How to Make Renting Off-Campus Pay

College students return to campus this week. Many of them argue -- and some even convince their parents and student loan officers -- that living off-campus is cheaper than living in the college dorms. Seems plausible. According to the College Board, students attending a four-year, in-state public institution spend an... Continue Reading »

Home Improvement Grants Give Homeowners a Boost

Warning! If you search the Web for "home improvement grants," you're likely to get some shady sites promising you "exclusive" access to grant information--for a fee. What they don't tell you is that most home improvement grants are distributed at the state or local level, not directly to individuals. The other detail... Continue Reading »

Community Gardens: Hot and Under Attack

Is New York City the "greenest" American city? Not if you consider the recent two-steps-back the city and state have taken concerning community gardens. TreeHugger reports on testimony last week that reveals that New York State has weakened rules that were set in 2002 to protect community gardens from development. If... Continue Reading »

Save Water and Money in the Bathroom

Can a woman's college dorm in Southern California hold a secret to your water-saving bathroom renovation? Yes, says Alexandra Bennett, sustainability coordinator at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. Bennett is piloting a water-saving program at the college, which despite its proximity to the ocean lacks many... Continue Reading »

Going Green in the Kitchen

Annette Thomson of Washington, D.C., wants to green up her kitchen remodeling project. "I want to replace old vinyl flooring and add Energy Star appliances," she says. "Is there anything else I can do?" Thomson is on the right track. Going green in the kitchen means replacing vinyl with more sustainable materials and... Continue Reading »

Insulation at Home Saves Money

Raymond Yoder of Indianapolis, Ind. learned his lesson in home insulation the hard way. "It was cheaper to buy one of the new model homes without insulation. We figured we'd save the cash," Yoder says. That was in 1954. He has since moved from that home but not before, he admits, adding a lot more insulation to keep his... Continue Reading »

Home Energy Saving Projects for Every Budget

Ed and Amy Kelly of Indianapolis, Ind., are excited about their recent kitchen remodeling. While their initial reason was to update the appearance of their kitchen, the couple realized that replacing the aged appliances would have a big energy-saving benefit. "We bought all new energy-efficient appliances because we would... Continue Reading »

Gulf 'Spillionaires' Target Real Estate Market

"Spillionaire" is a term coined during the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 to describe those who make bank after an oil-related environmental disaster. Corporations, small businesses and individuals can profit when they seize opportunity from crisis. That's capitalism. So it's no surprise that spillionaires are at the ready... Continue Reading »

Gulf Coast Homes Expected to Lose $56K in Value on Average

The unprecedented BP oil spill disaster just got worse, thanks to the estimated $56,000 drop in home value that every homeowner on the Gulf Coast could experience. As reported in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the estimate from CoreLogic could seriously impact home values for residents of Gulfport, Miss., Mobile, Ala., Pensacola,... Continue Reading »

Soundproofing Against Outdoor Noise

Scott Warrick of Bloomington, Ind. has a noise problem outside his house: jackhammers. "I'm enduring three months of daily jackhammering as they tear down a local school." Excessive noise entering your house is a problem. It can stress you out, make you irritable, and, when it comes to heavy machinery and lengthy... Continue Reading »

Home Renovation: Tips for Thrifty Upgrades

Gone are the days when home improvements were "a dollar in, a dollar (or more!) out." Still, it's an excellent time to undertake home renovation projects. Contractors, tradesmen, and other skilled craftspeople are eager for work. Their empty schedules may mean better rates for you than in years past. And scaling a... Continue Reading »

Seller Financing Comes Back

Sellers once again might want to consider "owner financing" as a method to get that house sold -- and reap some tax breaks, too. Owner financing (also known as "seller financing," "taking back the note," or "an installment sale") is estimated to be used in 10 percent to 15 percent of today's home sales. The term... Continue Reading »

Solar Power at Home Saves Money

Barry Floyd of Elkhart, Ind. loves his pool, but not the electric bills that come with it, or the cost of the utilities that he and his family rack up in the other parts of their home. So he's looking into solar power. "I am in the process of pricing and planning to install some [solar panels]," says Floyd. "I heard lot of... Continue Reading »

Selling Your Home on Craigslist: Trickier Than You Think

Craigslist's free classifieds are familiar to everyone from real estate agents to average homeowners trying to sell a home. The site covers 700 cities worldwide and is used by 50 million people per month. More than a billion real estate ads have been posted since the site's founding in 1995. But do you know how to... Continue Reading »

Home Staging for an Empty House

Creative Director Beth Elzer needed to sell her Washington, D.C., condo quickly. She and her husband had already moved into another home, so the house was empty. Her broker, Joe Himali of Best Address Real Estate, recommended professional home staging for their empty house. Himali's suggestion came based on experience... Continue Reading »

Moving and Storage on the Cheap

Think cheap moving involve bribery with pizza and beer? You're not alone. Amy Stafford used this formula for several apartment moves off-campus during college and early in her working career. Only when Amy's inexpensive "freelance" movers "accidentally" kept several boxes of her stuff -- and disappeared -- did Amy realize... Continue Reading »

Renters: Get Your Security Deposit Back

Amanda Flores didn't anticipate any problems getting her rental security deposit back. After all, she paid her portion of the deposit up front to her roommate. In Amanda's view the apartment was nearly perfect, now that she'd cleaned it out and loaded the moving van. There was just one problem: damage to the kitchen... Continue Reading »

Why Renting Can Be Your Best Bet

Is buying always superior to renting? Not always, and in a down market, not when it comes to selling. Writer Sutton Stokes recently shared his saga with The Washington Times Communities. He and his wife went from renting to owning, to selling -- and waiting. In his words, "our decision to 'stop throwing money away on... Continue Reading »

Pricing Your Home to Sell, Part 2

Incorrectly pricing your home won't make it any easier to sell in this market. We recently explored some common home pricing mistakes. Now we'll look at a few more mistakes sellers make pricing their home and how you can avoid disappointment: ... Continue Reading »

Pricing Your Home to Sell, Part 1

Home selling No. 1? Not knowing what your home is really worth and pricing it incorrectly. Here's the ugly truth: your home is not what you think it's worth. Your home is what the market determines your home is worth. It's a reality that has upset a lot of people over the past 18 months and continues to flummox many. ... Continue Reading »

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