Best Rain Barrels to Help You Conserve Water

Rain can be stored in properly designed barrels for use in watering plants and other food sources.

Rain can be stored in properly designed barrels for use in watering plants and other food sources. (Pixabay/)

Water is crucial to our lives. We need it to quench our thirst, to grow our food, to clean our bodies, and more. Whether you are an avid gardener, or have water seeping into your basement, rain barrels can be a great tool to help with water collection and reuse. Here are our favorite rain barrels and why we like them.

Perfect for those who want to save space, this model can sit flush against any wall.

Perfect for those who want to save space, this model can sit flush against any wall. (RTS/)

Made out of 100 percent recycled plastic, the ECO Rain Barrel is designed for easy, long-lasting use.Worried about debris or insects infiltrating the system? Fear not, as this barrel includes a plastic screen and a plastic spigot shut off valve for that very purpose. For simple and efficient rainwater collection, you can’t go wrong with an ECO Rain Barrel.

These are designed to connect multiple barrels to increase water capacity.

These are designed to connect multiple barrels to increase water capacity. (FCMP/)

The Outdoor Rain Catcher makes collecting water a breeze with a large opening and even some side spigots to connect multiple barrels. Need a solution to excess water flow? How about the ability to expand your water collection? This child and pet safe barrel is designed to direct excess water away from foundations, and to connect multiple Rain Catcher barrels for maximum water storage.

This BPA-free barrel is self-draining and contains a built-in overflow to prevent water damage.

This BPA-free barrel is self-draining and contains a built-in overflow to prevent water damage. (Gallon/)

This self-draining, palm planter-top barrel combines form and function to collect water in a unique way. Who says rain barrels aren’t attractive? The Impressions Palm Rain Barrel not only looks great with its palm trunk finish and planter top, it also allows you the convenience of using a hose and spigot simultaneously. Makes rain harvesting easy and fun.

Made from previously used food grade drums that produce safer water for fruits, vegetables, and other plants.

Made from previously used food grade drums that produce safer water for fruits, vegetables, and other plants. (Gallon /)

This product offers a DIY barrel made of food grade, repurposed plastic that users can modify to suit their water collection needs. Not all rainwater barrels are created equal. That’s the philosophy behind this kit. With an easy-to-use twist top lid and a break-away spigot, this 58-gallon barrel allows you to customize it how you see fit. This DIY kit is perfect for beginners and experienced rainwater harvesters alike.

No need to worry about leakage or punctures, it's is made from PVC frame and anti-corrosion PVC mesh fabric.

No need to worry about leakage or punctures, it’s is made from PVC frame and anti-corrosion PVC mesh fabric. (VINGLI/)

This collapsible rain barrel is made from high quality materials that make it easy to store and reuse, year after year. For those who want to harvest rainwater but also want to maximize your outdoor space, this rain barrel is for you. With eco-friendly materials and an innovative foldable design, this rain barrel is durable and easy to store in your garage, utility room, or shedBest of all, assembly is easy!

Best Earwax Removal Kits

It's not difficult to keep your ears clean when you have the right tools.

It’s not difficult to keep your ears clean when you have the right tools. (Unsplash/)

Earwax build-up is a common problem for people of all ages. While a certain amount of this substance is actually beneficial, it can be problematic when there’s too much. Excess earwax can make one prone to ear infection and even potentially contribute to long-term hearing loss. Thankfully, there’s a straightforward solution.

Smooth silicon material maneuvers easily and won’t scratch.

Smooth silicon material maneuvers easily and won’t scratch. (BEBIRD/)

BEBIRD’s earwax removal kit features a wireless ear scope which comes with a 360-degree wide-angle professional-grade camera, giving you a great look inside the ear. The otoscope can reach the eardrum and deep of the ear canal. A protection ring is used to protect the ear of your baby when you’re using it on infants. Six powerful lights illuminate the ear canal so you can see clearly and in-depth, and a built-in temperature control system keeps the tool from getting too warm or cold inside your ear. For a great added benefit, you can download the free app and connect it to the scope via WiFi, which gives you an ongoing way to keep track of your ear health.

When the drops are applied inside the ears, they begin to release oxygen that helps to break down blockages and clears up that stuffy feeling.

When the drops are applied inside the ears, they begin to release oxygen that helps to break down blockages and clears up that stuffy feeling. (Debrox/)

The Debrox earwax removal drops utilize a microfoam cleansing action that loosens built-up material, allowing it to drain from your ears with ease. The 6.5 percent carbamide peroxide formula is non-irritating. For use on adults and kids over age 12. This kit comes with two bottles of the dropper formula so you can keep plenty on hand in your medicine cabinet.

No more struggling to get an aspirator bulb inside those tiny areas with a wiggling baby working against you.

