Updates

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It’s unavoidable: winter is coming. The term "winterization" can be misleading since the hard work needs to happen in autumn! And while seasoned homeowners might know the ins & outs of winterization, first-time homeowners might not, so we compiled a helpful checklist of fall home to-dos to assist your clients through the yearly process: Rake up leaves A fall classic. You can also mow your leaves instead of raking them and they will decompose and nourish your lawn over the winter! Remove or cover your air conditioner This is an easy one to forget but make sure to remove window units or place a cover on the outdoor unit. This will ensure they’ll ...
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LoneWolf will soon be rolling out a more streamlined, faster version of AuthentiSign (which is electronic signature tool that is integrated into TransactionDesk/Instanet). Starting on October 12 th , you will have the ability to turn on the new AuthentiSign to discover what’s new, including: A simple, clear interface. The new intuitive interface allows you to easily drag, drop, delete, and rotate pages. Improved Signer Experience. Signings can be completed in just 4 steps. Plus, there are no more passwords. Faster than ever. Complete signings in half the time! The signing wizard has been removed, and you can now sync with Transactions so you only ...
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Safety: A Guide for Realtors®

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A lthough the real estate profession is not overtly dangerous, Realtors® face more on-the-job hazards than you might think. From tripping on rugs to being physically assaulted in an empty house, Realtors® take on more risks than many other business professionals. Perhaps that’s why the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reports that nearly 70% of Realtors® will worry about their safety at some point while doing their jobs. To help you learn more about inherent dangers and develop effective strategies and tactics, we’ve assembled a guide covering everything from physical safety to network security. Remember, optimizing safety requires increased awareness ...
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Non-profit newsroom The Markup recently investigated racial disparities in federal mortgage data from 2019. 17 variables were used, including: Race Sex Whether the application had a co-applicant Age Income Loan amount Property value Debt-to-income ratio After analyzing the data, The Markup found that comparing loan applications to White applicants, lenders were: 40% more likely to turn down Latino applicants for loans 50% more likely to deny Asian/Pacific Islander applicants 70% more likely to deny Native American applicants 80% more likely to deny Black applicants The Markup’s report also looks at Fannie Mae ...
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Lack of inventory stalls transactions in a competitive market In a sign that the heated summer sales season is cooling, closed sales of residential homes in Minnesota declined 3.0% compared to August 2020. New listings dropped 3.8% over last year. Despite shrinking inventory, buyers scrambled to purchase homes, competing with multiple offers that drove the median sales price up 11.3% to $316,000. Consequently, available properties were quickly purchased, with days on the market plunging by 38.1% to just 26 days. The number of homes for sale declined 25.0%, leaving a 1.5-month supply of properties for sale. Sellers profited from the high demand, averaging 101.7% ...
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Lack of inventory stalls transactions in a competitive market MINNEAPOLIS (September 14, 2021) — In a sign that the heated summer sales season is cooling, closed sales of residential homes in Minnesota declined 3.0% compared to August 2020. New listings dropped 3.8% over last year. Despite shrinking inventory, buyers scrambled to purchase homes, competing with multiple offers that drove the median sales price up 11.3% to $316,000. Consequently, available properties were quickly purchased, with days on the market plunging by 38.1% to just 26 days. The number of homes for sale declined 25.0%, leaving a 1.5-month supply of properties for sale. Sellers profited ...
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Recycling Evergreen Content

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As a Realtor®, you are a content marketer who knows that coming up with engaging content to build your audience is a key part of your marketing plan. And as a Realtor,® you have access to lots of content (videos, images, testimonials, blog posts) that you can reuse and republish. You can typically recycle with “evergreen content,” which is continually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers over a long time. For example, a current market report showing recent solds and average days (or hours) on market is great content, but it’s not evergreen content. EXAMPLES OF EVERGREEN CONTENT TO REUSE Videos If you can write about a topic, you can create a ...
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In Summer 2021, the National Association of Realtors® surveyed its members pertaining to sustainability issues facing the industry. Among the findings: 37% of Realtors® said buildings with green certifications had increased commercial property value The building features Realtors® believed were most important to clients included utility and operations costs, indoor air quality, efficient use of lighting and windows 18% of respondents reported that their Commercial Information Exchange (CIE) had green data fields; 33% said their CIE does not have green data fields Among the respondents who did have CIE green data fields, 51% reported they do not use ...
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October 6 & 7 | St. Cloud  There’s something for everyone at UNITE! Success strategies from top industry leaders, learning opportunities for CE, and a chance to safely network with other real estate professionals (following all current CDC guidelines). REGISTER HERE Check out what’s in store! October 6 th 10:00 – 11:00 AM Still Standing. Still Smiling. with John Kriesel (No CE) In 2006 John Kriesel was nearly killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. After getting to the hospital, he technically died three times and was shocked back to life. He survived through four hospitals, 35 surgeries, and months of recovery. John lost both legs and suffered ...
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Meet a Member: Jeff Giller

