 By John Askins]
Violent crime in the U.S. has fallen, according to FBI crime data. However, violent crime increased in more than half of the cities that have among the highest crime rates in the nation, according to a review of crime data by 24/7 Wall St.“The cities with the highest crime rates tend to have particularly high poverty rates, high unemployment, and low median income,” according to its analysis. The ...
Read Post [Posted on 08/30/2014 By John Askins]
The American Lung Association, which has compiled the list of dirty cities, said the 20 million residents that live in these areas are at increased risk of asthma and chronic bronchitis.Seven of the dirtiest cities in the U.S. are in California.The 10 dirtiest cities are:1. Bakersfield, CA2. Los Angeles, CA3. Fresno, CA4. Visalia, CA5. Hanford, CA6. Phoenix, AZ7. Birmingham, AL8. Modesto, CA9...
Read Post [Posted on 08/30/2014 By John Askins]
Even though renters insurance is relatively affordable, 65 percent of renters don't purchase coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The average renters insurance plan costs about $16 a month, or less than $200 per year, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.  "It can be extremely expensive to have to re-buy the entire contents of your home, so ...
Read Post [Posted on 08/29/2014 By John Askins]
Mortgage borrowers under the age of 30 have the lowest mortgage delinquency rate of any other age group, according to a newly released TransUnion mortgage report. However, the age group also makes up the smallest share of all mortgage accounts at 4.16 percent, TransUnion notes.“It is encouraging to see younger borrowers perform well, since their generation was significantly impacted by t...
Read Post [Posted on 08/28/2014 By John Askins]
Thieves are continuing to prey on foreclosed and bank-owned properties, removing copper, appliances, and other fixtures, and leaving behind a mess for those who have to sell it. Foreclosures often become prime targets since they are vacant. The Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® recently warned its members of scams involving thieves who remove “For Sale” signs from yards and then bring a tru...
Read Post [Posted on 08/28/2014 By John Askins]
Bank of America has reached a record $17 billion settlement stemming from its sale of mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis. This marks the largest settlement from a bank related to the crisis, during which millions of Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. Other banks have also reached settlements: Last year, JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $13 billion, ...
Read Post [Posted on 08/24/2014 By John Askins]
"Smart homes" that have systems connected to the Internet may be at risk of being hacked, which could allow criminals to control everything from a garage door to the home’s locks, The Wall Street Journal reports.  Home owners are increasingly wiring their homes so they can control its functions, from heaters to toilets, via a computer, smartphone, or tablet. But some smart-home technology ma...
Read Post [Posted on 08/23/2014 By John Askins]
A bad neighbor can bring down the value of a home, possibly by even up to 10 percent, according to the Appraisal Institute. “I’ve seen many situations where external factors, such as living near a bad neighbor, can lower home values by more than 5 to 10 percent,” says Richard L. Borges II, president of the Appraisal Institute. “Home owners should be aware of what is going on in their neighborhoo...
Read Post [Posted on 08/23/2014 By John Askins]
Government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been working through the REO inventory load they hold on their books, a move that helped them report a profit yet again in the latest quarter.In the second quarter of this year, Fannie Mae’s REO inventory stood at 96,796 compared to 166,787 properties it held in the third quarter of 2010. Freddie Mac is also reporting a large...
Read Post [Posted on 08/21/2014 By John Askins]
If the bank or government can’t save a person from foreclosure, can a crowd? “Crowdfunding” sites are on the rise as desperate home owners turn to trying to raise money from friends, family, and strangers to try to stay current with their mortgage payments.  “Listings asking donors to ‘Help save my children's home’ and ‘Help avoid foreclosure’ are popping up across dozens of fundrais...
Read Post [Posted on 08/21/2014 By John Askins]
Randall Bell, a California-based damage economics specialist, says stigmatized homes that once were crime scenes can lose 10 percent to 25 percent of their value; but some properties, particularly those in urban areas, retain their value even if violent crimes were committed there. Stigmatized properties in rural areas tend to be most affected by the memories retained by residents of these quiet l...
Read Post [Posted on 08/16/2014 By John Askins]
When Do I Finally Get the Keys to My New House?   It might be the most nerve-wracking, anticipatory, hard-to-find-the-patience question of home buying for first timers: “When do I finally get the keys to my new house?” Usually, a buyer takes possession of a new home after closing. But exactly how that is defined differs transaction to transaction. In some states...
Read Post [Posted on 08/11/2014 By Michelle Cannon]
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