Overwatering and cutting grass too short are common mistakes that only add to your burden.
Ah, spring bliss. The snow has melted, flowers are blooming, lawns are effortlessly green -- it never lasts quite long enough, does it?
But a lush green lawn is attainable year-round, according to these lawn-care secrets from Right at Home.
I won't say it'll be effortless, but adding a few more steps to your repertoire just might decrease your seemingly hopeless attempts to keep your lawn healthy year-round.
Energy-efficient renovations are likely to grow even more after the House's passage of the 'Cash for Caulkers' bill.
As the economy starts to improve, Americans' pocketbooks also are opening wider, and it looks like homes are reaping some of the benefits.
In the first quarter of this year, home-improvement projects were up 49% over year-ago levels, with kitchen remodels and window improvements leading the pack, rising nearly 200% compared with the first quarter of 2009, according to Servicemagic.com (an MSN partner).
Many of the homeowners installing new windows are also the leaders of the pack in the new green energy trend, which is about to get even trendier after the House yesterday passed the so-called "Cash for Caulkers" bill, according to The Associated Press.
What a deal! The Bootjack Ranch in Colorado originally was listed at $88 million just two years ago.
While the foreclosure wave begins to catch up with some owners of multimillion-dollar properties, others among the super rich are buying homes at a savings that is simply beyond middle-class comprehension.
The more you buy, the more you save, especially if the price is slashed nearly in half.
According to The Wall Street Journal, what's believed to be the most expensive residential sale of the year just took place in Colorado, when Texas energy executive and billionaire Kelcy Warren bought the Bootjack Ranch for $46.5 million, nearly half off the original $88 million asking price.
Many seekers now are opting for the best of both worlds by buying in almost-new buildings.
First came the building boom, when condos were rising on nearly every corner in cities big and small across America. Buyers, lured by the shiny new appliances and airy spaces highlighted in showrooms, snatched them up, unit unseen.
Then after they moved in, the problems started. Some were built too quickly and may have had structural damage, while in other buildings maintenance fees may simply have risen as upkeep proved costlier than expected.
But what many condo owners nonetheless discovered is that buying new isn't necessarily better.
However, almost new, now that's like getting the best of both worlds.
A three-bedroom condo in the building that helped give Playboy founder his partying reputation is for sale at $2.9 million.
You missed your chance to buy Hugh Hefner's personal home, but you still can live in the place that helped kick-start his reputation: the original Playboy mansion on Chicago's Gold Coast.
According to Realtor.com, a 3,900-square-foot condo in the 1903 Victorian-style mansion that has seen its fair share of parties is up for grabs for $2.9 million.
Hefner turned the building into the Playboy mansion in 1959, using it for his lavish (other adjectives at your own discretion) events and parties until the 1970s, when he headed west and landed in Los Angeles, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Vacationers are booking elsewhere as they fear the effects on the Gulf Coast environment.
Just when it appears property values may be about to turn around, disaster strikes again, this time in the form of an oil leak off the Louisiana coast that's set to send the surrounding real-estate market crashing back down again.
Although so far, MSNBC.com says just an oily sheen has washed up on the shores of Louisiana, the deluge is expected to hit in the next couple of days as at least 210,000 gallons of crude spew into the Gulf of Mexico each day.
Even where the white, sandy beaches still are pristine, Gulf Coast property owners in the path of the oil already are feeling the effects of the disaster, according to Bloomberg.
Greg Miller, who manages 100 properties threatened by the spill, says he expects the effect on property values to be even worse than the area's brutal hurricanes.
The new owner of a townhome in a landmark district must remove an addition that was installed before he bought the building.
Recent homebuyer Arthur Minerof probably thought he was getting a great deal when the sellers of a New York townhome accepted his offer of $10.6 million, nearly half the $20 million they originally were asking for.
But that bit of euphoria probably didn't last long.
The Wall Street Journal writes that the city's Landmark Preservation Commission has since decided that Minerof must remove the entire top floor of his 19th-century Manhattan townhome, which is in a district that received landmark status in 1990.
The number of people who signed the dotted line in March also is up 21.2% from year-ago levels.
Even though homebuyers had to sign a contract for a new home by last Friday to qualify for the $8,000 tax credit, the results of the incentive will be trickling in for months to come as we wait for deals to close and price indexes to come through.
But if you just can't wait, you can at least catch a glimpse of likely future home sales through the National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index, which tracks the number of homebuyers signing contracts for a home.
So far, it looks like sales will continue their spring surge, with the index showing an increase of 5.3% from February to March, as well as a 21.2% increase over March 2009.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.