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Winter seems to feel really long by the time February rolls around when we’re all bundled up and often stuck inside, and even the gym loses its luster. But the life coaches at Wisebread.com, a blogging site for the active but thrifty, suggest six life-care rituals to help get you through the long winter. Best of all? They’re free.
Embrace the harvest. The luscious... (more)
Sounds like a dumb question, right? However, in reality, the reason you might not be sleeping as well as you should could have a lot to do with what’s going on in your bedroom.
According to the Better Sleep Council (BSC), the nonprofit consumer-education arm of the International Sleep Products Association, getting adequate sleep can positively impact every area... (more)
When it comes to trends in flooring for the year ahead, what’s old will be new as vintage and retro looks take center stage in the hardwood flooring arena. Here are their top five hardwood trends to watch:
Wide plank hardwood floors.
Featuring planks that are five or even seven inches wide, this look works well with both modern and rustic decor. Added perk?... (more)
If you’re getting ready to host a house full of people, you’re likely focusing on a zillion details, from food to home staging, music and more. But have you thought about your pipes?
Here are some recommendations for party hosts and guests to help avoid common plumbing mishaps and help ensure everyone has a great time…
Be mindful of... (more)
Want to make your home look like you hired an interior designer with some amazing home decor? Steal some of these secrets interior design pros recently shared and your abode will be cover-story ready in no time:
Choose a color scheme. Boston-based designer Gary McBournie says to start with a basic color scheme for the whole house then let it play out a little... (more)
Getting your home into prime showing shape is essential to helping it sell in the shortest amount of time for the best possible price. But while a professional home stager can work wonders, it just might not be in your budget. Don’t despair – here are some great ways to inexpensively stage your home all on your own:
Get rid of the the excess. The first... (more)
Are you interested in adding a little seasonal oomph to your space? Below are a handful of cozy—and inexpensive—winter updates.
Cozy blankets galore. Nothing is better than a snuggly blanket on a cool winter evening. Drape heavier blankets over sofas, chairs or reading nooks, and even fold one up by the fireplace for stretching out on the floor. Just make sure... (more)
Once a trend, open floor plans have become a staple of most modern homes. An open floor plan generally means the living room, kitchen, and dining room are combined into a large space or great room. Before taking a hammer to all interior walls, it’s important to know the structure of your home, as well as the benefits and ways you can accomplish an open... (more)
They say first impressions matter, and the entryway of your home is the perfect example. Below are some helpful tips for making sure your space wows you–and your guests–every time you enter.
Clutter is a huge no-no in your entryway, as it impacts the entire vibe of your space from the moment you set foot in the door. However, this can... (more)
When cleaning your home, look past the vacuum and mop to get the job done right. Below are three strange household items that can be a huge help when cleaning.
You know those socks that seem to lose their partners in the wash? Put them in a pile and use them for cleaning! Unlike a rag, you can slip your whole hand inside the sock, which offers... (more)
Giving is the true spirit of the holiday season. However, in addition to gift-giving in the traditional sense, there are other meaningful ways to make a difference in your community and give back to those in need – including the 3.5 million people who experience homelessness each year, according to the United States Census Bureau – during one of... (more)
If you’re like a lot of people, that first nip in the air sends you running for the couch and the clicker, ready to start a binge-watching bonanza until the spring thaw signifies it’s safe to head outdoors again.
But don’t relinquish your outdoor activities yet! The crisp autumn air and sun’s natural vitamin D dosage are important for... (more)
Fall is many people’s favorite season, especially if they live in one of the states known for its beautiful fall foliage… like we do! Check out this awesome collection of handful of ways to decorate your home for fall.
Natural style – Luckily, the colors of fall can be found naturally just about everywhere. Grab a few pumpkins to place on your porch,... (more)
You may spend a lot of time thinking about how to keep your home tidy and up-to-date, but how often do you look down at your floors? Flooring is one of the biggest factors on overall feel of a space.
It may be tempting to opt for cheaper flooring materials and methods in intermediary areas, but putting in a little extra time and effort can increase a property’s... (more)
As homeowners become increasingly aware of the impact their homes can have on the environment – and on their health – making eco-conscious choices is as important as ever. From controlling the types of materials used within your home to keeping an eye on indoor air quality, these tips can help you create a healthier, more earth-friendly indoor environment.
4 Reasons Why Bamboo Is Taking Home Decor by Storm
Homeowners are often looking for home improvement options that strike the right balance between affordability, functionality, aesthetics and eco-friendliness. Bamboo has been marketed as something of a panacea—a kind of wonder wood that checks all the boxes. Designers, contractors and consumers have all taken... (more)
Move over, dinner plates! The dishwasher can actually be used to wash a myriad of strange items. Below is a good rundown. A quick bit of common sense: if suds-ing up something super greasy or grimy (like an old hubcap), don’t mix your eatery into the same load.
Rubber Boots and Flip Flops – Want to wash your favorite rubber footwear? Pop them in the dishwasher... (more)
When school is in session and just getting out the door is an accomplishment, having go-to routines can help make ordinary activities more exciting for the entire family. However, if you encounter resistance to everyday household tasks, you may just need a simple revamp to make activities more entertaining and engaging.
Refresh your family routines with these... (more)
No matter what part of the country your home is in, the coming of fall signals an opportunity to do whatever necessary or voluntary projects need to be done ahead of winter weather, the coming holiday season, and the New Year.
Have you been putting off re-staining or sealing your deck? Take advantage of the remaining warm, dry weather to clean and seal or stain... (more)
Buying your first home is an exciting milestone, putting you on the path to a smart financial future. There are certain traps you can fall into as a new homeowner, however, that can put your financial well-being at risk. Avoid doing the following too soon:
Remodeling. Unless there’s something in need of serious repair, hold off on any remodeling projects. This... (more)
5 Tips for Deck Design
Timing can be everything, especially when it comes to planning an outdoor living space. By getting a jump-start on planning, you can afford yourself time to complete the process with maximum creativity and minimal stress.
Try these expert tips and tricks of the trade to help make your dream deck a reality.
Lay a Solid Foundation
Located on a quiet side street in one of E. Arlington’s most sought after neighborhoods is this tastefully renovated & well kept 6 RM, 2 BR condo. The bright & cheerful unit offers an elegant kitchen w/mounted pot rack, butcher block center island, gas cooking, newly added pantry, cbnts, grnte cntrs, wine fridge, as well as pendant & recessed... (more)
There have been a lot of studies, think pieces and discussions trying to figure out millennials. Business owners were skeptical about hiring millennials a few years ago and now, as this younger generation continues to grow and succeed in life, the housing market seems to be the next millennial-facing industry.
There’s no doubt that millennials have finally... (more)
Before you move into your new house, you may want to make upgrades. These add value to your investment, improve your home’s function and allow you to express your personality. Plus, making upgrades before you move in reduces inconvenience later. Consider the following upgrades to make your new house feel like home.
1. Enhance the Kitchen
Quality kitchen... (more)
For parents, back-to-school is looming on the horizon. But that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze a bit more out of the season! Below are a handful things you can still do with your family before they head to school, offered by Booking.com.
Plan a last-minute family vacation: They are so important not only for reducing stress, but for bonding and making... (more)
If you have an aging, oil-fired heating system and are dreading the day you’ll need to replace or service your heating system, you may want to explore converting from oil to gas. Heating your home with a cleaner, more fuel-efficient system will shrink your energy bill in the process.
Converting from oil to gas is an increasingly common move. Here are... (more)
If you’re selling your home, chances are good you’re familiar with the concept of staging your home. Real estate agents recommend your home look its best to prospective buyers, and home staging is a great way to ensure you receive top dollar.
Did you know you should stage the exterior of your home, too? Failing to update the look of your home’s... (more)
Any dog owner has likely watched their beautiful new garden dug up by their four-legged family member, or their beloved new grass become Spot’s outdoor toilet. With this in mind, here are top five tips for ensuring the family yard is a place everyone can enjoy year-round.
Consider your dog’s needs
Each dog – senior, puppy, small, big, active breed... (more)
While a cabin in the woods may not be your thing, there are times when we all crave a little privacy. No matter what your living environs may be, there are several strategies beyond fencing for creating private spaces both inside and outside your home.
Plant a tree wall. While this strategy takes a bit of patience, the payoff is big and permanent. Plant a border... (more)
The comfort level of your home is significantly influenced by the design of the interior setting. It’s important that you decorate with the latest trends to create a modern and contemporary setting that reflects your taste. If you’re looking to update your home decoration, here are a few designs to consider using this year.
Marble is a luxe... (more)
Summer is a time filled with good times and warm weather. Unfortunately, it’s also a time for many homeowners when energy costs skyrocket as they attempt to keep their homes cool and comfortable. Thankfully, there are many things that can be done to help keep homes cool while saving energy and money. These five tips will help make the most of energy-efficient... (more)
Looking to move past solid colors and boring family photos? Below are 5 creative ideas for adding flair and flavor to your walls.
Whether you’re a logophile or are just looking to amp up the playful vibe of your space, adding large text to your wall can be innovative and inspirational. You can purchase a variety of word hangings online, or create... (more)
Buying a home is always exciting, if a bit overwhelming. But when you’re a first time buyer, the process can seem even more complicated.
The biggest hurdle for the housing market in the middle of 2017 is low inventory. Housing starts, housing permits, new home construction and pending home sales have all slowed this summer. This all adds up to fewer options for... (more)
The lazy days of summer are peak season for front-porch sitting. But if your porch doesn’t quite match the iconic image of lazily rocking with a tall glass of lemonade, it may be time for a little design refresh.
Start at the beginning—your front door. A fresh coat of paint in a bright, cheery color will act as a focal point and breathe new life into your entire... (more)
Having limited outdoor space is no reason to curb your love of gardening or to settle for less than a thriving green space. From tasty fruits and veggies to flowering plants, trees and shrubs, container gardening is a great way to enhance your small deck or patio.
Test your green thumb with these:
Dwarf citrus trees – If your space provides a little sunlight,... (more)
We all like to save a little money, but many of us don’t consider saving money while on vacation. However, if you tweak some settings in your home before you jet off to your next adventure, you can return home to a small bundle of savings on your utilities. Below, Georgia Power lets us know how.
Think about the Thermostat – If you have a programmable thermostat,... (more)
Summer is the season to be outdoors. It’s the perfect time for backyard barbecues, neighborhood socials, and late-night evenings on the patio. You don’t need to travel to a luxurious and exotic location to enjoy spending time outdoors. Make your own backyard a summer paradise with these eight simple suggestions.
Inspect and Update Wooden Decks
Gardening can be so idyllic – pruning abundant rose bushes, harvesting ripe tomatoes, nestling colorful annuals into window boxes … then there’s weeds.
Even the most enthusiastic gardener can become overwhelmed and disgruntled by an onslaught of weeds, taking the joy out of yard work and wreaking havoc on one’s back. Here are some strategies from finegardening.com... (more)
Your bathroom is one of the hardest workers in your home. You want it to help you keep clean and comfy, but when company comes, you want it looking lovely and pristine. To maximize both its use and its beauty here are five thrifty tips for upgrading any bath on a budget:
Try Granite – Because bathroom countertops are fairly small, you can swap out dated tile... (more)
Want to transform the look and function of your home? It doesn’t need to cost a fortune or even require much time. There are hundreds of home improvements you can make to update your home over a weekend, from upgrading home security to giving your bathroom a much-needed makeover. Here are 10 impressive home improvement projects you can wrap up this weekend.
When you first put your house on the market, you might be hopeful for a quick sale—especially if you’ve put a lot of money into improving the house over the years and if the neighborhood is one that has historically attracted a lot of buyers. While you shouldn’t panic if the house doesn’t sell the moment you list it, you should begin to worry... (more)
Now that the weather is beginning to warm up, it’s time to start thinking about ways to save on utility bills and energy costs before you’re shocked by your first big bill this summer. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to prepare your home (and your wallet) for the summer heat without sacrificing comfort. So, before you crank up the AC,... (more)
Abutting Spy Pond in E. Arlington’s sought after Kelwyn Manor neighborhood. This well maintained rear dormered Cape offers loads of potential. As you enter the home you are greeted by the living room with fireplace and mantle. The gorgeous oak HW floors will lead you to the formal DR which lights up every morning with tons of sunshine. The kitchen offers... (more)
Nothing will stunt the joy of summer faster than a home robbery. But as homeowners head out on daytrips or long vacations, their homes are ripe for robbers casing neighborhoods for empty houses.
According to the FBI, summer is the peak season for burglaries as people head outdoors and on vacation.
Use these following tips to help keep your home secure all season... (more)
Congratulations! You have found the house of your dreams, and now as you scroll through your mental checklist, you might find yourself wondering how you are going to find reliable professional movers, locate a self-storage facility, or create a system to keep tabs on your boxes. Using any of the following moving apps, can help you facilitate much of the moving... (more)
Turn of the Century Center Entrance Colonial located in desirable West Medford, just a short walk to the Brooks Elementary & Commuter Rail. This well maintained home offers beautiful period detail. The EIK has oak cbnts under lit w/LED lights, SS applncs w/gas stove, ceramic tile flr & backsplash, and a large walk-through pantry leading out to the back... (more)
Proper watering nourishes lawns, just as proper hydration nourishes our bodies. Yet too many of us are failing at both. We’re not going to lecture you about drinking more water—we’ll leave that to your doctor or significant other—but we are going to give you a lesson about correctly watering your lawn.
Here are five lawn watering mistakes that you’re... (more)
Flat design style modern vector illustration concept of smart house technology system with centralized control of lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, security locks and video surveillance, energy savings and efficiency. Isolated on white background.
Whether you want automatic doors and windows or color-changing lights that can be controlled by... (more)
When you bought your house, there were a million things you needed to do. Then real life set in, and those driveway pavers you always meant to replace are still staring you in the face. Stay on top of your home maintenance to-dos by making sure you tackle each of the following once a year.
Clean your gutters. Old Frisbees. Dead leaves. Dead rodents. Nasty stuff... (more)
Nothing kills spring and summer fun faster than a swarm of mosquitos. These bitey bugs are more than just an itchy annoyance – they can also carry disease. Orkin recommends the following tips to help residents protect against mosquitoes:
Eliminate Mosquito-Friendly Conditions in and Around Your Yard
– Remove standing water buckets, toys and other... (more)
One of the first focuses for most people looking for a home is square feet. How many square feet are there? How does it compare to the rest of the neighborhood and area? Does size really matter?
Size, of course, does have an impact. More square footage provides the opportunity to have more flexibility with design, room arrangements and features, but experience... (more)
Buying a new house is an exciting process that marks a new chapter in life. For many people, it’s fun to shop around and tour different properties. When you’re serious about purchasing a home, there are a few important parts of the property to check before you move in.
You should feel comfortable with the quality of the neighborhood,... (more)
Real estate season is underway, and house hunters have one goal in mind: a ranch-style home.
According to a recent survey by realtor.com®, ranches are the most in-demand style of home this year, with 42 percent of homebuyers eyeing a rambler in their search for a home. A distant 28 percent of homebuyers—the second highest share in the survey—are in the market... (more)
As temperatures rise and springtime blooms, it’s time to wipe away winter and refresh your home. Spring is all about airing out your space and spending more time outside, which calls for cleaning and perking up your routine.
While a seasonal overhaul can sound daunting, here are five simple steps to help make spring preparations a breeze.
Clean Out the... (more)
Maybe you have a close family member living in Mexico. Or perhaps skiing in Vancouver is your favorite winter vacation spot. Maybe you have a child attending school in London. Or maybe you want to retire to the small town in China that your ancestors are from.
No matter what the reason may be, more and more Americans are looking to purchase property outside... (more)
There is something awesome about buying a fixer upper and doing the renovations yourself. Some people fix them up a bit at a time, using cash as they have it available. If you want to make a big impact by doing small things, here are 10 things you need to include.
1. Change Out the Lighting Nothing says outdated like an old-fashioned gold chandelier. Lighting... (more)
No matter how mild or harsh your winter may have been, spring is a rite of passage that should be recognized throughout your home with elements of renewal. This will not only serve as a refresh for your living environment, but for your state of mind as well. Here are some simple yet highly effective ways to infuse spring throughout your home:
Lighten up…literally. One... (more)
If you are unhappy with the current look of your home, you may be thinking about redecorating to spruce the space up. For most, redecorating includes repainting the walls, refreshing the decor and even purchasing new curtains or furnishings. However, in some cases, redecorating is not enough to produce the desired results. The last thing you want to do is spend... (more)
The term “wall paper” feels almost politically incorrect, so reviled has it become over the years as a design option. But upon further research, it seems like wallpaper is making a comeback.
According to an article in The Washington Post, wallpaper’s renaissance can be attributed to a new swath of fashionable prints and interesting textures – not to mention... (more)
Located in South Waltham, this large 3 bed, 2 full bath townhouse style condo lives like a single family with its spacious layout & private setting. The remodeled eat-in kitchen boasts contemporary design cabinets, quartz countertops, SS appliances including a gas stove w/hood, built-in wine rack, pantry, and leads to the open concept dining/living room area... (more)
Durability is one reason homeowners choose natural stone for their kitchens and bathrooms, but the greatest appeal is often the sheer beauty of the material. Maintaining that luster and shine requires a bit of effort, but the ability to enjoy the unique character of natural stone makes it all worthwhile.
It’s important to understand the shine on granite... (more)
Is spring cleaning on your mind? It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Below are five tips for easy cleaning.
Decide what you are keeping
Heard of the KonMari decluttering method? Keep an item if it brings you joy and if you have room for it – if not, set it aside. Start with a post-its to speed up the process as you go along – bite... (more)
Whether your roof is aged or just weathered a severe storm, staying on top of possible damage is key to extending the life of your home’s top half. Here are some tips to help detect and prevent water damage:
Inspect your roof for damage after a severe storm.
Remove any loose objects and debris. A clean roof eliminates leaves and other items. from accumulations... (more)
There’s so much advice out there about neutralizing your home design for maximum resale value that our personalities are in danger of getting lost in the shuffle. Unless you’re getting ready to put your home on the market soon, go ahead and let your individuality shine through with interior design that reflects your tastes and interests. Here are... (more)
Veins of color and unique patterns give marble tile a truly stunning appearance. However, maintaining that elegance may seem anything but effortless.
Common advice cautions against using vinegar, bleach, ammonia or other general-purpose cleaners, while taking care to prevent scratches from the wheels of an old vacuum or basic sand and dirt is paramount. With... (more)
Welcome on Green Road Sign
You’re exploring life as a new employee in a city of which you know little. The last thing you want to do is blindly choose a house out of necessity. Here are four tips that can help you in your quest to find the perfect new home in your new city.
Understand Your Personality and Desires
Your personal characteristics, for the most... (more)
Are you or a family member in the market for a rental? Make an informed choice by following this inspection checklist from the experts at RentHop:
1. Cellphone reception
In today’s world, we tend to assume we can get great coverage anywhere and everywhere. That’s not necessarily so. When you’re touring a potential apartment, make a call or two on your mobile... (more)
For many, a small, pricey hotel room is no way to vacation. Many would prefer instead the space and creature comforts of a home away from home.
Renting a home, however, is not like booking a hotel. Hotels come with a lot of predictability in terms of size, location and amenities. With a vacation home, however, you’re leaving a bit to chance. Follow these... (more)
jack russell dog sleeping under the blanket in bed the bedroom, ill ,sick or tired, sheet covering its head
When cool winds are blowing and the temperatures outside take a dive, even a well-insulated house may feel the chill. Simply kicking up the thermostat can be expensive and depending on your home’s circulation, you may still have areas that need an extra... (more)
Nothing is more heartwarming than the first warm nuzzle from a new puppy. With new pets, however, come new responsibilities and opportunities. No matter the season, it’s always a moving and emotional experience when a puppy finds a new home.
Find a Veterinarian
A veterinarian should be your first call if your puppy gets into something that could potentially... (more)
While spring and early summer reign as peek home-shopping seasons, there’s no good reason why you can’t find that perfect house in the middle of winter, too. In fact, you might even get a good deal from homeowners who are anxious to sell as soon as possible and don’t want to wait for the spring thaw.
Looking at homes in winter, however, requires... (more)
Those of us living in colder states know the comfort of a space heater keeping our toes warm all winter long. But CPSC estimates that portable electric heaters are involved in about 1,100 fires per year, resulting in about 50 deaths, dozens of injuries and millions of dollars in property loss. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 32% of home... (more)
It’s no secret that being a homeowner is a financial commitment. However, there may be places in your home that are secretly upping your expenses. Read on for a rundown of those secret money leaks, courtesy of Gentec Services.
Air leaks. One of the biggest energy drains on a home is air leakage, which means the conditioned air in your home exits through... (more)
If you’re like many people, you tend to do at least a little work from home. Whether you full on run a business out of your living space or simply need a nook to work on your finances or groom your Pinterest board, the following tips can help you upgrade that home office.
Splurge on something inspirational. Whether it’s an original piece from a favorite... (more)
Take a look around your office and you’ll probably notice there’s something missing: those teetering towers of papers that used to pile up on the edge of your desk. As we move further and further into a digital environment, paper is being tossed in favor of email, the cloud and text messages.
While a paperless environment is becoming the norm in the work world,... (more)
Winter conditions can present a wide range of challenges to your lawn and landscape, but there are precautions you can take to protect your lawn, as well as your trees and shrubs, from seasonal harm.
Preventive steps from the lawncare experts at TruGreen can help your lawn survive the winter season’s harsh elements.
Snow Plow Damage
Install brightly-colored... (more)
While winter isn’t traditionally considered the best time to sell your home, there’s no reason you can’t get an offer during the colder months with the right staging. In fact, a study found that homes sold faster and for more money in the winter months, even in cold cities like Chicago. Here are five winter home staging tips that can increase... (more)
Prepare to see a lot more green in 2017—and not the kind you get from a scratch-off.
Pantone recently revealed next year’s Color of the Year, a “zesty” yellow-green named—what else?—Greenery. The hue, which immediately brings to mind The Land Before Time, will crop up in home decor and housewares, from accents and furniture to paint.
The “refreshing... (more)
Are you planning for a move? Read on for five tips to save money and stress as you relocate.
1. Declutter first. Start your moving process by getting rid of as much as possible. This does two things: you will score some extra dollars by selling old items, and save money by transporting less. You will also save yourself the hassle of moving boxes from one musty... (more)
Despite the fact that most shy away from listing their home during the holidays, it’s actually a great time to sell your home. Below are reasons you should deck your halls—and then sell them.
Time Off – The holidays are a great time to sell! There can be people relocating before the New Year, or people who have time off to shop for a home.
Weather – It can be... (more)
Home accidents cause nearly 13 million injuries a year. Some simple updates to your home can help you avoid these accidents, as well as give your rooms a facelift.
People often think that home improvement projects mean a complete overhaul of a room, but there are dozens of smaller updates that people can DIY that can have a big impact on the room. It’s... (more)
Millennials are the largest generation shaking the housing market, according to research by the National Association of REALTORS. Despite this great news, when compared with the generations that came before them, millennials remain delayed in purchasing their first home. One aspect of homes millennials are particularly interested in is technology. From smart... (more)
The holidays can be a stressful time of year for many different reasons. Here are seven considerations that could alleviate the pressure.
1. If money is tight, set a realistic budget. If you know in your gut that you can’t afford a gift, don’t buy it! Take steps to manage expectations in advance. Let people know if you prefer not to exchange gifts... (more)
Whether you’re snagging a new furnace for your just-purchased home, or replacing your old clunker with an updated option, below are top tips for those looking into a new furnace for their home
Size matters – One of the most important factors when buying a furnace is to have a professional installer examine the size of the house and then determine the size... (more)
For nearly 74 million homeowners, a new fall tradition has emerged: home improvement.
According to a recent Metrostudy Residential Remodeling Index, several factors point to a rise in home improvement projects this season.
Energy-Efficiency — With colder weather on the horizon, homeowners shudder at the thought of higher heating costs. They upgrade windows, layer... (more)
Since relocating is such a major undertaking, it’s vital to thoroughly research your options. This is especially essential regarding an overseas move. Here are five things to assess in a prospective neighborhood to ensure you’ll feel at home, no matter whether your new home is here or abroad.
One consideration is how you’ll... (more)
The transaction has closed! The sellers are eager to get on with their move. The buyers want to start unpacking. But when the handshakes are over, everyone will leave with a daunting stack of paperwork. How much of it needs to be retained, and what role should the agent play in ensuring the right documents are kept?
