Category: Real Estate Focus

If credit is good, it?s a good time to buy

Motivated sellers, builders offering deep discounts and incentives, historically low mortgage rates, plenty of inventory and fierce competition for qualified borrowers?it?s actually a great time to buy a house. If your credit score is good, you?re in an even better position to negotiate the loan on the home of your dreams this spring. Spring has always been a popular time […]

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Hire an inspector before signing for that ?dream? house
Hire an inspector before signing for that ?dream? house

Hire an inspector before signing for that ?dream? house

RealEstateInspector.jpg Homebuyers aren?t the only ones who can benefit from a home inspection. If you?re selling your home, having it inspected before you list it may help sell your home in less time and for more money. You found your dream deal on a foreclosed home, but will that great price tag come with a different kind of higher cost? […]

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Hillsboro broker feted by Wichita real-estate group
Hillsboro broker feted by Wichita real-estate group

Hillsboro broker feted by Wichita real-estate group

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Glenn Thiessen, managing broker at Fast Realty in Hillsboro, holds the the President?s Award he received from the Wichita Area Association of Realtors earlier this month for handling 42 home sale transactions in 2008. Thiessen said the real reward he receives is the satisfication of helping people through what can be a traumatic process.

A new plaque hangs on the wall at Fast Realty in Hillsboro. But for Glenn Thiessen, managing broker, the award he received represents more than a number of houses bought or sold. It represents the people he has helped and the relationships he has built, he said.

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Property owner seeks action regarding problems caused during lagoon project

The Hillsboro City Council listened to the concerns of a rural neighbor at its Feb. 17 meeting partly with the hope that the public exposure would help rectify those concerns more quickly. Clark Wiebe, who lives a half mile east of Hillsboro on 190th Street, said he has been concerned that APAC-Kansas, the contractor for the city?s sewer-lagoon project, has […]

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Basement remodel could provide space for move-ins
Basement remodel could provide space for move-ins

Basement remodel could provide space for move-ins

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Remodeling your basement can immediately enhance the enjoyment of a home by providing more usable space while helping to reduce whole-house energy costs.

Charmaine Gardner of West Hempstead, N.Y., spent three years looking for a house, but with the unstable housing market and rising taxes, she just wasn?t comfortable with the idea of buying.

?As a single mom, I didn?t want to live paycheck to paycheck, so I had the idea of remodeling my mom?s unfinished basement for us to all live together.?

From 1990 to 2001, multi-generational households increased about 60 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many of the pressures that drove that increase ?lack of affordable housing and a high cost of living?are even more relevant today.

?More homeowners are finding that a professionally finished basement is a great way to create more living space at a lower cost than building an addition,? says Sal Ferro, president and chief executive officer of Alure, the home improvement company that worked with Gardner to install the Owens Corning Basement Finishing System.

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Stainless steel sinks make sense for several reasons
Stainless steel sinks make sense for several reasons

Stainless steel sinks make sense for several reasons

RealEstateStainlessSteel1.jpg Glistening metal discretely mounted beneath acres of gleaming granite?clearly, this is not the utilitarian stainless steel sink your grandmother washed dishes in decades ago.

Briefly deemed too industrial-looking by some designers to be included in contemporary, upscale kitchens, stainless steel is back, better and more beautiful than ever.

?A well-made stainless steel sink is the little black dress for your kitchen,? says Ken Fey, vice president at stainless steel sink maker Houzer Inc.

?Stainless steel has transitioned from industrial applications like medical and food-service to residential use for very good reasons.

?Stainless steel offers exceptional hygienic and durability qualities, it ages gracefully and beautifully and it?s a ?green? building material.?

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2009 color schemes reflect trends in economy, nature and fashion

What?s in store for home decorating in 2009? No matter what your taste, you?ll find a hue in the 2009 forecast of popular paint colors to suit your style.

Since the average consumer spends two to three months planning a painting project, now is the ideal time to review your options, see what?s predicted to be popular and choose that perfect color.

Color influencers

Looking to 2009, color experts are seeing three top drivers of color trends?the economy, nature and fashion.

?It?s not surprising that the primary driver of our 2009 color forecast is the economy,? says Donna Schroeder, Dutch Boy color marketing and design manager.

?During an economic slowdown, consumers traditionally become more conservative when decorating, oftentimes shifting to neutral colors when painting. However, even with the slower economy, we still expect to see the use of brighter paint colors as accents to the always-popular neutrals.?

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Shedding some light on new ideas for outdoor lighting
Shedding some light on new ideas for outdoor lighting

Shedding some light on new ideas for outdoor lighting

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The front and back entry areas have become living spaces frequented by friends and family. This has led to consumers wanting to decorate and light these areas with the same importance as the inside of their home.

From twinkling candles glimpsed through a window to trees and shrubs decked in brightly colored strands, light can be the warmest welcome for your guests during the holidays. And if you?ve been thinking about enhancing the lighting above and around your front porch or door, the holidays are a great time to put that thought into action.

?People spend more time than ever before in the outdoor spaces of their homes,? says Rick Seidman, president and chief executive officer of Quoizel Inc. of Goose Creek, S.C.

?The front and back entry areas have become living spaces frequented by friends and family. This has led to consumers wanting to decorate and light these areas with the same importance as the inside of their home.?

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Tips to make moving safer and more affordable
Tips to make moving safer and more affordable

Tips to make moving safer and more affordable

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For moving large furniture items, an ergonomically designed shoulder dolly can make the job easier and safer.

If you?re one of the approximately 50 million Americans moving this year, you probably don?t want to spend a fortune to get from point A to point B. With a little planning ahead, it?s possible to execute a do-it-yourself move without breaking the bank.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 16 percent of all moves are work-related?moving to find a new job or to be closer to a current job. Whatever your reason for moving, you don?t have to pay a company to pack up your belongings and transport them to your new home. Here are some easy ways to move yourself and stay on budget:

n If you need to rent a truck or trailer, especially if you only have a few large items that can?t fit into your vehicle, check out your local big box retail hardware store. They often rent trucks and trailers by the hour at a fraction of the cost of renting from a moving company.

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Seven projects that will help the kitchen sell your house
Seven projects that will help the kitchen sell your house

Seven projects that will help the kitchen sell your house

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With just a week?s time, a small investment and a bit of elbow grease, you can easily turn your kitchen into your selling feature with these seven projects.

In today?s market, selling a home involves much more than posting a ?for-sale? sign in the yard. Preparation is key. In fact, experts agree that property appearance and condition play a big role in the home-sale process.

While home improvements can increase buyers? interests, most sellers hesitate to renovate, fearing they may not recoup their costs in the sales price. However, with strategic updates in key rooms, such as kitchens, sellers can increase the value of a home?giving them a leg up on their neighbors to sell more easily and command a higher selling price.

With just a week?s time, a small investment and a bit of elbow grease, you can easily turn your kitchen into your selling feature with these seven projects.

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