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Inhabit: A remodel that makes room for two

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Sat, 03/19/2011 - 00:18
Gina Farina faced a remodeling challenge with her small two-level Arlington condo when she sought to open to up the space to accommodate a new roommate. Answering the call was Georgetown architect Ernesto Santalla.

Do-it-yourself: How to remove soap scum

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 23:50
Q. I have a fiberglass shower wall and tub that have accumulated a lot of hard-water stains, soap scum and dirt. I have tried all kinds of products, and they just don't clean it. Can you help? ¿ C. Davis

A few chores to get a jump-start on gardening season

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 23:46
If late winter was an indicator, we are headed for a bumper crop of flowers this spring. I saw the first color in Chevy Chase on the forsythia March 8 with buds opening enough to tease with a hint of yellow.

Where We Live: Cross Creek

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 23:43
Andrew Leighton is not a golfer, but the prospect of living on a golf course was intriguing when he and his family discovered the Cross Creek neighborhood. Now, Leighton, his wife, Jackie and their two children enjoy the view from their home adjacent to the course, located along the border betwee...

Housing paperwork can pile up at tax time - here's what to keep, and for how long

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 23:40
Many taxpayers are preparing for their annual battle with IRS form 1040 by gathering up all their documents, statements, checks and other assorted papers. At the end of this process, taxpayers are often left with piles of neatly sorted, tabulated and cross-indexed piles. From a homeowner's perspe...

Mortgage rates down as investors react to Japan crisis

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 23:27
Mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in almost two months, tracking a drop in Treasury yields as Japan's deepening nuclear crisis spurred demand for relatively safe investments.

With short-sale offer refused, foreclosure may end up the best option

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 23:23
Q. We built a spec house in 2007 as the market declined. We've tried to do everything to get it sold and recently received a short-sale offer on the home.

Attorneys general try to rein in lenders' shabby behavior on modifications

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 23:22
When you take out a home mortgage, do you expect to be treated fairly and competently by your bank or loan servicer?

Make room for Daddy - or Granny, or Junior, or . . .

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 23:08
Over the last 39 years, Michael Litchfield has built one new house, acting as both designer and contractor, and extensively remodeled five others. He has written nine books on the design, construction and renovation of houses, including one on remodeling that runs to more than 600 pages, and he w...

Ruined drywall?

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 23:06
Leaking water can sometimes create a massive water blister in latex paint on a ceiling. You may mistake this for ruined drywall when, in fact, the drywall may not have to be replaced.

Ask the builder: Fixing water-damaged drywall

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 23:02
Q. A water line burst in our home and created a significant leak. We were home and able to contain most of the water, but quite a bit got through the floor, ruining the drywall ceiling in the basement. Is there an easy way to deal with water-damaged drywall? Can we just wait for it to dry and the...

U.S. Housing Starts Drop to Lowest Level Since April 2009

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Wed, 03/16/2011 - 14:01
Housing starts in the U.S. declined more than forecast in February to the slowest pace since April 2009 and building permits slumped to a record low, signs the housing market recovery is limping along as the rest of the economy improves.

'Net zero' house to be built in Maryland should produce as much energy as it uses

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Mon, 03/14/2011 - 11:09
It sounds like an idea out of a sci-fi novel: a house that can produce as much energy each year as it uses. But most buyers aren't interested in houses from a sci-fi novel, and they aren't much interested in paying extra for them, either.

Do-it-yourselfer Q&A

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:49
Q. We have large ceramic tiles at our entry. They look fine, but when it rains they get very slippery. Is there a remedy for this? -L. Schnell

The family focus endures in Montgomery's Sherwood Forest

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:10
The Victorian house in the center of Montgomery County's Sherwood Forest neighborhood has overlooked the surrounding land for more than 200 years. Back in those early days, it lay just off the Glenmont-Colesville Road in the midst of Westover Farm, where crops such as corn and oats grew on nearly...

Mortgage applications rise as loan costs hold steady

Northern Virginia Home Guide - Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:06
Mortgage interest rates were little changed from last week, keeping borrowing costs steady as demand for home loans increases.

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