“It’s important to me that clients understand... (more)
Energy costs account for a considerable amount of every homeowner’s budget. According to the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), the average annual utility costs are $2,200. Trimming that expense, even by a few dollars, can save hundreds each year—and save the environment from the effects of excess consumption.
Start saving energy at home with these tips, shared... (more)
Homes cost a lot of money to maintain. Are you spending extra money unnecessarily on the upkeep of your home? Here are 10 of the most expensive mistakes you could be making.
1. Using Traditional Light bulbs
If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home, you could be throwing a lot of money away every month on inflated electric bills. Over its lifespan,... (more)
Some home purchases can be downright scary, but that can’t compare to these homes! In the spirit of Halloween…enjoy!
Winchester Mystery House
The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, is a 160-room Victorian mansion brimming with bizarre architectural features and a very eerie origin. With features such as secret passageways, labyrinth-like... (more)
With hundreds of paint colors to choose from, selecting the shades just right for your home can be daunting. Good Housekeeping magazine recently rounded up the top 10 paint colors most often used by professional home designers. Get inspired by them:
1. Palladian Blue — By Benjamin Moore, this blue-green-grey shade can be used in any room, and is especially ideal... (more)
Whether you are looking for a hip enclave of bars or a quiet suburban street filled with families for your kids to play with, choosing a new neighborhood requires a lot of consideration. There are many things to think about when making the leap to new surroundings. From creating a helpful checklist of must-haves to uncovering crime statistics, the more information... (more)
Student loan debt and high rent prices continue to burden the homeownership outlook, according to data from the fourth annual housing survey from NeighborWorks America. The national telephone survey found nearly one-third (30 percent) of Americans know someone who has delayed the purchase of a home because of student loan debt, up from 28 percent in 2015 and... (more)
The Long Rural Autumn Road Corridor
On the road in search of color-changing foliage this fall? Take in awe-inspiring autumn vistas at these leaf-peeping locales, recently ranked by Booking.com.
1. Great Smoky Mountains (Tennessee) Come for: 100-plus species of native trees Stay for: Blue Mountain Mist Country Inn & Spa, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
2. Aspen (Colorado)... (more)
Digitized manufacturing is emerging as a leader in home design trends. It’s becoming easier to customize homes with a variety of textures and colors thanks to sustainable materials like glass and new manufacturing technologies. In fact, 3-D manufacturing, or the third industrial revolution, is changing how homes are being built.
As the path to sustainable... (more)
Downsizing your home can provide you and your loved ones with some amazing benefits over the years. In addition to lower energy bills, keeping a smaller home clean and tidy takes just a fraction of the time. If you are planning on moving to a smaller place in the near future, then read ahead for some tips that will make the transition as smooth as possible.
The process of buying a new home is stressful, even if you’ve already done it before. Looking at properties, researching areas, processing paperwork, etc., can all take a toll on your schedule and daily life. With all this going on, the last thing you should have to worry about is saving money when it actually comes time to buy the property. Use the following... (more)
———– A Panel Discussion ———–
Moving soon? Or just have too much stuff?
Come learn from the experts what Minimalism is and how to make it work for you whether you’re:
Moving or Downsizing
Curious about the Minimalist Movement
Looking to stage/sell your property
You’ll come away from this free presentation... (more)
Buyers are so hyper-focused on the home that they often cast aside surroundings. “Surroundings” do not equal trees, fences or landscape. The home’s surroundings are the houses around the home and the residents occupying them. Surroundings also include the neighborhood, the passersby and the city. Surroundings are the home’s location and... (more)
Owning your own home is an important and some would say essential part of the American dream. However, once you’ve invested the time and hard work to save up enough to be able to finally afford your dream home, you might find that you are faced with a lot of difficult choices about the real estate where you could potentially spend the rest of your life.
If you’re always short of cabinet and counter space, it’s time to de-clutter the kitchen—but that’s a chore that seems to get relegated to “someday.” The job may be easier if you know where to start, say consumer editors at Country Living magazine.
If you want to give yourself more kitchen space, begin by getting rid of the following:
Now that summer gear has been stowed away, it’s time to focus on fall home improvement projects. Autumn is the key time to evaluate your home exterior and prepare it for the harsh winter months ahead.
With cooler fall weather comes the realization that your home will soon experience cold, snowy weather. To get your house ready, start by giving your exterior... (more)
OFFERED AT $499,900
Beautifully maintained & well kept single family home located in Woburn’s highly desirable West Side, just a short walk from the Reeves Elementary School. The large EIK boasts a breakfast bar, exposed brick, plenty of countertop & cabinet space, and leads to both the formal dining room as well as living room which makes it perfect... (more)
There’s no way around it, supporting a college student can be very expensive. Food, books, and most importantly, housing — all add a hefty expense on top of tuition. That’s why the idea of purchasing a property for a college student can be a good investment strategy for families and an alternative to paying rent for four years. If you have clients with... (more)
Planning for retirement is a manifold and ongoing process, with many variables to consider. Dive into it with this checklist, courtesy of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC):
• Map out a yearly budget for each year you plan to be retired, up to age 100. Expect to need 80 percent of your current annual income each year, minus anticipated... (more)
Most house remodels occur in spring and summer, when the weather is unlikely to derail a project—but according to one expert, another season is just as ideal for remodels: FALL.
Why fall? Dan Fritschen, product manager at RemodelOrMove.com and author of six books on home remodeling, lists three reasons:
1. The off-season means more contractors are available for... (more)
Two generation family looking at a house for sale
Buying your first home is an exciting milestone, one marked with a fear of the unknown and a level of excitement at what’s to come. And for many first-time buyers, a starter home is a great investment.
A starter home is perfect for those who want the independence of living in their own home, but don’t quite have... (more)
Relocating to a new state offers the opportunity to start fresh and experience a life you may not have otherwise planned. But, like anything new, moving can present its own unique challenges, from organizing what to bring and discard, to deciding where to enroll the kids in school, to ensuring everyone remains happy and positive. Truly, the devil is in the details.
Energy bills are way too high, and unfortunately energy-saving methods, like solar panels and high-efficiency appliances, cost money, too. However, there are many ways to reduce energy expenses without spending anything. Here are five practical, energy-saving tips.
1. Unplug Devices and Keep Lights Off
The household appliances that tend to use the most energy... (more)
Do you know upwards of 15 million people move during peak real estate season?
Moving is an exciting time, but can also be overwhelming. Take the stress out of the process with these tips, courtesy of Penske Truck Rental:
1. Prepare to pack. Save time by ordering moving supplies, such as boxes, bubble wrap, labels and tape in advance online.
2. Purge. Less is... (more)
Do you know radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most homes with high levels of radon gas can be remedied. If you have tested your home for radon and have confirmed elevated radon levels (4 picocuries per liter in air [pCi/L] or higher), consult your local health agency or radon authority... (more)
Staging your home while it’s on the market is one of the most effective ways to sell it for top dollar.
Start by addressing natural light, say the experts at Stagetecture.com. Ample natural light makes the home appear larger and inviting. Avoid minimizing natural light with heavy window treatments—instead, hang sheers, and open them during showings.
]Improving your home can grow the value of your investment—if the right upgrades are made. No matter which kind of home you own, these home improvements top the list.
1. Power Backup – Natural disasters are on the rise, and expected to become more impactful in the future. Installing a standby generator system is one upgrade that will pay dividends in peace of... (more)
Homebuyers traditionally face competition at the height of real estate season. Now, with market indicators reaching record post-recession milestones, competition is stiffer than ever.
To gain an edge as a buyer, real estate professionals advise:
Getting Pre-Approved – Getting pre-approved for financing will give you significant leverage in negotiations with the... (more)
Having a large family can be a source of joy and pride for both you and your several children. However, it will require more space to house everyone comfortably and to meet their needs. If you have a large household and are looking for a more suitable house to fit your growing family, follow the tips below in order to choose the most comfortable home option.
Pools are perfect for summertime fun, but not all pools are great for the environment. Chemicals and other pool-related substances can negatively affect the landscape around you. Maintaining a pool can also get expensive and potentially impact your utility bills. Here are some eco-friendly pool alternatives to keep your bills down and the environment safe.
Whether you’re in the process of downsizing or simply looking to open up your home a bit, self-storage units offer a practical solution to the lack of space issue homeowners are faced with on a day-to-day basis. While factors such as security, cleanliness, temperature control, customer service and price will likely play a large role in determining which self-storage... (more)
A lot of household items have a shelf life—even ones you wouldn’t expect. Do you need to replace any of these in your home?
Mattress – Studies show mattresses more than eight years old can exacerbate allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as contribute to body aches and pains. Replace your mattress every eight years to ensure you’re getting a healthy night’s sleep.
Microwave –... (more)
There are numerous factors that impact a buyer’s decision to make an offer on a home. One of those is color—a feature that may be positively or negatively received by buyers.
A recent Zillow Digs® analysis found that listings with kitchens painted soft shades of yellow sold for $1,360 more than anticipated. Generally, listings with rooms painted in earthy hues... (more)
Celebrations are moving outside for the summer. Green your next outdoor gathering with these tips, courtesy of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP):
• Rent reusable tablecloths, tables and other event supplies to reduce your impact.
• Use reusable plates, cups, and cutlery if possible—or look for disposable plates or napkins... (more)
A healthy home — one free of bacteria and pollutants — requires upkeep in several areas. Fortunately, many healthy home maintenance tasks are simple, and can be done in a matter of minutes.
“Small actions can make a big difference when it comes to creating a healthier home,” says Sarah Norman, director, Healthy Homes and Communities for NeighborWorks... (more)
Now that the cold, wet dreariness of winter is in our rearview mirrors, it is time to rejoice in the “summery” outdoors. But what do you do if you’ve gotten so used to spending your days cooped up inside that you’ve forgotten how to take advantage of your backyard? The answer is simple: bring the indoors out! With a few DIY tricks, you can spend your summer indulging... (more)
Traditionally, hardwood floors added warmth and natural beauty to the home. These days, hardwood competes with copycat laminates and engineered wood floors, which can cost less. The differences between wood and wood-like flooring, according to Melissa Maker, host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube:
Hardwood — Hardwood flooring is made of solid, natural... (more)
Are you getting ready to buy a major appliance, like a refrigerator, oven, dishwasher or dryer?
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM.org) recommends the following tips:
Get the specs. Ask your dealer for specifications from several manufacturers offering the type of appliance you need. Compare available features, designs and capacities.
Household products account for a portion of almost everyone’s shopping list. You can save money by making smart choices about the products and services you buy, says consumer editor Nikelle Murphy of CheatSheet.com—in fact, there are at least five common household products you can strike from your list:
1. Air Fresheners – Air fresheners are a multibillion-dollar... (more)
One of the simplest ways to beat the heat at home is with adequate insulation.
Most people associate insulation with keeping things warm, however, it is equally important when it comes to ensuring your family is cool and comfortable in the summer. Insulation saves people thousands of dollars in energy costs, making it one of the best investments you’ll... (more)
The entryway or foyer of your home conveys an important first impression to your guests. For homeowners bent on making it a great first impression, designers at ElleDecor.com suggest seven easy ways to make an entryway look larger, brighter, and more welcoming:
Use the Power of Mirrors – A well-placed mirror can instantly open up a space and add a luxurious feel.... (more)
Staging can boost a sale price of a home by as much as 10 percent. The best staged homes strike the balance between lived-in and never-owned. How can you apply that science when staging your home? Look no further than model homes, which draw buyers by blending the form-follows-function principle with the preferences of today.
Here are some tips:
• Remove anything... (more)
“Luxury” and “laundry room” are two terms rarely found in the same sentence—until now. Laundry rooms are goin’ glam! Get in on the lackluster-to-luxe trend with these tips, fresh from the pros:
Luxe laundry rooms take location into account, so take time to assess your existing space. Could laundry be completed more efficiently if... (more)
Some home improvement projects are bankable for the seller—some, unfortunately, are a bust.
A new front door is one of the projects that can yield a high return on investment. A steel door, specifically, costs an average of $1,230 to install, but may increase the home’s value by $1,252—a 101.8 percent return.
