7 Model Home Ideas to Steal for Your Home

You don't have to be in the market for a new home to tour model homes. In fact, model home complexes are a great place to get a few ideas for your existing home. Whether you're looking for ideas to renovate your kitchen and want to see the most current trends, are having a hard time deciding on paint colors and want to see how others are incorporating color into the home, or are simply looking for a little inspiration, you can find it here. Getting color ideas Model homes are rarely tame when it comes to color, but there are two main takeaways: 1) The color is (by and large) not used large scale, meaning, all the walls of every room won't typically be painted in bold or bright colors; 2) The

Making Your Home More Energy-Efficient

Your home is your place to rest, play, and spend time with your family. It should be a place of comfort, and this comfort need not come at a high cost. Many homes, however, waste a lot of energy in ways that can be prevented. Here are five ways to make your home more energy-efficient. Replace or Weatherize All Windows Windows are one of the biggest sources of heat gain and heat loss in a home. Both heat gain and heat loss rob you of comfort and keep your energy bills higher than they have to be, whether during the summer or winter months. Windows rank high on the list because of air leakage around the frame and the heat that transfers through windowpanes. Old single-pane windows provide litt

Six Ways to Make Yourself Happier at Home

Your home is your haven. Or, at least, it should be. But is it really making you happy or are there aspects of your place that are bringing you down? Little fixes can turn it all around. Get some houseplants Put your green thumb to good use and surround yourself with houseplants. Not only will they add a fresh element to your décor (literally!), but they can also make your home healthier, and improve your mood. “Houseplants are good for your health—and not just for their visual beauty,” said NBC News. “Why? They essentially do the opposite of what we do when we breathe: release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. This not only freshens up the air, but also eliminates harmful toxins. Extensive

How to Decorate Your Home From Scratch

Are you moving into a new home and starting fresh? Don’t feel overwhelmed! Here are six new home decorating tips when you’re starting from scratch. 1. If you can pin down the design style you want for your home’s interior, you’re half way there! An easy rule of thumb is to use the same style for the interior as the home’s exterior. With an architectural home style like ranch or craftsman, dark, rich wood pieces, clean-lined furniture and lots of earth tones work well. Here are four of the most popular home decorating styles to consider: Transitional A transitional style goes with most home architectural styles. The look is a hybrid of modern and traditional — perfect for updating older home

What You Need to Do Two Weeks Before You Move

It's only two weeks before your move date, and if you've been using our eight-week moving schedule, you're probably on track with only the last few tasks to do. This is the most stressful period when it feels like there will never be enough time to finish everything. If you're feeling overwhelmed, you may want to call in some help from friends or family or neighbors. And if you're moving to another city or town, having your loved ones help you with the move also gives you and them a little extra time to spend together before you move. If you're moving with kids, get them to help, too. There are some things your children can pack safely without too much supervision, starting with their room.

Decorating Tricks for Hiding Kids’ Messes While Selling Your Home

Keeping the house together during the selling process is a challenge. Making sure everything is just right for showings and open houses can be exhausting and overwhelming Throw kids into the mix, and things can get downright chaotic. Fortunately, a few small decor choices can help conceal kid clutter—changing your “for sale” sign to “sold.” Hide in Plain Sight With overflowing toy boxes and tea-party set-ups overtaking the living room, it may be unrealistic to banish all kid stuff to other rooms. Instead, make use of your furniture’s built-in compartments and drawers. Have a storage ottoman next to the sofa? Fill it with everything from action figures and dolls to coloring books, art supplie

Experts Discuss: Why Buying a Home in the Winter is a Smart Move

Winter really can be a great time to purchase a home. Home prices tend to dip, sellers can be more motivated and the holiday spirit just makes people want to be in a home. The combination of fewer buyers and slow business also means lenders and real estate agents might compete a little harder for your business. Shopping for homes in the winter months also gives you a unique vantage point of a property. With the season in full swing, we asked a handful of credit and homebuying experts to weigh in on winter homebuying. Here’s what they had to say: Buyer’s Market "Winter is a buyer’s market. With less competition and fewer dedicated house-hunters, the colder months present an opportunity to sna

5 Types of Roommates and How to Handle Them

One day, you wake up and do the math. To afford the better things in life — a nice apartment, travel, luxury car, Prada — you need to split your living costs with a roommate. Maybe you're one of the lucky ones with a "ghost" roommate lined up — someone who travels a lot, spends a lifetime at their significant other's place or is basically never home. Some roommates can become great friends and improve our social life. Others can scar us for life. Ideally, you'll take the time to choose a roommate wisely. But no matter how diligently you screen a potential roommate, you still may end up with a lemon. For those of you who are currently experiencing an undesirable roommate situation, The Rental

12 Things That Make a Neighborhood Truly Great

When you are in the market for a new place to live, it helps to remember the golden rule of real estate: You’re not just buying or renting a home — you are also buying into and becoming a part of a neighborhood. As anyone who’s moved a few times knows, not all neighborhoods are created equal. There is no such thing as the perfect neighborhood, because not all areas are going to be truly a perfect fit for everyone and their unique needs. Although a cookie-cutter neighborhood isn’t a reality, there are components common to ALL great neighborhoods. As you evaluate the best aspects of a prospective neighborhood, you’ll want to match them to your needs at this point in your life. Lifestyle match

The Tell Tale Signs it is Time to Sell Your Residential Property

We all, at some point or another, get our feet firmly on the property ladder, and while some do it while they are young, others wait until they reach middle age before making the commitment to buy rather than rent. Once you own your home, there will likely come a time when relocation is the best path to take and with that in mind, here are some tell-tale signs that it is time to put your home on the market. ✓ Insufficient Living Space - A growing family, for example, would require more living space as the children grow and if one of your kids doesn’t have a room they can study in, perhaps it is time to upgrade. This would typically arise for a newly married couple around 10-12 years in the f

10 Household Items You Really Shouldn't Put in the Donation Pile

It's that time of year again. As in, the time to purge your garage, your basement—and every other space in your home—for a fresh start to the new year. Farewell, broken DVD player! Sayonara, stained T-shirts! But not so fast. You might have the best intentions with your donations, but your local secondhand store doesn’t actually want everything you’re eager to banish from your home. “We can’t take some things,” says Harman Singh of Value Village in Silver Spring, MD. “But we can suggest local haul-away services.” So before you get down to the business of decluttering, make sure you know what not to drop off at your local donation center. (Some of these might surprise you.) 1. Mattresses and

Homeowner's Associations

What is a Homeowner's Association? A homeowners association (HOA) is an organization in a subdivision, planned community or condominium that makes and enforces rules for the properties within its jurisdiction. Those who purchase property within an HOA's jurisdiction automatically become members and are required to pay dues, known as HOA fees. Some associations can be very restrictive about what members can do with their properties. BREAKING DOWN: Homeowners Association - HOA Homeowners associations (HOAs) are formed by planned communities with single-family homes or multiple units, such as condominiums. Membership in an HOA is usually a requirement for the purchase of certain properties. An

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