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Make Sure Money Isn’t Spilling Out Your Garage!

Make Sure Your Garage Isn’t Tacking Money On Utility Bills…

As ever-increasing home energy bills continue to plague Americans, homeowners are looking for cost-effective ways to reduce their heating and cooling costs. If your house has not been properly insulated, you may be paying more than you should to heat or cool it.

Nearly all modern homes have insulation throughout the living spaces, but garages commonly get overlooked. Because the garage is the last barrier between your home and the outdoors, it’s important to ensure the insulation is adequate. You can do a few simple things to make sure your garage is insulated properly.

First, it’s important to ensure that the door leading from your home to the garage is sealed properly.

Other areas to consider when checking your garage’s energy efficiency are the ceiling and the garage door threshold. If there is a room above your garage, it may be beneficial to bolster the insulation in the garage’s ceiling to help keep the living space above it comfortable. For the threshold, installing a rubber seal-strip on the floor where the garage door closes helps prevent air leaks, and keeps out insects and rodents.

That said, one of the most important areas to examine is the garage door itself. While installing a pre-insulated garage door can cost up to a thousand dollars or more, and requires a skilled contractor, there is a simple and inexpensive DIY solution to insulate your garage — garage door insulation kits.

Homeowners can easily insulate their existing garage doors with these kits, which are readily available in leading home improvement stores or online. These affordable and easy-to-use kits are made to fit standard garage door sizes and can be cut to fit non-standard sizes. With pre-packaged insulation, do-it-yourselfers can insulate their garage door in less than an hour, at a cost of less than $100. Kits use energy-efficient expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation panels — a rigid white foam that trims easily, is durable, offers excellent long-term insulation, and gives your garage a professionally finished look.

During fall and winter, the insulation helps keep heat inside the garage so that the furnace does not work as hard and use as much energy. In the summer, the insulation helps keep the sun’s heat at bay so the garage can stay cool. Insulating your garage also helps reduce interior noise and can earn federal tax credits as an energy-efficient upgrade (check your local energy guides for more information).

Source: The Dallas Morning NewsGetContent.asp

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Flower Mound, Texas #9 On Best Places To Live!

America’s 50 Best Cities to Live! We always knew that Town of Flower Mound, Texas was a great place. 24/7 Wall St. just confirmed it with #9 ~ Flower Mound, Texas

“Flower Mound is among the smaller cities reviewed, with just over 68,000 residents as of 2012. Demand for homes in the area has grown dramatically in recent years, as evidenced by home prices rising 8.5% between 2010 and 2012, among the largest increases. Violent crimes are also extremely rare in the town. There were just over 30 incidents per 100,000 people in 2013, lower than in all but two other cities reviewed.

Residents are among the wealthiest in America, with a typical household earning $113,683 in 2012. Residents are well educated, and students performed above average on standardized tests. Residents can also enjoy over 2,800 restaurants and 14 museums in Tarrant County, as well as Dallas Cowboys football games in nearby Arlington.”

Read more: America’s 50 Best Cities to Live – 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/09/17/americas-50-best-cities-to-live/#ixzz3DxwzWZ1P
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How To Create A Household Budget!

How To Create A Household Budget!

Step 1: Write down your total take-home monthly income.
This is the easy part! Jot down what you earn. Because many expenses are billed monthly, figuring out how much you have to spend each month is easiest for your plan.

Step 2: Write down your essential expenses. Start with fixed bills like rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card debt and insurance, then factor in other monthly costs that are always the same. These are your essential fixed expenses.

Step 3: List your essential variable expenses.
You know you’ll have these bills, but the amounts vary. Examples are your phones, utilities, food, household expenses, gasoline, medication, public transportation, shoes and clothing. You can assign an estimated amount to each based on past experience, rounding to the closest $10.

Step 4: List reasonable amounts for nonessential expenses.
This includes entertainment, eating out, hobbies and other ways you spend money on a regular basis.

Step 5: Find the extras.
Go to your current method of tracking your spending (your checkbook register, credit card statements, Quicken reports) to see what expenses you’ve left out. You’ll likely see items for car maintenance and repair, gifts, vacations, Christmas and holidays. For items that do not recur monthly, determine the annual cost, then divide by 12 to see how much you should set aside each month to anticipate that irregular expense.

Step 6: Figure out your totals.
Add up your expenses, then subtract that amount from your income. With luck you’ll come out in the black, with at least a little money left over. But if your expenses exceed your income, you’ll see a negative sum. Don’t panic—this is just the start of an ongoing process.