No more struggling to get an aspirator bulb inside those tiny areas with a wiggling baby working against you. (oogiebear/)

It’s hard to imagine that babies can already have a problem with excess earwax, but it’s true. The oogiebear earwax tool will help you tackle the tough problem of getting this out of your baby’s sensitive ear. The special rubber tool and loop are excellent for removing buildup without harming your infant’s ear canals. The cute bear head design ensures you won’t place the instrument too far inside baby’s tiny ear. This tool performs double-duty and can be used for your baby’s nose, as well. The oogiebear is so useful it has become a popular gift registry item, too.

You add four parts warm water and one part hydrogen peroxide and everything else you need for the process is included in the kit.

You add four parts warm water and one part hydrogen peroxide and everything else you need for the process is included in the kit. (Earwax/)

The Equadose earwax removal kit takes earwax cleaning the extra step by fully irrigating your ears. Comes with ear drops, three disposable cleaning tips, a spray bottle pump, and tubing. This potent solution is great for loosening up and draining the most impacted ear. Even though it’s a thorough cleaner, it’s still gentle enough to ensure you don’t cause any irritation or harm to your ear canal. This kit is modeled after the same ones doctors use, only it’s designed for you to be able to use in the convenience of home.

You can save the images and videos to compare before and afters, and better monitor your overall ear health.

You can save the images and videos to compare before and afters, and better monitor your overall ear health. (Softula/)

The Softula wireless earwax tool features an endoscope with 5 strong LED white lights and a 1080 HD camera, allowing you to capture high-resolution video as you look into and clean out the ear. The pliable ear spoon tools come in several angles to gently and effectively remove wax without irritating the ear canal. You can connect the tool to most Android or iOS smartphones and tablets for great visual coverage, making it much easier to see what you’re doing and enhance effectiveness. The included USB charging cable makes it easy to keep it ready without having to constantly swap out batteries. We love how you can also use this versatile tool to check teeth, nose, and throat, and you can even use it on your pets.

A Forgotten Chapter in U.S. History: When Women Had To Choose Between Mortgages and Motherhood

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Less than 50 years ago, many mortgage lenders refused to consider a woman’s income. Some asked women for letters promising they would return to work if they had a baby. Others requested statements from their doctors that they were on birth control—or worse.

Marjorie and Paul Wintjen had been struggling to raise their two young sons in a 12-by-7-foot mobile home. But by the early 1970s, they had outgrown it. They yearned to own a proper house in a family-friendly community with a yard large enough for their boys to run around in. A three-bedroom ranch went up for sale in a nearby, suburban Delaware neighborhood where their friends lived. The house was three times the size of their trailer, with a hardwood floor and a full basement, and it was perched on a quarter-acre lot.

So in 1972, 25-year-old Marjorie, an operating room technician, and Paul, 27, a fast-food restaurant manager, applied for a mortgage through their local bank. It was the only one Marjorie remembers existing at the time in their small town of Milford.

The Wintjens sought a mortgage reserved for veterans, as Paul had served in the Coast Guard. Together they earned about $14,000 a year and planned to put 10% down on the modest $19,900 home.

“We would have something that really was ours,” Marjorie, now 73, recalls to realtor.com®. “We both wanted the American dream.”

But their lending officer didn’t want to count Marjorie’s income. Finally, the officer agreed to include half of it, which would enable them to qualify for the mortgage, if the Wintjens would agree to one condition: She would have to provide a medical certificate stating that she was sterilized.

This would provide some assurance to the lender that she wouldn’t get pregnant again, quit her job to become a stay-at-home mother, and be unable to repay the mortgage.

Marjorie Wintjen, now Marjorie Brown, in 1965

Photo provided by Marjorie Brown.

As shocking as this may seem today, discrimination against women seeking housing and mortgages was rampant until the mid-1970s, manifesting in a variety of punishing, even invasive, indignities. Lenders commonly refused to count a young woman’s full income when determining whether to make a mortgage.

Some loan officers asked for “baby letters,” written promises that a woman would continue working if she had a child. It also wasn’t unheard of for lenders to require letters from a woman’s doctor stating she was on birth control.

Certain private lenders made even more draconian requests in the early 1970s. There was the highly publicized case of the newlyweds who claimed their lender made them promise to remain childless through birth control, an abortion, or a vasectomy. Marjorie’s experience of being forced to choose between sterilization and a mortgage was picked up by the New York Times.

Such demands were far less pervasive than the baby and birth control letters. But they reportedly did happen.

This letter was included as evidence in the lawsuit USA v. Jefferson Mortgage Corp.

Discriminatory lending practices against women in all forms of credit, especially mortgages, had been common and accepted business strategies for years. But things were reaching an inflection point in the early 1970s, as sweeping societal changes collided with many lenders’ outdated stereotypes of women.

Women were entering the workforce en masse. Birth control became widely available in the mid-1960s, and abortion was legalized nationally in 1973. Women were deciding if and when they wanted children, and that control enabled them to earn advanced university degrees and go into professional jobs.

