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home : life : real estate
August 18, 2018

Three tax savings strategies for a secure retirement to try right now
(BPT) - Individuals who rushed to prepay property taxes after the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may have saved some money in 2018 — but that’s pennies compared to the long-term tax savings taxpayers should take advantage of before the TCJA’s individual tax provisions are ex... More >>

Why public transit is a key economic issue for growing cities
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Bathroom customization: Stylish options for styling needs
(BPT) - The kitchen may be the heart of your home, but don't underestimate the importance of your bathrooms. If you think about it, bathrooms are one of the most frequented spaces in the home. It's where you go to rejuvenate and get ready for the day. It's the place where you take the time to make ... More >>

3 secrets to hosting a great party on your deck or patio
(BPT) - Cookouts, barbecues, family reunions and more are upon us, and as the coolest neighbor on the cul-de-sac, hosting is a no-brainer. We’ve compiled three simple ways to get your deck and yard ready to go, so you can play host to the cookout of the year.1. Make your deck and patio shineA... More >>

4 ways to use technology to simplify your home buying process
(BPT) - While spring is typically the busiest period in real estate, particularly for families looking to get in to a new home before the school year starts, the fall months have become increasingly active for those who have more flexibility or are looking for a good deal.With increased competition... More >>

Will my deck have room for a hot tub? And other questions answered
(BPT) - As the major outdoor living trend sweeps the nation, decks are getting bigger. But with television shows featuring 3,000-square-foot monster decks, the average homeowner is left to wonder, “Just how big of a deck do I need?”Frank Pologruto, owner of Decks & More in Atlanta, ... More >>

DIY outdoor bar serves up entertainment
(BPT) - As outdoor living space continues to be an extension of the home for entertaining, it’s no surprise that nearly 60 percent of homeowners believe outdoor kitchens will be popular this year, according to the latest Landscape Architecture Trends Survey by the American Society of Landscap... More >>

5 yard updates you can complete in a fall weekend
(BPT) - If you love spending time in your yard, the end of summer can mark a period of sadness thinking about the colder temperatures and shorter days you must endure before getting back outside.One sure cure for the blues is looking forward to something fun. Get a head start on spring and use the ... More >>

Celebrate the season! 5 ways to get your yard party-ready
(BPT) - If you’re like many Americans, you’re planning an outdoor party to celebrate the warm-weather season. That may be especially true if you’ve made recent improvements to your outdoor spaces; according to a recent Houzz survey, 51 percent of homeowners conducting such upgrade... More >>

4 ways to prep your home for winter
(BPT) - When you start feeling those first hints of winter, the instinct to get ready kicks in. You may dig out your car’s snow brush, blanket, shovel and winter survival kit and place them in the trunk of your car. The winter coats and boots come out of storage, and you may pick up some extr... More >>

4 tips to mitigate home improvement costs
(BPT) - Construction material costs in 2018 are up about 10 percent compared to last year, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and some raw materials, like crude petroleum, are up nearly 50 percent. Labor is also getting more expensive as construction workers are in high demand due t... More >>

5 simple tips for a low-maintenance lawn
(BPT) - Whether it’s regular outdoor entertaining, kids playing soccer or dogs chasing tennis balls, fun on the lawn — combined with hot, dry conditions — can mean your grass gets a major workout during the summer and early fall. But that doesn’t mean you have to.To keep you... More >>

Military move? 5 key tips that can smooth the way
(BPT) - Changing residences can be an emotional and logistical challenge for any family.For military families, that challenge can be recreated many times over. Due to the nature of the work, the average U.S. military family relocates every two to three years — 10 times more than civilian fami... More >>

5 tips to amp up the natural benefits of your yard
(BPT) - It’s easy to appreciate the sights and smells afforded by lawns and landscapes, but when it comes to your yard there is much more to consider besides pleasing aesthetics and aromas. Many would even be surprised to learn that the benefits of a lush lawn and stunning landscape design ex... More >>

4 ways gardening is good for you
(BPT) - In this increasingly digital world, there's an app for just about everything. People are glued to their smartphones, texting instead of talking, and, in general, interacting with technology more than they do with the living, breathing world around them. But there's a cure for tech overload:... More >>

Your home haven: 5 common mistakes when planning a DIY deck
(BPT) - Across America, decks have become a popular place for people to entertain guests or just relax. The greatest appeal? The elevated outdoor living areas offer a convenient option for enjoying the great outdoors in a comfortable, room-like space that’s somewhat removed from the elements.... More >>

Before you renovate, have you considered this?
(BPT) - Home improvement projects are popular this time of year and you’ve certainly tackled your share of DIY to-dos in the past. But not this year. This year you realize it’s time to go big, to go bold, to set aside those traditional home improvement projects for another year and do s... More >>

