Deciding what and where to buy
11:12 PM EDT, August 23, 2012
When it comes to vacation homes, there's something for everyone.
March 30, 2012
For more than 25 years, Todd Serpico has been cheering on the White Sox as a perennial season ticket holder, ever faithful that each season could be a magical one for his beloved ball club.
January 20, 2012
Can housing upsize and downsize at the same time? Absolutely.
January 13, 2012
If Scott and Kim Fogel had a theme song, it would be "You Can't Always Get What You Want." Because, as the chorus reminds us, if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need, especially when it comes to a new home.
November 4, 2011
Not everyone loves hitting the links. And, as relaxing as surf sounds can be, even they become commonplace after awhile.
October 28, 2011
A hefty tax burden, relatively high housing prices and long, brutal winters: Welcome to Minneapolis, the best city for seniors?
October 21, 2011
Take the new home you eyed five years ago but could not afford because your budget didn't allow you to go over $300,000. Add stone countertops, taller ceilings and other goodies. Welcome to your new home. And you still haven't spent more than 300 grand.
September 2, 2011
Is now the time to buy the vacation home of your dreams? That cottage by the lake, in the woods or on a golf course is a lot more affordable than it was five years ago.
10:16 AM EDT, September 2, 2011
As the mortgage crisis continues to inundate the market with distressed properties, today's house hunter has no shortage of cheap, foreclosed homes to pick through. Despite all those deals in the previously-owned home market, consumers shouldn't overlook the potential benefits of buying a new home.
April 1, 2011
Imagine that you are an eager home hunter who can't believe your luck. The newly listed property you are touring exceeds all the criteria on your wish list: It's sparkling clean with every amenity you desire. The price is right, too.
March 4, 2011
It wasn't too long ago that buyers looked at a new home and pondered whether they would flip it in two, maybe three, years. Today, the questions are different.
12:58 PM EDT, July 16, 2010
S.A. "Sam" Jernigan doesn't regret buying a 20-acre lot in Grass Valley, Calif., for her dream house. But the process, she admits, is "not for the faint of heart."
July 2, 2010
Buying a new house means making lots of choices. But long before you choose between Roman and roller shades, you make the biggest decision: Should you buy a custom, spec or tract house? The choice depends on your schedule, budget and personality.
Finding a Home
Are you a rehabber or do you love modern dwellings with all the amenities? Do you enjoy tearing down old wallpaper and painting 16 foot-high living room ceilings? Is your passion designing and installing a new kitchen?
Finding a Home
Many home buyers think that the neighborhood in which they will live should be just as important a choice as their future abode. Whether you love the Starbucks on the corner or the horse stable a mile away, it's a good idea to consider what a future buyer of your home might consider. While the proximity of public transportation or the quality of local schools may not be important to you, those criteria could be a dealmaker to a prospective buyer when you want to sell your home. In order to assess your desired home's resale value, you need to evaluate whether your new neighborhood meets some common-sense, quality-of-life standards that many people expect when they buy a home.
Finding a Home
Evaluating a neighborhood and its schools is an important aspect of your search for a home, especially if you have children. Will the neighborhood be safe for your kids? Does the school system have a good academic reputation? Checking public records is a good starting point, as is a leisurely drive through a neighborhood at various times of the day and on different days of the week. This will give you a good idea of what the community is like. Here are the key things to look for:
May 7, 2010
Can a building keep you healthy?
Finding a Home
There are only so many home photos and descriptions that you can view online. Eventually, you'll want to go out to see some properties in person. Open houses are a fun way to check out a variety of homes, while getting an up-close look at neighborhoods. When you go to an open house, pick up the property-information sheet and take notes on what you like and dislike. After seeing several homes, those notes will help you remember specific property details. And don't be afraid to take pictures, but ask the hosting real estate agent first if it's okay.
12:47 PM EDT, April 29, 2010
Homebuilders spend a bundle dressing their model homes so you are seduced by their sectionals and wowed by their wallpaper. What's behind the walls, though, is what determines if a house is best in show or just for show.
11:59 AM EDT, April 9, 2010
Kelly Litton hasn't met a large, purple dinosaur yet, but, like the folks at the paint desk in Lowe's "Can you match this? This? This?" commercial, she sees homebuyers' treasures of all sorts.