Still, entrenched business practices and sexist attitudes die hard, and there was wide interpretation of lending guidelines when it came to loan officers granting mortgages. Eventually, a groundswell of outrage grew across the nation. Women started fighting back—in the press, the courts, the chambers of government.

“It makes sense that all of these challenges emerge when all these highly educated, professional women are entering the workforce and planning on staying,” says Chloe Thurston. She is the author of “At the Boundaries of Homeownership: Credit, Discrimination, and the American State” and a political science professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

“Women were really, really angry at being told their prospects for homeownership relied on proving they were taking birth control or had a hysterectomy,” says Thurston.

A postcard of Milford, DE, circa 1970s

Provided by the Milford Museum.

Marjorie Wintjen, now Marjorie Brown, still remembers the humiliation she felt when she was told she’d have to get sterilized to be approved for a mortgage.

“When you grow up female back then, part of you kind of expected you would be treated like that. That was the way of the world,” she says. “I didn’t know how to fight them.”

Marjorie had been raised to believe that authority figures knew best. She knew full well that women often couldn’t even open credit cards or get car loans without the signatures of their husbands or fathers.

“I was aghast at first, and then thought maybe they’re right,” she says. “It didn’t seem fair, but it was their house, their rules.”

In 1974, just two years after she tried to get a mortgage, sex discrimination in housing and credit would be widely scrutinized, challenged, and ultimately outlawed. But in 1972, in that small Delaware town, the Wintjens found themselves staring down an unimaginable choice.

Women had enough—and began fighting back

The kind of injustices faced by women like Marjorie were helping to fuel the second wave of the feminist movement. Women spoke out about their experiences in the media and filed complaints with federal officials. Government officials, academics, and feminist leaders testified in congressional hearings about women’s lack of access to credit.

All the while, the discrimination against women seeking mortgages was having a devastating impact on couples.

In 1972, newlywed magazine editor Carol Lewicke and Navy officer Martin Lewicke were living in a one-bedroom apartment when they found the home they hoped to purchase in Arlington, VA. Carol’s father thought homeownership would be a good investment for the childless couple, both in their 20s, now that they were married.

That year, the Lewickes applied for a loan through the Veterans Administration (now known as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) through the Floyd E. Davis Mortgage Corp., in Falls Church, VA, to buy the two-bedroom brick house.

However, Martin’s roughly $6,000-a-year salary wasn’t enough to qualify for the mortgage. The lender was nervous that Carol would quit her magazine job, a position that paid $11,000 annually, if she became pregnant. If she wasn’t working, the lender feared her husband couldn’t make the mortgage payments on his lower salary.

So their loan officer offered to make them a deal.

The Lewickes would promise not to have children, through birth control, an abortion, or Martin getting a vasectomy, according to the couple’s version of the story. In exchange, they would get the loan.

The 1973 Washington Post article on the Lewickes

The Washington Post

The Lewickes submitted a letter from Carol’s gynecologist affirming she was practicing birth control and was unlikely to become pregnant. They were granted a mortgage and bought the home they wanted.

However, once the loan closed, the Lewickes filed a federal complaint against the mortgage company. The VA investigated the charges. Their story appeared on the front page of the Washington Post on Feb. 24, 1973.

“The whole thing was just unreal,” Carol told the Post. “I didn’t believe something like this could happen in this country.”

The loan officer at the Floyd E. Davis Mortgage Corp. denied suggesting abortion or vasectomy. He did admit to asking for evidence that Carol was using birth control. However, he claimed Carol had been the one who wanted to promise an abortion or a vasectomy if she stopped taking the pill.

“If her income stopped, they would not be able to make the payments,” the mortgage company’s vice president, Leon A. Graybill, told the Post.

“I didn’t believe something like this could happen in this country,” said Carol Lewicke.

The VA didn’t appear to directly request these baby and birth control letters that lenders asked for on the agency’s behalf in the early 1970s. The Post report quoted an unnamed VA official who said the agency would prefer lenders “not submit these damned statements to us.”

The VA’s policies on qualifying wives for mortgages left a lot open to interpretation by lenders. Many loan officers likely thought they were being prudent by soliciting additional documentation and promises.

For example, a Feb. 2, 1973, VA bulletin for mortgage lenders doesn’t dissuade lenders from submitting medical statements.

“In a case where a married veteran’s income is not sufficient to qualify him for a loan, consideration may be given to his wife’s income,” read the VA bulletin. “In certain instances, a veteran and his wife may be unable to have children and supporting medical evidence may be submitted to the lender for transmittal to VA to establish the likelihood of the wife continuing to work. If such a medical statement is voluntarily submitted by the veteran to the lender, it cannot very well be refused upon receipt in VA.”

It’s unclear what happened with the VA investigation into the Lewickes’ complaint against their mortgage company.

