7 Home Improvement Projects That Are a Safe Bet for 2015

Dionne Knows Homes

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If you have a small budget to spend on home improvement projects this year, you’ll want to make sure you use it wisely, especially if you plan to put your home on the market soon.  Redfin agents always recommend that you stay on top of basic home maintenance, but beyond that, it can be difficult to determine which features to add or update in your home. You don’t want to spend money on something that’s going to go out of style anytime soon. So where do you start?

One way to tell if a certain feature is desirable is by looking at real estate listings online. Real estate agents have a limited number of words they can use to describe a home for sale on the multiple listing service, so every word counts. Looking at what they choose to include, and what they don’t, can give you an idea of…

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5 Ways To Really Save For A Down Payment

Oriana Shea and Company

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Forget skipping your daily latte. That tired tip will get you nowhere. Fast-track your way to homeownership with these tips for saving big.

Rents are projected to outpace home values by the end of the year, according to Zillow, so it’s a good time to consider buying a home. Fixed mortgage payments and a more stable market are other reasons to make the jump.

Zillow projects that by the end of 2015, millennials will become the largest home-buying age group. Whether you fall into that category or not, coming up with a down payment can be challenging. Here are some strategies to help you get there.

Reduce large expenses

Sure, skipping your morning latte may help save money over time, but why not attack your biggest expenses head on for quicker results? We’re talking about your rent, which is likely eating up over 30 percent of your take-home pay. You can try to negotiate…

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You’ve Decided to Sell ! Why Use a Realtor.

Hood-Flora Realty, Auctions & Property Management

For Sale

Your home is possibly the largest asset your family has, that being said, when you work with a realtor, they have a fiduciary responsibility to you. That means, they should be looking out for your best financial interests and should be contractually bound to protect you. Make sure you are dealing with a Professional Realtor. As such, they are bound by a strict code of ethics, which have been in place for 100 years. A Realtor has the expertise help you protect this valuable asset.

Real Estate regulations and laws are ever-changing and vary from state to state. A Professional Realtor must stay current with updates concerning regulations, laws, contracts and practices. Since their business is reliant upon successful understanding of these issues, they put that understanding to work for you. Also, the Professional Realtor will help to set the market value of your home, assessing the current real estate market, and letting you know the…

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Energy Performance Ratings for Windows, Doors, and Skylights

McDaniel Home Services - By Home Inspector Wayne McDaniel Blog

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Before you shop for energy-efficient windows, doors, and skylights, learn about energy performance ratings. | Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com/JamesBrey.

You can use the energy performance ratings of windows, doors, and skylights to tell you their potential for gaining and losing heat, as well as transmitting sunlight into your home.

ENERGY PERFORMANCE TESTING, CERTIFICATION, AND LABELING

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) operates a voluntary program that tests, certifies, and labels windows, doors, and skylights based on their energy performance ratings. The NFRC label provides a reliable way to determine a window’s energy properties and to compare products.

The NFRC label can be found on all ENERGY STAR® qualified window, door, and skylight products, but ENERGY STAR bases its qualification only on U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient ratings, which are described below.

HEAT GAIN AND LOSS

Windows, doors, skylights can gain and lose heat through:

  • Direct conduction through the glass…

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