A Splinter-Free Deck for a Carefree Summer

An old deck in need of treatment

Splinters from decaying decks are downers. Here’s how to stop — and recover from — a deck attack.

Avoid splinters by properly maintaining your deck this summer. Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

Father’s Day Gift Match Guide: Great Tools for 5 Dad Types

19-in-1 multitool and organic shredded

Before you buy your dad another power drill for Father’s Day, decide what type of DIYer he is. Then let that — and our gift suggestions — be your guide.

Hurry Up on Short Sale if You Don’t Want to be Slapped with Tax Next Year

Congress needs to act, or forgiven mortgage debt won’t be forgiven next year.

At the same time that a bright spot has emerged for struggling home owners trying to get a short sale closed — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now require shorter short sales from lenders they work with — there’s a looming cloud.

Friday Five: Home Ownership, Still the American Dream

Home ownership dream still alive and well despite some regulatory uncertainty in Congress, including the fate of a short sale tax break.

Five years after the housing bust, voters still embrace home ownership. Plus, the stigma of buying foreclosures fades as more people take advantage of low prices at a time when the mortgage rate is at an all-time low. This and more in our roundup of the week’s top housing headlines.

Make-It Yourself Chalkboard Paint

Make-It Yourself Chalkboard Paint

It’s Time to Make Short Sales Shorter

New Fannie and Freddie rules and bipartisan bills aim to speed the short sale process, preventing more home owners from slipping into foreclosure and keeping the economy on its feet

Imagine you’re underwater on your mortgage, but you’re trying to sell your home. Your REALTOR® has a buyer lined up. Everything looks good to go. Except there’s one small problem: Your lender isn’t responding to your repeated requests to approve the sale.

Why Home Equity Beats Facebook Equity

As Facebook’s IPO nears, it’s easy to get caught up in the notion of getting rich quick. But there’s no surer way to wealth than home ownership.

As Facebook’s IPO date nears, it’s easy to start traveling down that “what if” path:

“What if I had equity in Facebook?!? How rich would I be?”

Friday Five: Housing Markets, Buyers Adjust to New Normal

Home sales rise, foreclosures fall, and the latest national flood insurance deadline looms.

In our Friday Five roundup of top housing news, we look at a return to traditional home sales: With rents on the rise across the country, many are taking advantage of low prices and short sale opportunities to trade in their lease for a mortgage. Also this week, we begin the countdown for national flood insurance reauthorization, which is set to expire at the end of May 2012.

2,200 Exmark Riding Mowers Recalled

The recalled Exmark riding mower

Exmark riding mowers are being recalled because faulty bearings can cause crashes. Image: CPSC

Don’t Panic Over Study that Found Lead in Garden Hoses

Garden hose outside a house

Lead and other toxic chemicals are often found in vinyl hoses, but it's nothing to worry about, expert say. Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic