Real Estate

3 things that change when you own a home

By Courtney Jespersen NerdWallet You signed the papers, got the keys and opened the front door. Now, that quaint little place is all yours. But more freedom comes with more responsibility. A lot changes once you’re a homeowner. Here’s how to prepare for a few of the adjustments — ...

US new-home sales rose 3.7 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes climbed in December to their highest pace in seven months, a sign that lower mortgage rates are helping the real estate market. The Commerce Department said new-home sales rose 3.7 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000. ...

A social spot: trends in front-porch decorating

By Kim Cook Associated Press Back in the days before TV and air conditioning lured people indoors, Americans often hung out on front porches, enjoying the fresh air and socializing with neighbors. In later decades, when they wanted to relax outside, people tended to do it in the backyard, ...

US home sales tumble 1.2 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales fell 1.2 percent in January to their worst pace in more than three years, as persistent affordability problems have put a harsh chill in the real estate market. The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes declined 1.2 percent to a ...

Warm, casual Southwest style is hot in decor

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press A desert storm is brewing in the design world. Renewed interest in earthy color palettes, rich textures, tribal patterns and rustic elements has sparked a revival of Southwestern decorating style, long associated with homes in New Mexico and ...

A little less drama: Kitchen backsplashes get sleeker

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press The kitchen backsplash — that surface behind the stovetop or sink that protects the wall from damage during cooking and dishwashing — has long been used to add color and beauty to an otherwise utilitarian space. But dramatic, ornately patterned ...

Affordable ways to refresh your home

By Lauren Schwahn NerdWallet Home improvements can rejuvenate a stale dwelling. But remodeling and renovations could set you back thousands of dollars for each room. A “midrange minor kitchen remodel” — including hardware, countertops, flooring and a refrigerator — is about ...

Storage gets creative thanks to decor trends

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press Storage pieces are not what they used to be. Changes in home design and technology mean that boxy, old-fashioned armoires, dressers and china hutches are being repurposed or are making room for cabinets, shelving and sideboards in a wide variety of ...

What will kitchens of the future look like?

By Kim Cook Associated Press Today’s home kitchen doesn’t look anything like it did a century ago. But for the most part, it doesn’t look a lot different than 50 years ago. Appliances are sleeker, materials are better, color palettes are broader. But the room is still the ...

Ask A Designer: Options abound in flooring

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press A stunning sofa or a beautiful wall color might catch your eye when you enter someone’s home. But flooring is the key to any room, says interior designer Elina Cardet. As the visual base for every other design choice, “flooring is the most important ...

US pending home sales fall 2.2 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in December with affordability pressures causing interest from would-be buyers to fall. The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index fell 2.2 percent last month to 99, its lowest reading since April ...

Buying a home by age 35 is worth it

By Beth Buczynski NerdWallet Nicole Christianson, a 26-year-old sales rep, was tired of writing big checks for tiny apartments. And she wanted to do more with her cash than stash it in a savings account. One night, she and her husband Thure, 28, took a look at their newly combined finances ...

Right at home: Kitchen islands evolve to meet today’s needs

By Kim Cook Associated Press Prep surface. Gathering spot. Storage solution. The kitchen island is one of those home elements that seems to have known its purpose from its inception: a utilitarian divider between kitchen and family zones, the heart of the home. Over the years, the kitchen ...

US home price gains slowed in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose at a slower pace in November, as sales have tumbled and affordability has deteriorated for many would-be buyers. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index grew 4.7 percent from a year earlier, dropping off from a 5 percent annual ...

Getting creative: Homes with rooms that inspire

By Katherine Roth Associated Press Spaces where creativity happens are utterly unlike other rooms, artists and designers say. Whether at home or elsewhere, these deeply personal spaces often feel like they’re in flux, with interiors more curated than decorated. They often feature natural ...

Home sales drop 6.4 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales cratered in December, causing price growth to slip to the lowest level in more than six years as the housing sector ended 2018 on a decidedly weak note. The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes plunged 6.4 percent to a seasonally ...

Three ways parents can help their grown children own a home

By Marilyn Lewis NerdWallet When responsible first-time homebuyers need help buying a home, the family bank sometimes can lend a hand. Younger homebuyers face a mountain of obstacles, including rising home prices and interest rates, too few homes for sale and unpaid college debt. Student ...

Serious decor with a fun, playful edge

By Kim Cook Associated Press Dorothy Draper once said of her decorating projects, “I always put in one controversial item. It makes people talk.” The influential Manhattan interior decorator was known for her exuberant use of color and pattern, such as bold, black-and-white ...

What the government shutdown means for your mortgage

By Holden Lewis NerdWallet The partial federal government shutdown is complicating the already complicated process of getting and managing a mortgage. For one thing, the political storm is like severe weather at a major airport: You can expect minor delays or worse. Also, it could mean ...

Home items are getting smarter, like it or not

NEW YORK (AP) — One day, finding an oven that just cooks food may be as tough as buying a TV that merely lets you change channels. Internet-connected “smarts” are creeping into cars, refrigerators, thermostats, toys and just about everything else in your home. CES 2019, the gadget show ...