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Month: October 2015

Spent Your $20.34 on Halloween Home Decor Yet?

Spent Your $20.34 on Halloween Home Decor Yet?

That’s how much the National Retail Federation (NRF) says each of the two-in-five Americans planning to decorate their home this year will spend, on average. (The figure is based on a Consumer Spending Survey it commissioned from Prosper Insights & Analytics.) When you add up all this spending, you get a total of $1.9 billion. That’s a lot of styrofoam tombstones and hay bales! With all this home decorating, will extreme displays become the next big grounds for neighbor disputes and lawsuits? Winter…

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Do You Really Want to Know Whether Someone Died in the Home You’re Buying?

Do You Really Want to Know Whether Someone Died in the Home You’re Buying?

Guess what? You can now find out whether a death took place on a particular property, thanks to a website called DiedinHouse.com. (With thanks also to Amy Swinderman of Inman News for pointing this website out.) The service is not free, however. Obtaining this little tidbit of knowledge will cost you $11.99 for a single search, with discounts for multiple searches (most likely to be used by real estate agents). This raises the question: How badly do you want the…

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California Becomes a “Right to Dry” State!

California Becomes a “Right to Dry” State!

Good news for Californians who want to save energy by hanging their laundry outdoors on a clothesline or a drying rack: Governor Jerry Brown recently signed AB-1448, a law prohibiting both homeowners’ associations and landlords from placing unreasonable restrictions on hanging clothes out to dry. “I didn’t even know hanging laundry was illegal before!” is a comment I’ve heard from some in response to this new law. Well, it wasn’t. And if no one has ever stopped you from hanging laundry, then the bill…

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Millennial Homebuying Trends

Millennial Homebuying Trends

Don’t be put off by the apparent regional focus of NPR’s October 13, 2015 news story, “Why Are Millennials Buying So Many Houses In Des Moines?” It’s packed full of interesting information about the home-buying  habits of young-ish people (born between 1982 and 2004) nationwide. Much of the information is provided by Elora Raymond, researcher for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Realtor.com, and Rachel Flint, Vice President of Suburban-Des Moines-based Hubbell Realty. These guests point out, for example, that: The youngest…

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California Passes New Equal Pay Law

California Passes New Equal Pay Law

The gender gap is alive and well in California. According to a 2014 study by the National Women’s Law Center, a woman working full time in California still earns only 84 cents for every dollar that a man makes. For women of color, the gap is even more significant. For example, a Latina woman earns only 44 cents for every dollar that a white man makes. On October 6, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Pay Act into…

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