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How low can they go: Mortgage rates fall again, enticing borrowers

Mortgage rates are near 4 percent As quick as they shot up, mortgage rates have fallen back down. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to a hair above 4 percent this week, according to Freddie Mac data first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The number is the lowest since January 2018, just before the average began to steadily rise to a November peak to just below 5 percent. High mortgage rates in the fall pushed mortgage applications to a four-year low, slowed U.S. home buying, and put home builders at their least confident in two years. But rates have dropped sharply over the last several months as the Federal Reserve halted hikes on 10-year Treasury bonds that drove last year’s mortgage ...

Dressing Up Your Bedroom and Bathroom with Small Decor Upgrades

If you’re looking to transform your bath and bedroom into cozy, attractive spaces without putting a lot of pressure on your home decorating budget (or straining your design acumen), consider the impact that simple, affordable decor improvements can make. So if you’re contemplating a bed and bath upgrade in the near future, consider small-scale improvements emphasizing elements, such as linens, curtains, hand towels, and other small items. Declutter Getting rid of stuff you no longer want or need before adding new design elements is a wise move, so spend some time decluttering before putting your grand design vision into action. It’s a good way to alleviate stress, as clutter is a significant cause of stress and anxiety. Decluttering is a process that forces you to ...

Stuart planners to recommend OK for Costco complex on Kanner Highway

Costco is one step closer to being developed in the city of Stuart. It’s being proposed to be built off Kanner Highway in between Martin County High School and the Veterans Memorial Bridge at Indian Street. At 154,000 square feet, the proposed store being about the size of a HomeDepot or Lowe’s, appears to fit with the city’s vision of adding commercial development along Kanner Highway. If approved, the project would be built in three phases and include a nine-pump gas station, a restaurant and four retail shops. Construction on the project could begin by September, with completion by June 2021. The popular big-box store would anchor a multi-use development on 29 acres. It would be accessed from Kanner Highway and would require adding a ...

Bedroom Remodel: Tips for Making a DIY Project Go Smoothly

Bedroom remodels can be a lot of fun, but they can also be hard work if you’re doing everything yourself. Not only do you have to create a good plan for the items you want and their location, but you also need to think about moving everything out of the bedroom so you can paint, clean, or redo the floors. Putting it all together takes time, energy, and money, and if the project doesn’t go smoothly, it can become stressful and overwhelming. The key is to get (and stay) organized. A good plan will help you stay on task and on budget, which can help eliminate the stress that you won’t have the funds to complete the project. Do some research ahead of time to ...

Interest rates are climbing, but borrowers are tapping home equity in droves

As interest rates climb and salary growth stalls, borrowers are taking cash out against their homes in volumes not seen in over a decade. Close to $14.6 billion was withdrawn from home equity across the country during the third quarter, as more than 80 percent of borrowers chose to take out cash against their homes, according to The Wall Street Journal. However, these figures are still well below rates seen before the financial crisis, when borrowers cashed out over $80 billion for three consecutive quarters in 2006. Homeowners often seek to refinance their homes to retire their previous loans, and cashing out can be used to fund renovations or retire a college debt. The economy’s growth is driving up housing prices, but leaving worker salaries ...