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Meet a Member: Jeff Giller   Coldwell Banker Realty, Eden Prairie   Hometown:  Albertville, MN   Started as a Realtor®:  October 2020     What inspired you to become a Realtor®?   “I love to help people and real estate investing is a passion of mine, so I merged them! Buying or selling a home is most peoples’ largest investment and I want to help people realize their goals now and into the future.”     What is the most surprising thing about the job so far?   “The process of buying a new home is  exhilarating  and at times emotionally taxing on all sides, yet it’s  very rewarding  when you find ...
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Foreign homebuying activity is dropping in the U.S., even as overall housing demand soars. Foreign investment in American homes has plunged 27% to $54.4 billion—which marks the lowest level in a decade, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’  2021 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate . Overall, international buyers made up 2.8% of the $5.8 trillion in existing-home sales from April 2020 through March 2021.  The top five countries of origin for U.S. residential sales were: China ($4.5 billion) Canada ($4.2 billion) India ($3.1 billion) Mexico ($2.9 billion) United Kingdom ($2.7 billion) Top Destinations for ...
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Bias Has No Home in Appraisals

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The national conversation on race and discrimination has included the role real estate has played – from redlining and steering from real estate agents to mortgage rejections from loan officers. Included in the conversation is the role appraisals have played in how property is valued. The Appraisal Foundation’s Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) prohibits appraisers from advocating for the cause or interest of any party or issue. The USPAP also states appraisers must not perform an assignment with bias. Additionally, many (not all) appraisers are members of the National Association of Realtors®, and must adhere to its Code of Ethics, ...
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Recently, we shared a segment from Last Week Tonight about the perils of PACE Loans. Now, in this piece from John Oliver, we look at one of the most important core values of being a Realtor®, which is Fair Housing. Exploring the history of housing discrimination, the segment shows how it created the current homeownership gap between white and black people. The Federal Government’s Involvement and “Redlining” In the early 20 th century, as the real estate industry began growing, housing developers used racial covenants to forbid the sale of homes to non-white people. Some of these covenants are still on the books. In the 1930s, President Roosevelt’s New ...
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Homebuyer Insights

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Earlier this year, Bank of America released their   2021 Homebuyer Insights Report , which surveyed 2,000 current and future homeowners. Here’s a quick overview of the report’s findings: 51% of buyers aged 18-43, and around 33% of buyers aged 57-75, say community has become more important to them than ever Homeowners were more likely than non-homeowners to say they like their neighbors – 42% vs. 29% Homeowners were more likely than non-homeowners to say positive things about their neighborhood – 44% vs. 32% 47% of prospective home buyers aged 18-43 say the importance of square footage has increased for them 60% of prospective home buyers aged 18-43 ...
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OK Boomer?

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Writing off baby boomers as downsized technophobes could cost you a lot of real estate business  Boomers. Remember them? Sang with the Mickey Mouse Club. Screamed for Beatlemania. Inhaled flower power at Woodstock. Danced disco. Turned Yuppie. Made piles of money, raised families, and retired. Now they’re downsized and fading away. Thanks for all the real estate deals. Next generation please!   Only, that’s not the whole story—not by far. Spanning from 1946 to 1964, the Baby Boom generation totals almost 70 million Americans. Although the oldest are turning 75 and already a decade into retirement, the youngest are still immersed in the workforce with ...
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Equity vs. Equality

