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3 things to look for when buying a new home
September 16, 2016 - News Shorts

(BPT) - Purchasing a new home is an exciting and sometimes stressful experience. Whether you're moving to a new town or looking to upgrade from your current space, finding a new home requires patience, expert guidance and a keen eye for detail.

As a home seeker, the first thing you'll evaluate is location, space and amenities such as fireplaces, granite countertops, a finished basement, deck or a swimming pool. The next thing to consider is cost, shopping for the right mortgage, making your down payment and negotiating other fees. Finally, you look at the various features inside and outside the home that make it safe, convenient and energy-efficient for you and your family.

To ease some of the stress of house hunting, here are a few top considerations to keep in mind throughout the process:

Always start with an impartial home inspection. Home inspections can help potential buyers uncover the structural issues of a home, while also examining if electrical wiring and devices are up to code, plumbing lines are performing correctly and HVAC systems are running efficiently. In order to locate and properly evaluate any concerns, it is crucial that you research the best impartial home inspector in the area, be present during the inspection itself and thoroughly read the inspection report on the property. Sometimes issues identified are quick fixes which you can address yourself, such as replacing older electrical switches and outlets. You can evaluate if you're able to make these quick updates safely yourself by viewing sample installations at However, other conditions may require more labor-intensive repairs and outside contracting, which should be included in your budget or negotiated with the seller before purchasing your new place.

Determine any value-add features you want that are already in the home. According to the National Association of Realtors' 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, a home buyer's expected tenure in a newly purchased home is approximately 14 years on average. While it's not uncommon to change things the longer you live there, it's equally important to note the features that certain properties already have during your initial home search to avoid costly replacements and construction projects down the line. As you're searching, keep the long-term in mind and consider what you may want in the future. Be sure to ask a lot of questions during each walk-through. For example, are there enough bathrooms to meet your family's needs? Will your family grow? Does the kitchen have a gas line for appliances? Is there a properly-installed and updated heating and cooling system? Does the master bedroom have a walk-in closet? What amenities will make you and your family feel safe, happy and comfortable from the moment you walk in the door and for years to come?

What measures have been taken to make the home safe? It's important to consider a home's safety features, especially if you're moving into a new residence with children or pets. So, what classifies as a safety amenity? Depending on the home and location, safety features should include alarm systems, working door and window locks, working carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms and Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) Outlets. Especially when it comes to electrical outlets in areas like the living room and bedroom, products like Leviton's SmartlockPro AFCI Outlet should be installed. These AFCI outlets prevent electrical fires in the home and are tamper-resistant, providing added safety for all members of the family.

To see what other electrical safety and home products you should look for or look to install in your potential home, check out

(Sign up for your FREE monthly e-issue of the LifeandHomes Magazine. There is No-cost, No-obligation. Each monthly issue features informational articles, local real estate listings and our exclusive "Ask the Expert" business directory where you can find local resources to answer your how-to questions. Just Click on the FREE Magazine Tab at the top of this page)

6 simple ways to freshen your home inside and out
September 09, 2016 - News Shorts

(BPT) - Looking for some easy ways to breathe new life into your home? Whether it's the air inside or the decor itself, freshening things up can make your home look and feel more welcoming at any time of year. You don't need a lot of time or money to reinvigorate your home; just a few simple and affordable, yet high-impact DIY projects will do the trick.

Here are a few projects you can easily accomplish in a single weekend:

* Paint an accent wall, trim or ceiling. Decorators often say painting is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to freshen your home's appearance. You don't have to redo an entire room in order to leverage the freshening power of paint. Simply painting a single accent wall for a pop of color, using paint to create graphic wall art, or repainting the trim or ceiling will create a whole new look. If you're looking for inspiration or simple solutions to help seamlessly transform your space, Dutch Boy Paint offers unique project ideas and easy-to-follow how-tos that will make the process a breeze.

Choosing the right paint for the job can also ensure the painting project is a breeze, from start to finish. Dutch Boy Refresh paint + primer with Arm & Hammer odor Eliminating Technology, eliminates the need for a separate primer. It saves time since you don't have to take that extra step of priming first. Plus, it's great for reducing common household odors. Refresh paint is a perfect choice for laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, mudrooms and even kids rooms. It gives you added assurance that your home will smell fresh and clean.

* Don't forget about your furry family members. You may love your pets, but the truth is they can contribute to a stuffy atmosphere in your home. Wash pet bedding, litter boxes and cloth toys regularly. Contain pet clutter by placing your pup's or kitty's toys in a pretty basket where he or she can reach them.

* Add some indoor greens. Plants not only make a room look bright and homey, their ability to filter carbon dioxide and other airborne pollutants can help make your home smell fresher, too.

* Give your kitchen some TLC. Like most, you probably spend a lot of time in your kitchen. However, you don't need to do a complete makeover to give your kitchen a fresh look. Start by decluttering countertops and dropping some lemon rinds down the garbage disposal. Next, replace dated cabinet hardware with new handles, knobs and pulls. Adding in a faucet in a contemporary finish will go a long way too; as a focal point of the kitchen, it will help tie everything together in a subtle way.

* Upgrade your entryway. The front door is one of the first things visitors notice. If yours is old, worn and outdated, replacing it with a new one can be an easy, cost-effective way to improve the appearance of your home's exterior. Even if your door is in good shape, painting it a bright, appealing color can make your home's facade look fresher and more inviting. Be sure to use a paint formulated for doors, such as Dutch Boy Cabinet, Door & Trim paint. Add decorative lighting fixtures like sconces or a hanging light, dress up front steps with potted flowers and wash sidelights and windows around the entry.

* Some sources of stuffiness may surprise you. That old shower curtain not only makes your bathroom look shabby, it can detract from the air quality in the room as mildew builds up over time. Replace old shower curtains with something bright and appealing, and be sure to clean the grate on the bathroom vent fan. Stuffiness hides in the laundry room, too. Cleaning dryer vents and the washing machine regularly, and keeping laundry items and accessories organized can help make even a small laundry area feel fresh.