Step 7: See where you can cut .
If you came up short, go back to your projected monthly expenses and see what you can get rid of. Look first to your nonessential expenses. Which items can you remove altogether for a while (eating out seems like a fine target; perhaps hobby expenses too, for a season)? Keep going through the list, making adjustments until your total expenses are less than your income.

Step 8: Follow your spending plan as closely as possible.
Track your spending every day by posting it on a sheet of paper. Take notes and research ways you’ll be able to do even better next month. At month’s end, add up your actual spending and compare it with what you planned. Use this information to create the next month’s spending plan.

Congratulations—you’ve just elevated yourself from being clueless to financially savvy. You should feel very good about this! As difficult as it might be to see in black and white that your income and expenses are not quite in sync, just knowing where you are is going to make all the difference.

Even if you find yourself in a particularly tight financial position right now, take heart. As you pay off debts and find more ways to cut expenses, you’ll begin to sense a significant loosening of financial pressure. Soon you’ll be ready to add new categories to your spending plan for things like saving for a new car, home improvements or going back to college.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be on your way to reaching financial freedom.

Source: Woman’s Day Magazineimages

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Take A Virtual Tour Of This Amazing Allen, Texas Home For Sale!


Gorgeous Allen, Texas Home For Sale!


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood
Market Stats

$594,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
1 Unit
Interior: 2,611 sqft
Location
932 Charles River Court
Allen, TX 75013
USA

Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

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Custom Home Located in Gated Community in Flower Mound, Texas


Custom Home in Gated Community Located in Flower Mound, Texas


Overview
Maps
Photos
Features
Description
Market Stats

$799,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
4 Bedrooms
4 Bathrooms
1 Partial Bathroom
1 Unit
Interior: 4,598 sqft
Lot: 0.35 acre(s)
Location
3104 Jaciamo Street
Flower Mound, TX 75022
USA

Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

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Flower Mound Home For Sale located by Lake Grapevine with a Boat Dock!


Quiet country living near Lake Grapevine in Flower Mound, Texas!


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood
Market Stats

$354,900
Single Family Home
Main Features
4 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
1 Unit
Interior: 2,531 sqft
Lot: 0.46 acre(s)
Location
2624 Green Tree Lane
Flower Mound, TX 75022
USA

Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

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Dallas-Fort Worth new home starts highest in seven years!

Dallas Construction At An All Time High!

Dallas Construction At An All Time High!

First quarter home starts in North Texas jumped almost 70 percent from a year ago. (DMN files)

North Texas home starts jumped almost 60 percent in the first quarter.

The big percentage risie in home starts was much greater than anticipated, and probably won’t continue through the rest of the year, analysts say.

“There is a lot of construction that wasn’t started in December because of the weather and that got pushed in to January,” said Ted Wilson, with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies. “On top of that we had a normal first quarter increase in activity.”

Builders started about 7,300 single-family homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the first three months of 2014, Residential Strategies reported Thursday.

That’s the highest quarterly home start rate in the D-FW area since 2007. In our local area, I see new homes popping up all over. Looking to build? We have some amazing lots available here:

Source: The Dallas Morning News

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Lake Front Flower Mound, Texas Home For Sale


Single Family Home for sale in Flower Mound, TX


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood
Market Stats

$1,329,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
4 Bedrooms
5 Bathrooms
2 Partial Bathrooms
1 Unit
Interior: 6,602 sqft
Lot: 1.03 acre(s)
Location
1408 Deer Path
Flower Mound, TX 75022
USA

Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

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The Benefits of Credit Repair

The Benefits of Credit Repair

Why should you Consider Credit Repair? Discover the Basic Reasons!

Do you look at your credit report and think about nothing but credit repair? If yes, then perhaps it’s high time to get your credit repair process started. Anyone with poor credit scores will definitely know what a low credit score can cost you. Wonder how severe the consequences are?

Well, high interest rates can seriously damage your finances, period. Imagine the payments you would have to make if your interest rate increases from 5% to 15%. All in all, your poor credit score can make you pay thousands of dollars additionally per year. This is the primary reason why it is critical to look at your credit report and repair your credit score. After all, it will not only lower your interest rate, but will also help you get loans.

Credit Repair – Is it Really Helpful?

When it comes to credit scores, a single mistake can cause you serious trouble. A recent research suggests that almost 79 percent of all Americans have some type of inaccuracy, miscalculations, and negative accounts in their credit reports. A majority of these errors can hurt their credit scores badly. In these situations, credit repair is the ultimate option they can get to bring their finances back on track. The process of credit repairing is used to identify mistakes, correct the relevant information, remove negative reporting and monitor the creditors to ensure that your credit report is as accurate as possible and corrected accordingly.

