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Real Estate

Home remodeling trends to watch for in 2021

By Carol J. Alexander of NerdWallet After a year of spending more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many homeowners are looking for ways to make their homes fit their new realities. Open floor plans are out; dedicated spaces for remote work and learning are in. Yards are being ...

Storage gets creative thanks to changing 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 ...

Buying or selling a home during a pandemic? Here’s what you need to know

ESCANABA — While the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed real estate transactions for some people, housing markets in many areas of the country are showing a strength and resiliency unimagined when this started. It’s critical to understand the pandemic’s impact on real estate, from simply ...

US home prices soared by most in seven years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices increased at the fastest pace in seven years in January as the pandemic has fueled demand for single-family houses even as the supply for such homes shrinks. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 11.1% in January from a year ...

Small touches create a great master bathroom

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press It’s easy to design a gorgeous master bathroom if you have a huge budget. But with the right choices, says interior designer Gabriel Anderson, you can have an exceptional master bath without overspending. “Having huge expanses of marble is amazing ...

For spring, window treatments with flair

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Even the simplest window treatments have an important role to play in the look of a room. “They really soften and furnish a space much more than most people imagine,” says interior designer Betsy Burnham of Los Angeles. Yet she often has to reassure ...

Small touches create a great master bathroom

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press It’s easy to design a gorgeous master bathroom if you have a huge budget. But with the right choices, says interior designer Gabriel Anderson, you can have an exceptional master bath without overspending. “Having huge expanses of marble is amazing ...

Housing construction drops in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — Severe winter weather in much of the country pushed home construction down a sharp 10.3% in February while applications for new construction fell by 10.8%. The decline pushed home and apartment construction down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,42 million units ...

Right at home: Ceilings with something to say

By Kim Cook Associated Press The ceiling — sometimes referred to as a room’s fifth wall — often gets short shrift in decorating schemes. Walls and furnishings take center stage while the acreage overhead receives a coat of neutral white paint, with perhaps a snazzy ceiling ...

Candles a decor favorite this winter for light, scent

By Kim Cook Associated Press If a candle is burning in a dark room, we don’t see the darkness, we see the light. Perhaps that’s why candles have become such a popular decor element over the course of the pandemic. Little lights you can place anywhere, candles can make a room feel cozy ...

The ‘good enough’ home may be just perfect

By Barbara Marquand NerdWallet Constructed from aspirational Instagram feeds and reality TV, the dream home floats in the imagination like a castle in the sky but dissolves in the rain of hard numbers. Chasing the dream can lure buyers to overextend themselves financially. Or the high ...

Ask a Designer: Closet organization that lasts

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Most people don’t start out with a messy closet. Even when a closet is carefully organized at the beginning, however, it might not take long for order to turn to chaos. “It’s common for clients to struggle with keeping the momentum going,” says ...

Small home living: not `downsizing’ but `right-sizing’

By Katherine Roth Associated Press With the current trend toward de-cluttering and downsizing, there are plenty of books about how to winnow down possessions to the few that are truly necessary and loved. This book shows how you can live well once that’s done. In “Downsize: Living ...

US construction spending up 1% in December led by housing

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending rose a moderate 1% in December as the number of new homes offset a sustained weakness in nonresidential construction. The increase followed a 1.1% gain in November, the Commerce Department reported. Last month’s strength came from a 3.1% jump ...

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 ...

RIGHT AT HOME: Pro-style kitchens for the home cook

By Kim Cook Associated Press Avid home cooks often want to outfit their kitchens with the kind of high-end appliances and gear used by professional chefs. There’s that aspirational notion that somehow having the right equipment will lead to better food. So what’s in a pro kitchen that ...

Buying homeowners insurance? Ask these questions

By Sarah Schlichter of NerdWallet Purchasing insurance may not be as fun as choosing new furniture and paint colors, but it’s a critical part of the homebuying process. Your homeowners insurance policy is a financial safety net in case of a disaster, so you’ll want to ask a few ...

ASK A DESIGNER: Rethinking the basement

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press 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 ...

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 ...

Bringing it home: Find inspiration in public spaces’ decor

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Sometimes, sitting in a public place like a hotel lobby, you notice a mix of colors youíd never considered using in your own home — and you realize you absolutely love it. Or you see furniture that’s much more modern than you thought you liked, ...