3 elements to create a dream bathroom sanctuary
(BPT) - Bathrooms reign supreme, overtaking kitchens as the most popular remodeling project, according to a new survey by the National Association of Home Builders. In the study, remodelers reported on the most common projects in 2017 and 81 percent performed bathroom remodeling.Whether you're hiri... More >>

Watch what you heat: 5 kitchen safety tips
(BPT) - Cooking equipment is the top cause of home fires, and the second leading cause of home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).“Considered to be one of the more preventable types of fires, kitchen fires can be avoided by following a few common-sense g... More >>

DIY deck re-do: Resurface in a weekend
(BPT) - Outdoor living season means backyard BBQs, yard games and relaxing with a good book or good friends. If you own a wood deck, however, it also means considerable time and money spent on seasonal maintenance and deck repairs.While wood decks are aesthetically pleasing, properly maintaining th... More >>

Remodeling to age in place? Make changes where it matters most
(BPT) - American household demographics constantly change. With kids grown and moved out, many adults are considering remodeling to meet their future needs. This has inspired the idea of aging in place, meaning the desire to have a high quality of life in your home as you get older. In the United S... More >>

5 tips for financing your next home improvement project
(BPT) - Whether it’s transforming a fixer-upper into your dream home or just giving a makeover to your kitchen or bathroom, home improvement projects are on the minds of many new homeowners across the country.While many things about renovating your home are flexible, your budget might not be.... More >>

Smart steps to beat the heat in favorite outdoor spaces
(BPT) - Are summer’s sizzling temperatures causing you to retreat from your favorite outdoor spaces? Garages, patios, sheds, gardens and other outdoor areas should be enjoyed throughout the year. Unfortunately, heat and humidity can quickly make being outside intolerable during the dog days o... More >>

The right wood for the job: Your guide to summer deck building
(BPT) - Think about your favorite moments and memories from past summers. The time you spent with family and friends, dining, playing games or simply enjoying one another’s company. Now, ask yourself this: How many of those summer memories took place outside, on the deck?The deck is the perfe... More >>

You're covered: 4 unusual homeowners claims you didn't think would ever happen
(BPT) - Homeowners insurance is a practical investment to help protect you, your family and your property in the event of unforeseen and unexpected losses. Traditionally, it’s associated with fire damage, burst or leaking pipes, or stolen property, but occasionally it covers unusual events th... More >>

Don't suffer high energy bills any longer
(BPT) - Do you cringe each month when your utility bills arrive?The annual energy cost for a typical single family home in the U.S. is more than $2,000, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you can think of a thousand things you’d rather spend your hard-earned money on than electric... More >>

Build boldly with these 4 features of advanced decking
(BPT) - If you’re planning to create an outdoor living space, advanced decking enables you to show off your creativity. For years, complex deck designs have been difficult to achieve with traditional lumber. But, with advances in today’s decking materials, you have the flexibility to cr... More >>

6 sure-fire tips that save time and labor on yard work and gardening
(BPT) - It’s summertime, and you’ll want to spend many sun-drenched hours in the great outdoors. But while Mother Nature is flourishing, it feels like you’re wasting too many precious summer afternoons and evenings doing chores in the yard and garden.Give some of these labor-savin... More >>

Paint like a pro in 5 easy steps
(BPT) - Nothing transforms a home quite like a fresh coat of paint. In fact, painting your own house is one of the smartest and easiest DIY upgrades a homeowner can accomplish on their own.“Summer is the ideal time to tackle a painting project, as the warmer temperatures lead to faster drying... More >>

Top tips to help first-timers navigate the fast-paced housing market
(BPT) - Across the U.S., the housing market is picking up pace moving into the peak of the summer homebuying season.In city after city, home prices are on the rise, up 2.3 percent on average between April 2017 and 2018, according to the RE/MAX April 2018 National Housing Report. And there are fewer... More >>

3 easy ways to get on deck with the right decking
(BPT) - If The Old Farmer’s Almanac prediction holds true, this summer will be a hot one. The weather forecast anticipates temperatures for the season to be “hotter than normal” across most of the U.S. If you’re ready to kick up your feet and soak in these rays, now is the p... More >>

How to prep your home for a new addition to the family
(BPT) - Whether it’s a baby or pet, a new addition to the family calls for new, unexpected responsibilities, and is bound to come with adjustments for every member of the family. While it would be silly to guarantee zero stress for the new family environment, below are tips for a transition w... More >>

Be prepared for the 2018 storm season
(BPT) - For millions of Americans, the devastation of the 2017 storm season is still fresh in their minds. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the cumulative cost of the weather events in the U.S. was $306.2 billion. Whether you were directly affected by one of those s... More >>

