CEO says they see signs of a recovery
CEO says they see signs of a recovery
Mortgage rates fall as demand for home loans rises Washington Post
Drew and Jonathan Scott of “Property Brothers” know that nearly all of us could use more space (particularly as the pandemic drags on and on). Now that the new year’s first episode of “Celebrity IOU” has arrived, they’ve broken out their top tricks for opening up a small house without breaking the bank.
In the Season 2 episode, “Rainn Wilson’s Surprise,” the Scotts meet the actor Rainn Wilson, of “The Office,” who wants to give his beloved nanny, Leslie, a living-room makeover.
Leslie’s Los Angeles home could definitely use it, given that the space is seriously dated and undeniably cramped. With her kids (and nieces and nephews) often running around the house, Wilson knows that this living space needs to be more kid-friendly, too.
Read on to find out how Drew and Jonathan open up this small living space, which might inspire some upgrades around your own home, too.
When Wilson brings Drew and Jonathan to Leslie’s home, one of the first things the brothers notice is the kitchenâs cabinets.
The row of cabinets blocks sightlines to the living space and makes the kitchen feel separated from the rest of the house. Jonathan explains that the style is typical of the era the home was built in, but says itâs not a great feature for those who are making the meals.
âWhoeverâs in there, all of a sudden, it feels like a cave,â Jonathan says.
So, the brothers remove some cabinets and, to make up for the missing cabinet space,Â add smarter storage to the rest of the kitchen (like adding lots of drawers to the island).
In the end, the kitchen is beautiful, functional, and flows with the rest of the living space. Leslie will never miss those cabinets!
Wilson knows that Leslie and her children could always use more storage.
âOne thing is, thereâs a lot of kids bouncinâ around in here,” Wilson tells the Scott brothers when they first tour the house.
Luckily, the brothers have a solution to help this family organize its stuff: stylish built-ins.
Drew and Jonathan add some built-in benches under the living room window, providing plenty of storage space under the seats. Then, they expand on the built-in dining room hutch, making it twice as big, for holding twice as much.
These two built-in storage solutions are perfect, because they donât take up space, as a bulky piece of furniture would, and they leave the whole room open as a kids’ play space. Itâs a great workaround for this familyâs storage issue.
Jonathan and Drew like the wood beams in Leslie’s living room, but they worry that the dark color makes the room feel more closed in.
âFrom the moment we walked in, we noticed the dark beams and that high, recessed, rough-ridged ceiling. It was sucking the light out of the space,â Drew says.
But the color isn’t the only problem. The brothers notice that this room doesn’t have any ceiling lights, which makes this room even darker.
So Jonathan and Drew paint the beams white and add white shiplap-style ceiling panels.
âNot only do they add brightness,â Jonathan says of the panels, âbut theyâre also going to be dropped down to accommodate new recessed lighting.â
In the end, not only does the new color make the space feel brighter, but the added lights literally light up the room.
While Leslieâs living room is laid out well, the space is relatively small. Although the brothers canât add to the square footage of the house, Jonathan has the idea to expand the living space by improving the flow into the back patio.
âWe could do something really cool with these sliders,â Jonathan says of the existing doors. âWe could swap them out for, like, collapsible glass panels. They could flow in and out. It would be great.â
The brothers open up the walls and install large, collapsible window doors from two sides, making both the family room and dining space open onto the backyard.
To complete the effect, they update the patio by adding new flooring and new furniture. In the end, the living space feels twice as big!
While the Scotts know that itâs important to brighten up a space, they also know that with the walls, ceiling, and kitchen all in white, the space could use some contrast. So they redo the white fireplace with a unique brown finish.
âThis is just made out of marble powder, lime, and sand,â Jonathan says, as he applies a clay mixture to the fireplace face.
Some techniques, he says, come from Italy, and from different regions of Europe, but this one, from Morocco, is called tadelakt.
The light-brown color looks perfect in the space. The finish adds dimension without darkening the area, and the modern fireplace shape is much better suited to children, because thereâs no mantel to climb on or base to trip over.
