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home : life : real estate
June 23, 2018

Don't suffer high energy bills any longer
(BPT) - Do you cringe each month when your utility bills arrive?The annual energy cost for a typical single family home in the U.S. is more than $2,000, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you can think of a thousand things you’d rather spend your hard-earned money on than electric... More >>

Build boldly with these 4 features of advanced decking
(BPT) - If you’re planning to create an outdoor living space, advanced decking enables you to show off your creativity. For years, complex deck designs have been difficult to achieve with traditional lumber. But, with advances in today’s decking materials, you have the flexibility to cr... More >>

6 sure-fire tips that save time and labor on yard work and gardening
(BPT) - It’s summertime, and you’ll want to spend many sun-drenched hours in the great outdoors. But while Mother Nature is flourishing, it feels like you’re wasting too many precious summer afternoons and evenings doing chores in the yard and garden.Give some of these labor-savin... More >>

Paint like a pro in 5 easy steps
(BPT) - Nothing transforms a home quite like a fresh coat of paint. In fact, painting your own house is one of the smartest and easiest DIY upgrades a homeowner can accomplish on their own.“Summer is the ideal time to tackle a painting project, as the warmer temperatures lead to faster drying... More >>

Top tips to help first-timers navigate the fast-paced housing market
(BPT) - Across the U.S., the housing market is picking up pace moving into the peak of the summer homebuying season.In city after city, home prices are on the rise, up 2.3 percent on average between April 2017 and 2018, according to the RE/MAX April 2018 National Housing Report. And there are fewer... More >>

3 simple ways to create the party deck of the summer
(BPT) - Cookouts, barbecues, family reunions and more are upon us, and as the coolest neighbor on the cul-de-sac, hosting the summer fun is a no-brainer. Throughout the colder seasons it’s easy to forget about your special role of summer party host, and maybe the dirt and grime on your deck i... More >>

3 easy ways to get on deck with the right decking
(BPT) - If The Old Farmer’s Almanac prediction holds true, this summer will be a hot one. The weather forecast anticipates temperatures for the season to be “hotter than normal” across most of the U.S. If you’re ready to kick up your feet and soak in these rays, now is the p... More >>

How to prep your home for a new addition to the family
(BPT) - Whether it’s a baby or pet, a new addition to the family calls for new, unexpected responsibilities, and is bound to come with adjustments for every member of the family. While it would be silly to guarantee zero stress for the new family environment, below are tips for a transition w... More >>

Be prepared for the 2018 storm season
(BPT) - For millions of Americans, the devastation of the 2017 storm season is still fresh in their minds. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the cumulative cost of the weather events in the U.S. was $306.2 billion. Whether you were directly affected by one of those s... More >>

Products to improve your home in 2 hours or less
(BPT) - The words home improvement usually conjure up images of major undertakings like tiling your bathroom or kitchen or tearing down a wall, taking hours and hours to complete the project. The fact is there are some meaningful home improvements you can do that can be accomplished in under two ho... More >>

How homeowners can prepare for summer storm season
(BPT) - It’s that time of year again when unwanted weather patterns like severe thunderstorms, rainstorms and tornadoes can wreak havoc on homes and businesses.While certain areas of the country are more apt to face tornadoes, virtually everyone is at risk for heavy rain, winds and hail, whic... More >>

5 home-buying tips for first-timers and old-timers
(BPT) - Whether you are buying a home for the first time or you are just looking for an upgrade, it is never a bad idea to arm yourself with tips that can make your search go from overwhelming to enjoyable. Rather than learning the hard way about hidden expenses and difficult neighbors, there are t... More >>

4 simple tips for hosting a memorable summer party
(BPT) - From outdoor cookouts to dinner parties on the patio, summer is the ideal season for entertaining guests. According to a recent survey commissioned by Delta Faucet, an overwhelming majority of homeowners (89 percent) plan to host at least one summer gathering this season. To ensure hosts ar... More >>

Lower temps at a lower price: How to improve the energy-efficiency of your home today
(BPT) - When the seasons change, the energy needs in your home change right along with them. And yet, whether you need to heat or cool your home, there’s one thing that never shifts: You want to do so as efficiently as possible.An energy-efficient home is more than just good for the environme... More >>

