Five Simple Steps to Achieving a Lush Lawn Fast:

Step 1: Aerate When the soil under a lawn becomes too compacted, water, air and nutrients have a hard time reaching grass roots. Lawn aerators correct this problem by pulling small plugs of soil about 1/2inch in diameter and 2 to 3 inches deep out of the ground. You can affordably rent an aerator fora day or hire a professional. Learn more at weseedamerica.com/improving. Step 2: Reseed If you have bare patches or your lawn looks thin, reseeding is an easy solution. Start by contacting a local turf specialist to determine the best seed or sod to purchase for your location and soil type. Then, rake the bare areas of your lawn and apply seed. Water lightly and regularly until new grass grows in. The spring and fall are good times to seed due to cooler weather, although it can be done any time of year Step 3: Mow high Never cut off more than 1/3 of the grass blade height at a time. If grass gets too long, raise the height on your mower. Recommended mowing heights vary by grass type, but an easy rule of thumb for the most common types of lawn is to mow to a 2-inch height when the grass blades reach 3 inches tall. Step 4: Fertilize To keep your lawn healthy, aim to fertilize at least once a year; four times a year is ideal. Your local garden center can recommend the fertilizer best for your climate and grass type. Additionally, naturally fertilize…

Diane Keaton Collects Southern California Homes

The California beach home restored by Diane Keaton “Diane Keaton Collects Southern California Homes” Charmer Diane Keaton, in her trademark suits and turtlenecks, is most well known as an Oscar-winning actress in films that are today’s classics. From her first appearance in The Godfather to her Oscar-winning performance in Annie Hall and a string of other great films chalking up $1.1 billion in box office sales, Keaton also found time to date both Warren Beatty and Al Pacino. Now at age 71, Diane has not slowed down having written three books, well-known for her photography, mother of two adopted children, and owns her own wine company, The Keaton, with reds described as rich and intense and a new white wine on its way. In her spare time, she is a real estate tycoon with a long history of buying, remodeling and selling houses in enviable Southern California locations. Newly offered for sale is a Laguna Beach house steps from the sand and with views of the Pacific Ocean, beach and rugged cliffs spilling into the ocean. Built in 1928 for the J. Roy Smith orange tree groves family when the idea of having a beach house was coming of age in California, there were still many excellent lots from which to choose. The Smiths chose a bluff overlooking the wide beach of Shaw’s Cove, which afforded protection from storm waves and an expansive view. It was built in the Mediterranean Revival style with stucco, decorative Spanish tile accents, wood beams,…

insurance home

Survey: Majority of Americans Mistakenly Believe That a Standard Home Insurance Policy Covers Flood Damage

‘Home Insurance Misconceptions’ Study Dispels Myths on Floods, Dog Bites and Stolen Car Items— AUSTIN, TEXAS — Think you have an accurate understanding of what your home insurance policy does and doesn’t cover? Well, based on new data, chances are … you don’t! And you’re far from alone. In a March 2017 survey commissioned by insuranceQuotes, 56% of respondents mistakenly believed that a standard homeowner’s policy covers flood damage. For millennials ages 18 to 36, the percentage rose to 67%. “Being misinformed about your home policy can be an extremely expensive mistake — especially when a few inches of water in a 1,000 square-foot home can easily cost over $10,000 in repairs,” said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at insuranceQuotes. “There are a number of widespread myths ranging from coverage for dog bites to items stolen from your car that frequently trip up policyholders.” Consumers may overestimate their coverage when it comes to flooding, but they underestimate when it comes to dog bites. Regarding potential lawsuits filed by someone bitten by a policyholder’s dog away from the owner’s property (such as at a dog park or on the street), 54% of respondents and 67% of millennials didn’t know they would be protected with a standard homeowner’s policy. And while 81% of respondents knew that valuables stolen from their homes were covered under a standard homeowner’s policy, only 28% knew renter’s insurance would cover valuables stolen from their cars. For millennials the percentage was even lower: 25%. For less than $200…

