How to Restore Shine to Linoleum Flooring

Even if you wash regularly, linoleum flooring lose their glow over time. Sometimes the dull look is a result of stubborn dirt that hasn’t been removed by regular cleaning, but frequently, the dull look is because of a buildup and discoloration of floor wax. To restore the glow to your linoleum floors, you have to first remove the layer of wax built up on the flooring, then clean and wax the floors for a perfect finish.

Sweep or vacuum the floor to remove all loose dirt and dust.

Mix 1 cup of ammonia and 1/2 gallon of warm water in a gallon-size bucket.

Apply the cleaning solution to the floor using a sponge or mop. Allow the solution to sit for 5 minutes to loosen the old wax.

Scrub the linoleum using a nylon brush or scouring pad to remove the wax in the linoleum.

Rinse the flooring well with clean, cool water and dry the floor with a towel. Make sure that you remove all loose wax in the floor. Sweep or vacuum the floor, if necessary, to eliminate any loose wax particles.

Apply wax suitable for use on linoleum flooring to the floor. Adhere to the wax manufacturer’s directions for precise application. Don’t walk on the floor before the wax is totally dry.

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Design Suggestions for Remodeling a Basement

Remodeling your basement can create more living space and increase the value of your dwelling. Design your own basement for a personal touch for your own individual needs. Consider what’s missing in the rest of your home so as to choose whether to utilize the basement for living, work or recreational space. Before starting remodeling, make sure you waterproof your basement to avoid damage and leaks.

Living Room

You may want to use the extra space in your basement for bathrooms and bedrooms. Be sure to assess the basement and leave adequate space before construction. According to Remodeling Center, a dual bed requires a 125 square foot space, and 2 twin beds will need at least 150 square foot. Bedrooms also need an emergency exit, so situate the room in a place with a doorway to the outside. You might also think about building a full or half bathroom, either attached to the bedroom or in close proximity.

Office Space

A basement office or study can be a quiet spot to work, but make certain that it is well-lit. Use natural lighting as much as possible, and situate your desk next to a window when possible. French doors are also a superb source of natural lighting, and in addition, they provide an emergency exit. Paint the walls glowing colors to make the room look larger. Plenty of outlets and cabinets for ample storage space. A wrap-around desk gives a fantastic quantity of desk space and leaves room for cabinets equally above the desk and underneath. A hobby room, like a scrapbooking room, sewing room, art room or woodworking studio, is another choice.


If you choose to utilize your basement space for recreation, the options are seemingly endless. A home theater is 1 option that’s acceptable for a broad assortment of ages and is especially appropriate in basements with no windows. Paint the walls with a dark colour scheme for a more theatrical effect, and provide lots of comfortable seating. To avoid dangling wires, use furniture that has a station in the trunk for cable storage, as noted at Basement Remodeler. Other recreational design choices include a fitness area, pool table or game room. Again, adequate seats is absolutely necessary, so don’t forget to leave room for sofas or armchairs. Since gambling often goes together with snacking, you may also look at installing a bar area for dry foods and beverage storage.

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HUD Laws on Living Communities

Senior living communities target people over 55 years old, and specialize in providing housing adapted to the requirements of older people. The communities are also referred to as active-adult communities or age-restricted communities. They offer independent living, but might also offer facilities for assisted living. Some senior living communities offer single-family houses that seniors can purchase, while others are flat communities with rental units. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) modulates senior communities to ensure their compliance with the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 (HOPA).

Age Qualifications

At least 80 percent of those units in a senior living community, whether for purchase or for rent, must have one occupant who is 55 years old or older. In order to maintain the designation of a senior living community, HUD requires management to conduct an audit of its residents every two decades, and then submit the age of each individual living in the community to HUD. This survey requires that each occupant must show identification such as a drivers license, military ID, state-issued ID, immigration card, passport or birth certificate. The community must maintain a copy of the questionnaire submitted to HUD.


Apart from recording the ages of the community’s residents, the direction of an active adult community must market the units specifically into the senior community. Twenty per cent of the housing units can be inhabited by residents younger than 55, however, HUD wants to make sure that the community directs its promotion and marketing to the senior community and not to younger households. In smaller communities, advertising to senior citiens might not be a problem, but a few senior develpments are massive, with thousands of units. HUD regulations guarantee that a developer doesn’t target the younger market in its marketing materials. When there’s proof that the marketing has been targeted to younger households, the community may reduce its designation as a senior community.