Best of all, this modern fireplace looks clean and elegant.
âI love that it looks like a five-star hotel,â Drew says of the new finish. âThatâs the kind of feature you want to have.â
When Wilson finally brings Leslie and her family back to the house, she’s amazed by how spacious and elegant her living room looks. Let this serve as a reminder that just a few small changes can make even small spaces feel huge.
The post The Property Brothers’ Best Small-Space Renovations for 2021 appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
David and Stephen St. Russell of the Renovation Husbands on Instagram share their first and second-time homebuying experiences and how they got started transforming fixer-upper homes.
The post Our Fixer-Upper Homebuying Journey with the Renovation Husbands appeared first on Homes.com.
Is your basement currently the deep, dark abyss where holiday decorations and outdated furniture get lost? It doesnât have to be! Just because it is the bottom level of the house doesnât mean you canât make it a top priority on your home improvement to-do list. If youâre looking for a little inspiration on what to do with it, we have a few ideas.
For the Sports Lover
Transform your cold, dark digs into a space all sports fan could only dream of. Essentials youâll need for the ultimate basement transformation may include big screen TVâs, a pool table, comfortable recliners, sports memorabilia and your own personal mini fridge. Your space will turn into a game day oasis for friends and family.
For the Athlete
Two words: personal gym. Save yourself time and money on those pesky gym memberships and build your very own dream fitness center. No longer will you have dart for the only open treadmill during primetime hours or worry if the person before you cleaned the machines. By purchasing your favorite pieces of equipment that will last, you can save yourself almost $2,000 each year on fees.
For the Entertainer
Do you find your family constantly hosting for holidays or celebrations? Wow them with an at-home bar, built by you. Stock the shelves with your favorite beverages, snag some awesome bar stools and let the fun begin! Itâs the perfect place to direct everyone for an after dinner cocktail and some conversation. Just remember the rule of thumb, if youâre opting to build your own bar the average bar height is 42 inches to ensure that adults of all sizes can sit comfortably.
For the Artist
Always dreamed of having your own space to freely create masterpieces? Now is the time! Turn up the heat of your once cold and isolated basement with the warm hues of paints, pencils, and clays. Pick up some easels, fill the walls with things that inspire you and voila! Just keep in mind that because youâll be in the basement with little light, choose a bulb with a CRI of 80 to 100 to reveal vibrant, natural hues.
For the Bookworm
You typically only see it on TV, but some homes do have beautiful built-in libraries. Build out shelving all around your basement, fill it with your favorite stories and cozy up on your favorite vintage chair to unwind from life with a good book. Are you making your own shelves? Cherry wood has a rich and warm red color that deepens over time, making it a perfect selection for shelving meant to be seen. Fellow book lovers might envy what youâve done with your basement, and may even want to come browse your selections!
Donât let your basement go unnoticed. Say goodbye to those stored away boxes and bags and hello to your new favorite place in the house. Have another idea? Share it in the comments below for other readers to get inspired by!
The post What to do with Your Basement first appeared on Century 21Â®.
According to the Census Bureau, almost 20 million renters allocate at least 30% of their household income towards rent, indicating that they are housing cost-burdened. This can be especially true in larger cities where the cost of living is higher. And if time is money, then many Americans will have to resort to working longer hours to make ends meet without having to use up any existing emergency funds.
In this study, SmartAsset measured the hours of work needed to pay rent in the 25 largest cities in the U.S. To determine our estimates, we considered data on the following metrics: average annual take-home pay, average hours worked per year and median monthly rent. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.
This is SmartAssetâs fourth annual study on the hours of work needed to pay rent. Check out the 2020 version here.
1. San Jose, CA
In San Jose, California, it takes more than 76 hours of work on average to pay median monthly rent, which is $2,223 or almost $26,700 per year. The median worker earns $41,419 after taxes, with an estimated hourly wage of about $29.