Take the sting out of summer with these pest prevention tips
(BPT) - If you’re like many people, the warm months of summer are when you are most active outdoors. You’re not alone. The same is also true for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. New findings show these pests are more than just an annoyance, they can pose a health risk. According to the Cent... More >>

Reclaiming the rooftop: Tips for decks with a view
(BPT) - Once reserved for the urban elite, rooftop decks are popping up all over the country as an attractive option that offers a mixture of space savings and an unrivaled view. Rooftop decks take what was formerly unused space — the top of a building or the flat roof over part of a home &md... More >>

5 tips for selecting the right railing for your deck
(BPT) - As one of the most visible elements of a deck, the railing serves an important aesthetic and structural role — adding support, safety and style. Here are five expert tips for creating the perfect perimeter for your outdoor space.1) Aim high and low — When choosing railing, look ... More >>

Top 4 factors that affect the cost of a new roof
(BPT) - No one wants to pay more for something than they have to, especially when it comes to a large home improvement purchase. So, why can there be thousands of dollars difference between contractor bids for neighboring homes? And how can homeowners get an idea of what a new roof will cost?In gen... More >>

4 decorating tips for the perfect outdoor entertaining space
(BPT) - When it comes to outdoor entertaining, making sure your space is ready is critical for enjoying summer — from its "unofficial" start over Memorial Day weekend all the way through Labor Day.Lowe’s recently partnered with Julia Engel, lifestyle influencer of Gal Meets Glam, to sty... More >>

Stay agile: 5 tips for easier aging in place
(BPT) - While many of us may dream of retiring and moving away to a beach-side resort or cabin by the lake, the reality is that most Americans look forward to remaining in their own homes so they can continue to enjoy familiar comforts, activities and loved ones. In fact, an AARP survey recently fo... More >>

Home improvement: One repair at a time
(BPT) - Tis the season … for home improvement. Longer days, warmer weather and more flexible schedules (hello, summer break!) have a way of inspiring home improvement projects. It’s as if appliances in and around the house emerge from the shadows of winter, calling out for attention. S... More >>

Feed your dog from a DIY concrete bowl
(BPT) - With dogs living in more than 60 million U.S. households, pooches are by far the most popular pet in America according to the America Pet Products Association’s 2017-2018 National Owners Survey. The same research also indicates that dog food accounts for a large proportion of the expe... More >>

Make the most of your landscaping projects this year with these tips
(BPT) - Home improvement projects aren't constrained to a single season, but during these warmer months, your focus is no longer simply on your home's indoors. Now there’s outdoor yard work to do as well, and if you're looking to recreate your outdoor space, your outside projects may include ... More >>

The benefits of child's play extend beyond exercise
(BPT) - When you think about the most important part of a child’s school day, what comes to mind? Is it reading? Science? Math or history? What about recess?Children will likely mention recess as their favorite part of the day, and new research shows that this free time is actually a fundamen... More >>

3 warm-weather home cleaning tips
(BPT) - Warmer weather and more daylight hours bring renewed energy to truly enjoy your home with family and friends. Spring is a great time to get rid of the lingering grime and grit of winter to keep your clean home happening all season long. With a thorough home clean, you can create a vibrant l... More >>

5 tips for financing your next home improvement project
(BPT) - Whether it’s transforming a fixer-upper into your dream home or just giving a makeover to your kitchen or bathroom, home improvement projects are on the minds of many new homeowners across the country.While many things about renovating your home are flexible, your budget might not be.... More >>

Do's and don'ts of attracting hummingbirds and getting one to land on your hand
(BPT) - Watching a hummingbird is enchanting. Their tiny size and incredible speed make them a natural wonder. Flapping their wings an estimated 70 times per second, they can move in every direction, or simply float majestically in midair.You may have observed hummingbirds in the wild, but you can ... More >>

Floor cleaning 101
(BPT) - Flooring trends change through the years as homeowners acquire new tastes and technology allows for a larger variety of flooring designs. Deep ebony and driftwood finishes peaked in 2017, while 2018 trends are pushing toward wider planks, gray tones and even durable porcelain tiles designed... More >>

