Refrigerator Buying Guide

Before you start shopping for new kitchen appliances, make sure you have a well-thought-out plan for your kitchen renovation. You should identify goals and priorities, with the help of your completed Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire and Kitchen Goals Worksheet. You also should have a clear vision of what your new kitchen will look like, after exploring various kitchen designs and layouts and planning out space and storage. Finally, you should have a solid budget to follow. "The first question we usually ask a shopper," says Chapman Logsdon, a regional manager with hhgregg, "is how much room do they have in their kitchen for the fridge." Refrigerators can vary greatly in overall

4 Signs You Should Downsize

Making the decision to downsize your home can be hard. For many, it’s where you watched your family grow. It’s your source of comfort and filled with memories. It’s safe to say that many homeowners don’t typically dream of the day they buy a smaller home. But minimal maintenance is definitely appealing. That’s why some people see downsizing as a step forward, not backward. Wondering if it might be time for you to downsize your home? Here are four signs it might be time: The maintenance is too much Keeping your home well-maintained can be a lot of work! Between yard work and perpetual maintained, the upkeep can leave you exhausted. Or maybe it’s getting harder for you to do certain household

7 Paint Colors to Boost Value

Home sellers are often advised to slap on a fresh coat of paint before listing their properties, but they shouldn't overlook the impact of color. A Zillow analysis of more than 32,000 photos from sold residential properties finds specific colors can either boost or crimp a home's selling price. The analysis controlled for square footage, the age of the home, the date of the transaction and location, and then compared the sale prices of homes with white walls versus those with more colorful paint. The upshot? Color makes a big impact on buyers and can serve as a "powerful tool" for attracting prospective bidders, according to Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell. But trends may change overtim

Home-Buying Benefits for Veterans & Military Buyers

Veterans, service members, and their families believe in homeownership. In fact, the homeownership rate among veterans far outpaces that of civilians. But the financial toll of military service can make it tough for some veterans to get a financial foothold, let alone land a home loan. The good news is those who serve have access to a host of home-buying benefits and protections, from what’s arguably the most powerful home loan on the market to financial safeguards and more. Let’s take a closer look. VA loan program Since the VA loan program’s inception in 1944, the Department of Veterans Affairs has backed more than 21 million loans for veterans, active-duty military members, and their spou

3 Reasons To Get A Mortgage Pre-approval

Shopping for a home before getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the equivalent of walking into a grocery store without a wallet. Yet, many homebuyers don’t get a loan pre-approval before the house hunt. So, what is a pre-approval? For one, a pre-approval is different from a pre-qualification. Pre-approval: The lender verifies the borrower’s information and documentation to determine exactly how much it would be willing to lend to that borrower. Pre-qualification: The lender relies on information provided by the buyer to estimate how much the borrower could qualify for. “The documents to get pre-approved are the same documents that you would need to get a mortgage,” says Jordan Roth, mortga

Save For A House In One Year

It's the American Dream to own a home. However, this requires a substantial amount in savings for a downpayment and well, it's sometimes really hard to save! While there are many special programs to help first-time-home-buyers, there's also the reality that it's best to start with more money down to lower your monthly mortgage. One Realty Group can direct you to the best lender for your situation and also would like to introduce you to some great money-saving tips that we found! If you are serious about living in your own home, then perhaps it's time to get serious about saving money. "How can saving money here and there add up? Here are 7 ideas to help you save for a house in one year. 1. S

7 Considerations When Buying A Horse Property

Owning a horse property means that you can have your horses at home – a fact which may sound ideal to you. But when you’re evaluating a horse property, make sure that you think about these seven important considerations. 1. Space Determine how much land you need before you start looking at properties. Three acres may be sufficient if you want to have a small backyard barn with two horses, but you’ll need a larger property for more horses or for a business. Buying into a property with too little acreage may be a frustrating limitation on your future use of the property. 2. Barn Condition Carefully evaluate the barn’s condition. Check factors such as the size of the stalls, the strength of the

The Best of Decluttering Advice

This is your year to finally get—and stay—organized. Here, experts reveal their best tips, tricks and strategies for keeping a clutter-proof home. 1. Know Your Clutter Personality In order to maintain a clutter-free home, you need to get to the root of why things pile up in the first place. The NEAT Method founders Molly Graves and Ashley Murphy believe that most people fall into the following clutter personalities: Too Busy = Too Many Extras: You buy items you already own because you don’t have a system in place for where to store them or, when you need to find things fast, the time to search through all the possible storage spots. Constant Worrier = Must Save Everything: You’re concern

The Most Popular Style of House in America

A new poll says the craftsman-style home is America’s favorite kind of house — and whether you agree likely depends on your age. In a poll of 2,000 commissioned by real estate website Trulia, 43% of respondents named craftsman as a favorite style. Ranch and colonial-style homes were not far behind, picked by 41% and 36% of poll-takers, respectively. (Respondents were allowed to pick more than one style.) While the margin between craftsman and ranch might sound slim, the gap widens when the data is broken down by age. The craftsman-style home, a design made popular in the early 1900s and distinguished by its pitched roof, front porch and tapered pillars, is a favorite of 52% of millennial res

8 Signs It's Time To Paint Your House

Painting your home can be inconvenient and time consuming, but it’s easier than it seems. It’s a good investment that extends the integrity and good looks of what, for most people, is their single greatest asset. Paint is your house’s first defense against the elements and the first impression guests and potential buyers receive. When paint fades, chips or peels, it’s obviously time to repaint. But there are other telltale signs. 1. Flaking, bubbling or cracking paint These signs often signal dry rot, wet rot or mold caused by failed weatherproofing. Strong sunlight, harsh winters, extreme humidity, storms, blowing sand and ocean breezes can contribute to the damage. 2. Hardened caulk Most c

What Is Mortgage Insurance And How Does It Work?

