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home : life : real estate
September 20, 2017

House hunting and credit: What you need to know
(BPT) - By now it is something of a cliche to call homeownership the American dream. But even if sitting on your own deck, looking over your picket fence and sipping lemonade doesn’t move you, homeownership is still one of the best ways to build wealth.For many, owning a home is cheaper than ... More >>


Emergency preparedness 101: Know how to protect your family against carbon monoxide poisoning
(BPT) - Few areas of the country are immune to natural disasters or severe weather. Whether you live in a hurricane zone or face icy winters, it is important to prepare your home and family to weather the storm and know the potential health and safety risks that may arise in emergency situations.Be... More >>


Prevent falls this fall with a home safety checklist
(BPT) - After months of sticky heat and humidity, it’s time to put away the shorts and pull out the sweaters because the autumn season is finally here. But, late September brings us more than just cooler temperatures and a wardrobe change. If you or a loved one are over the age of 65, the cha... More >>


Replacing a furnace? How to choose an energy-efficient system
(BPT) - If it’s time to replace your furnace, you may be wondering if it’s worth the extra investment to buy an energy-efficient system. Or, you may be unsure how to choose an energy-efficient system for your home.“Energy-efficient heating systems can substantially lower your fuel... More >>


3 new considerations when choosing your next garage door
(BPT) - If you’re buying a garage door this fall, you’ll be faced with several decisions that you likely never had to make before. Before you call your local garage door dealer to make that purchase, here are some of the new decisions that you need to face.The design decisionRemember th... More >>


6 timeless home features that are always 'in'
(BPT) - Home design trends come and go. In five years, the blue kitchen cabinets that are so trendy right now may well go the way of the avocado-hued appliances that graced many American kitchens in the ‘70s. However, certain home features are timeless, and those are the ones well worth inves... More >>


Hot home design: 4 things to consider when choosing siding
(BPT) - Selecting new siding is one of the most important curb appeal decisions homeowners face when building new or remodeling an existing home. With so many options — both classic and modern materials — there’s a lot to consider.Many manufacturers are now combining traditional s... More >>


This fall, make home upgrades with staying power
(BPT) - Fall can be the perfect time for homeowners to complete projects that busy summer schedules didn’t allow. It’s also a great time to look at ways to add lasting value to your property. This season, upgrade cheap fixes, freshen dated looks and incorporate lasting improvements in y... More >>


Artisanal elegance for curated design in the kitchen
(BPT) - Original, handcrafted décor brings an artisanal elegance to today’s modern kitchen. Designers and homeowners alike are incorporating more one-of-a-kind pieces that bring an individualized artisanship to the heart of the home. These unique fittings and fixtures adapt to multiple... More >>


How to lower your monthly mortgage payment
(BPT) - Owning your own home comes with many advantages, including escaping rising rents and the personal and financial stability associated with homeownership. Fortunately, millions of Americans, with less than 20 percent down, have been able to buy a home sooner thanks to mortgage insurance (MI).... More >>


Focus on a single element to get the feel of a remodel for less investment
(BPT) - Dreaming of a renovation but lacking the time and resources for a full upgrade? You might be able to refresh your space by focusing your efforts on individual elements that have the most impact.This growing interior design trend uses a thoughtful approach to renovation by analyzing what sho... More >>


Big, smart ideas for renovating smaller homes
(BPT) - While newly constructed homes are bigger than ever, most Americans still live in modestly sized or even small houses — and many of these owners are choosing to remodel rather than move into a bigger home.More than half of all American houses were built before 1980, according to the Na... More >>


5 kitchen upgrades to make your inner host flourish
(BPT) - You love entertaining and treating guests to delectable dishes and fun times. Unfortunately, your kitchen layout, appliances and even the faucet are so downright unappealing that the thought of planning and preparing a party menu is equally unpleasant.What do you do when you’re built ... More >>


Housework may be a key to improving your relationship
(BPT) - Cleaning the bathroom and emptying the dishwasher isn’t at the top of a couple’s “To Do Together” list, but it may be the true language of love. In fact, a recent survey from home appliance leader LG Electronics found most Americans (52%) get turned on by their partn... More >>


5 fabulous deck fix-ups
(BPT) - Are you tired of having a deck you’re no longer proud to show off? You’re not alone. According to the 2017 U.S. Houzz Landscape Trends Study, one of the top reasons motivating homeowners to tackle outdoor projects like deck upgrades is their open-air space is past its prime.If y... More >>