Wildfire protection starts in these 5 places
(BPT) - It’s National Wildfire Awareness Week. So, if you live in a wildfire-prone area, make sure you’re taking the right steps to stave off potential damage long before flames rage toward your doorstep.And one of the best ways to do that is to take a look at the home itself."It's a co... More >>

Simple summer home maintenance tips for comfort and energy savings
(BPT) - Things will soon be heating up all over the country. In fact, the average U.S. household will spend 3 percent more on electricity bills this summer than in 2017, due to rising retail electricity prices and higher usage, according to the U.S. Energy Administration’s estimation.Jennifer... More >>

Changing addresses? 10 tips for busy baby boomers
(BPT) - For many Americans, moving households represents a fresh start and a chance to improve quality of life. Last year, some 39.4 million Americans changed residences, thanks in part to better affordability in the housing market.That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone’s moving proc... More >>

3 ways to set the stage for the perfect summer soiree
(BPT) - The backyard barbecue is a staple of the American summer. Long days filled with sun, fun, family and friends are what make lifelong memories. Now is the perfect time to start planning for your next barbecue, so you, too, can create memories you won't soon forget.However, before you fire up ... More >>

Chef Michael Voltaggio's kitchen essentials inspire culinary innovation
(BPT) - When award-winning chef and culinary visionary Michael Voltaggio was remodeling his West Hollywood home, he purposefully selected kitchen essentials that facilitate restaurant-level culinary innovation in a residential setting. Chef Voltaggio’s home kitchen couples superior functional... More >>

5 questions to ask when shopping for a mortgage
(BPT) - Buying a home is a major financial commitment. It’s exciting, but can also be confusing and overwhelming. Choosing the best mortgage that fits your needs is an important first step and first-time homebuyers in particular should research the many options and know the right questions to... More >>

How your lawn equipment is harming the environment
(BPT) - Spring is upon us and our yards are beginning to bloom. The grass needs to be cut, the hedges trimmed and the debris blown away. This is an exciting time of year as we all look forward to getting outdoors after a longer than desired winter season.As we begin our list of warm-weather chores,... More >>

A home expert shares top tips for a worry-free vacation
(BPT) - When it’s time to embark on your well-deserved getaway, the last thing you want is to worry about the things that could go wrong at your unattended house.It’s pretty common to wonder if everything is OK while you're on vacation, says Chip Wade, an HGTV expert. Especially since t... More >>

Why would manufactured homes require a title?
(BPT) - On June 15, 1976, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) instituted the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards — more commonly referred to as the “HUD Code.”With these regulations, HUD defined the safety and quality standards requir... More >>

6 ways to revive your home with essential oils
(BPT) - Essential oils, highly concentrated essences of plants, have the power to improve our lives, revive our spaces and boost our mood, whether it's through diffusing them to add a fresh scent to the kitchen, creating a spa-like oasis in your bathroom or whipping up DIY cleaning products to use ... More >>

The most common causes of homeowners insurance claims
(BPT) - The value of homeowners insurance is often thrust into the national spotlight when natural disasters happen. The devastation and financial loss they can cause reinforces the importance of making sure you have adequate insurance coverage to rebuild if disaster strikes your home. In 2017 alon... More >>

4 ways to simplify your DIY projects and home improvements
(BPT) - Whether you're working on a spring home improvement project or a summer task, this is the time of year when you focus on improving your home both inside and out. As you look for ways to make your home even better, nothing beats a good DIY project.DIY home improvement projects are popular ea... More >>

Advice for adult children of aging parents who need help at home
(BPT) - Helping a parent stay active and healthy at home can be achieved with careful planning. The rewards of personally caring for, or managing the care of, a loved one who needs help are innumerable. It’s an opportunity to give back and to offer a return on the loving investment they once ... More >>

5 tips to create a personalized shed
(BPT) - The backyard. It’s your oasis. Your happy place. Your second living room. It’s the place to go not only for “me” time — but quality time with friends and family.This National Barbecue Month, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association wants to help you make yo... More >>

