Home Owners

Skylights vs. Solar Tubes

Quick! Find the Solar Tube (in the Photo above) From an energy and maintenance point of view, the perfect home is probably a cave: only one opening, deep underground or in the side of a mountain. But most people don’t want to live that way. So, modern homes have lots of (energy-leaking) doors and windows...
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How to Spot Bad Electricians — and Realtors — in Less Than 2 Seconds

The Business Card Test Well, the really bad ones  . . . are dead.” –Master electrician, explaining how consumers can tell the difference(s) between electricians. Fortunately, being bad at real estate sales isn’t life-threatening. Subpar Realtors simply tend not to make a living at it, and drop out. Perhaps that’s why something like 90% of...
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The Très Magnifique Ceiling (or is it, “Tray?”)

I’ve got a hunch how — at least in some people’s minds — “tray” ceiling became “trey”: “très” is French for “very” (as in “very beautiful”). From there, it’s just a small step (and single letter) to “trey.” Of course, that’s also how the word sounds phonetically. However, the correct adjective for a recessed ceiling...
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The Trouble with Tuckunder’s

Easier Sell in Summer? The problem with tuckunder garages is what’s “over” the “under”: usually, a bedroom. If that bedroom happens to have hardwood floors, and it’s Minnesota in the winter . . . it can be unpleasantly cold. The two other problems with tuck under garages: 1) they tend to be single stall; and...
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Quick! What Shape is an “American Foursquare?”

Bonus Question: What Exactly is “Square” About It? It would certainly be logical to guess that an “American Foursquare” home is, well . . . square (its foundation, at least). Nope — they’re usually rectangular. Specifically, the typical profile is slightly narrower on the sides, and deeper front-to-back. That shape better fits standard city lots...
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The Best Realtor Blog in the U.S.?* You’re Reading It!!

“City Lakes Real Estate Blog” Tops the List (Google’s) So, how do you get to be the best Realtor blog in America? Start with a daily post featuring a topical bit of real estate-related news or analysis (usually). Then, write 6-8 more such pieces the same week. Finally — and here’s the hard part —...
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