• Buying a Home

    Becoming a Homeowner This Year? What You Need to Know

    With uncertainty over mortgage rates growing and new Fannie- and Freddie-backed programs rolling out this year, those seeking to buy a home will continue to contend with changing standards. If you’re planning to become a homeowner, take these steps before borrowing. 1. Get preapproved. Stay ahead of the game by actually getting preapproved for a loan – not by getting an estimate from a lender. Not sure if you’ve been officially preapproved? Take note of what your mortgage professional does – if your credit report was submitted to an underwriter, you’re in good shape. 2. Don’t alter your credit habits. Don’t risk hurting your credit score while securing a mortgage. Keep…

  • Winter

    Turn your backyard into a winter wonderland for wild birds with simple, smart, timely tips

    (BPT) – You may think warm weather is prime-time to enjoy the rewarding hobby of bird-feeding and bird-watching. Winter, however, is the time of year when birds need you most – and when you have the greatest chance of attracting them to your backyard. Natural food and water sources become scarce, competition for limited resources is fierce and non-migratory birds are looking for a reliable, good quality meal. It’s your moment! The bird-feeding experts at Cole’s Wild Bird Products offer some timely tips for drawing wild birds to your backyard this winter: * Feed without guilt! There is absolutely no research that shows wild birds will become lazy if you…

  • Selling a Home,  Winter

    Winter Is Best Time to Sell, Study Shows

    The housing market doesn’t hibernate in the winter. Sellers who list and buyers who buy often find the winter season the most advantageous time to make a move in real estate, according to a new study by the real estate brokerage Redfin. The winter season officially takes place between Dec. 21 and March 20, and real estate professionals should be ready for a season that often brings in more focused and active sellers and buyers. In an update to a two-year analysis it completed last year, Redfin researchers studied nationwide home listings, sales prices, and time-on-market data from 2010 through October 2014. The study found that February is “historically the…