Real Estate

US home building rose slightly in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders broke ground on more apartment buildings last month, pushing up overall home construction 1.9 percent. The Commerce Department said housing starts rose in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.32 million, driven by a big 16 percent gain in apartment ...

3 ways parents can help grown kids 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 ...

Right at Home: Decor that brings luxury outside

By Kim Cook Associated Press Innovations in design, materials and manufacturing have had a big impact on home decor — outdoors as well as in. Besides advances in durability, there’s now an expansive range of styles that designers can tap in to. Luxury is one of them. Think velvet ...

Squeezing the most out of small outdoor spaces

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press As herb and vegetable gardens, composting and other aspects of green living become more popular, many people with limited outdoor space are looking for ways to squeeze the most out of it. “A client in a modern high-rise in downtown Chicago did not ...

Getting creative: 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 ...

Love that home’s view? See how much you’ll pay

By Marilyn Lewis NerdWallet A house with a fabulous view can be hard for a homebuyer to resist. But seeing the mountains, water or city lights from the comfort of home comes at a price. The hazy part is figuring out what that added cost is — and whether it’s worth it . That’s where ...

Architectural Digest Show: calm, cool, collected decor

By Kim Cook Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — This month’s Architectural Digest Design Show offered winter-weary attendees a breath of fresh air with many design ideas that were calm, cool and collected. Some highlights: ——— CALM Brooklyn textile design firm Eskayel put ...

‘Genuine leather?’ ‘Real wood?’ How to read furniture labels

By Katherine Roth Associated Press Americans spend billions of dollars a year on furniture, but they’re often not getting what they paid for. A big part of the problem is misleading labels, experts say. Terms like “genuine leather” and “real wood,” which seem straightforward ...

Home decor with outdoor feel gets free-spirited

By Kim Cook Associated Press There are those who prefer perfectly matched furniture and a monochromatic color scheme in decor. But for those who like to shake things up, it’s time to take it outside. There’s a free-spirited attitude now in outdoor decor, with mix-and-match elements and ...

US existing-home sales climbed in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of existing homes rebounded in February after declining for the previous two months, a sign that many Americans are still looking to buy despite rising prices and a shrinking number of homes available on the market. The National Association of Realtors said ...

Older houses take extra know-how

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press Dwain Livengood can save money on his home renovation project by doing the work himself. But he also knows that do-it-yourself projects in historic homes like his 100-year-old farmhouse require extra planning and research, and that mistakes can be ...

Using solar power for heating water

Dear Jim: We have teenage daughters who take long showers. Our water heating costs are sky high. We are on a tight budget, but want to use some solar water heating. Is there a system we can make ourselves? - Tim H. Dear Tim: For a typical family of four, heating water can account for about ...

The latest apps for home layouts

By Katherine Roth Associated Press Planning out how to arrange furniture in your home — or plants in your garden — used to involve a pencil, graph paper, a measuring tape and a lot of imagination. The process has gotten easier — and way more streamlined — thanks to a burgeoning ...

Spring 2018 decor: a happy and relaxed refuge at home

By Kim Cook Associated Press The biggest trend in decor may be that there isn’t a big seasonal shift in style any more. In an era of democratic design, there’s a relaxed approach to home decorating that has put the notion of “in” or “out” on a back burner. We can decorate our ...

Dramatic bedtime story: Comforters, duvets get bolder

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press Colored, textured and patterned comforters and duvets are telling a dramatic bedtime story these days. “Bedding acts as a narrator to set the tone of the room,” said Anthropologie’s home textiles buyer Brittany Peacock. “As the focal point ...

Low profile, high style: kitchens that go with the flow

By Kim Cook Associated Press Kitchens tend to be designed as star players on the residential stage. Their role is often aspirational — pro chef’s lair, for example, or the country kitchen from that Italian movie you loved. But there’s a different story being played out by some ...

When renting, good credit can open doors

By Claire Tsosie NerdWallet When first-time renter Angelica Fattu-Logan, 20, started applying for apartments, she braced for rejection. But those rejections never came — in part because she had good credit. “I applied to about three or four different apartments, and they all accepted ...

Ask a designer: Rethinking the basement for spring

Basements can be cold and dark, and often get much less decorating attention than the rest of the house. But you can gain new, useful and stylish living space by upgrading that subterranean space. Step one is addressing any risk of flooding or water leakage. Bring in a professional to assess ...

With rooftop decks, sky’s the limit for outdoor entertaining

By Kim Cook Associated Press Backyards and balconies are great places to enjoy an al fresco meal or a sun bath, but to really elevate your outdoor lifestyle, consider going up. To the roof. Rooftop decks were fairly common in early 20th century Craftsman and modernist homes, particularly ...

What are the costs of using a generator?

Dear Jim: It’s inconvenient when the electric goes off during storms. I want to get a generator. Is it expensive to operate a whole-house generator during outages? If not, why not always use one? - Cindy H. Dear Cindy: Many homeowners install large whole-house emergency backup generators ...