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Independent-Messenger: Real Estate

Real Estate

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3 secrets to hosting a great party on your deck or patio

(BPT) - Cookouts, barbecues, family reunions and more are upon us, and as the coolest neighbor on the cul-de-sac, hosting is a no-brainer. We’ve compiled three simple ways to get your deck and yard ready to go, so you can play host to the cookout of the year.

  • icon Updated: 4:27 am

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Recent Headlines

Friday 08/10/2018
DIY outdoor bar serves up entertainment
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - As outdoor living space continues to be an extension of the home for entertaining, it’s no surprise that nearly 60 percent of homeowners believe outdoor kitchens will be popular this year, according to the latest Landscape Architecture Trends Survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects. While an outdoor kitchen can be a significant project, an attractive, functional and durable alternative at a fraction of the cost is building an outdoor bar yourself.

Thursday 08/02/2018
How to Afford a Pricier House in the Neighborhood You Love
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:23 am

(NewsUSA) - When Danielle and Jimmy returned to their home state after three years in Germany, they spent the next six months looking for their first home.

Thursday 07/26/2018
Bitcoin Gains Can Become "Tax-Free"
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:23 am

(NewsUSA) - The 2017 Reform Act of 2017 is starting to gain traction as former United States Congressman Mark Schauer (MI-07) suggest that the "Opportunity Zones created under the tax bill incentivize capital flow to businesses in low-income neighborhoods all over the nation. Investment of even a portion of unrealized capital gains will have an historic, transformative effect in distressed communities."

5 tips to amp up the natural benefits of your yard
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - It’s easy to appreciate the sights and smells afforded by lawns and landscapes, but when it comes to your yard there is much more to consider besides pleasing aesthetics and aromas. Many would even be surprised to learn that the benefits of a lush lawn and stunning landscape design extend well beyond a yard’s perimeter.

Friday 07/20/2018
How Many Americans are Finding Affordable Housing
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(StatePoint) With the cost of housing continuing to rise faster than wages, it’s no wonder that many Americans nationwide are struggling to make ends meet. Luckily, solutions already exist to address the affordable housing shortage, say experts.

Thursday 06/28/2018
You're covered: 4 unusual homeowners claims you didn't think would ever happen
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - Homeowners insurance is a practical investment to help protect you, your family and your property in the event of unforeseen and unexpected losses. Traditionally, it’s associated with fire damage, burst or leaking pipes, or stolen property, but occasionally it covers unusual events that make for sensational news stories and viral videos.

Here are four claims homeowners never thought would happen to them.

1. Bear B&B

Bears are notoriously curious and intelligent creatures that also have an acute sense of smell.

People who live in areas with bears for neighbors must not entice them with the aromas of food. Keep doors and windows on ground floors closed and locked while cooking or if you leave the house. A bear can easily get through the screen of an open window or manipulate a lever-like door handle to enter your home and cause significant damage.

“Encountering a bear inside your home would be a very frightening experience,” says Christopher O’Rourke, Vice President of Property Claims at Mercury Insurance. “Safety should be your first priority, so call your local police or animal control station to have them help you with the situation. You can worry about any potential damages after the animal leaves the residence, because your homeowners policy will most likely cover any damage to your home (though not your personal property), unless of course the bear is a family pet.”

2. The sky is falling

China’s Tiangong-1 space station plummeted back to Earth and made its re-entry into the atmosphere earlier this year, breaking apart over the southern Pacific Ocean. The odds of debris from the space station hitting you were less than one in 1 trillion, according to the Aerospace Corporation. If it had hit your home, though, homeowners insurance would’ve covered it.

3. Your house is stolen

Yes, you read that correctly. Your homeowners insurance will cover the entire house, not just the contents inside, if it is stolen.

O’Rourke explains, “We had an insured who was away on vacation and when he returned the foundation of his home was all that remained.

“A house moving company had mixed up the address with another house down the street that was scheduled to be moved. The movers came in, transported the house to another location and thought their job was done — wrong!

“You can only imagine his surprise at the mistake. While homeowners insurance covered the cost of getting things restored back to normal, I would suspect this was one of the strangest situations any insurer has ever encountered,” says O’Rourke.

4. Fore!

Golf is a leisurely pastime enjoyed by millions in the U.S. It involves strolling across greens and riding in golf carts, so its slow pace may seem low-risk, but it can actually be quite dangerous. According to an article in Golf Digest magazine, nearly 40,000 golfers are admitted to emergency rooms annually after being injured while playing, most by errant golf balls and flying club heads.