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There is confusion in the world over the two terms equity and equality . In the real estate world, it’s easy to automatically think of the equity in a property. But it’s not just in the real estate realm where confusion lies in equity and equality. Some believe ‘equity’ is new jargon that goes against everything they were taught. Most of us probably remember being taught at a young age that we should treat everyone fairly, or ‘equally’. But put into practice, would you really treat a 9-year old-child the same way you would a 43-year-old adult? Take the illustration below. The scene on the left illustrates ‘equality’. Three individuals looking over a fence, ...
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New listings and closed sales fall Demand continued to outpace the available housing supply in July as new listings declined -0.2% and closed sales fell -8.7% compared to 2020. As buyers chased scarce inventory with multiple offers, the median sales price rose +12.5% to $315,000, setting another historic high. The intense activity meant homes spent less time on the market, down to just 25 days—an unprecedented low. On average, sellers were receiving 102.7% of their asking price. The overall supply of homes for sale was down -29.7% to 11,854 and month’s supply sank -34.8% to 1.5 month’s worth of inventory on the market. “Buyers were still out in full force, ...
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New listings and closed sales fall MINNEAPOLIS (August 12, 2021) — Demand continued to outpace the available housing supply in July as new listings declined -0.2% and closed sales fell -8.7% compared to 2020. As buyers chased scarce inventory with multiple offers, the median sales price rose +12.5% to $315,000, setting another historic high. The intense activity meant homes spent less time on the market, down to just 25 days—an unprecedented low. On average, sellers were receiving 102.7% of their asking price. The overall supply of homes for sale was down -29.7% to 11,854 and month’s supply sank -34.8% to 1.5 month’s worth of inventory on the market. ...
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October 6-7, 2021   St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center – St. Cloud, Minnesota  www.mnunite.com       UNITE!, Minnesota Realtors® (MNR) annual convention for the association’s real estate professionals, returns to an in-person format this fall in St. Cloud. Hosted at River’s Edge Convention Center on October 6-7, the two-day event includes many outstanding national and local speakers, continuing education classes, a leadership installation dinner, and an expo featuring businesses that cater to the real estate industry.     Let’s Come Together   “After a long year apart, it’s time to gather, meet, mingle, learn, laugh, ...
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Trending: Vacation Homes

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With lakeshore and vacation properties in high demand, prices are soaring, and cash is king     F rom lakeside cabins to deep-woods hunter’s hovels, generations of Minnesotans have enjoyed rest and recreation at their own privately-owned vacation homes. Today, there are more than 135,000 non-commercial seasonal recreational properties in the state, and developers can’t build them fast enough to meet the demand. For insights into the bustling vacation-home market, we talked with two Realtors® who specialize in second homes.     Serving a large territory extending from the Twin Cities’ eastern suburbs to western Wisconsin as far as Hayward and ...
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According to a survey conducted by Entrata, a property management software company, many renters have moved during the pandemic, with more planning to move soon. 22% of those who have already moved in the past year did so because they needed more space 46% survey respondents said they plan to move soon 33% of respondents indicated they’re renting again because homeownership is too expensive , with 39% saying they cannot afford a downpayment 47% went to a month-to-month lease because of the pandemic Only 14% of renters indicated their rent decreased because of restrictions on property amenities such as fitness centers and playgrounds ...
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As the pandemic caused travel restrictions across the globe, many people flocked to their vacation homes to isolate and stay safe. As many adjusted to working and learning remotely, they found that the open space and the fresh outdoor air was something they could permanently live with.      With inventory levels dipping to record-low numbers across the country, some are looking at vacation and second homes as permanent options. Here are some questions to help guide buyers in the right direction.     How far from your current home are you willing to go? The pandemic has shifted the way many people work, allowing for the ability to seek lower-priced ...
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The MNR Diversity Committee is proud to present the Penumbra Theater’s Race & Equity Workshop. This online presentation combines expert facilitation, monologues from artists, and opportunities for participants to use theatre to problem-solve. The process celebrates difference, recognizes cultural nuance, and incites everyone to participate in the dialogue. There will be two offerings of the workshop. You can attend one session or both! The cost is pay what you want or FREE! First presentation: Thursday, August 12, 10 – 11:30 AM:  Our Stories, Ourselves   This training includes monologues from a diverse group of artists who share deeply personal and profound ...
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Happy National Sister Day! A special day to celebrate and cherish the strong ties of sisterhood. To celebrate, we caught up with a few sisters and sisters-in-law whose bond led them into real estate careers together.   Frankie Stoltz & BillieJo Sampson  Move It Real Estate Group – Move It Sisters Years working together: Five years What is it like working with your sister?   It's fun!  We are a lot alike and it is really nice to work with someone who thinks and works so similar. Best part working together? We've been able to spend a lot more time together as adults than siblings normally can. Plus, it's great to work with someone who ...
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Beware of Scam Texts

