August 20, 2019
Debt can be stressful, and stress can be bad for your health. But some debt may actually be good for your health and even prolong your life, a new study from LendingTree suggests.
Researchers evaluated 797 U.S. counties on how various forms of debt—from mortgages to student loans—can possibly influence a person’s health and even life expectancy.
Notably, researchers found that a higher mortgage debt relative to income is linked with a higher life expectancy.
“That trend reaffirms the idea that homeownership is ultimately a good thing. This is despite the fact that a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions and burdens a person will take on in their lifetime,” researchers note.
Other forms of debt—like auto debt and personal loan debt—did not have the same link and actually generally corresponded with lower life expectancies, according to the study.
Counties with the highest life expectancy and their financial characteristics
August 1, 2019
The home may look great, but if you don’t get this one thing right, buyers won’t be buying, real estate pros say. And that all centers around the smell—the sense that too many home sellers neglect to pay attention to.
Some home sellers may be noseblind to their home’s scent, and they need the real estate professional to offer a fresh unbiased opinion.
“One of the easiest ways to evoke pleasant feelings about a space is to enhance the way it smells,” Ben Creamer, a managing broker in Chicago, told realtor.com®. “It’s often the first thing a person will notice upon entering a space—and it’s one of the things that, when done poorly, can kill a sale no matter how beautiful the home.”
What If Your Listing Stinks?Good Smells, Bad Smells in Real EstateHow to Create Scent Appeal
What If Your Listing Stinks?
Good Smells, Bad Smells in Real Estate
How to Create Scent Appeal
To freshen up the smell, scrub all surfaces, wash all rugs, and have the carpets cleaned, suggests Barb Boehler, a real estate professional in Madison, Wis. “Until this is done, you’ll only be masking smells,” she says.
Real estate professionals offer some of the following tips:
“The One Thing That Can Make or Break How People Feel About Your House,” realtor.com® (July 31, 2019)
Bathroom makeovers can help enhance a property, but homeowners should be careful not to be too trendy or it may have the opposite effect. HouseLogic detailed several recent bathroom trends that homeowners might want to reconsider, including:
Mosaics of tiny colored tiles may be on-trend and offer a retro vibe to your bathroom, but they’ve also earned a reputation as being a pain to keep clean. Tiny tiles mean more grout to clean and maintain. Instead of doing a large space of tiny tiles, HouseLogic recommends using them as an accent, such as the wall surrounding your vanity. Choose a place where they won’t get wet on the floor, in the tub, or in the shower so that cleaning them is less of a chore.
The flooring may be a hot choice for the rest of your home, but they can be a pain in the bathroom. “It will warp next to a shower or tub if not dried after each use,” Tanya Campbell, a designer for Virdis Design Studio in Denver, told HouseLogic. “Also, tile is more sanitary.” If the wooden look is what you want, opt for something that resembles the exterior, but is actually tile.
Colored tubs and sinks
Color is gradually entering more bathrooms. But don’t forget the lessons from the 1950s pastel bathroom craze that brought in pink and aqua sinks. That had renovators ripping them out a few years later in favor of white, a safer choice for the long term. “The bathroom is one of the most expensive rooms in the house to do, and so I try to be very safe because the parts are going to be expensive to change out—like a tub,” Suzanne Felber, a designer in Dallas, told HouseLogic. If color is what homeowners want, opt for painting the walls instead; it’s easier to change later on.
Catch more bathroom trends worth reconsidering at HouseLogic.com.
“As new multifamily supply catches up with demand and slows rents, some large investors may begin putting their holdings of affordable single-family homes up for sale, which would be great news, particularly for first-time buyers,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®.
A jump in apartment construction has slowed rent growth for many multifamily buildings across the country, but single-family landlords are still mostly reaping profits. Invitation Homes Inc., the nation’s largest single-family landlord, owns more than 80,000 properties. It is forecasting its revenue growth to be about 4 percent to 5 percent in 2018, which far outpaces rent-growth projections for apartments, according to Green Street Advisors LLC, a research firm.
Homeowners may be surprised at how some extra costs really add up. A new survey by Bankrate.com shows that the average homeowner spends an average of $2,000 per year on maintenance services.
Sixty-three percent of more than 2,200 respondents recently surveyed say they use at least one recurring maintenance provider. Thirty-five percent say they use two or more.
The most common services and their average monthly costs for homeowners are:
Further, researchers found that usage of such home maintenance services tends to increase with age and income.
“These figures illustrate the hidden costs of homeownership, and it’s important to note they don’t include repairs such as a broken refrigerator, washing machine, or air conditioner,” says Taylor Tepper, a Bankrate.com analyst. “These are just ongoing, routine tasks like keeping your house and yard clean. Make sure to factor these costs into your new budget when you buy a house. Or do them yourself to save thousands of dollars each year.”