NAHB economist Paul Emrath discusses the results of the latest NAHB home buyer preference survey, in which buyers responded that they still prefer green features in homes and are willing to pay more up front to save on future utility bills. ENERGY STAR® rated appliances ranked second from the top among 150 different home and community features that respondents were able to rank. The trend for green features remains stable--preferences for particular gr...
A year ago, several experts predicted the new tax law would cause a slowdown in the housing market. So far, the limitations on mortgage-interest and property-tax deductions haven’t had a negative impact. Instead, rising mortgage rates and home prices are doing more to put a damper on the market. Economic uncertainty brought on by global trade tensions, stock market volatility and the government shutdown also isn’t helping. In this environment, potential h
Since many restaurants and theaters are overcrowded with celebrating couples, why not take a look at some ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day at home to make your sweetheart feel truly special? Have a Fireside Picnic If you have a fireplace, rekindle your spark by pulling the sofa in front of a roaring fire and have some champagne on ice standing by. For an added touch, serve strawberries to bring out the champagne’s flavor, or drop pomegra...
Energy use sneaks up on you. One day, you think you're being responsible—flipping off lights, not running the AC excessively, turning the TV off after "Game of Thrones"—and the next day, you're standing slack-jawed by the mailbox, staring at a power bill that must have been racked up by gnomes living in your closet. Pretty much everyone has accidentally gone overboard on energy use, but there's a lot you can do to keep your expenses in check. These eigh
If moving in the dead of winter (or, really, doing anything other than wearing a Snuggie and watching Netflix) doesn’t sound ideal, we don’t blame you. The kids are in school. There are holidays to deal with. The days are short and dark. And it's cold—really, really cold. But there are a few very good reasons to break out those coats and boots and start hauling boxes—or better yet, paying someone else to haul boxes for you. If you have any control over
Start by Planning Ahead Remodeling a kitchen is a big undertaking and one that requires careful planning. If you’re thinking about redoing your kitchen, these ideas offer some important things to consider before you go ahead with your remodeling plans. Whether you’ve already gathered information, ideas, and samples, or are in the beginning stages of looking at your space and trying to figure out what to do, it’s smart to step back and conside
Selling a home is a complex process to navigate in and of itself. The matter becomes even trickier when you add cold weather into the mix. Homeowners looking to increase their chances of selling their house for a fair price this winter need to be aware of a few specific tips and tricks to keep in mind when selling during these cold months. So which methods of getting a fair price during the winter season are more effective than others? Below, 11 members o
Plant Winter and spring months are good times to shop for blooming azaleas and camellias in Sunset climate zones 7-9, 14-17. Don’t let the flower color alone determine your choices, though; before purchasing a plant, make sure it’s healthy and its leaves are lush and green. Avoid plants that have pale leaves, overly leggy growth, or roots protruding through drain holes. The following small- to moderate-size maple trees are perfect for home gardens in
From architecture that can withstand Mother Nature’s wrath to warm neutrals replacing gray-washed rooms, stay in the know about the biggest interior design predictions for the coming year. Shifting economies, demographics, and land shortages are issues altering how we live and what buyers are looking for in a home. Going smaller has become bigger—a trend Not So Big House author and architect Sarah Susanka first advocated more than 20 years ago. A desir
The holidays are coming soon, so 'tis the season to be jolly. That said, it's also important to have good manners during all the fun and fellowship. Even your closest family members and friends should be treated with respect when you're visiting them in their homes. During the holidays, most people will play the role of guest at one point or another. When you are invited to spend some time visiting a friend or relative, you want them t...