Home Design Trends in 2017

There are lots of exciting things happening in home design. The combined International Home Builder Show (IBS), Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), and New American Home were held in Orlando recently. We wanted to share some of the home design themes seen there, to help you create your dream home.

We often think we can tell what a house is like by it’s appearance from the street. This year’s New American Home broke that rule. From the street it appears to be a contemporary home in Florida but it turned out to be so much more.

Houses with More Glass Walls... 

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Strategy for Investing in Home Technology

There are lots of new buzzwords talking about smart homes, home automation and the Internet of Things. There’s also a lot of confusion about what they mean, so let’s start with some definitions.

Terminology for Today’s Smart Homes

Internet of Things (IoT) – refers to the interconnection of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, like light bulbs. The computer devices allow “things” to send and receive data, and thus transform the way we live and work. Home automation – involves the control and automation of lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), security, home appliances and home electronics for work and entertainment. Smart homes... 

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Creating Memories of the Holidays to Enjoy All Year


It’s fun decorating our homes for the year end holidays. Now think about the your favorite holiday memories and those you want to capture with photographs to enjoy throughout the year. You’ll quickly realize that your favorite memoires involve the people you love. Our homes are simply the backdrop for our holiday traditions, providing us with the space and gadgets to enjoy time together.

So we invite you to join us as we explore ideas for creating special spaces where you can encourage more face-to-face interactions while creating great photo opportunities. We know you already have lots of decorating ideas so we’ll look... 

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What’s On Your Home Management Calendar?

We get annual checkups at the doctor and take our cars in for oil changes periodically. If you have a family budget, you might review your insurance costs once a year but what about your house? Do you know how much you’re spending on utilities, maintenance and repairs? Are you trying to save for a deck in the backyard or want to remodel the master bathroom?

Now that the kids are back in school, it’s the perfect time to take a look at what your home needed this past year, and priorities for next year. Unless you’re a realtor or work in construction, managing... 

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Homeowners Insurance – How Many Kinds are There?

When buying a house, it makes sense to purchase homeowners insurance to protect your investment. And if you’re financing your home, the lender will require that you have coverage to protect their loan.

Buying a house involves a lot of paperwork. That’s why most of us never take enough time to review all the different types of homeowners insurance that exist, and how they work to protect our homes.

Homeowners Insurance Associated with Buying a House

Did you understand the different types of insurance you might pay for when closing on a new house? They might have gotten lost in a sea of numbers on the closing... 

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Totaling Up the True Cost of Home Ownership

Buying a house is pretty exciting. It often requires a degree of creativity to pull together the money for a down payment, and qualify for financing to get the house you want. The bank focuses on your ability to pay the mortgage, property taxes and homeowners insurance in addition to other debt obligations you have.

Few home buyers take the time to calculate the true cost of home ownership before committing to their monthly mortgage payment. You’re not alone as everyone helping you buy a house wants you to buy your dream house in the best neighborhood, with lots of extra options.

For those thinking ahead,... 

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How to Measure Your Homes’ Energy Efficiency

It wasn’t too long ago that homeowners wondered what green home building meant, and was it worth the added costs. No one is questioning these ideas now. We’ve embraced energy conservation to lessen US dependency on oil imports and reduce our impact on the environment. It’s an integral part of the 2015 International Residential Building Code, chapter 11 Energy Efficiency.

So where do homeowners learn more about building green homes? It would be nice to have one link to everything you need to know about energy efficiency but it’s more complicated. For those who want to learn more, here’s a good starting place... 

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Home Security Tips to Protect Your Home While on Vacation

Our homes have changed a lot over the last few years, with the introduction of new technology that makes it possible to manage our houses from our smart phones.

Technology is also changing how we interact with the world outside our homes. For example, you can now submit a request to “hold mail service” from a computer, and it doesn’t matter where you are.

So this month we’re giving you a home security checklist to use as you prepare for summer vacation. We’ll highlight some of the new ways you can protect your home, like locking your door from your phone if you can’t remember doing... 

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Top 10 Landscaping Trends

As the days grow longer, our focus shifts to the outdoors. We’re tired of being stuck inside all winter and love that it’s light out when we get home from work. You might start out by using the grill for more meals, eating outdoors on a mild evening and start dreaming about … that next homeowner project.

Spring is a great time to assess your home’s landscaping from many angles.

Does your front yard have great curb appeal for friends, neighbors and future home buyers? Are your children encouraged to burn off that energy that makes you exhausted just watching them? Does your family enjoy... 

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Creating a Low Maintenance Home

We all thought we’d have more free time when we started using technology. We’ve got it in our houses, in our cars, in our hands. Instead what we’ve discovered is there are now more ways to use our time — social media, 100s of apps, watching movies and more.

That’s why we tend to forget (or ignore) routine home maintenance. And honestly, who wants to caulk, grout or replace the screen fabric in a patio door, as you hardly notice the difference. So this article introduces a new approach to home maintenance, to reduce how much time you need to invest over the years.

The idea is... 

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