Mortgage application volume dropped sharply over the holidays, despite a drop in mortgage rates at the end of the year. Loan applications fell 12 percent for the week ending Dec. 30, 2016, on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to two weeks earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. (The MBA did not report weekly volume last week.)"As mortgage rates continued their upward climb reaching the highest levels in more than two year
Bed bugs can make a home inhospitable. They can be a huge cost to remove as well.Orkin, a nationwide pest control services company, says its revenue from bed bugs treatments are up more than 10 percent over last year. The problem is growing.“We have more people affected by bed bugs in the United States now than ever before,” says Ron Harrison, Orkin entomologist and director of technical services. “They were virtually unheard of in the U.S.
Talk to your home, and it may now hear you. Voice control is the next game changer with smart-home tech. In fact, it may be just the piece that fuels higher adoption of smart-home gadgets.“By simply saying aloud what they want to happen with their locks, lights, thermostats, and security system, consumers spend more time living and less time managing,” says Jeff Lyman, chief marketing office for Vivint Smart Home, which integrates with Amazon
The United States remains the world’s most popular choice for foreign real estate capital, according to the latest annual survey of overseas investors by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate.Ninety-five percent of global investors surveyed said they planned to increase or maintain their level of U.S. investment.Nevertheless, investor caution is slowly growing surrounding U.S. real estate. The caution is being sparked over the unc
Where can home buyers find the most new homes?“You have the markets where the population is moving, like North Carolina, Texas, and Florida,” says Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders. “And some surprising mountain states that are simply growing and growing.”On the other hand, in some markets, such as coastal San Francisco and New City, there’s just few places left to build and the housing stock te
To make the house-hunt a little less stressful, real estate pros offer the following tips:1. Determine what you want upfront, and stick to that criteria.What are your non-negotiables? What location do you desire? What educational opportunities are important? What do you want your daily commute to be? And what price are you willing to pay? “The first step to avoid house hunting drama is to really sit back and think about what is most important t
About 120 major disasters have struck somewhere in the U.S. since 1996, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But homeowners are showing some resilience. Following hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, or floods, they are rebuilding bigger and stronger homes that can better withstand the forces of Mother Nature.A flood on Memorial Day in 2015 dumped a foot of water in Houston, damaging 800 of 2,400 homes alone in an area called Meye
A seven-year boom in the high-end apartment sector may be nearing an end. Landlords of luxury rental properties likely will need to cut rents and offer concessions as supply starts to outstrip demand across the country, The Wall Street Journal reports.Landlords reportedly in New York already are offering up to three months of free rent on some developments. In Los Angeles, some landlords are offering six months of free parking. In Houston, landlo
Make increasing your business productivity a center point of your New Year’s resolutions. Entrepreneur recently rounded up some of its best tips from those in business on how to ramp up your productivity, including:Stop procrastinating.Sounds simple enough, but its time to tackle the mound of emails and mail in your office. “You will always be busy, and taking 10 minutes now to address the task will keep it from hanging over your head and usi
The majority of the top 100 housing markets nationwide are improving compared to their historic benchmark range of housing activity, according to Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index, known as MiMi.The index measures the stability of the housing market by reflecting how single-family housing markets are performing to their long-term stable range based on home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios (changes in home purchasing powe
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