Community Design

HOPA demands that senior communities be separate from other housing units in a large development. If the 55-plus community is a rental community, all the apartments have to be in a building that’s separate from unrestricted rentals inside the community. In for-sale home communities, the most active adult housing needs to be contiguous. By way of example, if a builder wants to make a senior living community inside an existing planned community, she must make sure that the senior units are different and separate from houses being sold to the mainstream industry. This can be accomplised by fencing the parcel or utilizing streets and roads as a boundary.

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Real Estate Mutual Funds Comparison

Both lease property and mutual funds are frequently owned investment resources. When comparing both asset categories, there are stark differences. A potential investor comparing mutual funds to leasing property should determine which most matches her investment goals. Like all investment options, there are pros and cons for both mutual fund investing and real estate investing.


Mutual funds are managed investment pools that own stocks and bonds and are managed by a professional portfolio manager. Purchasing mutual funds provides investors access to a diversified pool of securities in one investment. Real estate investing generally involves buying rental properties, financed by a mortgage, and renting them out. Investment real estate can be single family homes, apartment buildings or industrial buildings.


The stock market as represented by mutual funds is considerably different from the housing market. The stock exchange is more volatile and the value of a mutual fund may change considerably within a short time. Real estate investing is–most of the time–a long-term pursuit of wealth through steadily increasing values. The two types of investment have periods where investors earn money and intervals when losses occur. The primary concern when picking between the two asset categories is which one has the most potential for gains in value.


A significant difference between mutual fund and property investing is the use of leverage. A property agent can borrow an important part of the cost of a house. This leverage also leverages the profit possible. By way of example, an investor has $100,000 to spend. That amount would buy $100,000 of mutual fund shares. The identical money could be a 20 percent down payment on an investment property worth $500,000. If each investment goes up 10 percent in value, the mutual fund investment comes with a profit of $10,000 along with the property investment has gained $50,000. That’s the upside of leverage. The flip side is that the 10 percent decrease would price the mutual fund investor 10 percent and the property agent could lose half of their invested capital.


Mutual funds and investment property are significantly different when it comes to ease and cost. Investing in a mutual fund involves completing an application and writing a check. Promoting a mutual fund involves making a telephone call. With no-load funds, there’s not any cost for either trade. Mutual funds make it possible for investors to change their thoughts fast with little if any price. Real estate investing entails research, looking at various properties and picking out the right ones, completing mortgage and purchase paperwork and significant fees. Promoting an investment property may take months and there are significant commissions and prices. In case the lease from a property doesn’t cover the mortgage and other expenses, there’ll be an ongoing cost to maintain the investment.


Real estate can offer significant investment returns to the investor who knows the market, does her research and has the financial resources to handle the times when repairs are needed or a tenant leaves. As the saying goes, all real estate is local, so the investor needs to discover the real potential of the region where she wants to make investments. Mutual fund investing is hands off, placing your money in the hands of a fund manager and trusting he will be able to produce the investment returns you want. If a specific fund doesn’t work out, you can move your money to another fund or alternative asset class.

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Which Mortgage Is Ideal for Me?

Based on RealtyTrac, 1.65 million housing units in the United States obtained a foreclosure filing–a default option, bank or auction repossession notice–in the first half of 2010. California led the nation in the number of foreclosure filings with 340,740. Regardless of the grim statistics, people are still buying homes. If you’re one of these, mortgage options abound, albeit with tighter restrictions than prior to the home crash.

Loan Apps

Three main mortgage programs exist in the United States–conventional, VA and FHA loans. Conventional loans are tagged as conforming should they fall under price limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and non-conforming or unsecured loans should they transcend these area-specific numbers. According to, conventional loans work best if you’ve got excellent credit and enough cash for a deposit of more than 5%. VA and FHA loans are government applications. Both are financed through participating creditors, but guaranteed by the federal government. If you default on the loan, the government repays your creditor. To qualify for a VA loan, which is sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, you have to establish U.S. military veteran or active duty status. VA loan holders usually fund 100 percent of the home’s purchase price. The Federal Housing Administration backs FHA loan, which require a 3.5 percent deposit as of July 2010, and have significantly more lenient credit requirements than conventional products.

Kinds of Loans

With a fixed-rate loan, your interest rate stays the same throughout the life span of this loan. Sheyna Steiner of notes that 30-year fixed-rate loans are very popular because they provide the lowest monthly payment. But 10-, 15- and 20-year loans are available. Interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) alter yearly. Some ARMs, known as hybrids, combine the qualities of fixed-rate and flexible loans. Beneath an interest-only loan, you pay interest but not the main balance for the first few years of the loan. This gives you a rock-bottom monthly payment until the interest-only term expires.

