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    Confused about the differences between your credit reports vs. your credit score. The Home Matters blog by NC Housing Finance Agency breaks it down for you.  

    When you are in the process of buying a home, your credit score is at the top of your mind. You may know that many lending institutions require credit scores of at least 640, and the best mortgage rates go to the applicants with the best credit scores. But did you know that your credit score starts with a credit report? To truly understand your credit and where you stand, you must understand both the credit report and your credit score. Read on to learn the difference between the two and how you can get your credit in shape to buy that dream home in North Carolina!

    What is a Credit Report?

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    Mortgage rates are rising  Home prices are on the rise  There are fewer homes available

    While mortgage rates may not have an immediate impact on home prices, inventory levels can. Total housing inventory fell 11.4% in December 2017, according to the National Association of  Realtors, and was 10.3% lower than the previous year.

    The benefits of buying a home

    Buying a home is a major financial commitment and should not be taken lightly. But it also comes with some significant benefits, both financial and otherwise, that may factor into your decision.

    Tax breaks

    The U.S. tax code allows homeowners to deduct the amount of mortgage interest and property taxes they pay each year from their taxable income. The catch is that you have to be able

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    I recently heard that one in four residents have not visited the top tourist sites in their own city. Have you?

    Raleigh offers many great museums, parks and other attractions. Here is just a short list and please share with me some of your favorites:

    North Carolina Museum of History, located at 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh, NC 27601,showcases more than 14,000 years and 150,000 artifacts of N.C. history, from native inhabitants to the 20th century. Dozens of exhibits are on display focusing on a variety of eras in state history, and there are always new exhibits to come and visit. The museum’s permanent exhibit, The Story of North Carolina, holds amazing artifacts, multimedia presentations, dioramas and interactive features, along with two,

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    In recognition of National Homeownership Month in June, National Association of Realtors® President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty issued the following statement:

    “National Homeownership Month is a time to celebrate and promote the modern American Dream of owning a home. Homeownership changes lives and enhances futures, and many Americans see it as one of their greatest hopes. These individuals are counting on the nation’s 1.3 million Realtors® to champion and protect homeownership and help make it more affordable, attainable and sustainable. Realtors® pledge to continue to lead efforts to ensure that the dream of homeownership is not only possible, but very real, for any and all

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    Leaves have emerged and the flowers have started to bloom, the time for spring maintenance arrives. Taking the time to do basic maintenance helps keep your home in good repair and leaves you time to enjoy the warmer weather. As soon as it stops raining take a walk outside…

    Get Your Gutters in Working Condition

    Spring has shared lots of rain already make sure your gutters are in good condition to handle the falling water.

    Start by removing leaves and debris. As you are working along the gutter, make note of any repairs needed. The gutter may have pulled away from the house or it may be leaking around the joints. Once the leaves and debris are gone, make the repairs.

    Use a garden hose to run water into the gutters. As the water flows, make

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    I am packing today for the National Association of REALTOR® Mid-Year gathering in Washington, D.C. I am excited not only to speak to members of the House of Representatives and Senators about 1) Supporting strong net neutrality; 2) National flood insurance program; 3) Tax policy; 4) Equal access to housing opportunities but on Tuesday we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.

    The Fair Housing Act is a Federal act in the United States intended to protect the buyer or renter of a dwelling from seller or landlord discrimination. Its primary prohibition makes it unlawful to refuse to sell, rent to, or negotiate with any person because of that person's inclusion in a protected class. The goal is a unitary housing market in which a

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    It is a great time to plant a garden – flowers, vegetables or herbs. Your choice, but personally I love growing my own herbs.  

    They are not only easy to grow but also easy to harvest and store.

    My favorites include basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, chives, peppermint, parsley, and oregano.

    My herb garden is located right outside my kitchen door for easy access while cooking. It is a raised 8” x 4” bed which we filed with rich organic soil. It is in the morning to mid-afternoon sun. I usually buy my herb plants at the local Herbfest held in Wake Forest each year, but I have also purchased them at my local Ace Hardware. You can even grow your favorite herbs in containers on your patio/deck or in the windowsill. 

    Always

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    There are several small, inexpensive home improvements that you can do to improve your home's curb appeal. Adding curb appeal to your home not only makes it easier to sell, but it also gives your house that nice and finished look in which you can take pride in. When deciding on which upgrades to make to your home, consider what your house currently looks like and what will look best with it.

    Paint the Front Door, Trim or Shutters 

    Most exterior paint will cost you approximately $30 a gallon. Painting your home can definitely add some brightness and revive your house.  Pick a bold color that makes your house pop, but make sure to match it to the rest of the colors on your house. Properly prep all surfaces before you paint so you'll get great

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    This year, I celebrated Earth Day by completing GREEN designation. It was a 12 hour two-day online class. This class discussed green real estate and how it is altering fundamental market dynamics and consumer interest. The long-term cost savings, health impact and durability associated with green homes continue to shape the real estate market. This designation helps brokers to guide their clients to make informed choices about the resource efficiency and and performance of the home.  The class included basic knowledge about certifications for GREEN builds and refitting older homes. Class provided comprehensive understanding how homes with green features should be marketed differently than traditional homes. It provided market research about

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