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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Home Improvers Should Be Wary Of Tradesmen Touting Door to Door, the UK's largest match making service for home improvers and recommended tradesmen, has advised home owners not to consider tradesmen who use door to door methods of touting for work, and has suggested that residents take care when employing repair and maintenance workers.

More and more customers are being left out of pocket with poorly completed or unfinished jobs, as itinerant tradesmen, masquerading as professionals, approach home owners on their doorsteps posing as anything from local roofers to gardeners, trying to talk them into offering work.

Trading Standards has recently stated that it receives numerous complaints every year from home owners that have fallen foul of poor workmanship, inflated prices and even aggressive behaviour advising that care should be taken when employing repair and maintenance workers.

Indeed, government-endorsed TrustMark, has gone as far as to state that home owners should completely avoid workers who say they just happen to be in the area and try and talk them into a spur-of-the-moment decision.

However, provides individuals with the means to avoid this, potentially very expensive, problem in the first instance. With a nationwide network of recommended tradesmen, from local builders to recommended bathroom designers, has helped thousands of its users find a commendable tradesman within their local vicinity. looks to connect home owners and developers with interested local tradesmen who have been rated by their previous customers. The website aims to promote higher standards of home improvement, whilst creating an equal platform on which both businesses and consumers can communicate.

With over £30m in project value posted and monthly additions of more than 1,000 new tradesmen, is the UK's largest match making service for home improvers and recommended tradesmen. The site has more than 55,000 unbiased ratings to date and ensures that tradesmen are only rated by actual customers.

PR Web

Friday, May 22, 2009

Breaking the Housing Crisis Cycle Requires Unique Approach, Says Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank

In its annual report, released today, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland documents how the housing crisis cycle unfolded differently in its district than it did in other parts of the country. The Cleveland Fed also is proposing a multi-faceted approach to breaking the cycle that focuses on the interconnected nature of the problems that led to the crisis.

According to Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland research, areas within Ohio, eastern Kentucky, western Pennsylvania, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia didn’t suffer from the crash of hyper-inflated housing prices, as happened in California, Florida, and other overheated housing markets. The underlying problem was over-lending to people in a region that was under stiff economic pressure long before the recession set in.

Too many people ended up in mortgages they couldn’t afford, and when the economy took a nosedive, many of them became delinquent and defaulted on their loans.

Those defaults led to a high number of foreclosures, which led to an oversupply of housing, which led to home prices depreciating and borrowers and financial institutions taking on big losses.

To break the cycle, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland supports taking the following actions:

* Provide financial incentives to mortgage lenders and servicers to modify loans for borrowers in trouble
* Help troubled borrowers stay in their homes by converting them from owners to renters
* Beef up code enforcement and clear legislation for land banks to help local governments better manage properties left vacant by foreclosure
* Help banks and financial institutions recapitalize so they can lend with confidence

The Cleveland Fed’s research shows that each pressure point in the housing crisis cycle feeds off and affects others, which is why the regional reserve bank is advocating a coordinated approach. It also recognizes that the problem took a long time to develop and recommends that efforts to return the region to health be sustained over the long term.