All posts by Becky Blanton
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August 24, 2017

Backyard Bomb Shelters Are Making a Comeback! What You Should Know

Bomb shelters are the quintessential home add-on for those who tend to expect the unexpected. The 1960s were a time of unprecedented concern regarding the threat of nuclear war and that hysteria hasn’t gone anywhere. Bomb shelters are still popular among many homeowners and the need for one is still booming. “There’s always been a demand for underground shelters,” said Dave French, a survival expert and business owner of a bomb shelter company. “Most people consider them a must have for weather events, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, financial collapse and that sort of thing.” But shelters specifically for bombs?

“People are concerned [...]

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August 23, 2017

What’s Trending in Outdoor Spaces?

Whether you simply build or buy a fire pit or picnic for your backyard, or drop thousands of dollars into a high-end outdoor kitchen or patio, increasing your outdoor living space can pay high dividends.

“Nearly 70 percent of the design and build firms taking our quarterly home designs trends survey report an increased demand for outdoor living space,” said Matt Tinder, a spokesperson for the American Institute of Architects (AIA.) While many homeowners consider any level of outdoor living a plus, Tinder says the AIA is seeing homeowners investing significant funds into their homes.

“Our survey found people want to stay in their homes longer. With the [...]

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August 22, 2017

Do You Have the Personality It Takes to Be a House Flipper?

You’ve seen the reality shows, and probably thought you have what it takes to quit your day job and start flipping houses, but do you? Companies throughout the housing industry, including Home Depot, along with mortgage companies and lenders say they’re seeing an uptick in millennials buying fixer-uppers for themselves or to flip. It’s a healthy trend with the potential for huge profits, but it’s not without its risks.

via Matthew Hurst

Brian Augsberger, a Rehab Financial lender who provides rehab loans in fifteen states across the US, said “not everyone is cut out to be a [...]

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August 18, 2017

Seven Things to Check Before Buying Property for a Wedding Venue

Being the general manager of a hotel in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC, and a hospitality consultant living in Asia before that were more than jobs for Eric Fulton. They gave him the experience and background he needed to start a family agri-tourism business, a bed and breakfast (B&B), and a wedding venue in Culpepper, Virginia. Fulton is co-owner of Walden Hall, a B&B and wedding venue on 11 acres of land in Reva, Virginia, just outside Culpepper, Virginia. The B&B is named after Henry Thoreau’s “Walden.” The theme extends to the “Poet Suites” of the B&B, five luxury suites named after famous poets. He wanted a family business, and he [...]

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July 28, 2017

High Rise Living in Chicago

Best-selling author and publisher Melissa G Wilson and her husband Craig have a panoramic view of Chicago’s best neighborhoods. They live and work in two side-by-side condos with a total of 2,400-square feet inside and a 1,500-square foot deck 9-stories up on Chicago’s West Loop.

“I love the fun of getting to go to so many world-class restaurants, outdoor activities and plays within a half hour or less. Being in the center of Chicago gives us lots of options for connection and learning. There’s unlimited variety and learning daily here,” Wilson said. The downsides to high-rise living are the same as working in a city – “People toss their [...]

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July 27, 2017

6 Reasons Why City-Dwelling Dogs Need Green Space

Being a pet owner in a house, even one with a tiny yard, usually means access to “green space,” in a front, back or side yard. But what if you live in an apartment, condominium, high-rise or even on a boat? If you’re not in a dog friendly area, your dog still needs green space, even if they’re walked daily on a sidewalk.

1. Pets Need Exercise

A stroll around the block on a leash a couple of times a day is not exercise, at least not for your pet. “Animals need to run daily, if not multiple times a day,” said Dr. Ernie Ward. Ward suggests pet owners should commit to taking their dog to a dog park every day, or as often as possible, even if you [...]

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July 26, 2017

Buying a Home While on Active Duty

Should You Buy a Home While on Active Duty?

Most military assignments last four-to-five years, some even less. So, does it really make sense to buy a home rather than rent one if you’re active duty?

Some military housing experts say no, but many real estate savvy members of the military say, “Definitely buy a home or homes while on active duty if you can.” “I started flipping when I was in the service, and I advise other military personnel to consider doing the same,” said 20-year Army veteran, Terry Martin-Back. Like many other military personnel, Martin-Back realized early on in his career that buying his home while in the military was a good [...]

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July 11, 2017

Are You a Hoarder, or Just a Chronic Clutterer?

When Louise and her adult son Jack decided to move to be closer to Jack’s job, they decided to sell their house and move into a small apartment to save money. A smaller space meant less stuff. Downsizing wouldn’t have been a problem before Louise’s cluttering became an issue.

“My husband died seven years ago and I just fell apart,” she said. “I couldn’t let go of anything that reminded me of him.” Like millions of homeowners, Louise and Jack failed to confront their clutter until it came time to move. They couldn’t show the home they were selling until they addressed the clutter.

Two rooms of her home were piled to [...]

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