Don’t have $45,000 cash just floating around to buy that $225,000 dream home? You’re not alone. Not by a long shot.
That’s what you’d need for a traditional 20 percent down payment at closing on a home worth $225,000. And an exorbitant down payment amount like that is often a deal breaker for aspiring homeowners throughout the nation.
It’s just too much.
Well, there’s great news: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — the two largest Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) in the United States — announced plans to introduce mortgage loan programs that require just a 3 percent down payment.
HousingWire.com has the details from FHFA Director Mel Watt:
“The new lending guidelines released today by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will enable creditworthy borrowers who can afford a mortgage, but lack the resources to pay a substantial down payment plus closing costs, to get a mortgage with 3% down. These underwriting guidelines provide a responsible approach to improving access to credit while ensuring safe and sound lending practices. To mitigate risk, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will use their automated underwriting systems, which include compensating factors to evaluate a borrower’s creditworthiness. In addition, the new offerings will also include homeownership counseling, which improves borrower performance. FHFA will monitor the ongoing performance of these loans.”
Fannie Mae’s program is already its 97% LTV Option, while Freddie Mac plans to roll out its Home Possible Advantage in March 2015 right here.
The bathroom is the most used room in your home next to your kitchen. With so much use, it is easy to understand how this room can quickly take on a drab appearance and need to be renovated.
In fact, bathroom remodeling is the most often completed home repair.
However, completely redoing a bathroom can become quite expensive. Since this may not be within everyone’s budget, there are some very cost-effective things you can do to your bathroom to give it a fresh feel.
6 Tips To Refresh Your Bathroom’s Appearance
1. Tile. There are several things you can do with tile that will significantly improve the appearance of your bathroom.
- Replace broken tiles. With a little patience, you can remove and replace broken tiles. Replacing these tiles may seem like a little effort, but the appearance will make a difference.
- Scrub and replace grout if necessary. Take time and go through the entire bathroom cleaning and replacing the grout. When the grout is shining, the bathroom will look fresh.
- Change tile color. This involves a lot more work and cost, but if the tiles are so outdated — or if there are too many to replace — it may be worth your effort to change the entire tile scheme in your bathroom.
2. Paint. A fresh coat of paint can always improve the overall appearance of the bathroom. However, make sure you take your painting skill to the next level to get the best effect.
- Sand rough spots to ensure that the walls look smooth when completed.
- Look for mildew stains and clean thoroughly. Treat with a primer and add some anti-mildew components to your paint.
- Make sure to tape off all trim so that the paint looks very nice and professional.
3. Cabinets. You can quickly refurbish your wood cabinets to look incredible again. A simple change to your cabinets can make a significant difference in the appearance of the bathroom.
- Sand down the entire cabinet so that it will be smooth to the touch. Fill in any dents, cracks or other blemishes with wood putty and sand them smooth.
- Make sure everything is secured in place. Replace anything that may be loose like door hinges.
- Cover with a nice stain and polyurethane if you want the wood look in your bathroom or with a matching waterproof latex paint.
4. Wood Trim. Go over all the wood trim in your bathroom and give it a makeover. Changing the appearance of your trim can enhance the appearance of the room.
- Sand down rough spots and remove build up from the window and floor trim.
- Make sure trim is secure and fill any nail holes with wood putty.
- Cover with a contrasting waterproof latex paint or stain to match our cabinets.
5. Fixtures. Change all the fixtures in your bathroom to complete your new look. It will be amazing the difference you see in the room when they are changed.
- Change door knob, light and plug covers, and the knob on your cabinets and closet.
- Change toilet paper holder and towel racks and holders. Change your sink accessories.
- Change faucets and other fixtures so they look fresh and new.
6. Flooring. Flooring always makes a big difference in the appearance of the bathroom. A simple change in floor styles can make your bathroom appear completely new.
- Remove old linoleum and replace with a newer style if you prefer or replace with tiles.
- If you opt for tiles, make sure that you use grout designed for bathrooms and seal the flooring.
- Seal around edges regardless of the type of flooring you install.
Photo From Wikimedia Commons
Each day, the roof of your home is subjected to the forces of nature.
During rough weather, such as heavy rains, sleet, snow, ad ice, your roof takes an excessive beating. Because it is continually exposed to these extreme conditions, it is not unusual for roofs to develop small problems that need to be fixed.
It is very important to insect your roof several times a year to look for problems. By stopping them when they first begin, you will save yourself a lot of money and headaches. Of course, there are some problems that will require the use of a professional or possibly a new roof, but many issues you can repair yourself.