If it can rain, it can flood: Why flood insurance is a wise bet for homeowners
(BPT) - The federal government considers floods the nation's most common natural disaster. They strike every state and leave homeowners with huge repair costs. Why? Because typical homeowners insurance doesn't cover flood damage.Those policies may provide protection for water damage when it comes t... More >>

Home improvements to help your home sell faster and for more money
(BPT) - The real estate market is heating up, and if you're planning to sell your home in the future, you want it to sell quickly and for as high of a price as possible. By taking proactive action now, you can make a few strategic home improvements that can help you achieve both your goals.To boost... More >>

90 percent of homes have hard water: What are the effects?
(BPT) - Hard water, which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, can be found in nearly 90 percent of American homes. These minerals cause scaling, a buildup that clogs waterlines and plumbing forcing appliances to work harder and operate less efficiently. The scale may also harbor bacteria... More >>

Insider tips and tactics for buying a home in a seller's market
(BPT) - Whether you're a millennial looking to buy your first home or a boomer thinking about downsizing your empty nest, you're probably aware that it's a seller's market out there.Homes are selling at lightning speed, bidding wars are commonplace, buyers often have little to no room for negotiati... More >>

5 deep-cleaning jobs that are oddly satisfying
(BPT) - Whether it’s scrubbing through grime to reveal a sparkling surface, cleaning dust bunnies from under appliances or organizing your pantry, there’s something oddly satisfying about a deep clean.According to a recent survey conducted on behalf of Clorox, lots of people get the goo... More >>

Buy a home in 2018 with these 3 steps
(BPT) - So you want to buy a home? Congratulations! Homeownership can be a wonderful accomplishment and milestone in your life. But be forewarned that it might not be easy. The process is complicated and often comes with a few hurdles.However, if you follow the three steps below, you can make your ... More >>

How to handle rising interest rates in 2018
(BPT) - The nation’s central bank — the Federal Reserve — just raised interest rates by a quarter point. The Fed is expected to raise rates at least two more times this year by the same amount. That’s going to affect a lot of your finances, including your credit card bill, c... More >>

Call 811 before digging for home improvement projects and landscaping this spring
(BPT) - With spring having officially begun, many eager homeowners and landscape professionals across the country will roll up their sleeves and reach for their shovels to start projects that require digging this season.During the transition into “digging season,” Common Ground Alliance... More >>

How many miles per gallon does your home get?
(BPT) - Everyone wants the inside scoop on how to get the best deal. Ironically, consumers will do a bunch of research over a $500 smart phone and relatively little for the largest purchase of their lives, their homes.Most home buyers focus on price and payments, however, factoring in a home’... More >>

Farm-to-table: The hot food trend you can enjoy without leaving home
(BPT) - Farm-fresh eggs. Locally grown tomatoes. Herbs sourced onsite.If you've eaten out recently, you've probably noticed the menus feature locally sourced ingredients. The farm-to-table movement continues to flourish at restaurants throughout the country.In fact, rather than the exception, it's ... More >>

Spring lawn care is easier than ever
(BPT) - The snow has melted, flowers are beginning to bloom, and you wake to the sound of birds chirping: all signs that spring is here. Spring means time to give your lawn the TLC it needs, but most of us dread the thought of weekends spent occupied by yard work. Luckily, in 2018, getting that per... More >>

Credit tips for buying an investment property
(BPT) - If you love the idea of being a landlord, and don’t mind being on duty around the clock, buying an investment property may be the wealth-building option for you.Property values have enjoyed a steady increase over the decades. That’s why real estate has earned its reputation as a... More >>

Protect your home from termites this spring
(BPT) - Spring is officially here, bringing flowers, greenery and increased pest activity. Because termite evidence is more noticeable in warmer months, it is important to check for any warning signs every spring. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce the likelihood of a termite ... More >>

4 simple swaps when planning a kitchen refresh
(BPT) - Spring is in full swing, which means it’s time to reinvigorate your kitchen with a new look! When planning your refresh, consider these simple, stylish swaps that don’t require investing tons of time or budget.Upgrade your kitchen fixturesFaucets often serve as the centerpiece o... More >>

