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Posted by Van Vicker on Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Conventional Financing for Manufactured Homes Coming
December 3, 2018
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Freddie Mac has announced that it will start financing manufactured housing, which it hopes will help make homes more affordable to buyers. The mortgage financing giant says it will conduct a two-year pilot called CHOICEHome to grant conventional financing for manufactured homes with certain features, such as permanent and pitched roofs. Many of the manufactured homes also have energy-saving features, such as Energy Star Qualified Low-E windows, programmable thermostats, and minimum insulation values.
Factory-built homes that meet Freddie Mac’s specifications will be eligible for a CHOICEHome certification and CHOICEHome financing. Freddie Mac’s HomeOne and Home Possible loan programs will also be available for manufactured housing. Freddie Mac also says appraisers will now be able to use site-built housing as a comparable valuation. “Today’s manufactured homes can deliver outstanding quality at prices that are up to 50 percent less per square foot than conventional site-built homes,” Freddie Mac notes. “These savings can enable more Americans to own their own home, even in the face of an ever-widening housing affordability gap.”
Currently, more than 22 million families live in factory-built housing. That number is expected to grow, says Mike Dawson, vice president of single-family affordable lending strategy and policy at Freddie Mac. “There’s an opportunity for factory-built homes to address the housing supply shortage and quality housing overall,” Dawson says. “This new generation of manufactured housing might just be the best option for first-time home buyers, millennials, and empty-nesters looking to downsize.”
Source: Freddie Mac
Keeping a Listing Tidy While Pets Live in It
November 27, 2018
Making sure a listing is clean when the owners have a dog or cat can be tough. Pets can leave behind messes, scratch marks, fur, dander, and odors. Home improvement website HouseLogic offers some of the following tips on how to tidy a house with pets while it’s on the market:
Steam clean all fabrics.
Steam clean carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, and the drapes. “Job number one is to take care of [the soft surfaces in your house],” Melissa Maker, owner of a Toronto cleaning service, told HouseLogic. “They hold odors and hair like nothing else.”
Have the pet professionally groomed to remove more hair and dander. Be sure to brush the pet regularly—outside is preferable—to get most hair on the brush and not on your sofa or rugs.
Clean tile grout.
Tile is resistant to dog stains, but the grout isn’t. Steam clean grout to lift out stains and odors. A pro can chip away the old to put in the new.
Purchase an air purifier.
Add an air purifier tower with a HEPA filter. It’ll pull hair and dander from the air before it reaches your HVAC.
Use enzymatic cleaners.
“Enzymatic cleaners are made of beneficial bacteria that eat stains and odors,” HouseLogic reports. They’re made to tackle a specific type of stain. Apply them liberally to stains, regardless of how old the stain is.
Use charcoal to absorb odors.
Charcoal can pull out moisture and odors from the air. Hide small bags around or hang it in places your pet spends time in the most often. HouseLogic recommends purchasing charcoal bags that aren’t presoaked.
Read more tips at HouseLogic.com.
Source: “Keeping Your House Clean With Dogs While It’s on the Market,” HouseLogic.com (November 2018)
Winter is just around the corner. For many drivers, that also means the challenges of winter car ownership are just around the corner, too, like salted streets, icy roads, freezing temperatures and heavy snow. How can you make sure your car is well cared for during the difficult winter months? We’ve listed eight simple car care tips that can go a long way toward making sure your car stays in great shape all winter long. Continue reading…