22 January 2018

Window Seats 101: Design Ideas and How to Determine the Best Style for Your House

monkeybusinessimages/iStock Window seats are an interior design win-win: They add both style and functionality to your home. This architectural feature can work in just about any area of the house, from the kitchen to bedrooms. At its most basic, a window seat serves as a cozy reading nook next to a window. “The bright and airy feel of […]

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22 January 2018

‘I Sold My Brother’s House’: The Perils of Hiring a Real Estate Agent You Know

Westend61/Getty Images Things can get awfully messy when you mix business and family, so you can imagine my hesitation when my older brother asked me to sell his house. At that time, in 2014, I had only been working as a real estate agent for a year. Although I’d helped clients buy homes, my brother’s listing would be […]

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19 January 2018

What Is a Patio Home? (Hint: It Has Nothing to Do With a Porch)

LindaJohnsonbaugh/iStock What is a patio home? Well, it’s not a house with a porch out front. What defines a patio home is that it’s attached to other patio homes, making it similar architecturally to townhouses or condos—only in miniature. While townhouses and condos are typically at least two stories high, patio homes typically max out at one or one-and-a-half stories, […]

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19 January 2018

4 Things Consumers Should Think About Before Financing a Home Improvement

doublediamondphoto/iStock With Goldman Sachs’ newest loan product, the money-center bank is making a smart bet. Goldman Sachs announced Tuesday that it will begin offering home improvement loans through Marcus, its consumer-focused subsidiary. Borrowers can get loans in amounts ranging from $3,500 to $40,000 for a period of three to six years. The loan product carries no fees […]

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19 January 2018

How to Declutter Your Attic, So It Isn’t a Creepy, Chaotic Mess

KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock Few dare to learn how to declutter an attic. After all, this is where junk goes to die. Once stuff lands here, you forget about it entirely—out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, not really. These once dark, cobweb-filled eaves are undergoing startling transformations into playrooms, offices, and other types of useful space. Even if all […]

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18 January 2018

How to Get a Building Permit: Don’t Renovate Without It!

kemaltaner/iStock How to get a building permit is one of those things you’ll need to learn when you renovate your home. That’s right—even though you own your house, you still need to get permits for structural changes, to ensure that your changes will be “up to code,” as they say. Before you start grumbling about all this […]

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18 January 2018

Joanna Gaines Reveals Her Wild Side: Will She Get Hauled ‘Off to Jail’?

HGTV “Fixer Upper” fans all know that Joanna Gaines is the sensible one in her marriage. But at long last, we see her rebel streak on the show, prompting her husband, Chip, to remark, “If a police officer saw you do this, he would haul you off to jail!” Wait, what? Blame it on a can of orange spray paint. […]

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18 January 2018

Wood Countertops for Rustic and Modern Kitchens: Costs, Care, Advantages

mtreasure/iStock To give your kitchen the ultimate cozy look, nothing beats wood countertops. They’re a warm and inviting alternative to more sterile options such as concrete or marble. Of course, that doesn’t mean that a giant block of walnut or maple works only in a rustic kitchen. Depending on the type of wood and finish you choose, wood countertops can […]

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18 January 2018

Is That Buyer’s Personal Offer Letter Full of Lies? A Telltale Guide for Home Sellers

Antonio_Diaz/iStock A house is rarely just a house to its owner. It’s the place where you painstakingly added your personal touches, the place where you built years of memories. And when you’re selling, chances are good you want to see your home go to someone who will love it as much as you did. Increasingly, buyers will submit […]

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17 January 2018

How to Install Gutters to Protect Your Home From Water Damage

MyrKu/iStock Knowing how to install gutters can pay off big-time, saving a homeowner from water damage during the time of year when the weather is at its nastiest. Essentially, gutters divert water and snow off the roof and away from the house, says Matt Michaels of Lowe’s Home Improvement in Charlotte, NC. “Gutters safeguard and improve the […]

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17 January 2018

The Best Big Dogs for Apartments: Large Breeds for Small Homes

ChristopherBernard/iStock The best big dogs for apartments tend to be the mellowest breeds—just as you might have guessed. They can thrive in small spaces because, in spite of their large size, their lower energy needs mean they don’t need a large indoor space to roam. That’s good news for those of us living in limited square footage. […]

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17 January 2018

What Is ‘APR’? Annual Percentage Rate, Explained

pawel.gaul/iStock What is “APR”? The annual percentage rate, or APR, is how much you’ll pay in interest and other fees when you get a mortgage to buy a home. The “and other fees” clause is key here. When people get a mortgage, they often obsess over the interest rate alone—say, that 5% extra you’ll pay over the life of your […]

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