Category: Home + Lifestyle

City vs. Suburbs: A New Study Breaks Down Exactly How Much More It Costs For Families To Live An Urban Life

From million-dollar condos to $8 beers, the bright lights of the big city don’t come cheap. In fact, living in New York City costs a family with young children $71,237 more per year than life in the surrounding suburbs.

That’s according to a joint study by Zillow and Care.com that compared the costs of housing, property taxes, and childcare in major cities to their outlying suburbs.

Most urban cores had a higher cost of living than their suburbs, though not by nearly so wide a margin. Chicagoans pay an extra $18,472 a year compared to their suburban peers; in Dallas, the urban premium is $14,128. City living was more expensive in housing hotspots like Seattle ($11,376), San Francisco ($12,560), and Washington ($12,832), too.

Read the source article at Apartment Therapy

Flipping Or Not, Homeowners are Ready to Renovate

It’s getting close to prime time for home renovations. Each year in Spring, homeowners start making to-do lists for chores and repairs. According to a recent survey conducted by Angie’s List, a website with reviews of local home improvement companies, 72 percent of homeowners are planning to spend as much or more on renovations in 2017 as they did last year.

Based on the Angie’s List survey, most plans for reno projects include kitchen and bathroom updates, as well as outdoor landscape projects. Also topping the wish lists were transformation projects – changing existing rooms into specialized spaces such as home offices, rec rooms and man caves.

But according to the National Association of Realtors, none of these priority projects named by homeowners actually make the top 6 list of renovation projects with the biggest return on investment.

The results of what made the top 6 renovation returns on your money may surprise you.

6. Siding

5. Garage Doors

4. New Wood Flooring

3. Insulation Upgrades

2. Refinished Hardwood Floors

And the number one return on your renovation dollar…

  1. New Roof

So whether you’re looking to flip a new home or spruce up the one you’ve got, you might want to consider where to spend your money this renovation season.

Sources: Bank Rate and Real Simple

How to Solve Common Sound Problems in Your Home

When we build and design our homes, acoustics are probably the last things on our minds. How many of us think actively about what our dwellings sound like? As is often the case with acoustics, they are out of sight and therefore out of mind—until a problem arises.

Maybe the sound of the stereo in a teenager’s bedroom echoes throughout the house or the noise of passing trains makes it difficult to sleep. Or perhaps your neighbor in the apartment next door complained that she can hear your TV through the wall.

The field of acoustics leaves most people baffled, and many builders and developers don’t prioritize spending money on acoustical consulting to ensure that homes and apartments sound pleasing to residents. 

Fortunately, one does not need to study the concert halls of the 19th century to be able to talk about sound in rooms. For everyday individuals, a simple understanding of common problems can lead to easy DIY fixes.

Read the source article at Curbed

7 self-watering planters to kickstart your spring

From the basic to the designer

Nothing says spring like more plants. They make for atmospheric decor. They help purify the air. And they can bring life into the house! That is, if you manage to keep them alive.

To that end, we can all use a little help sometimes. So, without further ado, here are 7 self-watering planters that will make it easier for those of us lacking a green thumb or two. Typically, these planters come equipped with a bottom reservoir for storing water and then slowly feeding it back to the soil through wicking. This means less frequent watering for you, and a better shot at avoiding overwatering or underwatering. Take a look.

Read the source article at Curbed

The Pinterest-Proven Formula for the Ultimate Cozy Bedroom

(Image credit: My Scandinavian Home)

Let’s do an experiment. Navigate over to Pinterest, type the phrase “cozy bedroom” into the search bar, and see what comes up. Pretty specific, right? It seems the internet has decided there’s a clear-cut formula to having a beautiful-but-cozy bedroom, and it involves lots of texture, a lack of housekeeping and copious amounts of tea. If you’re after this look for yourself (I don’t blame you, it is lovely), hang around while I break down this blueprint.

Read the source article at Apartment Therapy

Make It a Valentine’s Day to Remember

Decorating for Valentine’s Day is a great way to get into the holiday spirit and remind you about the love in your life.

But decorations don’t have to be cheesy hot pink, plastic, or printed with a cartoon character! It is time to glam up the romantic side of this holiday in your home this year.

For a look this Valentine’s Day that screams chic, not cheap, check out these ideas from Elle Décor. 

A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Guide to Entertaining for the Super Bowl

Either you like football, or you don’t. Either you like hosting parties, or you don’t. Either you already have Sunday, February 5th penciled in as the date to throw your neighborhood-famous Super Bowl bash, or… you don’t.

It’s not too late to get your act together and put something, anything together for the big game day. You just have to start from a place of introspection (we’re getting deep here—football parties are serious business where I’m from).

Read the source article at Apartment Therapy

Newly inaugurated Trump administration puts mortgage premium cuts on hold

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Friday suspended a controversial plan that would have slashed the premium rates for certain federally backed mortgages.

The reversal by the Federal Housing Administration came less than two hours after Donald Trump was sworn in as president.

The announcement came in a letter signed by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing Genger Charles, which said the reduction in FHA mortgage insurance premiums that was slated to take effect on Jan. 27 would be “suspended indefinitely.”

Read the source article at cnbc.com

America’s new most expensive house lists for $250M

Move over Florida megamansion with 33 bedrooms, there’s a new top dog in the national real estate market. Just listed for a bonkers $250 million in L.A.’s Bel Air, this lavish pile of glass, white walls, and turf is the work of luxury developer Bruce Makowsky, who famously sold a Beverly Hills spec home to Minecraft creator Markus Persson for $70M, a house that Jay-Z and Beyoncé had also been eyeing.

Read the source article at Curbed