What is a 203k Mortgage and is it for Me?

You’ve looked at  a home that seems to be in the perfect location for you, great schools for the kids, and the price is right. But… it seems to need a little (or a lot) of work. A 203k mortgage may be exactly what you need! You will want to have the home inspected. A home inspector will help you evaluate the condition of the home, including the roof. A 203k loan is an FHA product. Standard FHA loans have strict guidelines about the condition of the home you’re buying. The home has to get an inspector’s approval for livability and the health and safety of the occupants, including things such as working windows, unbroken stairs, working appliances and a working heating system.  If the home you want to buy doesn’t meet FHA standards and you...

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Yea, It’s Freakin’ Cold. Here’s How to Stay Safe:

When temperatures dip below normal, let alone in the sub-zero range, there are things you can do to stay safe during a cold snap. The Red Cross offers the following steps people can take during the big chill: Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.   Don’t forget your pets – bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.   Protect your pipes – run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out...

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When is it Cold Enough Pipes to Freeze?

We have reached pipe freezing temperatures several times this winter. We will reach those temperatures again in the coming days.Yes, it definitely gets cold enough for pipes to freeze in Indiana! Since plumbing pipes typically run inside the building envelope in colder climates, it usually takes colder outdoor temperatures to freeze. In more moderate regions, the “temperature alert threshold” is 20 degrees Fahrenheit, in contrast to about zero degrees Fahrenheit in the cooler regions. Temperature isn’t the only factor, however. Wind chill – the perceived temperature that results from the combination of temperature and moving air or wind speed – can accelerate freezing water or penetrate deeper into the home than air that is frigid but still. The pipe...

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Tips for Shoveling Snow

After many years of shoveling snow, I’ve learned a few things. With a little practice and some patience, it’s amazing how efficient you can be with equipment no more sophisticated than an ordinary snow shovel. Here are my top 16 tips for how to shovel snow. 1. Stretch first Don’t be in a hurry to get outside. Stretch thoroughly using the same sorts of moves that runners, mountain bikers and other athletes use. Stretch your hamstrings, stretch your back, and stretch your shoulders. Then dress in removable layers, grab your shovel and resist the urge to fly at the white stuff just to get the job done. Pace yourself. Start slowly and ramp up to speed. 2. Don’t move snow twice Before you even take your first scoop, decide where you’re...

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203K Mortgages – A Real Story About Real People

With a growing family, Rob and Megan wanted to find a larger home in their current neighborhood. But four-bedroom homes under $200,000 were hard to come by in their area, this year, because fewer properties are for sale. When they saw a 2,100-square-foot home that needed cosmetic repairs this fall, it was an opportunity the family could not pass up. So they worked with their real estate agent and lender to secure a FHA 203k loan. The FHA 203K loan is a rehabilitation loan that enables a home buyer to finance the purchase of a house and the cost to rehabilitate it through a single mortgage. The loan can be used for minor repairs or a near reconstruction, as long as the foundation remains in place. Rob and Megan knew they were not handy people. Plus, they both work...

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Part 3 of 3 – Prepping Your Home For Colder Weather

Part 3 of 3 Tis the season for vibrant reds, golden yellows and vivid oranges, pumpkins, and refreshingly cool temps. But, it also means winter isn’t far away. Our first post covered a few projects including lighting, landscaping/composting and hiding trash containers.  Part 2 of 3 touched on freeze-proofing exterior faucets, getting your entry guest-ready, building a mudroom bench with storage and maintaining your washer and dryer. Continuing on, here are more things that can help your home brace for the cold and save you some cash. Give Your Fireplace a Facelift Chipped bricks, a stained hearth, and years of accumulated soot can turn what should be the focal point of a living room into an eyesore. Replacing a hearth and surround—either with seamless...

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