mortgage and loan button on a keyboardThe housing market crisis in 2007 affected thousands of people in the US. Many lost their homes because they could no longer afford to pay their mortgages. The federal government responded by setting up programs to help people keep their homes.

One of these programs is the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). The latest end date was September 30, 2017. However, the government extended it to December 31, 2018.

If you qualify for the program, you should take advantage of the extension. You should call a HARP home loan company, such as Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc., as soon as possible.

What is HARP?

Two of the reasons many people lost their homes in the 2007 crisis were high housing prices and adjustable-rate mortgages. People were buying homes they could not afford because it was easy to get a loan. When the crash came, home values fell, and interest rates rose sharply.

Many people kept up with their mortgage payments. However, it was just a matter of time before they could no longer do that because of the high interest rates. HARP gives people with a good payment history a chance to get out of their adjustable-rate mortgage and replace it with a lower fixed-rate loan.

What was the reason for the extension?

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees HARP, extended the deadline for two reasons. One is that more than 300,000 eligible homeowners have not yet applied for HARP. The other is the delay in launching a new home loan program to replace HARP, which should have fewer restrictions than HARP.

Why shouldn’t I wait for the new program?

If you qualify for the new program, you will no longer qualify for HARP. One of the requirements of HARP is that the loan should have originated before June 1, 2009. For the new program, the mortgage should have started before October 1, 2017.

The FHFA has already extended HARP three times, so it is likely this will be the last extension. If you qualify for HARP, contact a HARP home loan company as soon as possible. You might not have another chance.

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water spewing out of the pipeWhen water damage happens to your home, you’re only left with the ordeal of having to deal with the aftermath. Although there are water damage restoration services in Long Island, NY, it’s always important to know how to treat the problem on your own effectively.

So, here are a few tips that you may want to consider when dealing with water damage in your home.

Prioritize your safety

One of the first things that you need to prioritize is your safety. You may be required to leave your house if the flooding is no longer containable. If that happens, you need to ensure that it’s already safe to get back home before you deal with the water damage.

Check if the power is turned off you can prevent any accidents. You also need to wear a pair of gloves and rubber boots especially when you’re dealing with water.

Start removing the water

You need to trace where the water is coming from and stop it if possible. Check if your sump-pump is malfunctioning. If it is, you might want to replace it to prevent any further damage to your garage or basement.

If a burst pipe is a reason for the problem, you may want to repair the plumbing as soon as possible as well. Once the source of the flood has been stopped, you may want to start cleaning up the water.

Start drying it out

Once you’ve already removed all the water, you’ll now have to deal with a wet and damp area. You may use a dehumidifier to remove any excess moisture in the area.

Once everything has been dried out, cleaning up will be the very last part of the process. It may take a whole day or two to clean everything, but you have to do it thoroughly.

Once you’ve managed to do the four steps, then you may now contact your insurance company to know about their policies. If the damage seems to be no longer fixable, it’s always best to contact a restoration team to do the work.

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Grandmother and young boy cooking in the kitchenHaving senior citizens at home can present certain challenges. The harmless house that they live in isn’t as safe as it once was. Some prefer to live in retirement homes, where everything is tailored to their needs. Although more New Zealanders are welcoming the idea of retirement homes, the option still does not sit well with everyone. Others prefer to stay in their houses or to live with relatives. As such, it is important to ensure that your home is safe for your elderly relative.

Designing a senior citizen-friendly home is not always easy, but there are reliable builders Auckland residents can turn to for the job. Apart from a specially designed bed and bath, other rooms also need to cater to the unique needs of older adults.

Important Kitchen Features

The kitchen is a great place for seniors to interact with others and is also a place where they can feel useful. However, for a senior citizen to navigate the kitchen safely, a few changes need to be made.

Bright and Accessible Lighting

A dark space is a senior citizen’s enemy. The kitchen should be sufficiently lit to avoid accidents. Light switches should also be easily accessible. If the elderly person is in a wheelchair, lower the switches so they can operate them while sitting down.

Avoid Sharp Edges

Bumping into things can be common especially with the elderly. Counters and cabinets should have rounded edges to avoid bumps and bruises.

Friendly Sinks

For the elderly who prefer to stand, a tall sink is a must; this way, older adults do not need to bend. For wheelchair-bound elders or for those who can’t stand for long periods of time, a lower sink should be installed, instead. There should also be enough room at the bottom, so the senior can move closer to the sink. In both cases, faucets or sprayers should be accessible and easy to operate.

Sight- and Back-Friendly Counters

Countertops should be a different colour from cabinets so that they are more visible even to those with poor vision. These should also be low enough for a senior citizen to use comfortably while sitting.

A well-designed senior-friendly home can be tricky – but with help from the right people, senior citizens can be free to move about with no worries.

