Sale pending on beautiful Mangano-built home

6131 W Cherry Ct. Visalia, listed at $292,000.
Talk of a slow market aside, this Mangano-built home sold in one day.

This beautiful 2,640-square-foot home featured neutral colors, 10-foot ceilings with recessed lighting and a split floor plan.

The home featured 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms with coffered ceilings, and raised-panel cabinets with lighting.

The formal dining room opened into a great room.

The lush yard had a sparkling pool and waterfall with access from the owner's suite. In the master bathroom was a jetted tub and a walk-in closet.

The patio featured surround sound speakers. This was a very special and well-maintained home. It was a pleasure to represent the sellers.

Great mobile home with excellent landscaping

2400 W Midvalley Ave #J2 Visalia, listed at $19,000.
Life at West Lake Village in south Visalia couldn't be any better than at this beautifully maintained and landscaped mobile home at 2400 W. Midvalley Ave. space #J2.

Listed at $19,000, this home is a great value in a high-demand adult mobile home park that offers a clubhouse, activities, pool, and a common lake.

This home cost $48,000 when it was new in 2004.

There is a double carport at the end of the cul de sac. This home features a gated patio/porch with lawn area at back.

This is an immaculate and well-maintained 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath home.

Call Darlene Loose for an appointment today! (559) 625-9364.

Mortgage interest deduction vital to housing market

By Dona DeZube - The home mortgage interest deduction saves the average home owner thousands of dollars at tax time, supports home values at the community level, and helps American home buyers get into their first house.

Day 009: Procrastination
Via Flickr: Chloe Rae
Having a tax deduction for mortgage interest makes owning a home more affordable because the deduction lowers the amount of tax you pay. U.S. Census data shows 37% of home owners with mortgages spend more than 30% of their income for housing. Paying less for housing means having more disposable income for savings and other household expenses.

Increasing housing affordability increases the number of renters who can afford to buy a home of their own responsibly; increasing the number of home buyers helps keep home prices stable for those who already own homes by ensuring a steady stream of new buyers.

How the deduction works
In general, any home owners who pay U.S. taxes and who itemize their taxes can deduct mortgage interest attributable to primary residence and second-home debt totaling $1 million, and interest paid on home equity debt of as much as $100,000.

Mortgage interest deduction threatened
In recent years, the mortgage interest deduction has come under attack. Among the suggestions for cutting it back to deal with the deficit:

  • Reduce the mortgage interest deduction for upper-income taxpayers-they'd only receive 28 cents on the dollar, even if they're in a 33% or 35% tax bracket and can now deduct 33 or 35 cents on the dollar
  • Reduce the $1 million cap by $100,000 a year.
  • Change the mortgage interest deduction to a 15% tax credit.

In the past, members of Congress have suggested other mechanisms for eliminating or limiting the mortgage interest deduction. None of those has ever gained traction.

Do you have the right tools for your "honey-do" list?

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(ARA) - It's fall and there's no better time to take on home improvement projects and that ever-expanding "honey-do" list. Tackle those tasks now while they can still be done in the beautiful sunshine.

The key to tackling everything from the largest construction project to the smallest touch-up is to have the right equipment. Don't talk yourself into trying to getting by with makeshift tools - you'll only end up frustrated, and your project might not get done at all.

If you can't find everything you need in your tool shed (or even in your tool box), you may be worried about the cost of buying a lot of expensive equipment - particularly if you plan to do more than one project. For most people, renting equipment allows them to get jobs done without the extra cost of buying pricey items that they won't actually use much.

To make sure that you've got everything you need, start by assessing what tools and gadgets you have. Here are some ideas for what you'll need for some of the most common home improvement projects:

* For cleaning your home's exterior, whether it's the siding, deck or driveway, a rented power washer gets the job done in a fraction of the time with double the power.

* For touching up the paint on your home, you'll need sturdy ladders, an array of painting tools and, of course, paint. To give yourself an easy place to set all of your gear, a wheeled scaffolding unit with a platform is a great idea.

* For putting in a new fence, you'll need panels and posts, and, to make the job go faster, a power auger from your local rental store for digging post holes. Just make sure you contact local utilities to find out where it's safe to dig before you get started.

Affordable ways to make your new house feel like home

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(ARA) - You know that moving into a new home can be one of life's biggest stressors - the packing, the paperwork, the unpacking, finding the nearest coffee shop ... even though numbers are down, 35.2 million Americans changed residences in 2008, according to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau. There are many ways to make your new house feel like home sooner than later, according to interior design faculty at The Art Institutes.

"Incorporating items with personal meaning, such as memorabilia or a special collection, can make your new place feel less like a stranger's house and more like your home," says Annette Lawrence, academic director of the Interior Design program at The Art Institute of Ohio - Cincinnati. Lawrence describes the concept of "adaptive re-use," an easy, inexpensive way to create a "sense of place" - in other words, making your new house the place in which you feel most comfortable - home.

Adaptive re-use involves bringing items from your previous residence to your new home, but with the twist of adapting them for a different or new use. Adaptive re-use is affordable, ecologically responsible and helps ease the psychological stresses that come with moving into a new, unfamiliar space. Adaptive re-use also involves using items from local design consignment shops. Such establishments can now be found in most towns and carry items ranging from furniture to window treatments and accessories.

Some examples of adaptive re-use:

* Same item, same use - The entry rug from your old house goes in the entryway of the new house.

* Same item, different location - Your living room furniture from your old home becomes your family room furniture in your new place.

* Same item, new use - You use the fabric from a window treatment to upholster your dining room chairs.

10 ways to lower homeowner insurance costs

Whether in good economic times or bad economic times, it always pays to find ways to lower your household expenses. These days many of us are tightening our belt anyway we can. And with the holidays fast approaching, every little bit helps.

House Fire Training - Te Horo
Via Flickr: 111Emergency
As homeowners there are simply some expenses we cannot forgo. Homeowner insurance is one of them. Not only do our lender's require it, but the risk of not insuring our single biggest investment is simply foolish.

Still, there are ways to lower those insurance premium costs. Here are 10 tips on finding ways to reduce your expense:

1. Review the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report on the property you’re interested in buying. CLUE reports detail the property’s claims history for the most recent five years, which insurers may use to deny coverage. Make the sale contingent on a home inspection to ensure that problems identified in the CLUE report have been repaired.

2. Seek insurance coverage as soon as your offer is approved. You must obtain insurance to buy. And you don’t want to be told at closing that the insurer has denied your coverage.

3. Maintain good credit. Insurers often use credit-based insurance scores to determine premiums.

4. Buy your home owners and auto policies from the same company and you’ll usually qualify for savings. But make sure the discount really yields the lowest price.