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Mortgage rates are down!


The Washington Post reports that mortgage rates have dropped this week, for the first time in a month. Also, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage applications have increased in the last week.Things are looking up for homebuyers!

“Mortgage rates fell across the board, with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage reading 3.75 percent this week,” Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist stated


More info may be found here.

Big Ideas for Smal lBaths


This Old House gives us some great ideas for improving small bathrooms!

When you've got a small bathroom that just looks and feels cramped, there are a number of things you can do in order to make it feel more cozy and comfortable, even if you cannot increase its square footage:

- Create a focal point that draws the room together

- Cleverly use colors and textures to give it a brand-new feel

- Take advantage of otherwise-wasted space for unobtrusive storage

- Add lighting to help make the room feel more open and airy

These and more tips can be found on their website here.

Tips for sellers -- Important value-added home repairs


When you are preparing to sell your house, it is important to take care of both minor and major fixes to the property and building before you schedule your home inspection. Even little things like a burned-out lightbulb can be noted on the report (the inspector won't know -- or necessarily bother to check -- to make sure it's not an electrical issue!), so you'll want to get as many things done ahead of time, in order to maximize the sales value of your home. Here are some things to look at. Even after an inspection has taken place, these fixes can help by improving the look and feel of the building to any prospective buyers.

HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and A/C) -- If your unit is rusty or the filter needs changing, do it. The house will feel more comfortable, and smell better, to boot!

Fogged-up windows generally indicate a busted seal, which can make the place feel drafty and uncomfortable.

Loose railings on stairwells or on decks may suggest to buyers that the house in general has not been properly maintained -- after all, if the little things aren't taken care of, maybe the big ones have been ignored, as well...

Fix up any missing or loose shingles on the roof, as well as any water damage or rotting wood on the exterior. These problems are visible from a distance, and can have a noticeable effect on the buyer's perception of the home's value.

Riverwalk expansion proceeds apace


The Mississippi House recently passed a bill which will open gates for a significant expansion to Columbus' Riverwalk. A 14-mile expansion is in the works, to be funded via Bond Issue to the tune of up to $5 million per year for five years. The expansion's walkway will include separate, parallel paths for walkers, joggers, and bicycle riders, and will connect the Riverwalk proper to the Columbus Air Force Base on the North side of town. The plan also calls for exercise and play areas to be placed along the path.

The Columbus Dispatch quoted Representative Jeff Smith (R-Columbus) as saying, "I am overjoyed at the size of the majority of House members that adopted the Riverwalk extension for quality of life assistance to Columbus Air Force Base." The federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission has stated that quality of life has become an important issue for the Base.

The bill will now head to the MS Senate for their review and approval.

More information about the proposed expansion may be found here.

Location, location, location


Home buyers -- what things do you look for before buying a home? Location should be a biggie. The look and feel of an area are important too; after all, do you want to live somewhere for ten, twenty, or more years if you don't like the look of the area? Do you want to spend the rest of your life there and pass it along to your kids, or do you plan to improve it, greatly increase its value, and make a killing when you resell it down the road?

Josh Feinberg has some words to say on the subject -- Take a look and then come back here to decide which of our wonderful homes in great Golden Triangle neighborhoods YOU would feel the best in!

Low down payments are making a comeback


The FHA has announced that their annual insurance premiums were lowered dramatically as of the beginning of 2015. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, guarantors of more than half of the USA's mortgages, announced that the minimum down payment they require are dropping, as well.

High interest rates and high down payments have historically been obstacles to both new homebuyers, and to existing ones who are looking at refinancing their existing mortgages. With these changes, the floodgates have been opened -- it's been a long time since conditions were so favorable to buyers, to the time to strike is now!

Read more info in the full article here on CNN, then come back and take a look at some great properties up for sale in the Golden Triangle area!

Advice for sellers -- Finding the right handyman


Prospective buyers will often notice the little things when touring a house they are considering buying -- little things such as that small hole in the playroom wall that the kids made when their roughhousing got out of hand, a patch of peeling paint, a light fixture or faucet that doesn't quite work right, and the like. Or, something more readily noticeable, like a loose floorboard or piece of siding that you've been meaning to take care of. These things are easy to fix up with the help of a handyman, and the time to take care of them is now, before you list your house for sale.

While major repairs are obvious must-do's before selling your home, the little things like this will help your proespective buyers see that you care about your property, and have been willing to do routine maintenance that has helped to keep the house in tip-top shape.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right handyman for the job.

Maximizing the future value of your new home


Would you like to live in a neighborhood where the value of your property is very likely to increase in value by a significant amount over time? We all know that picking an area near a school is often a wise choice, as is investing in a neighborhood which is already filling up with wealthy buyers -- after all, they might be on to something! But there might be one more thing to try: Just wake up and smell the coffee.


Sellers -- increase your home's value with a few basic, cost-efficient improvements


There are a number of things a home seller can do in order to increase value of their home before putting it on the market. But, how many of them are really worth the time and money you might invest in doing so? Here are a few that you may wish to consider:

Cleaning up clutter, dusting and basic cleaning

Freshening up the paint, both inside and out

Basic electrical and plumbing repairs

Minor landscaping

Carpet cleaning

And more!

These improvements can easily bring you a return on your investment worth many times their own costs. Wouldn't you like to add $10-15,000 to the value of your home (or more) by implementing $5,000 or so worth of simple repairs and some cleaning that you can do in your spare time?

Full article may be found here

Whether you live in Columbus, Starkville, Caledonia -- wherever -- you, too, can benefit from these tips and increase the selling price of your home with a few simple steps!

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