4 home remedies that will put more money in your pocket
(BPT) - What do you like to do for fun when you have some free time on your hands? Whether it’s seeing the latest blockbuster, sampling a delicious entree or taking a road trip, chances are your passions cost money. If you’re like many Americans, you may find you don’t have quite ... More >>

8 simple things you can do at home to improve indoor air quality
(BPT) - A clean house always looks and feels good. But did you know a clean environment goes a long way toward keeping you and your family healthy?For starters, dust holds dander and pollen, which explains why dust so easily triggers an allergy attack. But common household dust contains other bad s... More >>

10 reasons to plant a tree this spring
(BPT) - Did you know planting a tree is one of the easiest and most powerful things you can do to have a positive impact on the environment? It's true. Trees clean the air, prevent rainwater runoff, help you save energy and even combat global warming. And they're a snap to plant! No horticultural d... More >>

Simple strategies to stay on trend in your garden
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Silent destroyers: Tips to spot termites and prevent infestation
(BPT) - There are many reasons that termites have gained the nickname "silent destroyers." Five billion reasons, in fact.Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the U.S. each year. If left unchecked, they can silently chew through the structural stability of a home, eating away at... More >>

High-tech bathroom trends for 2018
(BPT) - Technology is trending in home design and decor this year, and some of the most dramatic, futuristic and fun tech trends are showing up in the bathroom. From glass doors and windows changing from clear to opaque with the touch of a button to toilets transforming the whole experience of goin... More >>

5 musts for a low-stress, on-budget DIY home project
(BPT) - Owning your own home is a life accomplishment for many adults, and keeping it looking sharp and adding your personal touches brings a sense of pride. It seems there are always things you want to improve, so don’t let a limited budget or lack of know-how hold you back from dreaming. Th... More >>

The unexpected entrepreneurs of Wausau, Wisconsin
(BPT) - In September 2018, thousands of people from around the world will congregate in an unlikely place: Wausau, Wisconsin.The diverse crowd will gather for the second International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival. While many may be surprised that such an event would be held in the middle of Wisconsin... More >>

Don't re-roof until you do these 5 things
(BPT) - With spring officially arriving, home improvement season is swinging into full gear. Fair warning to homeowners looking to hire a professional, 2018 is predicted to be a record-breaker.A recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University projects home improvement spe... More >>

Dominate spring: 5 easy steps to wake up your lawn
(BPT) - There are a lot of things people miss during the winter — flip-flops, shorts and warm sunshine. But one of the things homeowners miss the most is the sight of green grass.For months their lawns go into hibernation and disappear under a blanket of snow. Once the temperature starts to r... More >>

4 ways hardscapes can add value to your home
(BPT) - Outdoor hardscape projects add resale value to a home as well as bring extra enjoyment to homeowners while they are living in the home, according to the “Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features” by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the National Association of Lan... More >>

6 project ideas to recreate your kitchen
(BPT) - As the hub of activity in a home, the kitchen serves many purposes: meal prep base, dining area, family gathering place, celebration zone, and entertainment center, to name a few. Does your high-use, heart-of-the-home kitchen meet the challenges and needs of your family life?If not, then it... More >>

Marrying households: 7 savvy moving tips for newlyweds
(BPT) - If you’re planning a wedding or you’ve just tied the knot, congratulations! Getting ready to start the next chapter of your life with the one you love can be an exciting time, filled with anticipation about your future together.That said, combining two households can take consid... More >>

Are hidden leaks damaging your home, boosting water bills and harming the environment?
(BPT) - Home water leaks waste 1 trillion gallons of water per year, and 10 percent of American homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons of water a day, according to the EPA.Fixing easily detectable leaks like dripping faucets and malfunctioning toilets can reduce water bills and water waste. But wha... More >>

The secret places pests are hiding in your home
(BPT) - Pests can be hiding just about everywhere — whether you can see them or not. When you know where to look, there are preventative measures you can take to help avoid a pest infestation problem in your home. Terminix shares details on the unexpected, “secret” places pests ca... More >>








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