Save on Your Heating Costs this Winter

The laws of thermodynamics can be expensive. When the big winter weather arrives, the heat can leach from your home through a variety of obvious and unexpected ways, resulting in high heating bills. Wouldn’t you rather put that money into holiday shopping or upgrades for your house? The most obvious culprits are in plain sight: Doors and windows. The weatherstripping around doors shouldn’t admit any light, and when it comes to windows, you’ll want to look for holes in the caulking. You could even upgrade your windows to double-pane, or go with storm windows to improve insulation. But the less

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Identifying Common Household Water Leaks

Did you know it’s not uncommon for more than 20% of homes to have one unidentified water leak? Sometimes these leaks go on for years, completely unnoticed because home owners inherit small leaks, assuming their water bill is normal. Other times, small water leaks are overlooked because owners assume the overall impact to their utilities is relatively small. But the truth is small leaks can add up hugely over time. Periodic inspection for leaks can help plug this problem at the source. Here are some ways to identify and address typical leaks: Track your water bill over time. Most water

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Clever Kitchen Hacks

You probably don’t need a scientific study to tell you that the kitchen is one of the most used spaces in a family home. It serves as a hub for food, a communal space for gathering, and often a message center for family traffic. Some consider it the “brain” of the home. While giant master bedrooms might sound nice, a kitchen with abundant space can be surprisingly satisfying! Unfortunately, many homes have kitchens which are small or overrun by clutter. The mess can be a major barrier to enjoying the space, and without some systems in place to keep it

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3 important areas to focus on when winterizing your home

(BPT) – From the holidays to cold-weather fun like ice skating and skiing, winter promises its share of good times. Preparing your home for winter’s weather extremes can help ensure that you get the maximum enjoyment out of the season, while protecting your home’s vital systems and indoor comfort. “Winter weather can take a toll on homes, so it’s important to take steps to protect systems like HVAC and plumbing before cold weather arrives,” says Emily Lewicki, brand manager with Luxaire(R). “Properly winterizing your home can help keep it more comfortable, prevent damage from cold and ice, improve efficiency and

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Forward-thinking yard projects to tackle as the weather cools off this fall

(BPT) – The temperature may not have dropped just yet, but make no mistake, fall is coming. Soon enough, baseball will give way to football, green leaves will turn yellow and red and your lawn care routine will take on a whole new set of tasks. Fall lawn care isn’t the long marathon of the summer yard season, but it packs plenty of work into a few short months before the winter. You can make this lawn care blitz a little bit easier by applying the following tips. * Stimulate your lawn. While your grass may no longer need its weekly

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Making Your Home “Age-in-Place” Friendly

If you love your home and plan to live it in through your retirement years, you’ll want to be sure it’s safe for you as you face some of those little challenges aging presents. Assess your home and see if there are any changes you may need to make. Doing so will not only reduce the risk of injury, but it will also give your loved one’s peace-of-mind, especially if you live alone. Here’s what you’ll want to inspect as you consider aging in place: Bathroom handrails. Next to the toilet and tub are top choices. Not only are they

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One financial calculator to rule them all!

Financial health and stability depends upon making informed decisions about loans, debt, taxes, savings, and more. Unfortunately, most people (including first-time homebuyers!) lack a true understanding of how to apply math to help them clearly understand these essential areas. While there are many specialized calculators out there for a particular area (say debt, or mortgage payments), there are few which consolidate all of the most popular financial calculators in one place. Not to mention, you can chalk up quite a bill paying $2 – $5 for each independent calculator you may need. Recently I discovered CalcMoolator, a handy online collection

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Buyer Beware: 3 Home Buying Misconceptions

I’m here to save you pain, buyers. There are myths about the home shopping experience that must be addressed. I like to make the home buying experience as stress-free as possible, so please hear me out on these three big myths about home buying: Myth #1: “That house has been on the market so long I bet we can work the seller down easily.” Not necessarily. Exceptionally high days on market could mean almost anything. The seller could be bullheaded about their price. The seller may not be particularly motivated to sell for emotional or other personal reasons. Don’t forget:

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Be a smarter buyer with this bonus information checklist

  When you’re home hunting, information is power. The more you know before you make an offer, the better. Usually when two homes are equally appealing, digging into the details can make a difference. Here’s a list of “bonus information” that most buyers overlook or forget to ask about while they’re shopping for a house: Homeowner’s association rules: Certain neighborhood covenants may be a deal maker or breaker for you, so if there’s a set of guidelines you’ll be required to adhere to, get them up front. They can cover everything from paint schemes to lawn design and beyond. Utility

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Protect Yourself: Use an Agent When Buying from a Builder

  Q: Do I need to hire a real estate agent to represent me when I buy a new home from a builder?  A: Legally, no. But if you don’t, you might be missing out on some tangible benefits that impact your wallet and how much you get for your money. There are many reasons why an agent is a sound investment during the purchase process with a builder. While some of them can be quite complex (and go beyond the scope of this blog post), here are a few highlights: Market Value Compared to Purchase Price: How much money

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