How Safe is the Water in Your Home?

Is my water safe? That’s the question asked by many Americans these days. After a number of highly publicized water quality issues around the country,  a recent Gallup poll showed that 63 percent of the population is concerned a “great deal” about water drinking quality, with many rating it a higher worry than air quality and climate change.

water quality report

While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains that America’s drinking water remains “among the safest in the world,” a recent report shows that it’s not without issues. In an extensive effort, News21 – an investigative journalism project backed by the Carnegie Corporation and the James L. Knight Foundation – analyzed 680,000 EPA violations from the last 10 years to discover if U.S.-based water treatment facilities were falling short of protecting the nation’s water supply. The findings weren’t good. Continue reading

7 Things That Can Help (Or Hurt) Your Home’s Value [Infographic]

The first rule of real estate is location, location, location! Your proximity to certain natural hazards, places and, yes, even people plays a huge role in determining your home’s value – for better or for worse. Can you guess which neighborhood grocery store can increase a home’s value by 40%?! Check out this infographic to find out.

And don’t forget to get a Housefax Report to see a home’s natural hazard risk, sink holes and other factors that affect a property’s value!

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Hurricane Season Enters Its Peak — Are You Ready?

For U.S. residents along the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico coast, hurricane season officially began June 1. If the latest projections prove to be true, this year will see an above average number of storms. In fact, Tropical Storm Arlene kicked things off a little early on April 20, and there have been four other tropical storms since then.

As we enter peak season, what should coastal residents know about the 2017 hurricane season? Here’s a run down of important predictions and changes. Continue reading

The 12 Best Summer Open House Tips We’ve Ever Seen

Summer’s here and that means BBQs, beaches and Open Houses! If done right, an Open House can be a great event to impress sellers while attracting new clients. Here’s a collection of our favorite Open House tips EVER — everything from unique ways to promote your event to the oh so critical follow-up.

#OpenHousefax

#OpenHousefax

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Tips for Tackling a Bathroom Remodel: When to DIY, When to Hire, and What to Expect

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

One of the most common home improvement projects for people looking for a moderate to upscale change is the bathroom remodel. Whether it’s a guest or master bath, a bathroom remodel has many different components and can range anywhere from mostly DIY to barely any DIY, depending on a variety of factors. Here are some tips for how to tackle your bathroom remodel in the smartest, safest, and most cost-effective way possible. Continue reading

Be Prepared! Flood Facts You Can’t Ignore [INFOGRAPHIC]

According to FEMA, every home is vulnerable to flooding. Just an inch of water can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

Floods can happen anywhere and anytime. Recently, flash flooding in Arizona accounted for at least 9 fatalities.

Properties in moderate- and low-risk areas account for more than 20 percent of the country’s NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) claims and receive a third of flood-related federal disaster assistance. Regardless of your home’s risk, it’s important that you are prepared in the event of a flooding. 

Want to know if your home is in a flood zone? Run a Housefax Report on your address to see your flood zone risk.

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How Credit Scores Affect Homebuyers

If you’re thinking of buying a home, one of the first questions you may ask is “Can I qualify for a home mortgage loan?” There are a number of factors that determine the answer, such as your employment history (including length of time at your current job), your debt to income ratio (how much you owe compare to how much you make), and the amount you have for a down payment. But perhaps the biggest factor in determining your loan eligibility is your credit score.

There are actually a few different types of credit scores. The score used by the mortgage industry is your FICO score, which for housing loans ranges from 300-850. This range is broken into categories ranging from “Excellent” to “Bad”.

Photo Credit: Credit Sesame

The obvious question is “what credit score is needed to buy a house?”

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as obvious. Continue reading

What Your Kitchen Floor Says About You

Your home is a reflection of you, whether you realize it or not. In particular, how you decorate gives your guests a glimpse into your personality. What first impression do people get when they walk into your kitchen? There’s one feature that says a lot, and it’s not those mute walls … it’s the floor!

What does your kitchen floor say about you?

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Should I Buy a Home or Just Keep Renting?

Dear Housefax,

I’m out of debt, and I’m now saving for a down payment on a home. It’s always been my dream to be a homeowner. But lately, I read a lot of arguments against buying a home in favor of renting. How do I know if it’s a good idea for me? Should I buy or keep renting?

Sincerely,
Hopeful Homeowner  Continue reading