Real Estate

The stylish and multifunctional garage

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press What if your home had a spare room you’d never noticed before? Your garage, even if it has one or more cars in it, can pull double-duty as a gym, a crafting room and even a place to socialize. Designers and architects tell us that gaining more living ...

Travel’s become a prime inspiration for home decor

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press When Melissa Smuzynski learned that she was expecting, she wanted a nursery that reflected her family’s love of travel. But when she and her husband, Damon Lane, went shopping for appropriate decor a few years ago, they didn’t find much. So ...

Three pros discuss creating an outdoor room

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Designers often talk about the perfect “outdoor living room” — a deck or patio that combines the comfort and style of indoor decorating with the pleasure of relaxing outside. But what separates these outdoor entertaining spaces from more typically ...

Bold color on kitchen cabinets is a thing

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Conventional wisdom says to use neutral colors or simple wood stains for anything as permanent as kitchen cabinets. Homeowners craving a burst of color have generally been advised to bring it in through easily changeable items like curtains or seat ...

New tech is making gardening easier

By Dean Fosdick Associated Press New technology is easing the way we garden, store equipment, monitor watering and re-shape landscapes. And some of those tasks can be done remotely, using phones or tablets. The innovations extend well beyond downloading a few apps. New to the horticultural ...

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 ...

US housing starts slumped 8.7 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of homes under construction fell 8.7 percent in February, as ground breakings for single-family houses plunged to their lowest level in nearly two years. The Commerce Department said that builders started construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 ...

US existing-home sales jumped 11.8 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales soared 11.8 percent in February, aided by accelerating wages and falling mortgage rates that are improving affordability. The National Association of Realtors said existing homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.51 million last month, a ...

US home price gains fall to lowest in 6 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose at their slowest pace in more than six years in January, as higher mortgage rates last year weighed on sales. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased 3.6 percent in January from a year earlier. That’s down from a 4.1 ...

Home affordability: Priciest and cheapest time zones

By Holden Lewis of NerdWallet Cities in the Pacific time zone have the least-affordable housing in the country, and the Central time zone has the most-affordable housing. Each quarter, NerdWallet calculates the home affordability for 178 metropolitan areas, matching the list of metros for ...

Home decor trends for spring 2019

By Kim Cook Associated Press As the weather improves and our winter hibernation ends, the urge to refresh and renew a room or two often follows. It may be as simple as adding a few new decorative items or changing a worn-out piece of furniture. Or maybe it’s something a little more ...

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 ...