The couple lived in the brick home they bought with the loan they received from the Floyd E. Davis Mortgage Corp. for three years before moving to the Detroit area. The Floyd E. Davis Mortgage Corp. became Permanent Mortgage Co., which no longer exists. The Lewickes divorced, and Martin Lewicke no longer remembers the details of the investigation. Realtor.com was unable to locate Carol.

But Martin, now in his 70s, does recall his shock and outrage over the incident.

“We were pretty upset at the time, to say the least,” Martin, a retired United Parcel Service deliverer, tells realtor.com. “How would you like it if someone really wanted to control you?”

Other women fought back in court

Elsa Drettler, formerly Elsa Wigandt, in front of the Great Neck, NY, home for which she was originally denied a mortgage.

Photo by Anthony Delmundo.

While some women waged a war for public opinion in the press, others battled the injustices in court.

In 1973, Elsa Wigandt and her boyfriend applied for a mortgage from the Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. to purchase a three-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom home in Great Neck, NY. The public school teachers chose the lender because it had advertised lower interest rates than its competitors.

However, the lender refused to consider Wigandt’s income and denied their application. Her annual salary of $15,350 was nearly $1,000 more than that of her boyfriend, a fellow teacher with less seniority. So despite their setting aside $25,000 for a down payment on the $75,000 house, they couldn’t qualify for the loan.

Wigandt was incensed. At 29, she had a master’s degree and tenure as an elementary school teacher in Queens, NY, where she had worked for the last eight years. She also didn’t have any children.

“You feel kind of neglected in society, like you’re not as important as a man,” says Wigandt, 77, whose name is now Elsa Drettler. “[I got] a kick in the head at the same time I seemed to be rising in the education field. You’re treated like someone who can’t add 2 and 2 together and get the right number.”

The couple refused to give up. They secured a mortgage from a different lender that year and bought the home. However, they were penalized financially.

The Manufacturers loan offered a 7% mortgage rate over 25 years. The mortgage they got had a 7.5% rate over 30 years. That difference would cost them about $20,000 over the life of their 30-year loan, assuming they didn’t refinance.

So when Drettler saw a commercial on TV for a feminist law firm looking for women to join a class-action lawsuit against Manufacturers Hanover Trust, she jumped on board.

“I said, ‘This is perfect for me,’” she says.

———

Watch: Denied a Mortgage Because of Her Gender, She Fought Back

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The National Organization for Women was behind the lawsuit, which was being handled by the firm of Bellamy, Blank, Goodman, Kelly, Ross & Stanley, in New York City.

“Women were treated as suspicious candidates that were not financially secure,” says Mary F. Kelly, a former partner at the firm, which no longer exists. When women applied for loans, unless they had a male guarantor or deep assets, “they weren’t considered viable candidates.”

In 1972, just 28% of the larger savings and loan associations said they would count all of a working wife’s income, according to a United States Savings and Loan League survey of 421 institutions.

The same year, about 10% of lenders said they asked both male and female potential borrowers about birth control, according to a survey of 40 commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, and mortgage bankers making loans on single-family homes in the Washington, DC, area. The survey was administered by the D.C. Commission on the Status of Women and the Women’s Legal Defense Fund.

“The thinking at the time [was] that women were not reliable for loans,” says Kelly. “It was the ’50s image of the woman continuing into the ’70s: wearing high heels and a fancy dress, vacuuming the house, and taking care of babies.”

The law firm won the case in 1975. Wigandt received about a $10,000 settlement, half of which went to NOW. She spent the rest on a brand-new, silver car.

The home Elsa Drettler, then Elsa Wigandt, bought in 1975 in Great Neck, NY

Photo by Anthony Delmundo.

Lending discrimination against women had a long, hurtful history

Discrimination against women in lending had a long, painful history. It was a byproduct, at least in part, of the federal mortgage programs that emerged in the aftermath of the Great Depression, according to author Thurston. These programs required much lower down payments, a departure from the 50% to 60% buyers had typically put down beforehand, and much longer loan terms. With more money to lose, making loans became riskier. That’s why women and even single men were deemed dicier applicants.

Communities of color were typically hurt the worst, as couples who were earning less than their white counterparts would struggle to meet the income requirement on a single salary. Widows, divorcees, and single women, even those making good money, were often refused mortgages or required to have male co-signers.

“You could have been a well-regarded member of your [profession] with a high income, and it wouldn’t be unusual for a lender to ask for your retired father, who is no longer employed, to co-sign a loan for you,” says Thurston.

A women’s rights protest in Boston on March 8, 1970

Getty Images

By 1968, the Federal Housing Administration allowed lenders to count a woman’s entire income if she had a long enough work history and the loan officer believed she would continue to remain employed.

Young wives’ salaries were taken into account in 89% of FHA applications by 1970, testified Quinton Wells at the 1972 National Commission on Consumer Finance hearings. He was the director of the Office of Technical and Credit Standards at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 1971, Fannie Mae, then called the Federal National Mortgage Association, repealed its policy of counting only half of a married woman’s income due to public opposition. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., aka Freddie Mac, was created in 1970 and generally considered a woman’s full income from its inception.

Still, many private lenders lagged behind.

Laws were enacted outlawing sex discrimination in lending and housing

There was no one injustice, court case, or article that ended gender discrimination in credit. Instead, it was a loose coalition of feminist organizations, researchers, government committees and agencies, along with the lawsuits and public opposition, that took on the sexist practices, according to author Thurston.

Individual women also played a large part.

After being denied two credit cards and a mortgage, Senate fellow Emily Card persuaded her boss, U.S. Sen. William Brock, to take up the fight. (Card was the primary breadwinner in her marriage as her husband was still in school, and the lenders wouldn’t consider her full income.) She worked on drafting the Equal Credit Opportunity Act for the Tennessee Republican. The law was enacted in 1974, making it illegal for lenders to consider sex or marital status when issuing credit such as mortgages.

This outlawed discounting a woman’s income or asking a young wife to provide a baby letter—or worse.

A baby letter included as evidence in the lawsuit USA v. Jefferson Mortgage Corp.

“People didn’t talk about it. It was an invisible problem,” Card says of the discrimination. But after passage of the law, “almost overnight, people could suddenly get credit cards.”

The same year, the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 amended the Fair Housing Act to make it illegal to discriminate based on sex. (Many states already had laws on the books to outlaw various forms of discrimination against women by then.)

It was also around this time that the VA amended its own policies.

“In consideration of present day social and economic patterns, the Veterans Administration will hereafter recognize in full both the income and expenses of the veteran and spouse in determining ability to repay loan obligations,” read a VA circular distributed to mortgage lenders on July 18, 1973. “VA regional offices have been instructed that there shall not be any discounting of income on account of sex or marital status in making such determination.”

Marjorie Wintjen, now Marjorie Brown, never received the mortgage to purchase the house she wanted.

Photo provided by Marjorie Wintjen

Unfortunately, these changes came too late for Marjorie Wintjen, now Marjorie Brown. The Delaware operating room technician balked at her mortgage lender’s demand she get sterilized to get a loan. She refused to have the procedure done and never got the mortgage that would have enabled her and her then husband to buy that single-family home.

“It was diminishing,” she says of the humiliation she experienced. “I felt like it was my fault that we couldn’t get the house we wanted.”

The couple lived in their cramped mobile home until they separated several years later. She eventually remarried and moved into a house she owned with her new husband, with whom she’d have two daughters.

She went on to become active in the women’s movement, earn two college degrees and a master’s degree, and start a shelter for battered women before becoming a nurse. She and her husband now live in a rental property in Asheville, NC.

“All of those adverse things that happened to me made me stronger,” says Marjorie. “Nowadays, I’d have 10 or 20 people picketing outside the bank. … I would raise a fuss. They would know Marjorie Wintjen existed in the world, and I wasn’t going to take it.”

The post A Forgotten Chapter in U.S. History: When Women Had To Choose Between Mortgages and Motherhood appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Exclusive: The Stars of ‘Unsellable Houses’ Reveal 2 Simple Upgrades That Sell Any House

unsellable houses

HGTV

Leslie Davis and Lyndsay Lamb are twins in Washington state on a mission: to sell homes that seem utterly doomed to sit on the market—and document their efforts on “Unsellable Houses.”

On their HGTV show—which premieres its second season on Tuesday—Davis, a real estate broker, and Lamb, a designer, work together to prove that even the ugliest homes have hope, and may not require as much work as sellers might think.

Curious to hear their secrets to a successful sale, we chatted with these twins to hear more about the worst houses they’ve ever seen, how they turned them around, and more. Read on to learn what it takes to ink a swift and profitable real estate deal—whether you plan to sell soon or years down the road.

You two have fixed up a lot of homes. What’s the worst house you’ve seen so far?

Lamb: A couple years ago, we sold a house we lovingly referred to as “The Bird House.” It had about 15 birds that they allowed to just roam the house. And they had eaten the Sheetrock off the walls, they had eaten through doors—I didn’t realize that birds did this! I would say that that was easily the worst house that we ever sold.

Lyndsay and Leslie
Leslie Davis, left, and her twin sister, Lyndsay Lamb, pose in the living room of a house they remodeled in Washington.

HGTV

Are there any features that owners should always keep when trying to get top dollar for their homes?

Davis: It would be very unusual for us to have somebody take out good-quality cabinets or countertops even if they’re not to date. We are called regularly from people who want us to remodel their kitchen before selling because they have dark tones, and today’s popular style is whites and grays. We often convince them to leave the cherry cabinets and tan countertops because the cost of replacing those is not going to be justified in the long run.

