• Buying or Selling a Selling Home

Buying or Selling a Selling Home

6 Things You Should Know About Homeowners Insurance

If, as is often the case, your home is your biggest investment, it stands to reason you want to protect it against damage, theft or other disasters. Your lender, who also has a stake in the property, wants to protect it, too. In fact, they will require proof of insurance coverage before you can close on the purchase.

If you are ready to purchase homeowners insurance, here are six things you need to know:

1.  There Are Different Types of Policies.

Policies differ in terms of what they cover, so be sure you understand what you are buying. Does the policy protect you in case of any disaster except those omitted in the policy, such as flood damage? Does it include total replacement coverage? Coverage if someone is hurt on your property,...

How to Prevent Electrical Fires and Injuries

Electrical fires and accidents can result in property damage, shocks, burns and even death. Many tragedies can be prevented by using electrical outlets, cords and appliances correctly.

Use Plugs and Outlets Safely
Plugs should fit snugly into electrical outlets. If a plug is loose, it or the outlet is likely damaged. Have a broken outlet replaced by an electrician. If a plug is damaged, you may need to have the appliance repaired or replace it. If a plug has three prongs, never try to force it or alter it to make it fit into a two-pronged outlet.

When you unplug an appliance, hold the plug securely. Pulling on the cord could wear it out and cause damage to the appliance or outlet, an electrical shock, or a fire.

Young kids are often fascinated by electrical...

Expert Insights: How Can I Finance a Remodeling Project?

There are many ways to finance a remodeling project. If you have equity in your home, a good credit rating and steady income, you can refinance your mortgage and borrow a percentage of the equity to cover remodeling costs. Refinancing is a good option if you can get a mortgage interest rate at least two percentage points below your current home loan rate. Other options include a second mortgage, a home equity loan or an unsecured loan. Less popular options: margin loans, which are taken against securities you own, and loans from retirement plans, life insurance policies and credit cards.

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The 4-1-1 of Contingencies

A word that anyone who is going through a house sale should know is “contingency.”

And along with that, understand that just because a bid is accepted, doesn’t mean that the deal is going to go through.

How it works: A bid is made with the understanding that it is contingent on having the house inspected, with the buyer needing to approve the results. Contingencies are part of any standard contract and define the efforts that must be done before a deal is finalized in addition to the inspection, such as financing, insurance and agreed-upon repairs.

All of this is necessary because if something that was agreed upon is not done as stated, the potential buyer has an out. For instance, suppose the sale...

Home Hosting Tips You Need for the Holidays

Hosting guests in your home for the holiday season can be a joyful–but stressful–situation. As excited as you may be to have your friends and family join you for your next holiday event, without proper planning things can go from stressful to tense very quickly. These tips will help ensure that you and your home are truly ready for your guests this year.

Begin Early

There is a murphy’s law of holiday hosting; no matter how long you expect preparations to take, it always takes longer. Start early this year. You will thank yourself as the event gets closer. If you are preparing food for a big holiday dinner, take inventory of necessary ingredients and asses what items can be made in advance, and how soon.

Declutter

Few...

Tips for Designing a Dramatic Powder Room

All too often, powder rooms are an afterthought in home design. Being small and utilitarian, they just don’t get the same attention as the rest of the house. For some designers, however, that’s exactly why you shouldn’t be afraid to take a chance and be bold in the powder room. It’s the perfect way to introduce some surprising flair to your home and make it more memorable!

Here are five tips for designing a powder room that’s worth getting excited about:

Tactile Textures and Bold Patterns
The walls are going to define the ambiance in such a small space, making them a good area to focus on first. Ornate patterns that would be too overbearing anywhere else in the house can be fun to use...

5 All-Natural Cleaning Hacks to Transform Your Home

Looking for some natural ways to clean up your space? These are some easy, DIY cleaning tips that are also good for the environment.

Cream of tartar is perfect for stainless steel. Simply mix it with some coconut oil and scrub down your stainless steel appliances. You’ll get twice the shine with none of the chemicals.

Get yourself some lemons and salt. Need to clean off some grimy cutting boards? Sprinkle a hefty dose of kosher salt across the surface, cut a lemon in half and give it a good scrub. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse with water for a fresh smelling surface that’s perfect for cooking.

Microwave your sponges. This one might seem strange but it works. Just pop your sponges in the microwave...

10 Items You Can Declutter Right Away

Clutter is the bane of a well-curated home. It’s all too easy to let unnecessary objects pile up in your home. These 10 items are so easy to say goodbye to, you won’t believe you ever let them stay in your home in the first place.

Expired Toiletries

Makeup, lotions, and other toiletries can begin to harvest bacteria and simply go bad as time goes on. Toss expired or old items lurking in your bathroom drawer.

Old Spices

Spices lose their flavor and potency as time goes on. If you sniff your spice and the smell doesn’t come through, it’s time to toss it.

Extra Flower Vases

If you have a small vase collection as a result of delivery floral arrangements, pair it down...

Simple Heating Tips To Save This Season

Keeping your home warm and comfortable throughout the fall and winter season while simultaneously keeping your heating costs down is always a delicate balance. This is especially true if you are not a place to make a major renovation, but just want a few quick tips to get you through the cold months. Quit the tightrope act with these heating tips to save this season.

Regularly Change Your Filters

HVAC filters lose their efficiency as they grow dirtier. Keep your electric bill down and protect your HVAC from overworking by changing your filters regularly. Experts recommend changing at least seasonally, but you may choose to replace your filters monthly if your home is prone to dust or houses pets.

Reset Your Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans have...

Existing-Home Sales Stumble 2.2 Percent

The amount of existing for-sale homes in September totaled 1.83 million—barely a budge from the month prior, and a 2.7 percent decline from the previous year.

“We must continue to beat the drum for more inventory,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, says. “Home prices are rising too rapidly because of the housing shortage, and this lack of inventory is preventing home sales growth potential.”

Currently, inventory is at a 4.1-month supply. In September, the average listing was on the market for 32 days. Forty-nine percent of homes were on the market for less than one month.

Across all house types (single-family, condo, co-op and townhome), the median price in September was $272,100, a 5.9 percent increase year-over-year. The median price in the single-family...