A fiberglass door, too, may boost a home’s... (more)
Ownership pride at its finest with this beautiful & well kept single family home located in highly coveted Arlington Heights, just minutes to the Dallin Elementary. The butlers pantry EIK boasts shaker style maple cabnts, GRANITE cntrs, newer applncs including a gas convection stove & 1 yr old fridge, recessed lights, and custom built-ins w/spice rack.... (more)
Keeping your bathroom sanitary doesn’t have to be a chore. With the right cleaning techniques, you can enjoy a sparkling bathroom without spending all day cleaning. Here are six cleaning tips for a fresh bathroom:
1. Shine your mirror
Your bathroom mirror can get pretty grimy. Thankfully, it’s easy to restore it to its former glory. Here’s how:
Place rubbing... (more)
Extremely rare mixed-use 4 unit building including commercial space located in up and coming East Watertown! This home has been family owned and maintained for more than 40 years. All units are updated, in great condition, and have solid rental history. Unit#1 is a 5Rm, 2+Bed w/in-unit lndry and EIK w/pantry. Unit# 2 is a 4Rm, 2bed w/EIK and pantry. The larger... (more)
With the rising cost of electricity, it’s no wonder we are seeing more creative ways to acquire energy through solar power. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, 2015 was the biggest year yet in solar-use history, and the industry is set to more than double the amount of installed capacity in the United States in 2016. As expected, California... (more)
Attics are a long-standing feature in American homes, their use evolving as homeowner demands shift. Serving initially as storage space, many attics have become “bonus” rooms, housing everything from home offices to master suites.
Considering converting your attic into a new, useable space? Keep these pointers in mind:
• Many attics have no source... (more)
Investing in real estate is one of the most financially sound things you can do, but buying a new home might feel intimidating when it is your first time. It is understandable that you’d want to make the best decision possible. Here are six things to look for that can help with your decision.
Efficient HVAC System
Heating and cooling count for a large percentage... (more)
Apartments and condos rarely offer much opportunity to garden, even with balconies or patios. ApartmentTherapy.com recently rounded up container gardening tips that’ll help satisfy small-space green thumbs. Some are viable even in apartments with no outdoor space at all!
1. Ceramic Pots – Dwarf fruit trees, such as Calamondin Orange, Eureka Lemon, Improved Meyer,... (more)
Quality wood furniture can last a lifetime and is often a treasured heirloom, passed down through multiple generations. Still, even the highest quality wood is susceptible to scratches and abrasions if not properly cared for.
When purchasing furniture, it’s always a good idea to ask for specific cleaning and care instructions. For furnishings already in your... (more)
Signs of spring (and summer!) are cropping up everywhere, and for homeowners, that means readying outdoor spaces for the season. Some, according to a Houzz.com report, are planning to renovate, as well.
“Nearly half of outdoor renovators spend six or more hours a week in their yards, motivating them to invest in major features that transform the outdoors into... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
A kitchen remodel can be expensive, and homeowners are justifiably careful about staying within budget. However, there are certain areas in every kitchen where a splurge may be worth the price in terms of efficiency, looks, and durability.
HGTV suggests six areas where a few lavish touches are worth the extra expense:
1. Commercial-Grade Range... (more)
If you are looking to get your foot into Wakefield then this could be your chance! This tastefully renovated well mantained ranch is move-in ready and just steps to the Greenwood Commuter Rail stop. The updated kitchen boasts GRANITE counters, SS applnes, over-sized ceramic tile flr, recessed lights, and opens into the formal DR w/original parquet HW flrs perfect... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
Ready or not, spring is here, and with it comes the urge to open up your home to fresh breezes and sunshine. The trouble with that, as some homeowners lament, is that the furnishings may look a little tired.
Before you replace a few big-ticket items, take a few tips from the editors of Home & Garden Magazine to spruce up your home without... (more)
Classic New England Cape style home located in highly coveted Warrendale neighborhood. Situated on a corner lot just steps to the Fitzgerald Elementary School, this home features an oak cabinet kitchen w/gas cooking, SKYLIGHT, and opens nicely into the dining w/built-in hutch. The breezeway is off the kitchen and leads to the garage as well as both side &rear... (more)
Homes in high-risk flood areas are not the only ones that need flood insurance. Approximately one in four of all flood disasters occur in areas with low to moderate risk of flooding. Floods can happen anywhere, anytime—not just near the coast, lakes and rivers.
Torrential rain, snow melt and mudslides can all cause flood losses, reminding homeowners that generally,... (more)
This massive Philly style 2 family is surely the one you have been waiting for! Located in Somerville’s desirable Spring Hill, this home has been family owned and maintained for over 70 years! The 1st flr set up is LR,DR,K w/ 2 beds down and 1 upper bed. The 2nd flr is LR,DR,K w/1 bed down, and 4 beds on the 3rd floor. 2nd flr kitchen is updated with CHERRY... (more)
Warming temperatures, rainy days, sunny skies—these are just some of the signs that spring is here. While your lawn probably maintains its dingy brown winter look, soon, it will be blossoming with the rest of the flowers, shrubs and trees – but only if you provide the right care for it now.
Set aside a few hours to maintain your lawn and you’ll be assured... (more)
Before you grab your toolkit or enlist the help of a professional for spring projects this season, do your wallet a favor and conduct some research.
HomeAdvisor’s most recent True Cost Report found that 38 percent of homeowners don’t know how much it will cost to hire a professional for home projects, and nearly 70 percent are concerned about overpaying... (more)
Yearning for the outdoors? We’re with you! Spring’s almost here, and quality outdoor time isn’t far behind. To get the most enjoyment out of your outdoor space, now’s the time to consider an upgrade (or two) while the weather’s still in between seasons.
Need inspiration? Here are the most common outdoor upgrades and add-ons, according to the American Society... (more)
House construction renovation abstract background
More often than not, home renovations center around efficiency and what the family needs. We upgrade the bathroom and redo the cabinets in the kitchen because they often are the most used spaces in the home and often need some retouching. But maybe it’s time for a home renovation that focuses not on what... (more)
291 Shawsheen Avenue, Wilimington
Offered at $499,900
This expanded cape is certainly not a drive-by! Pride of ownership at its finest with this meticulously maintained 8 Rm, 3 Bed, 2 full bath home. The bright & spacious LR has a loft feel and features gorgeous oak floors, custom built brick fireplace w/granite mantle, CATHEDRAL ceiling w/SKYLIGHT, and dry... (more)
For many, renting is a necessary stepping stone on the path to homeownership. Embark on the journey wisely with these rent-smart tips, courtesy of NeighborWorks America.
1. Be on alert for rental scams. Scammers often advertise rentals that don’t exist or aren’t available (“phantom” rentals) to trick prospective tenants into sending them money. Signs you may... (more)
Now that you’ve decided to move, the clock is ticking. While we all know that the moving process is extremely stressful, most people don’t realize that there is something you can do to help ease the stresses and better plan an organized move.
60 Days before You Move:
Start strategically planning your move, step-by-step, to alleviate the stress of... (more)
From seasonal temperature fluctuations to excess rainfall, pests find any excuse to enter homes. The homes of new homeowners are especially prone to attracting pests, says Ron Harrison, entomologist with Orkin, partly because they are unaware of the best preventative measures.
If you’re a new homeowner, avoid these 5 “pesky” mistakes.
1. Overlooking Tiny Cracks –... (more)
Going to the spa is an expensive proposition—not to mention costly in terms of time. Bringing the relaxation of the spa to your own home, however, means that you can kick back and relax whenever you like. A simple bathroom redesign can be enough to completely change the way your bathroom feels, leaving relaxation just a few steps away when you need it most.
Severe storm conditions may threaten structural damage to your home, but they can also result in electrical hazards. These dangers are most often associated with the use of portable generators and space heaters, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), and may exist long after the storm has ended if a power outage occurs.
When operating... (more)
When you first moved into your home, the walls may have been white with beige carpeting. Although this decor choice is classic for nearly every rental and brand-new home, you don’t have to live with the neutral colors. In fact, there are simple ways to improve your home’s ambiance with just a few creative changes. Take a look at these exciting ways... (more)
If you recently purchased a home and have a big move looming in the not-so-distant future, preparation is key to ensuring the process goes as smoothly as possible—and that includes making sure you have the right tools for the job. Here are some common tools you should have at the ready when moving to a new home.
1. Cordless Drill. From hanging shelves to photos—and... (more)
Home and money on hand, vector
By Barbara Pronin
Improving the look and functionality of your home goes a long way toward boosting its value. But what types of renovation are today’s buyers looking for?
If you are thinking of remodeling, a national survey by Consumer Reports reveals the most sought-after amenities:
Kitchens top the list – Buyers want a clean,... (more)
As we begin to fete love and romance ahead of Valentine’s Day, OpenTable released its 2016 rankings of the 25 Most Romantic Cities in America.
Food trends may come and go, but OpenTable data indicate that Americans continue to have an appetite for romantic dining. In order to provide a ranking of cities where romantic dining is inherently part of the culture,... (more)
A fresh coat of paint is an upgrade well worth the effort. Your best bet for color…the lighter, the better.
Deep, saturated shades have been popular for years, but the palette that’s in vogue right now is just the opposite. Interior designers and colorists are favoring lighter hues, including off-whites, that just tease the eye with traces of color.
By John Egan
Curb appeal is in the eyes of the buyer. But as Texas Tech University researchers Emmett Elam and Andrea Stigarall point out, the precise factors that influence a homebuyer’s perceptions of curb appeal are debatable. What is not debatable is the lift that curb appeal gives to the value of a home. Improving the curb appeal of your home can boost its... (more)
By David Glenn
The living room is the room where most families spend the majority of their time. The TV is usually there, the comfy couches are there, and oftentimes the living room has the best view of the backyard. Sometimes, though, the living room needs some sprucing up. Here are three things you can do to instantly revolutionize the favorite room in the... (more)
By Suzanne De Vita
Favorable economic conditions have long triggered investment in home improvements—more money, more upgrades—and progress on the housing front is set to spur the next wave of homeowner spending on both necessary and discretionary projects.
How should homeowners invest their remodeling dollars this year? By and large, homeowners can expect to... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
Everyone gets bored with their surroundings occasionally—especially when the winter doldrums set in and we are spending more time at home. A quick renovation can help boost your mood, and doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money.
Designers offer four tips for giving your home new interest while spending minimal dollars:
Use paint and... (more)
One way to beat the winter doldrums this season is to liven up your home with greenery. Green thumb or not, the key is to start small, says gardening author Ann Whitman, who suggests beginning with a terrarium, a miniature tabletop garden.
“Terrariums invite you in for a closer look and provide a perfect escape from the winter... (more)
Winter is here, and that means flu season is not far behind. To keep your home free of illness, it’s important to maintain a clean household.
“With the flu season kicking into high gear, it’s important to make sure you’re taking the appropriate steps to help reduce the spread of the virus in your home, at work and when you’re on the go,”... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
High winter heating bills can make mincemeat of your budget. But a few surprising tricks can help keep you toasty warm this winter and keep heating costs under control.
Home improvement experts suggest trying these seven ploys:
• Service the furnace — Seems like a no-brainer, but many homeowners forget or put off having the furnace checked... (more)
There are several ways to improve the energy-efficiency of your home—and many are too costly for the average homeowner to finance. The truth is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to reap the benefits of increased energy-efficiency. In fact, you can save up to 30 percent on energy bills every month with a simple, DIY home energy audit, plus the following... (more)
As a homeowner, one of the most worthwhile investments you can make is to upgrade your home’s bathroom. Bathroom renovations enhance not only real estate value but also your overall enjoyment of the space, and appointments these days are light years ahead of the materials used in other types of remodels.
If you’re considering an upgrade, go for one (or all!)... (more)
Fireplaces are one of the most coveted features in homes today—but they can be hazardous if precautions aren’t taken. Whenever you use your fireplace, keep in mind these safety tips.
1. Get an annual chimney check. Have chimneys inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary, by a qualified professional chimney service technician. This reduces the risk of fires... (more)
Looking to liven up the decor in your home? Beat the winter doldrums? Tie in signs of the season? How about all three?
Winter is a season that naturally contains an abundance of inspiring color and decor, from the bold colors in a lit fireplace to the frosty weather outside. Color and decor trends this season aim to bring all of the best elements of winter into... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
Most of us like to socialize with friends and neighbors during the holiday season. But with shopping, wrapping and family gatherings heading up many to-do lists, it may not be easy to find time to socialize without throwing a big, glitzy party.
