What Are the Worst Invasive Plants—and How Can You Stop Them?

Invasive plants can ruin a perfectly functioning ecosystem, creating issues for years and potentially changing landscapes forever.

The key to controlling invasives is to be sure they don’t get where they don’t belong, according to The Nature Conservancy (nature.org).

The environmental nonprofit says that the best way to fight invasive species is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Every consumer can play a role in stopping the introduction and spread of invasive species.

The Conservancy says everyone can help protect native plants and animals by following these six easy guidelines:

  • Verify that the plants you’re buying for your yard or garden are not invasive. Replace invasive plants in your garden with non-invasive alternatives. Ask your local nursery staff for help in identifying invasive plants.
  • When boating, clean your boat thoroughly before transporting it to a different body of water.
  • Clean your boots before you hike in a new area to get rid of hitchhiking weed seeds and pathogens.
  • Don’t “pack a pest” when traveling. Fruits and vegetables, plants, insects and animals can carry pests or become invasive themselves. Don’t move firewood (it can harbor forest pests), clean your bags and boots after each hike, and throw out food before you travel from place to place.
  • Don’t release aquarium fish and plants, live bait or other exotic animals into the wild. If you plan to own an exotic pet, do your research and plan ahead to make sure you can commit to looking after it.
  • Volunteer at your local park, refuge or other wildlife area to help remove invasive species. Help educate others about the threat.

So what are some of the most invasive species? The Smithsonian says purple loosestrife is one of America’s most pervasive invasives. Purple loosestrife can become dominant in wetlands, producing as many as two million wind-dispersed seeds annually with underground stems growing at a rate of one foot per year.

Japanese honeysuckle is another aggressive vine prolific throughout much of the East Coast that smothers, shades and girdles other competing vegetation, the Smithsonian says.

In the Southeast, kudzu grows at a rate of up to one foot a day and 60 feet annually, smothering plants and killing trees by adding immense weight, girdling or toppling them.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post What Are the Worst Invasive Plants—and How Can You Stop Them? appeared first on RISMedia.

      

Beyoncé And Jay-Z’s Detroit Tour Stop Was All About Aretha Franklin

Beyoncé paid tribute to the ailing Queen of Soul after DJ Khaled whipped up the crowd with one of her most iconic songs.      

Beyoncé And Jay-Z’s Detroit Tour Stop Was All About Aretha Franklin

Beyoncé paid tribute to the ailing Queen of Soul after DJ Khaled whipped up the crowd with one of her most iconic songs.      

Beyoncé And Jay-Z’s Detroit Tour Stop Was All About Aretha Franklin

Beyoncé paid tribute to the ailing Queen of Soul after DJ Khaled whipped up the crowd with one of her most iconic songs.      

Beyoncé And Jay-Z’s Detroit Tour Stop Was All About Aretha Franklin

Beyoncé paid tribute to the ailing Queen of Soul after DJ Khaled whipped up the crowd with one of her most iconic songs.      

Borrower Beware: Soon It Will Be Tough to Unload College Loans

(TNS)—Here’s a good reason to think twice about taking out piles of student loans after watching a catchy TV ad for a for-profit college.

The U.S. Department of Education is on a path to make it far tougher to get federal college loans forgiven using the argument that the school cheated you out of a good education by misleading you about job prospects or engaging in fraud.

The new rule—now under a public comment period—would apply to students seeking loans after July 1, 2019.

Consumer watchdogs, of course, charge that bad actors are getting a pass here. It would be up to students to prove that the school knowingly made false statements. What’s most troubling is that we’re often talking about low-income students, minority students or military veterans who have taken out loans to attend for-profit schools as they seek to build a better life and get training for a good-paying job.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said the proposal lays out clear rules schools must follow, while protecting students from fraud. The administration maintains that the current rules had been too broadly interpreted, leaving taxpayers on the hook and opening the door for frivolous claims.

Yet many borrowers could be burned here. We’re looking at yet another reminder of why it’s savvy to be skeptical when costly for-profit colleges aggressively recruit you and make breathless promises about grants and financing.

All graduates don’t get good jobs.
Some schools do go out of business unexpectedly; others provide misleading claims and don’t provide a degree that employers really value.

Two years ago, for example, ITT Tech shut its doors following sanctions by the U.S. Department of Education. The sudden shutdown meant that students were able to seek a discharge of federal student loans—but not private student loans—from the federal government. For-profit Corinthian College closed its campuses in 2015, leaving students unable to complete their programs.

Often consumers find the pitch surrounding some for-profit programs very appealing. They’re looking to get on the fast path to a new, more promising career. Yet many students borrow heavily—too heavily—to chase those dreams.

Robin Howarth, senior researcher for the Center for Responsible Lending, says there’s growing concern that students attending for-profit schools can end up owing a great deal of money but only have limited potential for obtaining a job with a substantial paycheck in return.

The consumer watchdog group released a report in June that indicated, for example, that students face very high tuition and fees at for-profit colleges in order to receive training for healthcare support jobs. Many students borrow most of the money, but the jobs they find don’t pay enough to cover their living expenses and all that debt.

“Students need to pay very close attention to what kind of earnings are achieved,” Howarth says.

It’s important to look beyond average salaries in the medical field and look at the kinds of jobs obtained by students who attended that program.

Many times, Howarth says, earnings for similar programs are less when the student has attended a for-profit school than if the student studied a similar program at a public or private nonprofit college.

Often, Howarth says students may be better off obtaining training at a community college at a far lower cost.

Proving fraud isn’t easy for student borrowers.
Kurt O’Keefe, a Grosse Pointe Woods attorney who has a blog called “Discharge Student Loans,” says student borrowers would still face significant challenges under the new rules, if they want to try to get loans forgiven if they claim they were defrauded by the schools.

“Failing to deliver requisite skills and knowledge is a tough one to litigate,” O’Keefe says. “The schools will say the student just failed to learn.”

In addition, he noted that many who find themselves in such circumstances are from lower-income families and cannot afford to take legal action.

“A right that costs money to exercise, legal fees for your lawyer, does not help much when you are talking about people who cannot pay their loans to begin with,” O’Keefe says.

O’Keefe says the real problem is one that he refers to as “the triangle.”

“The schools get the money whether the student gets value or not, the government (usually) lends the money and chases the borrower for repayment. The schools have no skin in the game,” he says.

Part of the draft rules would allow the Department of Education to seek reimbursement for forgiven student loans from the institutions and that is good, he says.