Freshening around the home doesn't have to be a seasonal project. With a few simple steps, you can create a new look and feel in and around your home at any time of year. For more on these products and inspiration for your next paint project, visit

(Sign up for your FREE monthly e-issue of the LifeandHomes Magazine. There is No-cost, No-obligation. Each monthly issue features informational articles, local real estate listings and our exclusive "Ask the Expert" business directory where you can find local resources to answer your how-to questions. Just Click on the FREE Magazine Tab at the top of this page)

5 ways to reinvent your garage
September 02, 2016 - News Shorts

(BPT) - The garage – it’s that space where you used to just store your car, lawn mower, power tools, bikes, bats and boxes of things you wore in the 90s. But to say a garage is only for storage is like saying a truck is only for hauling dressers and box springs.

From game room to workshop, man cave to hangout — your garage has the potential to be anything you want it to be. So if you’re thinking of redecorating or remodeling your house, don’t spend all your time picking out kitchen tile and arguing over what type of counter looks best — step into your garage and let yourself dream big.

With the right materials, some creativity and a little work, you can turn your garage into the star of the house. How? TV personality and award-winning interior designer Anitra Mecadon offers the following five ideas to get you excited about all the possibilities.

Toughen up your walls

No matter what you want to do with your garage, first make sure your walls can stand up to real life. There’s probably no space in the house more susceptible to scratches, scuffs and accidental holes than the garage — so pick your walls accordingly. Look for PURPLE Hi-Impact XP made by National Gypsum for extra wear and tear to resist everything from car doors opened too close to the wall to the hockey sticks swung a little too hard. This drywall is embedded with fiberglass mesh to make it impact and penetration resistant — and like all PURPLE drywall, it resists moisture, mold and mildew.

Make your garage your hideaway

Sometimes you need to get away from it all — especially from your “honey do” or project list — and the garage can be where you go, your hangout, an extension of yourself and a definite point of pride. Add a snack machine, fridge, swivel chair or two and big screen TV, and you and your friends will have it made.  

Lift it up

Most people have a lot of stuff to store in the garage in addition to cars, tools and bikes. And let’s face it, the more available space you have, the more likely you’ll find stuff to fill it. That means you’ll need to get creative with storage. In addition to shelves and cabinets attached to the walls, another way to store your stuff is to use a raised lift system which retracts up into the top levels of your garage and comes down with a push of a button when you need something.

Hang it up

There are some things that just don’t belong in your house but are perfect for the garage. Just like restaurants that have walls crowded with collectibles such as old soda signs, sea anchors and license plates — garages can follow this same design concept and personalize a space even more. Walls also can serve as anchors for storage systems that hold your tools, bikes, boxes and equipment. And you can rest assured that high-performing drywall, like PURPLE Hi-Impact XP, will stand up to the wear and tear of hanging up and taking down your tools, rakes, bikes and more, day after day. 

Do more with your floor

Today, garage floors can be anything you want — yellow, red, metallic, acid-washed or made out of heavy-duty vinyl or rubber. And whether you want the grey concrete vintage look of your childhood or something that reflects your more grown-up self, when it comes to garage floors, take a chance and get inventive, because your garage can be your personal and customized sanctuary.

There’s a lot you can do with a modern garage, and no matter how you decide to personalize it, the best garage remodel starts at the studs. The right drywall is as important as the right wrench in the toolbox. To learn more, visit

(Sign up for your FREE monthly e-issue of the LifeandHomes Magazine. There is No-cost, No-obligation. Each monthly issue features informational articles, local real estate listings and our exclusive "Ask the Expert" business directory where you can find local resources to answer your how-to questions. Just Click on the FREE Magazine Tab at the top of this page)

