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Keeping Your House Show Ready

Keeping Your House Show Ready

Having your home on the market while you’re living in it can be a stressful time. You still have a life to live.  The dog still puts muddy prints on your freshly mopped floor. The kids still race down the hallway…

Final Four for Home Buyers

Final Four for Home Buyers

When it comes to basketball, we only have 64 teams to narrow down into our Final Four to fill our brackets. When it comes to buying our first home, we have thousands of options and dozens of choices to consider,…

The Value of Professional Staging

The Value of Professional Staging

Views vary widely on the value of hiring a professional stager to prepare your home for sale. Many real estate agents swear by it and have years of sales to back up their claim. They cite their own impressions, sales…

Should “Hidden” Costs of Buying a Foreclosure Keep me from Buying One?

Should “Hidden” Costs of Buying a Foreclosure Keep me

While the housing market in most places certainly has improved and the number of foreclosed homes on the market has decreased, there will always be some foreclosed homes available for purchase. However, because of popular television shows on house “flipping” and…

Your True Colors

Your True Colors

Much of the fun of owning a home is decorating it to your taste and personality. Even on a low budget, subtle or dramatic changes to color can make your home truly yours. Check out these color schemes for this…

How to Avoid Being House Poor

How to Avoid Being House Poor

Buying a home is exciting! If you’re young, it gives you the sense of formally stepping into the adult world. If you’re at some other life stage, (marriage, starting a family, empty-nester) the idea of a larger or smaller space…

Is Flipping Houses a Good Idea These Days?

Is Flipping Houses a Good Idea These Days?

Just ahead of the housing bubble, flipping houses was quite profitable for many investors. As home prices started to rise, many ‘would-be’ real estate moguls bought houses to flip hoping that the prices would increase enough in a six to…

Little Decorator Details That Can Hinder Your Home Sale

Little Decorator Details That Can Hinder Your Home Sale

I get it… you want your home to be uniquely you… you want it to express your personality… you want colors that make you happy! But wait!  Now you want to sell this home and move on to a new…

Energy Conserving Landscaping Tips

Energy Conserving Landscaping Tips

Before you begin to plan your upcoming spring landscaping for your home, remember the green you plant outside affects the green you have left inside your pocketbook. Trees and shrubs can reduce the amount of electricity your home requires. Try…

When to Get Pre-Approval for a Mortgage

When to Get Pre-Approval for a Mortgage

If you’re even considering purchasing a home in 2015, the time to start the pre-approval process is NOW. Why? Here’s some advice to get you on track to a smooth purchase transaction. While you don’t want to actually apply for the loan…

Tax Tips for New Homeowners

Tax Tips for New Homeowners

Congratulations on your new home! Whether a condominium, single-family home, townhouse or maintenance-free home, your newly acquired home-sweet-home affects your tax status. If this is the first year you’ll be filing your taxes as a homeowner, there are a few…

Create a Timeless Kitchen with the 4 Cs of Kitchen Design

Create a Timeless Kitchen with the 4 Cs of Kitchen Design

Nothing says “dated” like a kitchen trend from a decade ago. Consider giving your kitchen a makeover using timeless elements that are always in style. That way, no matter when you sell, your home is always ready. Color The simplest…

Loan Options with Low Downpayments

Loan Options with Low Downpayments

U.S. economists expect 2015 to be a strong year for housing. What this means to you is that more homes are selling and the supply of available homes is decreasing. This also means that prices likely will increase. If you’ve…

Early Spring Landscaping

Early Spring Landscaping

Thinking about springtime and the beautiful colors it will bring, is the perfect winter distraction ~ especially for  those of us in the Chicagoland area!  Bulbs, tubers, perennials and indigenous plants beautify your home and provide year-round enjoyment for decades to come.…

New High-Tech Home Gadgets

New High-Tech Home Gadgets

Our imaginations run wild with the idea of modern gadgets to make our homes efficient and automated, and make our lives simpler. For cutting-edge products you can control from your smartphone, check out these contributions from the International Consumer Electronics…

Minimalist Home-buying

Minimalist Home-buying

When you’re house hunting, it’s good to know your “living personality.” The home you choose should reflect the way you like to live rather than the latest trend in home design. If you are a minimalist at heart, you may…

Getting Organized to Sell Your Home

Getting Organized to Sell Your Home

When you’ve lived in your home for a long time, preparing it to sell can seem quite daunting. If you are considering selling your home this year, make it your New Year’s resolution to get started in the preparations now.…

2015 Programs for Home Buyers

2015 Programs for Home Buyers

Although the federal government has offered home-buyer programs in the past, for Tax Year 2015, most of the available homebuyer programs will be at the local and state levels. State and local agencies, along with lenders and non-profit organizations often…