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Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information or buying them gift cards. But there are several things you can do to protect yourself. Tips include: Do not click on any links Do not be tricked into purchasing gift cards Do not give away any personal information How Scammers Convince You To Pay With Gift Cards Scammers pretend to be someone they’re not to convince you to pay with gift cards. They want to scare or pressure you into acting quickly, so you don’t have time to think or talk to someone you trust. Here’s a list of common gift card scams and schemes: The caller says they’re  from the ...
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Trends revealed in first six months of statewide data MINNEAPOLIS – July 26 , 2021 – The housing market was defined by three things during the first half of 2021 according to Minnesota Realtors (MNR). The group representing 22,000 Realtors across Minnesota is releasing data today from the first half of the year. The three overarching themes across the state are a lack of inventory, booming closed sales and rising prices. The information is outlined below, with a statewide look and a breakdown by region. “It’s still a seller’s market with only about a month’s worth of homes available for buyers across the state, and very little selection,” said T.J. ...
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By helping customers manage disappointments you can transform loss into life-long loyalty     As a Realtor®, you want to make the experience of buying or selling a home as joyful and pain free as possible. But the reality is that bad things may happen. Contracts fall through. Inspections and appraisals come back with deal-breaking news. A buyer withdraws an offer. Your offer to purchase gets rejected or another offer has been accepted.     When there is more inventory, it’s easier to move on after losing a bidding war because another comparable home is likely to come along quicker. But when there is less to choose from, buyers can be more disappointed ...
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What Are Your Funniest Real Estate Stories?    Yu Jie Chen - ReMax Results, Eden Prairie    It was a dark and cold evening. I opened the door and turned on the lights. My buyers were walking behind me. We walked upstairs and I saw three people. I screamed loudly and grabbed my buyer’s arms, twirled her around while screaming and she was screaming.      Then we stopped and realized we were looking at our own reflections. There was a mirror at the end of the hallway.       Tracie Fogelson - Counselor Realty, Rochester - ABR, GRI When the listing agent was delivering a key to my office for our final walk-through ...
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Predatory PACE Loans

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How MNR’s GA Team Stopped Them from Ripping Off Minnesota Homeowners Though it seems like old news by now, a recent episode of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight featured an eye-opening segment on how PACE loans are exploiting and hurting unwitting homeowners in other states across the country. Fortunately, PACE loans aren’t a problem in Minnesota because Minnesota Realtors® (MNR) Government Affairs team, working with a diverse coalition of groups, successfully lobbied the Legislature to suspend residential PACE loans in 2017 until consumer protections for Minnesota homeowners could be developed and implemented. Those consumer protections were enacted in 2018.  ...
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Whether you go camping, visit grandma and grandpa, or explore new adventures, summertime is primetime for road trips.   And no trip would be complete without a pilgrimage to the array of larger-than-life, colorful characters and must-see stops Minnesota’s roads have sprinkled along the way.   Here are a few one-of-a-kind sights to take in on your next trip:   Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox - Bemidji, MN Is there anything more Minnesotan than Paul Bunyan? After all, Paul and his blue friend are purported to be responsible for creating our 10,000+ lakes! Visiting these two in Bemidji is as Minnesotan an activity as going to the state ...
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Since 2006, the Fargo-Moorhead Area Association of Realtors® (FMAAR) has hosted a yearly coffee fundraiser. Due to the pandemic, the FMAAR team had to reimagine their annual giving efforts and how they could best help the community. What was once a perennial fundraiser blossomed into monthly donation drives for nonprofits and groups in need.  FMAAR Realtors® have been busy this year helping folks around the Fargo-Moorhead area of all ages. They've collected puzzles for veterans, soup for the Meals on Wheels program, and winter items for Fargo Public Schools! Most recently, the association held a “Clean Start” effort, collecting cleaning supplies ...
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Fannie Mae limits financing. On Dec. 7, 2020, Fannie Mae modified existing rules for how it finances and invests in second homes and investment properties. Besides placing a 7% limit on Fannie’s acquisition of single-family mortgage loans secured by second-home and investment properties, the rules also restrict the kinds of projects that Fannie will invest in. For example, Fannie Mae announced it would not finance loans with a large number of short-term rentals. NAR has had ongoing discussions with Fannie Mae to understand the full impact of this policy change while conveying its concerns over its potential effect on members and the second-home market. NAR ...
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As closed sales rise and inventory shrinks, new listings can’t keep pace Competition for scarce housing stock defined Minnesota’s real estate market in June, pushing the median sales price to $325,000, up 18.9% above June 2020, according to Minnesota Realtors ® (MNR), the membership organization supporting all 22,000 Realtors in the state. Closed sales rose 12.9% over last year, and a surge of new listings brought 11,908 properties to the market, a 6.5% increase. In a key indicator of the frenzied sales activity, days on the market sank 45.7% to just 25 days—a historic low. Overall, the state’s number of homes for sale were down 40.8% compared to last ...
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As closed sales rise and inventory shrinks, new listings can’t keep pace Competition for scarce housing stock defined Minnesota’s real estate market in June, pushing the median sales price to $325,000, up 18.9% above June 2020, according to Minnesota Realtors ® (MNR), the membership organization supporting all 22,000 Realtors in the state. Closed sales rose 12.9% over last year, and a surge of new listings brought 11,908 properties to the market, a 6.5% increase. In a key indicator of the frenzied sales activity, days on the market sank 45.7% to just 25 days—a historic low. Overall, the state’s number of homes for sale were down 40.8% compared to last ...
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Back in April, NAR and The Memorial Foundation hosted a Facebook Live event, “ The Past, Present, and Future of Fair Housing ,” which was moderated by Soledad O’Brien and included other industry leaders. Society faces a pivotal moment in the road to equality. While racial homeownership gaps are stark, they’re expected to only get worse. Over the next 20 years, it’s forecasted that the national homeownership rate will drop 3%, more among African Americans. Changes to lending and financial systems are necessary now to stem some of the fallout. Other ideas for advancing equal opportunity in housing include:  Change mortgage broker compensation models so that ...
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Prospecting Tips