Top 5 secrets from professionals on home renovation
August 26, 2016 - News Shorts
When asked what kind of upgrades homeowners would like to make in their home, most have a similar wish list that includes features like marble or granite counter tops, an open concept kitchen, a remodeled bathroom and a deck.
6 tips to protect your children from hidden dangers around the home
August 19, 2016 - News Shorts
Even in the most safety-minded homes, the most serious hazards for children can be hiding in plain sight. Know which unexpected items can be risky, and what to do to prevent an accident. Many parents feel they know the top child proofing items to check off to keep kids safe - cover electrical outlets, lock kitchen cabinets and secure baby gates on stairs.
Fast fixes to boost curb appeal for a quick home sale
August 05, 2016 - News Shorts
It takes just seven seconds to form a first impression after meeting someone new. The same psychology applies to the first impression people get when shopping for a new home. Within seconds of arrival, home buyers are forming positive and negative opinions about the property.
Houses- Building them better than they used to
July 29, 2016 - News Shorts
The phrase, “they don’t build them like they used to,” has been applied to nearly everything from cars to footwear, but most often it seems people say it about houses. In fact, this sentiment has become so common, that many believe the homes today aren’t built to the standards they were 60 or 70 years ago.
Tips for creating a multi-purpose home office space
July 22, 2016 - News Shorts
Many Americans feel working from home would be a dream job, and more than one-third are already living that dream; 37 percent of U.S. workers telecommute, according to Gallup.
Moving? 5 tips to keep your valuables safe
July 08, 2016 - News Shorts
Beyond the flowers blooming, the sound of birds singing and the burst of warm weather, something happens in May. After a long winter, the rising temperatures make spring a prime time to move. College students are moving out of dorms, young families are transitioning to new homes after the school year and retirees are looking for an easier, more maintenance-free living situation.
First-time homebuyers: You are closer to a down payment than you think
June 24, 2016 - News Shorts
For many first-time buyers, saving for a down payment is the most difficult step in the home-buying process. However, it's a common misconception that you need 20 percent down to buy a home.
Separating fact from fiction: A closer look at American hardwoods
June 17, 2016 - News Shorts
As home improvement projects take center stage, the search is on for products that will enhance, rather than jeopardize the health and well-being of our families and loved ones. Products made from American hardwoods have been the natural choice for healthy home and work environments for generations.
Home improvement investments that pay you back
June 03, 2016 - News Shorts
Homeowners are looking for value in every home improvement project they take on — whether they are upgrading for resale or their own pride of ownership. With new technologies and products on the market, it is easier than ever to add value to your home with projects that ultimately pay you back in numerous ways.
Cool summer renovation ideas keep homes more comfortable when the heat is on
May 27, 2016 - News Shorts
Once spring cleanup is done, you may feel ready to tackle some renovation projects this summer. If so, you're not alone: 62 percent of homeowners plan to undertake a home improvement project this year, according to a Harris poll.
Meaningful Ways to Support Veterans this Memorial Day
May 23, 2016 - News Shorts
All gave some. Some gave all. You likely hear that phrase around Memorial Day every year, but do you know its origin?
Real estate insight: Hot tips for buying a home in a competitive market
May 14, 2016 - News Shorts
As the weather gets warmer and school comes to a close, the real estate market also heats up. If you're planning on buying a home, you'll likely find more properties on the market during the summer months. However, increased competition could present challenges on the path to landing the home of your dreams.
Trending real estate investment: Land ownership
April 29, 2016 - News Shorts
Smart investors know a diversified portfolio is the best way to weather any storm. Considering the volatility of the current stock market, the desire for better options has never been greater. Rather than gamble on the next buzzworthy stock or bond and hope it lives up to expectations, there's an alternative that's gaining traction: land ownership.
Improve your homes energy efficiency with these tips
April 15, 2016 - News Shorts
With spring upon us and the emphasis on home energy efficiency continuing to grow, building industry experts say now is the best time for homeowners considering a home improvement project to look at how energy efficient their home truly is.
5 tips to help you make the most of this year's real estate season
April 01, 2016 - News Shorts
Sell or stay, these home improvements pay off in the long run
March 11, 2016 - News Shorts
Homeowners undertake home improvements for two basic reasons: to please themselves or to please others who may one day buy their home. Some types of improvements are for the sake of a speedier sale, such as planting a row of shrubs between your backyard and a busy street behind your home.
Five home-buying trends for this year's market
March 04, 2016 - News Shorts
If you're in the market for a new house this year, don't be fooled by the brisk chill in the air - the spring house-hunting season is actually closer than you think. That means now is the perfect time to start your planning.
5 ways to improve your outdoor space with retaining walls
February 26, 2016 - News Shorts
When you picture a retaining wall, do you imagine it holding back dirt? That's the most common use for retaining walls - to address elevation changes and prevent erosion. But concrete segmental retaining wall (SRW) units are multi-purpose landscaping tools with many more uses.
5 things to discuss with your significant other before purchasing a home
February 12, 2016 - News Shorts
In a relationship, you count on your significant other to be there with you through the good and the bad. They are your best friend, your confident and your closest ally. And you count on being able to have important conversations with them as well.
8 homeowner dilemmas solved with 1 simple fix
February 05, 2016 - News Shorts
Unless you are the latest lottery winner or Queen of England (thank you for reading, your Majesty), you try to make your home improvements really count, and sometimes have to choose one upgrade over another. What if we told you there is a rather quick improvement that will take care of eight issues around the house, all at once?
Expert advice for surviving severe weather
January 29, 2016 - News Shorts
It's out there - that next bout of severe weather is on its way. No matter where you live in the United States, the potential for severe weather always exists and sometimes it comes without much warning.
5 smart upgrades for the most-used rooms in your home
January 22, 2016 - News Shorts
Kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms are typically the rooms in any home that get the most use, which could also be why homeowners, when surveyed, consistently cite those rooms as the ones they most want to renovate.
Homeowners liable for snow, ice control
January 15, 2016 - News Shorts
During the winter months, it’s common to see shopping centers and business owners out and about clearing snow and ice from pathways, parking spaces and entrances.
Sell your home this winter, reduce competition, stress
January 08, 2016 - News Shorts
Stop waiting - go ahead and put your home on the market. Even now, with temperatures dropping, airports bustling and retailers prepping Black Friday deals, it's a good time to sell.
