7 Things People Always Pack Wrong: How Many Have You Done?

No matter how carefully you plan for a move, we've got bad news for you: Odds are, there are at least a few things you'll pack all wrong. Why should you care? Because, of course, possessions that aren't packed well tend to break. Here's how to do it right. 1. Cleaning supplies Cleaning supplies and other potentially hazardous household materials are common things that people tend to pack incorrectly, says Cori Bamberg, a certified professional organizer at DitchTheClutter.com. People tend Read more [...]

Proof of Funds Letter for a Real Estate Purchase: Why Home Buyers Need It, Bad

A proof of funds letter is a document that proves that a home buyer has enough liquid cash to purchase a home. It's essential paperwork that all home sellers will want to see, so home buyers shouldn't feel prepared to make an offer without one.“Sellers won't want to take their property off the market without knowing that the buyers are truly able to afford it,” says Linda Walters, a real estate agent at Sage Realty LLC in Wayne, PA. Here's what buyers need to know about how Read more [...]

What Is Hard Water? How It Can Wreak Havoc on Your Home

What is hard water? It's water that contains high levels of certain minerals—namely calcium and magnesium (soft water, by comparison, lacks these elements).Homeowners who learn that their water is "hard" might wonder if it is OK. While hard water poses no serious health risks, it can nonetheless cause various problems within a home.Here's where hard water comes from, how to check for it, and what you can do to remediate the negative effects. Where does hard water come from?If Read more [...]

What Is a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter? Get Crystal-Clear Tap Water in Your Home

Reverse osmosis sounds like something we learned in science class, but what does a reverse osmosis water filter do? In a nutshell, it helps homeowners get better-tasting water by removing certain elements. After installing a reverse osmosis system, many folks appreciate the high-quality water that comes out of their taps; the water tends to taste and smell better, and the ice cubes are clear.“It's as if you're drinking bottled water without the bottles,” says Mike Paice, Read more [...]

How to Meet Your Neighbors: Icebreakers Even Introverts Can Pull Off

Want to know the secret of how to meet your neighbors after you've moved into a new home? It's this: Stop waiting for people to swing by with an apple pie. These days you have to be proactive and get out there yourself!So how do you do that?Granted, whether you've just moved in or lived someplace for eons, many find this simple act of reaching out amazingly hard. If that sounds like you, it's OK: It's all about knowing a few icebreakers. Here are a few that even the shyest Read more [...]

13 Decor Items Grown Adults Should Never Have in Their Homes

Millennials call it "adulting"—those triumphant/scary moments in life when we discover that we've actually got our acts together, that we're grown-ups tackling grown-up things. In grown-up ways!There are a few common milestones of adulting: Have steady employment. Pay your bills. Know how to cook for yourself. Contribute to a 401(k).If you've checked all of those things off your list, you might be feeling pretty good about your status as a responsible member of human society. Read more [...]

The Best and Worst Cities for First-Time Home Buyers in 2018 Include Some Shockers

Think San Francisco or New York City would be the most challenging place to buy your first home? Nope—first-time home buyers will struggle far more in Denver. Really.This surprising finding comes from LendingTree's just-released list of the best and worst cities for first-time home buyers. LendingTree researchers ranked the 100 largest U.S. cities not only by the price of homes, but also by other criteria such as the average down payment, the percentage of buyers who have Read more [...]

Will It Become Harder to Afford a Home? Experts Say Yes

Despite a red-hot real estate market, most aspiring buyers can still afford to buy a home—if they can find one. But it may not be that way for much longer.Households bringing in at least $68,000 a year, the national median, could afford about 59.6% of all newly constructed and existing (previously lived in) homes sold in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to a recent National Association of Home Builders report. But that doesn't take into account the most expensive coastal markets Read more [...]

Types of Kitchen Countertops: Which One’s Best for You?

There are many types of kitchen countertops, and each has its particular pros and cons, including the price. Since this surface can have such a big impact on how a kitchen looks, you might be wondering: What's the best kitchen countertop for your home?That depends, of course, on your sense of style and your cooking proclivities. So whether you're looking to renovate your kitchen or are shopping for homes and wondering whether you'll love or hate the counters you see , here's Read more [...]

How to Declutter Your Home Without Throwing Out All Your Stuff

Clutter. The mere mention of the word makes many of us gasp in horror. These days, the overarching mantra is that we should all learn how to declutter, simplify, go all Marie Kondo on our homes until they're bare, minimalist to the extreme. We must toss out everything.But what about those of us who actually like our clutter—or at least the things that make up that disarray—and actually cringe at the thought of sacrificing most of our worldly possessions?The good news Read more [...]