How to Tackle a Dust-Free Renovation
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Is your family expanding? Protect what matters most with these nursery safety checks
(BPT) - You may have chosen the perfect color palette and all of your nursery furniture, but have you thought about some key safety checks?“The arrival of a baby means you have to take a look at your home in a whole new light,” said Tarsila Wey, marketing director for First Alert, the m... More >>


5 smart technology upgrades to make the bathroom the brainiest room in the house
(BPT) - Smart technology has found a place in virtually every room in the home, even the one where we take care of our most low-tech needs. In fact, thanks to innovations like sensor-operated, self-cleaning toilets, moisture-sensing ventilation fans and digital shower controls, it’s possible ... More >>


Must-have elements for building a sustainable new home
(BPT) - When someone builds a home for you, you have the opportunity to make it as sustainable, eco-friendly and energy-efficient as possible. Not only are sustainable homes more cost-effective over the long term, they have a smaller environmental impact, and can be more appealing to homebuyers whe... More >>


Tricks to customize a kitchen on a budget
(BPT) - Who wouldn’t want a kitchen customized to meet their specific tastes and needs? A complete kitchen renovation can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but you don’t have to spend a bundle to achieve a custom effect. A few modest investments can help make your kitchen work well and... More >>


Hidden helper: Home equity lines of credit [Infographic]
(BPT) - Many homeowners aren’t familiar with the variety of ways home equity lines of credit (HELOC) can be used. Not surprisingly, current owners are more likely than less experienced first-time buyers to understand that a HELOC can be used for purposes beyond home improvements, including co... More >>


Transform your backyard with these 3 elements
(BPT) - It’s amazing to contemplate that all the famous paintings in history — from da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to van Gogh’s Starry Night — are essentially formed from three primary colors. Artists skillfully combine red, yellow and blue to formulate an infinite range of col... More >>


3 steps to a more secure home
(BPT) - More than 75 percent of Americans are concerned about the security of their home, yet few think about door hardware when it comes to added protection.In fact, out of those who have ever purchased a new lockset or deadbolt, only 19 percent have done so with the safety of their home in mind, ... More >>


5 ways to create big luxury in a small master bathroom
(BPT) - If you’re thinking about remodeling your small bathroom, you may know that studies show updating a bathroom of any size can increase the value of a home. However, there’s a statistic from a Houzz survey you might not know: 75 percent of people who renovate a master bathroom don&... More >>


Tips to turn the kitchen sink into a beautiful, functional focal point
(BPT) - When you’re updating a kitchen, it’s time to ignore that old adage “everything but the kitchen sink.” Many homeowners don’t think about replacing their kitchen sink unless it’s broken, ancient or they’re upgrading countertops. However, the sink has ... More >>


Tips to prepare your budget before buying a home
(BPT) - It’s virtually impossible to know what size home you can afford if you aren’t fully aware of how much money you are earning and how much you are spending each month.Start with your income: How much do you bring home after taxes and retirement plan contributions?Next, look at you... More >>


5 hot trends for the home
(BPT) - Home safety is one of the top priorities of homeowners and renters alike. Your home should be a place to relax, play and enjoy spending time with family and friends.Here are a few of the latest trends in home security so that you can make yours a home sweet home that's equally safe.Home aut... More >>


5 ways to keep your cottage comfortable this summer
(BPT) - Although it’s officially summer, the fluctuations in temperatures, sporadic downpours and tornado-inciting weather would make you think otherwise. While many of us take the opportunity to hit the beach, lake or ranch during the summer for some rest and relaxation, cottage home improve... More >>


How to perfectly light a bathroom for beauty, function and safety
(BPT) - Good lighting is important throughout a home, and each room has different lighting needs. Kitchens require overhead and task lighting, while bedrooms and dining rooms can benefit from variable illumination. However, no room in the house requires more layers and nuances of lighting than the ... More >>


Latest deck trend: 'Monster' size, mega-luxury
(BPT) - Move over mini — the new trend in decking is anything but small.When it comes to the size of their decks, the majority of Americans feel bigger is better — as multiple surveys indicate decks are getting larger and more luxurious, RealtorMag reports.Today’s decks dwarf the ... More >>