Recreational golfers can also cause a lot of damage to personal property. If you live on a golf course, your house has probably been hit many times by errant shots — breaking windows, damaging roofs and leaving divots in exterior walls.

So, who’s responsible for these injuries and damage?

“Simply put, the golfer who hit the shot is responsible,” says O’Rourke. “There is good news, however, because recreational golfers would be covered by a homeowners, condo owners or renters insurance policy for damage or injuries that result from the wayward shot.”

Mercury recommends reviewing your homeowners insurance policy annually with your local insurance agent to ensure that you’re adequately covered for any unforeseen losses, both unusual and ordinary.


Thursday 06/21/2018
Build boldly with these 4 features of advanced decking
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - If you’re planning to create an outdoor living space, advanced decking enables you to show off your creativity. For years, complex deck designs have been difficult to achieve with traditional lumber. But, with advances in today’s decking materials, you have the flexibility to create virtually any design to reflect your style. The possibilities of creating a bold deck design are only limited by your imagination. For example, did you love hopscotch while growing up? Build a hopscotch board into your deck. Maybe you are an avid musician; why not design your deck in a giant guitar shape?

Tuesday 06/19/2018
Paint like a pro in 5 easy steps
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - Nothing transforms a home quite like a fresh coat of paint. In fact, painting your own house is one of the smartest and easiest DIY upgrades a homeowner can accomplish on their own.

Monday 06/18/2018
Top Tips and Decluttering Insights for Your Next Move
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(StatePoint) Moving can be emotional and the ways you manage it – including the downsizing of your possessions – may be influenced by your age, suggests a new study.

Tuesday 06/12/2018
How to prep your home for a new addition to the family
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - Whether it’s a baby or pet, a new addition to the family calls for new, unexpected responsibilities, and is bound to come with adjustments for every member of the family. While it would be silly to guarantee zero stress for the new family environment, below are tips for a transition with more playtime and fewer headaches to help you get started.

Friday 05/25/2018
4 decorating tips for the perfect outdoor entertaining space
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - When it comes to outdoor entertaining, making sure your space is ready is critical for enjoying summer — from its "unofficial" start over Memorial Day weekend all the way through Labor Day.

Monday 05/21/2018
Feed your dog from a DIY concrete bowl
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - With dogs living in more than 60 million U.S. households, pooches are by far the most popular pet in America according to the America Pet Products Association’s 2017-2018 National Owners Survey. The same research also indicates that dog food accounts for a large proportion of the expenses to own a dog at around $300 a year, depending on the type of dog and their choice of chow. Regardless of expense, no owner wants to see good food go to waste because their clumsy dog accidentally knocks over the bowl or an unexpected storm blows the dish across the back patio. Dog owners can avoid the repeated exercise and cost of replacing wasted food by using a sturdy and durable concrete dog bowl.

Thursday 05/10/2018
Make the most of your landscaping projects this year with these tips
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - Home improvement projects aren't constrained to a single season, but during these warmer months, your focus is no longer simply on your home's indoors. Now there’s outdoor yard work to do as well, and if you're looking to recreate your outdoor space, your outside projects may include some landscaping. If you have landscaping as part of your to-do list this season, the right strategy can ensure that you get the most benefit from your landscaping goals with the least amount of headache.

Wednesday 05/09/2018
The benefits of child's play extend beyond exercise
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - When you think about the most important part of a child’s school day, what comes to mind? Is it reading? Science? Math or history? What about recess?

Thursday 05/03/2018
6 Money Tips for Buying a Home
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(StatePoint) When searching for a new home, you may come across some conflicting information, especially about home financing or mortgage loans. Consider these six money tips to help you navigate the process.

Tuesday 05/01/2018
Wildfire protection starts in these 5 places
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - It’s National Wildfire Awareness Week. So, if you live in a wildfire-prone area, make sure you’re taking the right steps to stave off potential damage long before flames rage toward your doorstep.

Tuesday 04/24/2018
A Primer for First-Time Homebuyers
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:23 am

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored by GAF - Finally ready to take the plunge? Join the club.

Friday 04/20/2018
With More Buyers Out There, These Home Upgrades Can Really Pay Off
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:23 am

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored by GAF - It's time to stop thinking of Millennials as totally uninterested in owning anything just because they were early adopters of Uber.