Mortgage Insurance

Typically, if you’ve got less than 20 percent for a down payment, your lender requires mortgage insurance, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The insurance is a guarantee for the loan in the event of default. VA loans do not require mortgage insurance, but a personal mortgage insurance premium is built into all FHA loans. You may also confront an up-front insurance charge up to 3% on an FHA mortgage, according to Bankrate.


Credit requirements for all loans finally are up to the creditor, even if you have qualified for a government program, such as FHA. The home crisis motivated lots of lenders to tighten their standards. On a conventional loan, you may qualify using a credit score as low as 620, according to the Bankrate report, however if your score is less than 740, expect your creditor to tack on a plethora of fees. An FHA loan may be more suitable if you’ve got spotty charge; for example, traditionally FHA creditors accept applicants using debt-to-income ratios which exceed the accepted standard of 25 percent. You may qualify for an FHA loan even if debt takes up around 40 percent of your pay.

Pro Insight

Jeff Brown, a personal finance blogger on PBS'”Nightly Business Report” website, claims that a fixed-rate mortgage is easily the best deal. Though the 15-year option lowers the interest you will pay on the loan, it requires significantly greater monthly payments. Each $1,000 Located on a 15-year loan at 4.77 percent translates to $779 per month versus $562 on a 30-year loan. As far as ARMs are concerned, Brown says they look great when interest rates are reduced, but moving into a fixed-rate loan with a high speed at the outset may pay off in the future if and when rates climb.

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Who Is Eligible for an FHA Loan?

FHA loans are loans originated by private mortgage lenders and insured by the Federal Housing Administration against default by the borrower. The loans benefit the creditors and the borrowers because the lender is assuming no danger and the borrower receives lower rates of interest. The cost of the house, the borrower's credit score, and earnings are variables in FHA loan eligibility.

Price Ceilings

The FHA loan program started in 1934 to help make home ownership accessible to more Americans. Since its inception, the FHA has had ceilings on the amount of the loan it would insure. In recent decades, the agency took into account regional differences in home costs and set the ceilings for single-family and attached houses on a market-by-market foundation. Since this shift, more people have been able to get FHA insured loans, broadening the capability of people to own houses. The cost ceiling in the Bay area is $729,750 for a single-family house. The FHA must individually accept connected projects before buyers can access the FHA loan program. All remote houses and single-family homes are qualified for the FHA program.

Credit History and Down Payment

All lenders look at credit history and often use this as the benchmark for lending money to house buyers. However, with an FHA loan, buyers have more latitude with their credit ratings. Obviously, the FHA will not guarantee a loan when a borrower has a gloomy credit rating, but the agency will insure loans for people whose credit scores are below 580 by requiring a deposit of 10 percent or higher. Home buyers with credit ratings over that need to put down only 3.5 percent on the house, less than the 5% or greater that conventional loans require. A number of those FHA's programs even have down payment assistance for first-time buyers.

First-Time Buyer Programs

Even though the federal government removed down payment assistance programs out of sellers, it’s still possible to use monetary contributions from family members that will offer a specific amount of money for a deposit. The definition of a first-time buyer is one who hasn’t owned a house for three decades. Grant program requirements vary from state to state.

Approved Attached Housing

Home buyers looking for an attached house will probably be restricted to choosing from properties that are approved. The Department of Housing and Urban Development requires that 80 percent of those units inside a condominium project be owner occupied. The developers or owners of these buildings need to apply for acceptance before FHA will insure loans for components in the project.

Refinancing with FHA Loans

Present-day homeowners may use the FHA to refinance their houses as long as the loan worth doesn’t exceed the FHA caps for their kind of land. Since the rates of interest on an FHA loan are usually lower than market prices, people who’d love to refinance their houses can do so with FHA loans only if they reside in the house. The FHA will not refinance a house not occupied by the homeowner.

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How to Read a Property Survey Map

Learning to read a property survey map isn’t only for surveyors. Land survey maps are used to quantify everything from the boundaries of states to the real size of your neighbor's plot. Taking into consideration the value and importance we place on land and its ownership, there are advantages to understanding the fundamentals of how it is measured and represented on a map. The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) has its origins in the ancient surveys carried out in the 1700s in North America. The PLSS system is based on a main meridian (an imaginary north-south line) and a baseline (an imaginary east-west line) from which other survey lines have been projected, creating a grid system of squares. To begin with, a square of 24 miles by 24 miles is split into 16 squares of 6 miles on each side, also known as townships. Townships are finally broken up into 1-mile squares, which would be the smallest formal subdivision of the PLSS system. Of course, map users can split and quantify areas smaller than this working from the PLSS system.

