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Implementing some "green" upgrades in a home you own is almost always a great investment -- first, because it can often save you money as the homeowner, and second, because more and more buyers are looking for homes that are energy-efficient and have other environmentally friendly attributes. Read More

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Paying less than the listing price for a house might seem like a pipe dream in some markets, but for savvy buyers who know what they're doing, it's a very real possibility. That said, making an offer that's lower than the listing price can also be a dangerous game to play if you don't know the rules: You could offend a seller, permanently blacklisting you from a home you love, among other potential penalties that plague low-bidding buyers. Read More

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Staging a home isn't an exact science -- it's more of an art, one that covers several rooms and flows throughout a home. If you're thinking that it doesn't sound easy, well, it isn't; there's a reason why stagers can command serious dollar amounts for the work they do. Read More

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Even though humans are a species that builds and maintains our own shelter (also known as "homes"), we can all appreciate the beauty that the natural outdoors has to offer -- and indeed, there are entire industries dedicated to beautifying our own outdoor spaces so that we can reap maximum enjoyment out of them. Read More

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Upgrading or improving your home can be one of the most rewarding activities you could undertake -- and that includes monetarily, because depending on the improvement, you can boost your home's value and recoup some of your investment when the time comes to sell. However, it's important to remember that upgrading your house isn't exactly a dollar-for-dollar investment; you probably aren't going to make all of your money back that you sunk into the improvement, so pumping $5,000 into your kitchen and then expecting to just tack on an additional $5,000 to your listing price when you sell it is very likely unrealistic. Read More

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As a homeowner, it's perfectly natural to wonder how much your house is currently worth (and, not so incidentally, how much money you might make today if you were to sell it). Even though the internet has brought information about home values directly to our fingertips, not all of it is reliable -- that's one big reason why appraisers are still in business, charging hundreds of dollars for an accurate valuation. And the truth is that sometimes even appraisers get it wrong. Your house is worth whatever a buyer in your market is willing to pay for it, and that's usually not evident until you put it on the market and start considering offers. Read More

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When you're thinking about buying a house, it's normal to question whether it's really the best time to jump into the market -- or whether you should wait a few months or even years to get the best deal. But a house isn't like any other investment; you can't live inside a stock or bond, or make memories there, so it's not always wise (even though it's very natural) to compare buying a house to other possible investments you might make in your future. Read More

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Between the tiny-house craze and bestselling books about minimizing your life, we've probably all thought about downsizing at one point or another. But is it really the right move for you at this moment in time? Before you decide to move forward with downsizing, it's smart to spend some time thinking about the possible repercussions and what it's going to mean for your life so that you can do it the right way -- without regrets. Read More

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Relocating to a new city is an exciting experience -- you can seize the opportunity to live in a new way if you're bored with the status quo, and maybe find a place to live that caters to new habits you want to form, or that's a better fit for a growing household. Read More

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"Is this a good time to sell my house?" That's one question that real estate agents are used to fielding, but as a homeowner, the answer might not be quite so obvious. Whether or not you should sell your house now or wait a few months (or years) depends on a number of factors, including the current market where you live, but there's a lot that you can do to help educate yourself about the best time to sell a house and when to make a move. Read More