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Get more bang for your remodeling bucks
Planning some serious home improvements with spring around the corner? The remodeling business is booming so now is the time to make your plans, line up your contractors and work up a budget.
If you're like many homeowners, you may expect your project will add to the value of your home — which it might — or even pay for itself when you sell they house — which it almost certainly will not. Even the most cost-effective home improvement usually costs more than the owner will recoup when the house is sold.
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Economy to inch forward
The Register-Guard Board of Economists predicts slow, continued growth in 2014, with improvement mainly in housing and the service industry.
But there are plenty of unknowns, including whether the Federal Reserve can skillfully taper off economic stimulus policies and how health care reform will affect the cost and availability of medical care.
New loan program will help rescue foreclosed homes
Milwaukee's Department of City Development is rolling out a new lending program soon to help homebuyers rehab foreclosed properties purchased from the city.
The PyraMax Bank Milwaukee Tax Foreclosure program is intended for individuals interested in purchasing foreclosed properties from the City of Milwaukee. The Department of City Development will provide forgivable loans of up to $20,000 to fix up the property. The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) will fund additional rehab costs up to $50,000.
Putting off working on your tax return may cost you
New Pittsburgh Courier
Nearly 150 million Americans will file federal income tax returns this year and, unfortunately, many will be shelling out much more of their hard-earned money than necessary, says veteran financial expert Jeff Gorton.
"With the ridiculous complexity of our tax code, I can understand how the average person might want to put off doing their homework, but that'll cost you," says Gorton, a veteran Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner, and head of Gorton Financial Group.
Protect your home from burglars
The Courier of Montgomery County
Bob Berry writes, "I see numerous reports of thefts and burglaries each week; and as they come through, I cannot help but notice how many times a residential burglary, vehicle burglary or property theft could have been prevented with a few simple crime prevention steps.
The vast majority of crimes committed in a area are property crimes. Most are thefts, but there are a number of incidents of vandalism and property destruction."
Home-improvement stores rebound after recent dip
The Associated Press via MSN
A number of housing-related retailers suffered a setback recently when their shares fell on mounting concerns about the health of the housing market.
The market vastly improved in 2013 after a long period of weakness, and most economists expect home sales and prices to keep rising this year, but at a slower pace. Still, home sales began to slow in the fall and winter, as a tight supply of available homes, poor weather and a jump in mortgage rates over the summer kept buyers away.
Garage door replacement now a top 5 home improvement nationwide
The Sacramento Bee
A national study on the value of popular home renovation projects has found that replacing an outdated garage door is both affordable and one of the best projects homeowners can undertake to improve their home's overall value.
Remodeling magazine's 2014 'Cost vs. Value' survey reveals that garage door replacement delivers an average 83.7 percent return on investment for homeowners while costing around $1,500, far less than other popular home improvement projects, like a major kitchen remodel (about $55,000) or a family room addition (about $81,000).
Federal money available for energy-saving home improvements in North Carolina county
The Charlotte Observer
Home inspections and energy improvements administered by Cabarrus County in Charlotte, N.C., are helping low-income residents save money on heating and cooling bills.
The money comes from an annual federal grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Energy, through the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Discover valuable tips and tricks for your home
The Alternative Press
One of the best ways to winterize your home is to simply block obvious drafts and leaks around your house, both inside and out. To create a better seal make sure that all of your windows are closed tightly and locked. This can make a big difference in your comfort inside your home, and prevent unnecessary heat loss. Additionally, experts recommend closing your curtains too, as it adds an extra barrier to help prevent heat loss and block drafts through your windows.
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