Category Archives: House & Home

Safety Net: 4 Real Estate Laws You May Not Be Aware of

The financials of real estate can be extremely complicated. Whether you’re a real estate agent or a client, buying a new home or selling property, renting out your second home or trying to secure a lease, the ins and outs of real estate laws are complex. But there are some handy laws meant to protect your interests you might not have known about.

The Patriot Act

You may not have known that the Patriot Act requires real estate professionals to report transactions (either a single transaction or a series of related transactions) from which they receive $10,000 or more. Mortgage lenders, among other institutions, are required by the Patriot Act to implement safeguards against money laundering and terrorist transactions. Real estate professionals are not currently required to do the same, but that may soon change. This is meant to protect against terrorist transactions happening in the United States.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act

Most people need credit to pay for or finance purchases in their lives. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act protects individuals needing credit from being against based on race, gender, age, receipt of public assistance, and more. The only valid criteria for evaluating whether or not a person is eligible for credit are things like income, debts, and credit history. If you need legal assistance, instead of trying to figure things out all on your own, reach out to someone like John R. Campbell Jr.

Home Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction

If you’ve got a mortgage on your house and you pay interest on it, you can deduct that interest from your taxes. There are guidelines as to which types of mortgages qualify. For example, mortgages taken out before 1987 grandfather these laws, and so the interest is deductible. Mortgages taken out after 1987 have to fit certain purpose and financial stipulations. Your mortgage must be on a qualified home, which means your main home (in which you live most of the time) or your second home (like a house, condo, or trailer).

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act

Title VIII, the Fair Housing Act, prevents housing discrimination. You can’t be denied the sale, rental or financing of a dwelling based on race, gender, disability, and other considerations. The Fair Housing Act also puts provisions in place so that victims of housing discrimination can bring effective legal action. Additionally, Title VIII prevents general housing rules, like a dwelling with a no pets policy, from being twisted to exclude disabled people, such as someone who requires the assistance of a seeing-eye dog. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development enforces Title VIII.

Now you know that there’s a part of the Patriot Act designed to protect real estate specifically. Discrimination based on race, gender, disability, age, financial circumstance, and other aspects, is prohibited by more than one law, and if it happens to you, you’re absolutely entitled to legal assistance. Plus, if you have a mortgage, you can save money on your taxes by deducting the interest you pay.

Create a Private Oasis with Landscaping Ideas That Also Increase Your Home’s Value

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” This is the opening line of Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall,” which suggests that while privacy is often necessary, the means to create it are not always visually pleasing. Later in the poem, he suggests that his apple trees and his neighbor’s pines, natural landscaping, offer privacy enough to not need a wall. Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just increase your privacy, landscaping can significantly increase your home’s value and your enjoyment of the property.

To fence, or not to fence: Consider the benefits of using landscaping for privacy

There are several advantages to choosing landscaping for privacy instead of typical fencing. Privacy landscaping creates a retreat for your family, and can increase your home’s value (making it a great tip for selling your home).

  • Landscaping for privacy may be more affordable than conventional fencing options and is just as affective at reducing unwanted sound
  • Landscaping ideas like lilacs or rose bushes are more aesthetically pleasing in shape and color than wooden or chain-link fences
  • Zoning regulations are often less strict with respect to allowing natural landscaping versus fencing
  • Landscaping provides the same privacy as a fence but is not as permanent or restrictive

Create a backyard getaway with a variety of plants

Landscaping for privacy offers diverse options, including shapeable hedges and loose layered borders with smaller shrubs. Consider the layout of your home and garden to find the best design option for your yard.

  • Yews, Privet & Boxwood: If you’re looking for the typical straight hedgerow you should consider these shrub varieties. Keep in mind how much shade and water they need and trim them so the bottoms are wider than the top to provide adequate exposure to sunlight. Also consider how high you want your hedge to grow as certain shrubs have a maximum height.
  • Evergreen or deciduous: Of course it doesn’t have to be one or the other and most loose borders will benefit from having both, but be sure you know the difference. Even though burning bushes look beautiful when they turn colors, as deciduous shrubs, they lose their leaves in winter. Arborvitae on the other hand is a lovely cone shaped evergreen that will hold its color all year and might be the perfect addition to your landscaping. Other colorful additions to consider are deciduous lilacs and rose bushes, or evergreen butterfly bushes that will attract some fluttery friends in the summer.
  • Fruit-bearing trees & shrubbery: If you have the space for it, consider planting fruit trees on your property and benefit from the shade and the snack. Even if you don’t have room for a small orchard, consider berry bushes or grape vines for a fruitful property line.

 Finance your landscaping project with a home equity loan

While you may not think planting a hedge could increase your home’s value, increasing the privacy of your property with landscaping is a helpful tip for selling your home. This is because “living” fences are often easier to remove or adjust. No matter how long you plan to be in your home, consider borrowing off the equity in your mortgage with a home equity loan to finance your landscaping ideas. Not only will natural landscaping provide your family with a quiet space to relax, but a simple, low-maintenance hedgerow may also benefit future buyers.


Sponsored content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.


Sarees For Women

The fashion industry is always a buzz with activity where new trends create euphoria among fashion enthusiasts. New trends emerge each year and continue to enjoy popularity for a certain period of time. Fashion fanatics enjoy embracing new styles and colors every season and wait for bated breath to catch hold of the latest styles. Interestingly, at this time of the year the chic retro fashion trends have become very popular and have sprung back into the fashion space. So, don’t be surprised if you see ladies wearing high-waist pants and men wearing Kurtas and developing an instant liking for pointed shoes! It’s time to celebrate the trends of an era gone by and fill up our wardrobe with them.

Some of the fashion trends that have made an entry into the current scene are the high-waist pants. Well, fitted pants can take a breather, because it’s time to wear the straight cut high-waist pants in different hues of colors! Teaming it with a contrast colour top is the new style! In fact this year over sized clothing has become the next big thing. Big jackets with big prints have become highly popular. A loose fitted top and pants with a broad colorful belt balance the loose clothing and also break the monopoly of a similar colour tone. Sequined dresses too are gaining huge visibility. Be it a short sequined dress or sequined gowns, they seem to stay here for some-time. You can also see latest fashionable sarees online, if you want to look trendy with a traditional touch.

There are sarees that can be worn for every occasion and thus you can find really simple yet elegant ones and some grand and heavily worked ones. Saree and salwar kameez are essentially the traditional costume of the Indian women. Although saree is a common dress, which in different styles in various states of India, many Indian sarees have become very popular abroad.

Sleeveless shirts which had disappeared from the fashion scene a while ago are becoming a favorite of a large number of men who are ready to flaunt their muscles. For men, the retro kurtas also have brought a huge sigh of relief in these hot summers. The very comfortable kurtas with jeans complete the look. Try different colors as you can always team them up with denims.

In accessories over-sized glasses have made a huge comeback and this trend is catching up on fast. Both women and men are flaunting them. Highly pointed shoes too can be seen among men who are wearing them with increased regularity.

With online designer shops offering clothing for individuals belonging to all kinds of background and ages, everyone desires to look fashionable. Women love to dress up in the most beautiful way ever. A designer dress worn with suitable accessories accentuates a woman’s best features. When you’re looking out for ladies fashion clothing online, a lot of issues can come in your mind. It can be confusing to find a designer dress that suits your personality. It is also important that you get to enjoy a hassle free online shopping experience