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Setting up your social media channels Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat are all effective ways to promote your business.  Personal branding is important. Set up business pages for each of these so that you can promote yourself, your properties, and your successes. Take a small ad budget, and promote your brand in the area. It may not turn into business right away, but your branding and exposure on social media can provide,  within any budget, an effective tool to get your presence in the marketplace. One caveat:  Plan your social media content in advance . Don’t spend too much time away from the most effective  dollar-productive activities that ...
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The nomination process is now open for the 2021 Minnesota Realtor® of the Year and the 2021 Ed Anderson Political Achievement Award. Minnesota Realtor® of the Year This annual honor recognizes a member whose outstanding work advanced the entire Minnesota real estate industry. The winner will receive $1,000 to offset expenses to attend the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Convention this November, where the NAR will recognize our recipient along with Realtors® of the Year from other states. You can submit as many candidates as you feel are qualified. The MNR Management Team may also submit candidates. The criterion for the MNR Realtor® of the Year ...
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Summer Homeowner Checklist

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Staying Cool and Helping the Plane t 💦☀️🌍   Summertime is officially here! And while the summer months are great for ice cream and time at the lake, it’s also an important season to keep up with home maintenance.   Here are some tips for keeping your home cool, helping the planet, and saving money.   Staying Cool   Maintain the air conditioner Just as you maintain your heater in the winter, make sure your air conditioner is in tip-top shape for hot weather. Always remember to:   Change the filter in the air-to-air converter Change furnace filter for air conditioning Wash out the air conditioner ...
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For millennials, the happiness and well-being of their pets is a big factor when buying a home   Buying a home is an important life decision with many factors to consider throughout the process, including our furry, fuzzy, and feathered family members. According to the National Association of Realtors ® (NAR), 43% of households indicated they would be willing to move to better accommodate their pets, demonstrating that pets are a priority for many consumers as they look for homes.     Home is Where the Hound Is Though only 18% of Realtors ® said they were representing a client who was moving solely because of their animal, more ...
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The pandemic has proven the value of a yard. Outdoor projects are on the rise, and greenhouses are seeing record profits. A healthy wildlife population ensures healthier plants and a better balance in nature. Spending time in nature is a way to relax, clear your mind, de-stress, and meditate. The sounds of nature bring harmony, balance, and calm to our lives. No matter the size of your yard, you can easily attract birds and pollinators. Here are some tips: Bees Bees are one of the world’s most important pollinators – and with their numbers in decline, many people are trying to attract them to their flower beds. Here are some easy to maintain plants that ...
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