Now, if we’re going to reconfigure a kitchen and make it an open floor plan, and that’s going to bring us more money, then yes, we’ll put in today’s style of cabinets and countertops. But we would never suggest just replacing cabinets and countertops because they’re not today’s color.

What are some easy fixes homeowners can do themselves to sell their house?

Lamb: I would say paint, paint, paint! The cost of ripping out trim and putting in new trim is so expensive. Paint your trim, paint your walls. You always need a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Paint doors. If you’ve got really good cabinets and you’re convinced that they need to be a different color, paint the cabinets.

Also, probably one of the most dramatic and easiest changes is to just change out light fixtures and hardware in a home. They can make such a difference selling a home.

Lyndsay and Leslie
Davis and Lamb often tell homeowners that they don’t need to remodel everything before selling.

HGTV

Leslie, your expertise is in budget and negotiating. What financial tips do you have for those hoping to sell their house?

Davis: We walk into homes where sellers have these to-do lists for themselves, or for their handymen, that’s a mile long. And by the time we leave, it’s only seven or eight things. So I would suggest sellers speak to an expert in their area before they start doing a major project.

There are a lot of things buyers are willing to look past, especially in today’s market, that a seller doesn’t realize that they’ll look past. For example, buyers might not care that your pantry door is a little bit misaligned. They might not even notice until they move in and are there for six months.

kitchen
Before: Lamb and Davis decided this dated kitchen could stand for a makeover before the house was put on the market.

HGTV

Have you ever made a big mistake trying to sell a house?

Davis: We’ve underestimated budgets quite often. Like, in one episode, we got into a rental property, and the renters did not take care of the home and there was substantial damage that no one, not even the inspector, could see. So we had to invest almost double our budget to get the house done. Luckily, this market is so great we were able to recover it, but there’ve definitely been homes that we either just barely broke even on or ended up in the negative. So it’s not a flawless system by any means. We learn as we go. You have to make mistakes to grow!

Do you have any renovation or financial advice for those looking to invest in real estate or start flipping houses?

Davis: I’d say start small. Lyndsay and I started this concept by investing in people’s homes, about $10,000, only doing carpet and paint and countertops. Very cosmetic, surface items. We started by never touching homes that were more than 1,200, maybe 1,500 square feet. Often, we want to go back to those days because it was a lot easier when the projects were smaller.

kitchen
After: Lamb and Davis worked wonders on this kitchen.

HGTV

2020 was a wild year—how has the coronavirus changed the way you sell houses?

Lamb: This last year, we focused a lot on staging with multiple office spaces.

So we like to stage a primary office space, and then we also stage what we would consider a kids’ office space, or what would be a home schooling space, because we want to show the buyers how they can use the house.

We also always stage the backyard with yard games and fire pits. Because, again, we want to show them how they’re going to use that space.

What trends have you noticed are on the upswing of late?

Lamb: The trend that I’ve seen most often is people are building covered patios or covered porches so they can extend their living space from inside to outside. Because we’re getting a lot of people moving, but we’re also getting a lot of people who are staying put and just renovating their own homes or just updating them some.

They can’t necessarily add another floor, or they don’t want to do these massive renovations, but they want a little bit more entertaining space. So they’re adding maybe a 20-by-12 covered living space or covered patio in their backyard, adding some bistro lights and nice furniture, and they’ve got this great entertaining space.

Has starring in a reality show changed your lives in any way?

Lamb: When we film, we have to put tape over our license plate so that they don’t get our license plate on TV. Well, I forgot to pull off the tape before we took off. So we’re driving down the road in our Volkswagen and I get pulled over by a police officer. And Leslie and I were like, “No really, we’re filming. Do you watch HGTV? Do we look familiar? Can I show you our Instagram?” He had no clue who we were, but he did let us go!

The post Exclusive: The Stars of ‘Unsellable Houses’ Reveal 2 Simple Upgrades That Sell Any House appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Organize Your Patio with these Pool Storage Boxes

Keep your patio accessories dry and safe with a pool storage box.

Keep your patio accessories dry and safe with a pool storage box. (Poolstorage/)

Everyone loves a swimming pool, and everyone who has one knows there’s a certain amount of work and maintenance that comes with it. Pools attract many accessories, and those need to be organized and stored somewhere. Despite the name, pool storage boxes aren’t exclusively for pool items. Because these come in such large sizes, they can accommodate a wide variety of tools and equipment inside them as well. Below are five of our recommended pool storage box options we think you should consider for your home organizational needs.

You can even use this storage box as a bench, which is capable of handling a 485-pound weight capacity.

You can even use this storage box as a bench, which is capable of handling a 485-pound weight capacity. (Keter/)

This pool storage box by Keter has enough space to roughly hold about 90 gallons of gear. The polypropylene resin plastic construction means this box can withstand rain, snow, wind, and other inclement weather for a very long time, keeping your items in good shape. The lockable lid adds extra security so you can have peace of mind. The soft grey color blends neatly and subtly into your outdoor decor.

