D.C. exhibit focuses on adaptable homes

By: Katherine Roth

Most housing is designed for nuclear families (one couple with dependent children), but today, most U.S. households don’t meet that description. That’s why flexible floor plans — and innovations including moveable walls, smart technology, multifunctional furniture and space-saving features — are the future, according to a new exhibit, “Making Room: Housing for a Changing... READ MORE

Make the most of small outdoor spaces

By: Melissa Rayworth

As herb and vegetable gardens, composting and other aspects of green living become more popular, many people with limited outdoor space are looking for ways to squeeze the most out of it. “A client in a modern high-rise in downtown Chicago did not have a typical garden per se, but did have a large outdoor balcony with a beautiful view,” said interior designer Edyta Czajkowska,... READ MORE

The latest design apps for home layouts

By: Katherine Roth

Planning out how to arrange furniture in your home — or plants in your garden — used to involve a pencil, graph paper, a measuring tape and a lot of imagination. The process has gotten easier — and way more streamlined — thanks to a burgeoning selection of home and garden apps. Furniture companies, interior design firms and even landscapers have been rolling out a new... READ MORE

Closing cost scam targets home buyers

By: Thomas H. Blanton

You’ve found your dream house and made a winning offer on it. Now all that’s left is a transfer of funds to get you in the door. That’s when the closing-cost scammers strike. Posing as real estate or settlement agents, these con artists swindled home buyers out of nearly $1 billion last year, up from $19 million in 2016, the FBI said. The scheme works like this: Thieves hack... READ MORE

Tips for renting out your home on Airbnb

By: Miriam Cross

Q: I’m going on vacation and want to rent out my home on Airbnb. What do I need to know? A: Renting out your home while you’re away sounds like an easy way to make money (and may even help pay for your vacation). But you need to make sure your rental is legal, and that you have the right insurance and are paying all the taxes due. Before posting your ad, ask your condo... READ MORE

How to help grown children buy a home

By: Marilyn Lewis

When responsible first-time homebuyers need help buying a home, the “family bank” sometimes can lend a hand. Younger homebuyers face a mountain of obstacles, including rising home prices and interest rates, too few homes for sale and unpaid college debt. Student debt is a major source of trouble. When the National Association of Realtors surveyed recent homebuyers who had problems ... READ MORE