Make your new house feel like home to your family pets
January 02, 2016 - News Shorts
Moving into a new home is exciting - for the humans in the family. It can be less comfortable for pets who need time to adjust to a new environment, learn their way around and discover the best nap spots in their new home. As a loving pet parent, you want every member of your family to be as happy and comfortable as possible.
Easy, affordable home winterization ideas with big impact
December 18, 2015 - News Shorts
Although you may prefer to forget, last winter's subfreezing temperatures may not be an isolated occurrence. Weather experts are already discussing if El Nino and arctic air from a polar vortex will cause colder than normal winter weather throughout the country. Is your home ready to withstand the chill?
How to stay comfortable this winter without breaking the bank
December 11, 2015 - News Shorts
Throughout the cold days of winter, homeowners are inclined to turn up the dial on their thermostat to maintain a warm, comfortable home. However, homeowners may not realize the presence of drafts and air leaks throughout the home can lead to temperature fluctuation and higher than normal heating bills.
5 easy fall home updates
December 04, 2015 - News Shorts
There are so many reasons to love fall. From the brisk breeze and color-changing leaves outdoors, to prepping for the holidays and watching football inside, there couldn't be a better time to make a few updates around your house.
Reduce the risk of home fires
November 27, 2015 - News Shorts
While the number of home fires occurring in the U.S. each year has fallen by more than 50 percent since 1977, the ratio of people who die in home fires has remained virtually unchanged, based on <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">data from the National Fire Protection Association</a> (NFPA).
Ceiling revamps: Leave the popcorn to the movies
November 21, 2015 - News Shorts
Calling all DIY enthusiasts: Those popcorn ceilings have to go. They don't get much love from homeowners or homebuyers, and they can really bring down the overall look and feel of an otherwise attractive room.
Winter is coming for your home: What you can do now to protect your wallet
November 13, 2015 - News Shorts
It's coming - the white, windy weather of winter. Are you ready? Is your home? Now is the time to protect your home and wallet with a quick window and door checkup to make needed repairs and reduce costs.
Looking to buy a home? 5 mortgage steps you need to know
November 06, 2015 - News Shorts
The home loan process can seem intimidating, especially for a first-time homebuyer. It is not a simple process, but it doesn't have to be too complicated. There are many resources available to help you prepare for your home buying journey, and your mortgage lender can answer the questions you have throughout the process.
4 approachable modern home design ideas
October 30, 2015 - News Shorts
Once limited to simplistic, clean lines and cool color schemes, modern design has evolved to include sleek, minimalistic looks with gentle, warm, organic elements.
Keep the heat in and the cold out this winter: Tips for a cozy home
October 23, 2015 - News Shorts
Winter this year promises to be harsh across much of the U.S. The Farmers' Almanac predicts conditions will be "bitter cold," "unseasonably cold," "very chilly" and "frigid" for states east of the Mississippi River. In a word, brrrrrr!
4 winter-blues-busting home improvement projects
October 16, 2015 - News Shorts
Three percent of the U.S. population suffers from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) every winter, according to Psychology Today. But you don't have to be diagnosed with an actual disorder to suffer a bad case of the winter blues - it can happen to anyone.
Design tips for a chef-centered kitchen
October 09, 2015 - News Shorts
Many homeowners with a passion for cooking desire a kitchen that mirrors those of renowned chefs. To achieve this, various design elements and simple upgrades can be incorporated to create the ideal kitchen that combines ultimate functionality with sophisticated style.
How smart home chefs are going green with kitchen design
October 02, 2015 - News Shorts
Home chefs everywhere are taking a new approach when designing their dream kitchens. Beyond upscale tools and high end appliances, they also want features that are eco-friendly and environmentally smart. Here are the top trends in eco-friendly kitchen design.
Defining home improvement ROI: Its not just about the money
September 25, 2015 - News Shorts
If home improvement was only about increasing a home's resale value, perhaps more people would live in homes that had steel entry doors, manufactured stone veneer and/or vinyl siding and interior walls that were a uniform beige. But when you're calculating the potential return on investment of any home improvement project, you need to consider more than just the cost
5 fabulous fall upgrades can extend your deck time this year
September 18, 2015 - News Shorts
Who says you have to give up time on the deck you love just because summer is over? Whether you're just relaxing or tackling home improvement projects, time outdoors is a great way to recharge at the end of a hectic day or tiring week.
Avoid expensive energy bills with this hot new housing trend
September 11, 2015 - News Shorts
Imagine being able to heat your home with no more energy than used by a hair dryer turned on low, or even going off the grid altogether.
Fall: The Best Season for Home Improvement
September 10, 2015 - News Shorts
A new fall tradition has emerged for nearly 74 million American homeowners; home improvement.
5 simple design tricks to revamp your home
September 04, 2015 - News Shorts
Whether you've just moved into a home or you've lived there for years, it might be time for a design tune-up. While many may think tackling their home décor takes a bundle of time, money and expertise, it doesn't have to be so frightening.
5 outdoor projects that will add value to your home
August 28, 2015 - News Shorts
Everyone wants a great outdoor space, but backyard projects can be a lot of work - and in many cases, a lot of money. So it just makes sense to choose projects that will enhance your quality of living for summers to come as well as yield a great return on investment.
5 tips for settling into your new home
August 21, 2015 - News Shorts
Though summer is winding down, for many families, hectic moving schedules are still underway. Whether you are moving this season or planning for a move in the near future, consider some helpful guidelines on packing up, moving out and settling in without a hitch - plus, the latest technologies to turn your new house into a home.
3 steps to prepare your credit for homeownership
August 14, 2015 - News Shorts
Homeownership is a dream for many Americans, and maybe it's one of yours as well. Making this dream a reality requires hard work, dedication and the proper preparation.
Dress up your floors with top tile trends
August 07, 2015 - News Shorts
If you are renovating any area of your home, it may be time to try something new-such as bringing tile into main living areas in addition to your bathrooms and kitchen. New designs, styles and technologies are making tile the most versatile and accessible flooring material.
Glass act: How modern fenestration improves a home's energy efficiency
July 31, 2015 - News Shorts
Most people probably think of windows and skylights only when they're buying or selling a house, when they get dirty, when they leak, or when the kid next door lobs a baseball through one.
Planning a home improvement project? Financing is the first tool you'll need
July 24, 2015 - News Shorts