Keep your belongings safe without clashing with your outdoor décor.

Keep your belongings safe without clashing with your outdoor décor. (Keter/)

Keter’s storage box provides 70 gallons of storage space that can fit outdoor toys, pool accessories, furniture cushions, and more. The elegant natural wood-look texture fits in nicely with the rest of your outdoor décor. It has a 771-pound seating weight capacity – more than you’ll ever need. It also looks and feels like a comfortable sitting bench. The weather-resistant resin gives you peace of mind that this sturdy box will withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it. Attractive, functional, and dual purpose, the Keter Eden will keep your pool or deck area in ship shape.

When you have company over or host pool parties, you can use the storage box as an extra bench to seat your guests.

When you have company over or host pool parties, you can use the storage box as an extra bench to seat your guests. (Lifetime/)

The name says it all. The Lifetime pool storage box is constructed with high-density polyethylene and rust-resistant stainless steel hardware, so you can feel assured it will maintain its structural integrity for a long time. The box delivers a hefty 150-gallon storage capacity, so you can use it to store all sorts of your pool and patio related belongings with ease. The controlled spring-hinge lid opens more than 90 degrees and won’t slam shut at unexpected moments.

A great feature is how the water-repellant poly resin construction resists rust and ensures your box will look attractive for years to come.

A great feature is how the water-repellant poly resin construction resists rust and ensures your box will look attractive for years to come. (Suncast/)

The Suncast storage box is made of a beautiful plastic design that looks like wicker. It boasts a 99-gallon interior storage capacity so you can store grill supplies, pool toys, sports equipment, and patio cushions or many other extras without a space problem. You can flip the lid open on its hinges to easily access your belongings. The mocha color blends right into your natural landscape.

The waterproof material is highly resistant to the elements and is built to last through even the harshest weather.

The waterproof material is highly resistant to the elements and is built to last through even the harshest weather. (Plastic Deck/)

This storage box by LeisureLife features a plentiful 120-gallon storage capacity within a large frame. Installation is easy and tool-less, and you’ll be ready to use it in a matter of minutes. The rattan surface is attractive and made of environmentally friendly material that is waterproof, moisture proof, and color fast. Store your pool toys, garden tools, cushions, and more, and ensure they’re kept safe and secure. Its aesthetic appeal makes it suitable to double as a decorative table or fixture among your fine patio furnishings.

Stay Stable with these Toilet Safety Rails

Get a grip on safety in the bathroom.

Get a grip on safety in the bathroom. (Toiletsafety/)

Nowadays you can easily incorporate safety rails into the toilet area to make it easier for you or those you care about, and you don’t need to be an expert to install them. There are numerous products on the market, but below we highlight five that we think offer you some excellent options depending on the specific need.

Skid-resistant rubber tipped legs add an extra measure of stability.

Skid-resistant rubber tipped legs add an extra measure of stability. (Medline/)

The Medline toilet safety rail system is made of a solid aluminum frame that is able to handle up to 300 pounds. It can be easily mounted to your toilet bowl with no complicated installation involved. You can adjust the height from 26 to 31 inches to best accommodate standard or elevated toilets. We especially like the closed cell foam armrests that deliver a comfortable and secure grip, making this a great option for anyone needing the extra support.

A pole can be very supportive while still allowing for plenty of space to maneuver in and out of the desired area.

A pole can be very supportive while still allowing for plenty of space to maneuver in and out of the desired area. (Stander/)

Stander’s security pole safety rail delivers unparalleled stability while you’re sitting on the toilet or stepping into the bathtub. It can lock into position every 45 degrees and supports up to 300 pounds, meaning you can have peace of mind during transitions. The floor-to-ceiling transfer pole measures from 7 to 10 feet tall and features rubber pads to secure it into place without causing damage to your home. The grab bar built right into the pole gives the user added security and stability. The durable and modern design means this rail system will last as long as you need it to.

Padded grips add comfort, and each leg is equipped with a non-slip rubber tip to keep it securely in place.

Padded grips add comfort, and each leg is equipped with a non-slip rubber tip to keep it securely in place. (OasisSpace/)

The OasisSpace safety rail system is easily assembled in a few minutes, so you can start using it in no time. The handy width-adjustable design allows it to be used with standard toilets and also on those with wider bowls measuring 20 to 25 inches. The handle height can also be adjusted from 24 to 31 inches to better suit each user. The safety rail features a 300-pound maximum weight capacity. This simple and supportive design is helpful for elderly or disabled individuals, as well as pregnant women, arthritis sufferers, recovering surgery patients, or anyone who may be experiencing balance issues.

The molded plastic raised seat attachment is lightweight but heavy duty.