2. San Diego, CA
The average annual take-home pay in San Diego, California is $34,157, or an hourly wage of less than $25. According to our estimates, the average worker in this city would need to work almost 74 hours to be able to pay a monthâs rent, which is $1,806.
3. Los Angeles, CA
In Los Angeles, California, the average worker needs to clock almost 73 hours to cover median monthly rent, which is $1,554. The average number of hours worked in the city is about 38 hours per week, which means that it would take this person almost two weeks to cover that total amount of time. The average worker in Los Angeles earns $34,669 before taxes and takes home about $28,815 â or a little more than $21 per hour.
4. Boston, MA
In Boston, Massachusetts, the average worker earns $35,800 after taxes, or about $25 an hour. The median monthly rent in Boston is $1,735, which means residents there will have to work more than 69 hours to pay for a monthâs rent. At an average of about 38 hours worked per week in Boston, it would take nearly 13 days for a worker to cover this amount.
5. New York, NY
New York City has the fifth-highest number of hours needed to pay rent across the 25 largest cities in this study. With a median monthly rent in the city of $1,483, a worker person would have to work 62.0 hours to cover rent. The average worker in New York earns $42,326 and takes home $32,608 after taxes, or $23.90 per hour.
6. San Francisco, CA
In San Francisco, California the median monthly rent is $1,959. This is the second-highest monthly rent amount across all 25 cities in our study, following only San Jose, California. The average worker in the city earns about $32 per hour, or $51,548 after taxes. This means that the worker would have to work 61.2 hours to cover rental costs. At an average of 40.2 hours worked per week in San Francisco, it would take this worker about a week and a half to do so.
7. Denver, CO
In order to cover the costs of the average rental apartment or home in Denver, Colorado, the average worker would need to work almost 60 hours. The median monthly rent in Denver is $1,433. The average worker in Denver earns $47,146 before taxes, with a take-home pay of $37,922 or $23.92 an hour.
8. Nashville, TN
The median monthly rent in Nashville, Tennessee is $1,191 or $14,292 per year. With the average worker there earning $31,889 after taxes or $20.77 per hour, it would take him or her approximately 57 hours of work to cover the cost of rent each month.
9. Austin, TX
The average worker in Austin, Texas earns $42,416 and takes home $35,739 or $23.34 per hour. Monthly rent costs in Austin reach $1,334 per month, or $16,008 per year. At that rate, it would take this worker more than 57 hours to cover rental costs.
10. Charlotte, NC
Median earnings for a worker in Charlotte, North Carolina are $38,528. This worker would take home $31,118 or $20.61 an hour. Charlotte has the lowest median monthly rent across the 10 cities on this list, at $1,174, resulting in a total annual rent of $14,088. To be able to pay for a monthâs rent in Charlotte, the average worker would have to work 57 hours.
Data and Methodology
To find out how many hours of work are needed to pay rent in the 25 largest cities in the U.S., we looked at data on the following three metrics:
First, we found the average hourly wage for each worker by dividing average annual take-home pay by average hours worked per year. Then we divided the monthly median monthly rent by the average hourly wage. This resulted in the average hours of work needed to pay a monthâs rent. Finally, we ordered the cities from highest to lowest based on the average number of hours needed to pay rent.
Tips for Managing Your Savings
Questions about our study? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Â©iStock.com/mphillips007
The post Hours of Work Needed to Pay Rent in the 25 Largest Cities â 2021 Edition appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.
As a small business owner, you may have a tough fight when it comes to standing out. Not only are you competing against other small businesses in your field, but you’re also competing against bigger corporations. And those big businesses have a more national reach and have the necessary cash to better promote themselves.
Do not lose hope just yet, however. There are a number of alternative options and ideas to make you, as a small business owner, stand out among your competitors. Also, it always helps to get some financial expertise on your side. So, consider working with an experienced financial advisor.
1. Engage in Social Media.
Big and successful businesses have the capital to promote themselves through advertisements and other marketing channels. But small businesses may face challenges to obtain financing to market themselves. So, for small businesses, the idea is to have a strong social media presence.
