Kati O’Toole and her husband, Darin, wanted to create a giant piece of artwork on their private and heavily wooded seven-acre property in Montana. They ended up with what they refer to as the Montana Treehouse Retreat – a two-story, fully finished treehouse nestled among three living trees. “Everybody thought we were crazy [at] the beginning, like ‘What are you guys doing building a treehouse here?’ Our parents thought we were crazy,” says Kati. But the hard work and vision…

Contemporary yurts are popping up everywhere – from Los Angeles to Zion National Park – as airy homes, backcountry destinations or even weekend glamping getaways.  Below are some of our favorites. Marfa, Texas Photo by Nick Simonite. Sleep under a swath of stars in this brightly colored Marfa, Texas, yurt. Located about three hours southeast of El Paso, the yurt sits on a 21-acre artists’ retreat with a hammock grove, bike rentals and wood-fired hot tubs. Bringing friends? The yurt…

Buyers and sellers sometimes have the option of entering into a dual agency relationship with their real estate agent. Although this is not necessarily a problem, you should be aware of exactly what a dual real estate agency means and the restrictions it can place on your agent. What is a dual real estate agency? The term “agency” refers to the relationship that you, as a buyer or seller, have with your real estate agent. Dual agencies can occur with…

Disneyland, the beach, camping … just a few of the many places your kids would nominate as a vacation destination this summer. But staying home? B-O-R-I-N-G. So how do you sell a staycation to your little ones? And not spend a ton of money? Fill it with fun and adventure. Look for activities that are simple to pull together and entertaining for all ages – bonus points for those with educational benefits. Check out these nine kid- and budget-friendly ideas – and a few tips…

We’ve all heard home-buying horror stories. Sellers backing out or financing falling through can quickly kill a deal. But these snags don’t hold a candle to buying a “stigmatized” home. A home where paranormal activity, suicide, murder, cult activity or other misfortunes and crimes took place could be categorized as a stigmatized property. In real estate terms, a stigma refers to an intangible attribute of a property that may prompt a psychological or emotional response on the part of a…

A DIY driveway can be an easy want to add parking or improve the look of your home. Here are three relatively simple options. 1. Carve out a parking pad The easiest, most affordable way to get an extra parking space is to clear out some grass and throw down mulch. It works fine, looks good and can be done in a day. But beware: Mulch isn’t a permanent solution. Mulch breaks down over time, floats away in a heavy…

DTI, PMI, LTV … TBH, it can be hard to keep all this stuff straight. This lexicon of real estate terms and acronyms will help you speak the language like a pro. Appraisal management company (AMC): An institution operated independently of a lender that, once notified by a lender, orders a home appraisal. Appraisal: An informed, impartial and well-documented opinion of the value of a home, prepared by a licensed and certified appraiser and based on data about comparable homes…

Bleaching hardwood floors is a chemical process to lighten the color of the wood. Sometimes your hardwood floors become discolored with age or accidental stains. Occasionally, homeowners choose to lighten their floors in preparation for special finishes, such as antiquing or pickling. Learn how to bleach your hardwood floors, including what type of bleach to use, to get the job done correctly. Types of wood bleach There are three types of bleach you can use on wood: chlorine bleach, “two-part”…

Beyond the variety of styles, colors, textures and shapes available, pavers – often called paving stones – have distinct advantages over other driveway surfaces. Why choose concrete pavers for your driveway? Among other benefits, a concrete paver driveway delivers the following. Strength, durability and longevity: Sheet concrete and asphalt look good, but they really aren’t as strong and durable as you might think. Your driveway becomes nothing more than one giant slab. Although strong when in good condition, it won’t…

Insulation isn’t free, but as the old saying goes, sometimes you have to spend some to make some. When it comes to adding duct insulation, your monthly savings in utility bills will soon cover the costs, especially if you install the insulation yourself. The problem with uninsulated ducts You need insulation – even around your ducts – no matter where you live. Insulation isn’t only about keeping heat in. It also keeps the heat out of the home (or duct).…