• 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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    The holidays are officially here—and while  merrymaking and gift shopping are likely top of mind, you may have to keep some of those celebratory urges in check if you're planning to sell your home next year. Why? Because many holiday season activities can come back to haunt you when your house is on the market, even if it's months later. Don't believe us? Here are five holiday splurges to avoid if you hope to have a smooth home-selling process next year. It's our gift to you! [...]

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    Moving into a new house involves more than arranging furniture and getting your kids acclimated to a different school. To feel truly comfortable and settled in another city or state, you'll want to make connections with neighbors and community members. Sure, it can feel awkward extending a hand to introduce yourself. But if you dive right in, you'll soon get beyond the "new guy" label and feel welcome. Here are seven ways to settle in after a move and make your new community feel [...]

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    This fall has been a balmy one, but winter is coming. For homeowners living in colder climates, the waning hours of daylight signal the time to start readying the home for snowy days and bitter nights ahead. Like a car, a home needs a regular tuneup: Heating systems need maintenance, chimneys need sweeping and windows need caulking. But keep on top of the hefty to-do list, and the chores become a routine you dutifully follow every year. “When it starts getting a little cold, we go into [...]

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    Sometimes the breaking point comes when you’ve circled the block for hours looking for a parking spot. Or when your baby is woken up yet again by the constant wail of sirens invading your street. Or when you start thinking of your nearby urban park as your "country space." That's it, you say—we're outta here. A move to the suburbs can seem like an idyllic alternative to many of the hassles of city living. But inevitably you'll wind up wondering: Will the burbs really be all [...]

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    PMI stands for private mortgage insurance. It’s an insurance policy your lender will take out to cover a portion of the amount you borrow in case you ever default on your loan. This means if you stop paying what you owe on your mortgage and the lender forecloses on your property and suffers a loss, the insurance company will pay out a claim to the lender. Even though PMI protects the lender, you are the one who must pay the premiums. That’s why it’s a good idea to avoid PMI when [...]

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    Few home renovation reality show hosts are as enjoyable to watch as Chip and Joanna Gaines from HGTV's "Fixer Upper." And for good reason: One, let's face it, they're a cute couple. Two, as the show's before-and-after pics make clear, Chip (a contractor) and Jo (a designer) are a potent combo when it comes to transforming humble hovels into gorgeous homes. And now fans craving more about this pair can get their fill with their first book, "The Magnolia Story," out Oct. 18. This [...]

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    Even homeowners who’ve successfully sold their place can be plagued by the shoulda-coulda-wouldas—meaning that, looking back, they wish they’d done certain things differently. Sometimes very differently. Regret can be a beast. One with teeth. The silver lining? We got these remorseful souls to tell us their stories so that you, future home seller, can learn from their mistakes! Read this rueful list of home sellers’ biggest regrets—and take note when the time arises for you to [...]

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    In today’s hot housing market, rents are on the rise, which may have you wondering whether it’s time to consider becoming a landlord. After all, who doesn’t like the idea of raking in rent checks every month? Still, being a landlord isn’t a cakewalk; it takes work, and sometimes it may seem like you’re shelling out more than you’re bringing in. Just so you know what you’re getting into, here are the steps on learning how to get into the landlord game. Step 1: Figure out [...]

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