Six Issues That Indicate Your Roof May Be In Need Of Repair:
- Leaks. Leaks generally start very small and can be very hard to detect. Sadly, by the time they are detectable, you are usually in need of serious roof repairs. It is very important to inspect your roof for leaks prior to seeing large amounts of water inside your home. Indicators of a leak include:
- Rotting wood around the fascia and gutters
- Mildew build up around the gutters or inside of them
- Wet insulation or wood in your attic space
- Soft spots on your roof
- Cracks in the sealant around roof vents
- Flashings. The flashing on your roof are often the culprit for leaks. It is not uncommon for roofers to put excessive amounts of caulk or sealant around them, which eventually breaks down. Additionally, these items are made from plastic, which can break down and become brittle over time. Make sure that you check all of these areas for cracks and loose caulk. Seal immediately for a temporary fix and replace as soon as possible if necessary.
- Ice Dams. An ice dam is caused by snow melting off of a warm roof and then freezing when it reaches the extended edge. While these icicles are pretty to look at, they can damage the roof. Ice can back up under the shingles and get into the interior areas of your roof. The leak can take place long after the ice is gone. Ice forming on the edge of a roof should be removed as quickly as possible to prevent this from happening. In Spring, the roof and attic space should be thoroughly checked if ice dams occurred all winter long.
- Granule Loss. A majority of roofs are covered in asphalt shingles. These shingles are rough to the touch because they have large granules of asphalt on them as additional protection for the roof. If you start noticing “bald” spots on your shingles — or smooth areas — you have granule deterioration. This deterioration is a sign that you need to have the shingles replaced on your roof before serious damage occurs.
- Mold, Algae and Fungus. Over time, you may notice algae, mold or fungus growth on your roof. This can occur because of weather conditions in your area. If caught early, these conditions can be treated and the roof saved. If left untreated for too long, you will need to replace the roof immediately. It is also very important to understand that if there is mold growing on your roof it could impact the health of everyone living in the home. You may need to call a professional remediation company to have it properly treated.
- Shingle Damage. Shingle damage can occur for many reasons. Severe storms, hail and snow can all cause your shingles to move or curl. Tree limbs that are too close to your home can also cause shingle damage. It is important to check your roof at least twice a year for any type of shingle damage. If you find a few loose shingles or ones that are curling or worn, you can easily replace them without issue. However, leaving damaged shingles on your roof too long will lead to extensive damage.
Reducing and recycling has become very important in today’s society. Lessening the impact on the environment that all our actions have is not only beneficial to the environment, it is also beneficial to your personal finances.
Finding ways to reuse and recycle in all areas of your life reduces your expenses and helps create a better place to live for everyone.
What is really wonderful is that with a little bit of creative thinking, you can change your home decor in an environmentally-friendly way without having to spend much money.
These six tips are a great way to practice being eco-friendly in your home:
Eco-Friendly Home Decorating Tips
- Restore and Reuse. It is amazing what you can do with things you already have around your home. Old jars can be transformed into beautiful containers with a little bit of paint or scrap fabric that is in your junk drawers. An old steamer trunk that is sitting in your garage can become an end table and conversation piece. Favorite old t-shirts can be stuffed into throw pillows. Old furniture can be restored with paint or stain and made to look fresh and new. Don’t forget that furniture moved from one room to another can also create an entirely new look to each room. The possibilities are endless.
- Frequent Thrift Stores. You can find fabulous home decor items in thrift stores for very little money. Many of these stores have beautiful antiques and lightly used furniture, too. If you enjoy creating your own interior designs, visit these shops for painting and craft supplies to make your projects affordable and eco-friendly. Be sure to look at the online classified and auction sites for specialty pieces.
- Rethink Major Purchases. If you need to make a large purchase for furniture or appliances, try to look at more than just the price tag. Items purchased that are constructed poorly will end up in a landfill quickly. Sometimes it is more environmentally friendly to buy a higher priced, but well-constructed, item. Look at warranty times on appliances. Items only guaranteed for two years will probably only last that long. Opt for items with longer guarantees.
- Buy Eco-Friendly Items. You can make sure that you are committed to being eco-friendly by purchasing items that are made from sustainable products. Rattan and bamboo furniture pieces are very Earth-friendly. Items made from hemp, sustainable woods and real cotton are also very good for the environment. You can find many items for home decor that are made from 100 percent recycled goods. Another thing to consider are petroleum-free logs to burn in your fireplace. These easy to burn logs last as long as real wood and they put off less carbon monoxide than real wood.
- Support Local Artisans and Stores. You can reduce your carbon imprint by purchasing locally. Frequent art galleries and local shops for home decor items and supplies. Your local economy will benefit and you will reduce carbon emissions that are associated with transporting goods.
- Go Really Green. One of the most environmentally-friendly home decor ideas that you can use is live plants. Incorporate live plants into all areas of your home. These plants will clean the air better than any aerosol freshener and will produce pure oxygen. This pure oxygen is also very good for your health.
These are all very simple steps that you can take to lower your impact on the environment while enjoying a new look to your home. Being environmentally friendly is not hard to accomplish, it simply takes a little bit of creativity and planning.
And remember to have fun in throughout the creative process!