If you're planning a home improvement project this year, you're in good company. The economy and housing market are recovering, home values and equity are rising, and many homeowners are beginning projects they had put off over the past few years. A recent report by the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University predicts that the home improvement industry could post record-level spending in 2015.
5 easy ways to make your outdoor space the best on the block
July 16, 2015 - News Shorts
When the calendar flips to the summer months, all you can think about is getting outside and soaking up the sun. But when you look out the window into your yard, what do you see? Is it an inviting space that encourages you to get out and enjoy the fresh air? Or could it use a bit of sprucing up?
Quick tips to reduce moving stress
July 10, 2015 - News Shorts
Three super-simple ways to make your new deck look amazing
July 04, 2015 - News Shorts
Do dreams of lazy days soaking up the sun have you looking for a way to move the indoors out? T
Creating an island paradise: Tips for adding an island in your kitchen renovation
June 26, 2015 - News Shorts
Custom cabinetry, granite countertops, reclaimed wood flooring and accents, and top-of-the-line, high-tech appliances - what more do you need to make your kitchen renovation perfect? How about adding an island?
5 ways to get buyers to see your open house as their next house
June 19, 2015 - News Shorts
What makes a person or a family decide a home is the perfect for them? Is it all location, location, location? What about price, schools or the neighborhood? Or is it something else; a feeling they get when they walk in the door, a detail they notice or a scent in the air.
How to determine the true value of home improvements
June 12, 2015 - News Shorts
Before spending a significant amount of time and money on your next home improvement project, consider these tips.
This simple DIY home improvement saves money and helps the environment
June 05, 2015 - News Shorts
In the typical American home, heating and cooling account for 50 to 70 percent of total energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
How to tackle stains and odors
May 29, 2015 - News Shorts
From wall stains to washing machines, indoor stains and smells can be a challenge to tackle. Luckily, there are surprisingly simple methods to erase them for good. Here are a few tips to freshen up the most stubborn spots in your home.
One smart update can upgrade your entire home
May 22, 2015 - News Shorts
If your home is 10 years old or older, your garage door is probably a plain-Jane raised-panel steel door that adds little or nothing to the overall design of your house.
Plan now for your big move this summer
May 15, 2015 - News Shorts
The big move & it should be in all-caps and announced with a deep, authoritative voice. THE BIG MOVE. And it's coming to your family soon. It might be from one house to another across town, or it might involve crossing many state lines. No matter the distance, amount of belongings or number of people, your big move is going to be a big deal.
What's up in roofs? Metal growing in popularity
May 01, 2015 - News Shorts
It's hard to believe, but the 2013-14 polar vortex wasn't all bad. Sure, it brought North America record cold and snow, in one of the worst winters ever. But the weather phenomenon's silver lining was in persuading many homeowners it was time to forever abandon their conventional roofs for something better.
How to determine the true value of home improvements
April 17, 2015 - News Shorts
As the U.S. housing industry continues to emerge from the Great Recession, signs are pointing toward positive recovery. In fact, a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University states that the home improvement industry could see record spending in 2015.
Improve your spring-cleaning routine and create a healthier home
April 09, 2015 - News Shorts
Spring is cleaning season. You've opened the curtains to let in the sunshine, and every cleaning product you have in the house is primed and ready for action.
Termites 101: What every homebuyer should know this spring
March 27, 2015 - News Shorts
It's a cruel coincidence that the spring's real-estate buying season corresponds with another far less pleasant one - termite swarming season.
This top garage trend keeps gaining momentum
March 20, 2015 - News Shorts
The carriage house garage door is to your house what the little black dress and strand of pearls are to your wardrobe; classic style elements that never go out of fashion.
How to secure the home loan you need
March 13, 2015 - News Shorts
Springtime represents new beginnings and is the prime time to get the house in order.
Deter deer damage: 8 facts you need to know about deer during the cold-weather season
March 06, 2015 - News Shorts
While humans prepare for cold weather, deer have something else in mind when temperatures drop. Cold weather signifies mating season for deer.
8 ways first-time homebuyers can make themselves mortgage-ready
February 27, 2015 - News Shorts
It's rare to get something right the very first time you try it, but when it comes to buying your first home, a lack of knowledge and experience can lead to costly mistakes.
Busting first-time homebuyer myths
February 13, 2015 - News Shorts
When buying a first home, most people are making one of the biggest purchases of their lives.
5 easy kitchen and bath upgrades that take only hours to complete
January 30, 2015 - News Shorts
Do your kitchen and bathrooms look a bit drab? If you don't have the time or budget for a full remodel, there are still many simple updates you can do to refresh these spaces and invigorate each with impressive style.
How to cut the clutter and take back your home
January 23, 2015 - News Shorts
You've reached your breaking point. You've tripped over the same thing in the living room too many times. Now you've picked it up to finally put it away and you realize - you have nowhere to put it.
The easiest resolution to keep: Upgrading your bathroom
January 16, 2015 - News Shorts
Whether committing to losing weight, improving your health or furthering your career, New Year's resolutions create stress and require time and hard work.
Energy-efficient home trends for 2015 and beyond
January 09, 2015 - News Shorts
One of the top trends driving today's housing market is the demand for energy-efficient homes that don't sacrifice comfort for quality.
Expert tips to make your new house feel like home
January 09, 2015 - News Shorts
You know that moving into a new home can be one of life's biggest stressors - the packing, the paperwork, the unpacking and of course finding the nearest coffee shop. Making your new house feel like your home can help alleviate some of this stress and provide a safe-haven for some much needed relaxation.
Expert tips to make your new house feel like home
December 19, 2014 - News Shorts
You know that moving into a new home can be one of life's biggest stressors - the packing, the paperwork, the unpacking and of course finding the nearest coffee shop. Making your new house feel like your home can help alleviate some of this stress and provide a safe-haven for some much needed relaxation.
Timeless interior design - perfect for protecting your kitchen investment
December 13, 2014 - News Shorts
Kitchens are the heart of the home. It's where you prepare meals, help your kids with homework and entertain guests.
New homebuyers checklist to ID costly repairs
December 05, 2014 - News Shorts
When you’re about to buy a house, it’s easy to get excited about its great location, spacious floor plan or beautifully decorated interior. Yet the old saying, “beauty’s only skin deep” can apply to any home, especially if you’re considering an older, previously owned property. Before signing on the dotted line, use this checklist to help avoid some potentially costly surprises and anticipate repairs or upgrades that may be needed.
Timely, budget-friendly solutions for getting your house ready for the holidays
