All posts by James Shea
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June 6, 2018

Reasons You Need to Get a Home Inspection

An important part of the process is the home inspection where a professional makes sure everything in the house is functioning properly and identifies needed repairs. Here are a few reasons why you don't want to skip over this step.
 
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May 29, 2018

Tips on Choosing to Live in a Tiny House

Kerri Campbell and her husband lived in a 1,100 square foot, three-bedroom house in Kansas City. They enjoyed the life but were ready for a change. In 2007, the couple relocated to rural Arkansas and downsized to a 480 square foot house. It was challenging, but they quickly adapted to the new lifestyle.

“The biggest challenge for me was my mother was an antique collector, and she died shortly before we moved here,” Campbell said. “We didn’t have the room for it.”

The size of the average American house has grown significantly over the last few decades. In 1973, homes averaged 1,525 square feet. Today, they average over 2,500 square feet. At [...]

 
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May 18, 2018

Things to Know Before Renting Your Home on Airbnb

Housing prices are increasing quickly in many areas of the country, and interest rates are on the rise. That might challenge your ability to afford a mortgage. You might consider extra sources of income. A roommate is one possibility, but another route is turning part of your house or apartment into a short-term rental through Airbnb.

Airbnb has 660,000 listings in the United States, and more than four million around the globe. People rent out rooms or private entrances in a home or apartment through Airbnb’s website. It functions much like an inn or bed and breakfast. The company takes a commission, but you keep a majority of the money. It’s a great way for people [...]

 
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May 1, 2018

The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Home Flooring

Flooring is an important part of any home. When looking to purchase a home, you will see varieties of flooring options ranging in cost and quality. It’s a good idea to understand the different types of flooring so you can decide whether to keep the current floor or change to another one. Knowing the ends and outs of the materials below will help you after you purchase your home and throughout the lifespan of your abode. Here is a rundown.

1. Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are made of natural materials like clay, sand and water. The elements are molded into a tile shape and baked at a high temperature in a kiln. Ceramic tiles come in both glossy and matte finishes and are [...]

 
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April 25, 2018

Things to Consider When Buying a Rental in a College Town

Real estate is a quality investment option for your portfolio, but you can select from different types of real estate when considering it as an investment. Apartments, duplexes, single-family homes, shopping centers, and storage units are various forms of investment property. Each type of real estate has its advantages and disadvantages. The right location is also important when selecting investment property. You want to make sure the property will be in demand so that you’ll have a constant stream of rental income. One option you might want to consider is investing in real estate in a college town. An investment in real estate in a college town can be lucrative, but there are [...]

 
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April 20, 2018

Slab vs. Crawl Space Foundations: What Are the Differences and Which Is Better?

When looking to purchase a home, the design is an important factor. You want a home that is well built. An important factor is the type of foundation that the home is built on. While there are many different types of foundations, three of the most common are a slab foundation, crawl space and basement.

The type of foundation in a home depends mostly on geography and climatic conditions. Basements are more common in the northern latitude, as many building codes require a greater distance between the foundation and the home in the colder climate. A 2013 survey by National Association of Home Builders found that 84% of homes built in the upper Midwest had a full or partial [...]

 
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April 4, 2018

10 Places to Buy an Inexpensive Home

Housing prices are on the rise, and many buyers are having a difficult time affording a home. Nationally housing prices increased nearly 6% in 2017, according to the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index. It was the largest increase since 2013 and has put pressure on many buyers.

But the increase in home values has not been equal. Some places, especially metro areas in the northeast and the west, have seen drastic increases. Colorado saw a 10% increase in 2017, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors. The average price of a home in Colorado is around $750,000, according to Homes.com. The northeast was just as expensive. Homes in Massachusetts average just over [...]

 
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March 23, 2018

What Size Home Is Best for You?

Homebuyers have a variety of options when selecting a home, and the proper size of a home is one of the key factors. The size of the home will play a role in the price of the home as well as the location. In general, older homes tend to be smaller and newer homes are larger. The average size of a house built in 1973 was 1,660 square feet, according to the latest numbers available from the U.S. Census Bureau. The average size of a home built in 2013 was 2,384 square feet. That’s an increase of 30.4%.

The correct home size for you and your family depends on a number of factors. A place to start is with the measurements of your current home. Measure each room, and decide [...]

 
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March 22, 2018

Hottest Mid-Century Modern Trends for Your Home

If you’ve watched Mad Men, you’ve seen examples in one of the hottest trends in furniture right now — mid-century modern. The style can decorate a variety of homes, and homeowners have embraced it.

Originally, mid-century modern furniture was produced after World War II until 1965. A revival began in the late 1980s when Cara Greenberg coined the term in her book Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s. She was the first person to capture the term as a style, and shortly afterward, mid-century modern was embraced by architects, interior designers, and furniture manufacturers. The trend has grown and as Greenberg wrote in her book, “mid-century modern [...]

 
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March 2, 2018

8 Signs That It’s Time to Remodel Your Bathroom

If you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, you probably already have a giant to-do list. You want to paint the bedroom, hang new curtains and fix the broken planks on the deck. In reality, those might not be the best places to concentrate your energy. An updated bathroom can make or break a home’s appeal and value.

“Some people want new, clean spaces,” said Ken Kostecki, Maison Construction & Renovation president. “Kitchens and bathrooms are the places where you get top value. You’re going to get that money out of it.”

Here are some signs that it’s time to update your bathroom:

1. Out-of-Date [...]
 
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February 20, 2018

2018 Mortgage Rate Outlook

Mortgage rates are always changing. They go up; they go down. For a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, rates peaked in 1981 at 18.63%, unheard of in today’s era of low-interest rates. Mortgage rates bottomed out in 2012 at 3.31%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

If you’re buying a home, you need to pay close attention to mortgage rates. They have a significant impact on the cost of buying a home. As the rates increase, your monthly payments go up. When rates go down, the cost of a home declines. For 2018, experts are predicting rates will increase.

What influences mortgage rates?

A variety of factors influence mortgages. They can [...]

 
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February 9, 2018

7 Design Trends to Implement in Your Home This Year

Design trends are always changing, and today’s homebuyer wants an up-to-date house. Shag carpet and veneer walls were popular in the 1970s but now, those are seriously outdated. A home with that type of interior design can be harder to sell.

When you are looking to improve a home before a sale, you should consider some of the current interior design trends. Here are several of the hottest design trends for 2018:

Earthy Colors Reign Supreme

For the last several years, gray tones have been all the rage. Sometimes called greige, it is a mixture of gray and beige. Gray is dominant, but the color palette adds a little color to the soften gray. Soft pastels and earthy [...]

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