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Home Design Trends for 2015 and Beyond

The National Association of Home Builders recently announced the winners of the Best in American Living Awards – a prestigious award program that spotlights design excellence for the entire residential building industry.  Award recipients are lauded as the most creative and inventive builders, remodelers, architects, developers, land planners and interior designers in the nation.

Take a look at the newest trends in design that home buyers will see over the next several years based on submissions from this year’s winners. Then get inspired to incorporate your favorite trend in your own home.
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Top 10 Tips from NAHB Remodelers to Prepare Your Home for Spring after Severe Winter

As much of the United States recovers from one of harshest winters in recent history, it is important to inspect your home for damage and plan for home maintenance, repair and remodeling projects. Winter weather can be particularly damaging to a home and the tips from NAHB Remodelers can return your home to top condition after the severe winter.

“Winter weather can damage homes in ways that aren’t easily visible,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Paul Sullivan, CAPS, CGR, CGP, of Waterville Valley, N.H. “Home owners should protect their investment and hire a professional remodeler to repair or replace damaged components now, before spring storms create more problems.”

NAHB Remodelers recommends these top 10 tips for home owners to inspect for damage and make sure your home is ready for spring from top to bottom.

Beware Unscrupulous Contractors

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that after a natural or man-made disaster, there are people who will try to profit from a community’s misfortune. Tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, windstorms and other disasters can destroy lives and property without warning. Sadly, in the wake of the tragedy, unscrupulous contractors often flock to an area to take advantage of the distressed home owners who are trying to repair the damage or rebuild their homes.

But a fly-by-night contractor is one disaster you can prevent if you pay attention to some common warning signs. In fact, it makes sense to look for these signs when you are evaluating any potential contractor, whether it’s for post-disaster repairs or a planned-for renovation to your home.

Here are some common warning signs:
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Home Financing 101 for First-Time Home Buyers

As our nation’s housing and job markets continue to recover, many first-time home buyers are gearing up to become home owners. Yet, with stricter regulations put in place after the housing crash and the long list of paperwork that’s already required to buy a home, many prospective home buyers remain concerned about the home financing process.

Advance preparation is key when getting ready to buy a home. You need to decide how much to spend on your home and which type of mortgage will work best for you, as well as understand the settlement process.

Before you visit a sales office, model home or open house, you should take advantage of the many sources that can help you get prepared, and take some steps to ensure you’re in the best possible financial situation.
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