From entertainment systems and fully functional kitchens to luxurious furnishings and decor, it's easy to drop a bundle on improving your outdoor living spaces. The choices seem to be unlimited. But no matter how much you love your deck or patio - and most Americans do - you probably don't have an unlimited budget for equipping your outdoor space.
If you've been thinking about selling your home, there's no time like the present. House hunters come out of the woodwork in warm weather months and "for sale" signs pop up everywhere. Your job is to set your home apart from all the others. In most areas around the country, it's a buyers' market. So how do you get a leg-up on the competition?
DEAR REAL ESTATE BOYS: I read your articles in the paper weekly, but I'm not really sure why, because you Boys seem to make fun of your profession. Your answers are normally done with a joke and you both just think you are funny. All that said, I am writing you because you usually write quarterly about the market and where the market might be heading. Could you please give your readers an update on the market?
When it comes to trends in interior design, the forecast through 2014 is looking bolder, brighter and more adventurously colorful than has been seen in a while. Up-and-coming palettes are earning descriptions including "youthful," "vibrant" and "positive," heralding the rebounding market's ready return to color.
Coming home from a long work day to a place of peace, quiet, relaxation and even harmony is a dream for many homeowners. And by creating an outdoor sanctuary in the backyard, this private place of solace will become the first destination for all members of the family when they need a break.
In this instant-gratification era, instant makeovers - from week-long juice diets to weekend home renovations - are a top 2013 trend. And according to Yahoo! Homes, so are instant kitchen updates achieved by refacing cabinets.
QUESTION: My husband and I purchased a home in October 2010 using a Federal Housing Administration mortgage through Bank of America. We had a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a private mortgage insurance requiring "up-front" money of $4,635.61 and a monthly premium. Luckily we were able to sell our previous home which was mortgage free and, together with savings, paid off this mortgage in February 2013 - about 28 months into the 30-year commitment. The FHA/HUD website states that a refund of some of the premium money is available if the following three criteria are met: