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Sports & Outdoors
Add living space to your home with an easy patio makeover
(BPT) - Everyone looks forward to a shift into summer mode, with its sun-soaked days, flower-scented breezes and velvety nights under the stars.Now's the time to take advantage of a golden opportunity right outside your door. Celebrate summer and all it offers by recreating your outdoor space. Wheth ...
Changing weather patterns leave homeowners underinsured
(BPT) - The U.S. has experienced significant shifts in the frequency, severity and locations of natural disasters - including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires - during the past decade.As a result, more than 800 emergency or disaster declarations were made in the U.S. from 2005-2015, accor ...
Here's how to tap into your home's not-so-hidden potential
(BPT) - Your most valuable asset is around you all the time. It’s above you, it’s below you and in many cases you don’t realize how much it can do for you.According to the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., “Americans have a staggering amount of untapped equity in their homes.” How much? Altogethe ...
Big-impact ideas for small patio spaces
(BPT) - Do you have a small patio? Do you think you can't do much with the space due to its size? There's probably a lot more potential than you think.From the influx of urban dwellers, empty-nesters in transition and even the tiny-home movement, the trend of downsizing continues across the United S ...
Survey: African-Americans passionate about homeownership, but fewer own homes
(BPT) - More than any other demographic group, African-Americans perceive homeownership as an integral component of the American Dream, and a way to build security and wealth for their families, according to a recent survey.The poll by Ipsos Public Affairs, conducted on behalf of Wells Fargo, found ...
5 green home improvements that can help sell your home for more
(BPT) - Demand remains high for energy-efficient, eco-friendly home features, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders. In fact, the majority of builders now put energy-efficient windows, heating and cooling systems, thermostats and appliances in their construction, the sur ...
Hardworking kitchens can still have style
(BPT) - Years ago, the kitchen served a very utilitarian function - a place to prepare food and clean the dishes. Today, it's truly the nerve center of the house where people eat meals, discuss the day's events, plan calendars, do homework, check e-mail and entertain guests.With that increased deman ...
3 ways to personalize your home's curb appeal with an eye-catching front door
(BPT) - At its core, the desire to create a home with curb appeal is a desire to make a home uniquely one’s own. After all, no matter how beautiful they are, rows of homes that look the same inherently fail to capture attention. Using personal touches, people want friends and family to know which ho ...
3 ways to quickly and economically save big bucks on home heating and cooling costs
(BPT) - What would you rather do: Pay your utility bill or take a much-deserved vacation? With an endless stream of bills each month, you might wonder where you can find the money to jet off to the beach or mountain resort of your dreams. Read on for the solution. The average U.S. household spends m ...
Don't suffer the pain of high energy bills in your next home
(BPT) - Do you cringe each month when your utility bill arrives in the mail? If high energy costs are getting you down, don’t blame your electronic devices. Heating and cooling are the largest energy expense for most homes, reports the U.S. Department of Energy.If you dream of building a new, custom ...
Plumbing the possibilities: Kitchens, showers and baths highlight outdoor living spaces
(BPT) - The trend toward outdoor living spaces that mimic the look, comfort, convenience and functionality of indoor spaces doesn't have to stop at the backyard grilling station. A growing number of homeowners are exploring new additions to their outdoor spaces, including outdoor showers and powder ...
Instilling garage logic in your kids
(BPT) - It’s a long-standing tradition performed at the workbench of American garages — passing garage logic to the next generation. From hammering that first nail to changing a car’s oil, the garage is a living laboratory where parents teach their kids life lessons, self-reliance and problem-solvin ...
Top 6 home decorating trends
(BPT) - If you're planning to tackle a home decorating project this year, here are the top trends you should consider:1. Marble wallpaper: A lot of the 2017 trends are about going back to classic styles, and it doesn't get much more classic than marble. Few materials evoke high-end living as simply ...
How PMI can make your dream of home sweet home a reality
(BPT) - In the 2017 housing market, those who choose to pursue the dream of owning a home face several important decisions, such as how much to put toward a down payment. Twenty percent down is typically recommended by most lenders.While 20 percent is not a requirement, paying less can have a big im ...