“It would hurt scam schools and schools with scam programs, and could be used against any institution, public or private,” O’Keefe says.

Under a current regulation, borrowers with federal student loans might be able to get debt relief when they claim they were misled about the cost and quality of the education. It’s called the “Borrower Defense to Repayment” rule.

The Education Department notes students may be eligible for borrower defense regardless of whether your school closed or you are otherwise eligible for loan forgiveness under other laws.

Consumers with questions or pending claims regarding borrower defense may call the Department of Education’s hotline at 855-279-6207 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. As of January, the Department of Education has received 138,989 claims—and 23 percent had been processed. The bulk of the claims processed were associated with Corinthian and ITT.

New rules would save the government billions.
The proposed change in regulations would significantly limit the situations under which borrowers could qualify for financial relief, says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher and vice president of Research for Savingforcollege.com.

“The changes appear intended to primarily reduce costs to the federal government,” Kantrowitz says. “While the previous regulations may have been too permissive—allowing cancellation of debt based on just accusation of wrongdoing—the new regulations go too far in the opposite direction. As the lender, the federal government should have some responsibility to the borrower.”

It’s estimated that the new proposal could save the federal government nearly $13 billion over the next decade.

It’s a substantial savings, given that the Education Department had put a $14.9 billion price tag over the next decade for the program under the more-broadly defined regulations.

The new regulations would permit the U.S. Department of Education to provide partial relief instead of cancelling all of the borrower’s loans, depending on the level of harm suffered, he says.

Under the new rules, borrowers would need to prove that the college intended to defraud—a very difficult standard.

Also significant: Only borrowers already in default could apply for relief under the proposed rules. As a result, a borrower who was actively repaying the loans wouldn’t get help.

“This might lead some borrowers to intentionally default on their federal student loans,” Kantrowitz says.

Defaulting can seriously harm your credit score, and drive up borrowing costs when you want to take out a car loan, home mortgage or open up a credit card. A default will be reported to credit bureaus.

Most often, you do not want to go into default. If you default on student loans, you will be subject to collection charges and wage garnishment, and the government can seize your income tax refund, too.

©2018 Detroit Free Press
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Borrower Beware: Soon It Will Be Tough to Unload College Loans appeared first on RISMedia.

      

Borrower Beware: Soon It Will Be Tough to Unload College Loans

(TNS)—Here’s a good reason to think twice about taking out piles of student loans after watching a catchy TV ad for a for-profit college.

The U.S. Department of Education is on a path to make it far tougher to get federal college loans forgiven using the argument that the school cheated you out of a good education by misleading you about job prospects or engaging in fraud.

The new rule—now under a public comment period—would apply to students seeking loans after July 1, 2019.

Consumer watchdogs, of course, charge that bad actors are getting a pass here. It would be up to students to prove that the school knowingly made false statements. What’s most troubling is that we’re often talking about low-income students, minority students or military veterans who have taken out loans to attend for-profit schools as they seek to build a better life and get training for a good-paying job.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said the proposal lays out clear rules schools must follow, while protecting students from fraud. The administration maintains that the current rules had been too broadly interpreted, leaving taxpayers on the hook and opening the door for frivolous claims.

Yet many borrowers could be burned here. We’re looking at yet another reminder of why it’s savvy to be skeptical when costly for-profit colleges aggressively recruit you and make breathless promises about grants and financing.

All graduates don’t get good jobs.
Some schools do go out of business unexpectedly; others provide misleading claims and don’t provide a degree that employers really value.

Two years ago, for example, ITT Tech shut its doors following sanctions by the U.S. Department of Education. The sudden shutdown meant that students were able to seek a discharge of federal student loans—but not private student loans—from the federal government. For-profit Corinthian College closed its campuses in 2015, leaving students unable to complete their programs.

Often consumers find the pitch surrounding some for-profit programs very appealing. They’re looking to get on the fast path to a new, more promising career. Yet many students borrow heavily—too heavily—to chase those dreams.

Robin Howarth, senior researcher for the Center for Responsible Lending, says there’s growing concern that students attending for-profit schools can end up owing a great deal of money but only have limited potential for obtaining a job with a substantial paycheck in return.

The consumer watchdog group released a report in June that indicated, for example, that students face very high tuition and fees at for-profit colleges in order to receive training for healthcare support jobs. Many students borrow most of the money, but the jobs they find don’t pay enough to cover their living expenses and all that debt.

“Students need to pay very close attention to what kind of earnings are achieved,” Howarth says.

It’s important to look beyond average salaries in the medical field and look at the kinds of jobs obtained by students who attended that program.

Many times, Howarth says, earnings for similar programs are less when the student has attended a for-profit school than if the student studied a similar program at a public or private nonprofit college.

Often, Howarth says students may be better off obtaining training at a community college at a far lower cost.

Proving fraud isn’t easy for student borrowers.
Kurt O’Keefe, a Grosse Pointe Woods attorney who has a blog called “Discharge Student Loans,” says student borrowers would still face significant challenges under the new rules, if they want to try to get loans forgiven if they claim they were defrauded by the schools.

“Failing to deliver requisite skills and knowledge is a tough one to litigate,” O’Keefe says. “The schools will say the student just failed to learn.”

In addition, he noted that many who find themselves in such circumstances are from lower-income families and cannot afford to take legal action.

“A right that costs money to exercise, legal fees for your lawyer, does not help much when you are talking about people who cannot pay their loans to begin with,” O’Keefe says.

O’Keefe says the real problem is one that he refers to as “the triangle.”

“The schools get the money whether the student gets value or not, the government (usually) lends the money and chases the borrower for repayment. The schools have no skin in the game,” he says.

Part of the draft rules would allow the Department of Education to seek reimbursement for forgiven student loans from the institutions and that is good, he says.

“It would hurt scam schools and schools with scam programs, and could be used against any institution, public or private,” O’Keefe says.

Under a current regulation, borrowers with federal student loans might be able to get debt relief when they claim they were misled about the cost and quality of the education. It’s called the “Borrower Defense to Repayment” rule.

The Education Department notes students may be eligible for borrower defense regardless of whether your school closed or you are otherwise eligible for loan forgiveness under other laws.

Consumers with questions or pending claims regarding borrower defense may call the Department of Education’s hotline at 855-279-6207 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. As of January, the Department of Education has received 138,989 claims—and 23 percent had been processed. The bulk of the claims processed were associated with Corinthian and ITT.