November 21, 2014 - News Shorts
Timely solutions for getting your house ready for the holidays
6 steps for choosing the best remodeling contractor
November 14, 2014 - News Shorts
A remodeling project is one of the most invigorating lifestyle changes a homeowner can make. However, trusting a contractor with both your home and your money can feel overwhelming.
Millennials: How to make your home ownership dreams a reality
November 07, 2014 - News Shorts
Owning a home is part of the American Dream, yet standards on income, credit and debt are making it tougher to buy a home than it was 10 years ago. Even though requirements are relaxing, only three out of five borrowers get approved.
Forward-looking luxury at the forefront of today
October 31, 2014 - News Shorts
Americans are renovating again, and instead of letting resale value alone drive their renovation choices, in 2014 homeowners are weighing many more factors. They are seeking renovations that are beautiful, luxurious and eco-friendly, and that both enhance resale value and their ability to age in place should they choose not to sell down the road.
The tools you need to increase your home's curb appeal this year
October 24, 2014 - News Shorts
The tools you need to increase your home's curb appeal this year
Tips on how to prepare your windows and doors for winter and save energy
October 17, 2014 - News Shorts
How much do you spend on utilities? Are you looking for ways to save? A typical American household spends about $2,100 on energy bills each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Preparing for fall and winter pests: How to keep wildlife and insects out of your home
October 10, 2014 - News Shorts
For many pests, including rodents, spiders and cockroaches, the change in season indicates the need to find shelter from the colder temperatures ahead. In some cases, this shelter is the same place that keeps your family warm and dry.
What a buyer wants: Green improvements that cut utility costs
October 10, 2014 - News Shorts
Going green is good for the environment, but it can also be good for a homeowner's wallet & and that's the aspect of eco-friendly improvements that seems most appealing to homebuyers.
6 simple steps to an organized and sensational garage space
October 03, 2014 - News Shorts
Move over kitchens and bathrooms, homeowners are focusing on a new part of the home: the garage. No longer just a place to park the car and lawn equipment, today’s garages are getting bigger and better.
4 questions to ask before purchasing a new home
September 26, 2014 - News Shorts
Never buy a new home without asking these 4 questions
Take the hassle out of moving your boxes to a new home
September 26, 2014 - News Shorts
While relocating to a new place is exciting, it also brings its own set of worries, with packing and unpacking topping the list of stressors. With careful planning and organizing, your move can be more celebratory than stressful – just follow these tips.
6 backyard projects you can't skip this fall
September 19, 2014 - News Shorts
When it comes to caring for your yard, maintenance is crucial – especially during the fall when it needs to recover from the wear and tear of summer and prepare for winter’s harsh conditions.
Change-of-season checklist for lowering home energy costs
September 19, 2014 - News Shorts
The change of season creates a need for many adjustments around your home, from switching over wardrobes to warmer clothes, to completing necessary yard work and home repairs.
Are you spending home improvement dollars on the wrong door?
September 12, 2014 - News Shorts
How often do you use the front door? Not often, right?
Stylize your space with simple, smart buys and updates
September 12, 2014 - News Shorts
Giving your home a stylish update can sometimes seem like a daunting and expensive task.
Enjoying retirement in a home suited for an active life
September 05, 2014 - News Shorts
Preparing for retirement with a home designed for aging in place
One simple home improvement cuts noise pollution while boosting energy savings
September 05, 2014 - News Shorts
Whether it’s the neighbor’s lawnmower, low-flying aircraft, heavy traffic or loud music, noise pollution can hinder you from truly enjoying your home.
5 fast fixes for a fabulous bath
August 29, 2014 - News Shorts
With Americans working longer hours than ever before, most homeowners yearn for a luxurious place to relax and unwind at the end of a hectic day. This is likely why the bathroom is the most requested home renovation project, according to the National Association of Homebuilders.
Three success tips for converting an attic into living space
August 29, 2014 - News Shorts
Moving up – vacating your current, smallish home for a larger, roomier abode – was the American way before the Great Recession. Now that the economy is humming again, at least some of the people who stayed put during those lean years will be looking to move into larger, nicer homes this summer.
Tips to Reduce Moving Stress
August 20, 2014 - News Shorts
Four real estate tips to help buyers and sellers both win this summer
August 15, 2014 - News Shorts
The real estate market heats up when the weather does, and spring and summer are traditionally the most active seasons for home sales. This year, industry experts predict that home prices will continue to rise and, with mortgage rates remaining low, the spring and summer real estate season will be competitive for both buyers and sellers.
Tips on how to give your home an annual checkup
August 15, 2014 - News Shorts
There’s no better time than now to give your home the attention it deserves. Give it an annual checkup before cold weather arrives to help add comfort, save energy and cut home maintenance in the long-run.
Check the big move off the moving to-do list with ease
July 25, 2014 - News Shorts
When you're planning the big move, you've probably created a lengthy to-do list of everything that needs to be packed, planned and previewed.
Driveways to mailboxes: Oft-overlooked items that drive curb appeal
July 25, 2014 - News Shorts
Selling or staying, it makes no difference – everyone wants a home that looks great from the curb.
5 essential tips to turn your new house into a home
July 18, 2014 - News Shorts
Moving brings great opportunities in the form of careers, social connections and new beginnings.
How to prime your credit score before you house hunt
July 18, 2014 - News Shorts
Spring is traditionally the busiest home-buying season of the year.
Selling this summer? 6 upgrades to secure a speedy sale
July 11, 2014 - News Shorts
When the weather warms up, so does the real estate market. Spring and summer are traditionally the seasons when both home buyers and sellers are most active across the country.
Why a wood deck is one of the best investments a homeowner can make
July 11, 2014 - News Shorts
As the seasons turn, more homeowners look for projects that not only make their homes more livable, but also offer great return on investment. With demand high across the country for outdoor spaces that bring the comforts of the indoors outside, there’s no surprise that decks are one of the top remodeling projects for 2014.
Why You Need To Consider Staging Your Home
July 04, 2014 - News Shorts
Are you planning on selling your own home or perhaps helping others to sell their home? Have you considered 'redesigning' or 'home staging' your property? If you can believe what you read, 'home staging' or 'redesigning' a property will assist in the sale of the property more quickly and for more money.
Choosing a Real Estate Agent
June 27, 2014 - News Shorts
The ideal agent is not always the one with the most sales under his or her belt, or the most years on the job.
Top Ten Tips For Home Buyers
June 27, 2014 - News Shorts
More than seven million American homes are sold every year. If you want to become a homeowner, there are 10 tips you should know
