(BPT) - When selling a house, the mantra for most is neutral, neutral, neutral. To help potential new owners envision themselves moving in, real estate experts remind sellers to de-personalize their homes. That means removing family photos and mementos and replacing favorite color schemes with more vanilla shades and hues. So as a new homeowner, how do you begin to de-neutralize your new house to make it your new home?
(BPT) - From genteel porches in the East to sleek, seaside balconies in the West, the popularity of outdoor living spaces is poised for significant growth from coast to coast with industry analysts predicting it will be a $5.7 billion market by 2016. Reinforcing these projections, 63 percent of architects cite an outdoor living space as the most popular ”special function room” in housing construction, according to the American Institute of Architects. What’s more, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association reports that homebuilders list decks among the top three features most requested with new home buys.
(BPT) - With many real estate industry watchers predicting 2014 will be a seller’s market, you may think you won’t need to do much to sell your home this spring. Not so fast – while more buyers are likely to be competing for homes, that doesn’t mean they’re willing to settle for less than perfect. In fact, coming out of the real estate crash of a few years ago, buyers have learned the importance of getting the maximum value for their home investment.
(BPT) - When spring finally arrives, windows and skylights across the country will open, as happy homeowners revel in all that sunshine and warm, fresh air. But before you can savor spring, you still have weeks of winter to get through. You can use that time wisely to ensure all your home’s windows, skylights and doors are in good working order – and ready for action when spring arrives.
(BPT) - Once at rock bottom, interest rates have ticked up slightly in recent months. Still, the prospect of refinancing a mortgage remains attractive. Interest rates are projected to rise to 5 percent or above by August 2014, according to an August 2013, Freddie Mac study.
(BPT) - Nearly everyone has a home improvement “impossible dream” – an inground pool in a postage-stamp-sized backyard or a professional-grade kitchen on a $5,000 budget. Some homeowners might say their can’t-do renovation is adding a bathroom in an impossible space. But enterprising homeowners and contractors are using a long-proven technology to creatively add bathrooms in a variety of locations once considered “impossible” for plumbing.
(BPT) - While vinyl siding has historically been the most-used siding material in the U.S., its continuing advancements are allowing even more choice when it comes to two critical qualities desired by homeowners: outstanding curb appeal and low maintenance.
(BPT) - Expanding livable space using decks and patios is a top home improvement trend, but today’s homeowners aren’t satisfied with limiting entertaining outdoors to the warmer months. With a few smart updates, they’re creating spaces that make outdoor entertaining possible all year long. Breathe new life into your existing deck and create a space that can be used for entertaining year-round with a few expert tips.
(BPT) - It’s that time of year again, when the cold wind blows outdoors and your home works as hard as it can to keep you warm and comfortable indoors. Yet your home may be working harder than necessary, while inflating your energy bills in the process. By making a few home renovations this winter, you can boost energy efficiency, save money and add value to your home in the long run.
(ARA) - If you were to take a look at a typical neighborhood today, you would see patterns of familiar home designs such as split-level, ranch or colonial. Most of these American styles were built between 1955 and 1985, when there was a need for mass-produced housing. Due to this suburban sprawl, many homes lost the originality and architectural appeal of classic styles built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
(ARA) – Fall is the time of year when thoughts turn back toward the home. With kids back in school and the holidays approaching, many homeowners look for ways to make their rooms more stylish, but struggle to find the balance between beautiful and livable.
(ARA) – From the moment the first cave dweller marked the wall of his home with a bit of charcoal, art has been a home decor must that has stood the test of time. Whether it’s the vibrant colors of a van Gogh, the almost-mystical perfection of a da Vinci or the dreamily diffused light of a Monet, great art speaks to the soul.
(ARA) – For homeowners looking to improve the value of their homes – and cope with the needs of multiple generations living under one roof – basement and garage renovations make sense. Both can enhance home value and add much-needed living space for less than one might spend on building an addition.
(ARA) – The average cost of a bathroom remodel tops $16,500, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report. But you don’t have to spend the average to achieve above-average results when it comes to updating a bathroom.