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man pressing electrical switchA power surge is a sudden spike in the electrical current of your home. It usually lasts for just a split-second and can sometimes even go unnoticed. But no matter how short it lasts, it can still damage your gadgets and appliances.

Experts from RockwallElectric.com say that all equipment that relies on electricity are vulnerable to power surges. The question is why does it happen and how can you prevent it. If not, how can you protect your electrical equipment from getting damaged?

Causes of a Power Surge

  • A power outage. When power first comes back on from a blackout, the strength of it all coming back on can cause a power surge.
  • Turning on a high-powered electrical device. Refrigerators and air conditioners are examples of these devices that require a high surge of electricity to turn them on.
  • A circuit or outlet overload. Plugging in too many devices in one socket not only causes a power surge but can also cause a fire.
  • Lightning. Even if lightning only touches the ground beside your power line, its millions of volts can cause a sudden spike in electricity in the houses around it.
  • Exposed or damaged wiring. When wires are damaged, they don’t contain or send the right amount of electrical current through them, causing a power surge.

Damages and Solutions

The damage that a power surge can cause depends on the strength of the current when the surge happens. A single surge can be enough to start a fire, and small surges can collectively damage an appliance and shorten its lifespan.

There are different types of surge protection equipment available in the market. Some install for the whole home and others for individual appliances.

Your gadgets and appliances are investments in your home. Protecting them from power surges will not only let you enjoy their maximum lifespan but can also reduce the cost of repairs or replacements.

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Sydney during nightWhen travelling in a group, choosing to hire a bus in Sydney is all it takes to visit some of best places for a day trip in the city this year.

Some companies offer a chartered bus ride from New South Wales capital to other places in Australia. Families that plan to see different sights outside Sydney can also save on booking hotel accommodation if they pick the right time for a trip.

Sydney Day Tours

Tourists can reach the Palm Beach site on the Northern Beaches with just a one-hour bus ride from Sydney’s central business district. The place is good for those who look for different activities in one location. Some of its attractions include the Barrenjoey Lighthouse, the Palm Beach Golf Course and the Boathouse restaurant.

Those who wish to be surrounded by flora and fauna can also take a one-hour trip to the Royal National park. Tourists that schedule a trip between May and November may even witness the migration of whales to the north before the winter season.

Affordable Accommodation

A day’s worth of travel is almost always not enough, so it’s natural to book a hotel room at the lowest price. If you plan to visit Byron Bay, hotel room prices in May are expected to drop to their lowest rate of around $220 per night.

June would be the best time to book a hotel Surfers Paradise in Queensland and the central business district of Melbourne. Many families in Sydney also plan to visit other capital cities this year, particularly Perth where interest has been the highest based on online search inquires.

Conclusion

A chartered bus saves you the time and effort to reach your travel destination in Sydney and other tourist spots. You no longer have to worry about switching with someone else to take the wheel, which would be the case when you use the family car.

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people discussing mortgage plansWhile it is always wise to prepare for emergencies, you can never be fully prepared for the actuality. Sometimes, life hits you with curveballs and while you may have saved up for a rainy day, this may not be enough. Sure, you can always call your most trusted friends and ask for monetary assistance, but there are no guarantees that they’d help. If that fails, you can also call your family. You don’t have to go down that road, though. If you know where to look, you will find a mortgage company in Utah that will lend you a helping hand. Here are the top three things to look for in such a company

1. Premier customer service

The mortgage industry is extremely competitive, and most mortgage companies will pretty much offer you the same amount of money. However, a great mortgage company will have superb customer service. What does great customer service look like? It’s all about the mortgage company listening intently and understanding your needs. Need a lead? You can always start reading reviews of present and past customers. Check how satisfied clients are with the service of the company and decide from there.

2. Action and responsibility

A reliable mortgage company takes full responsibility for your loan and is proactive in giving you the best deal. Since your loan is their priority, they are active in communicating with you, they anticipate possible complications and delays, and think ahead in case the former occur. When a mortgage company exhibits this, you have found a gem.

3. Appraisals

Another key factor to consider when choosing a mortgage company is who they tap to appraise your property. A great mortgage company knows that to get the best appraisal, the appraiser should have years of firsthand experience in the locality where your property is located. Research on appraisals before dealing with a mortgage company in Utah.

In times of need, you would want a reputable and reliable mortgage company by your side. These three items to consider should help you find just that.

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varicose veins from legs while trekkingBased on figures from the American Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS), between 20 and 25 million Americans have varicose veins in their legs. In fact, it is one of the most common venous diseases in the legs. While there are many treatments now available, sclerotherapy is one of the most popular treatments preferred by many clients.

Here are some of the ways on how to prepare for it. Keep these tips in mind if you’re getting a varicose veins treatment in Miami:

1. Do not apply lotion on your legs

Doctors advise that patients refrain from putting on lotion on the legs 24 hours prior to the treatment. It is also advisable not to shave the hair off on the legs within the 24-hour window.

