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REALTORS Advocate Housing Finance System Overhaul That Protects Taxpayers and Access to Credit

Posted on 11.04.2013

As lawmakers debate how best to reform the secondary mortgage finance market, they must ensure that any new system retains access to safe, secure and affordable sources of mortgage capital for creditworthy consumers in all market conditions or risk a major disruption to the economy, warned the National Association of REALTORS? recently in testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. On behalf of the leading advocat... Continue Reading

Tampa Bay FRIDAY Events

Posted on 11.02.2012

November 2 Friday 11 a.m. Lunch on the Lawn Replacing the popular downtown fresh market, which moved to Sundays after complaints from restaurants about lost business, this new weekly event will feature live entertainment … Lykes Gaslight Square Park 410 Franklin St., Tampa, 33602 November 2 Friday 4 p.m. Art on the House Through a gift from Hill Ward Henderson, admission to the museum’s galleries is now free on Friday evenings. ? Pri... Continue Reading

Fire Prevention Focus: Keeping ?Fire Safe? Year Round

Posted on 11.01.2012

By John Voket, RISMedia Consumer Confidant In the next installment of our October focus on fire prevention, I have tapped the National Fire Protection Association for some potentially life-saving fire safety tips. In a previous segment, the NFPA reported that cooking fires caused an estimated average of 2,590 civilian deaths and $7.2 billion in direct property damage yearly. And based on research by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), ... Continue Reading

Smart Use for Fall Pesticides

Posted on 10.30.2012

By John Voket, RISMedia Consumer Confidant During the fall, I know that homeowners and green industry professionals alike take steps to prepare landscapes for the winter. Leaves are swept away for composting or disposal, perennials and shrubs are pruned, hedges are trimmed, and pesticides are applied in anticipation of next year?s growing season. For professional arborists and landscapers, fall and early winter are an effective time to use pestic... Continue Reading

Q: Does the Government offer Assistance with Home Improvements?

Posted on 10.29.2012

A: Yes. Two very popular programs offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) include the Title 1 Home Improvement Loan and the Section 203(k) Program. In the first program, HUD insures the loan up to $25,000 for a single-family house to cover alterations, repairs, and site improvements. The latter program, which also insures mortgage loans, is HUD?s primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single-family homes. Lo... Continue Reading

Keep Your Pet Safe This Halloween

Posted on 10.25.2012

For families devoted to their pets, Halloween isn?t just for the kids. Many people love dressing up their pets. But in addition to picking out a costume, pet parents should keep their pet’s safety in mind as well. Here are some safety tips and costume ideas to help ensure you and your pet have a safe and fun holiday. Keep them happy. “Before having pets join in the Halloween fun, it’s important to assess whether your pet will be... Continue Reading

Q: What can I do to minimize chaos, danger and stress once a home improvement project has begun?

Posted on 10.23.2012

A: Plan ahead. Since your home will become a worksite once the remodeling begins, inconveniences will arise that can be minimized with a little planning. Begin by having a frank discussion with the contractor to set guidelines and develop a clear understanding upfront about the various project stages and the processes involved. Talk, for example, about where building materials will be stored, how to best protect your belongings from dust and debr... Continue Reading

Debt: Another Four Letter Word

Posted on 10.22.2012

The word debt is made up of four letters, and for many people, it has the same connotation as many other four letter words. However, not all debt is bad. For example, most people could not afford to pay cash for a home, but instead must acquire a mortgage loan. Because a home will most likely increase in value during the time it takes to pay off the mortgage, mortgage debt is considered a good investment. In general terms, good debt is defined as... Continue Reading

Halloween Trick or Treats of Tampa Bay Area

Posted on 10.19.2012

  m WILD N’ WICKED NIGHTS The spirit of Halloween possesses the mermaids at the state park as they present their spooky show “Happily Never After” show, along with other activities including the Lost River boat ride and hike, haunted house, hay rides, a kids maze, crazy carnival, costume contest and a scream contest. $8; $4 ages 6-12, free ages 5 and younger. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wache... Continue Reading

5 Tips from Project Runway?s Interior Designer

Posted on 10.18.2012

In honor of Project Runway?s Season 10 Finale, Project Runway interior designer Katherine De Luca is offering her exclusive tips to get the Project Runway look in your own home. 1. Try D.I.Y. The Project Runway apartments? wall art can be easily achieved: simply use a staple gun to wrap frames with inexpensive fabric, or purchase blank canvases and paint to achieve a custom color. 2. Emphasize lighting and wall d?r These are my favorite go-to h... Continue Reading