Real Estate Blog

This article was written by Jennifer Kelly Geddes.

Exterior Terrace, barbecue area

NelleG/iStock

No summer weekend (or fall or mild winter weekend for that matter) is complete without grilling a few awesome meals in the great outdoors. So why isn’t anyone ever enthusiastic about coming over to your place for some hot dogs, bean burgers, or even wagyu steaks? Could it be that your backyard barbecue decor is a little less than appetizing?

Well, look no further than these ideas to get the creative juices running. From hanging lights to a full-on bar cart, these simple tweaks will make your Labor Day or any old excuse for barbecuing all the more memorable.

Hang lights

Candles are fine, but unless you get an early start, you’ll be eating your grilled emu in near

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This article was written by Renee Morad.

kid contractor

Andrew Rich/Getty Images

There’s something romantic, rewarding, and even downright inspiring about bringing an outdated house into the 21st century—but ask anyone who’s been there and done it, and they’ll tell you the remodel process will test your patience, your budget, perhaps even your sanity.

“It’s a journey into the land of unknowns,” warns Mike McGrew, treasurer for the National Association of Realtors® and CEO of McGrew Real Estate in Lawrence, KS. “You just don’t know what’s inside that wall and how much more it might cost to remove, say, that sewer line until you get in there.”

That’s not to say that renovating a home can’t pay off big-time, especially in the long run. And luckily, there

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This article was written by Jennifer Kelly Geddes.

front porch swing and seats for curb appeal

imagepointphoto/iStock

Most savvy home sellers know that curb appeal is important to make a great first impression on potential home buyers as they pull up and park at, well, your curb. But if the prospect of painting your whole house or landscaping your yard seems too pricey, never fear: There are plenty of ways to create high-impact curb appeal on the cheap.

Check out these ideas that require little investment time but pay off big-time down the road.

Paint the ugly bits

Not up for painting the whole house? Then one budget-friendly alternative is to repaint just the trim, mailbox, and other small areas. You can also put your brush to better use by covering up unsightly things like

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This article was written by Jonathan Smoke.

mortgage refinance

-Oxford-/Getty Images

It took a long week for U.S. consumers to fully wake up to the lower rates that followed Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. But now that they have, they’re beating a path to mortgage lenders’ doors.

Mortgage applications surged 14% last week to their highest level in more than three years. Applications of almost every type rose dramatically against the backdrop of rates that are at their lowest point in over three years.

The weekly data from the Mortgage Bankers Association confirm that lower rates are indeed driving a huge increase in applications this summer compared with last summer. The index tracking all mortgage applications is up 64% on a year-over-year

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This article was written by Daniel Goldstein.

mancave1

Werner Straube Photography

This Father’s Day, when it comes to what dads want in a home, the answer seems clear: their own space.

While moms appear to be more practical when it comes to home design, dreaming of features like mud rooms so kids can change out of grubby clothes before tracking dirt into the house, or open floor plans so they can keep tabs on kids who are hanging out in the living room while they’re in the kitchen, dads want to get away from it all.

“We’ve been asked to search for homes with a separate snack kitchen, cigar lounge, a quiet napping room just for dad,” said Bruce Elliott, a Realtor with Regal Real Estate Professionals in Orlando, Fla. “Even room for a home

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This article was written by Laura Winter.

wine spill

BanksPhotos/Getty Images

If you’ve been in your home for a while, it’s probably withstood a good amount of wear and tear. Maybe even a great amount. Scratches on the wood floor, stains on the carpet, your kids’ crayon “art” on the wall—that’s just life. But what if you’ve got visitors—or more important yet, home buyers—coming over that you want to impress?

Sometimes there isn’t time to repaint, resand, or even conduct a thorough cleaning. And that’s where these easy cleaning home hacks and repairs will help in a pinch. Try these fast fixes:

Scratches in wood

Whether it’s a scrape or shallow gouge in your wood furniture or floor, it’s a nut job. Walnuts, to be more specific.

“Break open a

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This article was written by Credit.com.

cleaning grill

Stephan Zabel/iStock

Summer is just around the corner, so the time is ripe for thinking about some home improvements that can help you enjoy the longer, warmer days to their fullest.

Here are nine things you can do now that won’t break your bank account (or housing budget) and will ensure you get your summer off to a great start.

1. Buy some plants you won’t kill

Plants can add a ton of beauty to your yard, patio, or porch, but they can also be expensive, especially if they die because you don’t have the right soil or you put them in too much or too little sun.

If you don’t know a lot about what kinds of plants do well in your region or those that are easiest to care for, reach out to your

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This article was written by Jonathan Smoke.

for-sale-signs-in-a-row

David Cooper/Getty Images

Across the United States, home sellers are feeling good. Great, in fact. And why shouldn’t they? The residential real estate market is healthier now than it has been in over a decade. Across the board, we’re seeing strong demand turn into fast-moving inventory and higher prices.

If there’s been any problem with this picture, it’s that the supply of homes for sale in some markets has been tighter than tight, leaving many would-be buyers in the lurch. Thankfully, there are plenty of factors leading more and more existing homeowners to realize that now is a great time to sell a home—and buyers may see the benefit.

Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey gives a good reading

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This article was written by Jennifer Kelly Geddes.

japanese rock garden

scorpp/iStock

Warm weather means you’ll be spending more time outside—which also means it’s time to funnel your home decor muse into your yard. After all, a deck, porch, grassy lawn, or garden can serve as an extension of your home’s carefully wrought style—or, alternatively, it might be just the spot to try something different.

So if you’re feeling frisky and like you want to take some risks, there’s no better source of inspiration than the world at large. To this end, your outdoor space could remind you of a favorite vacation spot or be filled with travel souvenirs. Bring the wider world into your own backyard with these nine design ideas from across the globe.

From Peru: Vertical

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This article was written by Gina Roberts-Grey.

moving-day

Peter Dazeley/iStock

If you’ve ever moved, you probably know that everyone seems to have an opinion on the best way to go about it.

Well, don’t let your already tenuous grip on sanity fall prey to their well-meaning moving advice. Because moving is stressful enough without crazy talk and terrible pointers. So here are the four common moving myths that will almost certainly derail you, if you let them. Beware!

1. Free moving boxes are best

Free is good, right?

Not necessarily, when it comes to moving boxes.

While you may be tempted to head to your friendly neighborhood liquor store to plead for castoff cartons, resist the urge. You should never skimp on boxes, even if that means

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