30-year mortgage rate falls to 3.88%
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Following weaker employment data, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average fell to a near-record low of 3.88% in the week ending April 12 from 3.98% in the prior week, Freddie Mac said Thursday in its weekly report. The rate was 4.91% a year earlier. To obtain the latest rate, payment of an average 0.7 point was required, according to Freddie, a buyer of residential mortgages. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged in prepaid interest. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low of 3.11% in the most recent week from 3.21% in the prior week. These data go back to 1991. Meanwhile, the average rate on the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage ticked down to 2.85% from 2.86%. The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM rose to 2.80% from 2.78%.
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Spring / Summer Project Ideas
It seems in spring and summer, we all hear that inner-calling to work on a house project in the great outdoors. Sometimes the call is to do a needed fix. Others it’s a little project to look to with a little feeling of accomplishment while you’re swaying in the hammock.
It’s a good idea to access the state of the exterior and find what truly needs to be done before thinking of a project that’s just fun to get your hands into. Some things just need to be done and it’s a good idea to get those out of the way while you have the time and while the weather is cooperating.
Here are some ideas to start you off:
1. Paint the shutters.
Shutter paint takes more punishment than the paint on your house. Many times shutters can use a fresh coat between house paintings. Plan for a Saturday or full weekend to do the job.
Tip: Plan your time. Taking down and putting up shutters can take about as much time as the painting itself.
2. Build a play-set.
It’s simple to make your yard the place to be for the under 10 set. You can buy kits, plans, or be creative and think up something yourself. Plan on calling in some help. Two can make this happen in a long day.
Tip: Let your kids help decide the design. They’ll be the one’s enjoying it most.
3. Add a shed.
In the time it takes you to clean your garage, you can build a shed. This also may eliminate the need to clean your garage. Sheds are available in kits, but many like to customize their own design for their own personal needs. This is probably a two-weekend job.
Tip: Plan on a size larger than you think your need. Don’t worry, that extra space will be filled in no time.
4. Highlight your house with outdoor lights.
Outdoor lighting can make even a simple house look elegant. Light up your house, landscaping and walkway. When dealing with wiring, always call in a professional if you’re uncomfortable with doing it yourself. Plan on a weekend to make it happen if you’re doing it yourself.
Tip: A few lights on the yard not only makes it usable more hours a day, but it also makes your house more secure.
5. Build a deck or a gazebo
Adding extra living space that fits your lifestyle doesn’t need to be adding a new room in your house. The addition of a new deck or gazebo can bring your outdoors to life for you and your family. With the availability of beautiful, low-maintenance decking products, you can spend your time enjoying a new deck or gazebo with maintaining it. Plan on several weekends of planning, development and heavy construction.
Tip: If a deck is beyond your comfort of a Do-It-Yourself project, hire a locally insured professional to tackle this project.
Some projects require special talent that can take you a while to get up to speed on. As the pros in home improvement, a Handyman Connection contractor can often do your project or the tough parts of your project in a fraction of the time that you can*. This can save you frustration, banged fingers and the costs of specialized tools.