Choosing The Best Refinance Mortgage Option
June 20, 2014 - News Shorts
When refinancing a mortgage loan, homeowners have several options. There are numerous reasons for refinancing an existing mortgage. The past five years have witnessed low mortgage rates. However, low rates will not remain forever.
Selling Your Home is Easier if You Prepare First
June 20, 2014 - News Shorts
Selling a house is a complicated thing to do. It involves a lot of paperwork, a lot of meeting with people and most of all, a lot of time. That being the case, it helps to prepare ahead of time. There are a few things that anyone who wishes to sell a house should do prior to putting the “for sale” sign in the front yard. The sooner these things are done, the easier the job of selling the house will be.
How Much Mortgage Can I Afford?
June 13, 2014 - News Shorts
Shopping for a home can be an exciting time in one’s life. There are so many things to consider; how many rooms, how many bathrooms, the neighborhood and the school district. However, perhaps the most important consideration is how much house one can afford.
Make The First Impression a Great One
June 13, 2014 - News Shorts
First impressions are critical. Just like the view from the curb may prevent a buyer from getting out of the car, the view inside the house determines whether they make an offer. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in your home, or perhaps more to the point, they need to envision your home as theirs.
Home Equity Loan vs. Refinancing
June 06, 2014 - News Shorts
Confused whether to get home equity loan or go for cash-out refinancing? You are not alone! Know more about these two types of loans.
Outdoor Home Staging Tips for the Hottest Season!
June 06, 2014 - News Shorts
Too hot for you to get out there and do some summer gardening? Well, if you’re selling your home you’d best be prepared to get out there and liven up your landscaping. In summer’s hot and competitive market, buyers are expecting yards to be parading their “best in bloom” colors, and showing off all their assets.
Advantages of a Fixed Rate Mortgage
May 30, 2014 - News Shorts
This is the most popular type of mortgage as the monthly payment for interest and principal remains fixed through out the mortgage term, Property Insurance and taxes may increase but the monthly repayment of the amount will be stable.
Make Your Home the Best it can be by Staging
May 30, 2014 - News Shorts
With the housing market groaning under its own weight these days, potential home sellers need every advantage they can get. One way that a family can help move their home faster is with a practice called home staging.
4 Easy Tips to Sell Your Home
May 23, 2014 - News Shorts
If you want to sell your home, make sure your house looks its best during these next few months. Since I have a background in real estate, I thought I would share some important tips that are easy to carry out but are often overlooked.
Radon - What Every Homeowner Needs To Know
May 23, 2014 - News Shorts
As a NYS Licensed Home Inspector, I am routinely asked “What is Radon gas and why should I test for it” The following will give you an overview of what Radon is and why homeowners need to be aware of it’s presence.
Tips For Enjoyable Warm Weather Entertaining
May 23, 2014 - News Shorts
Outdoor living, barbecues and the promise of spending more time outside with friends and family are some of the many perks of spring and summer.
10 Tips To Home Organization
May 16, 2014 - News Shorts
If you are looking for the perfect home organization plan, consider starting small and working your way up to the larger projects. A few simple tips will get you on the way to home organization at its finest.
Renting Versus Buying A Home
May 16, 2014 - News Shorts
Renters are often in a quandary as to whether it makes sense to continue renting or buy a home. Buying a home makes more sense, particularly when taking a long-term view. Yes, even in the current hot real estate market.
5 Tips To Create Style And Elegance In Your Home
May 09, 2014 - News Shorts
Creating the perfect home requires a lot of time and energy. There are so many things you need to take into account, especially if you are new at it. There are some very basic things to get you started.
A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home's Profile
May 09, 2014 - News Shorts
Increasingly, homeowners looking for an inexpensive way to make their home more livable and increase curb appeal with an eye toward resale are embracing the nationwide trend of creating outdoor living spaces.
10 Quick And Inexpensive Ways To Brighten Your Home For Spring!
May 02, 2014 - News Shorts
Spring is a sign of renewal in many areas of our lives, and our homes are no different! There is something energizing and refreshing about bringing that bright, airy feeling of Spring into your home. Here are the 10 best ways to spruce up and revitalize your rooms, on a dime!
10 Ways to Jazz Up Your Outdoor Living Space
May 02, 2014 - News Shorts
The easiest way to jazz up your outdoor deck or patio is by using splashes of color. Sometimes it only means investing in a few accent pieces that make a bold statement and your outdoor living space perks right up. You don't always have to buy new ñwith a little elbow grease and some creativity you can make second hand items look brand new. Here are some ideas to help get you started.
Simple Ways To Protect Your Home Against Burglary
May 02, 2014 - News Shorts
Protecting your home against break-ins may be easier than you fear. Here are a few hints that can help
Five Easy Steps to Owning Your Own Home
April 25, 2014 - News Shorts
Buying your own home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make. What should you do to get ready?
Home Staging: Making Your Home Sellable
April 25, 2014 - News Shorts
You’ve listed your home and the agent wants to start showing it to prospective buyers. Here’s a few tips to help it look its best.
30 Year Fixed Rate Refinancing
April 18, 2014 - News Shorts
30 year fixed rate mortgages are the "classic" mortgage in America (though they are not quite the original mortgage, in fact the concept originated during FDR's presidency over 60 years ago).
5 Tips to Maximize Your Home Value When You Sell
April 18, 2014 - News Shorts
5 Tips to Maximize Your Home Value When You Sell
Commercial real estate
April 18, 2014 - News Shorts
Real estate is often termed as the safest investment avenue. In fact, real estate investments done with proper evaluation of the property (and its true value), can lead to good profits.
Affordable Mortgage Size
April 11, 2014 - News Shorts
When shopping for a house, it can be easy to fall in love with the home of your dreams. Be careful, however, that you are aware of how much house you can afford so your dream home isn’t crushed at the lender’s office.
Avoid Home Buying Blues at Closing
April 11, 2014 - News Shorts
Buying a home is a stressful and emotional affair. You can avoid the home buying blues by keeping your cool at closing.
Why Get a Home Equity Loan?
April 11, 2014 - News Shorts
If you're a homeowner, chances are that you've been deluged with offers from finance companies to lend you money based on the equity you have invested in your home. A home equity loan is a loan extended to you that is secured by your home.
Life is a Stage - So is Your Home!
April 04, 2014 - News Shorts
Home staging prepares a home for sale, and for the dozens of enquiring eyes that will be scouring the property looking for flaws. It creates an image of the perfectly decorated home, in move-in condition.
Mortgage Brokers & The Nuts and Bolts
April 04, 2014 - News Shorts
Using a mortgage broker to shop for home loans can make the borrowing process a lot less stressful than doing it yourself. Here are the nuts and bolts on getting a good broker.
Quick sell tips
April 04, 2014 - News Shorts
