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August, 2020

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Posted by: | Posted on: August 8, 2020

Is a Water Softener a Good Investment? Weigh the Hard Facts

Take a look at your sink, washing machine, and teakettle. Do you see stubborn soap scum and mineral deposits that can only be removed with extra scrubbing? Hard water is the culprit.

To achieve crystal-clear water glasses and streakless pots and pans, many people install a water softener.

“Water softeners are a great investment if your water supply is high in mineral content, a condition known as hard water,” says Paul Abrams, a spokesperson for Roto-Rooter Services in Cincinnati.

A whopping 90% of households have hard water, which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium.

Water softeners work by replacing those minerals with a softer mineral of sodium or potassium, and can transform your everyday water experience.

But a water softener isn’t cheap. A high-end water softener will cost about $1,800, while installing it can cost anywhere from $400 to $4,000. So is buying a water softener worth

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Posted by: | Posted on: August 8, 2020

A Family Heirloom! Time-Capsule Home Is Available for $540K

Johnny Nicolaci knows everything about this house.

He can tell you about every brick, board, and tile. His father built the “executive” ranch in 1953.

Nicolaci did leave his parents’ custom-built nest for a while. But after the death of his mother in 1988, he moved back, to take over the care of the beloved family home, and he’s lived here ever since.

Now, it’s time for him to retire. Nicolaci is headed to Florida, where he plans to play music. So, he’s put the meticulously maintained time capsule in New Bedford, MA, on the market, where it’s priced at $539,900.

With three bedrooms, four bathrooms, and more than 4,800 square feet of living space, there’s plenty of room to spread out and create a whimsical family home all your own.

“My parents loved to entertain,” Nicolaci said.

There’s a large indoor pool, housed under a large wood beam from

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Posted by: | Posted on: August 8, 2020

Expired Unemployment Benefits Impact Affordable Housing Owners

The additional $600 in unemployment benefits have expired, and apartment owners are concerned about how it will impact rent collections. Affordable housing developers in particular are susceptible to declining rent collections as a result of the expired benefits. Many apartment owners, including KIMC, have advocated for additional stimulus.

“I am certainly worried about it,” Jonathan Needell, president and chief investment officer of KIMC, tells GlobeSt.com. “We are building a bridge over a ravine, but we don’t know where the other end is. We need the stimulus so that we can keep laying bricks to get us across the ravine. Unfortunately, we are on a half-done bridge in the middle. So, we definitely need something. There are some non-profit groups and private groups paying rent for affordable housing, and they are good groups doing good work; but the unemployment benefits are a big deal.”

While no new stimulus has

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Posted by: | Posted on: August 7, 2020

It Will Take More Than A Vaccine for This Lender to Come Back In Full Force

As conventional lenders have cooled on the commercial real estate space during the COVID-19 downturn, Stan Bril, CEO of MCG, has been getting a lot more calls recently from people who need financing.

“I’ve had people come to me who have said that their credit line has either gotten cut, frozen or completely closed,” Bril says. “It seems as though the brick-and-mortar banks are watching everything and waiting for this to blow over.”

While MCG, which has facilitated nearly $30 billion in loans and has $200 million under management in its fund, is making loans, it is being careful.

“It [the commercial banks stopping lending] gives us a bigger opportunity, and it doesn’t at the same time,” Bril says. “Just because there are more potential clients does not mean that the actual deals are worth funding. We’re getting a lot more calls now, but I would not say that we’re

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Posted by: | Posted on: August 7, 2020

‘House Party’ Podcast Exclusive: HGTV’s Orlando Soria Dishes on ‘Build Me Up,’ the Feel-Good TV Show We All Need Right Now


“House Party” is realtor.com®’s official podcast about the overlapping worlds of real estate and pop culture, hosted by Natalie Way and Rachel Stults. Click the player above to hear our newest episode.

If you’re a listener of this podcast, you know how we love our HGTV shows. And our newest obsession is one that we can pretty much guarantee will make you laugh, cry—basically, you’ll feel all the feels.


The show is called “Build Me Up,” with host and design guru Orlando Soria. On each episode, he works with homeowners undergoing big life changes, and uses the power of interior design to help them make a fresh start.

We got the inside scoop from Soria about how the show came to be, his favorite design tricks—and the

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