Home Ownership

Congratulations, You Bought A Home - Here's What You Need to Do Now

What should first-time homeowners know as they settle into their homes?

Congratulations, you bought a home! You overcame a myriad of homebuying obstacles to achieve the American dream. You also fixed your monthly housing payments and will hopefully be building equity for years to come. Now that you’re a homeowner, what comes next?

You might be itching to take down a non-load-bearing wall and start redecorating. However, there are a few more practical (i.e., way less fun) things to add to your to-do list first. Below are six steps new homeowners should take before they break out the sledgehammer.

1. Say hello to your neighbors

You might need more than to borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbors. These folks are an invaluable source of local knowledge. They’re likely aware of any problems and quirks in your shared...

In or Out? The Pandemic Trends That Are Here To Stay and the Ones That Are So Over

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a mad race for more space. Everyone seemed to want a larger house on more land where they could spread out, set up a home office and gym, and safely entertain friends and family on their terraces, decks, and patios.

Many of those home trends that took off are still going strong. Others, meanwhile, are going the way of social distancing. While the needs that arose during the pandemic may have shifted, many of the trends they inspired haven’t been lost. Many believe that the pandemic created significant changes in design and construction. So which trends are here to stay—and which have fallen out of favor as the pandemic ended?

Homes are Getting Smaller

The No. 1 thing on the wish list of most folks during the most claustrophobic days of the pandemic was more space. However, in the aftermath of those years, mortgage rates shot up and home prices...

11 Things Everyone Should Have Somewhere in Their Backyard

11 Things Everyone Should Have Somewhere in Their Backyard

A backyard is one of those all-American goals. You dream of having a space to gather friends, grow a garden, and run around with your dog. But if you’re a first time homeowner or renter, you may open your back door to reveal an empty patch of grass that needs some attention before it can become the relaxing retreat where you spend every evening. There are plants that need tending and entertaining spaces to create. There’s weeding to be done and birds and bees to feed. So whether you have a green thumb and can’t wait to dig in the dirt, or you’d prefer to focus on the yard games and accessories that will make your house the place to be on the weekends, here are the 11 things everyone should have somewhere in their backyard.

1. Native Plants or Pollinator Flowers

You’ve probably...

9 Ways to Save Money While Renting

With inflation jacking up the price of groceries to gas and beyond, just about everything has more expensive these days - and rent is no exception.

According to the most recent Realtor.com rental report, the median rent in the 50 largest U.S. cities has been setting record highs for 17 months straight, currently hovering at $1,879.

With numbers like that, finding ways to save money while renting - to buy a house, pay for a vacation, or fund other life goals - may seem like a daunting exercise in self-deprivation. But experts insist that today’s renters can still amass some cash reserves without feeling much of a pinch. It all comes down to pinpointing your priorities, and shedding the rest.

Renters just need to focus their search on what they need, and perhaps...

Home Renovation - 6 Steps to Modernizing Your Home

If you're just starting out on your home renovation journey, you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed with the practicalities of bringing your dream home to life. From finding out what permits you need to finding the professionals that will help you to realize your home’s potential.

When it comes to renovating a house you can easily be blindsided by technical jargon and legal requirements all the while trying to figure out where to start. Thankfully, these six steps will set you on the right track to ensure a successful home remodel.

HOME RENOVATION – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

So you’ve decided that this is the year that you’re going to transform your house into your dreams home. But what next? Whether you’re planning a home addition, seeking to make eco home improvements or planning...

Study: It's the Most Expensive Year to Mover Ever

Aside from rising mortgage rates and home prices, buyers are being squeezed by another escalating expense: the growing cost of moving services. This year has become the priciest for hiring movers in the nation's history, according to a new study from HireAHelper. Some states and metros are seeing costs rise by 40% year over year.

The average cost of a move was $427 nationwide in May, about 15% higher than a year earlier, the study shows. Ballooning gas prices, supply-chain disruptions and 40-year-high inflation are primarily fueling moving expenses. This means tha people need to spend more of their budget on housing. This additional cost may discourage people from moving, resulting in an even lower mover rate in 2022.

The demand for moving services has climbed with the rising homebuying and rental markets over...

The Best Ways To Save Money on Your Utilities: 2022 Edition

Whether you live in a manson or a condo, homes consume a ton of expensive energy - in the form of electricity, water, or gas. The good news? You can lower these bills and free up cash for other pursiots. What's more, these changes are far from complicated - some are as simple as switching your lightbulbs or tweaking the settings on your appliances.

Collectively, these tiny changes can add up to huge savings. So try a few or all to reap the benefits of a fatter bank account in 2022, and beyond.

1. Save on Electric Bill

One way to cut down on your electric bill? By killing what we call the "enery vampires" in your home.

Those are the little lights all over your house that indicate printers and chargeers are plugged in and ready but not in use. Energy vampires suck dollars out of your wallet, an average of $250 a year for a typical household.

The low-tech solution? Unplug these items before bed, which will save you as much as 10% on your energy bill. The high-tech solution...

Things Every Homeowner Should Know How to Do

Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibilites. While there are certain repairs and improvements in which it would be a wise decision to utilize a professional, there are many maintenance jobs that can be handled on your own. Here is a list of basic skills to help make oneself a better homeowner.

1. Clear Out the Gutters

Even the ladder-averse can clean the gutters twice a year to prevent pests and ice dams. Remove leaves by hand or with the assistance of a leaf blower, garden hose, or wet-dry vac. When you're up on a ladder, be sure to use a stabilizer. If sticking to ground level is more your style, you can still get the job done if you have special attachments for your leaf blower or wet-dry vac.

2. Fix a Dripping Faucet

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Majority of Aging Adults Say They’re Not Moving

Baby boomers hold the majority of real estate wealth in the U.S.—and as they age, they increasingly say they plan to stay put in their current homes. Sixty-six percent of U.S. adults aged 55 and older say they expect to age in place, according to a new Freddie Mac survey.

The housing supply in the U.S. has dropped to record lows over the past two years. This shortage of inventory has resulted in a sense of uneasiness from prospective aging adults who would be otherwise interested in selling and downsizing. Baby boomers in particular are straying away from these traditional selling patterns, which again, helps to exacerbate the housing shortage.

While these plans of moving are put to a halt due to a low amount of inventory, on a financial level, previous homeowners have been enjoying the upside of the past two years' worth of record breaking price increases. While this prospect for financial gain is definitely a factor of consideration for any home owner in this position, it goes without saying that homeowners...

How to Clean Ceiling Fans (and Stop Moving Dust Around!)

Ceiling fans improve air circulation, add a cool breeze during hot days, and even make a decorating statement. But have you taken a look at the blades when the spinning stops? They are dust magnets. If you see a layer of gray fuzz clinging to the edges of the blades, it's time for a cleaning—here's how to clean a ceiling fan without the mess.

Prep the Fan

Start by turning the fan off. Always use a sturdy step stool or ladder placed under the fan—no wobbly chairs! It's a good idea to have a spotter, just in case you fall. Open window coverings or add additional light sources so you have plenty of light while you work.

Pick a day that you also have time to dust and vacuum the room. Even if you spread a bed sheet or tarp on the floor, some dust will...