Answer: Mortgage insurance lowers the risk to the lender of making a loan to you, so you can qualify for a loan that you might not otherwise be able to get. Typically, borrowers making a down payment of less than 20 percent of the purchase price of the home will need to pay for mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance also is typically required on FHA and USDA loans. Mortgage insurance lowers the risk to the lender of making a loan to you, so you can qualify for a loan that you might not otherwise be able to get. But, it increases the cost of your loan. If you are required to pay mortgage insurance, it will be included in your total monthly payment that you make to your lender, your costs at c

What Are The Tax Benefits To Buying A Home?

Buying a home is a big undertaking, but your new home purchase might help you enjoy a world of tax breaks. If you're a new homeowner, you should know that there are several tax deductions available, some of which can put a fair amount of money back in your pocket. Here are a few tax benefits of homeownership that can really add up. 1. The mortgage interest deduction The mortgage interest deduction is typically one of the largest tax breaks available to homeowners, as it allows you to write off interest on up to a $500,000 loan if you're a single tax filer, or a $1 million loan if you're a joint filer. This deduction can be especially lucrative during the early years of your mortgage, when th

Good Move: How to Make Moving Easier on Kids

8 Ways to Get Kids Excited for the Move Children feel powerless when you tell them you're moving. "They usually don't have any input in the decision," says Lori Collins Burgan, social worker and author of Moving with Kids. "So involve them in as many other decisions as you can." 1. Make a family wish list. This will help you reach a consensus on some of the things you all want from your new home: a bigger backyard, a basement playroom, separate rooms for the kids. For Jennifer Thompson's daughter Raegan, 5, the beach was tops. "My husband's new job was in Jacksonville, North Carolina, but we chose a house in Emerald Isle -- a 30-minute commute for him -- so we could be near the water," says

4 Tips for Buying a Modern House

When you are looking to purchase a new home in 2017, it is very important that you learn the ins and outs of the most important factors to consider. There is a difference between buying an old fixer upper and purchasing a home that is up to date, technologically savvy and able to provide you with the greatest level of value that you can experience. With this in mind, you will need to make sure that you read the points below, in order to learn a little bit more about what you should consider when buying a modern home. #1: Focus on technology A great benefit of buying a home in 2017 is that there is so much technology that you can include in your home. Whether you want an all-encompassing digi

Buying Homes With Swimming Pools

My first home had an indoor swimming pool. One cold day I turned off the dehumidifier without realizing that the walls would perspire. The dampness caused subterranean termites to crawl out of hiding and zip around the room. As a result, I paid a small fortune for pest extermination, painting and floor covering replacement. A lesson many pool owners learn the hard way, as I did, is that proper pool maintenance is of primary importance. Of course, most pools are located outdoors, which makes taking care of them a bit easier, but you should also find out if your pool complies with federal and local pool barrier laws regarding enhanced safety regulations. Who Buys Homes With Swimming Pools? Whe

Buy a Home During Housing's Hottest Season

The days are getting longer. Ice cream truck jingles echo up and down the block. But the surest sign that summer is here? It just might be those "For Sale" signs popping up like dandelions in your neighborhood. Yep, we're smack dab in the middle of the most popular time of the year to buy and sell a home. If you're thinking of starting your home search, your first instinct as a savvy shopper might be to stay away and wait for the weather—and the market—to cool down. Why battle the crowds and bidding wars if you're in no rush to move? But there's no reason to sweat the idea of buying in the summer. In fact, there are some distinct advantages to making your way into the marketplace during hous

8 Romantic Spring-Flowering Vines to Cover a Trellis

Whether planted to drape over an arbor, climb a trellis or frame a doorway, flowering vines increase the charm and romance factor of a garden. If spring is just beginning in your region, now’s a perfect time to plant. If you live in a warmer climate, enjoy the peak of spring blooms now and make note of any flowering vines you’d like to add to your garden, waiting to plant either this fall or early next spring. Among the many spring-lowering vines to choose from, here are eight top performers for beautiful blooms, intoxicating fragrance, benefits for pollinators and overall ability to add romance to a garden. 1. Wisteria (Wisteria spp.) With a spectacular display of pea-like blossoms in pe

To-Dos: Your May Home Checklist

With summer coming up, there is plenty of incentive to get those outdoor spaces ready for entertaining. From scheduling house painting to organizing your outdoor cooking tools, tick these 13 items off your to-do list so you can get to the good stuff: hanging out around the grill, kicking back on the porch and savoring the season. Let the countdown to summer begin! Things to Check Off Your List in an Hour or Less 1. Check outdoor lighting. Make sure all outdoor lights are in working order, including porch lights, landscape lighting and motion-sensing security lights. Replace bulbs or schedule repairs as needed. 2. Give potted plants some TLC. If you have potted plants that stay indoors over

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