Better Insurance Policies

The policies most insurance companies offer are based on the clients’ credit reports. For instance, you will not get a reasonably priced insurance policy if your report suggests that you are late with paying other accounts. Thus, credit repair can clean up your credit rating and help you get substantial savings over the duration of your policy.

Better Job Options

Nowadays, many employers check an applicant’s credit history as an essential step of the employment screening process. Wonder why? Well, credit reports usually disclose what resumes may never tell. Employers check credit reports to determine if an applicant has unpaid child or spouse support, has a verdict against him or her, or pays bills promptly. In instances like these, you can get a fresh start by opting for credit repair.

Better Loan or Mortgage Facilities

A low credit score can have a negative impact on your ability to get different loans. You may not get the desired loan amount or may have to make greater interest payments on the lifetime of your loans. If lenders find a poor credit score on your report, they can lower your credit limit, thus making the loan even more expensive for you. If dealerships turn you down for loans or offer very high interest rates, you have to consider going for credit repair. This will increase your chances to get your desired vehicle or own your dream home.

Since credit scores and credit reports can affect you and your loved ones in a number of ways, it is important to keep your credit score in superb condition. Credit repair doesn’t only benefit individuals with a low credit score, but can do wonders for people with average credit by getting negative items off of the reports, disputing late payment information and correcting any inaccuracies on your report.

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WORST TIME OF THE YEAR MAY BE THE BEST FOR BUYERS

The holiday season and the following “worst weather” months are widely considered the worst time of the year for selling or buying real estate. In reality, these distraction-packed months – November to February – carry benefits for determined buyers.

  • Join the “herd” of buyers who are active during traditional “good weather” home shopping months – starting with the spring frenzy of home buying – and this competition for properties can mean buyers pay more, lose out on good-value listings, and receive less attention from swamped real estate and mortgage professionals.
  • Get outside the traditional “box” of right times to buy and you’ll deal with sellers who are very committed to selling, real estate and mortgage professionals able to give you their full attention, and less competition for good-value listings. This lack of competition should mean you get more for your money with less hassle, more personalized service from real estate and mortgage professionals, and time to make confident decisions.

Yes, tradition may dictate that you put your dreams and your life on hold to spend and eat too much over the holiday season, and then cut corners when bills come in during the winter. However, “we’ve always done it that way” tradition does not mean we’ve ever done itthe right way. What priority do you give your real estate goals and dreams? Is it time for you to break from the buyer “herd” and make sure you receive the best buying opportunity possible?

The key advantage of shopping for a home during “the worst times” is that sellers who have listed their property during these periods are serious, often very serious, about selling. Motivated sellers understand why they benefit from taking offers to purchase seriously and take the time to explore how they may be able to work with the buyers. As we’ve discussed before, it’s about a lot more than purchase price. For instance, offering to match the seller’s perfect closing date can carry considerable value for the seller just as not asking for a huge shopping list of inclusions means savings for sellers.

There’s a practical side, too. Viewing property at “the worst time” can tell you a lot about what you can really expect from a property:

  • Visit a house during a hard rain and you’ll see how well the eavestrough system does its job. No overflowing gutters, waterfalls at corners, or soaked exterior walls. There should not be exterior water damage or water in the basement (at least from that source). Observe how the rain water flows off the land. Does it collect around the house or move to the street?  Pooling may indicate a potential basement problem. The longer water problems from poor maintenance continue, the greater the cost of repairing the damage. Paint may camouflage the trouble, but the problem will persist.
  • Drive by houses after a fresh snowfall and you’ll discover which are well insulated (snow on roof) and which are losing heat (melted snow).
  • Tour a house on a very windy day and drafts, insufficient insulation, and poorly-sealed windows and doors will be revealed.
  • Spend time in a house on a cold day and study how well the furnace heats the wholehouse. When a furnace is replaced, the duct work is not always adapted. Is it noticeably colder in the back rooms? How’s the second floor and the bathrooms?
  • During the holiday season when parties and cooking are popular pastimes tour condominium units and you’ll see how far noise and smells travel in the building and into the suite or townhome you’re considering.
  • Ask an experienced real estate professional for their “best things” about “worst times”.

Are you ready to turn “the worst times for home buying” into the best time for your successful real estate transaction?

Onward & Upward – the directions that really matter!

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