New construction homes solve Realtors’ for-sale inventory woes

By Marcie Geffner - NewHomeSource

Realtors in cities throughout the United States are troubled by a common problem: there aren’t enough for-sale homes on the market to meet the wants and needs of today’s buyers.

Fortunately, there’s a solution: Builders have increased housing permits, starts and completions of new homes, giving buyers and Realtors an attractive alternative to the limited choices of resale homes on the market.

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10 home repairs you don't want to do yourself

By Marcie Geffner - Lending Tree

DIY projects to improve your home are one of the biggest joys of being a homeowner.

But before you do any project yourself, you should think carefully about whether you have the necessary skills, tools and materials and whether the cost savings, if any, justifies the risk of mistakes or injuries to you or your family.

If you’re on the fence, get bids from a few reputable contractors before you decide. The cost might be cheaper than you expected and that might influence your decision to try the project on your own.

Some projects, though, aren’t smart to DIY in any circumstances.

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Myra Nourmand on selling the Charlton Heston estate and celebrity sellers who go AWOL

By Marcie Geffner - The Real Deal

With clients like Sheryl Crow, Myra Nourmand has made a name for herself and her company Nourmand & Associates in Beverly Hills, where she is an agent and principal. Celebrity clients aren’t the exception, they are the rule. The vast majority of Nourmand’s clients are in the entertainment industry.

In January, Nourmand added another famous property to her list of solds: the $12.2 million Charlton Heston Estate on Coldwater Canyon Drive in Beverly Hills. Nourmand’s current listings include Spencer Tracey’s former home, an 11,700-square-foot Mediterranean-style home on North Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills asking $19.5 million and a 9,250-square-foot cul-de-sac home on 1.3 acre in Bel Air asking $15.9 million. She told The Real Deal she also has $100 million in pocket listings.

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Are you a 'bank account abuser'?

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate

If you've been flagged as a so-called bank account abuser by agencies like ChexSystems, you may find yourself locked out of the traditional banking system for several years, if not longer.

Are you guilty?

The answer might depend on the definition of "bank account abuse," which is not at all clear.

Banks, credit unions and other financial institutions report information about consumers' bank accounts to consumer screening and reporting agencies. These agencies -- which are similar to the big credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- compile databases that financial institutions then use to help them decide who gets a bank account and who doesn't.

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Real estate profile: Jade Mills

By Marcie Geffner - The Real Deal

Jade Mills, the force behind Jade Mills Estates Worldwide at Coldwell Banker Previews International in Beverly Hills, has been in the business for several decades and counts Britney Spears and Jennifer Aniston among her clients.

In 2014, Mills closed more than $350 million in sales volume. Two years earlier, she was Coldwell Banker’s top-selling agent globally, breaking the company’s sales volume record.

Mills’ current hot listing is a French Country-styled residence on eight acres in Bel Air. Owned by actress Sela Ward, the property has an asking price just shy of $40 million. The grounds include a guesthouse, amphitheater, pagoda, bamboo grove, vegetable garden, vineyard, entertaining pavilion and swimming pond with its own sandy beach.

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