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Does ‘staging’ a home lure buyers into paying more?

  By DANIELGOLDSTEIN PERSONAL FINANCE REPORTER Plastic surgery might improve one’s looks. But so might a little makeup. When it comes to making your house more attractive to prospective buyers, home staging is definitely in the makeup category. What is home staging? Just like makeup, it’s an on-the-surface solution. Staging can help your place look its best during the sales period without the cost or expense of a renovation. For about $3,500 to $4,500 a month, the home you’re … [Read more...]

U.S. Home Builder Optimism Slipped in July

U.S. home builders said they lost a bit of confidence in July due largely to uncertainty over how the housing market will perform in the next six months, though they maintained a positive outlook overall as sales strengthen. The National Association of Home Builders said Monday its monthly index of builder confidence in the market for single-family homes slipped one point to 59 in July. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a reading of 60. Economists look at builder confidence because when … [Read more...]

Respect Your Elders: The Oldest Homes Currently for Sale

In Phoenix, we don't see homes this old very often...or ever for that matter. Curious about the oldest house in our national listings, we went on a journey back in time. How far back? Try over 300 years. We pinned down a house in Massachusetts built in 1683—nine years before the Salem witch trials took place.Sign Up Beyond that oldie but goodie, we found nine other ollllllllld homes currently on the market. We ranked ’em by age and came up with the 10 most senior homes for sale. While you expect to … [Read more...]

The Best Year for Sales Since the Housing Boom

The end of the year brought a sizable boost to existing-home sales, as delayed closings from new mortgage rules pushed some would-be November transactions to December, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Existing-home sales — which are completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops — rose 14.7 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in December. Sales are now 7.7 percent above a year ago. That marks the best year of … [Read more...]

Is Open-Plan Living Over, or Here to Stay?

Architects, designers and Houzzers around the world have their say on this trend and predict how our homes might evolve   Open-plan living hasn’t merely risen in popularity in recent years, it seems to be the mainstay of what many people look for in a home. At the time of this writing, there were more than 600,000 photos of open-plan spaces on Houzz.com, so it’s clearly a popular lifestyle choice with a strong fan base. Why is it so fashionable, and what are the pros and cons of open-plan living? We … [Read more...]

Tips for Tax-Savvy Homeowners

With nearly three months left in 2015, jumbo-mortgage borrowers can make tweaks to cut their tax bill in April Autumn chores: raking leaves, weatherproofing, storing the patio furniture and preparing for next year’s tax returns. With nearly three months left in the year, jumbo-mortgage borrowers still have time to make tweaks that can lessen what they owe in April. Here are some tips from tax experts—but be sure to consult a tax professional for specifics on your return. First, the tax rules are tricky for … [Read more...]

Millennials consider buying homes as rents get more expensive

While the Valley’s economy continues to improve, the housing market has lagged. “It’s been the one major missing piston in the whole economic recovery,” said Jim Huntzinger, chief investment officer of BOK Financial. “Housing has been slower than it almost ever has been coming out of any major recession.” And who do the experts blame? Millennials, mostly. Millennials, once labeled “the generation of renters,” have appeared to have no interest in buying homes – until now. “Partly, it’s the millennials (who) have … [Read more...]

5 housing projects breaking ground in Phoenix neighborhoods

Phoenix is in a building boom. Cranes dot the downtown skyline as construction crews transform lots on nearly every major street. Housing projects run the gamut from apartments to townhouses, from the central city to the suburbs. Some already are underway. Others will need more planning and approval before they break ground. Downtown A rendering of Alta Fillmore. (Photo: Wood Partners, LLC.) Project: Alta Fillmore. Developer: Wood Partners, LLC. Location: Fillmore Street and … [Read more...]

10 Tips for Planning a Galley Kitchen

Follow these guidelines to make your galley kitchen layout work better for you A galley kitchen consists of two parallel runs of units forming a central corridor in which to work.  The galley layout works well for all kitchen styles; it’s also the preferred design of many professional chefs, who love it because it enhances safety and efficiency during cooking. Just like the compact galley on ships, for which the layout is named, galley designs optimize space by packing in an abundance of storage and work area, … [Read more...]

Plans for Arcadia Frank Lloyd Wright House include tours, weddings

Early plans for the David and Gladys Wright House envision the Arcadia home as a visitors’ destination, including a shaded garden and underground education center for tours, performances and weddings. Site maps and a list of property uses — submitted to the city late last week — are the first official look at how the owner of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house intends to open it to the public. The documents were filed as the first of many steps to seek a special permit allowing the uses in a residential … [Read more...]

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