The consumer editors at Better Homes and Gardens Magazine suggest simple party ideas guaranteed to... (more)
Approximately one-fifth of homeowners insurance claims are brought on by damage caused by water or cold temperatures—much of which comes as a result of snowy conditions. Although standard homeowners and renters policies cover winter-related damage, such as that caused by burst pipes, ice dams and wind, as well as damage caused by either the weight of ice or snow,... (more)
The holidays are fast approaching! Amid the gift-giving, gathering with loved ones and decorating, the season serves as an important reminder for homeowners to make their roofs “reindeer-ready,” or review their roofs.
To do that, the experts at the Metal Roofing Alliance advise completing the following 10 checks, which can be done without a ladder:
1. For homes... (more)
Holiday shopping may be fun, but it can also negatively impact your finances if gone unchecked. Avoiding debt is the goal. The holiday season is an exciting and inspiring time of the year that promotes giving, but spending within your means is the best gift you can give yourself. Managing a realistic budget and developing a shopping list that compliments it... (more)
By Andrea Davis
A home is a major investment and it’s one that stands to appreciate if you continue to invest your money wisely. Avoiding these five critical mistakes will help you turn your home into your greatest asset instead of your greatest expense.
1) Don’t sell too soon.
Generally speaking, it takes at least three to five years to gain home equity. That... (more)
Amid the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s important for shoppers to make informed decisions about holiday spending when taking advantage of Black Friday and other deals. According to the experts at Credit Sesame (www.creditsesame.com), shoppers should keep in mind the following tips.
1. Avoid opening new retail store cards. Retail store credit cards often... (more)
It’s not uncommon for shoppers to get a head start on purchasing gifts for the holidays, but shopping before the December rush is fast becoming the norm, according to American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC), a nonprofit organization.
“More people realize that waiting until December to start your their holiday shopping can result in extremely high... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
Everyone seems to gather in the kitchen, and that may be one reason why it’s ground zero for major messes. You may already rely on vinegar and water to wipe down countertops and other areas, but, notes home projects guru Bob Vila, there is a world of other and more surprising cleaning options out there just perfect for making KP duty... (more)
Does your holiday décor need a reboot?
Red and green will always be classic, but when it comes to holiday décor, rules are meant to be broken. Anyone can use inventive color schemes, fun patterns and smart home updates to create spaces that embrace the essence of the season.
Trends to consider, Froelich says, are ones that blend holiday tradition with modern... (more)
Kitchen design is an art form, one where function and beauty harmoniously co-exist. Achieving that balance, however, isn’t always easy. When renovating a kitchen, homeowners can find themselves facing challenging design dilemmas. And they are not alone.
When redesigning or refreshing a kitchen, the goal is to create a space that is hard-working, yet beautiful.... (more)
As the leaves are falling around this time every year, I wait anxiously for the Paint Quality Institute to ‘drop’ next year’s list of the most anticipated colors being mixed for designers and DIY-ers to dress up their living spaces.
According to Debbie Zimmer, color expert for the Paint Quality Institute, interior paint colors that will be hot... (more)
Did you know certain window coverings can provide energy savings of up to 10 percent a month? Advancements in window treatments have led to increased energy efficiency in many models manufactured today. The most energy-efficient of these include:
Cellular Shades – Cellular shades are often called honeycomb shades. The shade is made of individual cells that trap... (more)
Homeowners should consider how to make the most of their home heating budgets before cooler weather sets in. Learning how to operate your home heating appliances and then taking care of them through routine maintenance are two of the best things a homeowner can do to save money on heating this season.
Since most homeowners operate their heating appliances for... (more)
By John Voket
Getting a well-maintained home ready for winter isn’t difficult, but it’s wise to start early. The following pre-winter activities can help protect your home from the elements, make it more comfortable, and help prevent expensive repair bills next spring:
1. Touch up exterior paint. Peeling or flaking paint can expose bare wood, subjecting it to... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
Creating a stylish interior for your home is rarely a problem when money is no object. But when funds are in short supply, says interior designer Cheryl Eisen, there are plenty of tricks for achieving the luxe look you want.
Eisen, a long-time New York-based home stager who works for high-end clients, shared six practical if inexpensive tips... (more)
No matter the level of natural light in your home, controlling the light is important, especially if limited privacy or damaging rays are concerning. Several blocking techniques can correct these matters, say the experts at ODL, Inc., a leading manufacturer of door and window products. Those techniques are:
Trapping light with textiles — If you’ve always... (more)
The Idahurst Mansion’s newest unit is now available! This is a direct access unit via your private stone patio. The kitchen features GRANITE countertops w/maple cabinets, tiled floor & backsplash. The living room boast gorgeous exotic HW flrs, crown molding, and recessed lights. The 2nd entryway has marble flrs, and a huge closet for storage. Bathroom... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
Summer’s over, and a fall chill is settling in over much of the country. Retailers, even with Halloween yet to come, are beginning to stock Christmas merchandise. For thrifty shoppers, it’s a good time of year to pick up some great bargains on current and out-of-season goods.
From Bankrate, Consumer’s Report, and online consumer... (more)
By Keith Loria
Now that autumn is in full swing, there are less house hunters hitting the pavement looking for their dream home, driving competition among sellers to a whole new level. If your home is currently on the market, taking advantage of all that comes with the fall season can go a long way toward attracting those who are seriously looking for... (more)
Fall is the perfect time of year to tackle home improvement projects, especially those that enhance existing features or add new functions to your home. This season, consider making cost-conscious upgrades, such as:
1. Revitalizing worn woodwork – Nothing ages a home’s appearance faster than tired, weathered woodwork on the front porch or back deck. Apply... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
Saving up enough money for a down payment on your first home can seem like a daunting task—and it can be. But, say consumer advocates at nerdwallet.com, you might try using a few of these odd little shortcuts to trick yourself into saving more—and faster:
-Automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account can help... (more)
Come autumn, caring for your lawn should go beyond a weekly mowing. In fact, there are many steps homeowners can take to ensure their lawn remains healthy, green and beautiful for many seasons to come.
Aeration involves removal of soil cores to improve water and air movement in compacted soils, and aids in promoting deeper and increased root growth... (more)
Buying your first home can be very exciting. Among all the decisions you’ll have to make when you seek that home is whether you want to buy one that’s ready to move into and live in as is, or one that needs a little work. Many people buy fixer-uppers because of the lower cost, but sometimes those kinds of homes can end up costing you a lot more in... (more)
A self-taught home rehabber, licensed real estate agent and designer Nicole Curtis, star of HGTV’s “Rehab Addict,” has made an art of introducing the comforts and conveniences of modern living while restoring homes to their former glory.
Whether you’re giving new life to a historic treasure or sprucing up a more modern home, there are... (more)
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend a fortune or go to design school to revamp your home. “It’s all about simplicity,” says Susan Yoder, interior design expert for builder Clayton Homes. “A little goes a long way when it comes to home decor and living spaces. Only a few simple changes can make a big difference and... (more)
Creating a custom bathroom doesn’t have to involve an extensive (and expensive!) renovation. To get the custom look for less, start with the shower, which is among the least costly components to upgrade.
Simply replacing a utilitarian showerhead, for example, with one that features multiple settings can be a major improvement. Multi-spray, single-spray,... (more)
Keeping a household in order is no easy feat, especially for busy families. Homeowners can maintain an organized, clutter-free home by tackling clean-outs strategically.
1. Do spring cleaning year-round. Twice a year, go through your closets and clean out clothes, especially your children’s clothes. If items have not been worn in over a year, let them go.
Water heaters are energy-intensive appliances. In fact, they are the second largest energy user in the home, and as they age, they become less efficient, according to the Propane Education & Research Council.
If you don’t know the age of your current water heater, or think it may be reaching the end of its lifespan, it may be time to replace it, says... (more)
To make the most of your home’s outward appearance, it’s important to implement seasonal curb appeal. With autumn approaching, consider sprucing up your home’s exterior with these fall touches:
• Replace your front door with an ENERGY STAR® alternative, complete with decorative glass accents or sidelights to keep cool weather out and natural light in. For entry... (more)
A well-designed kitchen should offer minimum clutter and maximum efficiency. Whether you are redecorating or totally remodeling, check out these space-saving ideas shared by noted kitchen designers with House Beautiful editors:
Re-think the design – If your kitchen is not wide enough to add an island, rethink your existing counter. Jutting a small counter piece... (more)
Severe weather has the potential to impact property more at this time of year than during any other season. “September is the ideal month to address proper storm preparedness,” says Generac Power Systems Senior VP of Marketing Clement Feng. “At the same time homeowners begin preparing for winter storm season, the potential threat from hurricanes becomes more... (more)
As summer comes to a close, this time of year is ideal for homeowners to establish a fall home maintenance checklist. While warm weather still permits, be sure to pencil in these tasks, recommended by the National Home Service Contract Association (NHSCA), before cooler temperatures set in.
1. Turn off exterior faucets. Un-drained water in pipes can freeze easily,... (more)
Digital Image by Sean LockeDigital Planet Designwww.digitalplanetdesign.com
Selling your home can seem a daunting task. When you close that deal, you want to make sure that your home goes to the best buyer for the best price. It may seem cheaper to sell your home yourself, and many do; however, there are a lot of details to work through.
“Selling your home through... (more)
This unit located in this remarkably restored Queen Anne Victorian, just steps to Arlington Center. This 5RM, 2BR unit boast a corian countertop kitchen, w/newer appliances including a SS fridge, and a combo W&D. The large living room is perfect for entertaining guests. There is a formal dining room for dinner parties. The turret room has a beautiful skylight... (more)
As college students prepare to move into dorm rooms and apartments, they trim their packing lists and often sacrifice style due to space restraints. Although it may seem difficult to bring big style into tight quarters, there are several small things you can do to bring your personality to life on move-in day.
“Dorm rooms can sometimes feel drab and uninspiring,... (more)
Mold in your home is a serious matter that can cause not only substantial property damage, but also significant harm to your health. Mold can vary, but often, it has a white to greenish or black spotty appearance. You may also notice a damp, musty odor in areas where mold is growing.
If you cannot see or smell any signs of mold, you can do some additional investigating... (more)
No matter where you turn, pattern inspiration is all around you, from modern architecture and traditional flooring to animal furs, floral arrangements and fashion runways. As homeowners and designers look to personalize spaces and create impactful interiors, patterns are being replicated with paint on walls, floors, furniture and more.
Here are five up-and-coming... (more)
Large or small, a balcony is first and foremost, a place to enjoy fresh air and elevated views. Decorating these outdoor spaces can be challenging, especially if your balcony is small.
A recent item at ushome.com reviewed several small balcony decorating ideas that create cozy outdoor rooms while stretching and connecting your interior design with nature.
While it’s widely known that being present during a home showing can do more harm than good when it comes to getting your home sold quickly and for top dollar, many sellers are often unaware that there may be other ways they’re hurting their chances of unloading their home.
Here are five things sellers should avoid if they want to attract prospective buyers,... (more)
Moving to a new home? Instead of shelling out big bucks for a professional mover, do it yourself with a rental vehicle and these tips, courtesy of the experts at U-Haul.
1. Plan your move in advance. Since nearly 45 percent of all moves occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day, make your reservation for a rental vehicle at least two to four weeks prior to your... (more)
No matter where you live, however, checking on – and maintaining – 10 areas of your home each year is one good way to ensure your home stays in peak condition.
From the home maintenance consultants at Home Depot, here is where – and how – to begin:
1. Roof – In early fall, check around vents, skylights and chimneys for cracks or leaks and repair or replace tiles... (more)
Located on a private gas-lit way in the heart of Charlestown, this expansive tri-level 3BR, 3.5BA home with TWO deeded parking spaces feels more like single family living. The gourmet kitchen boasts a massive brkfst island w/granite cntrs, SS applncs including a Viking wine cooler, & shaker-style cherry cbnts. The open concept kitchen/living area is perfect... (more)
Filling your home with comfortable furniture that reflects your sense of style can be a joy for the new homeowner. But it can be a major headache unless you consider the basics for good furniture arrangement.