Often wonder why some houses can have a number of showings after its first week on the market, and similar ones seems to be left with no attention? A quick sell of a house is common enough to be expected by home sellers, but rare enough to remain a phenomenon in the market.
Adjustable Rate Mortgages vs. Fixed Rate Mortgages
March 28, 2014 - News Shorts
Buying a home can be an exciting and stressful time for anyone. While you may be excited at the prospect of owning your own home, especially if it is your first home purchase, the idea of choosing between all of the many different types of mortgages may leave you feeling confused and apprehensive.
Mortgage Borrowing Tip - Length of Loan
March 28, 2014 - News Shorts
When borrowing money for a mortgage, homebuyers are primarily concerned with simply qualifying. Still, paying attention to the length of the loan is a borrowing tip that can save you a ton of money.
Staging Your Home for Sale
March 28, 2014 - News Shorts
In the effort to get top dollar when selling your home, staging; or the art of showcasing your home is vital.
Basics Of Home Buying
March 21, 2014 - News Shorts
The most important investment you will ever make is probably the purchase of a home. Finding the right home for you can be a long and arduous process, but there is no getting around that.
First Time Buyers Mortgage Application Checklist
March 21, 2014 - News Shorts
If you have a dream about owning your own home and applying for a mortgage then you may be a bit nervous at the present moment. While having your own home is the American dream the high prices involved can be overwhelming. In addition to this, many lenders will be more concerned with earning a profit than with helping you find a home that matches your income. Below are some steps you can take to properly apply for your first mortgage.
Home Staging: Making Your Home Sellable
March 21, 2014 - News Shorts
You've listed your home and the agent wants to start showing it to prospective buyers. Here’s a few tips to help it look its best.
Choosing A Mortgage That Fits Your Lifestyle
March 14, 2014 - News Shorts
There are many different types of mortgages with a plethora of features and fees. Choosing the right kind of mortgage based on your life style could not only make it easier for you to repay the loan but also save you thousands of dollars.
Seven Steps to De-Clutter Your Home for Sale
March 14, 2014 - News Shorts
Your home may be in good condition and well built, yet simple clutter will create a perception of chaos, confusion, and disorder. The purchase decision is an emotional and intellectual response, based on a level of trust in your home. When buyers see clutter, they assume that the home has been neglected, with more to fix than meets the eye. This perception undermines your home's market value.
Why Use a Realtor?
March 14, 2014 - News Shorts
Realtors provide services that are not only designed to ease your home sale but services that are designed to specifically protect your investment. One of the most valuable things that a real estate agent can provide is marketing.
Adjustable Rate Mortgage Loans - Understanding The Basics
March 07, 2014 - News Shorts
Adjustable rate mortgages (ARM), developed when mortgage interest rates were high, can help you finance the purchase of a home with low interest rates. An ideal choice for those who expect their income to rise or move in a couple of years, an ARM also increases your risk for higher payments. Fortunately, lenders also offer safeguards to limit some of your risk to excessively high interest rates.
Different Ways To Repay Your Mortgage
March 07, 2014 - News Shorts
When you are searching for a mortgage, no matter if it is a first, second, or refinance, you have different options on repaying it which some people don't realize.
Snow Sells Houses - Winter home-staging
March 07, 2014 - News Shorts
As our favorite flowers get buried under the snow and the shrubs shed their greenery, it is all too easy for your house and front yard to blend in with all the other white places in your area. But when your house is on the market it is advantageous to have it defined and noticeable, looking like the pick of the bunch.
Allergies And Clean Air
February 28, 2014 - News Shorts
Allergies are caused by exposure to pollution of either a particulate form such as pollen or a chemical form such as polyvinylchloride.
Growth of aerobics since the early years
February 28, 2014 - News Shorts
Aerobic Benefit: The word ‘aerobic’ means “with oxygen”. Researchers consistently recommend that regular physical activity with healthy eating habits is the most efficient way to keep yourself fit and control your body weight.
Safe Alternative Methods to Quit Smoking
February 28, 2014 - News Shorts
With countless individuals hooked to cigarette smoking, it's no wonder many are overwhelmed with products and programs that would supposedly help smokers quit their addiction.
Getting The Word Out About Your Open House
February 21, 2014 - News Shorts
When selling your home, you have to get the word out to buyers in the area. The Internet is a great method for doing that, but traditional methods are really the way to go.
Pre-Approval Letter – How To Use It To Get Your Dream Home
February 21, 2014 - News Shorts
When house hunting, many buyers make the mistake of waiting to contact a lender until after they have located their dream home.
Real Estate Lingo for The Newbie
February 21, 2014 - News Shorts
In today's real estate market there is a lot of uncertainty. The sub-prime mortgage crisis is the buzz word phrase that has a lot of people talking. One lesson that can be learned from this situation, is that it is so important for prospective homeowners to know what they are getting themselves into.
Reasons To Stage Your Home For Sale
February 11, 2014 - News Shorts
If you’ve been thinking of selling your investment house or your home, you should make sure that you take full advantage of home staging trends.
The Secret To Marketing Your FSBO Home For Sale
February 11, 2014 - News Shorts
You’re ready to put your home or land (house, townhouse, condo, apartment, farm, ranch, finished lot, raw land, etc.) on the market as a FSBO (for sale by owner).
Think Hard Before Deciding To Borrow
February 11, 2014 - News Shorts
Gathering the funds is one of the first steps of getting ready to buy a house.
Selling A Home - What Attachments Stay or Go?
February 07, 2014 - News Shorts
The home selling and buying process can be confusing. This is especially true when it is a FSBO (for sale by owner) operation. It’s even tougher when neither the seller nor the buyer is in the real estate business. This article sorts through what stays in the house or condo when it’s sold.
Good Home Buying Tips
January 30, 2014 - News Shorts
Welcome to the home buying market! This is an exciting time to be purchasing a home, with an array of new homes coming onto the market these is some excellent value to be found.
Sell Your House Online
January 24, 2014 - News Shorts
Selling a house can be a much complicated process. By keeping track of your progress with this checklist, you can eradicate many of the pitfall.
11 Keys To Make A Purchase Offer Sellers Can Not Resist
August 06, 2013 - News Shorts
Savvy buyers know that crafting a unique offer can make the difference between getting that perfect home or losing it to another buyer.
How Not To Get Soaked By A Flood-Damaged Car
April 21, 2013 - News Shorts
How to avoid buying a car that is rotting from the inside out
How to Make Moving Easier on Your Kids
August 01, 2011 - News Shorts
Practical steps to prepare your children for a move.
Use Color to Revamp the Look of Your Home
August 01, 2011 - News Shorts
By choosing the right color, you can express yourself, freshen up an old look and increase the value of your home.
Get Rid of Household Hazards
June 30, 2011 - News Shorts

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