New rules would save the government billions.
The proposed change in regulations would significantly limit the situations under which borrowers could qualify for financial relief, says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher and vice president of Research for Savingforcollege.com.

“The changes appear intended to primarily reduce costs to the federal government,” Kantrowitz says. “While the previous regulations may have been too permissive—allowing cancellation of debt based on just accusation of wrongdoing—the new regulations go too far in the opposite direction. As the lender, the federal government should have some responsibility to the borrower.”

It’s estimated that the new proposal could save the federal government nearly $13 billion over the next decade.

It’s a substantial savings, given that the Education Department had put a $14.9 billion price tag over the next decade for the program under the more-broadly defined regulations.

The new regulations would permit the U.S. Department of Education to provide partial relief instead of cancelling all of the borrower’s loans, depending on the level of harm suffered, he says.

Under the new rules, borrowers would need to prove that the college intended to defraud—a very difficult standard.

Also significant: Only borrowers already in default could apply for relief under the proposed rules. As a result, a borrower who was actively repaying the loans wouldn’t get help.

“This might lead some borrowers to intentionally default on their federal student loans,” Kantrowitz says.

Defaulting can seriously harm your credit score, and drive up borrowing costs when you want to take out a car loan, home mortgage or open up a credit card. A default will be reported to credit bureaus.

Most often, you do not want to go into default. If you default on student loans, you will be subject to collection charges and wage garnishment, and the government can seize your income tax refund, too.

©2018 Detroit Free Press
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Borrower Beware: Soon It Will Be Tough to Unload College Loans appeared first on RISMedia.

      

Borrower Beware: Soon It Will Be Tough to Unload College Loans

(TNS)—Here’s a good reason to think twice about taking out piles of student loans after watching a catchy TV ad for a for-profit college.

The U.S. Department of Education is on a path to make it far tougher to get federal college loans forgiven using the argument that the school cheated you out of a good education by misleading you about job prospects or engaging in fraud.

The new rule—now under a public comment period—would apply to students seeking loans after July 1, 2019.

Consumer watchdogs, of course, charge that bad actors are getting a pass here. It would be up to students to prove that the school knowingly made false statements. What’s most troubling is that we’re often talking about low-income students, minority students or military veterans who have taken out loans to attend for-profit schools as they seek to build a better life and get training for a good-paying job.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said the proposal lays out clear rules schools must follow, while protecting students from fraud. The administration maintains that the current rules had been too broadly interpreted, leaving taxpayers on the hook and opening the door for frivolous claims.

Yet many borrowers could be burned here. We’re looking at yet another reminder of why it’s savvy to be skeptical when costly for-profit colleges aggressively recruit you and make breathless promises about grants and financing.

All graduates don’t get good jobs.
Some schools do go out of business unexpectedly; others provide misleading claims and don’t provide a degree that employers really value.

Two years ago, for example, ITT Tech shut its doors following sanctions by the U.S. Department of Education. The sudden shutdown meant that students were able to seek a discharge of federal student loans—but not private student loans—from the federal government. For-profit Corinthian College closed its campuses in 2015, leaving students unable to complete their programs.

Often consumers find the pitch surrounding some for-profit programs very appealing. They’re looking to get on the fast path to a new, more promising career. Yet many students borrow heavily—too heavily—to chase those dreams.

Robin Howarth, senior researcher for the Center for Responsible Lending, says there’s growing concern that students attending for-profit schools can end up owing a great deal of money but only have limited potential for obtaining a job with a substantial paycheck in return.

The consumer watchdog group released a report in June that indicated, for example, that students face very high tuition and fees at for-profit colleges in order to receive training for healthcare support jobs. Many students borrow most of the money, but the jobs they find don’t pay enough to cover their living expenses and all that debt.

“Students need to pay very close attention to what kind of earnings are achieved,” Howarth says.

It’s important to look beyond average salaries in the medical field and look at the kinds of jobs obtained by students who attended that program.

Many times, Howarth says, earnings for similar programs are less when the student has attended a for-profit school than if the student studied a similar program at a public or private nonprofit college.

Often, Howarth says students may be better off obtaining training at a community college at a far lower cost.

Proving fraud isn’t easy for student borrowers.
Kurt O’Keefe, a Grosse Pointe Woods attorney who has a blog called “Discharge Student Loans,” says student borrowers would still face significant challenges under the new rules, if they want to try to get loans forgiven if they claim they were defrauded by the schools.

“Failing to deliver requisite skills and knowledge is a tough one to litigate,” O’Keefe says. “The schools will say the student just failed to learn.”

In addition, he noted that many who find themselves in such circumstances are from lower-income families and cannot afford to take legal action.

“A right that costs money to exercise, legal fees for your lawyer, does not help much when you are talking about people who cannot pay their loans to begin with,” O’Keefe says.

O’Keefe says the real problem is one that he refers to as “the triangle.”

“The schools get the money whether the student gets value or not, the government (usually) lends the money and chases the borrower for repayment. The schools have no skin in the game,” he says.

Part of the draft rules would allow the Department of Education to seek reimbursement for forgiven student loans from the institutions and that is good, he says.

“It would hurt scam schools and schools with scam programs, and could be used against any institution, public or private,” O’Keefe says.

Under a current regulation, borrowers with federal student loans might be able to get debt relief when they claim they were misled about the cost and quality of the education. It’s called the “Borrower Defense to Repayment” rule.

The Education Department notes students may be eligible for borrower defense regardless of whether your school closed or you are otherwise eligible for loan forgiveness under other laws.

Consumers with questions or pending claims regarding borrower defense may call the Department of Education’s hotline at 855-279-6207 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. As of January, the Department of Education has received 138,989 claims—and 23 percent had been processed. The bulk of the claims processed were associated with Corinthian and ITT.

New rules would save the government billions.
The proposed change in regulations would significantly limit the situations under which borrowers could qualify for financial relief, says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher and vice president of Research for Savingforcollege.com.

“The changes appear intended to primarily reduce costs to the federal government,” Kantrowitz says. “While the previous regulations may have been too permissive—allowing cancellation of debt based on just accusation of wrongdoing—the new regulations go too far in the opposite direction. As the lender, the federal government should have some responsibility to the borrower.”

It’s estimated that the new proposal could save the federal government nearly $13 billion over the next decade.

It’s a substantial savings, given that the Education Department had put a $14.9 billion price tag over the next decade for the program under the more-broadly defined regulations.

The new regulations would permit the U.S. Department of Education to provide partial relief instead of cancelling all of the borrower’s loans, depending on the level of harm suffered, he says.