2. Watch your medications

It is important not to take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication or Vitamin E before the treatment. If you are on medication, it is important to tell your doctor about during the consultation so they can advise you which medicines to take or not, as it can affect the success of the treatment.

3. Buy compression stockings

It’s important to wear loose-fitting clothes when you go to your treatment. After the procedure, the team will help you slip into a pair of compression stockings so make sure that you have this with you and that it’s the right size. If you’re not sure what size to get, you can ask your doctor.

When you prepare for a varicose veins treatment, it’s also important to prepare for the recovery part. There are some restrictions on the activities you can do and the food you can eat, so you better ask your doctor for the precautions in order to prepare for them.

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Set of feet wearing socks warming near the fireplaceIf you have been thinking about installing electric or gas central heating systems, the recent cold snaps should be a good enough reason to do so.

Kiwis at home have experienced unpleasant weather at the start of April, following a hot summer season. Those with heaters can further improve living conditions by knowing some simple ways to keep their houses warm and comfortable.

Simple Tricks

You should invest in a good dehumidifier at home and place it in a warm room since it works more efficiently and consumes less power this way. If you plan to leave it on overnight, then the bedroom serves as a good place.

While the dehumidifier does its job, avoid hanging wet laundry inside the house to prevent trapped moisture, which causes dampness. Bathrooms can also be a source of moisture, so installing an exhaust fan can solve this.

If you still wish to have central insulation at home, the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority’s (EECA) offers financial assistance to those who meet their income requirements.

Government Funding

Low-income tenants or landlords with poor tenants can apply for funding from the EECA, which would cover 50 per cent of the installation price for ceiling and under-floor insulation. Qualified homes should have been built before 2000, and homeowners or main tenants should have a Community Services Card.

The authority will accept applications until July 1. Landlords should also take note that all rental properties in New Zealand should have under-floor and ceiling insulation that comply with the NZS 4246:2016 standard. As such, they should consider taking advantage of this funding programme.

Severe weather during the colder months can be a key factor for illnesses. If you do not qualify for the EECA funding, many commercial plumbers offer reasonable rates for home insulation. How do you keep yourself warm during a cold snap?

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Keys and a paper houseBuying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life. As such, you will have to make sure that every step you take is right—that it will lead you to the most suitable choice. At times, things get pretty rough and you start to question your decision-making skills.

Maybe it’s the right time to choose a real estate broker. A friend or a fellow house hunter on the online forum you’re frequenting might have recommended this agent, and now you are working with them. If you want to tell if you have picked the right realtor in Colorado, here are some of the things you may want to look at.

They’re always responsive

Got questions? If your realtor responds quickly to your queries, then they might be the one. A good realtor knows that the real estate market can be fast-paced, and any minute, the house their client is eyeing is already sold. With this in mind, responsive realtors make sure that you are well-attended to.

They take the initiative

Great realtors don’t just respond to client’s concerns. They also take the initiative to help them. If your realtor regularly gives you updates on the property you want, you would not to let go of this house-hunting partner. They make sure that what they give you will help you come up with a much more solid decision.

They know what you need

A good realtor is sensitive. They know what you want and need. With these in mind, they can provide you with a lot of recommendations that easily match your requirements. With this, decision making gets a little bit easier.

Picking the right realtor can be daunting at times. But if the person you are working with does the abovementioned deeds and actions, don’t let them go!

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Marketing team analyzing the dataIn today’s competitive business world, you need better ways to promote your products and services. More business owners are shifting to digital marketing. While boosting your online presence can be a smart move, it’s important to have a better understanding of the different online marketing strategies. Read on to find out more.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as an Effective Tool

Having a well-designed website is useless if people can’t see it. This is where SEO comes in. The main focus is to optimize your website through keyword research, content publication, and organic link building. The goal is to increase traffic and put your website on the first page of the search engine results page (SERP).

SEO has always been tricky. Prominent search engines like Google change their algorithms from time to time. This means you need to adjust your strategy. Consistency with your SEO campaigns is important. This is also one of the reasons business owners in Denver and other locations across the country hire SEO service providers. These digital marketing experts can help you keep up with the latest online marketing trends.

The Power of Social Media

Social Media is growing at warp speed. Every day, thousands of people are joining signing up for different social media sites. Your business should take advantage of this amazing growth if you want to stay in the game. This can be an effective tool for brand awareness and reputation management.

Start building and expanding your network by using different social media channels. Create and follow a publishing calendar. This tool allows you to schedule and monitor posts daily. Just like in SEO, you need to revisit your strategy from time to time. Be familiar with your audience.

In Facebook, the “Insights” tab shows useful data, such as your target reach, post clicks, post engagement, and page followers. This makes it easier for you to evaluate and adjust your strategy.

Having an effective digital marketing strategy is a big advantage to any business. Keep in mind, though, that there are no instant results. Consistency is key to achieving success.

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