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This makes more sense than just throwing them under the sink.

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Bead Board WALLPAPER!!! Once it’s up, trimmed with a chair rail, and painted, you’d never know it was wallpaper! Would look neat on a ceiling, too!

Check out some of the options at GrandinRoad.com. 

Buyers all across the nation are making their dreams come true. They’re signing on the dotted line and grabbing hold of the keys to a family home.

Despite record low interest rates and enticing pricing, many potential buyers are delaying the decision to buy.

What’s keeping you on the sidelines?

Let’s take a look at the top reasons to own a home.

  • Building equity. Writing a check to the landlord is equivalent to lining their pocket with your potential equity. It is money you never get back. You’re paying for a finite amount of time — one month, one year, etc. Owning your own home means building equity. Each and every mortgage payment is going towards paying down a principal. The worth of your home, however, should continue to gain. The difference between what you owe and the value of your home is equity.
  • Predictability. Gas and grocery prices may rise, especially in the midst of this Summer’s tremendous drought in the American heartland, but a fixed rate mortgage is as predictable as they come. Your mortgage payment will be X amount for the life of the loan.
  • Tax Breaks. Uncle Sam likes homeowners! Did you know that you can deduct the interest you pay each year on your home loan? You can deduct the cost of your property taxes. Even making energy-efficient upgrades can be tax deductible.
  • Appreciation. Home prices are once again on the rise, up nearly 10 percent over 2011 prices. This means a home bought for $100,000 in 2011 could now be worth around $110,000! Over the years (real estate is a long-term investment) your home should gain value. If you decide to sell, you would be looking at a healthy profit! According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), “The number of U.S. households is expected to rise 15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.”
  • Social Benefits. We’ve talked about the financial benefits of owning a home, but did you know that homeowners generally rate themselves as happier and healthier than their renting counterparts. Part of this is thanks to the stability that homeownership brings. Neighbors are more permanent fixtures in your life, meaning friendships that last for years to come. Children of homeowners are more likely to graduate high school and less likely to experience teen pregnancy. It’s all about creating a stable environment for the whole family.Homeownership can be a great way to secure future financial security and freedom. So, what’s stopping you from getting into the market? This big purchase comes with lots of perks and there’s never been a better time to buy.

    READ ORIGINAL “REALTY TIMES” ARTICLE HERE

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) rose another three points to a level of 40 in September, the highest in more than six years and extending to five the number of consecutive months of increase.  All three components also increased to levels last seen five or six years ago. The component measuring expectations for the next six months broke the 50-threshold landing at 51.  The HMI and components are diffusion indexes ranging from zero to 100 where 50 represents an equal number of builders who see better as who see poorer conditions.

The three-month moving average indexes for all four Census regions also increased from two to five points to 30 for the Northeast, 40 for the Midwest, 36 for the South and 43 for the West.  For the Midwest, the September level is the highest since November 2005.  The South and West were last above their current levels in May 2007 and September 2006 respectively.  The Northeast saw a one-point higher peak in July 2012.

The steady rise from a recent low of 14 in September is a strong signal that builders continue to see more serious customers in their models and offices.  The increases in builder confidence in the face of more modest housing permit and starts data does foretell continued production increases if the relationship that has existed for over 25 years continues.  Builders continue to express concern about inadequate access to credit for their customers.  Tight credit standards for buyers and inaccurate appraisals have knocked out potential sales.

Additional emerging hurdles that may be causing the optimism and production to diverge include a shortage of lots because the development pipeline has been shut down for so long and rising costs of some building materials.  In a few healing markets, good building lots ready for construction are becoming rare but developers are not bringing new ground to the market because of their lack of access to credit.  Building materials including wood panels, dimension lumber and drywall have seen significant increases recently as suppliers hold back on opening new production facilities until future housing production trends are more certain.

 

READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

Home builders are cheering the latest Improving Markets Index, which suggests the sector may be finding its footing again.

While the triple-digit reading seen back in April remains elusive, Monday’s report from the National Association of Home Builders says that the list grew by four to 84 markets in July. The monthly index is based on a number of factors measured over six months, including employment growth, house-price appreciation and increases in single-family housing permits.

“The index appears to have stabilized following a dramatic slowdown over the past three months in which the index fell from 101 to 80,” writes Stephen East, a builder analyst with ISI Homebuilding Research, in a client note.

This recent batch of healing cities includes Phoenix and Tampa, which were among the areas hardest hit when the market crashed. Newcomers include smaller markets such as Prescott, Ariz., and Springfield, Mass. But a notable new addition was Houston, one of the nation’s largest housing markets.

“The geographic diversity and growing number of metros on the latest [index] help spotlight the improvements we have begun to see,” crows NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a builder from Gainesville, Fla.

Another NAHB report, this one with the Home Builders Institute, found that 40% of single-family home builders plan to work with laborers during the next year, indicating they expect to be building more homes. Nearly half of builders in the Midwest and West expect to hire, while 39% in the South do.

But the hard-hit sector continues limping along. Home builders complain that appraisals are being skewed by foreclosures. Credit standards also remain stringent, which is keeping plenty of would-be buyers out of the market. Indeed, seven markets fell off the improving markets list, including Rochester, N.Y., and Owensboro, Ky.

Still, industry watchers remain optimistic. “This is evidence that the housing recovery is slowly but surely taking root, one market at a time,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

Read original article here.