Under the new rules, borrowers would need to prove that the college intended to defraud—a very difficult standard.

Also significant: Only borrowers already in default could apply for relief under the proposed rules. As a result, a borrower who was actively repaying the loans wouldn’t get help.

“This might lead some borrowers to intentionally default on their federal student loans,” Kantrowitz says.

Defaulting can seriously harm your credit score, and drive up borrowing costs when you want to take out a car loan, home mortgage or open up a credit card. A default will be reported to credit bureaus.

Most often, you do not want to go into default. If you default on student loans, you will be subject to collection charges and wage garnishment, and the government can seize your income tax refund, too.

©2018 Detroit Free Press
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Borrower Beware: Soon It Will Be Tough to Unload College Loans appeared first on RISMedia.

      

Watch for Asbestos When Renovating Older Homes: You May Be at Risk

Photo credit: BanksPhotos -iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Rosie Rosati, guest contributor

As a homebuyer, it’s easy to understand the appeal of investing in an older home. After all, it’s the perfect opportunity to tackle a few DIY projects and renovations to give the place the custom touch you’ve always imagined. Although this can seem like an exciting endeavor, new owners may get ahead themselves without realizing their house may be harboring toxins from decades ago.

It’s important to understand the dangers of asbestos during home improvement projects and how to reduce exposure risks.

Measuring Your Risk

Asbestos is a natural silicate mineral that was revolutionary for the building trade until its carcinogenic nature was discovered. This toxin was once widely-used by the construction industry due to its resilience and ability to withstand chemicals and high temperatures. Although its health risks were discovered as early as the 1920s, the United States continued producing, importing and manufacturing asbestos-containing consumer products for decades.

Researchers concluded in 1960 that asbestos exposure could cause a wide range of long-term diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and a deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma. As more tradesmen came forward with asbestos-related illnesses, this mineral became known as a primary source of occupational cancer.

The mineral is heavily regulated today, but millions of people are still vulnerable to exposure due to its expansive use in residential homes and buildings.

Asbestos is only considered dangerous when contaminated materials have been worn down or damaged which unfortunately, is a standard part of most renovation or remodeling work.

Any sanding, grinding, sawing, drilling, buffing, or physical impact may cause these fibers to become airborne and easily ingested or inhaled by anyone in the general proximity.

What Homeowners Need to Know

Asbestos is nearly impossible to identify on your own because it’s often mixed within building products, but it is possible to identify a hazardous situation and take appropriate preventative action.

Before getting involved with any sort of home improvement project, you should always double-check that your property has been recently inspected by a trained professional. This simple step is especially important if you reside in a home built more than 40 years ago and has visible signs of aging. This bit of precaution could save you from developing an asbestos-related illness years later.

You should be aware of common products that have a history of containing the toxin and monitor their condition for any sort of wear and tear. Keep an eye on old insulation, ceiling tiles, vinyl flooring, joint compounds, door gaskets, furnaces, roof shingles, electrical wiring, fireproof products, and more.

Asbestos is known to be a significant threat when it is “friable,” meaning it can be easily crumbled or crushed by hand. Spray-on insulation and spray-on ceiling textures are prime examples of products that once contained friable asbestos and have been found within residential homes today.

Unlike floor tiles and cement that must endure long-term deterioration before asbestos fibers are loosened, the slightest amount of pressure can instantly release these fibers, allowing them to be carried throughout the air and dust indoors.

Do not panic and try to remove any materials you think are toxic, as this will only do more harm than good.

Instead, block off the area and avoid any activity, including sweeping or vacuuming, which can exacerbate the situation and cause toxic dust and debris to travel even further throughout the house.

Restrict anyone from going near the area until a professional can take samples to confirm it contains asbestos. If the toxin is present and appears to be hazardous, the licensed professional can safely remove the toxin from your home.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Rosati is with the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center. She is a health advocate for anyone impacted by the aggressive form of cancer known as mesothelioma. She dedicates her time to educating the public on where asbestos is found today and how to prevent exposure. Her ultimate goal is to connect anyone affected by this rare diseases with the resources and support they deserve.

      

Watch for Asbestos When Renovating Older Homes: You May Be at Risk

Photo credit: BanksPhotos -iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Rosie Rosati, guest contributor

As a homebuyer, it’s easy to understand the appeal of investing in an older home. After all, it’s the perfect opportunity to tackle a few DIY projects and renovations to give the place the custom touch you’ve always imagined. Although this can seem like an exciting endeavor, new owners may get ahead themselves without realizing their house may be harboring toxins from decades ago.

It’s important to understand the dangers of asbestos during home improvement projects and how to reduce exposure risks.

Measuring Your Risk

Asbestos is a natural silicate mineral that was revolutionary for the building trade until its carcinogenic nature was discovered. This toxin was once widely-used by the construction industry due to its resilience and ability to withstand chemicals and high temperatures. Although its health risks were discovered as early as the 1920s, the United States continued producing, importing and manufacturing asbestos-containing consumer products for decades.

Researchers concluded in 1960 that asbestos exposure could cause a wide range of long-term diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and a deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma. As more tradesmen came forward with asbestos-related illnesses, this mineral became known as a primary source of occupational cancer.

The mineral is heavily regulated today, but millions of people are still vulnerable to exposure due to its expansive use in residential homes and buildings.

Asbestos is only considered dangerous when contaminated materials have been worn down or damaged which unfortunately, is a standard part of most renovation or remodeling work.

Any sanding, grinding, sawing, drilling, buffing, or physical impact may cause these fibers to become airborne and easily ingested or inhaled by anyone in the general proximity.

What Homeowners Need to Know

Asbestos is nearly impossible to identify on your own because it’s often mixed within building products, but it is possible to identify a hazardous situation and take appropriate preventative action.

Before getting involved with any sort of home improvement project, you should always double-check that your property has been recently inspected by a trained professional. This simple step is especially important if you reside in a home built more than 40 years ago and has visible signs of aging. This bit of precaution could save you from developing an asbestos-related illness years later.

You should be aware of common products that have a history of containing the toxin and monitor their condition for any sort of wear and tear. Keep an eye on old insulation, ceiling tiles, vinyl flooring, joint compounds, door gaskets, furnaces, roof shingles, electrical wiring, fireproof products, and more.

Asbestos is known to be a significant threat when it is “friable,” meaning it can be easily crumbled or crushed by hand. Spray-on insulation and spray-on ceiling textures are prime examples of products that once contained friable asbestos and have been found within residential homes today.

