Solutions to 7 Common Mortgage Problems

In June, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched an enhanced version of its database of consumer complaints about financial companies–mainly lenders, banks and credit card issuers.

Nearly 8,000 complaints were posted, a tiny fraction of the 627,000 complaints it has fielded since 2011. Of those, more than one-fourth were from mortgage borrowers, revealing a bottomless pit of frustration with lenders and servicers. If you have a complaint, the CFPB can help.

Meanwhile, MSN has compiled a list of seven recurring mortgage problems that borrowers face, according to the complaint files and includes suggestions for how to address them.

Read their findings here.

7 Fall Maintenance Moves That Will Save You Money

Fall is the perfect time for home maintenance. A few weekends of work before the weather really turns cold will help you get ready for winter and avoid any nasty surprises—and big repair bills—that the cold might bring. Here’s your must-do checklist for fall maintenance.

1. Gutter Maintenance

Clogged gutters can allow overflowing water to damage walls, spark a rodent infestation and erode your landscaping and cause expensive water damage. To prevent a problem before it starts, clean and repair your gutters early in the fall. Once cleaned and repaired, consider adding a layer of waterproof mesh over your gutters to keep leaves out.

2. Protect Screen Doors

Winter’s harsh weather can rip holes in screen doors or cause the metal to rust. Replacing a damaged screen door in the spring will cost you from $150 for a lightweight model to $225 for a heavy-duty model. To keep your screen doors intact, remove the door, clean the screen and store it in a dry place until spring.

3. Shingles

Climbing your roof to check for loose or broken shingles may not be fun, but if left unattended, small problems in your roofing can lead to major leaks during the winter as rain, hail, sleet and snow pound your home.

Professional repairs on a 10-by-10-foot roof cost an average of $630. Save yourself money and make the small repairs now.

4. Winterize Your Pipes

Burst pipes are a costly problem. A non-urgent call to a plumber can cost up to $250, while an emergency pipe repair can cost up to $600. Repairing the damage from the resulting flood could costs thousands more.

In cold climates, you need to winterize your pipes to protect your home. Outdoors, shut the water off to any spigots and drain any remaining water by briefly turning on the spigot. Indoors, locate any exposed pipes that may get cold in the winter. Wrap the pipes in foam or vinyl insulation to prevent freezing.

5. Mind the Gap

Gaps in your window or door frames let in cold air, causing your heater to work overtime all winter long, but these have an easy fix.

Start by running your hand over windows and doors. If you feel a draft, apply weather stripping around the frame to create a tighter feel. Sealing up those leaks can reduce your utilities bills by up to 10%.

6. Call the Chimney Sweep

Your fireplace should be inspected and cleaned once a year, even if you don’t use it much. While a professional may charge up to $350, it is worth the cost.

The most minor potential problem is that the lining of the chimney could crack, costing $2,000 to $4,500 to repair. At worst, the chimney could force carbon monoxide into your home or cause a fire.

7. Test Your Heater

Before the cold sets in, fire up your heater.

After your home starts to warm up, walk from room to room. If you notice cold spots, loud screeching sounds or strange smells, you may have a heating problem.

If the furnace stops working, repairs could cost $325 to $475. And if you wait until the busy season, technicians may raise their prices.

Finding Your Ideal Neighborhood

Most home buyers are looking not just for their ideal home, but also an ideal neighborhood.

But what makes an ideal neighborhood? What should you evaluate or consider when you are trying to determine where you want to live?

Here are some general guidelines that might help you evaluate your options.

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6 Essentials You Need to Know About Home Inspections

I get a lot of questions about home inspections from both home buyers and home sellers.

inspectionFor sellers, impending home inspections can be a reminder of all those small issues with the home that they haven’t taken care of over the years. And many buyers are concerned that home inspections might uncover some serious issues with their dream home.

Here are 6 tips that can make home inspections go smoother for all involved.

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Calculating Whether You Should Rent or Buy A House

Should you rent or buy a house? This is a question most of us will face in our lives, at least once, and it’s one that I’m constantly helping people answer. created a calculator that helps people compare the net cost of buying a home against the cost of renting over or buy a house

Net costs compare the total amount of money you would be spending over time, minus the potential value you might receive if you someday sell the property. Using the tool, you’ll see that the amount of time you plan on keeping the home has a major impact.

To get more personal, you can customize the advanced options to crunch more specific numbers and evaluate more specific scenarios. But keep in mind that a financial comparison is just one of many factors when deciding whether to rent or buy a house.

If you have questions about whether you should rent or buy a house, contact me. I’ll be happy to help you weigh the pros and cons of each. I can also help you find rental property if that’s the best option for you financially.

Fill out my online form.

Tips for Choosing Your Kitchen Flooring

A kitchen really is the heart of the home. It’s not only where families gather to eat, but also to hang out, play games, do crafts and much more. Choosing your kitchen flooring is a big decision. Durable and easy to clean surfaces are key, but what else should you look for?

According to Mohawk, the flooring manufacturer, here are guidelines to help you choosing your kitchen flooring.

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New Home Development in Fayetteville AR

Falcon Ridge, a new home development in Fayetteville AR, is a home buyer’s dream – offering all phases of new construction homes with designer finishes at an attractive price point.

new home development in Fayetteville ARLocated in East Fayetteville, Falcon Ridge is a new home development by Brittenum Construction. The homes are located close to major traffic routes for easy access, but in an area of town that feels suburban, comfortable and relaxed.

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Trends in New Home Amenities

Just like in fashion, certain new home amenities move in and out of vogue. One day your in and the next you are out. New home builders have to stay up on the latest trends in new home amenities to make their homes appealing to new buyers.

Here are the 10 features builders are least likely and most likely to include in a home built this year based on findings from a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders.

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