• Buying or Selling a Selling Home

Buying or Selling a Selling Home

5 Ways to Protect Outdoor Wood Furniture

While wood furniture is gorgeous outside, you’ll need to protect it to lengthen its lifespan, or you could face rot and unsightly discoloration in no time.

Below are several tips to help your wood weather.

Paint
A coat of paint is the top way to protect your outdoor wood, and although you will lose that natural look, it may be worth it considering how much longer that wood will last.  Go for a latex paint over an oil-based paint, as latex will last longer so you won’t need to touch up as frequently.

Seal
Don’t want to mess with your wood look? Consider a water sealant instead, especially if your area gets rain. Water sealers work in two ways: they protect your furniture from moisture outside but...

9 Tricks for Organizing Your Kitchen Counter

For many the kitchen is the hub of the home. It’s a gathering place for chats over coffee or tea, catching up on what’s happening in family members’ lives. As such, things could get a little disorganized when it comes to kitchen—kids leaving the peanut butter and jelly out, dirty dishes waiting to be washed, etc.

When the counters in the kitchen are sparkling and free from disarray, it makes the area look more open and organized. Here are some tips you might want to put into use for keeping your kitchen counters clutter-free.

If you can hang it, do it. Hanging fruit baskets is an ideal fix for keeping fruit off the counters and opening up space. These kinds of planters are popular again, why not do the same for your apples, oranges and bananas?

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Behind the Scenes of a Real Estate Transaction

Buying a home is likely the largest financial transaction you’ll make in your entire life. It seems like it should be a personal decision for that reason. However, a decision this big requires many people to make it happen; probably more than you realize if you’re a first-time buyer. Here’s who you’ll want on your team before making the largest purchase of your life.

Real Estate Agent

An agent is there to guide you through the whole process, and will be the person who not only scouts listing for you and shows you homes, but finds you properties within your budget that fit your requirements in terms of location, size and layout. They aim to give you your dream home, but will quickly clue you into factors like budget that might mean making some compromises.

Mortgage...

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer

DIY home design is fun, but sometimes you have to call in a pro. We all know how we want our living space to feel, and a talented designer will help you bring that to life. Whether you’re looking to reenergize your home before bringing it on the market or need to personalize your new dwelling, these tips are key to finding the right designer to transform your home.

Do your research

It’s always a good idea to start by reviewing portfolios of numerous designers. Familiarize yourself with their past projects to get a strong understanding of aesthetics, styles, and use of space. As you make note of what speaks to you, this will also help you hone your vision and educate the designer on your personal preferences later in the process.

Ask for references

So you found an interior designer who...

Death, Taxes and Inherited Homes

Losing a family member is never easy. Neither is figuring out how to deal with the home and possessions they leave behind. It often falls to real estate agents to help those who inherit homes from their departed loved ones. While navigating this emotional time can be tough, it can also be very rewarding to help home sellers make their way through this difficult process. Find tips and insights from Brooke Cribbs, a popular DIY and organization blogger who recently gained firsthand experience with the intricacies of death, taxes and selling a home, to make the complex selling and grieving process easier for your clients.

Cribbs of the CribbsStyle blog helps her website visitors tackle the chaos...

Is Optional Insurance Worthwhile When Renting a Moving Truck?

If you’re going to rent a truck when moving, one of the first questions the clerk will ask you is: Do you want to buy the optional insurance we offer?

While your auto, homeowners or renters insurance may cover damage to a rental truck or your contents inside the truck during a move, the extra insurance can be worth checking into.

Here are some questions to ask when that clerk tries to sell you insurance:

What if you’re at fault? A rental truck company likely won’t cover you for physical damage you cause to the truck or bodily injury you suffer in an accident where you’re at fault; however, your personal car insurance may cover property damage or bodily injury to others in the case of an accident. Keep in mind, your auto insurance policy likely excludes vehicles that weigh...

5 Things Real Estate Agents Want You to Know

Thanks to a glam Hollywood treatment and an influx of design and reno shows, the world of real estate can look like a pretty sweet deal. You tour some high-end houses, sign some papers, close a few deals and you’re set. Right? In real life, it’s a little more complicated than that. From emotional sellers to DIY disasters, real estate agents deal with challenges just like any professional. Here’s what they wish you knew about the job:

“Reality” television isn’t that real. Shows can make it seem simple and fun to buy a fixer upper, gut the place and sell it to make a profit, all within a short timeframe. In reality, these projects take much more time and often encounter more complications. Make sure you speak with both a real estate agent and a contractor before deciding...

Finding the Right Contractor

When people buy a house, they’re hoping to find their dream home, but that doesn’t mean the place is perfect.

Many new homeowners buy a house knowing they are going to want to make some renovations in rooms like the kitchen and bathrooms. This would most likely require the services of a contractor, and picking an honest, fair and talented contractor is of the utmost importance.

With a little research, you can find the right contractor for you. Start by following these steps:

Read online reviews. Websites like Yelp and Angie’s List offer insights from people who share the experiences they had with all sorts of businesses, including contractors. They can be a great resource, but it helps to be a smart reader. Be wary of reviews that pile on praise to a degree that seems over-the-top, and, likewise, don’t...

Are Home Improvements Tax-Deductible?

When it’s time to file taxes, people want to claim as many deductions as possible. Home improvements are defined for tax purposes as work that increases the value of a home, extends its useful life or modifies it so it can be used for a new purpose. Examples include adding a new room, upgrading plumbing or electrical wiring, remodeling the kitchen or bathroom, replacing the roof, and adding a deck or walkway. Home improvements may be tax-deductible, but only in specific circumstances.

Home Used Exclusively as a Residence 
If you only use your house as a residence, the costs of home improvements are not tax-deductible, but they may reduce the amount of taxes you’ll need to pay later when you sell your home. The basis is the amount of money you have invested in your home,...