Home designers at Ethan Allen offer five tips to help get your started:
• Plan before you buy — Measure one room at a time and give yourself a little quiz.... (more)
If there’s not enough money in the budget to remodel your kitchen, Lowe’s home designers suggest you browse the aisles of your home store for ideas and give the room a whole new look with a few cheap and easy makeover options.
Paint the walls – Paint covers a multitude of sins and freshens up even the dullest kitchen. If you make one change to your kitchen, paint... (more)
If you live in cold weather, fall is when you put in the storm windows. If you live in a warm climate, summer is when you step up the pool maintenance. No matter where you live, however, checking on – and maintaining – 10 areas of your home each year is one good way to ensure your home stays in peak condition.From the home maintenance consultants at Home Depot,... (more)
No matter how neat you keep your home, odors and stains will occur. These can be especially challenging to remove in areas prone to spills and smells. According to the KILZ paint and primer experts, here’s how you can freshen up even the most stubborn spots in your household.
1. Eliminate Refrigerator Odors – Refrigerators are subject to a variety of spills... (more)
Just because you don’t own your home or have a permanent abode doesn’t mean you can’t be neat and organized in the place you currently hang your hat.
Even if you are not able to drill holes in the walls, even if you are always on the move and prefer not to invest in costly storage solutions, there are still plenty of portable and attractive options... (more)
Curb appeal is everything when it comes to selling your home, and that means your home’s exterior needs to be in optimal condition. In fact, 71 percent of prospective home buyers say that a home’s curb appeal is an important factor in their buying decision.
Replace Your Front Door
Believe it or not, a front door says a lot about you and your home. A quality front... (more)
The entryway or foyer of your home conveys an important first impression to your guests. For homeowners bent on making it a great first impression, designers at ElleDecor.com suggest seven easy ways to make an entryway look larger, brighter, and more welcoming:
Use the power of mirrors — A well placed mirror can instantly open up a space and add a luxurious feel.... (more)
Handy tips for environmentally friendly summer celebrations:
• If you use disposable plates or napkins, look for those made from recycled content. Avoid polystyrene foam products. “Compostable” utensils and plates are only “greener” if you have made arrangements for composting them.
• For light snacks, try to serve “finger... (more)
Proper planning is essential before beginning a remodel, and may be the most critical step in the process, says the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). To prepare for the project, NARI shares the top 10 steps you should take before breaking ground on your next remodel.
1. Research your project. Taking time to research projects will provide... (more)
By John Voket
With Summer upon us, I tapped a couple of experts for tips to help home sellers present their homes with maximum effectiveness this season.
Here are some seasonal selling tips for summer from frontdoor.com:
• Highlight outdoor areas. Clean the deck, porch, patio or outdoor kitchen, and repaint or make repairs if necessary.
• No deck? Arrange chairs... (more)
As one of the busier times of year for real estate activity, summertime is ideal for sellers hoping to unload their homes for top dollar. If your home is on the market this summer, stand out from the pack with these outdoor staging tips, courtesy of the experts at Point2.com.
1. Invite Buyers In
It’s no secret curb appeal matters to buyers, but too often, minor... (more)
Did you know a roof replacement can return nearly three-quarters of its cost when the home is sold? Homeowners can reap even more benefits by completing other roof work simultaneously, say the experts at VeluxUSA.com. If you’re planning to reroof your home, consider installing new — or replacing existing — skylights. This energy-efficient measure can not... (more)
The latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® shows that members of the millennial generation are buying smaller homes than their parents did. In fact, for homebuyers 33 and under, 48 percent of all buyers purchased a home with 2,000 square feet or less last year. And for all buyers, the median home size was 1,900 square feet.
While some buyers... (more)
It’s lights, camera and time for action when it comes to freshening up your interior spaces this spring and summer. I was intrigued by a recent blog from Koket founder Janet Morais (bykoket.com) who among many creative projects—recently provided exquisite interior design ideas for the film, “Fifty Shades of Gray.”
Morais conveyed how a lot of... (more)
Want to punch up your patio this year? Set your sights higher with a vertical garden, light the night with a hurricane candle, add a splash of lime on seat cushions or table linens, and you’ll be right on trend with the most popular outdoor picks named by a recent Zillow Digs Home Trend Forecast. Here’s how to incorporate them:
Vertical Gardens – Vertical or... (more)
Most homeowners don’t think about their roofs until leaky ceilings and puddles form inside their home. Why think about your roof if there isn’t a problem?
According to Metal Roofing Alliance Executive Director Bill Hippard, “Roofers are most in demand following severe weather such as heavy rain or high winds. If you put off doing repairs or... (more)
This E. Arlington 2 family has loads of potential! Unit #1 is a Philly style with 6 rooms, 3 bedrooms, and 1 bath with 2 of the bedrooms located on the second floor. Unit #2 is bi-level with 8 rooms, 4 bedrooms, and 1.5 baths with 1 bedroom & half bath down, and 3 beds 1 full bath upstairs. Features for this home include eat-in kitchens, formal dining rooms,... (more)
A quality renovation at its finest! Located on a quiet West Medford street, this Colonial was totally gutted and added onto in 2008. The kitchen sports shaker style CHERRY cabinets, GRANITE countertops w/breakfast island, SS appliances including a gas stove, and opens directly into the DR/LR area which is just perfect for entertaining. Just off the kitchen you... (more)
By Zoe Eisenberg
Looking to upgrade your patio this summer? Consider the following DIY upgrades and come June, you’ll be sipping mimosas on your newly pimped out patio.
Pizza oven. Make a summer tradition with Friday night pizzas, courtesy of your new outdoor pizza oven. You can purchase one ready to go, or for you weekend warriors, go the DIY route.
One of the most popular features in backyard spaces is a fully-equipped kitchen suited for entertaining and outdoor living. But like its interior counterpart, designing an outdoor kitchen can be a challenge.
Your first consideration should be location. Pay attention to the prevailing winds, says Ken Kelly, Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly. “Wind direction and... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
Whether you are remodeling your kitchen or landscaping the yard, choosing the right contractor for the job can make the difference between confidence and sleepless nights. The design professionals at Home and Garden TV offer tips to help you choose a good one:
Get referrals — Referrals are, hands down, the best way to find a qualified professional.... (more)
By Maria Patterson
If you’re like me, thoughts of putting your home on the market and moving up, down or out of dodge all together periodically float through your mind. These days, there’s extra incentive given the inventory shortage in most regions of the country—some areas are even experiencing bidding wars.
After back-to-back years of a robust... (more)
It’s a cruel coincidence that spring homebuying season corresponds with another far less pleasant one – termite swarming season. When eager homebuyers emerge from winter hibernation to look for their dream homes, termites emerge, too, say the experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
If you’ll be buying or selling a home this... (more)
14-16 Bailey Street, West Somerville, MA 02144
Massive 2 family with excellent rental history located on quiet tree-lined street in desirable W. Somerville. Unit#1 has 6 rooms, 2 beds, 1 bath including an eat-in kitchen w/cider maple cabinets, butlers pantry, formal dining rm, and an office/study off the back. Unit#2 is a bi-level unit consisting of 8 rooms,... (more)
Living green isn’t just about saving energy. Sustainable living also means putting earth-friendly practices in place throughout your home, including recycling. Make recycling easier for the whole family with these tips from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).
1. Establish collection bins to make it easy to gather all your recycling in one... (more)
No matter the distance, moving is a big deal. Prepare now to move your belongings with this four-step plan from the experts at Penske Truck Rental.
1. Less is More — The less you have to move, the easier your move will be on your body and your wallet. It will also be easier to fit everything into your new house. While packing, create three piles: the first is... (more)
By Suzanne De Vita
Retirement goals have shifted for many since the recession, with one major asset hanging in the balance—housing. Though a burgeoning segment of boomers plan to “age in place” in their current homes, more than half will look to downsize, either by purchasing a smaller home or purchasing a home of equal size with reduced expenses,... (more)
As this year’s winter finally ends, homeowners will be faced with the same challenge they are faced with every single year: how does one keep a healthy, dark green lawn looking its best?
Unfortunately, many homeowners will make mistakes that set back the health of their lawn and they don’t even know it.
“When it comes to having a nice lawn,... (more)
Spring is the season of new beginnings, so is it any wonder that many Americans think about home improvement and brightening their decor when the weather warms? Simple updates to these three rooms can bring the cheerful perspective from the outside indoors and revive any room in time for warmer weather.
1. Make Your Bathroom Bloom
Relaxed modernity is... (more)
When it comes to upgrading our homes, there is a never-ending list of things to do, from buying new patio furniture to replacing the kitchen cabinets. But the editors of Money Magazine suggest five home remodeling projects that will vastly improve the look of your home without breaking the budget:
Improve the curb appeal – Whether or not you are planning to... (more)
The U.S. Department of Energy cites 25% of homeowners with two-car garages have too much clutter to store vehicles, and 32 percent only have room for one vehicle.
“It’s ironic that many of us would rather store our boxes of unwanted stuff in our garage, leaving our valuable cars outside to deal with the elements,” says Lorie Marrero, professional... (more)
It’s no secret that color is crucial when marketing a product. In fact, consumers come to a subconscious conclusion about a product within 90 seconds of viewing, and much of that judgment (62-90%) is based solely on color, according to the Institute for Color Research. Retailers apply these findings every day (think red sale signs) to encourage consumers to purchase... (more)
It’s no great secret that prospective buyers take their time looking at every room within a home when searching for the property that will best meet their needs. But one of the most important rooms that will likely sway their decision is the bathroom.
Therefore, it’s crucial that the bathroom is portrayed in the best light possible. Even more important is the... (more)
REALTORS® believe that buyers most often offer a 1 to 5 percent increase on the value of a staged home (37 percent representing sellers and 32 percent representing buyers). Additionally, 22 percent of REALTORS® representing sellers and 16 percent of Realtors® representing buyers says the increase is closer to 6 to 10 percent.
NAR’s first-ever staging report... (more)
By Andrea Davis
Keeping your kitchen organized is essential to cooking and a good room aesthetic. If your kitchen is disorganized, you’re likely scrambling to find what you need when you cook. That’s never good, and it’s completely unnecessary, too. There are various quick, low-cost ways to organize your kitchen and make it suitable to your needs. Here are some... (more)
By Rhonda Duffy
Curb appeal can be the most important aspect when trying to attract buyers. As temperatures rise and spring begins to waltz in, take advantage of the warmth and set yourself and your family to work in the yard to improve your home’s curb appeal.
1. Create an immaculate space – During the winter, things can get out of hand in... (more)
Seek ownership in a well-maintained building, and pay special attention to the financial health of the condo association.
Lax maintenance may be a sign of financial trouble, which could result in higher maintenance fees and problems trying to resale the property later.
Things to consider:
Get a copy of the latest financial statement from the condo... (more)
Furnaces have been operating overtime in order to combat frigid weather, which likely has led to an increase in heating bills. By taking some simple steps, homeowners can reduce their costs without sacrificing warmth.
– Open the blinds on the south side of your home during sunny days, but keep the blinds closed on cloudy days and at night.
– Use a... (more)
Buying a home is a major life decision. You’ll want to do everything in your power to make sure you’re financially secure enough to tackle the investment. If you’re planning to buy a home in the near future, organization is key.
“Buying your first home can be a complicated and intimidating process, both emotionally and financially,” said Steve Trumble, “Buying... (more)
Because freezing temperatures and snowfall continue to impact much of the country this winter, homeowners must ensure their property stays safe throughout the season and beyond. Note these safety measures to protect against:
Install back-up generators to power all of your home’s critical systems including sump pumps, security and fire alarm... (more)
Current trending of lifestyles, whether it may be empty-nesters, first time home buyers or the economy, have left people with smaller spaces. There are several ways that you can maximize storage just by thinking ahead and taking steps to stay organized.
Designate a spot
A crucial rule to always follow when trying to conserve space is to give every item its own... (more)
Whether you’re motivated by a workplace initiative, a personal goal or the opportunity to teach your children lifelong positive habits, now is a great time to become more environmentally friendly.
Here are three ways you and your family can create positive environmental change starting today:
Research shows that less than 2% of waste in the United... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
When you own a home, it seems like there is almost always something you would like to do to make it more comfortable, attractive, or eco-friendly. But, home remodeling experts tell us, if you plan to sell your home at some point, put your time and effort into one of more of these renovations proven to pay you back because they increase the value... (more)
Recently, I received a notice from Aquarion Water Company, one of the largest privately owned water utilities in the country, warning all its northern tier customers of a chilling fact – every winter, unsuspecting property owners experience catastrophic frozen pipe bursts.
