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Real Estate

SEC Warns REcoin Cryptocurrency Is a Fraud

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 3, 2017 - 11:00pm

The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that a type of cryptocurrency called REcoin touted for real estate is a fraud and was designed to...

Categories: Real Estate

4 Reasons Why Bamboo Is Taking Home Decor by Storm

RisMedia Consumer News - October 3, 2017 - 2:23pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Homeowners are often looking for home improvement options that strike the right balance between affordability, functionality, aesthetics and eco-friendliness. Bamboo has been marketed as something of a panacea—a kind of wonder wood that checks all the boxes. Designers, contractors and consumers have all taken note, as bamboo has made its way into homes as flooring, walls, window treatments, furniture and more. Here are the properties that are making this popular material a go-to green choice for interior design materials.

Affordability
Bamboo is a readily available wood…except for the fact that bamboo isn’t a wood at all, but a grass! Therein lies the secret to bamboo’s ascendant success as a housing material: It grows like a weed because it essentially is one. At a maximum of three feet per day, it is, in fact, the fastest growing plant on Earth. This abundance means it’s an affordable and easily accessible choice in an increasing number of household design elements.

Versatility
Just the one word “bamboo” doesn’t do justice to the range of looks the material offers. It can vary greatly in shades and textures, making it a versatile option for decorators and designers. From the darkest darks to the palest natural shades, you can get just the right color to complement and accentuate the earth tones in your interior decor. (For example, a homeowner with dark hardwood floors can choose dark bamboo shades to tie the room together.) Just keep in mind that the color may change over time as the material ages, and tones may differ depending on where and when it was harvested (just as is the case with hardwood).

Indeed, bamboo window treatments are particularly popular, and they’re available in a variety of options ranging from Roman shades to woven blinds. Whatever style you go for, bamboo blinds can pull together a room’s earth tones into one elegantly cohesive package, while allowing natural sunlight to filter in. While bamboo on its own is not a black-out solution, you can add blackout liners to prevent any undesired light filtration.

Durability
Whether natural or manmade, few materials can match bamboo’s physical properties pound for pound. Because bamboo grows in wet, tropical climates, it is well-suited to resisting rain and wind. (East Asian cultures have made use of bamboo for centuries to build suspension bridges, huts, rafts and much more.) In fact, this unassuming reed beats out hardwood, brick and concrete alike in terms of compressive strength, while rivaling steel in tensile strength.

The result is a lightweight, flexible material that performs admirably in heavily-trafficked and humid areas of the home, making it a great option for floors and furniture in living areas, as well as window treatments in areas like the bathroom.

Interestingly, bamboo’s legendary durability persists even when it is broken down into its fibers. Rayon fabric, while luxuriously soft, is also incredibly strong. Add to that its natural anti-microbial properties, and you have a long-lasting material that is useful in a wide variety of textile applications.

Sustainability
As a growing number of homeowners look for eco-friendly materials in their decor, perhaps no single factor has contributed to bamboo’s modern vogue in interior design more than its sustainability. As it is a grass rather than a tree, it can grow to a harvestable size (often over 100 feet) in a matter of months. This is in stark contrast to the years of water, fertilizer and pesticide required by other timber woods. Additionally, bamboo can grow on steep slopes and depleted or abandoned agricultural lands that would otherwise go to waste.

The environmental benefits don’t stop there. Bamboo’s root systems are an effective reinforcement against soil erosion. Due to its fast-growing nature, bamboo farms that make responsible use of available land are an incredibly potent form of carbon sequestration. Finally, bamboo groves can produce up to 35 percent more oxygen than comparably sized forests.

Processing bamboo has made leaps and bounds in terms of eco-friendliness. While bamboo plywood has traditionally required formaldehyde in the production process, more and more researchers are finding breakthroughs that make durable and biodegradable glues an economic reality. It’s worth noting that most of the world’s bamboo timber is grown in China and India, and therefore requires international shipping, and not all companies conform to the greenest methods of production.

When you consider bamboo’s low carbon footprint along with its durability and lasting appeal, it’s no wonder that it’s made its way to homes in the form of furniture, window treatments, flooring and more. When you elect to adorn your home with this wonder wood (er, grass) you can rest easier knowing that a more beautiful home can be kind to Mother Earth and your bank account alike.

Katie Laird is the director of Social Marketing for Blinds.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 4 Reasons Why Bamboo Is Taking Home Decor by Storm appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

2017 REALTOR® Good Neighbor Winners Unveiled

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 2, 2017 - 11:00pm

These real estate pros have gone above and beyond the call of duty with their outreach and volunteer programs within their communities and beyond...

Categories: Real Estate

Factors Most Influential on Home Values

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 2, 2017 - 11:00pm

Stay on top of these four local market trends that influence housing prices so you can best serve research-savvy buyers and sellers.

Categories: Real Estate

Infographic: Easing the Burden of Student Loan Debt

RisMedia Consumer News - October 2, 2017 - 2:22pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Is your crippling student loan debt keeping you from becoming a homeowner? According to an article by RefinanceStudentLoans.net, “The Case for Student Loan Forgiveness,” student loan debt is one of the highest debt categories in the U.S., coming in second to only mortgage debt. Add up the debt from the 44-plus million borrowers in the U.S. and it comes out to a whopping $1.44 trillion, the article reports.

If you’ve experienced a hefty monthly student loan payment, then you’ll understand why borrowers are less likely to boost the economy. If all of your cash is going to bills and debt reduction, there’s no excess money to spend.

