Home Inspection for Sellers: What You Need to Know

Selling your home can make you feel like you're living in a fishbowl, with potential buyers and real estate agents evaluating, judging and otherwise picking apart the place you've called home for years. Just before the actual sale comes the most intense scrutiny of all: the home inspection. A pre-sale home inspection is... Continue Reading »

Top Tips for Interior Painting Projects

Transforming a home interior with a new coat of paint is perfect for homeowners on any budget. With a little DIY magic, you can have a major impact on the quality of your home space. But it's all about knowing where to start. Planning and preparation are the key ingredients to great results, so take the time to assemble... Continue Reading »

How to Get the Best Prices on Home Improvements

Now more than ever, people want to get the most for their home improvement dollar. There are definitely great deals to be had, but to get the best prices, you have to know where to look. Some of the surprises on this journey? It isn't always cheaper to do it yourself, and some bigger-ticket products can actually pay for... Continue Reading »

Home Security Tech Takes a Leap Forward

Home security technologies are keeping pace with the other gadgets in our connected, on-demand lives. Unlike the cumbersome systems of the recent past, new home security components are discreet, easily controlled from afar, and smart enough to screen out don't-need-to-know info, like your pet's indoor traffic patterns. ... Continue Reading »

Home Improvements for First Home Buyers

To improve or not to improve--that's the big question when you're about to move into a new home, and especially challenging if it's your first home. You want to make the right choices for your wallet, your comfort and your return on your home improvement investment dollar. Before you hire a contractor or take a... Continue Reading »

Renters: Home Improvements That Move With You

Even if you're just renting a place for a short time, it's important to personalize it with the style and conveniences that make you feel at home. If you'd like to make home improvements but hesitate because of longer-term living plans, consider projects that can move with you. "I'm a big proponent of 'make it yours,'... Continue Reading »

Finding The Best Contractor for Your Home Improvements

As the weather warms up, so does the market for home improvements--and home improvement scams run by shady contractors. Whether you're on your first-ever home project or your fiftieth, a qualified contractor is key to getting the job done on time and on budget. Take the following steps to avoid possible home improvement... Continue Reading »

Mold: Where It Can Hide in Your House

Based on scary specimens spotted in refrigerators and deserted lunch bags, you may think of mold as soggy, dirty, disgusting and, above all, obvious. However, that element of the obvious isn't always present in household mold mysteries. The most pristine, well-kept home can have serious mold issues--infestations that... Continue Reading »

Home Improvement Contract Essentials

Big talk about your next home improvement project may be exciting, but don't skip the step of securing a formal, written contract from your contractor if you want to make that dream a reality. Verbal contracts with home improvement professionals may be binding by law, but the details can be hard to enforce if there's a... Continue Reading »

Utility Bills: How to Estimate Costs for a New Home

After a winter like the one we've just had, a lot of people are fed up with utility bills. The most recent forecasts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration put the cost of home heating for 2011 at $2,400 if you heat with oil--a 26% increase over last year. On average, U.S. households can expect to shell out about... Continue Reading »

Smart Home Improvements When You're Staying Put

With real estate sales slow to recover, many Americans are choosing to stay put and improve the homes they have. But all home improvements aren't created equal. Strategic improvements in equipment, systems and materials can add lasting value, increase comfort, and even save you money. The right home improvements can also... Continue Reading »

Financing Home Improvements

When it comes to financing home improvements, there are a lot of ways to pay for every project. From replacing an appliance to adding a room or two, you can cover project costs through great retailer deals and financing options that make the most of currently low interest rates. So, what's the first step toward financing... Continue Reading »

Home Maintenance for the First-Time Buyer

First-time buyer Anna Daugherty learned the hard way that home maintenance is a new owner's responsibility. "One thing we completely forgot about was actually very simple. We forgot to get a shovel," says the Lansing, MI, resident. "This weekend, we had seven inches of snow fall in a short amount of time, burying us in... Continue Reading »

Buying an Old House? Plan for These Home Repairs

During my 20 years as a professional home inspector I've walked the floorboards of thousands of old houses. By now, I've developed an uncanny ability to predict the home repairs they'll need before even setting foot inside. It all comes down to understanding the decade-to-decade differences in old house construction and... Continue Reading »

Working with Contractors: Preparation Prevents Problems

Winter is prime time for indoor remodeling jobs. But don't jump in just because a contractor suddenly has all the time in the world to work with you. When it comes to working with contractors, proper preparation is everything. You'll get the best price, best experience and best results--any time of year--if you follow these... Continue Reading »

Five Bathroom Renovations That Help Sell a Home

Bathroom renovations are one of the surest ways to help sell a home. And you don't have to break the bank to make improvements that will appeal to buyers. "Bathrooms are one area where home buyers make decisions because it will be one of the most used rooms in the house," says industry expert Nora DePalma of... Continue Reading »

Add Storage Space to Speed Home Sales

When it comes to residential real estate, storage space sells. No matter the age or style of property, prospective buyers check every closet, scope out the garage and generally look for bonus space where they can stash the stuff of everyday living. If you're considering putting your home on the market, plan to expand... Continue Reading »

Home Inspection Red Flags for Buyers

After months of hunting, touring and haggling, you've finally found your perfect house. Like most buyers, you'll have it inspected. The home inspection is your chance to find out what's really going on under the hood before you commit to the purchase. Over the course of a few hours, the home inspector will probe every nook... Continue Reading »

Home Staging Mistakes Sellers Should Avoid

In a competitive buyer's market like the one we're in today, home staging is more important than ever. A successful staging can make the difference between a house that moves fast for the right price and one that languishes on the market unsold. But a handful of common mistakes can hamper the best home staging efforts.... Continue Reading »

Home Improvements for Healthy Indoor Air Quality

With winter on the way, we're all about to spend more time indoors, so the timing couldn't be better for making home improvements for healthy indoor air quality. Today's homes are more tightly sealed than ever, and while that can mean better insulation and energy efficiency, it also has a definite down side: airborne... Continue Reading »

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