Unlike floor tiles and cement that must endure long-term deterioration before asbestos fibers are loosened, the slightest amount of pressure can instantly release these fibers, allowing them to be carried throughout the air and dust indoors.

Do not panic and try to remove any materials you think are toxic, as this will only do more harm than good.

Instead, block off the area and avoid any activity, including sweeping or vacuuming, which can exacerbate the situation and cause toxic dust and debris to travel even further throughout the house.

Restrict anyone from going near the area until a professional can take samples to confirm it contains asbestos. If the toxin is present and appears to be hazardous, the licensed professional can safely remove the toxin from your home.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Rosati is with the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center. She is a health advocate for anyone impacted by the aggressive form of cancer known as mesothelioma. She dedicates her time to educating the public on where asbestos is found today and how to prevent exposure. Her ultimate goal is to connect anyone affected by this rare diseases with the resources and support they deserve.

      

Watch for Asbestos When Renovating Older Homes: You May Be at Risk

Photo credit: BanksPhotos -iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Rosie Rosati, guest contributor

As a homebuyer, it’s easy to understand the appeal of investing in an older home. After all, it’s the perfect opportunity to tackle a few DIY projects and renovations to give the place the custom touch you’ve always imagined. Although this can seem like an exciting endeavor, new owners may get ahead themselves without realizing their house may be harboring toxins from decades ago.

It’s important to understand the dangers of asbestos during home improvement projects and how to reduce exposure risks.

Measuring Your Risk

Asbestos is a natural silicate mineral that was revolutionary for the building trade until its carcinogenic nature was discovered. This toxin was once widely-used by the construction industry due to its resilience and ability to withstand chemicals and high temperatures. Although its health risks were discovered as early as the 1920s, the United States continued producing, importing and manufacturing asbestos-containing consumer products for decades.

Researchers concluded in 1960 that asbestos exposure could cause a wide range of long-term diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and a deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma. As more tradesmen came forward with asbestos-related illnesses, this mineral became known as a primary source of occupational cancer.

The mineral is heavily regulated today, but millions of people are still vulnerable to exposure due to its expansive use in residential homes and buildings.

Asbestos is only considered dangerous when contaminated materials have been worn down or damaged which unfortunately, is a standard part of most renovation or remodeling work.

Any sanding, grinding, sawing, drilling, buffing, or physical impact may cause these fibers to become airborne and easily ingested or inhaled by anyone in the general proximity.

What Homeowners Need to Know

Asbestos is nearly impossible to identify on your own because it’s often mixed within building products, but it is possible to identify a hazardous situation and take appropriate preventative action.

Before getting involved with any sort of home improvement project, you should always double-check that your property has been recently inspected by a trained professional. This simple step is especially important if you reside in a home built more than 40 years ago and has visible signs of aging. This bit of precaution could save you from developing an asbestos-related illness years later.

You should be aware of common products that have a history of containing the toxin and monitor their condition for any sort of wear and tear. Keep an eye on old insulation, ceiling tiles, vinyl flooring, joint compounds, door gaskets, furnaces, roof shingles, electrical wiring, fireproof products, and more.

Asbestos is known to be a significant threat when it is “friable,” meaning it can be easily crumbled or crushed by hand. Spray-on insulation and spray-on ceiling textures are prime examples of products that once contained friable asbestos and have been found within residential homes today.

Unlike floor tiles and cement that must endure long-term deterioration before asbestos fibers are loosened, the slightest amount of pressure can instantly release these fibers, allowing them to be carried throughout the air and dust indoors.

Do not panic and try to remove any materials you think are toxic, as this will only do more harm than good.

Instead, block off the area and avoid any activity, including sweeping or vacuuming, which can exacerbate the situation and cause toxic dust and debris to travel even further throughout the house.

Restrict anyone from going near the area until a professional can take samples to confirm it contains asbestos. If the toxin is present and appears to be hazardous, the licensed professional can safely remove the toxin from your home.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Rosati is with the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center. She is a health advocate for anyone impacted by the aggressive form of cancer known as mesothelioma. She dedicates her time to educating the public on where asbestos is found today and how to prevent exposure. Her ultimate goal is to connect anyone affected by this rare diseases with the resources and support they deserve.

      

$269,890 :: 16703 W COBBLESTONE DR, Macomb MI, 48042-

Property Photo

3 beds, 4 baths
Home size: 2,160 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 08/12/18, Last Updated: 08/12/18
Property Type: Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
MLS Number: 21491046
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Tract: COBBLESTONE RIDGE
Status: Active

Super Sharp 3 bedroom condo with private courtyard patio and deck. Great room with fireplace and 2 sliding doorwalls provide plenty of natural light and lead to a spacious deck with views of the open common area. Generous loft with 2 sky lights on 2nd level can be used for office or additional sitting area. Master bedroom suite on main level has jetted tub and separate shower stall. There is a 2nd bedroom currently being used as a den with an additional bathroom. All bedrooms have access to a full bath! Nicely finished basement with half bath. Furnace, air and hot water tank are all new within last 2 years.

Listed with Keller Williams Lakeside


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$269,890 :: 16703 W COBBLESTONE DR, Macomb MI, 48042-

Property Photo

3 beds, 4 baths
Home size: 2,160 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 08/12/18, Last Updated: 08/12/18
Property Type: Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
MLS Number: 21491046
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Tract: COBBLESTONE RIDGE
Status: Active

Super Sharp 3 bedroom condo with private courtyard patio and deck. Great room with fireplace and 2 sliding doorwalls provide plenty of natural light and lead to a spacious deck with views of the open common area. Generous loft with 2 sky lights on 2nd level can be used for office or additional sitting area. Master bedroom suite on main level has jetted tub and separate shower stall. There is a 2nd bedroom currently being used as a den with an additional bathroom. All bedrooms have access to a full bath! Nicely finished basement with half bath. Furnace, air and hot water tank are all new within last 2 years.

Listed with Keller Williams Lakeside


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$269,890 :: 16703 W COBBLESTONE DR, Macomb MI, 48042-

Property Photo

3 beds, 4 baths
Home size: 2,160 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 08/12/18, Last Updated: 08/12/18
Property Type: Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
MLS Number: 21491046
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Tract: COBBLESTONE RIDGE
Status: Active

Super Sharp 3 bedroom condo with private courtyard patio and deck. Great room with fireplace and 2 sliding doorwalls provide plenty of natural light and lead to a spacious deck with views of the open common area. Generous loft with 2 sky lights on 2nd level can be used for office or additional sitting area. Master bedroom suite on main level has jetted tub and separate shower stall. There is a 2nd bedroom currently being used as a den with an additional bathroom. All bedrooms have access to a full bath! Nicely finished basement with half bath. Furnace, air and hot water tank are all new within last 2 years.

