Wednesday, February 15, 2017 / by Debra Moon
How To Choose LED Light Bulbs
By Jason White
Shopped for light bulbs lately? If you have, you may have noticed that most bulbs sold now are LED (light emitting diode) bulbs. Old-fashioned incandescents have all but vanished from store shelves, and the popularity of CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs is on the wane. That’s because, although they’re more energy efficient than incandescents, CFLs just can’t compete with the energy efficiency and light quality of LED bulbs. And, while you’re lucky to get two to five years of life from a CFL bulb, LED bulbs can last 20 years or more. But trying to figure out which LED bulbs to buy can lead to a lot of head scratching. Here’s what you need to know before you shop.
Read the Label
Most of the information you need to pick the right LED light bulb is right there on the packaging, but you won't find it on the front. Look for the Lighting Facts label on the back or side of the packaging, and pay particular at ...
Saturday, December 10, 2016 / by Debra Moon
Know Before You Owe
Mortgage Closing/Settlement Forms Increase Awareness
The Loan Estimate Form And The Closing Disclosure Forms Are Designed To Give Consumers A Clearer Picture Of Their Borrowing Costs. Have You Noticed A Difference?
It’s been over a year since new closing/settlement forms—the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure—were unveiled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to help homebuyers understand more clearly how much they’ll pay for their mortgage loans. If you’ve purchased or refinanced a home in the past year, you’ve seen the new forms.
The biggest change with these forms is that they allow homebuyers three full business days to review their loan documents. This allows you to ensure that you’re paying the interest rate, fees, mortgage amount and other costs that you agreed to and that the totals haven’t changed. This review allows you to know exactly how much cash you need to bring to closing/se ...
Wednesday, December 07, 2016 / by Debra Moon
Give The Gift Of Housing
Thinking That Asking For Money For A Down Payment On A Home Purchase Could Be The Best Gift Ever? Knowing What To Expect Upfront Can Make The Process Easier For You And The Donor.
Homebuyers often have difficulty gathering enough cash for their down payment and closing/settlement costs.
Asking a parent, grandparent or relative to help by providing a tax-free gift may be a solution. As the end of the year quickly approaches, remember that tax-free gifts can be made once per calendar year. That means a gift late in 2016 can be repeated just weeks later in the new year to help you build savings for a home purchase early in 2017.
For 2016, an individual is allowed to give up to $14,000 in cash (or valuables) to any other individual with no income-tax consequences for the donor. (Recipients never pay income taxes on gifts.) The individual's spouse could also give up to $14,000 to the same person.
In addition, each person could gi ...
Wednesday, December 07, 2016 / by Debra Moon
Form Meets Function
Make Your Home Stylish While It Works For Your Family
What If Rejuvenating Your Life - And Home - Was As Simple As Moving A Few Things Around? These Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference.
If you’re looking to make some changes in your home for the new year, or you’re moving to a new one, there are steps you can take to help your home flow better for your everyday use while still showing off some pizazz, too.
Purpose. Determine the use of each room in your house. If your unused dining room would serve you better as a home office, then ditch the table and chairs and bring in a desk or hutch set-up. Ensure the furniture in the room serves the purpose of the room as it’s used.
Color. Visit the room during different times of day to understand how much light a space gets—or doesn’t get. Try paint swatches in the morning, afternoon and evening as well as at night and on different walls to understand how that ...
Friday, December 02, 2016 / by Debra Moon
Five Hot Insider Tips To Get The Best Interest Rate
When Purchasing A Home, Shopping For The Lowest Mortgage Rates Is An Essential Strategy That Can Save You Thousands Of Dollars Over The Life Of The Loan. Is Time To Come Up With A Plan?
Today’s real estate market continues to be a busy one, thanks in part to mortgage interest rates that remain near historic lows, allowing buyers to afford more home. Despite this, it’s still important to watch interest rates to ensure you get the best deal. Here are in-the-know tips to help you get the best rate for your mortgage.
Act Fast. Lock in an interest rate today. There’s no sense pining over rates of yesterday because they are old news and unlikely to return. If you’re nervous your home won’t close in the typical 30 days, pay to extend your rate lock.
Grab A Deal. Even with slightly higher interest rates, your buying power is still strong. The difference between an interes ...