Wednesday 04/11/2018
90 percent of homes have hard water: What are the effects?
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - Hard water, which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, can be found in nearly 90 percent of American homes. These minerals cause scaling, a buildup that clogs waterlines and plumbing forcing appliances to work harder and operate less efficiently. The scale may also harbor bacteria. The only way to truly remove the hard and soft scale from household water systems is with salt-based water softeners.

Tuesday 04/03/2018
Buy a home in 2018 with these 3 steps
Updated: April 04, 2018 - 4:37 am

(BPT) - So you want to buy a home? Congratulations! Homeownership can be a wonderful accomplishment and milestone in your life. But be forewarned that it might not be easy. The process is complicated and often comes with a few hurdles.

Monday 03/26/2018
Credit tips for buying an investment property
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - If you love the idea of being a landlord, and don’t mind being on duty around the clock, buying an investment property may be the wealth-building option for you.

Wednesday 03/21/2018
4 home remedies that will put more money in your pocket
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - What do you like to do for fun when you have some free time on your hands? Whether it’s seeing the latest blockbuster, sampling a delicious entree or taking a road trip, chances are your passions cost money. If you’re like many Americans, you may find you don’t have quite as many loose dollars, especially when you have to be a responsible adult and take care of all those monthly expenses.

8 simple things you can do at home to improve indoor air quality
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:27 am

(BPT) - A clean house always looks and feels good. But did you know a clean environment goes a long way toward keeping you and your family healthy?

Thursday 03/08/2018
Are Common Myths Holding You Back from Buying a Home?
Updated: March 09, 2018 - 4:36 am

(StatePoint) Aspirations of home ownership is strong for America’s families, yet findings from the fifth annual America at Home survey from NeighborWorks America indicate several perceived barriers to homeownership among the majority of consumers.

Monday 03/05/2018
How Much Home Can You Afford this Spring? Factors to Consider
Updated: March 05, 2018 - 4:36 am

(StatePoint) The chicken or the egg? Which came first continues to fuel philosophical debates. But when it comes to buying a home, experts are pretty clear about the proper order of things -- agreeing you should fit your mortgage to your finances, not to a house.

Wednesday 02/21/2018
House hunting? Use this handy checklist before you make the offer
Updated: August 16, 2018 - 4:29 am

(BPT) - House hunting can feel like an adventurous new chapter in your life. If you're lucky enough to find the property that checks off all the "must have" boxes — appearance, size, price, location — it’s easy to fall in love.

Wednesday 01/24/2018
Deciphering the legalese in your furnace warranty
Updated: April 17, 2018 - 4:37 am

(BPT) - From smartphones to mattresses, almost everything you buy comes with a warranty. How can you ensure you get the most benefit from a warranty, especially for a major investment that’s critical to the comfort of your home, like a new furnace?

Tuesday 12/12/2017
Think spring: Now's the time to plan the landscape of your dreams
Updated: March 20, 2018 - 4:39 am

(BPT) - The weather outside is frightful, and the week ahead calls for falling temperatures, maybe even snow. That makes it easy to dream of warmer spring weather, but to plan for it? To sit and strategize for making the most of next year’s lawn and landscape projects? That seems like no small feat.

How to Find an Affordable Home in Today’s Market
Updated: December 12, 2017 - 4:33 am

(StatePoint) Affordable housing is in high demand in cities and counties nationwide. Experts say that areas grappling with affordable housing issues may find factory-built homes to be a powerful tool in addressing this need.

Wednesday 12/06/2017
Infuse life into the bath for a spa-like oasis
Updated: March 10, 2018 - 4:35 am

(BPT) - Today, more than ever, homeowners gravitate toward design elements that transform the bath into a spa-like oasis. Designers look to incorporate pieces inspired by the natural world to bring renewed energy into the room and create a soothing environment. From fixtures inspired by booming waterfalls, to neutral color schemes and natural light, nature infuses life back into luxury bath design for a serene sense of calm.

Tuesday 11/14/2017
How to Find the Right Home Mortgage So You Don’t Overpay
Updated: November 14, 2017 - 4:35 am

(StatePoint) Ample bedrooms and bathrooms? Check. A roomy kitchen? Check. A nice-sized backyard, storage space in the attic and just the right amount of curb appeal? Check, check and check.

Monday 09/11/2017
Yesterday's Factories Could Be Tomorrow's Offices and Homes
Updated: September 12, 2017 - 4:24 am

(StatePoint) To counter generic new construction projects, many cities and towns are converting older structures into vibrant tech offices, loft-style residences and even art institutions -- a process known as “adaptive reuse.”

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