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Home-Equity Loans: What You Need To Know

Home Equity Loans, commonly referred to as HELs, can be your best friend or your worst enemy depending on how wisely you manage them. Just like any other major decision, you should consider the Pros and Cons of each type of HEL. There are benefits for consumers and benefits for lenders. Understanding how those benefits will affect you is important before diving into a Home Equity Loan.
Read More At: Investopedia.COM.

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7 tips to sell your home in a crowded market

Competition is the name of the game in the real estate market. But what happens when your competition is your next door neighbor? The family that you have grown to know and love over the past few years? Of course, you have you and your family’s best interest as a priority, but these were people that helped you in times of need. What can you do to keep things civil, yet still increase your chances of selling for top-dollar? Things like joint open houses, and activities to “sell” the entire neighborhood help, but do not forget to celebrate if your neighbor happens to sell before you do. Be supportive in all aspects of the journey. Visit RealEstate.MSN.COM for more tips on how to sell your home with competitors on the very same street.

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Tips To Increase Your Home's Value

If you live in sunny Florida and want to increase your home’s value, there are numerous ways to go about it. Some are a bit pricey, while others can easily be done on a budget.
Kitchen
The kitchen is the one room in your house where just about any renovation can increase your home’s value. Nice new stainless steel appliances will upgrade your kitchen more than you could even imagine. If that’s something you can afford, you should definitely go for it. A large percentage of potential homebuyers list them as one of their primary must-have when house-hunting.
One of the least expensive ways to update your kitchen and increase your home’s value is a new coat of paint. Choose a fairly neutral color that will appeal to a broad range of homebuyers for the most bang for your buck. A new back-splash can also add value and appeal, and there are so many new materials out there for every taste. If you are even a little bit handy, then a DIY glass mosaic tile or a subway tile could be right up your alley and will increase your home’s value for little money.
New countertops are another great way to update your kitchen for added value. Buyers these days are partial to granite, quartz, or marble, but that old standby, butcher block, still raises value as well for less money. In a pinch, laminate that looks like granite could increase your home’s value as well, but not as much as a hard surface countertop. Outdated lighting can bring down the value as well, so consider pot lights or pendant lights for your kitchen.
Bathroom
Bathrooms are another area of your home where any renovation, large or small, will increase your home’s value. New tiles, countertops, or flooring could go a long way toward that increase in value. If your budget is limited, even new paint, up-to-date lighting and window coverings can help.
Light
And, don’t forget that an abundance of natural light will increase your home’s value, so letting it in can be an inexpensive way to accomplish that increase you’re looking for. Putting in larger windows or even French doors can make a big difference. Don’t underestimate your window treatments either. New window treatments that let in more light are a good inexpensive option. If your budget will allow and you don’t already have them, installing energy efficient windows throughout your home will increase your home’s value exponentially.
Appearance
Curb appeal can increase your home’s value as well, so consider a new coat of paint and some new landscaping that will make your home more appealing to buyers. Patch and possibly resurface that old worn driveway, and make sure walkways are free from cracks, weeds and grass. Never underestimate the value of good curb appeal.

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Why Florida Is A Great Location For Adult Communities

Florida has slowly but surely proven itself to be the perfect location for many active adult communities. Our aging generation needs a place to stay; a place where they can be provided with the best care possible, and a place where they can still maintain their independence while being active and amongst others who share the same interests. There is no better destination than the Florida adult communities.
Here are a few reasons as to why this region is proving to be the best in this sector:
1. Affordable living
Florida communities offer some of the best deals when it comes to adult communities. The fees vary from community to community, but you will find the average monthly maintenance fee to be a little less than $300. This is for a wonderful community that accords the aging as many amenities as possible including great weather.
2. Wonderful weather
As people get older, their body’s immune system gets weaker. This can often be exacerbated by bad weather. In Florida, the weather is almost always sunny and even the cold winter months aren’t as bad as it is in the rest of the country. These adult communities reside in a place with wonderful warm weather where residents can take long, frequent, leisurely walks and enjoy nature.
3. Great security
This is one thing that stands out with most adult communities in Florida, the security is top notch. Most of these communities are gated and often have a Red Cross center nearby so that the residents can be kept safe.
4. Amazing amenities
If there is one thing Florida is known for, it is luxury. This accompanies the great weather. Florida adult communities often come with amazingly wonderful amenities such as heated pools, large clubhouses, spas, mowed lawns, and very scenic views; if not of the ocean then of the surrounding landscape. It is a paradise in its own right.
5. Activities and entertainment
There is always something going on in Florida. Be it within the community or just nearby, residents always have a long list to choose from when it comes to entertainment. That is because this is a thoroughly metropolitan city with many cultures fusing together to form an interesting and invigorating mix. There is something for everybody.
Adult communities need to be somewhere safe, fun, with great amenities and wonderful weather. This is what Florida offers to the adult communities situated within its borders.

