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2013-2014 Cost vs. Value: Remodeling Pays Off Big Time

As existing-home sales and home prices make remarkable strides upward nationwide, remodeling projects are also continuing to make a comeback in a big way. This is the second year in a row that all 35 projects in Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report saw more home improvement dollars recouped upon resale of a home than the previous year. Existing-home sales reached 5.02 million in 2013, a 9.1 percent increase from 2012, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Home prices also rose in 2013: Existing homes commanded a median price of $197,100, up 11.5 percent from the 2012 median price of $176,800. This is the largest price gain since 2005. Also for 2013, the cost-value ratio of remodeling projects nationwide averaged 66.1 percent, up 5.5 points over the previous year — which is, like median price, the largest increase since 2005. Read more.

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Buying A Home Is Now 38% Cheaper Than Renting

Is renting or buying a better financial bet? Every six months, Trulia’s chief economist Jed Kolko runs the numbers to answer that question and help you stay on top of the trends.  So what does Trulia’s Winter 2014 Rent vs. Buy Report tell us? Although the gap between renting and buying is narrowing across the U.S., homeownership is still 38% cheaper than renting. Homeownership remains cheaper than renting nationally and in all of the 100 largest metro areas according to Trulia TRLA -1.26%’s latest Winter Rent vs. Buy report. Read more.

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5 Ways To Decorate Your New Home On A Budget

Guest Post by Doug Chapman, www.homedaddys.com

Most of the stress is in the rear view mirror now that you finally have the keys to your new home. You’ve made everything happen, from signing the paperwork to getting financial details under wrap. Now it is time to move it and officially make it your own new home!

Many times people start thinking about how am I going to pay for this? How am I going to pay for that? Well when you start having these feelings about furnishing your home, don’t fret. Everyone seems to go through these emotions. The key is, how do you manage it?

Good news – there are many ways to decorate your new dream home while being on a budget. There are so many options to spruce up the house without crushing your bank account. The key is – find the right ideas!

Here are five suggestions to decorate your new home while keeping within your budget:

  • One of the simplest ways to add flavor to your new home while being on a budget is to look at the flooring. You don’t have automatically put new flooring in – whether it is carpet or hardwood floors – you could also add a special little touch with an area rug. It may sound like a band-aid to your new home before you can actually put forth the money to go all out, but in the short term it is a great idea and you can adjust as needed.
  • Another key is to make sure that you don’t use all of your financial resources in just one room of the house. You know the most-used places are typically the kitchen and living room – so make sure that you spread your finances out and focus more on those. However, the key is to not pull all your marbles in those...

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