Not only is it free, also there is a personal touch that comes from operating a small business that big corporations may often lack. There are many social media platforms to market yourself (i.e, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik-Tok, YouTube, just to name a few). So, post regularly on these platforms and respond to people’s comments.
2. Start A Podcast.
Just like marketing yourself through online platforms can be rewarding, starting a podcast is also a good way to promote your small business. Talk about the subjects that people seek out when they need a solution to a problem. People will then see you as an expert in your field. That in turn can provide you with more leads and marketing opportunities.
|Get Matched With 3 Fiduciary Financial Advisors|
|Managing your finances can be overwhelming. We recommend speaking with aÂ financial advisor. TheÂ SmartAssetâs free matching toolÂ will pair you with up to 3 financial advisors in your area.
Hereâs how it works:
1.Â Answer these few easy questionsÂ about your current financial situation
2. In just under one minute, the tool will match you with up to three financial advisors based on your need.
3. Review the financial advisors profiles, interview them either by phone or in person, and choose the one that suits yourâ needs.
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3. Get Featured in Your Local Newspaper.
One of the best ways to get your name out there is to get featured in your local newspaper. This can be done for free or at a very low cost.
4. Establish a Good Relationship in Your Community.
It’s a good idea for a small business to establish a good relationship in their local community. If people always see you face-to-face in the community at charity events, or networking events, they are more likely to trust you and your product. Also, having a good relationship with your local bank will also help as you may one day want to ask for a business loan.
5. Apply for a Business Loan.
Lastly, consider applying for a small business loan. A small business loan can be a solution to your marketing strategy. It can help pay for your advertising cost without dipping into your own funds.
There is a challenge, however.
Many lenders require small businesses to have been in business for a number of years or to be making a minimum amount of revenue before they will lend any money. That is because these lenders want to make sure you will be able to pay off the loan, as many new businesses do not succeed.
So, do your shopping as there might be lenders that do not have any requirements at all. Before you start the process of applying for a small business loan, it’s a good idea to work out if you can afford it in the first place.
Hire a Pro: Develop Your Financial Strategy
You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals. Find one who meets your needs with SmartAssetâs free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.
The post 5 Best Ways to Promote Your Small Business in 2021 appeared first on GrowthRapidly.
A lapse in coverage increases your risk and your rates. It may be harder to find suitable and affordableÂ car insuranceÂ and may mean that you need to make some sacrifices in order to keep thoseÂ insurance premiumsÂ at an affordable level. But it’s not a complete disaster and is far from the worst thing you can have on your record.
A lapse or gap in coverage is a period in which you were not insured. You owned a car during this period but you didn’t meet the state minimum insurance requirements.
In some cases, a gap in coverage can be the result of negligence on your part. You may have allowed yourÂ insurance policyÂ to lapse without purchasing a new one or it may have been canceled because you failed to meet your payment obligations.
A lapse inÂ autoÂ insuranceÂ coverageÂ can also occur when you are deployed, sent to prison or because you simply didn’t drive during that period.Â
If you fall into the first group, your insurer will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), telling them that yourÂ carÂ insuranceÂ policyÂ has lapsed and you are no longer insured. This will expose you to fines and a host of other problems (see our guide on the penalties imposed on uninsured drivers).
As for members of the military, they can suspend theirÂ carÂ insuranceÂ coverageÂ when they are on active duty, thus avoiding anyÂ rate increasesÂ and other problems. The same applies to students studying abroad, although in their case, they will need to contact their DMV first.
Many states require you to have continuous insurance, which means yourÂ autoÂ insuranceÂ policyÂ has not lapsed for anyÂ period of time. As soon as it lapses, your license and registration may be revoked, and you will need to pay a fee to have these reinstated. These fees, as they apply in each state, are listed below, but it’s worth noting that you may also be hit with additional court fees and fines if you are found to beÂ driving without insurance:
In addition to the fines mentioned above, you can expect yourÂ autoÂ insuranceÂ quotesÂ to be a little higher than before, although this all depends on how long the gap in coverage was.