(ARA) - No matter what the setting, the good looks and durability of hardwood floors can be maintained with minimal effort. It’s simply a matter of proper care and maintenance.
(ARA) – Those statistics about indoor air pollution and it’s relation to respiratory problems convinced you it was time to get your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) cleaned. You were even looking forward to the increased energy efficiency that a clean system can provide. But $49 and one very noisy service call later, you’re still sneezing and you haven’t seen any dip in your energy bill.
(ARA) - First impressions are everything when it comes to selling a home, and peeling paint, stained carpets and unpleasant odors can be an instant turn-off for buyers. Fortunately, you can take simple and inexpensive steps to prep your home for a quick, top-dollar sale.
(ARA) - Do you know what's behind the drywall in your home? Unless you've ever had a home custom-built or have personally worked in construction, you might be unaware of the vital systems hidden within the walls of your home. But knowing how those systems work can help you make smart, money-saving decisions when building or renovating.
(ARA) - More and more households have extended family living together under one roof, and the tight fit has some families in the market for a larger home.
(ARA) - The peak water usage season, which usually begins in late July or early August, arrived early this year with record high temperatures and widespread drought. During the warmer months, the average American uses about four times as much water as they do the rest of the year. More time outdoors translates into more sweat and dirt, which leads to taking more frequent showers and washing additional loads of laundry. Meanwhile, outside, fighting heat and lack of rain requires heavy lawn and garden watering.
(ARA) - Garage door replacement has become one of the most popular home improvement projects because of its high return on investment (ROI). In fact, Remodeling Magazine's recent annual Cost vs. Value Report ranks garage door replacement as the No. 2 project (out of a list of 35) to offer a good ROI.
(ARA) - For many Americans, as they look out the window of their homes, they see what is becoming a nightmare for many people- a foreclosed house on the block. Its yard is overgrown and littered with branches and trash. It has become a lifeless shell, a magnet for trouble and a source of worry as neighbors wonder how the property will affect the value of their homes.
(ARA) - Backyards have always been places where families can get away without actually going away. Outdoor areas connect people with their favorite natural treasures while providing a place to relax. Whether it's adding an outdoor kitchen and replacing your old picnic table with a truly impressive dining set, or outfitting your patio with a desk space so you can bring your work outside, you can expand your living area by focusing on what's outside the home.
(ARA) - As the years go on and people grow older, so does your home. The changing of seasons and the weather that comes along with it can take a toll on your home, leaving its appearance less than desirable.
(ARA) - A still murky economy and uncertain real estate market may have you wondering if buying a home is a good idea. Whether you're thinking about buying, or already have and just need some affirmation, you may find it comforting to know there are still plenty of good reasons for financially stable people to buy a house. Here are a few:
(ARA) - A good deck system can offer many benefits to a homeowner. Decks provide a place for fall cookouts, neighborhood parties, family get-togethers and countless other outdoor activities. A deck will not only provide years of wonderful outdoor living, it also adds intrinsic value to a home.
(ARA) - One of the hottest summers in US history has sent everyone scurrying into their pools to cool off, and the biggest new trend in swimming pools is salt water. First developed in Australia, saltwater pools offer several advantages over conventional chlorine and have become incredibly popular in the last decade.
(ARA) - The real estate market is still in a state of limbo, which has many homeowners staying in place and looking for ways to make their current abode the most comfortable it can be. Real estate agents expect the market to continue to be flat in 2012, according to ActiveRain Corp, a real estate social network. Because they're not selling, homeowners are looking at remodeling rooms, changing out decorating schemes and in some cases, even adding on to the home.
(ARA) - You may be wishing for sandy beaches or a mountain getaway about now. As Americans make plans to escape for a few days this summer, criminals view these vacations as a season of opportunity.
(ARA) - Feeling uninspired in your space? Updating the decor in your home is an easy way to add more color, style and personality to rejuvenate your residence. Whether you're making a few updates, like new artwork or wall colors, or renovating an entire room with a completely new look, decorating should be fun, not stressful. With a few simple tips, you can up the design ante in your home without breaking the bank.
(ARA) - While drama may be unattractive in other aspects of your life, a dash of it can be just what your home's decor needs to spice things up. Fortunately, you don't have to choose between drama and cents. At least one popular design element can deliver positive impact on your decor and your wallet: skylights.