Listed with Keller Williams Lakeside


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$150,000 :: 17763 MILLSTONE, Update MI, 48044

3 beds, 3 baths
Home size: 1,800 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 08/12/18, Last Updated: 08/12/18
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 571092
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Tract: PLUM GROVE VILLAGE
Status: Sold

FAUCETS & BRASS TOILET FIXTURES.ELECTRONIC AIRCLEANER & HUMIDIFIER. FULL BRK ARCHWAY ON FRTENTRANCE,PROGRAMABLE THERMOSTAT,CASABLANCE TYPEFAN/LITE IN DEN. GORGEOUS CHANDELIER IN FOYER.1YR HOME WARRANTY. NEW DOORWALL

Listed with Century 21 Town & Country-Clinton


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$150,000 :: 17763 MILLSTONE, Update MI, 48044

3 beds, 3 baths
Home size: 1,800 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 08/12/18, Last Updated: 08/12/18
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 571092
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Tract: PLUM GROVE VILLAGE
Status: Sold

FAUCETS & BRASS TOILET FIXTURES.ELECTRONIC AIRCLEANER & HUMIDIFIER. FULL BRK ARCHWAY ON FRTENTRANCE,PROGRAMABLE THERMOSTAT,CASABLANCE TYPEFAN/LITE IN DEN. GORGEOUS CHANDELIER IN FOYER.1YR HOME WARRANTY. NEW DOORWALL

Listed with Century 21 Town & Country-Clinton


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$150,000 :: 17763 MILLSTONE, Update MI, 48044

3 beds, 3 baths
Home size: 1,800 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 08/12/18, Last Updated: 08/12/18
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 571092
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Tract: PLUM GROVE VILLAGE
Status: Sold

FAUCETS & BRASS TOILET FIXTURES.ELECTRONIC AIRCLEANER & HUMIDIFIER. FULL BRK ARCHWAY ON FRTENTRANCE,PROGRAMABLE THERMOSTAT,CASABLANCE TYPEFAN/LITE IN DEN. GORGEOUS CHANDELIER IN FOYER.1YR HOME WARRANTY. NEW DOORWALL

Listed with Century 21 Town & Country-Clinton


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$324,900 :: 17738 BRIARWOOD DR, Macomb MI, 48044-2087

Property Photo

3 beds, 4 baths
Home size: 2,450 sq ft
Lot Size: 8,712 sq ft
Added: 08/11/18, Last Updated: 08/11/18
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21490847
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Tract: BRENTWOOD FARMS # 01
Status: Active

Immaculate open concept Split level home in the highly sought after Brentwood Farms Subdivision. Three bedrooms and Two Full and Two half bathrooms. Fully finished basement with plenty of storage, includes Full kitchen a half bath. Oak pool table included. In ground pool with all pool equipment included, as well as a outdoor hot tub to enjoy under the stars. Walking distance of several schools in the award winning Chippewa Valley School District.. // ALL BUYERS MUST ACCOMPANIED BY LICENSED AGENTS // 2 HOUR NOTICE WOULD BE APPRECIATED FOR SHOWINGS.

Listed with Keller Williams Professionals


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$324,900 :: 17738 BRIARWOOD DR, Macomb MI, 48044-2087

Property Photo

3 beds, 4 baths
Home size: 2,450 sq ft
Lot Size: 8,712 sq ft
Added: 08/11/18, Last Updated: 08/11/18
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21490847
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Tract: BRENTWOOD FARMS # 01
Status: Active

Immaculate open concept Split level home in the highly sought after Brentwood Farms Subdivision. Three bedrooms and Two Full and Two half bathrooms. Fully finished basement with plenty of storage, includes Full kitchen a half bath. Oak pool table included. In ground pool with all pool equipment included, as well as a outdoor hot tub to enjoy under the stars. Walking distance of several schools in the award winning Chippewa Valley School District.. // ALL BUYERS MUST ACCOMPANIED BY LICENSED AGENTS // 2 HOUR NOTICE WOULD BE APPRECIATED FOR SHOWINGS.

Listed with Keller Williams Professionals


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$324,900 :: 17738 BRIARWOOD DR, Macomb MI, 48044-2087

Property Photo

3 beds, 4 baths
Home size: 2,450 sq ft
Lot Size: 8,712 sq ft
Added: 08/11/18, Last Updated: 08/11/18
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21490847
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Tract: BRENTWOOD FARMS # 01
Status: Active

Immaculate open concept Split level home in the highly sought after Brentwood Farms Subdivision. Three bedrooms and Two Full and Two half bathrooms. Fully finished basement with plenty of storage, includes Full kitchen a half bath. Oak pool table included. In ground pool with all pool equipment included, as well as a outdoor hot tub to enjoy under the stars. Walking distance of several schools in the award winning Chippewa Valley School District.. // ALL BUYERS MUST ACCOMPANIED BY LICENSED AGENTS // 2 HOUR NOTICE WOULD BE APPRECIATED FOR SHOWINGS.

Listed with Keller Williams Professionals


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$230,000 :: 46629 OAK POINTE DR, Macomb MI, 48042-5906

Property Photo

3 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,382 sq ft
Lot Size: 7,405 sq ft
Added: 08/10/18, Last Updated: 08/10/18
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21490667
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Tract: OAK POINTE CONDO
Status: Active

GORGEOUS RANCH WITH FINISHED LOWER LEVEL ON PRIVATE LOT! PERFECT, MOVE IN CONDITION WITH TASTEFUL/NEUTRAL DECOR THROUGHOUT & TONS OF MAJOR UPDATES. BRIGHT & OPEN FLOOR PLAN FEATURES DRAMATIC CATHEDRAL CEILINGS IN GREAT ROOM & KITCHEN. SPACIOUS KITCHEN WITH ISLAND, LARGE EAT IN BREAKFAST AREA & DOORWALL TO DECK. MASTER SUITE WITH PRIVATE BATH & HUGE WALK IN CLOSET. FINISHED BASEMENT HAS HUGE FAMILY ROOM, BAR AREA, BONUS 4TH BEDROOM (15 X 12) AND STORAGE ROOM. PEACEFUL & PRIVATE, FENCED BACKYARD WITH DECK, PATIO & 2 SHEDS FOR ADDITIONAL STORAGE. FIRST FLOOR LAUNDRY, ALL APPLIANCES TO STAY (EXCEPT LL FREEZER) & 6 PANEL DOORS THROUGHOUT. UPDATES INCLUDE: SIDING (2016), ROOF (2007), FURNACE (2013), DOORWALL & FRONT DOOR (2013), WALLSIDE WINDOWS (2004 W/TRANSFERABLE WARRANTY), NEW GARAGE DOOR & OPENER (2011) & NEWER HOT WATER HEATER. NO HOA FEE! HURRY! THIS WILL NOT LAST!