If it was less than 4 weeks, theÂ rate increaseÂ may amount to a few extra dollars a month. If it was longer than 4 weeks, you could find yourself paying 20% to 50% more, depending on your chosenÂ carÂ insuranceÂ company.Â
The exact rate of increase will depend on the state,Â high-riskÂ status,Â driving record,Â car insuranceÂ discounts, and age of the driver. Insurance is all about measuring risk and probable claims, and anÂ insurance companyÂ will look at everything fromÂ marital statusÂ toÂ DUIÂ convictions when measuring your risk and underwriting yourÂ new policy.
In our research, we found that Progressive,Â Esurance,Â andÂ State FarmÂ offeredÂ lower ratesÂ thanÂ GEICO, even thoughÂ GEICOÂ typically tops the charts when it comes toÂ insurance costs. You should also get much lowerÂ autoÂ insuranceÂ ratesÂ with providers like USAA, providing you qualify.
To save even more, maintain a highÂ credit score, aim for thoseÂ good driverÂ discounts, and try to secureÂ bundlingÂ discounts, which are provided when you combine multiple different insurance products, such as homeowners insurance andÂ car insurance.
The car you drive is also key. AÂ new carÂ will generally lead to muchÂ higher ratesÂ than a car that is a few years old, as it will be more expensive to repair and replace.
However, a car that is a few decades old will cost more to insurance than one that is a few years old, as it may lack the safety features and anti-theft features needed to keep rates low.
How Gaps in Coverage Affect Auto Insurance Rates is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.
6-month CD rates can be a smart strategy for your short-term saving goals.
If you’re saving for a house, you may be wondering where you can park your hard-earned cash safely and earn interest at the same time.
If so, you should consider a 6-month CD, because the rates can still be very competitive.
In fact, 6-month CD rates can range from 0.50% APY to 1.00% APY, which produce higher yields than bank savings accounts.
Also, a six-month CD comes with FDIC insurance that protects your money up to $250,000.
Why shouldn’t you take advantage of a higher yield and safety?
Of note, if you are looking for higher yields, consider investing in Vanguard index funds.
In the meantime, here’s a table listing the best 6-month CD rates.
|6-Month CD Rate||APY||Minimum Balance|
|Limelight Bank CD||0.95%||$1,000|
|Sallie Mae Bank CD||0.90%||$2,500|
|BMO Harris Bank CD||0.80%||$5,000|
|Live Oak Bank CD||0.80%||$2,500|
|Bank5 Connect CD||0.75%||$500|
|TIAA Bank CD||0.75%||$5,000|
|Ally Bank CD||0.65%||$0|
|PurePoint Financial CD||0.50%||$10,000|
|*TOP CIT BANK PROMOTIONS*|
|CIT Bank Money Market||1.00% APY||Review|
|CIT Bank Savings Builder||0.95% APY||Review|
|CIT Bank CDs||0.75% APY 1 Year CD Term||Review|
|CIT Bank No Penalty CD||0.75% APY||Review|
A certificate of deposit or CD is a type of short-term investment where you agree to keep your money for a certain period of time, usually for three months to several years.
You usually open a CD with a traditional bank, credit union or even an investment company. For example, investment company such as Vanguard offers brokered CDs.
Once the CD “matures” or becomes “due,” you receive the principal money invested, plus interest.
If you withdraw your money before the stated period of time, an early withdrawal penalty will apply.
However, there are some banks that offer CDs with no penalty. Banks such as CIT Bank has an 11-month, no penalty CDs. However, those CDs usually have lower APY.
CDs are very safe. That’s because they are insured by the federal government for up to $250,000.
So, if you’re looking for safety, a CD is a good choice.
Before you start shopping for the best 6-month CD rates, you need to ask yourself these questions:
With a 6-month CD, you can expect to earn good money. But not a lot when comparing to longer CD terms. It is because the longer the length of the CD, the more money you will make.
But one thing for sure is that you will earn more money on a 6-month CD than on a savings account (more on this later).