Unprotected pipes and water meters can freeze and expand within hours of the onset... (more)
By Michael Neal
NAHB hosted an economic and housing outlook seminar at its International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas inviting Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, and David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance, to join David Crowe to discuss the outlook for 2015. Here’s the highlights.
A strengthening labor market, low interest rates, improving... (more)
Despite a growing economy, many Americans still struggle with money management at home. If you’re experiencing challenges financially, there’s hope. According to financial publisher bankrate.com, establishing a foolproof budget is key to eliminating debt, saving both short and long term, and building wealth. Here’s how to do it…
1. Record all expenditures.... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
Hanging large mirrors on one wall of the living room has been touted for years as a way to make the room larger. But, said New York designer Jeffrey Blum, mirrors reflect everything in the room, creating the illusion of clutter.
Blum, the owner of SixZero6 Designs, suggests seven less traditional ways homeowners should consider to create the... (more)
The total value of all the homes in the United States is expected to end 2014 at $27.5 trillion, a 6.7% increase from last years and the third consecutive overall increase, according to Zillow. Homes lost $6.1 trillion in value between December 2006 & December 2011.
The cumulative increase in home values is slightly smaller than 2013’s 8% increase, and that... (more)
Financing the cost of the holidays with the cost of keeping your home warm and safe during the winter season may be more than many families’ budgets can handle. But keeping your family warm doesn’t have to break the bank. Generac recommends these cost-effective fixes:
1. Top Off Your Attic Insulation
A high percentage of heat loss occurs through the roof... (more)
Although many homeowners may not realize it, the holidays are a prime time of year for energy waste. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, holiday lighting consumes the equivalent electricity of 500,000 homes in just one month.
And from Thanksgiving to New Years, Americans will throw away 25 percent more trash than they typically throw out the rest of the... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
Whether you’re planning to sell your home, or you simply want a more updated look, there are a number o cheap, fixed, from new paint to new curtains, that will improve its overall appearance. But, said home contract Scott McGillivray, host of HGTV’s Income Property, these seven relatively inexpensive fixes can give you more return on investment... (more)
Consumer excitement about the smart home has reached epic heights, with hundreds of new devices on the market that monitor, notify, control and secure the home. According to Parks Associates, mobile ubiquity, technology innovation and industry standards and partnerships have contributed to more than 13 million U.S. households now owning a connected device. Based... (more)
Because most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors, the air in their home is a significant component to their overall health and wellbeing. Occasionally, indoor pollutants can accumulate to levels that pose health and comfort issues when too little outdoor air enters a home. These pollutants may include mold, bacteria, tobacco smoke, pesticides, volatiles... (more)
While there are many smart ways to save money on homeowners insurance, there are also mistakes that can result in a highly detrimental lack of coverage.
“Asking about available discounts and comparison shopping is an excellent way to cut insurance costs,” says Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and chief communications officer of the Insurance Information... (more)
By the experts at Pillar To Post Home Inspectors
A wood burning fireplace is an appealing feature of many homes. Here are some reminders and tips for keeping safe and getting full enjoyment from your fireplace this season:
Annual Inspections – Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional to ensure that it’s obstruction free and clear... (more)
Not many people associate crime with the holidays, but unfortunately burglary incidents increase this time of year. With a few simple safety precautions, you can protect your property, your family and your valuables now and well into the New Year.
1. Tone down decor and hide gifts – When it comes to holiday decorations, modesty is definitely the best policy.... (more)
From tackling holiday stains cleaning the crevices most commonly inspected by mothers-in-law, keeping a clean home around the holidays can seem like an impossible task. Between entertaining unexpected guests and hosting get-togethers with friends and family, having a clean home is never more important than it is around the holidays.
“The holidays are a fun, but... (more)
By Cannon Christian
The holidays are around the corner and so are all those family and friends just waiting to visit and share a little holiday spirit. While playing host and celebrating the season’s cheer, you want to be proud of the spaces within your home.
If you are like most Americans, you will spend an estimated $730 on gifts, food, décor and other festive... (more)
This year’s winter weather predictions vary on the amount of precipitation we can expect, but many of them agree that much of the country will experience below normal temperatures. Energy authorities encourage homeowners to take steps before these cold temperatures set in to help keep warm air in your home and money in your pocket.
“Most winterizing... (more)
It’s a strategy interior designers often use to create stunning rooms that wow the instant someone enters them: the use of creative color. Homeowners looking to deliver impressive interior style can take cues from what will be the trendiest of 2015 and beyond.
Homeowners can covey a variety of emotions in their favorite rooms by embracing different color patterns.... (more)
Current trending of lifestyles, whether it may be empty-nesters, first time home buyers or the economy, have left people with smaller spaces. There are several ways that you can maximize storage just by thinking ahead and taking steps to stay organized.
Designate a spot
A crucial rule to always follow when trying to conserve space is to give every item its own... (more)
With holidays often an expensive time for families, spenders should remain vigilant when shopping for gifts and household essentials. To score maximum savings, experts recommend shopping at specific times to take advantage of big sales or online bargains.
1. Beat Black Friday deals. The best way to score holiday bargains might be to wait for Cyber Monday. Last... (more)
Today’s kitchens are built for entertaining, digital networks and cooking, but creating one that meets all of these needs can be a challenge.
A recent survey conducted by Consumer Reports asked more than 1,000 Americans what activities they do in the kitchen at least once in a typical week and found that uses for the kitchen go beyond meal prep. Nearly half entertain... (more)
By John Voket
With all the buttoning up many homeowners are doing as temperatures drop and winter approaches, I went looking for some basic tips to help that won’t break the bank. Luckily, our partners at Better Business Bureau say that winterizing your home doesn’t have to be expensive.
We already learned in previous October reports that the installation... (more)
While homebuyers seek ample kitchen counter space when searching for a home, surface area tends to fill up quickly as homeowners settle in to their new digs. Reclaim your countertops in time for the holidays with these clutter busting tricks.
Designate an area for paper. Adopt a storage solution for mail or loose papers, such as a kitchen desk, tray or basket.... (more)
If you’re expecting trick-or-treaters at your home this Halloween, take time to rid your yard of any potential hazards that can compromise a child’s safety. Follow these steps for a fun and safe Halloween in your neighborhood. The costumed crowd and their parents/guardians will thank you.
Secure your entryway. Before trick-or-treaters come bounding up your doorstep,... (more)
By Keith Loria
Preparing your home for its market debut can seem overwhelming, but making repairs or taking care of anything cosmetic that needs to be fixed is an important piece of the puzzle. And for those looking to sell, taking the time to prepare for an inspection is just as important—if not more so.
Whether your inspection is right around the corner—or... (more)
By Paige Tepping
For today’s buyers, finding that perfect home goes way beyond locating the ideal neighborhood that’s a stone’s throw from the office. With must-have lists that can range anywhere from a few items to those that are more than a mile long, real estate professionals certainly have their work cut out for them when it comes to finding buyers the home... (more)
At the start of 2014, manufacturers of 40 and 60 watt incandescent light bulbs ceased operations in a nationwide bid to support energy-efficient alternatives. As a result, homeowners seeking new bulbs can only purchase LED (light-emitting diode) or other comparable lighting.
“LEDs use about 80% less energy than traditional bulbs and the average homeowner would... (more)
Whoever first said, “You can’t go home again,” probably wasn’t considering the 38 million home-based businesses in the United States, or the approximately 37 million households that have active home offices. More workers are plying their trade from home, as employers recognize the value of flexibility for their work force and more employees... (more)
As winter temperatures drop, the potential for higher utility bills goes up. Taking steps ahead of the cold season can help you trim costs and make your home more energy efficient, keeping those utility bills in check even as the winter weather rages.
“Many homeowners just assume the winter season means their bills will go up as systems work harder to keep... (more)
The leaves are starting to fall off the trees, the birds are flying south and you can feel the temperature dropping. Winter is on its way and while squirrels pack away food before the first snow fall, you’ll be relieved to know that you still have time to finish some projects listed below to get your home ready for winter.
Tackle the yard. Your yard will... (more)
According to a Sherwin-Williams survey, 3 out of 4 consumers say their bedroom needs painting – but they want to be sure they choose a wall color that soothes & promotes more restful sleep.
The paint company suggests that a black painted ceiling in a room with soft beige walls encourages a good night’s sleep. They also provide tips for 7 other color choices... (more)
When it comes to property investment, timing is everything. Ultimately, choosing the right time to enter the market will have a significant impact on the long-term success of your investment.
But how can you as an investor know whether the timing is right? Global property portal Lamudi has compiled a list of 10 tell-tale signs that now is the time to start building... (more)
Transitioning from renter to homeowners means much more than simply having a place to call your own. Purchasing a home is well worth the investment, but it’s important for renters to be totally financially committed. Renters seeking to buy a one should budget not only monthly expenses but also these overlooked costs:
Home maintenance – Unlike renters, homeowners... (more)
By Keith Loria
Whether you plan to pack up and move your belongings on your own or hire a moving company to do all the heavy lifting, one thing’s for certain: moving isn’t cheap.
A good moving company will cost thousands of dollars, and that number is likely to increase if you hire them to pack everything as well. Or, if you don’t have a new home yet and need... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
Replacing the tile or refinishing the tub can be major bathroom projects, even for accomplished do-it-yourselfers. But when it comes to adding style and pizzazz, it can take just a few good ideas and a weekend or less to turn your frumpy bathroom into a beauty.From news and lifestyle journal Epoch Times, here are eight good ideas to help get... (more)
You can find out more about an existing property and neighborhood before you buy then you can a new home in a newly developed community.
When the home is on the outskirts of town, ask the developer about future access to public transit, entertainment venues, shopping centers, churches and schools. Also review local zoning ordinances. A remote area can quickly... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
New homeowners can be overwhelmed with the list of things they should do to their homes – clean the gutters & replace the furnace filters, for example. But, say the Wall St. Journal’s home advisors, there are at least 7 things a homeowner should never do – and here’s why:
Don’t do your own plumbing chores – No matter how... (more)
By Suzanne De Vita
This week’s #TBT is Grandma Maxine’s wallpaper collection. Yes, my dear grandmother really collected wallpaper. And not just swatches or scraps here and there – I mean rolls and rolls of the stuff. Occasionally she’d scrapbook with it, but for the most part, it remained untouched. Until, that is, she gave them to me.I’m not a designer, nor... (more)
There are a few things to consider, including cost, individual needs, and what will add value down the road. Also important: your emotional attachment to the existing home.
As designer and builder Philip S. Wenz, the author of adding to a house: planning, design & construction, notes, an addition is much cheaper than building a new home and can offer a “new”... (more)
Load the dishwasher first. When you’re throwing a get-together, the last thing you want is to open the dishwasher to find dirty dishes. Make sure to run the dishwasher the day before your guests arrive to ensure everything is clean when you need it.
Prepare dishes for the wash cycle. To ensure dishes get clean and dry the first time, scrape away large piece... (more)
By John Voket
Recently, I chatted with Ed Hume (humeseeds.com) for some ideas about the best things to put into the ground this fall, so you can enjoy the beauty and bounty of your property into winter and well into next season.
Hume suggests late summer plantings should include:
Fall Vegetables – Start fall and winter vegetables in late August. Green onions,... (more)
By John Voket
Curb appeal is one thing, but healthy green lawns also contribute to the amount of green homeowners might command when selling a home.
A recent post from Grass Seed USA – a national coalition of grass seed farmers and academic turf specialists (weseedamerica.com) – reveals how homes and homeowners in neighborhoods flush with lush lawns... (more)
I know it’s one thing to intent to complete that little paint gin project, and it’s another to buckle down and do it – especially at the height of sizzling summer!
But the folks at the Paint Quality Institute say there are loads of small-scale painting projects that can easily be completed early in the morning or late in the afternoon, times of the day... (more)
When autumn arrives, many homeowners prepare their homes for cooler weather by hiring specialists to clean and make repairs. Be mindful of cons during this time of year – scammers use this opportunity to swindle homeowners out of thousands of dollars for unnecessary work. Be way of these four scams typically advertised during the fall season.
