Real Estate

Home sales rebound despite tight supply

WASHINGTON (AP) - More Americans bought homes in September, many for the first time, despite a persistent shortage of properties for sale.The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes rose 3.2 percent from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million, the ...

Old West Michigan home restored in renovation

HART, Mich. (AP) - Artists put the finishing touches on Hart House Bed and Breakfast on Tuesday when they installed beveled, faceted glass windows.The brick-and-stone home was a gift from George Bates to his wife Estelle Moore Bates in 1904. It features a blend of Tudor and Craftsman ...

Exhibit explores roots of modern interiors

NEW YORK (AP) - In the chaotic aftermath of World War I in Europe, a small group of enterprising designers, artists and architects - many of them women - stepped forward with groundbreaking ideas for how to improve the quality of life through architecture and design.Their efforts eventually ...

Ask a Designer: transitioning outdoor spaces for fall

By Melissa RayworthAssociated PressOutdoor decorating often focuses on turning decks, patios and porches into summer destinations. But some people love their outdoor entertaining space even more when the weather turns colder."Being outside with friends and family on a slightly chilly evening is ...

US construction spending falls

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders trimmed spending on construction projects in August for a second straight month with housing, non-residential and government activity all seeing declines.Construction spending dropped 0.7 percent in August after a 0.3 percent slip in July, the Commerce Department ...

Harnessing the riches of online design sites

By Sarah WolfeAssociated PressThere's Houzz. Remodelista. Home design Twitter feeds. Tumblr accounts. And of course, the granddaddy of all online decor depositories - Pinterest.It's easy to get overwhelmed by online resources when remodeling or redecorating. Where should you start?For homeowner ...

Generators a good option in an emergency

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 because ...

US homebuilder sentiment rises

By Alex VeigaAP Business WriterConfidence among U.S. homebuilders has surged to the highest level in nearly a year, reflecting a brighter outlook for sales now and into 2017.The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index climbed six points this month to 65 ...

Home construction slumped in August

WASHINGTON (AP) - Homebuilders pulled back on construction in the South, causing the pace of August housing starts nationwide to fall to their lowest level in three months.Despite the monthly decline, construction activity has accelerated for much this year.Builders are increasingly optimistic ...

White walls? The trick is choosing the right white

NEW YORK (AP) - So you want to paint a room white. Sounds easy, until you go to the hardware store to buy paint and discover there are dozens of whites to choose from.Many have familiar yet poetic names that conjure up ever-so-slightly different hues: cream, pearl, vanilla, snow, chalk, ivory, ...

Remember the ceiling when decorating

By Sarah WolfeFor The Associated PressCeilings are the Rodney Dangerfield of homes. They get no respect.But there are plenty of easy ways to make over this oft-overlooked area, from the quirky charm of Victorian-era, pressed-tin tiles and beadboard to a simple splash of color."Historically, ...

‘Super pantries on kitchen wish lists

By Melissa Kossler DuttonAssociated PressTeresa Keller used to joke that she was pantry-challenged. She often relied on a flashlight to search the deep, dark cupboard that held her canned goods and other food items.When she and her husband, Dave, decided to build a home in Sunbury, Ohio, a ...

Tips to save energy, money this winter

DETROIT - As cooler temperatures signal the start of another heating season, DTE Energy suggests customers prepare their homes and their budgets for winter.Steps taken now can pay big dividends. DTE Energy offers the following tips to help manage winter energy costs and save money on energy ...

Tips on making a room feel bigger

By Melissa RayworthAssociated PressAs the weather gets colder and we come indoors, it's easy to wish your indoor space had some of the open, airy feeling of the outdoors.It is possible to make a room feel larger than it really is: Choosing the right colors and finishes and arranging furniture ...

Setting up home just a click away

By Kim CookAssociated PressIn a connected world, nesting's a lot easier than it used to be. There are apps and websites that streamline many aspects of setting up and dismantling a home.Whether you're trying to get rid of old stuff, buy new stuff, move stuff or find ways to use your stuff, ...

US construction spending drops 0.6 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. construction spending fell for a third straight month in June with spending on nonresidential construction dropping by the largest amount in six months.Construction spending fell 0.6 percent in June following declines of 0.1 percent in May and 2.9 percent in April, the ...

Downsizing tips from the pros

By Katherine RothAssociated PressFor empty nesters, seniors and others who find themselves moving into a smaller space, downsizing can feel emotionally and physically overwhelming. But careful planning and perspective can make it easier.It helps to keep your eyes on the prize, experts say. ...

Today’s wood walls make a modern statement

By Kim CookAssociated PressThe phrase "wood walls" should no longer conjure up images of gloomy paneled basements or cabins sheathed in dated, knotty pine. Today's wood walls are riding high on the decor trend curve.Some pay homage to wood walls' early or midcentury roots. Wainscoting, that ...

US homebuilder sentiment slips in July

By Alex VeigaAP Business WriterU.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less optimistic about their sales prospects this month, though their outlook for the new-home market remains positive overall. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday fell ...

Get more consistent heating and cooling

Dear Jim: Our furnace and air conditioner work fine, but some rooms are always too hot or too cold. They change when heating or cooling. What can we do to get more constant temperatures in all the rooms? - Gina H.Dear Gina: It can be difficult to keep all the rooms comfortable summer and ...