Here’s how much you can earn with a 6-month CD rate.
The minimum balance requirement and the rates for these 6-month CDs vary depending on the bank. The rates range from 0.50% to 1.00%.
EmigrantDirect 6-month CD rate
The applicable rate for a six-month CD from Emigrant Direct is 1.00% . This six-month CD has a $1000 minimum deposit requirement. This is one of the highest interest rates out there.
MySavingsDirect 6-month CD rate
This 6-month CD also has a 1.00% APY and requires a $1000 minimum deposit.
Limelight Bank 6-month CD rate
The applicable yield for a six-month CD from Limelight Bank is 0.95%. It also has a $1000 minimum balance requirement.
BMO Harris 6-month CD rate
For a BMO Harris six-month CD, it is 0.80% APY and $5,000 minimum deposit.
Live Oak Bank 6-month CD rate
You can expect a 0.80% APY, But the minimum deposit can be high, $2,500.
Sallie Mae Bank 6-month CD rate
Sallie Mae’s 6-month CD offers a 0.90% APY and requires a $2,500 minimum deposit.
TIAA Bank 6-month CD rate
The minimum deposit can be steep for a six-month CD from TIAA Bank, which is $5,000. But a rate of 0.75% is still competitive.
Ally Bank 6-month CD rate
For an Ally Bank six-month CD, the rate is 0.65%. And there is no minimum deposit.
Bank5 Connect 6-month CD rate
The Bank5 Connect 6-month CD has the lowest minimum deposit requirement ($500) with a rate of 0.75%.
HSBC Direct 6-month CD rate
For a 6-month CD from HSBC, the yield is 0.75% and the minimum deposit requirement is $1,000.
PurePoint 6-month CD rate
The yield for this six-month CD is 0.50%Â and the minimum deposit is $10,000. This deposit requirement can be too much for most people.
Given that these banks’ 6-month CD offer competitive rates, they may be a good option for you.
So, you may want to consider them for the following reasons:
Emergency fund. A 6-month CD is a good place for your emergency fund. However, if an emergency occurs before the CD matures and you withdraw the money, a penalty will apply.
Saving for a down payment. A 6-month CD is a good option if you’re thinking of buying a house in the next six months.
It’s a good place to accumulate and grow the down payment. You certainly don’t want to risk your money investing it in the stock market, because the market can plunge in a relatively short of time.
Wedding. If you have an upcoming wedding, a six-month CD is a good place to keep your cash.
Vacation. If you’re planning of taking a vacation in 6 months or so, a 6-month CD makes the most sense. Your money is safe and you’ll earn interest at the same time.
While a 6-month CD can be a good option for your money, it may not be the best options in all situations.
If you need your money before the stated period and withdraw it, you will get hit with a penalty.
So, it makes sense to see what other options are available to you. And the best way to do so is to compare a 6-month CD rate with other saving vehicles.
There is no doubt you’ll receive a higher return on your money with a CD than with a savings account.
However, a savings account is more liquid than a CD. You can withdraw money in your savings account with no fear that you’ll get hit with a penalty.
With a CD, however, an early withdrawal penalty will apply if you need access to your money before the CD becomes “due.”
It’s likely that you will earn more interest on your money with a CD than with a money market fund.
However, just like a savings account, you can easily access your funds in your money market fund at any time without the early withdrawal penalty that comes with taking money out of your 6-month CD before it matures.
You can write a check or you can call the fund company and ask them to transfer your money to your bank.
6-month CD rates are competitive. A six-month CD can be a good choice if you’re saving for a short-term goals. You’ll earn a higher rate on a 6-month CD than on a savings account.
|*TOP CIT BANK PROMOTIONS*|
|CIT Bank Money Market||1.00% APY||Review|
|CIT Bank Savings Builder||0.95% APY||Review|
|CIT Bank CDs||0.75% APY 1 Year CD Term||Review|
|CIT Bank No Penalty CD||0.75% APY||Review|
The post 6-Month CD Rates: Earn More Money appeared first on GrowthRapidly.