Assess what sort of property survey map you’re taking a look at. There are lots of kinds that change based on the purpose for which they have been attracted. There are inconsistencies among the forms, so be certain you’re working with the ideal kind of map. As an example, using a transport map (large maps that can cover an entire state) is of little use if you’re trying to assess the magnitude of a town. Instead, use a border survey map, which establishes the sizes and boundaries of property lines in a place, and provides considerably more detail.

Look at the scale of the property survey map. It's usually found at one of the corners. Scale is the ratio of distances on a map to the corresponding values in the world, according to By way of example, a map using a scale of 1:10,000 (1-to-10,000) informs you that each inch (centimeter or meter) on the map corresponds to 10,000 inches (centimeters or meters) at the location in the world. You can quantify any section of the map using a ruler and understand what it signifies on the floor.

Look at the map#039;s legend, which is a listing of the symbols used on the map and what they mean. Not all maps carry a legend, however, it is possible to find lists of property survey symbols at several official institutions such as the Bureau of Land Management. Symbols can represent rivers and lakes or bridges and phone lines. Boundaries for counties and states are reflected on the map with various kinds of lines.

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The Way to Write Home Mortgage Interest Away of Taxes

The U.S. federal government, through its Internal Revenue Service, is supportive of home ownership and encourages it through various tax incentives. One of these incentives is the privilege to subtract any interest paid to your lender for a home mortgage. Home mortgages are usually. They're typically expensive enough that the yearly mortgage interest could mean a savings of tens of thousands of dollars on your income tax return. You must itemize the deduction on your tax return, rather than take the income tax deduction to take advantage of the savings.

Gather your own documentation. Your mortgage lender will send you a document called Form 1098: Home Mortgage Interest. By legislation, the record must hit you. It summarizes the dollar amount of the interest you paid during the previous calendar year on your loan. A duplicate form is sent to the IRS. If you cannot find your copy of Form 1098, ask your lender to get a replacement, or look in the January statement for your mortgage ; it will list the quantity of interest paid.

Fill in Line 10 on IRS Form 1040 Schedule A with the amount recorded on your Form 1098 because the mortgage interest . Be sure that the quantity you enter as the IRS will assess your amount with the amount is just like the one on Form 1098. The only variance you are permitted is rounding any cents up or down to the nearest dollar, based on standard rounding clinic; 1 to 49 cents could be rounded down, while 50 to 99 cents could be piled up.

Check the remainder of your estate and loan documentation to find out whether you have any similar deductions to claim. You might have a home equity loan or home equity line of credit if you have owned the house for many decades. The IRS permits you to deduct any interest you pay on these types of loans, also using Form 1040 Schedule A. Similarly, you are permitted to deduct your property taxes on Schedule A, in addition to any points that you paid to the lender for obtaining the home mortgage in the first place.

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Real Estate Short Sale Tips

A brief sale can spare you from the foreclosure procedure if you can no longer manage your mortgage obligations. In a short sale, you sell your property to get less money than you owe on your loan, and the creditor forgives the equilibrium. This procedure eliminates the need for foreclosure, the legal route a creditor uses to take back ownership of property once the mortgage obligations are no longer being made in full and on time.

Prove Necessity

You have to be ready to verify that the brief sale is necessary. Approaching a creditor about a brief sale without documentation can lead to delays and a refusal of approval for the sale. Lenders typically have forms that you fill out when seeking permission for a short sale. The lending institution will need documentation of your earnings, other invoices, bank statements and previous year tax returns. You will have to sign up a hardship affidavit, which is a record that explains why you can no longer manage the loan payment.

Legal Aid

You can be subject to money judgments and taxes even after the brief sale is completed and the creditor has forgiven the rest of the mortgage loan. Lenders are allowed to obtain judgments against you in court for the amount of the mortgage loan which wasn’t paid off at the brief sale. These are generally referred to as lack decisions. Nevertheless, you can negotiate with the creditor to insert a clause at the brief sale arrangement which prevents the creditor from pursuing a deficiency judgment. You should think about enlisting the support of a property attorney to ease the brief sale agreement records.

Tax Liability

The IRS treats money spilled on a loan which has been secured by a piece of property, such as property, as earnings in the year that the balance was forgiven. As a consequence, you can be subject to taxes on the amount of the mortgage which wasn’t retrieved by the lender at the brief sale. A property attorney or tax professional can help you determine what tax obligations may arise from a brief sale.