Repair or replace? What to do with a worn-out cooling system
(BPT) - Sooner or later, every homeowner will face the same tough decision: Can you repair that malfunctioning system or appliance one more time, or is it finally time to replace it? Summer temperatures can heat up the repair-or-replace debate for homeowners living with an older cooling system.To a... More >>


Rethinking bathroom design
(BPT) - As homeowners begin to dream up plans to update their kitchens and bathrooms, they can spend hours searching for inspiration on the web or one of the many home renovation television shows. There’s no shortage of beautiful ideas and designs out there, but before you make any decision, ... More >>


A room-by-room guide to decluttering your home
(BPT) - Controlling clutter in your home can be a challenge; 48 percent of Americans say their houses are cluttered with stuff they don’t use anymore, according to a survey by ClearVoice Research. Multiple studies have found a cluttered home can negatively affect your mental and physical heal... More >>


6 must-know kitchen and bathroom design trends
(BPT) - Many homeowners today wonder how they can turn their bathrooms or kitchens into something worthy of making the rounds on Pinterest or Instagram. As more people want to give their home a personal and stylish touch, home decorating and interior design is hotter than ever, and the possibilitie... More >>


A smarter way to buy a home
(BPT) - Are you considering buying a home? With mortgage rates on the slow and steady incline, there may be no better time for a home purchase than now. Mortgage interest rates will likely continue to go up for the foreseeable future, according to recent data from the housing finance company Freddi... More >>


Cypress siding: It's what the pros choose
(BPT) - If current design trends are any indication, wood siding is back. Design professionals are recommending one species in particular: cypress. What’s behind this revival of cypress siding?“Good looks, dependable performance and affordability,” says Stephen Logue of the Southe... More >>


Natural selection: Live-edge wood in home design
(BPT) - Live-edge hardwood, in which the sides of the slab are left unmilled to retain the natural profile of the tree trunk, is an increasingly popular decorative trend in today’s residential interiors. The technique is not only used for pieces of standalone furniture such as tables and benc... More >>


5 ways tiny homes have become luxury homes
(BPT) - Sponsored ad content by ClaytonFor decades, it seemed like the name of the game in the United States was if it’s bigger then it will be better. This is a big country; we like big portions, big cars, big homes, big everything. But what’s true for many isn’t true for everyon... More >>


How to use your home equity in retirement
(BPT) - Most of us save and plan for decades to enjoy the period of our life when we no longer need to go into the office and work an eight-hour day for a paycheck.But even with those decades of hard work, it can be tough to save up enough cash to cover all your costs in retirement. Many soon-to-be... More >>


Garage door industry issues consumer alert
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Smaller metros take action to draw millennials fleeing bigger urban areas
(BPT) - Are millennials getting ready to leave big cities in droves? Some experts in demographics, economics and real estate have predicted the millennial exodus from huge urban areas has already begun. If true, the question remains: where will they go?Some may head to the suburbs, like their paren... More >>


Make changes in the bathroom to save water, money
(BPT) - Researchers predict rising water prices could mean within five years a third of American households will not be able to pay their water bills, despite the replenishment of water reserves around the country.What's more, the National Weather Service warns that drought could increase or reoccu... More >>


Military families can get help with their moves
(BPT) - Moving is hectic for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for military families. Frequent relocations, sometimes across the country and often with short notice, can make it difficult for military families to build the kind of friends and family support teams civilians rely on to hel... More >>


Home innovations that protect against moisture
(BPT) - There is an insidious enemy that every homeowner dreads: moisture and the damage and degradation it can cause if left unchecked. Luckily, home improvement manufacturers have discovered new ways to prevent moisture from penetrating the home in the first place. With new home product innovatio... More >>


5 steps that can improve your credit score in 100 days or less
(BPT) - Low interest rates, a strong economy and the turn of the seasons are all causing the real estate market to heat up. More homes on the market bring more competition to buy the inventory that is out there. And one way to stand apart from other buyers who are vying for their dream home is to t... More >>


7 'little' upgrades that can mean a lot to homebuyers
(BPT) - Anyone who’s ever bought or sold a home knows how even little things can sway a buyer to feel a particular house is "just right." While major features such as a good location, a big kitchen, and a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms all drive a home’s price and how attracti... More >>


5 aging-in-place bathroom upgrades to make while you're young(er)
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10 tips to save money, cut stress when buying or selling a home
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