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College-Bound Students Change Real Estate Needs In homes throughout the country the mail is being watched with great care. Letters from colleges are arriving each day, many bearing news of acceptance to one institution or another. Parents, of course, are elated by such news -- at least until they see the tuition bills. No less important, in many households as children go off to college there is the real problem of too few residents and too much space: What is now a cozy nest will soon rival an airline terminal in terms of excess footage. For years homes have been growing in terms of square area while the number of occupants per household has been shrinking. The result is more square feet
Mortgage Rates U.S. averages as of March 26, 2004:30 yr. fixed: 5.40%15 yr. fixed: 4.70%1 yr. adj: 3.36%30 yr. jumbo: 6.98%-->
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per occupant, a luxury when a home is filled with people but a costly excess when children leave. The unfolding issue for many households with college-bound children is this: Do you stay, sell or do something in-between?
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Buyers: How To Gain The Advantage During The Busy Spring Season The spring and summer months are traditionally the busiest times of year for the residential real estate market. Weather is more cooperative and many families like to move while the kids are on their summer break. But in recent years spring, for many regions, has meant more homes on the market, but also more buyers, fierce competition and an increase in prices. The National Association of Realtors projects the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to average 6.5 percent in 2004, up from a generational low of 5.8 percent in 2003. "On the heels of three consecutive record years for home sales, the uptick in mortgage interest rates will offset some of the benefits of an improving economy," said NAR's chief economist David Lereah. "However, the impact will be fairly minimal because the fundamental conditions for a strong housing market remain -- a growing number of households, an improving job market and generally good affordability conditions."
Ways To Spruce Up Your Landscaping Before You Sell With homeowners' priorities shifting to their outdoor living spaces, it's more important than ever that your landscaping and backyard areas look their best when it comes time to sell. Members of The Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association say the growth of the outdoor living phenomena is the result of North America's interest in 'cocooning,' the trend toward a more casual lifestyle, an aging population and the popularity of porches, decks, and patios in homes. And with more outdoor living spaces come more elaborate and beautiful landscapes. Studies have shown that attractive landscaping can increase the value of a home. Two studies, one by Mark S. Henry of the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics at Clemson University and another by Robert L. Degner of the Florida Agricultural Market Research Center, University of Florida, found that landscaping contributes to higher resale values in single-family residences, according to the Associated Landscape Contractors of America. Henry's study, "The Contribution of Landscaping to the Price of Single Family Houses: A Study of Home Sales in Greenville, South Carolina," pointed out not only did homes with excellent landscaping sell 4 to 5 percentage points
How To 'Ace' The Home Improvement Test Pay attention. There will be a test. Q#1: Do the most common home repair scams involve roofing, gutter cleaning, driveway paving, furnace repair or all of the above? Q#2: What is a sign of a less than reputable contractor -- door-to-door solicitation, discounts for you for finding other customers, contractors who say they just happened to have materials left over from previous jobs, contractors who are unavailable by phone except for an answering machine, or all of the above? Q#3: Your contractor should carry what kind of insurance -- personal liability, worker's compensation, property damage or all of the above? If you didn't answer "all of the above" to all of the questions above, you've got some homework to do.
CONTINUED >>>Local Market Conditions
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Bonnie Fagoh E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgWeb: http://WWW.TAMPACOASTALREALESTATE.COM 813-390-7606
Century 21 Beggins Enterprises813-390-7606 6542 U. S. Hwy. 41 N.Apollo Beach, FL 33572
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