Quick DIY home improvement projects
(BPT) - The words home improvement usually conjure up images of major undertakings like tiling your bathroom or kitchen or tearing down a wall, taking hours or even days to complete. The fact is there are some meaningful home improvements you can finish in under two hours.1) Need more daylight? Hav... More >>

How homeowners can prepare for summer storm season
(BPT) - It’s that time of year again when unwanted weather patterns like severe thunderstorms, rainstorms and tornadoes can wreak havoc on homes and businesses.While certain areas of the country are more apt to face tornadoes, virtually everyone is at risk for heavy rain, winds and hail, whic... More >>

5 home-buying tips for first-timers and old-timers
(BPT) - Whether you are buying a home for the first time or you are just looking for an upgrade, it is never a bad idea to arm yourself with tips that can make your search go from overwhelming to enjoyable. Rather than learning the hard way about hidden expenses and difficult neighbors, there are t... More >>

One school's impact on the city of Chicago
(BPT) - One hundred years ago, the poet Carl Sandburg famously called Chicago the “hog butcher of the world,” and the “nation’s freight handler.” The character of the city has changed with each decade, and throughout the years.Chicago has established itself as an educa... More >>

4 simple tips for hosting a memorable summer party
(BPT) - From outdoor cookouts to dinner parties on the patio, summer is the ideal season for entertaining guests. According to a recent survey commissioned by Delta Faucet, an overwhelming majority of homeowners (89 percent) plan to host at least one summer gathering this season. To ensure hosts ar... More >>

Lower temps at a lower price: How to improve the energy-efficiency of your home today
(BPT) - When the seasons change, the energy needs in your home change right along with them. And yet, whether you need to heat or cool your home, there’s one thing that never shifts: You want to do so as efficiently as possible.An energy-efficient home is more than just good for the environme... More >>

Take the sting out of summer with these pest prevention tips
(BPT) - If you’re like many people, the warm months of summer are when you are most active outdoors. You’re not alone. The same is also true for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. New findings show these pests are more than just an annoyance, they can pose a health risk. According to the Cent... More >>

How much will it cost to replace your roof?
(BPT) - How can there be thousands of dollars difference between contractor bids for similar home improvement projects on neighboring homes? And how can homeowners get an idea of what a new roof will cost?In general, labor for a new roof should make up 60-65 percent of the cost and most of the rema... More >>

Reclaiming the rooftop: Tips for decks with a view
(BPT) - Once reserved for the urban elite, rooftop decks are popping up all over the country as an attractive option that offers a mixture of space savings and an unrivaled view. Rooftop decks take what was formerly unused space — the top of a building or the flat roof over part of a home &md... More >>

5 tips for selecting the right railing for your deck
(BPT) - As one of the most visible elements of a deck, the railing serves an important aesthetic and structural role — adding support, safety and style. Here are five expert tips for creating the perfect perimeter for your outdoor space.1) Aim high and low — When choosing railing, look ... More >>

4 decorating tips for the perfect outdoor entertaining space
(BPT) - When it comes to outdoor entertaining, making sure your space is ready is critical for enjoying summer — from its "unofficial" start over Memorial Day weekend all the way through Labor Day.Lowe’s recently partnered with Julia Engel, lifestyle influencer of Gal Meets Glam, to sty... More >>

Stay agile: 5 tips for easier aging in place
(BPT) - While many of us may dream of retiring and moving away to a beach-side resort or cabin by the lake, the reality is that most Americans look forward to remaining in their own homes so they can continue to enjoy familiar comforts, activities and loved ones. In fact, an AARP survey recently fo... More >>

Home improvement: One repair at a time
(BPT) - Tis the season … for home improvement. Longer days, warmer weather and more flexible schedules (hello, summer break!) have a way of inspiring home improvement projects. It’s as if appliances in and around the house emerge from the shadows of winter, calling out for attention. S... More >>

Feed your dog from a DIY concrete bowl
(BPT) - With dogs living in more than 60 million U.S. households, pooches are by far the most popular pet in America according to the America Pet Products Association’s 2017-2018 National Owners Survey. The same research also indicates that dog food accounts for a large proportion of the expe... More >>

Make the most of your landscaping projects this year with these tips
(BPT) - Home improvement projects aren't constrained to a single season, but during these warmer months, your focus is no longer simply on your home's indoors. Now there’s outdoor yard work to do as well, and if you're looking to recreate your outdoor space, your outside projects may include ... More >>

The benefits of child's play extend beyond exercise
(BPT) - When you think about the most important part of a child’s school day, what comes to mind? Is it reading? Science? Math or history? What about recess?Children will likely mention recess as their favorite part of the day, and new research shows that this free time is actually a fundamen... More >>

