Take note of these last-minute moves to keep your home out of harm's way during winter storms.
A: It's not too late to take some precautions that can help protect your home and avoid potentially expensive damage. Taking the following steps even a day or two before a winter storm hits can make a big difference.
1. Keep your pipes warm. Some of the most expensive winter damage comes from burst pipes. Even if the rest of your house is warm, the water in the pipes in your attic, basement, crawl space and in the back of cabinets can freeze. Wrap the pipes in the cold parts of your house in insulation, and open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. Also, let water drip slowly from the faucets to help keep the water flowing.
The trickle-down effect of a decline in homeownership has put more rentals out of reach.
Since the housing crisis began in 2008, approximately 4.6 million homes were lost to foreclosure, according to CoreLogic. The vast majority of those homeowners became renters. Even as housing recovered, credit tightened, pushing even more potential buyers out of homeownership and into rentals, both apartments and single-family rental homes.
There are now 43 million renter households, or 35 percent of all U.S. households, the highest rate in over a decade for all age groups, according to Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies; 4 million more renters today than there were in 2007. For those ages 25 to 54, rental rates are the highest since the center began record keeping in the early 1970s.
Here are the most popular moves in home interiors this past year.
Ease, comfort and a return to rustic touches marked this year’s interior design trends. As we’ve noted, bright pops of color — such as purple, teal and emerald — coupled with cool neutrals made up the palate of 2013.
But what about the overall decor?
We scoured the blogosphere and checked in with Sheila Schmitz, editor at Houzz, a home-design and renovation site, to round up the year’s interior trends.
If you're looking to buy a house, it's time to get educated.
If you’re considering buying or selling a home, you may have asked co-workers, friends and family for advice. But you might want to check with the professionals, because the rules of the real estate game are different today than they were 20 or even 10 years ago. Because of this monumental shift, there are lots of misconceptions about buying a home that could cost you big when it comes time to go house hunting.
Here are five of the most common real estate myths.
With the market perking up, more homes across the country are pitched as 'perfect for entertaining.'
In the years immediately following the housing bust in late 2007, real estate agents focused on functionality and facts, such as the square footage and condition of the house, to convince buyers that they were getting a good deal. Now with the market improving, sellers are seeking to establish an emotional connection with buyers by focusing on lifestyle features instead.
As a result, nearly 2 percent of homes on the market are described as "perfect for entertaining" — or one out of every 64 homes, according to an analysis by real estate brokerage ZipRealty. That is a 15 percent increase over the past year. ZipRealty examined listings in 24 major metro areas from the first quarter to the third quarter of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.
Experts weigh in on what's in store for real estate as the calendar turns.
The U.S. real estate market made a robust comeback in 2013, surpassing expectations of many economists, as the combination of low inventories and historically low interest rates caused home prices to rise and even helped fuel bidding wars in some markets, surpassing the expectations of many economists. While positive trends, such as increasing home values, are expected to continue into 2014, mortgage rates are also expected to rise in the coming year and could put a damper on homebuyers' abilities to afford new homes.
Looking back at some 2013 data can give us a hint of the year ahead.
Beware of these sometimes-unexpected expenditures that pop up before you set foot in your new house.
Most of us have a basic understanding of what goes into buying a home. After saving enough for a down payment and getting pre-approved for a mortgage, you can start your home search and make an offer once you’re ready. But before you ever set foot in that new house of yours, there are going to be quite a few costs that come up, many that you may not be expecting.
In order to prepare yourself, you should be fully aware of all the costs that go into buying a home. That way, you won’t be surprised at any point during the process.
These widely available programs can help you afford to buy a home.
Buying your first home is an exciting process, but it can also be a nerve-racking experience. You invest a lot of time and energy seeking the right home in the right neighborhood. Then the real challenge begins: financing it.
Getting a mortgage loan requires you to have enough money in the bank to pay all of the costs associated with closing the loan, plus enough left over to convince the lender that you can actually afford to pay a monthly mortgage payment.