• Characterized by bright colors, woven fabrics and handcrafted pieces, southwestern-style decorating takes influences from Native American, Spanish and Mexican art. Whether you live out west and want your home to reflect your surroundings, or you simply want to incorporate colorful or handmade items into your existing decor, here are some tips to help you...

    + -
  • A new phenomenon is affecting the mortgage and real estate industries. People who bought a home or refinanced in the last few years have such a ridiculously low mortgage rate that they don’t want to move and have to accept a new mortgage with a higher rate. But the reality is that these people...

    + -
  • This post is for all the gardeners out there! This time of year, we’re excited about combining our love of gardens with our love of prize giveaways. Whether you’re new to the gardening game or have years of experience in the backyard, this contest is for you.

    + -

Market Update – Concerns Economic Recovery Slowing

Market Update – Concerns Economic Recovery Slowing

Yesterday’s release of the FOMC minutes showed a cautious Fed with a downward revision to 2010 growth. Most investors had already speculated that the Fed would remain accomodative over concerns that the economic recovery is slowing. Initial claims continue to show no real signls if improvement. The continuing claims fell, but it is widely believed that the decline in the number of people receiving benefits is due more to people running out of benefits than a surge in hiring.

Continue Reading
Market Update – Lowered Economic Growth Outlook Expected

Market Update – Lowered Economic Growth Outlook Expected

The morning, retail sales came in down .5% versus the expectations of .3% which is pushing the bond market up slightly from yesterday’s close. The MBA mortgage applications report showed that demand for loans to purchase US homes sunk to a 13-year low last week. In the afternoon, the market will be focusing on the minutes from the last FOMC meeting where many expect to find that Fed officials have lowered their economic growth outlook.

Continue Reading
Market Update – Treasury Auction Sells $35 billion 3-Year Notes

Market Update – Treasury Auction Sells $35 billion 3-Year Notes

Yesterday, the Treasury began their weekly auction activity with the sale of $35 billion 3-year notes. This was the first of three auctions for the week. The auction did not have much impact on Treasuries or mortgage bonds even though demand was a bit weaker than expected. There’s not much in the way of the impactful economic releases today. The Treasury will continue this week’s activity with the auction of $21 billion in 10-year notes today.

Continue Reading
Landscape Tips to Sell Your Home

Landscape Tips to Sell Your Home

Curb appeal – or lack thereof – can make or break the sale of a home. So many people form a lasting impression based on the first impressions of a home. Yet, when we’re trying to sell a home, the last place we prepare for the sale is the landscape. Did you know that an attractive landscape design could add anywhere from 10 to 15% to the value of your home?  Putting that into perspective, for a home valued at $200,000, an effective home landscape could add $30,000 to its value! We’ve put together a list of some easy and simple tips to help you spruce up your curb appeal, and help you sell your home quickly! Lawn -  Your lawn should come first on your landscaping to-do list, because grass takes the longest time to improve. A lush green grass is the first thing that will attract new homeowners, and if your lawn is overgrown, brown or full of weeds, it may taint their opinion of the home. They may even conclude because the yard is unkempt, the rest of the house is not maintained. Be sure to keep to a regular watering and cutting schedule. If your yard is beyond repair, you may want to consider hiring professionals to lay sod.   Mulch  – Adding mulch to your garden beds is a great and inexpensive way to really make your landscape clean and tidy.  Cedar mulch has a nice clean smell and really makes the greenery pop. Best…

Continue Reading
Market Update – Big Week of Economic Releases Ahead

Market Update – Big Week of Economic Releases Ahead

There is no economic news slated for today, however, it will be an extremely busy week of releases. Some of the key releases include the minutes of the last FOMC meeting, Thursday’s Senate hearing include the minutes of the last FOMC meeting, Thursday’s Senate hearing on Obama’s Federal Reserve Board nominees, June’s Consumer Price index, Producer Price Index, Philly Fed business index, and this week’s Treasury auctions.

Continue Reading