Owning a home means having a place that’s safe and secure to come back to after a long day at work, every day, forever, until you decide it’s time to buy a different home. In exchange for all this homeiness, all you have to do is keep all the broken bits together, maintain the grass and track home-related expenses.

Oh yes. If you don’t do a little bookkeeping, the tax man gets his and more. Might as well keep that cash as not, right?


Why You Should Track Home-Related Expenses


Your primary residence isn’t an investment, this has been said time and again (especially since the market crashed entirely), but that doesn’t mean that when you go to sell you have to take a loss. Far from it.

In fact, as of the writing of this article, you’ll likely qualify for a tax exclusion (meaning you won’t pay taxes on this amount of profit from your home sale) of $250,000 if you file on your own or $500,000 if you and your spouse file your taxes together. But, if you...

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It seems that everything is getting smarter these days. You’ve got your basic smartphone, your smart security system, your smart speakers and even smart refrigerators. It should come as no surprise that someone managed to make window blinds that are pretty smart, too.
 

On first glance, these things look like one of the least useful smart products out there. When you dig a bit deeper, though, it’s clear that smart blinds, much like smart thermostats, are actually a great way to save energy and make your home safer, all while you lounge on the couch conversing with Alexa and Siri.


What are Smart Blinds?


Smart blinds, like most things that are considered “smart,” are literally window blinds that can be controlled remotely through a smartphone app, and, in this case, by the voice assistant of your choice. You can use the app to open the blinds, close the blinds or set them somewhere in between.

While this doesn’t sound like much, if you think about the regularity...

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o/~ “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose…. even though your windows are closed….” o/~

If that sounds disturbingly like your home in the middle of winter, we’ve got to talk. You may not want to admit it, but something is very wrong with your windows and doors. On cool, calm days you can’t really tell if it’s cold inside because you have the thermostat turned down a bit or if if that chilliness is cold air leaking in from your windows, but on windy days there’s no doubt.

Just looking at those windows makes you shiver. Don’t suffer needlessly from low indoor temperatures and high utility bills. Instead, do something about it! It’s time for weatherstripping.


What is Weatherstripping?


Weatherstripping is essentially any material you use to close up gaps between two surfaces of building materials located on an outside wall (generally). The act of installing weatherstripping is also commonly known as &l...

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Of all the things that civilization has brought us, including sliced bread, hot water may be the very best. It’s certainly up there, without a doubt. So, it would follow that if you really value that hot water, you’d want to care for and protect the equipment that makes it possible.

Whether you’re doing it as a bit of regular maintenance or because you’re leaving a vacation or rental home unoccupied, draining said water heater is one of the easiest things you can do to keep that particular appliance in tip-top shape.


Why You Should Drain Your Hot Water Heater


Most water supplies contain lots of random minerals in various quantities. Get enough of them together and you get “hard” water, which really just means it has a lot of minerals in suspension. Over time, these minerals settle out and land in the bottom of your hot water heater. Given enough time, a layer thick enough to interfere with the function of the appliance will develop.

Before you reach that...

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The word “attic” conjures up images of dark, dusty relic storerooms that just happen to be hidden in plain sight. For plenty of homeowners, their attics are full of treasure, just not the kind you might think. Their treasure comes in the form of square footage.


Renovating an attic into living space can be a complicated process, but it adds real living space to a home that may already be perfect in every other way.


What’s This About Hidden Treasure?


Your unfinished attic has a secret that it’s never been able to really own up to. It’s hiding treasure — lots of it, too. Most people look to remodel their attics simply for the added convenience and elbow room that more space provides families with growing needs. What they don’t realize in the moment is that an attic remodel can increase the value of the house, too. According to Remodeling Magazine, in 2015 a newly constructed midrange attic bedroom returned 77.2 percent of its cost in value....

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You’ve been renting for a while now and it feels like the timing is right to make the leap to homeownership. After all, your friends are all buying houses and your job feels pretty stable, how many more hints that it’s time to settle down could you really need?

Well, if you’ve given it considerable thought, are certain you can cover emergency costs like unexpected roof replacement or furnace repair and you have a realistic expectation of what you can afford, then full speed ahead. Buying a house is a trying experience, only made significantly worse by credit mistakes.


Top Credit Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Home


Everybody makes mistakes, especially when it comes to their credit. The process by which your credit score is generated has long been veiled in shadows, making it doubly easy to misstep without even knowing it. However, there are certain mistakes that homebuyers make again and again, including these items that are obviously impactful to your credit score:
 ...

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