Find a Buyer

In a short sale, you have to find a buyer for the property. Ordinarily, you’ll have to employ a real estate agent to show the home, as would happen in a traditional home sale. You can also list the home and manage the showings yourself without the support of a real estate agent, but this can prove to be difficult, given the time constraints. Lenders can impose a time limitation on a brief sale, and if your home is not sold by that time, the permission for the sale can be revoked.

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6 Suggestions for Harmonious Hardscaping

A lot people have necessary but oh-so-problematic hardscaping transversing our outdoor spaces, hardscaping that stops the eye and keeps us from attaining that constant, tranquil flow that we desire for our own gardens. Some of you may have given up, creating pockets of annuals, ground covers and dull shrubbery sandwiched between sidewalks, driveways and front porches. Deep down, though, you know that you want something better, more cohesive and more amazing. Let us see how to accomplish it.

Perello Building Corporation

The issue of integrating hardscaping into the landscape was solved by employing symmetrical equilibrium, like through using allées. However beautiful these tree-lined avenues can be, though, most people no longer live so officially, nor do we possess the acreage to accomplish this look. So what do we do?

Designing Nature Inc..

Use conventional principles in fresh and exciting ways. This backyard is a perfect example of an updated formal design, with plants which are very much in tune with the current aesthetic. Notice the proper lines and equilibrium of this garden, but also observe the more informal plantings.

This front garden captures the character and repeat of this allée however in an updated manner that is within the realm of possibility for many.

The designer has used the idea of asymmetrical balance; one garden bed is larger than the other but is weighted to seem equivalent. The rock column imitates the lamppost, bringing continuity to the distance. Notice the way the caladiums (Caladium sp, zones 9 to 10) are more prominent in the more compact bed on the right. Acting as a fulcrum, they balance the beds, which makes them visually pleasing. A carpet of ground cover at the foreground of each bed brings that extra dose of calming continuity.

If you are not confident in your ability to lay out bed lines that appear to flow effortlessly across your hardscape, look at employing the use of a garden hose. Stretch it throughout your walkway and generate a serpentine or curved line which makes sense to you personally when seen from other angles. It’s a lot easier to alter the nozzle compared to redig your bed lines.

Denise Dering Design

Achieve balance through rhythm and repetition. This beautiful garden evokes pictures of Victorian England. Notice the way the salvias (Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’, zones 5 to 9) are implanted in measured periods. As a result, the designer has attained rhythm. The roses offer that calming thread of continuity.

More gorgeous looks for a narrow planting strip

The Design Build Company

In the prior photo we can see only one side of the hardscape. Here we see rhythm switching between either side of the hardscape. Notice how both the boulders and the landscape light equilibrium this stairway from side to side, pulling the eye up to the very best in a pleasing manner. Having a cute dog as a focal point never hurt, either.

The restrained use of boulders can be an effective tool in achieving continuity from one side of the hardscape to the other. Just take care not to overdo it.


Permit plants to overflow on the hardscape. The right use of this technique will soften the edges of the hardscape and deliver continuity from one side to the other.

Notice the reproduction achieved in this backyard through the use of decorative grasses, hydrangeas and spreading perennials. Some planning and maintenance are required to assure that the plants never pose a danger to the customer or seem overgrown.

Jay Sifford Garden Design

Similarly, boulders can seep the walkway slightly to create continuity from side to side. Do this to avoid a tripping hazard.

Blue Stone Woodworks

Integrate plants right into the hardscape. This designer has adopted and softened the hardscape by introducing a ground cover right into the joints of their sidewalk. Notice how the appropriate use of this unexpected technique pulls the eye toward the house and creates an oasis in the midst of the walkway. Creeping and wooly thyme (Thymus cvs, zones 4 to 9) are especially suited for this purpose.

More plants for your pathways

Jay Sifford Garden Design

Expand your horizons. Sometimes the eye stays too focused on the hardscape and needs help to see the big image. The designer of this garden utilized bluestone planks of diverse lengths and widths, placed opposite each other and also a dull cement sidewalk, to pull on the eye outward so that it can have the entire space. The use of similar colours and textures makes this procedure effective.

Portal Design Inc

Boldly adopt your hardscape. At times a bolder strategy is the best strategy. Here the designer has adopted using hardscaping by creating and wrapping planter boxes at the hardscape. The effective use of plant material can help to soften and balance this front lawn. If this strategy is overly austere for you, consider softening the edges of the planters with a creeping and cascading ground cover.

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