This loan debt can also delay important life events—such as getting married, having children and buying a house—by 19 to 46 percent. Many are having trouble affording these loan payments after paying for rent, gas and utilities. According to the article, 8 million borrowers defaulted on their student loans as of 2016.

Fortunately, there are some resources available that can ease the burden of student loan debt or erase it completely. Programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Perkins Loan Cancellation can help you if you work a non-profit, education or government job. If you don’t qualify for these, you can also apply for income-based repayment plans to lower your monthly loan payments or defer them for the time being.

The following infographic, provided by RefinanceStudentLoans.net, offers a breakdown of available student loan forgiveness and alternative repayment options.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Infographic: Easing the Burden of Student Loan Debt appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Indie Brokers Eye Mergers to Stay Competitive

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 1, 2017 - 11:00pm

As technology costs escalate for small and privately owned real estate companies, many are merging with larger firms in order to remain...

Categories: Real Estate

The ‘Bonus Room’ Makes a Comeback

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 1, 2017 - 11:00pm

Demand is increasing for more flexible living spaces, builders say. Here’s how to present a multipurpose room to buyers to get your listing...

Categories: Real Estate

5 Fall Maintenance Tips to Share With Clients

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 1, 2017 - 11:00pm

The changing of the season brings several household tasks homeowners should perform to keep their house safe as colder temperatures approach.

Categories: Real Estate

Dying Malls Could Give Birth to New Inventory

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 1, 2017 - 11:00pm

Developers are eyeing old shopping centers—which often include large parcels of land—for redevelopment into residential projects.

Categories: Real Estate

Fears of HELOC Defaults Go Unrealized

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 1, 2017 - 11:00pm

Economists warned of rising defaults as more homeowners took out home equity lines of credit during the pre-recession housing boom. But so far,...

Categories: Real Estate

Best and Worst Cities for Car Lovers

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 1, 2017 - 11:00pm

Realtor.com® ranks the metros that offer the most and least options for drivers who like to be on the road.

Categories: Real Estate

How to Make Buying a Beach House an Affordable Thing to Do

RisMedia - October 1, 2017 - 11:04am

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

The dream of purchasing a beach house is potentially one that you’ve had since you were a teenager or young adult; however, setting aside the money for this venture is an entirely different project. Instead of continuing to watch your dream shrink, consider some strategies for making a beach house a reality.

Look for Less Desirable Locations
In your view, any house on the beach is likely in a desirable location, but that really depends upon what the buyer is looking for. One thing that you should consider is how the school district can have a significant effect on the price of a house. If you are looking for a summer home or you may not have children, the quality of the school district may not affect you at all. As a result, you can buy in a community that has a school district of a lower quality, which will likely mean a lower price.

Research Seasonal Communities
When you’re looking to purchase a house, you might think you need to buy a place that is yours to visit throughout the year; however, that isn’t necessarily the case. You may be able to find a home in a community that is only open to residents for a set number of months per year. During the colder seasons, it may close down. Due to the fact that you’re unable to inhabit the house year-round, you may have a greater chance of procuring a lower price.

Rent the House
beach house is a desirable location for many people, which provides you with the opportunity to rent it to them. You could rent your house out on AirBnB, for example. Some people decide to rent their houses out for the majority of the year and spend a short amount of vacation time there themselves, and others choose to just rent the house during peak seasons. You can decide what works for you.

Buy a Smaller House
In most cases, people looking to buy beach houses are not planning to live there during the entire year. As a result, you probably don’t need a prodigious beach house. Even when you want to make the beach house your full-time residence, ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice to get a house on the beach. When you don’t intend to have children, one or two bedrooms in a house might be just right.

Thinking about buying a beach house might feel overwhelming to you because of the perceived costs; however, you can actually make this wish a reality.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post How to Make Buying a Beach House an Affordable Thing to Do appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Consumers Say This Is the Ideal Down Payment

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 28, 2017 - 11:00pm

Find out what the majority of Americans are willing to put down on a home, according to a new survey.

Categories: Real Estate

7 Steps for Protecting Clients From Disasters

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 28, 2017 - 11:00pm

Major natural disasters have made headlines recently, and your clients may be considering taking extra precautions to protect their homes. Pass...

Categories: Real Estate

8 Exterior Renovations to Boost a Home’s Value

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 28, 2017 - 11:00pm

These outdoor remodeling projects offer homeowners the biggest payback at resale.

Categories: Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Stuck in Holding Pattern

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 28, 2017 - 11:00pm

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage barely budged this week, staying well below the 4 percent mark.

Categories: Real Estate

New Tools Help Market Homes’ ‘Transit Score’

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 28, 2017 - 11:00pm

Here are some ways you can highlight your listing’s proximity to public transportation as a selling point to buyers.

Categories: Real Estate

Buyers Remain Positive Despite Low Inventory

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 28, 2017 - 11:00pm

Prospective homeowners are optimistic about the market and are committed to finding their ideal home, a new survey finds.

Categories: Real Estate

Kitchen Remodels Offer Big Paybacks at Resale

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 27, 2017 - 11:00pm

Find out the interior remodeling projects with the strongest buyer appeal that could add value to a home at resale.

Categories: Real Estate

The 20 Hottest Housing Markets in September

NAR Daily News Magazine - September 27, 2017 - 11:00pm

For the first time in several months, Vallejo, Calif., fell from its number-one ranking as a new city took the top spot on realtor.com®’...

Categories: Real Estate