New home construction is booming in Houston, Texas and other cities

Toward the end of each month, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development release residential construction activity statistics for the previous month. The statistics are broken down into several categories; the most heavily anticipated being the number of groundbreakings – which they refer to as “housing starts” – and the number of building permits issued. The latter is an indication of future new home construction. . . .

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Real estate investors and property flippers need to consider their margin of safety before taking on renovations

It’s been a long dry spell, but it’s looking like significant improvements are providing a better return on investment for real estate investors than they have in years. That’s good news for flippers, because that’s just one more way for a fix-and-flipper to add value. . . .

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How to tell if an air conditioning unit is working well

You’ve finally found the home of your dreams, but your adventure in homeownership has only just begun. First, you have to make sure everything, including the air conditioning, is in proper working order. Although you should always have your home professionally inspected, there are a few things you can check on your own to ensure the air conditioning unit is working well . . .

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A scarf loop hanger can hold many scarves at once, keeping them organized and easy to find

Do your scarves look more like a miniature Mount Everest piled on the floor of your closet than an organized collection of color? Are your purses plunked wherever there is a corner in your closet instead of treated like the treasures they are? Get these accessories straightened out with the following organizing systems. . . .

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The demand for rental properties is pushing rents higher

The strict lending policies and rising home prices have sidelined many potential buyers from the market. This has created a huge demand for rental properties. Rents are rising, and apartments are suddenly in high demand. It’s a jubilant time for landlords, but tenants are hurting. Their budgets are being stretched and their disposable income is dwindling. . . .

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French country style often includes exposed rafters and rustic materials

French country style exhibits a perfect blending of rustic country and quaint, classic romance. It displays a well-balanced fusion of sophisticated patterns and playful color, showcasing both vintage and new. It’s eclectic yet cozy – a unique style that is charming and warmly inviting. Whether you seek to dress up your classic home or furnish your country charmer, add a splash of French country décor to your home. . . .

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There are three major red flags that homebuyers should watch out for when touring a home

Although there are many so-called “red flags” to look for when touring a home, let’s take a look at the top three that – if you see them – should make you reconsider submitting an offer without a contingency for further inspection. . . .

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The IRS has introduced a safe harbor that makes things easier for landlords when it comes to claiming deductions

Here’s a bit of good news for small landlords: The Internal Revenue Service has introduced a “safe harbor” for deducting repairs to investment properties from ordinary income. Normally, the IRS does not allow you to take a full current-year deduction for anything they consider a renovation or improvement. They only allow you to take a first-year deduction on repairs, which the IRS defines as projects that do not materially add to the value of a property . . .

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Organic lawn care can be easy and affordable

One of my favorite things to do in the heat of summer is stand barefoot on a nice cool lawn. The grass feels cool and moist, and I like to squish my toes around in the blades of grass. It’s just one of those sensory experiences I truly enjoy. But what if that same lawn has been dowsed in chemicals in order to achieve its lushness? Well, that sort of changes the experience, doesn’t it? If you’d rather minimize the use of herbicides and pesticides, here are a few lawn care tips you can use . . .

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Organizing paperwork clutter will free up valuable space in your home

It doesn’t take long for a paperwork monster to take over your home. First, it creeps into your office as a modest pile that you tell yourself you will deal with later. Then it grows rapidly until it overwhelms the room and goes looking for somewhere else to invade. Before you let the paperwork monster take over your kitchen counter or dining room table, here are some tips to evict the clutter and manage things differently. . . .

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