5:38 PM EDT, April 16, 2010
Next time you spot a PH button in an elevator, give a nod to Elisha Otis, whose successor companies took his lift designs from the mid-1800s to rarified heights in the 20th and 21st centuries.
June 28, 2009
Anup Bhattarai has been watching a lot of YouTube lately. Not that he has idle time on his hands -- quite the opposite, in fact.
May 15, 2009
First-time buyers David and Jennifer Waxberg considered a single-family house. After shopping different new-home developments and various housing styles, though, they bought a rowhouse at The Plaza on New York in Aurora for three reasons, says David.
December 19, 2008
They're spread across suburbia in every state of the union. They're whopper-sized houses—typically with 4,500 to 6,000 square feet of living space –– built in the last 10 years. Many in the real estate field call them "dream castles."
October 31, 2008
Real estate specialists who view the economy on a large screen are confident that those with the nerve to buy a home in the current market will one day be glad they did—particularly if they're now able to capture a quality property in a desirable neighborhood at a bargain price.
September 26, 2008
Many home buyers believe that moving to a suburban community with upscale houses will accordingly give them a warm, welcoming neighborhood.
May 12, 2008
Consumers soon may put the same kind of research and analysis into deciding where to buy or build a home as corporations do when looking for a site for a new store, predicts Jack Dangermond, president of the Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc.
May 11, 2008
With gas prices approaching $4 a gallon, it comes as little surprise that suburban homeowners who want a smaller place like the idea of walking to the store or the train station.
February 3, 2008
Critics call it the new redlining: Many of the country's largest mortgage lenders are restricting loan in counties or ZIP Codes that they rank as risky or "declining."
January 20, 2008
Some residential communities are so trendy their ZIP codes are well known and real estate agents are battle-scarred from bidding wars. Others, not so much. In the Chicago area, there are myriad neighborhoods, subdivisions and suburbs that are great places to live but don't have the cachet -- or price tags -- of their glitzier counterparts.
January 13, 2008
Sue and Joe Canale's new beach house in Ocean City, N.J., handsomely sided in gray shingles and just steps from the Boardwalk, rises four floors above sea level. The view, they say, is always changing. Sometimes, whitecaps churn. Sometimes, the ocean is a fuzzy pink blanket. Sometimes, lightning flashes above the sea and reflects on the water.
December 14, 2007
When Judy and Larry Plegge were ready to downsize from their single-family home of 32 years, they were clear on what they didn't want. No stairs. No yard work. No buildings blocking their view.
December 9, 2007
Silence is golden? Shannon and Steve Tauschman won't hear of it.
December 9, 2007
Georgetown and Capitol Hill are known for their lovely homes in some of the region's most popular historic districts. Such districts help protect the character of older neighborhoods, but living in them can pose special concerns.
November 25, 2007
Brooke Rinehart and her husband, John Bzdil, always talked about moving from their New York apartment to their home state of Pennsylvania -- someday. But after returning from their wedding this fall they made the decision sooner rather than later.
October 21, 2007
In most new-home communities, buyers can select from not only several floor plans and exterior elevations, they also get to choose the lot to put it on.
October 19, 2007
Buying a home is already a complex endeavor. Add in the sometimes-unfathomable machinations of a homeowners association and you enter a realm filled with the potential for misunderstandings that may have legal and financial consequences.
August 26, 2007
For more people, buying a home is becoming an act of faith.
July 26, 2007
They're the new urbanites: age 26 to 34, often recently married. In the past they might have opted for a small house in the suburbs.
July 5, 2007
Home buyers with school-age children face a greater challenge than ever as they search for a place that's both affordable and meets their family's aspirations.
June 1, 2007
HOMES ON THE WATER
As a longtime Naperville resident, Kelly Dichristofano regularly savored that community's Riverwalk.
May 10, 2007
OWNING AND RENTING
Are you planning to buy a home in an area that happens to have a glut of "For Sale" signs? If so, you may be in luck, says Sid Davis, author of "A Survival Guide for Buying a Home."
February 8, 2007
Maybe it was that ski trip in the mountains last year. Or maybe you re-read Thoreau and decided it was time to live in the woods for a while.
February 4, 2007
Kelly and Matt Elvin with Sammy (from left), Mandy and Boomer. The Elvins relocated to Oak Park partly so their golden retriever would have a yard. They have since added two Labradors. Now they have a farm in Michigan, where the dogs can really romp.
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