• OK, we've said it time and again, but it bears repeating: Buying a home is a very big expense—and once you've kicked off all that spending, it's easy to find yourself caught up in rampant lifestyle inflation. After all, you've got an enormous, shiny new house just waiting to be filled with all sorts of nice stuff, right? Well, take some quick advice: Don't keep spending. Homeownership comes with its fair share of unique costs—property taxes and urgent repairs and energy bills, oh [...]

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    What are the tax benefits of owning a home? Homeowners might be wondering this right around now as they prepare to file their taxes. Or, you might be wondering how the new tax plan might affect the tax perks of homeownership when you file next year. Well, look no further than this complete guide to all the tax benefits of owning a home—for this filing year (2017) as well as the next (2018). Read on for the full rundown just to make sure you aren't missing anything that could save [...]

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    Home sellers had it good at the end of last year, racking up profits they hadn't seen in more than a decade, a new report finds. In the last quarter of 2017, sellers pocketed an average $54,000 over what they originally paid for their homes, according to a recent ATTOM Data Solutions report. That's up 0.49% over the previous quarter and nearly 14.6% over the same quarter the previous year. And it's the most sellers have netted, an average 29.7% profit, since the third quarter of 2007. [...]

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    As 2018 dawns, there's no question the real estate market is, well, a little crazy. Home values are surging, money is relatively cheap, and inventory is tighter than tight. That's all downright welcome news for owners who've been considering remodeling. "Remodeling remains a very attractive option to increase your home's value," says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com®. And that can be a smart move whether you're prepping your place for sale, or giving it a [...]

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    Image courtesy of Pixabay Are you and your pooch good citizens?  Whether you live in an apartment, condo or house, if you’re a renter there are certain etiquette standards you should embrace as a dog owner.  Here are some tips to ensure sure you and Fido stay on your landlord’s and neighbors’ good sides. Noise.  Is your dog a big barker?  Or, does Fido whine from the moment you leave until you return?  As some experts point out, if your dog is continually voicing his opinion[...]

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    New homeowners may have heard that winterization is important, but in the hubbub of your first year living in a home you own (finally!), it can be easy to overlook the need to prepare for the cold weather ahead. After all, it’s just not something renters deal with; prepping pipes for winter is often the landlord’s job. Ideally, you should winterize your pipes in the fall, before winter seriously sets in. But if you’ve forgotten and all of a sudden you’re in the middle of a deep [...]

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    Everyone has a few flaws. But if you plan to sell your home in 2017, these foibles can literally cost you—we're talking tens of thousands of dollars. What's more, many homeowners may not even be aware that certain actions can hurt their odds of selling their home (that is, until it sits on the market with no takers). To help clue you in, here's a list of regrettable blunders to kick to the curb starting now, even if you plan to put your home on the market later this year. Vice No. [...]

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    No matter how much you love and care for your home, things are bound to wear out and need fixing - especially when you hit the 10-year mark. To keep your house in tiptop condition, consider making these updates every 10 years or so. Get new carpet The average medium-grade carpet has a life expectancy of approximately 10 years. Of course, that depends on several factors, including the number of people and pets. Signs that you need to replace your carpet: rips, tears or stains, and odors [...]

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    If you're anything like us, you have the best intentions when entertaining. Nothing but the finest European linens for that guest bedroom! Casually arranged trays of Perrier and Voluspa scented candlesat every bedside! A basket of freshly baked muffins each morning! It's a sweet fantasy, but the devil, of course, is in the details—and the follow-through. In reality, the 24 hours before guests arrive typically involve frantic cleaning and haphazard stashing of bric-a-brac, not [...]

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    About 60 percent of first-time home buyers put down 6 percent or less on a home purchase in September. The median down payment has dropped from 6 percent to 5 percent for first-time buyers, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. But there are still many potential buyers on the sidelines who may be under the impression they need a bigger down payment before they can buy. NAR conducted a survey of non-homeowners earlier this year and [...]

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