Third Quarter Growth Strong but Checked by Trade, Weaker Gains in Consumer and Business Demand

WASHINGTON, DC – The Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research Group maintained its third quarter 2018 economic growth forecast of 3.2 percent annualized amid an expected slowdown in consumer spending and business fixed investment growth, according to its September 2018 Economic and Housing Outlook. The ESR Group also noted that trade and housing will likely subtract from growth this quarter, while citing inventory restocking and increased government spending as potentially positive contributors.

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Russian River Car Show

Another successful year!  All of the proceeds from the Russian River Car Show go to local charities and non-profits.  Some of our previous recipients have been:

  • Monte Rio Chamber of Commerce - Student backpack program
  • Monte Rio Elementary School
  • Friends of Monte Rio
  • Vietnam Veterans Chapter 223
  • Bob Burke's Kids
  • St. Andrews Food Program
  • Russian River Senior Center
  • River to Coast Children's Services
  • KGGV FM
  • Guerneville Community Church

 

How To Avoid Buyer’s Remorse After Buying A House

Most decisions we make in life lead to at least a small amount of buyer’s remorse. In fact, scientists have called this phenomenon the post-decision dissonance. For example, choosing to spend money on a much-needed vacation may later create buyer’s remorse that you did not save the money for retirement. People that buy a home often feel buyer’s remorse for various reasons. Here are the top causes and ways to avoid buyer’s remorse after buying a home.

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Air-Purifying Plants to Make Your Whole House Smell Awesomely Fresh

Jasmine has a sweet aroma that can calm you

  • Lavender is great at making you sleepy

  • Rosemary can help you focus and work smarter

  • Sharry Baby Orchid smells like chocolate. Delicious!

  • Mother-in-Law Tongue turns carbon monoxide into oxygen

  • Devil’s Ivy, also known as Pothos, can cleanse the air of toxic fumes like glue and paint

  • Mums tackle one of the toughest toxins: cigarette smoke.

  • Peace Lily can reduce those annoying “new” odors from upholstery and carpet.

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Are Affordability Perceptions Reducing Household Mobility and Exacerbating the Housing Shortage?

Are Affordability Perceptions Reducing Household Mobility and Exacerbating the Housing Shortage?

Across the country, housing affordability continues to be a challenge as the supply of homes for sale or rent has not kept pace with demand. The slow increase in single-family construction has been the subject of much discussion, with the four 'L's: (labor, lumber, lots, and laws) often serving as the focus. However, less attention has been paid to the supply of existing homes for sale, the trade-offs households weigh when choosing housing, and how households balance housing expenditures with other needs and wants.

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HomeReady Mortgage by Fannie Mae

We understand the financial challenges many homebuyers are facing. They can’t afford a large down payment; may have multiple student loans; or may rely on income from non-traditional sources (i.e., parents or other family members). These challenges can make homeownership seem impossible, or may have impacted their ability to buy a home in the past.

Not anymore. After much research and feedback from both homebuyers and lenders, Fannie Mae created HomeReady® mortgage, an enhanced affordable loan designed to meet the diverse financial and familial needs of responsible, creditworthy buyers.

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Mortgage rates roar to a fresh 2018 high

Rates for home loans surged on strong economic data, taking the benchmark rate to its highest point so far this year.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.47%, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, out Thursday. That was five basis points higher than in the previous week, and the highest for the popular mortgage product since January 2014. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.94%, up from 3.87%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.67%, up from 3.61% last week.

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In Defense of Having a (Slightly) Cluttered Home

Breaking news: Humans like stuff. Stuff they have. Stuff they like. Stuff they need.

But stuff just gets everywhere. Hence the trendiness of uber-organized spaces, hyper-cleanliness, and Marie Kondo-like thank-your-stuff-for-its-service-then-toss-it attitudes. But living in that state of constant tidying is exhausting.

Enough.

It is not a moral failing to have a slightly cluttered home.

And you know what? Life can be better with slightly more stuff. Here are seven reasons why:

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Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index Reaches Record High

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) rose 3.7 points in January to 89.5, reversing the decrease seen last month and reaching a new all-time survey high. The increase can be attributed to increases in five of the six HPSI components. The net share of respondents who said now is a good time to buy a home increased 3 percentage points compared to December. Additionally, the net share who reported that now is a good time to sell a home increased 4 percentage points and is now up 23 percentage points year over year. The net share who said home prices will go up in the next 12 months increased 8 percentage points in January, while Americans also expressed a greater sense of job security, with the net share who say they are not concerned about losing their job increasing 5 percentage points. Finally, the net share of consumers who said mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months increased 2 percentage points in January, while the net share reporting that their income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago remained flat.

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The Link Between Clutter and Depression

Dishes in the sink, toys throughout the house, stuff covering every flat surface; this clutter not only makes our homes look bad, it makes us feel bad, too.

At least that’s what researchers at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) discovered when they explored in real time the relationship between 32 California families and the objects in their homes. The resulting book, “Life at Home in The Twenty-First Century,” is a rare look at how middle-class Americans use the space in their homes and interact with the things they accumulate over a lifetime.

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5 Doable DIY Projects To Send Your Home Equity Soaring

You’re going to save money with DIY home improvement projects. Sure, everybody knows that.

But did you know how much? Cut professionals out of the equation and you can save half the cost of a project — or more. 

What’s more, you get a great return on your investment. Meaning, the financial value you get out of a DIY project is much more than what you put in.

Here’s a rundown of some top money-saving projects, using cost and recovered costs data from the “Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

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5 Homeownership Changes Coming Under New Tax Law

Will the new tax law save you money or cost you money? The answer depends on a complex array of factors that touch on just about every aspect of your financial life. This article is about a subset of your finances: How the tax law will affect homeownership and mortgages.

Among other things, the tax law changes whether and how homeowners deduct mortgage interest and property taxes. Many of these revisions for individuals and families are set to expire at the end of 2025.

Here are five elements of the tax law that could affect homeownership, home selling and moving.

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Smart lighting: A beginner’s guide

When it comes to smart home tech, the sheer breadth of products and integrations available can get overwhelming fast. An easy way to get started? Smart lighting. Setting up just one smart light bulb makes your home more controllable than before, and because bulbs are small and easy to change, they’re ideal for playing around with in rental apartments as well.

But first: What is smart lighting anyway? Very simply, it’s lighting connected to the internet so you can control it with an app, or increasingly, with a voice assistant like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, using the Amazon, Google, or Apple smart devices that have those services built in. With smart lighting, “control” is no longer just about powering on or off, it’s also about dimming, timing, colors, color temperatures, and how all of those things can be programmed to match your mood or activity.

Intrigued? Read on for three ways to hop on the smart lighting train.

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12 Simple Home Repair Jobs to Lift You Out of Winter’s Funk

Accomplishments — even little ones — go a long way toward a sunny outlook. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy, quick home repair chores you can do when you’re mired in the thick of winter.

For max efficiency, make a to-do list ahead of time and shop for all the tools and supplies in one trip. On your work days, put the basics in a caddy and carry it from room to room, checking off completed tasks as you speed through them.

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4 Funky Odors In Your House Only Your Guests Can Smell

Stand in your kitchen and take a deep breath. Smell that? From last night’s fish to your son’s nasty lacrosse pads (why did he leave them on the table?), you probably can’t detect any of your home’s rankest odors. You’ve got nose blindness.

“You adapt to the smells around you,” says Dr. Richard Doty, the director of the Smell and Taste Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

On a sensory level, your processing mechanism becomes less sensitive to the continuous stimuli. Or, on a cognitive level, you can become habituated to the smells and basically learn to ignore them. Or you can do both.

Here are some of the most common nose blindness culprits, and how to ban them from your home.

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