Homeownership

Found 64 blog entries about Homeownership.

Like what to do when a tree falls.

You know what to do if someone is having a heart attack, or you hear an intruder — call 911!

But what about those other *emergencies* — the ones where you’re not sure who to call?

Here are five home- (and sometimes life-) threatening emergencies that often baffle new homeowners. (Plus, if you fill out this worksheet and post it somewhere visible — as well in your phone contacts — you’ll be super prepared).

#1 Skillet Grease Catches Fire

DON’T. THROW. WATER.

It’ll only feed the fire. Instead, the National Fire Protection Association recommends smothering skillet flames by carefully sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave it covered until everything’s cool; removing the lid too

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Non-toxic. Low-cost. Hydrogen peroxide is your cleaning arsenal’s secret weapon.

When it’s time to clean, have your trusty green cleaners at the ready — baking soda, vinegar — plus another ultra-cheap gem: hydrogen peroxide. You can use it anywhere, and can’t beat the price: A 16-oz. bottle only costs a buck or so.

Here are 10 ways you can use that ubiquitous brown bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your home’s advantage:

In Your Kitchen

1. Clean your cutting board and countertop. Hydrogen peroxide bubbles away any nasties left after preparing meat or fish for dinner. Add hydrogen peroxide to an opaque spray bottle — exposure to light kills its effectiveness — and spray on your surfaces. Let everything bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and

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June is National Homeownership Month.  Fair housing laws make our communities stronger and more diverse.  Understand your fair housing rights and share the guide below with your clients.

Source:  "A HOMEOWNER AND BUYER’S GUIDE TO FAIR HOUSING"

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Here’s how to DIY your way to the best zzzs — and mood — ever.

We spend a third of our lives passed out, tucked between the covers, drooling all over the pillow. But when it comes to home improvements, most of our projects benefit our waking selves. (Hello, new kitchen.)

Good sleep is essential to living our best life. So why not invest in it?

“You’re going to be a better partner, have a better outlook, and be a kinder, happier person,” says Terry Cralle, R.N., a certified clinical sleep educator with the Better Sleep Council.

Sign us up. And rest easy; while optimizing your home for better ZZZs means more than scoping out an amazing new mattress (though we totally endorse that splurge), it doesn’t have to cost a huge chunk of change. Here are

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You don’t want to go too cheap. But affordable options are out there.

About to remodel that old kitchen? Unless you’re cool with treating the hardest working room in your house like a museum exhibit, resist the temptation to buy the cheapest or shiniest materials available and go for durable options that can stand up to regular abuse.

Trust us: Although it may be tough to leave that raised, tempered glass bar top (ooo!) in the showroom, repairing its first (and second, and third) chip will get old. Very fast.

Picking the right materials is easy if you do your homework. “There are amazing products out there,” says Jeffrey Holloway, a certified kitchen designer and owner of Holloway Home Improvement Center in Marmora, N.J.

“You’re looking at

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Save your cash for more important things, like, you know, your mortgage.

You can’t swing a tool belt without hitting a website or TV network offering tips on taking care of your digs. Save money by watering your lawn at night! No, water it in the morning! No, dig it up and replace it with a drought-hardy meadow!

Throw in the info you pick up from well-meaning friends and there’s a sea of home care truisms out there, some of which can sink your budget.

Myth 1: Stone Countertops Are Indestructible

Fact: Even rock can be damaged.

Marble, quartz, travertine, soapstone, and limestone can all be stained. Regular household cleaners can dull their surfaces over time. And marble is maddeningly fragile — it’s the prima donna of stone.

It’s easy to

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A shortage of homes for sale and rising home prices are making it challenging for first-time buyers, in particular, this spring. For those who want to land a home, real estate professionals are urging them to move fast.  

The price of an existing home in March was about $250,000, up nearly 6 percent from a year ago, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Homes are selling faster too, often under contract in about a month. 

“The starter house is nearly missing in some markets,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s director of survey research and communication. 

In Colorado Springs, Colo., real estate pro Jay Gupta says the imbalance between the supply of homes and demand is “unprecedented” and many buyers are being priced out of some areas.

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Avoid these rookie mistakes to keep everything beautiful.

You’ve done it. You own a house with a yard. The great outdoors. Amber waves of grain. OK, maybe not grain, and ideally you want it green, not amber.

But now that you have it, how do you keep from screwing it up? By avoiding a few common gaffes that landscaping experts say new homeowners make waaay too often.

“They end up buying the wrong fertilizer, they have no clue what weed killer is, they kill their entire lawn, they kill their bushes — and then they call me,” says Dean Granat, who runs D&D Landscape & Sprinkler Services Inc. in Buffalo Grove, Ill. 

Here’s what the pros say newbie homeowners often do wrong with their lawns and yards:

#1 Not Following Product Instructions

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Admit it: It’s easy to get a little “Judge Judy” inside someone else’s home. We notice gunk on the floor, cobwebs in the corners, and dust on the overhead fan. But guess what? Unless you’re Adrian Monk, you’ve probably got some gunky places that your friends notice, but you don’t. (Sad trombone.)

This is why we tracked down a domestic guru to help us with this article. No matter how hard it is to find dirt hideaways on your own, a little expert advice can make it alllll OK. Jan M. Dougherty, author of “The Lost Art of House Cleaning: A Clean House Is a Happy Home,” revealed the seven spots you’re likely to miss — and the best ways to make them presentable, stat:

#1 Light Fixtures

Look up. Your light fixtures are loaded with dust and dead

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This checklist gives you carte blanche (well, almost) when viewing potential homes.

Ah, house hunting. It may technically be shopping, but it can feel more like breaking and entering. Even though you know the seller wants you there, does anyone really want you traipsing through their bedroom? Or looking through their closet? Or digging around in their basement? Awwwwkward.

But here’s something that should feel weirder: buying a home without knowing absolutely everything you can about it. The only way to avoid the second awkwardness is to face the first head on. When you’re house hunting, don’t think of poking around in someone else’s home as nosiness. It’s a smart, must-do investigation.

Here are six things you should absolutely do when viewing a

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