Real Estate Blog

3 Options for Displaying a Collection

Are you a collector? Whether you have a passion for art, photographs, action figures or something else entirely, here are some options for displaying your memorabilia.

Mount It on a Wall
Family photos and art pieces are commonplace, even among those who don't consider themselves collectors. Fortunately, there's no shortage of creative ways to display wall art.

The trick is to focus on the frames. For instance, one method is to use frames of the same color but of varying sizes and designs. This creates visual interest and unites the collection. Figurines and other small items with depth can be housed similarly using shadowboxes or a divided case.

Hang artwork at eye level for optimal visual appeal. For

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Shows like HGTV's "Fixer Upper" have popularized the idea of buying and renovating the worst house on the best block. Homes that need major remodeling, however, aren't for everyone. Sometimes a move-in ready house is a better option. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, it's important to understand the pros and cons of each.

Pros of Fixer-Uppers

  • Lower price -- Homes that require some updating tend to be priced lower, and many renovations can quickly add value to your home.
  • Creative control -- When you're the one in charge of updating your home, you can customize it however you choose.

Cons of Fixer-Uppers

  • Delayed move-in -- The planning and work involved to fix it up can significantly delay your move-in
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Summer's almost here, and it's time to start grilling! Whether you're an old pro or new to the game, our essential guide will prepare you for the grilling season to come.

Choosing a Grill or Smoker
There are a variety of grilling options available, and each has its pros and cons.

  • Charcoal grills take longer to heat up, but they also achieve hotter temperatures, making them perfect for searing meat. And purists love charcoal for the flavor it produces.
  • Gas grills are a favorite among recreational grillers, largely because they're easy to use and heat up quickly. They do cost more than charcoal grills up front, but they're less expensive to operate over the long term.
  • Electric grills are portable and compact, providing a practical,
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Is it time to replace your window coverings? If they're worn, damaged or dated, it's probably time to start "window" shopping for something new. The good news is that now more than ever there are endless styles and colors to choose from. Find the right window treatment by considering your various options.

Determine Your Style -- Take a look at your decor and decide if a traditional or more modern style of window coverings would suit your home. Nowadays window coverings come in a wide variety of finishes, colors and styles.

Choose Your Material -- Determine what type of material fits your budget and maintenance preferences. Options include fabric, vinyl, aluminum, wood and even faux wood. You could frame your windows with curtain panels, opt for

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Beautiful garden inspiration can come from all parts of the world. From the neat and pristine gardens of France to the peaceful meditation gardens of Japan, there are many design styles to help you create a pleasing outdoor space that suits you best. Here are some international ideas to help you get inspired this spring:

Traditional English -- "Romantic" and "dreamy" are words often used to describe classic English gardens. They typically feature meandering pathways, sculpted shrubs and abundant sweeping flowers, like climbing roses. Recreate the look with plenty of climbing greenery and bright pops of color.

Formal French -- Indulge your inner neat freak with the clean lines of a formal French garden based on order, symmetry and geometric

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Whether you're thinking about buying an investment property for steady cash flow, a vacation home for your family or a temporary home for your college-bound son or daughter, there are a few things you should consider before making the investment:

Local Market -- Both the local resale and rental markets are important factors. Are home prices on the rise, increasing the possibility of a profitable sale in the future? Is the rental market tight, causing average rent prices to go up? You'll want your rental income to be able to cover mortgage costs, taxes and expenses.

Maintenance -- When calculating costs, include routine maintenance and potential repairs. If purchasing a property to rent out, note any requirements and safety obligations for your

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Thoughtful home staging is more than just tidying up and cleaning every room. It could mean a quick sale and higher selling price if done right. Here are five ways you can leave a positive impression on potential buyers.

Eliminate Clutter -- Clear the clutter from around your home. It's easy to overlook things you see every day, so try to approach all spaces with fresh eyes. Consider having a friend come over to help point out unnecessary items. Larger pieces like coat racks and side tables can make a room feel smaller.

Clean Out Storage Spaces -- Make space in kitchen and bathroom cupboards, closets and other storage areas. Pack up items you don't regularly use, and put them out of sight or donate them. Leaving these areas completely full may

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Home renovation reality shows have inspired many homeowners to consider costly upgrades for their own homes. While many home improvement projects are worthwhile, it's important to know which ones are worth it from an investment standpoint.

Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind when you're deciding on a renovation project.

Value Added (or Subtracted) for Future Buyers
Think of your renovation project in terms of what will appeal most to potential buyers, even if you're not considering selling anytime soon. Converting a garage into a living space or eliminating a bedroom or a closet may cause future buyers to cross your home off the list; these spaces are among the most important to potential homeowners.

Many buyers won't even look

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Looking for a quick way to rejuvenate your living space? Before you go changing layouts or knocking down walls, try giving your interior a fresh coat of paint. This fairly simple task can dramatically alter the look and feel of your home.

Changing interior paint is an easy do-it-yourself project that most can tackle in a weekend or two. Before you get the rollers out and start painting, here are some basics about the interior paint finishes available:

Flat or Matte -- Hide imperfections with flat paints, which absorb light and make the colors seem darker. The downside? This type of paint is the least stain resistant, so reserve it for low-traffic areas and ceilings.

Eggshell -- Not as dull as flat paint but less shiny than semi-gloss, this

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Thinking about giving your floor a facelift? You've got several flooring options, including the following:

Hardwood -- Hardwood is a classic choice that works with any architectural style and can last for more than a century with the right care. Maintenance is a cinch and repairs are simple enough when normal wear occurs or pets leave their mark. That said, keep in mind that wooden floors can be cold and loud if they're not accessorized with rugs.

Carpet -- Carpet, whether natural or synthetic, is one of the more versatile flooring options. Wool carpeting is durable and resists moisture and stains better than synthetic fibers like nylon and acrylic. Easy cleaning and natural insulation properties for both sound and temperature are upsides, but

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