5 mistakes to avoid when buying your first home
(BPT) - Buying a home for the first time is comparable to the first time you ride a bike. You can learn about how it works from your parents and observe it from a distance, but you really won't know the ins and outs until you actually sit down on the bicycle and start riding.Like most beginners, fir ...
Tips for choosing an energy-efficient, eco-friendly HVAC system
(BPT) - The majority of Americans (74 percent) care about the environment, according to Pew Research. If you recycle regularly and have a programmable thermostat, you're already doing something positive for the environment. But when it comes time to replace your heating, ventilation and cooling syst ...
Small nest egg, big dreams? Tips for buying your retirement home
(BPT) - Planning for retirement means making a lot of decisions, including when you’ll stop working, how much you’ll withdraw from your savings each year, and where you’ll live. Many Americans view retirement as an opportunity to move into a house they’ll love and live in for all their golden years. ...
Spring home improvements you can do in 24 hours or less
(BPT) - For most of us, the idea of spring cleaning probably sounds refreshing after a winter of bundling up against the cold. Now that spring has arrived, it's finally time to get started! Sprucing up your home doesn't have to take lots of time, and is a great way to leave you feeling reinvigorated ...
The lowdown on low down payment mortgage
(BPT) - You would like to buy, but you can't manage that 20 percent down payment. Does this sound familiar?The down payment is the biggest impediment to buying a home according to surveys, but in reality many individuals can qualify for a mortgage with as little as 3 percent down.It is important to ...
7 home improvements to tackle before you move in
(BPT) - You found the perfect home, so it's not surprising that you want to move in as quickly as possible. However, there are some projects that are best done when the house is still empty.So, consider completing the following seven items before the moving trucks arrive.* Painting. A fresh coat of ...
5 fast shortcuts to make your home sparkle this spring
(BPT) - We all know that one person who just adores cleaning. But for the rest of us, it's a necessary evil that gets old very quickly!Before you tackle that long list of spring cleaning tasks, try some of these cleaning hacks designed to make these chores faster and easier. When cleaning is fun and ...
What would Americans do to make their move in 2017? [Infographic]
(BPT) - Owners.com, an innovative online brokerage, recently commissioned a survey of consumers considering a home purchase in 2017. As real estate prices continue to increase and inventory remains low in some markets, the study found that consumers are making significant compromises to purchase a h ...
4 hot, high-tech upgrades to give your bathroom over-the-top luxury
(BPT) - Americans love luxury and technology, so it's no surprise that the two are meeting and thriving in one of our favorite places - the bathroom. Just as technology is transforming every other area of the house, inside and out, it's recreating our concept of what constitutes a luxurious bathroom ...
Home sellers: 6 last-minute cleaning tasks to do before every showing
(BPT) - Real estate experts agree: dirt and clutter are the anti-staging elements that can send buyers running for the door before they ever think of making an offer. Prior to staging your home, invest some time in deep cleaning it, paying attention to everything from the front walk to the garbage d ...
Thoughtful home design: 4 tips to transform any small space
(BPT) - During the 1950s, the average-sized American home was just around 1,700 square feet. Fast forward to today, and the average size has increased to about 2,600 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While many Americans think the bigger the better, there is a growing trend of homeow ...
How trending home colors achieve their 'hot' status each year
(BPT) - You see it every year — a “hot” new color begins appearing on phone cases, walls, ceilings, furnishings and accessories. Soon, virtually everyone who’s doing any kind of renovation or design work is incorporating that color into their project. Have you ever wondered how home color trends hap ...
Self-employed? Tips to help you navigate the mortgage process
(BPT) - Sponsored ad content by Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.When you're self-employed, you often work harder than anyone else you know. That's what it takes to be your own boss. While rewarding, it comes with a lot of added responsibility. This is especially true when applying for a mortgag ...
Make a striking focal point the foundation of your spa-like bathroom
(BPT) - American homeowners' desire for spa-like bathrooms shows no signs of waning, says the latest Design Trends report by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). From freestanding bath tubs and floating vanities to LED lighting and soothing color schemes, some of the most-requested bath ...