California Tuffest for First Time Home Buyers

California ranks as the toughest state for first-time homebuyers for several reasons, including low home affordability (#49), availability (#49) and U-35 homeownership percentage (#49), as well as high millennial unemployment (#41). Iowa, on the other hand, is the easiest state due in large part to the most affordable home prices in the country. The Hawkeye State also graded highly for U-35 homeownership (#2) and millennial employment (#10). Utah, Minnesota, Kansas and Missouri comprise the rest of the five easiest states for first-time homebuyers.     Rank State Total score Housing affordability Job market for young adults Housing market tightness Credit availability Homeownership among millennials 1 Iowa 40.32 10.00 7.55 5.60 7.53 9.64 2 Utah 40.16 6.55 9.33 5.88 8.85 9.55 3 Minnesota 39.60 8.66 7.85 3.75 9.34 10.00 4 Kansas 38.11 8.18 7.67 7.02 8.33 6.91 5 Missouri 38.10 8.71 6.01 8.26 7.67 7.45 6 North Dakota 37.66 8.39 10.00 4.14 8.31 6.82 7 South Dakota 37.50 8.21 9.48 2.31 8.73 8.77 8 Wyoming 36.91 7.94 7.70 4.59 8.12 8.57 9 Vermont 36.34 8.51 7.82 8.55 6.00 5.46 10 Nebraska 36.33 9.68 8.71 1.65 8.95 7.33 11 Idaho 36.32 6.78 6.26 7.90 7.73 7.66 12 Indiana 35.92 9.23 4.29 6.65 7.56 8.19 13 Montana 35.51 5.86 6.66 9.11 8.19 5.69 14 Oklahoma 35.18 9.41 6.07 7.07 5.60 7.02 15 Alaska 34.70 7.22 3.59 8.12 10.00 5.77 16 New Hampshire 34.68 8.42 8.65 4.36 6.11 7.14 17 Michigan 34.61 9.65 3.13 7.24 6.19 8.40 18 Wisconsin 34.51 9.73 4.85 6.47 6.79…

Carson is Hud Secretary

Or it takes a brain surgeon to run HUD. Ben Carson Confirmed as HUD Secretary by Jon Boughtin By a vote of 58-41, the U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Ben Carson today as the next Secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. National Association of Realtors® President William E. Brown laid out the challenges that lie ahead, saying Realtors® look forward to working with Secretary Carson to advance home ownership and real estate investment across the country. Here’s what Brown had to say following the vote: Dr. Carson should be proud of his achievement. The task at hand is a big one, and we applaud his commitment to the challenges that lie ahead. #BenCarson Approved as #HUD Secretary – blogged by @MsJennyb ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee approved of Dr. Ben Carson to oversee the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Politico reports. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The approval transpired without much dissent, in a voice vote from Senate Democrats. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ According to reports, Senate Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the panel’s top Democrat, vouched for Carson because of the Doctor’s promises to address important issues within his respective department. His commitments to deal with lead hazards, as well as fair housing laws, was a key factor for Brown, despite his experience, or lack thereof. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I would not have chosen him because of his lack of  experience and his often troubling public statements over the last three years,” Brown said. “But despite my reservations and my disagreements…

NAR: How to Buy a Home with a Reverse Mortgage

What is a Reverse Mortgage? A financial agreement in which a homeowner relinquishes equity in their home in exchange for regular payments, typically to supplement retirement income. “unlike traditional mortgages, which decline as you pay down the loan, reverse mortgages rise over time as interest on the loan accrues”

Considerations When Getting a Home Loan

When you decide to get a home loan, there are a number of costs that are involved. If you are fortunate, the seller of the home may agree to cover some of the expenses for you. Some of the expenses you will see when getting a home loan is the closing costs, prepaid items, and loan discount fees. Understanding these terms will make purchasing your next home easier. The closing costs are the expenses that the lender will charge borrowers for a new loan. While some of these fees may be a part of your loan application, others may involve the appraisal of the home. The lender may also charge you fees to process your application. All of these fees are placed together in what is called the closing costs. The borrower is likely to pay these costs, and they average about 3% of the total amount borrowed. Each state will have various costs that are different from other states. To get information about these fees, you will want to check local lenders. Loan discount fees are interest that is prepaid. They are measured in points, and one discount point is the equivalent of one percent of the amount that is borrowed. You will have to pay it at the closing, and it will be charged to the borrower as interest. Discount points are good because they help lower the interest on the amount of money you borrow. You may not have to pay discount points, but sometimes sellers will…