6 easy, affordable smart home features that could help you sell your house faster

  (BPT) – Fresh paint on the walls, professional staging and an asking price that ends in 999 – when you’re selling your home, you’ll do whatever you can to help it stand out and sell faster. Because the National Association of Realtors is predicting modest growth for the 2017 real estate market, as a seller you want every edge you can get. And on the heels of the popular Consumer Electronics Show in January, perhaps that edge is a smarter home. “Smart home features are designed to make homes more convenient, appealing, secure and energy-efficient – all of which

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From make-do to all new – updates to create your dream kitchen

(BPT) – Homeowners have spent more on kitchen remodeling than any other home improvement category in the last 10 years, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies – and there’s good reason. An updated kitchen does more than boost the value of your home; whether you make just a few changes or completely renovate the entire space, a kitchen that feels new is always refreshing. From basic cooking to frequent entertaining, your dream kitchen should look good and function well. Since the kitchen is ever-evolving, so are the products available. Skip the fads and include ideas that are aesthetically

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Home Owners Redefine the Luxury Bathroom

Luxury bathrooms are undergoing a makeover in recent years, according to a new survey about trends in new construction by the Home Innovation Research Labs, which surveyed about 1,400 home builders earlier this year. “Since the recession, there has been a lot of trade-offs,” says Ed Hudson, director of HIRL’s market-research division, a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders. What’s out? Whirlpool bathtubs and stand-alone bidets, down 9.4 percent and 34.9 percent, respectively, since 2008. What’s in? His-and-hers shower stalls and chrome lavatory sink faucets, up 12.9 percent and 25 percent, respectively. A standard bathtub has also increased in popularity

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Weekend home upgrades: fast, affordable fix-ups

(ARA) – With today’s falling home prices, one family’s well-worn dwelling can quickly become another’s dream “starter” home. Interest rates are at historic lows, meaning buyers can get more house than they could a year ago for the same monthly mortgage payment, according to the National Association of Home Builders.But affording a new home is one thing; affording to remodel it is another. Here are some cost-efficient upgrades that are easy enough to accomplish in a single weekend. Start at the front door Whether you’re fixing up a newly purchased home or upgrading your current home to attract a buyer,

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Walk-in Showers Gain in Popularity

Home owners are choosing showers over tubs, despite the long-standing notion that it is important to have a tub for resale value. “We’re definitely seeing a trend toward walk-in showers versus tubs,” says Katie Campbell, sales manager for the Heritage of Palatine, a Chicago-area development where homes are priced from $221,900. “We used to do a lot of big soaking tubs with shower stalls in the master bathroom, but we had a lot of people eliminate the tub because they wanted a bigger shower. “Having at least one tub in the house is still important because some buyers want them,

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Homeowners and Homebuilders Seek Eco-Friendly Materials

(ARA) – With the country going green, many homeowners are looking for eco-friendly materials when building or remodeling their home. And as more homeowners struggle with high utility bills and become more concerned about the environment, many are building and updating their homes to be more eco-friendly.   The latest housing trend shows that many new homebuilders are constructing “green” homes. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders reports that eco-friendly construction will climb from 2 percent of all residential housing starts in 2005 to between 5 and 10 percent in 2010.   For those consumers in older or

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