Flood insurance: Does your excuse hold water?
(BPT) - We know the old saying: when it rains, it pours… and when it pours, it floods. With winter snow storms coming to an end, the threat of flooding increases as the snow begins to melt and the rivers and creeks begin to swell. It's easy to forget about how powerfully destructive water ...
Exterior home improvements yield higher ROI for less money, report shows
(BPT) - Renovation season is approaching. Do you know what home improvements will give you the best return for your money? Here's a hint: step outside.You might assume upgrades to interior spaces like kitchens and bathrooms have the best payoff, but most home improvements don't return 100 percent of ...
Tackle your DIY projects with these 3 multipurpose tools
(BPT) - DIY projects are surging in popularity right now and it's easy to see why. A successful DIY project can fix a problem or make a much-needed improvement to your home, while also providing you with the satisfaction of a job well done. Best of all, it allows you to save money over hiring a prof ...
Light solutions: What to do when your house feels like a cave
(BPT) - A house with ample windows can win your heart with silent promises of sun-drenched rooms and warm breezes wafting through open windows. The truth, however, is that even a home with windows galore can have rooms that feel dark and cave like.Some of the most-loved aspects of modern design - op ...
4 bathroom design trends that marry luxury, beauty and sensibility
(BPT) - When you’re ready to create the bathroom of your dreams, it’s no time to chase fads. You want design trends with enduring appeal, concepts that blend luxury, beauty, sensibility and eco-friendliness. Striking the perfect balance between indulgence and practicality can result in a bathroom wh ...
What you should know about rising interest rates
(BPT) - Homeowners planning to refinance and buyers searching for a home may have an idea of what's in store for them with regards to interest rates, but they never really know until they lock in a rate. Rates can change direction fast, and when they rise-as they have recently-it can cost borrowers ...
Six factors driving the cost of your new HVAC system
(BPT) - More than half of homes in the U.S were built before 1980, according to U.S. Census figures. With most home heating and ventilation systems lasting around 20 years, millions of American homeowners will be looking at replacing their HVAC systems this year. If you'll be among them, understandi ...
Where to find rebates, tax credits and rewards for energy-efficient home improvements
(BPT) - If you're planning to make some home improvements this year, you're probably thinking about energy-efficient options, knowing they can save you money in the long run. However, many eco-friendly home improvements that help lower your energy bills can also pay off right away in the form of reb ...
6 easy, affordable smart home features that could help you sell your house faster
(BPT) - Fresh paint on the walls, professional staging and an asking price that ends in 999 - when you're selling your home, you'll do whatever you can to help it stand out and sell faster. Because the National Association of Realtors is predicting modest growth for the 2017 real estate market, as a ...
4 hot bathroom design trends that don't have to cost a bundle
(BPT) - Coffee bars, TVs in mirrors, smart toilets and pet-friendly amenities - a growing number of homeowners are requesting such upscale features in their bathroom design, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Is it any wonder that association members report the average co ...
Plumbing the power of a powder room addition
(BPT) - Never underestimate the power of a powder room to make your home more livable and increase its resale value. Having more and nicer bathrooms consistently scores high in surveys on homeowners' wish lists. What's more, extra baths deliver more than just convenience; a National Association of R ...
5 home-building secrets you should know
(BPT) - Thousands of Americans who are in the process of building their own home, or simply looking into it, are faced with hundreds of different questions. Granite or quartz countertops? Neutral or bold colors? Tile or hardwood flooring? And those questions are just the tip of the iceberg.Being abl ...
The dams are all right, but officials keeping an eye on them
Antonson, Swartout star for Cruisers
Some of that smalltown feeling is lost
Sound Transit’s car-tabs fee might be adjusted
Landowners and developers want water-rights relief
Rocky road so far for gravel mine
Composer returns to musical roots
Commissioners fire Graham fire chief
Cell phone service in Ashford-Elbe upgraded; Rainier next?
No drips too small for saving environment
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