Listed with RE/MAX Classic


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$230,000 :: 46629 OAK POINTE DR, Macomb MI, 48042-5906

Property Photo

3 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,382 sq ft
Lot Size: 7,405 sq ft
Added: 08/10/18, Last Updated: 08/10/18
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21490667
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Tract: OAK POINTE CONDO
Status: Active

GORGEOUS RANCH WITH FINISHED LOWER LEVEL ON PRIVATE LOT! PERFECT, MOVE IN CONDITION WITH TASTEFUL/NEUTRAL DECOR THROUGHOUT & TONS OF MAJOR UPDATES. BRIGHT & OPEN FLOOR PLAN FEATURES DRAMATIC CATHEDRAL CEILINGS IN GREAT ROOM & KITCHEN. SPACIOUS KITCHEN WITH ISLAND, LARGE EAT IN BREAKFAST AREA & DOORWALL TO DECK. MASTER SUITE WITH PRIVATE BATH & HUGE WALK IN CLOSET. FINISHED BASEMENT HAS HUGE FAMILY ROOM, BAR AREA, BONUS 4TH BEDROOM (15 X 12) AND STORAGE ROOM. PEACEFUL & PRIVATE, FENCED BACKYARD WITH DECK, PATIO & 2 SHEDS FOR ADDITIONAL STORAGE. FIRST FLOOR LAUNDRY, ALL APPLIANCES TO STAY (EXCEPT LL FREEZER) & 6 PANEL DOORS THROUGHOUT. UPDATES INCLUDE: SIDING (2016), ROOF (2007), FURNACE (2013), DOORWALL & FRONT DOOR (2013), WALLSIDE WINDOWS (2004 W/TRANSFERABLE WARRANTY), NEW GARAGE DOOR & OPENER (2011) & NEWER HOT WATER HEATER. NO HOA FEE! HURRY! THIS WILL NOT LAST!

Listed with RE/MAX Classic


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$230,000 :: 46629 OAK POINTE DR, Macomb MI, 48042-5906

Property Photo

3 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,382 sq ft
Lot Size: 7,405 sq ft
Added: 08/10/18, Last Updated: 08/10/18
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21490667
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Tract: OAK POINTE CONDO
Status: Active

GORGEOUS RANCH WITH FINISHED LOWER LEVEL ON PRIVATE LOT! PERFECT, MOVE IN CONDITION WITH TASTEFUL/NEUTRAL DECOR THROUGHOUT & TONS OF MAJOR UPDATES. BRIGHT & OPEN FLOOR PLAN FEATURES DRAMATIC CATHEDRAL CEILINGS IN GREAT ROOM & KITCHEN. SPACIOUS KITCHEN WITH ISLAND, LARGE EAT IN BREAKFAST AREA & DOORWALL TO DECK. MASTER SUITE WITH PRIVATE BATH & HUGE WALK IN CLOSET. FINISHED BASEMENT HAS HUGE FAMILY ROOM, BAR AREA, BONUS 4TH BEDROOM (15 X 12) AND STORAGE ROOM. PEACEFUL & PRIVATE, FENCED BACKYARD WITH DECK, PATIO & 2 SHEDS FOR ADDITIONAL STORAGE. FIRST FLOOR LAUNDRY, ALL APPLIANCES TO STAY (EXCEPT LL FREEZER) & 6 PANEL DOORS THROUGHOUT. UPDATES INCLUDE: SIDING (2016), ROOF (2007), FURNACE (2013), DOORWALL & FRONT DOOR (2013), WALLSIDE WINDOWS (2004 W/TRANSFERABLE WARRANTY), NEW GARAGE DOOR & OPENER (2011) & NEWER HOT WATER HEATER. NO HOA FEE! HURRY! THIS WILL NOT LAST!

Listed with RE/MAX Classic


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$269,900 :: 18097 MARSAL Drive, Macomb Township MI, 48042

3 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,609 sq ft
Lot Size: 11,325 sq ft
Added: 08/10/18, Last Updated: 08/10/18
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 218077300
Community: Macomb Twp
Tract: WINDING CREEK
Status: Active

Pristine Ranch! Corner Lot with just over 1600 sq ft, 3 bed, 2 Full bath. Open concept, great for entertaining, kitchen with sliding door that walks onto a large stamped concrete patio. Large Great room with vaulted ceilings and a gas fireplace, all stainless steel appliances stay. First Floor Laundry, 2 car attached garage with service door. House is Freshly painted, Vaulted ceilings in master bedroom, WIC and Master Bath with separate toilet area. Beautiful curb appeal and nicely landscaped. Full open basement with studded walls waiting to be finished. Sump Pump with back up and prepped for bathroom.Great location! Close to shopping, restaurants and easy access to I94. Don’t miss out! School of choice! You can literally bring your bags and unpack that is how clean this house is. Close to Macomb Township Parks and Rec Center. Great neighborhood.

Listed with Realty Professional Group LLC


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$269,900 :: 18097 MARSAL Drive, Macomb Township MI, 48042

3 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,609 sq ft
Lot Size: 11,325 sq ft
Added: 08/10/18, Last Updated: 08/10/18
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 218077300
Community: Macomb Twp
Tract: WINDING CREEK
Status: Active

Pristine Ranch! Corner Lot with just over 1600 sq ft, 3 bed, 2 Full bath. Open concept, great for entertaining, kitchen with sliding door that walks onto a large stamped concrete patio. Large Great room with vaulted ceilings and a gas fireplace, all stainless steel appliances stay. First Floor Laundry, 2 car attached garage with service door. House is Freshly painted, Vaulted ceilings in master bedroom, WIC and Master Bath with separate toilet area. Beautiful curb appeal and nicely landscaped. Full open basement with studded walls waiting to be finished. Sump Pump with back up and prepped for bathroom.Great location! Close to shopping, restaurants and easy access to I94. Don’t miss out! School of choice! You can literally bring your bags and unpack that is how clean this house is. Close to Macomb Township Parks and Rec Center. Great neighborhood.

