Homeownership

Found 101 blog entries about Homeownership.

No DIY skills necessary for these outdoor projects. Did we mention they’re really, really easy?

You don't need to be the host of an extreme home makeover show to build an amazing backyard. In fact, the transformative projects below are easy enough for even the klutziest home improvement newbie to complete.

Just don't be shocked when the Johnsons appear at your door with hot dog buns in hand, begging to throw a cookout at your place.

#1 No-Blow Outdoor Curtains

When Cara Daniel of "The Project Addict" blog spied a neighbor's unruly outdoor curtains, she hacked some for her porch that could withstand a gusty Tornado Alley afternoon without upending a glass of lemonade or ensnaring an unsuspecting guest.

She found the sweet spot by

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REALTORS® are community leaders – That’s Who We Are®. You shape and help build neighborhoods that thrive. By promoting diversity and inclusion you unlock access to opportunities that transform lives and boost business. Thriving communities mean:

  • A strong economy = more jobs, more income, more business
  • Healthier people
  • A cleaner environment
  • Higher-achieving students
  • Safer streets
Fair Housing Month is Here. So is Coronavirus.

April is upon us. This time of year is usually a flurry of spring market activity. It’s also a time when we reflect on the ways people are shut out of the housing market, and commit to expanding housing opportunity, with our annual observation of Fair Housing Month. This year is different. Because of

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As everyone settles into their homes to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic, their energy bills will jump, perhaps even skyrocket. But there are some simple things that homeowners can do to curb their costs, particularly as electronics and lights are used .

Sense, a company that offers home energy monitoring solutions, offers up the following five ways to save money on energy costs at home during this time.

1. Turn off electronics when not in use.

Keeping gadgets on constantly will add to your electricity bill. Consumer electronics and common devices can account for 23% of the average electricity bill—or about $322 annually, according to Sense. Turn off devices that aren’t in use. Place printers, PCs, laptops, home entertainment equipment, and gaming

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You're likely spending a great deal of time at home as you wait out the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak. If you're healthy, this may be the perfect time to take on a home improvement project that you've been delaying. You're not only giving yourself something to enjoy around the house, but you also may increase the value of your home. Here are a few DIY projects to tackle while you shelter in place. 

1. Paint. This is one of the easiest DIY projects, and it can have the biggest impact on a space. Re-style a room with a fresh coat of paint, whether it’s a trendy blue or green, or a softer shade of gray or pink. Get some color inspiration.

2. Create a mudroom. Reinvent that entry space or nook off the garage door to create a mudroom. You can make it as

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It’s all about lifestyle.

The home of tomorrow isn’t about Jetson-esque wonders and smartphone apps. It’s about home value, natural resources, and our lifestyles.

In an effort to predict what home features will be most valued in 25 years, we focus on four rising trends:

#1 Extreme Energy Efficiency

Utility bills are expected to skyrocket over the next couple of decades. This will result in sustainable updates that push the green needle of household standards.

Energy dashboards: You know how cars share the miles per gallon we’re getting? An energy dashboard will do the same for our homes.

Why we picked this prediction: It’s all about the emerging technologies that will surround the future modernization of the electric grid. Called the

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Mind the (cabinet) gaps.

The savings. The personal satisfaction. The increased resale value. Taking on your own kitchen remodel can deliver countless financial and emotional perks — if done right.

But done wrong, yikes! "Poor-quality workmanship . . . can easily decrease a home's value," says Bill Gassett, owner of Maximum Real Estate Exposure in Massachusetts.

Earn your bragging rights and keep your home's value intact (and rising) by avoiding these telltale signs of DIY gone wrong:

#1 Gaps Around Cabinetry

Why it happens: Because homes aren't perfectly level. And when you hang cabinets to be level (which you should), that leaves gaps next to the wall, says Julie Blake with Boston-based remodeling provider The Norfolk Companies.

How the

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A bleach solution or rubbing alcohol is your best bet for keeping your home sanitized.

There’s everyday clean, guest clean, and then there’s COVID-19 clean.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, literally, and focus on how to disinfect your home. To combat this virus, you’ll want your big guns: bleach, rubbing alcohol, and hot water.

The Best Disinfectants

For your high-touch surfaces, the Centers for Disease Control recommends a bleach solution diluted with water, or a 70% alcohol solution.

Follow this bleach recipe: 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water, or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water.

Make sure to properly ventilate when disinfecting with bleach.

And check to see if your bleach has expired. Who knew it

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Your yard has a lot of impact on your home’s value. These tips will help you not mess it up — and save some cash.

Your yard will either add to it— or subtract from it. Follow these lawn care tips to score on the plus side of the balance sheet.

#1 Check the Sprinklers

You don't want to find out during a summer drought that your old-fashioned oscillator or in-ground irrigation system can't so much as sputter. Do a dress rehearsal now to make sure the hoses, settings, timers, and other components are functioning properly.

#2 Plant Cold-Sensitive Annuals

Once your last average frost date has passed – and the soil temp is 60 to 70 degrees — you have the all-clear to get cold-sensitive seeds like marigolds, sunflowers, and zinnias in the

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Adopt a few of these home tips to find a bit more cash each month.

Your house gives you so much: security, pride, shelter. With all that on the line, it's easy to assume the costs of keeping it up just are what they are. But wait. There are plenty of expenses you probably make to keep your home in good order that are simply a waste.

Here's how to save money each month without putting a dime of home value at risk.

#1 Clean Your Light Bulbs

What? Who does that? Well, smart people. A dirty bulb emits 30% less light than a clean one. Dust off both the bulb and fixture, and you might be able to cut back on the number or brightness of lights in each room without noticing any difference.

#2 Keep Your Fridge Full

Solid items snuggled together

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The tip about coffee mugs? We’ve all been there.

Did you ever notice that your self-improvement pacts with yourself are action oriented? Walk 10,000 steps a day. Fix that leaky faucet. Register for VolunteerMatch.

But "get organized"? It's a goal so broad that just trying to figure out what action to take makes you wonder what you were thinking in the first place. It's like you need an organizing plan for your organizing.

Ta da!

Here it is. Follow these steps, spending less than an hour day (sometimes just a few moments), to a better organized home:

1. Do That Project

"What about your space is making you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed?" asks Amy Trager, a professional organizer in Chicago. Is it the paperwork disaster in your

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