Blog with Masonboro Realty

Can Mortgage Debt Increase Your Life Expectancy?

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

Posted by Jerry Bailey on August 20th, 2019 9:38 PM

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®. “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 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:

  • Clean the fridge: Clean out the refrigerator, which could be a culprit of any bad scents. Lisa Jacobs, an organizing professional and founder of Imagine It Done, suggests leaving a fresh box of baking soda on a shelf to help remove any lingering odors.
  • Carpet cleaning: Carpets and rugs can be a culprit of smells. Get carpets and rugs shampooed or steam-cleaned regularly, and particularly prior to an open house, suggests Jennifer Snyder, owner of Neat as a Pin Organizing & Cleaning.
  • Bake for a smell: Cedric Stewart, a residential sales consultant in Washington, D.C., told® that he likes to take out pumpkin or banana bread from the oven prior to an open house. “This provides a great smell and treats seem to stick in the buyers’ mind after they leave,” he says. He says he’ll sometimes brew a fresh pot of coffee to go with it too.
  • Use soap: Gather up all those unused bars of fancy soap over the years and place them in a pretty bowl on a bathroom counter, suggests Creamer. “It can fill a room with a remarkably clean, fresh scent for weeks,” he says. “You can even hide a bar or two in a walk-in closet to freshen the space.” Another trick to freshen up confined spaces: Use laundry dryer sheets, suggests Ben Mizes, a real estate professional in St. Louis. Tuck a dryer sheet in closets or other confined spaces to help make them smell like fresh laundry, he says.



The One Thing That Can Make or Break How People Feel About Your House,”® (July 31, 2019)

Posted by Jerry Bailey on August 1st, 2019 5:49 PM

3 Bathroom Trends Homeowners Might Want to Avoid

July 17, 2018

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:

Tiny tiles

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.

Hardwood floors

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

Posted in:General
Posted by Lori Speight on July 17th, 2018 10:51 PM

Housing Markets Need Landlords to Sell

Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Landlords own thousands of single-family homes across the U.S. With housing shortages abounding, some are calling on landlords to start selling. A slowdown in rent growth may convince more to finally unload their inventories.

“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®.

Last week, NAR reported that contracts to buy previously owned homes dropped to their lowest level in more than three years in January. They cited low inventories of homes for sale to blame. 

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.

“Single-family rental top-line growth should continue to fare much better than that of apartments due to steady demand and limited impact from competitive new supply,” Green Street Advisors note in a recent report.

Source: “In Supply-Starved Home Market, Can Wall Street Landlords Help?” Bloomberg (February 28, 2018)

Posted in:General
Posted by Lori Speight on March 6th, 2018 10:28 PM

Home Maintenance Can Cost Up to $2K a Year

Homeowners may be surprised at how some extra costs really add up. A new survey by 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:

  • Housekeeping: $285
  • Homeowners’ association dues: $210
  • Landscaping: $144
  • Home security system: $130
  • Pool care: $123
  • Snow removal: $84
  • Septic service: $67
  • Private trash/recycling collection: $55

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 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.”


Posted in:General
Posted by Lori Speight on February 20th, 2018 11:46 PM



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