Chimney Repairs... (more)
“Bidding for a home can get pretty feisty in today’s market,” said Gibran Nicholas, Chairman of CMPS Institute, an organization that trains and certifies mortgage bankers and brokers. “In some cases, you may be competing with more than 12 other buyers who are bidding on the same property. ”Here are three potential solution to avoid getting outbid on your new... (more)
By John Voket
I recently became acquainted with Lisa Kaplan Gordon, a builder of luxury homes in McLean, VA. She has published a wonderful guide to help evaluate whether homeowners can refresh certain areas or furnishings with a new coat of paint.
In this first of several segments, we’ll look at a couple of unconventional areas where a few cans of paint... (more)
By Barbara Pronin
The kitchen floor, besides being practical, has becomes a major design statement – with a bigger choice of colors, styles and textures available today than ever before.
“You need to consider practicality first,” said Home and Garden TV’s Katie Allison Granju. “How much time do you spend in the kitchen? What’s most important to you?”
Happy couple in their new home having fun – moving concept
You’ve found the perfect neighborhood and the ideal house for your family. But before you can settle in you have to cross one more dreaded hurdle: moving day.
“Finding a new home is a wonderful and exciting experience, but moving can be overwhelming — juggling packing, moving essential... (more)
(BPT) – Conventional wisdom holds that in order to achieve a custom look in your home decor you either have to spend a bundle hiring professionals, or invest countless hours of hard work doing it yourself. In the Internet age, however, it’s easier than ever to achieve the look of custom home decor without the expense or hassle of traditional methods.... (more)
Expensive home upgrades undoubtedly have an effect on a home’s resale value. They may also impact a home’s insurance value, no matter how costly the renovation. It is important to let your insurer know prior to making improvements, so that unforeseen circumstances, such as a fire or robbery, are covered during the renovation. Not sure which upgrades are worth... (more)
By Dan Hechtkopf and Reid Heidenry
1. View the home as a form of recreation, not an investment.
If you buy one, make sure, above all, that this is a house and an area you enjoy. It will be worth the cost if you spend as much time there as possible, put your heart and soul into caring for it or plan to keep the home in the family for future generations.
2. Approach... (more)
1. Kitchen – The best way to increase your home’s value is to do a complete kitchen renovation. Aside form stainless steel appliances and modern finishes on cabinets and countertops, upgrade the room’s electrical and plumbing to get the most bang for your buck.
2. Master Bedroom – Whether you choose a full renovation or simple cosmetic changes, updates... (more)
There is plenty of summer left for partying and hosting guests and family at your home. So to make your summer gatherings more interesting, consider acquiring one or more of these summer party must-haves to spice up anything from an intimate get together, to a full fledged soiree.
When pursuing thriftyniftymommy.com, the Melamine Berry Colander from tovolo.com... (more)
The Energy Education Council offers these tips to help prepare your home for vacation:
Change thermostat settings before you leave. When temperatures are warm outside, it is unnecessary to keep your home as cool as you normally would since you will not be in it. Turn the thermostat unto a warmer temperature or turn it off entirely. If you have... (more)
The Healthy House Institute (HHI) has released Keys to a Healthy Home on a Budget, designed to inform both professionals and consumers alike about how to upkeep a healthy home on a budget.
“Most healthy-home factors involve a prevention or ‘removal’ strategy hence are inexpensive or free to apply if addressed early,” said Allen Rathey,... (more)
(BPT)—Spring is the perfect time to put your home’s best face forward. The good news is you can refresh your outdoor living space with easy-to-tackle projects that can be done in a few weekends.
Whether you’re building a brand new deck from the bottom-up or updating your existing outdoor living space, the experts at Trex are sharing five simple tips to help do-it-yourselfers... (more)
Home store shelves are full of goop and gadgets for cleaning or fixing just about anything. But, says Julie Edelman, better known to readers and viewers as The Accidental Housewife, you can save a lot of money by cleaning and fixing things with the goop and gadgets you already have at home.
Edelman offers specific tips in a recent issue of Bottom Line Personal:
For individuals owning furnaces and other HVAC units, it’s important to keep safety in mind as the spring and summer season approaches.
“Many homeowners don’t realize the potential risk factors involved when their HVAC unit is not properly maintained after the cold winter months,” says Interstate Co-Owner Raymond Kishk. “Not only can heating and cooling... (more)
(BPT)—While cooler temperatures slowly fade, gardeners across the country eagerly await the arrival of spring – and the chance to get outdoors and grow something. If gardening is your passion, you don’t have to wait until the weather is perfect to get started. In fact, working ahead by growing your own seedlings is a great way to ensure your garden... (more)
Spring is here and it’s time to clean and get ready for the changing season. What simple steps can be taken to improve your home’s value besides dusting and vacuuming? Alyssa Hall from GAF, North America’s Largest Roofing manufacturer, is an expert on things related to homes and roofs. Alyssa has provided the tips below to protect your roof this Spring as well... (more)
Spring is the perfect time to give your home a fresh start, and one of the best places to begin is with your clothes closets. Admit it: There are items lurking there that haven’t seen the light of day in a very long time. Follow these tips from the cleaning experts at The Maids to rejuvenate your wardrobe and your storage spaces.
1. It’s time to... (more)
As the May-September peak outdoor cooking season approaches, consumers can expect to see grills, smokers and outdoor living products in high demand. The trends that will drive sales during 2014 and beyond include:
Wood Pellets on the Rise: Made from compressed sawdust, wood pellets are heating up grills and smokers across the country. An all-natural product,... (more)
As homeowner’s look ahead to warmer weather, many are dreaming of summer days spent on a brand new deck. So what is new in the deck design section of home building? Builders and manufacturers agree, the current big trend in decks is just that: big.
“People are wanting to extend the indoor living space to the outside,” says Tim Stephens, owner... (more)
From calming grays to soothing purples, national color expert Kate Smith believes 2014 will be the year of “quiet elegance” for roofing colors across America.
“Our homes provide us with a haven to satisfy a craving for a place to think and renew,” says Smith, president and chief color maven at Sensational Color. “Having all five... (more)
If your baby is fast outgrowing the nursery, it may be time to redecorate, turning the room into a bright, appealing space he or she can enjoy for years to come.
From the decorating experts at HGTV, here are six stylish and inexpensive ideas any child will appreciate:
Easy storage – “Clean up your room” becomes easier when closet space, coat racks, book shelves... (more)
(BPT)—Does the change of seasons have you itching to refresh a tired, lackluster room? Or maybe you’re looking for some small ways to make a big impact on your home’s style? Whatever the case may be, here are some of this season’s most buzzed-about home trends and how you can incorporate them into your next project for this coming Spring!
There’s one undeniable truth about vacation home renters: The early bird gets the worm—and she’s willing to pay top dollar for it! That’s why smart vacation rental owners set out to make their properties attractive to these oh-so-lucrative early birds, well, early. Yes, now is the time to start getting your ocean-view condo or woodsy cabin ready to stand out... (more)
Hottest fireplace trends for 2014 are on this year’s agenda!
Hottest fireplace trends for 2014 are on this year’s agenda! Over the years, fireplaces have been a familiar feature in many homes, however until very recently, they have undergone very little change from the traditional hearth. According to Napoleon Fireplaces, 2014 is heating up to be... (more)
Want to spruce up your home this year? Well, I will start by saying that making a New Year’s resolution is common, and many people set goals for ways to improve themselves. If you have set a goal to lose weight, learn a new skill or get promoted, congratulations. But while you are striving to attain your personal goal, have you ever thought of setting a... (more)
Is getting a permit always a must before making home improvements? To save both time and money, some people avoid getting building permits. But most cities require them. Besides ensuring safety during construction – housing inspectors sometimes stop by to check on the progress of projects at key points – they are also a source of revenue.
Cities charge... (more)
Cool, soft colors, open spaces with natural lighting and modern, angular details are the top home design trends of 2014, according to newly released information by Pulte Homes.
“Many of the prevailing trends from 2013 will be seen in 2014, but with a softer and more modern edge,” said Janice Jones, vice president of merchandising for PulteGroup,... (more)
Deciding when to repair and when to replace a broken product often feels like an expensive guess.
“Repairing broken items or keeping them going as long as possible isn’t always the best way to save money,” says Celia Kuperszmid-Lehrman, Deputy Content Editor of Home and Appliances for Consumer Reports. “Our report spells out how much repairs... (more)
After nearly a decade of disaster that reached levels of despair not seen since the Great Depression, 2013 was more than a turnaround year. Within its short life, it changed housing from a liability to an asset so favorable that it had the power to take the rest of the nation’s economy along for its ride upward, in the eyes of the Bernankes and Obamas.
In some... (more)
New Year’s resolutions are nothing new, and, according to the credit reporting firm Transunion, nearly 40 percent of Americans say they will make at least one big financial change in their life next year.
More than 32 percent say they will save more money, while 28 percent vow to pay down debt, and 27 percent saying they will eliminate unnecessary expenses.
In January, the job search websites go crazy as people start the new year resolved to find work that’s more satisfying.
“While thousands of people are dealing with the tragedy of unemployment, many others are looking for jobs that are more fulfilling than the ones they have,” says attorney and author Pamela Samuels Young.
In January 2013, job search website Indeed.com... (more)
Most families create annual holiday traditions that turn into life-long memories – backyard Easter egg hunts, July Fourth beach picnics, festive birthday dinners. But the end-of-year holidays can be so rushed and hectic that we fail to generate the togetherness events our children will always remember.
Below are some very cozy and meaningful holiday traditions... (more)
As Old Man Winter approaches, millions across the nation are threatened with heavy snow, ice storms and power outages. To help homeowners prepare for the iciness ahead, experts share some tips for winter storm safety!
1. Assemble a dedicated storm box or bucket. Having items on hand like batteries, candles, matches, flashlights, AM radio, water and even extra... (more)
For Sale in Everett! First Open house Sunday December 15th from 11:30-1pm. Spacious 5 Bed, 2.5 bath colonial located near the Malden/Medford line. This home has been well maintained over the years and includes a large eat-in kitchen w/oak cabinets, newer appliances, tile backsplash & floor, and a separate dining area. Other features include a brick fireplace,... (more)
Keeping up with your credit score during the holiday season?! Let’s face it, the holidays are upon us, and they may affect your credit score!
One’s credit score could take a hit during the holidays in a number of ways. You may see a less than festive dip from overcharging and not paying your credit card bills in a timely manner or by... (more)
Buying safe toys can sometimes be a very challenging thing to do, especially now that the holiday season is finally here and many people will be buying toys for children. It’s a nice idea to get children something they like, but it’s more important to buy gifts that are safe and age-appropriate.
Before you go shopping, check a list of recalled toys.... (more)
Large open kitchen in a luxury home
Updating your kitchen…Overwhelmed?!
Well, when you decide to tackle this often times daunting task, you want to do it right. And, you’re not alone. Forty-nine percent of homeowners plan to completely gut their existing kitchen and start with a clean state, according to a recent survey by Houzz.com. Regardless of... (more)
Holiday lighting safety could be sometimes challenging during the holidays especially when most people have more important things to worry about such as holiday preparation! Here at RE/MAX Leading Edge in Arlington we hope you will enjoy this festive season with family and friends while also remembering a few tips to ensure your holiday lighting displays remain... (more)
Toy house and money on the graphs.
Q: What should you know about refinancing your home?
A: Refinancing your home can be a daunting task. Many people flock to refinance while mortgage interest rates are low, especially when rates are at 2% below their existing home loans!
Other dynamics, like when to finance, will depend on how long you plan to hold on to your... (more)
While there may be less buyers out there, people who look for a home during the holiday season are serious…they are ready to buy!
There are fewer homes for buyers to look at during the holidays which means less competition for you…less competition equals more money.
After the holidays the supply of listings increases substantially, which lowers... (more)
With the Winter months finally at our doorstep after a long and mild autumn, there are many ways to prepare for the often times frigid New England winters ahead. Surely, if you’ve been in New England for a bit you may know the weather is often times very unpredictable – so it is never too soon or too late to winterize your home! Below is a list of... (more)
Everyone talks about spring house cleaning – a time to freshen up your living space to get it ready for fresh air and sunshine. But, advises a staffing supervisor for Molly Maids cleaning service, a clean house requires a fall cleaning routine as well:
Deep clean the closets – Sort out your wardrobe and clean out clothes closets. Donate whatever you are unlikely... (more)