(ARA) - Do you pin your favorite bathroom makeover ideas on Pinterest, look for inspirational kitchen designs or dream about new decorating styles for your home? If so, you're not alone. Many homeowners are opting to makeover their homes this year instead of upgrading to a new one.
(ARA) - For those considering buying a home, the current real estate market presents some unique opportunities. One of the side effects of the economic roller coaster ride of the past few years is that home prices have gone down and more homes have gone on the market. For buyers, that means more choices and better deals. However, those same tumultuous years also can also teach buyers a lesson: Make smart buying decisions and be wise with your finances.
(ARA) - Termites live to eat. Their hunger causes $5 billion worth of damage each year in the U.S., damage most homeowner's insurance doesn't cover. In fact, a colony can devour a foot of 2-by-4 wood in only six months. And since termites are masters at going undetected, they can destroy entire support beams before you discover their presence. That's why it's so important to know what to look for.
(ARA) - Owning a home remains a key element of the American Dream. In fact, a recent survey by TD Bank revealed that 84 percent of young renters (ages 18 to 34) intend to buy a home in the future. While it is exciting, home buying can be overwhelming and complicated if you don't have a general knowledge of the process.
(ARA) - The average American makes 11.7 moves during a lifetime, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That's about one in six people pulling up stakes each year.
(ARA) - Summer brings a full court press for moving season - with June being the busiest month for Americans to relocate.
(ARA) - Bigger isn't always better in the real estate world, and what's more, it's not always possible. With more baby boomers downsizing from McMansions to smaller, more manageable houses, and a growing number of people opting to rent rather than buy, many families are looking for new ways to decorate, design and work with smaller spaces.
(ARA) - Buyers are still clamoring for real estate deals in this turbulent market. Foreclosures and short sales offer some of the best bargains, but also have a higher risk level. Still, more than four in five adults think foreclosures and short sales can be good deals, according to a recent American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) survey.
Though average Americans move approximately 12 times throughout their lives, many people are in the dark about the ins and outs of hiring a mover. Movers can make the stressful relocation process go much more smoothly, but if you don't do your research, you could be in for some surprises when hiring one.
(ARA) - The arrival of summer has many homeowners outside planting, preparing the patio for cookouts, and taking evening strolls through the neighborhood. Often, this extended outdoor time brings on a desire to improve a home's curb appeal.
(ARA) - Summer is finally here, and with warmer temperatures and longer days, it's the perfect time to brighten up your home with a few outdoor painting projects. You can add the right amount of color and increase your curb appeal in just one weekend, leaving you the rest of the season to enjoy the finished product.
(NAPSI)—With a flood of real estate listings on the market, sellers continuously search for ways to stand out.
(ARA) - It's moving season. In a buyer-friendly market, home shoppers can be pretty particular in their search for a dream home. Increasingly, buyers are seeking flawless, move-in ready homes, and while traditional home inspections are a must-have, something equally important lurking beneath homes often goes overlooked.
(ARA) - In the current economy, homeowners want to improve their home's exterior while saving time, labor and money. You can enhance your lifestyle by choosing options that extend product performance and add beauty and enjoyment to outdoor living.
Buying your first home will likely be one of the most exciting and scary times of your life. Beyond the basic considerations - location, number of bathrooms, ranch style vs. multilevel - there are a number of important financial factors to determine before deciding which house is right for you.
(ARA) - Have you ever accidentally left a candle burning unattended? Or left home without turning on the security system? You probably made a mental note to yourself to not do it again, but otherwise didn't think much about it.
(ARA) - Cutting back on vacations and entertainment is a wise move to help ride out a recovering economy, but don't be tempted to forego car and homeowners insurance to make ends meet.
(ARA) - With temperatures on the rise, it's time to get outside to relax with family and friends. Today's homeowners want their outdoor spaces to be an extension of their homes, with 80 percent saying a patio or front porch are "must haves," according to a survey of residential architects by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
(ARA) - For many younger Americans, the dream of owning their first home is alive and well. But for others, it's still an elusive dream.