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The Top Benefits Of Living In Active Adult Communities

The number of people subscribing to Active Adult Communities are on the increase. The National Association of home Builders estimates that by 2014 this type of community will cater for approximately 46 million households. Active Adult Communities offers senior citizens the opportunity to live an independent lifestyle in a unique environment. When compared to other housing options, Active Adult Communities boasts far greater benefits. Here are some benefits of Active Adult Communities.
No Stairs
As you get older, the chances of falling increase. According to the National Safety Council, 54% of all falling injuries sustained by seniors occur at home. Stairs increase the likelihood of you falling. Active Adult Communities feature single story homes which means the chances of you falling down the staircase and fracturing your limbs are drastically reduced. In addition, if you suffer from arthritis or have problems with your knees, you don’t have to endure the arduous task of climbing stairs.
Like-minded Neighbors
Because Active Adult Communities are geared towards seniors, then you do not need to worry that your neighbors will be a young married couple with screaming children or teenagers who blare loud obscene music in the absence of their parents. In Active Adult Communities there is a high probability that your neighbors will share similar interests and views. Studies have shown that living in a community of individuals who are like-minded can enhance your life and promote satisfaction and motivation.
Resort Atmosphere
Recreational facilities such as golf courses, spas, heated swimming pools, whirlpool tubs and saunas are in close proximity. The availability of these facilities as well as planned recreational activities promote a resort atmosphere and may give you the feeling that you are on permanent vacation.
No Pool or Yard Maintenance
Say goodbye to mowing the lawn and cleaning the pool as these activities are done for you. You also get the gratification of seeing well manicured grounds and meticulous, shared spaces. The best thing is you don’t have to lift a finger.
Freedom For Fun
Living in a family home can be quite restrictive because all of the maintenance requirements. Active Adult Communities gives you the freedom to do the things that you want to do. Because you make a monthly contribution to cover maintenance costs such as mowing, trimming the edges and sweeping walkways, you will have more time to do the things you like. Whether it’s swimming, playing a game of golf or doing art classes, this type of community will enable you to pursue your interests.
Active Adult Community benefits are making it a preferred option for seniors these days. This type of community enhances your lifestyle and offers you the freedom to do the things that you like.

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Active Adult Communities

If you subscribe to the belief that retirement is time of rest, relaxation and enjoyment, then living in an Active Adult Community is the ideal thing for you. An Active Adult Community is one that features housing developments specifically designed for people
55 and over. These communities feature single family detached homes and offer an independent and maintenance free lifestyle.
What You Can Expect At Active Adult Communities
A majority of Active Adult Communities are located close to, or within the metropolitan area. A common theme of this type of community are detached, single story accommodations. These accommodations often resemble each other. To ensure safety and security, many of these communities are gated or private.
Independent living is one of the foundations of Active Adult Communities; therefore, if you opt to live in this type of community, no assistance will be provided for you as it relates to housekeeping, preparation of meals, personal care and the administering of medication. However, most of these communities are managed by a Homeowners’ Association that requires you to pay a monthly fee to pay for services such as:
– Landscaping
– Removal of Snow
– Garbage collection
– Maintenance of shared facilities.
A lot of thought goes into the planning of these communities regarding the amenities offered. As this type of community encourages an active lifestyle for seniors, the most common feature is recreational facilities. Recreational facilities varies within communities but are quite similar to facilities that you would find at a hotel. Some of the facilities you can expect to find includes:
– Fitness centers
– Swimming pools
– Saunas
– Spas
– Golf Courses
– Tennis Courts
– Centers for Arts and Crafts
– Walking trails
– Media centers
– Lifestyle center/Clubhouse
– Libraries
Benefits Of Living In An Active Adult Community
There are many benefits to be derived from living in an Active Adult Community. Some of these benefits include:
– Resort atmosphere
– No yard maintenance
– Fixed fee for maintenance services
– Recreational activities and Facilities within walking range
– Like minded neighbors
Nowadays, many senior citizens are opting to settle in Active Adult Communities. If you want to live a stress free lifestyle and remain active, then this type of community is a great option. They offer amazing benefits and you are likely to feel that you are on permanent vacation within this environment.