3 warm-weather home cleaning tips
(BPT) - Warmer weather and more daylight hours bring renewed energy to truly enjoy your home with family and friends. Spring is a great time to get rid of the lingering grime and grit of winter to keep your clean home happening all season long. With a thorough home clean, you can create a vibrant l... More >>

Do's and don'ts of attracting hummingbirds and getting one to land on your hand
(BPT) - Watching a hummingbird is enchanting. Their tiny size and incredible speed make them a natural wonder. Flapping their wings an estimated 70 times per second, they can move in every direction, or simply float majestically in midair.You may have observed hummingbirds in the wild, but you can ... More >>

Wildfire protection starts in these 5 places
(BPT) - It’s National Wildfire Awareness Week. So, if you live in a wildfire-prone area, make sure you’re taking the right steps to stave off potential damage long before flames rage toward your doorstep.And one of the best ways to do that is to take a look at the home itself."It's a co... More >>

Simple summer home maintenance tips for comfort and energy savings
(BPT) - Things will soon be heating up all over the country. In fact, the average U.S. household will spend 3 percent more on electricity bills this summer than in 2017, due to rising retail electricity prices and higher usage, according to the U.S. Energy Administration’s estimation.Jennifer... More >>

Floor cleaning 101
(BPT) - Flooring trends change through the years as homeowners acquire new tastes and technology allows for a larger variety of flooring designs. Deep ebony and driftwood finishes peaked in 2017, while 2018 trends are pushing toward wider planks, gray tones and even durable porcelain tiles designed... More >>

Changing addresses? 10 tips for busy baby boomers
(BPT) - For many Americans, moving households represents a fresh start and a chance to improve quality of life. Last year, some 39.4 million Americans changed residences, thanks in part to better affordability in the housing market.That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone’s moving proc... More >>

3 ways to set the stage for the perfect summer soiree
(BPT) - The backyard barbecue is a staple of the American summer. Long days filled with sun, fun, family and friends are what make lifelong memories. Now is the perfect time to start planning for your next barbecue, so you, too, can create memories you won't soon forget.However, before you fire up ... More >>

Chef Michael Voltaggio's kitchen essentials inspire culinary innovation
(BPT) - When award-winning chef and culinary visionary Michael Voltaggio was remodeling his West Hollywood home, he purposefully selected kitchen essentials that facilitate restaurant-level culinary innovation in a residential setting. Chef Voltaggio’s home kitchen couples superior functional... More >>

5 questions to ask when shopping for a mortgage
(BPT) - Buying a home is a major financial commitment. It’s exciting, but can also be confusing and overwhelming. Choosing the best mortgage that fits your needs is an important first step and first-time homebuyers in particular should research the many options and know the right questions to... More >>

How your lawn equipment is harming the environment
(BPT) - Spring is upon us and our yards are beginning to bloom. The grass needs to be cut, the hedges trimmed and the debris blown away. This is an exciting time of year as we all look forward to getting outdoors after a longer than desired winter season.As we begin our list of warm-weather chores,... More >>

A home expert shares top tips for a worry-free vacation
(BPT) - When it’s time to embark on your well-deserved getaway, the last thing you want is to worry about the things that could go wrong at your unattended house.It’s pretty common to wonder if everything is OK while you're on vacation, says Chip Wade, an HGTV expert. Especially since t... More >>

Why would manufactured homes require a title?
(BPT) - On June 15, 1976, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) instituted the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards — more commonly referred to as the “HUD Code.”With these regulations, HUD defined the safety and quality standards requir... More >>

6 ways to revive your home with essential oils
(BPT) - Essential oils, highly concentrated essences of plants, have the power to improve our lives, revive our spaces and boost our mood, whether it's through diffusing them to add a fresh scent to the kitchen, creating a spa-like oasis in your bathroom or whipping up DIY cleaning products to use ... More >>

The most common causes of homeowners insurance claims
(BPT) - The value of homeowners insurance is often thrust into the national spotlight when natural disasters happen. The devastation and financial loss they can cause reinforces the importance of making sure you have adequate insurance coverage to rebuild if disaster strikes your home. In 2017 alon... More >>

4 ways to simplify your DIY projects and home improvements
(BPT) - Whether you're working on a spring home improvement project or a summer task, this is the time of year when you focus on improving your home both inside and out. As you look for ways to make your home even better, nothing beats a good DIY project.DIY home improvement projects are popular ea... More >>

Advice for adult children of aging parents who need help at home
(BPT) - Helping a parent stay active and healthy at home can be achieved with careful planning. The rewards of personally caring for, or managing the care of, a loved one who needs help are innumerable. It’s an opportunity to give back and to offer a return on the loving investment they once ... More >>








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