Silent destroyers: Tips to spot termites and prevent infestation

(BPT) – There are many reasons that termites have gained the nickname “silent destroyers.” Five billion reasons, in fact. Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the U.S. each year. If left unchecked, they can silently chew through the structural stability of a home, eating away at wood, flooring and even wallpaper. To make matters worse, the damage they leave behind is not typically covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies. How to spot termites Spring is prime time for termite populations as they emerge in search of new structures to invade. Termite explorers, referred to as swarmers, …

Credit tips for buying an investment property

(BPT) – If you love the idea of being a landlord, and don’t mind being on duty around the clock, buying an investment property may be the wealth-building option for you. Property values have enjoyed a steady increase over the decades. That’s why real estate has earned its reputation as a sound investment that builds wealth and credit. Most people, however, don’t have the quantity of cash on hand to purchase a house or apartment building outright. Still, if becoming a landlord means taking out a 30-year mortgage, the monthly payments from the tenants should be enough to service the …

St. Jude Dream Home Returns to Jackson Hills

Tickets are now available for the 2018 Nashville St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway® campaign. The house was built by Signature Homes in the Jackson Hills neighborhood in Mt. Juliet, and the house is ready to tour. The home will be open to the public Saturdays and Sundays May 19 through June 16. Hours will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and from noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Local volunteers will assist in staffing the open house hours. Those who visit the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway® house can register to win a $10,000 furniture shopping spree at Ashley HomeStore. Jackson Hills is …

A home expert shares top tips for a worry-free vacation

(BPT) – When it’s time to embark on your well-deserved getaway, the last thing you want is to worry about the things that could go wrong at your unattended house. It’s pretty common to wonder if everything is OK while you’re on vacation, says Chip Wade, an HGTV expert. Especially since there are plenty of hair-raising tales out there of people discovering a bad situation awaits them at home, from burst water pipes to a break-in. “If you have this nagging thought following you around that maybe you forgot to lock the back door before you left, that can really …

Marrying households: 7 savvy moving tips for newlyweds

Launching your pad: 7 savvy tips for newlyweds planning a move (BPT) – If you’re planning a wedding or you’ve just tied the knot, congratulations! Getting ready to start the next chapter of your life with the one you love can be an exciting time, filled with anticipation about your future together. That said, combining two households can take considerable planning and preparation, especially if both parties own troves of treasured possessions. As you are getting ready to make the transition into a single house or apartment, consider how the following suggestions may make your move easier. * Pare down possessions. After unwrapping …

5 questions to ask when shopping for a mortgage

(BPT) – Buying a home is a major financial commitment. It’s exciting, but can also be confusing and overwhelming. Choosing the best mortgage that fits your needs is an important first step and first-time homebuyers, in particular, should research the many options and know the right questions to ask. Here are some questions to ask a lender that will help you make an informed mortgage decision: * How much can I afford? A home affordability calculator can help you get an idea of what you may be able to afford and keep your monthly payments within your budget. In addition to …

St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway

Thank you also to all trade partners and supporters who attended the Floor Signing event! Volunteer Coordinator Needed Interested in getting more involved with the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway? We need someone to help recruit and coordinate volunteers for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway Open House weekends from May 20—June 23. With fifteen days of Open Houses and forty-five shifts, we need lots of helping hands, and someone special to help coordinate them! Please contact Courtney Hunter at Courtney.Hunter@stjude.org if you are interested. Don’t forget: you can get 2018 Nashville St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway tickets can be …

The most common causes of homeowners insurance claims

The value of homeowners insurance is often thrust into the national spotlight when natural disasters happen. The devastation and financial loss they can cause reinforces the importance of making sure you have adequate insurance coverage to rebuild if disaster strikes your home. In 2017 alone, the U.S. was struck by 16 separate billion-dollar disaster events, resulting in a record-breaking $300 billion in damage, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Thankfully, most Americans don’t experience large-scale natural catastrophes, but millions of homeowners do experience some kind of property loss each year and need to make an insurance claim. The …

Don’t re-roof until you do these 5 things

With spring officially arriving, home improvement season is swinging into full gear. Fair warning to homeowners looking to hire a professional, 2018 is predicted to be a record-breaker. A recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University projects home improvement spending will approach $340 billion this year — the strongest gain for remodeling in more than a decade. Among the costliest of projects is roofing, a large expense with serious implications if put off or improperly done. When you add 2018’s remodeling demand with the much-talked-about skilled labor shortage, on top of the recovery from last year’s …

Are hidden leaks damaging your home, boosting water bills and harming the environment?

Home water leaks waste 1 trillion gallons of water per year, and 10 percent of American homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons of water a day, according to the EPA. Fixing easily detectable leaks like dripping faucets and malfunctioning toilets can reduce water bills and water waste. But what do you do about the leaks you can’t see? Hidden leaks can be dangerous. Leaking pipes within walls can cause mold. Dripping faucets behind appliances can be a fire hazard. Leaking irrigation can cause significant lawn damage. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In a national study of more …