Listed with Realty Professional Group LLC


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$269,900 :: 18097 MARSAL Drive, Macomb Township MI, 48042

3 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,609 sq ft
Lot Size: 11,325 sq ft
Added: 08/10/18, Last Updated: 08/10/18
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 218077300
Community: Macomb Twp
Tract: WINDING CREEK
Status: Active

Pristine Ranch! Corner Lot with just over 1600 sq ft, 3 bed, 2 Full bath. Open concept, great for entertaining, kitchen with sliding door that walks onto a large stamped concrete patio. Large Great room with vaulted ceilings and a gas fireplace, all stainless steel appliances stay. First Floor Laundry, 2 car attached garage with service door. House is Freshly painted, Vaulted ceilings in master bedroom, WIC and Master Bath with separate toilet area. Beautiful curb appeal and nicely landscaped. Full open basement with studded walls waiting to be finished. Sump Pump with back up and prepped for bathroom.Great location! Close to shopping, restaurants and easy access to I94. Don’t miss out! School of choice! You can literally bring your bags and unpack that is how clean this house is. Close to Macomb Township Parks and Rec Center. Great neighborhood.

Listed with Realty Professional Group LLC


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$72,000 :: 15430 ASHLY CT, Update MI, 48044

2 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,050 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 08/10/18, Last Updated: 08/10/18
Property Type: Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
MLS Number: 239655
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Status: Sold

Listed with Century 21 Town & Country


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$72,000 :: 15430 ASHLY CT, Update MI, 48044

2 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,050 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 08/10/18, Last Updated: 08/10/18
Property Type: Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
MLS Number: 239655
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Status: Sold

Listed with Century 21 Town & Country


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

$72,000 :: 15430 ASHLY CT, Update MI, 48044

2 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 1,050 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 08/10/18, Last Updated: 08/10/18
Property Type: Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
MLS Number: 239655
Community: Macomb Twp (50008)
Status: Sold

Listed with Century 21 Town & Country


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


      

6 Financial Goals to Achieve Before You Die

(TNS)—At the end of life, your final thoughts won’t be on bad financial decisions—but before you approach the hereafter, you’ll likely have more than a few regrets about poor money management.

Fiscal distress often results from a lack of long-term planning. Failing to save enough for retirement—a decades-long endeavor—is the biggest financial regret among American adults, according to a Bankrate survey, followed closely by not having an adequately-funded emergency savings account.

Much like your physical well-being, financial health requires both good habits and a bit of luck. By setting up financial goals and working hard to accomplish them, you can focus your energy on the more meaningful parts of your life.

1. Maintain a top-notch FICO score.
You’re going to need to borrow a large sum of money at some point in your life. Want to buy a house? A car? Chances are you’re going to need to go to the bank first. The more creditworthy you appear to a financial institution, the less interest you’ll end up paying.

Guarding a super prime score, generally around 740, should be an important financial goal. Most Americans fall short. The average FICO score hit an all-time high last year, reaching 700. You should aim higher—although don’t stress over trying to get a perfect mark of 850. Life’s too short.

How do you improve? Pay off all your credit card bills in full every month, on time. Use no more than 20 percent of your available credit and keep your oldest accounts going even if you don’t need them.

2. Have a six-month emergency fund.
Amassing six months’ worth of spending in a high-yield savings account is really hard. Depending on where you live and how much you earn, you’re looking at a stash of somewhere between $20,000 and $50,000. Only 39 percent of Americans would be able to pay for a $1,000 emergency with cash, according to a Bankrate survey. Wages have mostly stagnated since the Great Recession, and low interest rates are a headache for savers.

An emergency fund is a hedge against disaster. If you were laid off, it would let you take your time picking your next role. If you got sick or the roof caved in, you wouldn’t have to go into debt. If you’re starting from scratch, place any windfall you receive into a savings account. You can even name the account “break in case of emergency.”

3. Become a 401(k) millionaire.
How much you need in retirement savings depends on your current standard of living, but you may face some adjustments after calling it quits. Half of all households are at risk of spending their golden years with less spending power than they are used to, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

The old rule of thumb suggests you need eight times your final income in retirement savings (there are more detailed measures you can use, or you can hire a financial planner). Still, retirement saving is relatively straightforward. Save 10 to 15 percent of your income, including a company match in your 401(k), and invest in low-cost diversified funds. One quick and easy way is to pick a target date fund that gets more conservative (i.e., more bonds) as you age.

4. Pay off your mortgage.
Even if you have a low mortgage rate—mortgage rates have been muted by historical standards since the onset of the housing crisis—owning your home outright is one of the most financially liberating steps you can take, and a sure way to save money.

Let’s say you put 10 percent down on a $262,500 home with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 3.88 percent. You’ll end up paying $164,000 in interest alone. Taking out a 15-year loan, instead, would save around $90,000.

Even if you stick with the average loan length, consider contributing extra to your monthly payment whenever possible, and join the 36 percent of mortgage-free homeowners.

5. Make a major purchase with cash.
Despite an improving jobs picture and stock markets ascending to new heights, Americans are struggling with savings and debt. The personal savings rate has dropped dramatically over the past few years, while the percentage of families with credit card debt jumped by nearly six percentage points to 43.9 from 2013 to 2016, according to the Federal Reserve. The average indebted household owes $5,700. With the Fed poised to raise interest rates multiple times in 2018, taking on debt is an ever more expensive proposition.

The next time you need to make a big purchase, like a family vacation or a new car, try to make it completely with cash; you’ll not only enjoy the thing you just bought, but you won’t face the anxiety that accompanies new debt. To ramp up your savings rate, automatically siphon a small percentage of your biweekly paycheck into an earmarked savings account. Saving automatically is the quickest way to build up your cache.

6. Pay off student loans.
Student loans afflict people of all ages. Nearly one in six Americans have student debt, with a median amount of $17,000. If you took on loans for post-grad studies, you owe $45,000. Meanwhile senior debt has quadrupled over the past 10 years, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

If you’re already putting enough away for retirement—generally 10 percent of your pay, including any employer match—and have a fully-funded emergency fund, start working overtime to pay off your student debt. Put any raises, or your tax refund, to chip away at the mountain of debt.

©2018 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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