The molded plastic raised seat attachment is lightweight but heavy duty. (Carex/)

This toilet safety rail system by Carex comes with a toilet seat raiser attachment to assist the user with a quicker and easier transition, so they won’t have to put extra stress on their joints or jeopardize their balance. It’s designed to fit elongated toilets and add 3.5 inches of height to the seat to provide a shorter distance for users to navigate. The padded handles create a comfortable, non-slip surface for a secure and supportive grip at all times. Easy to install with no tools required. You get the benefit of both support rails and a raised seat with this Carex set.

It even has a handy side basket attachment to stash reading material or whatever else you might need to keep close by.

It even has a handy side basket attachment to stash reading material or whatever else you might need to keep close by. (Vive Stand/)

This rail system by Vive can support up to 300 pounds of weight and will deliver the utmost safety for the elderly, handicapped, or those recovering from surgery. We like how the handles on this stand-alone rail system are padded with special foam, giving pain-free, non-slip support. You can assemble the rail system without any extra tools so it can be ready to use in no time. The fixture is lightweight and extremely portable, making it so easy to move from place to place, and to put in your bathroom or take it back out conveniently as needed. Its ease of mobility makes it simple to clean and store.

Our Favorite Motorcycle Boots for Men

Boots should be considered required gear when it comes to any motorcycle ride.

Boots should be considered required gear when it comes to any motorcycle ride. ( Pixabay/)

Any seasoned motorcyclist will tell you that the right boots are a necessity. The question then is, which motorcycle boots for men are the best? There are many options to choose from, but below you’ll find our top recommendations.

The thick sole will keep the bottom of your foot comfortable, even after hours of resting it on the pedal.

The thick sole will keep the bottom of your foot comfortable, even after hours of resting it on the pedal. (Timberland/)

Although these shoes are dubbed “hiking boots,” Timberland’s shoe option makes for a great motorcycle boot. Made of 100 percent genuine leather, the shaft measures five inches from the arch, and comes with an incredibly tough hide that can withstand lots of abuse. These boots will protect your feet from the elements, especially water, so you don’t need to worry about soggy, annoying wet feet while you ride.

Made from 100 percent leather with a rubber sole, and measure approximately six inches from the arch.

Made from 100 percent leather with a rubber sole, and measure approximately six inches from the arch. (Harley-Davidson/)

If there ever was a name synonymous with motorcycles, it’s Harley-Davidson. The oil-resistant outsoles and heels feel soft on your feet, providing you with comfort even after hours of riding, walking, or standing. You’ll love the Harley Bar and Shield V-Wing logo on the sides, showing others that this is a genuine HD product.

The instep zipper adds extra security, but also allows you to easily zip off the boots when your ride is over.

The instep zipper adds extra security, but also allows you to easily zip off the boots when your ride is over. (Harley-Davidson /)

Another pair of motorcycle boots for men made by Harley-Davidson, these Scouts are also made of 100 percent leather with a rubber sole. The shaft measures roughly seven inches from the arch, and the three-strap harness with metallic hardware ring ensures that you can secure these boots to your feet without worrying about them ever coming off.

The metal shank insert helps reinforce the shape of the boot and adds extra support to keep your feet comfortable.

The metal shank insert helps reinforce the shape of the boot and adds extra support to keep your feet comfortable. (O’Neal/)

The O’Neal boots are constructed with injection-molded plastic plates that will help protect your feet against most impacts. The air mesh interior and cushioned insole ensure you won’t have to deal with foot pain after long bouts of riding, walking or standing. The metal toe guard is designed to protect your sole against delaminating and helps keep the boot in great condition for a long time.

A synthetic, durable sole offers greater protection.

A synthetic, durable sole offers greater protection. (Bruno Marc /)

Bruno Marc’s sleek motorcycle boots for men feature a synthetic, durable, rubber sole for enhanced protection and comfort. The heel measures roughly one inch thick, giving you the perfect grip on your motorcycle’s pedals. The classic vintage look and combat style of these boots will make sure you don’t just remain comfortable and safe while you ride. You’ll also look good doing it.

Our Picks for Best Wireless Pool Speakers

Don't get soaked on your next wireless speaker purchase.

Don’t get soaked on your next wireless speaker purchase. (Amazon/)

Waterproofing technology has given pool fans so many more options when it comes to outdoor speakers. Waterproof Bluetooth speakers are now common pieces of entertainment gear, each model touting its ability to deliver clear, crisp sound as it floats around in your pool or jacuzzi for hours. Here’s a list of some of our favorite picks among these wireless floating speakers, and the reasons they are worthy of adding to your outdoor experience.

It has a range of up to 100 feet and can last up to 10 hours on the battery.

It has a range of up to 100 feet and can last up to 10 hours on the battery. (ECOXGEAR/)

With 100 watts of max sound and as waterproof as a scuba diving suit, the EcoTrek is that Bluetooth speaker you always wished they would invent. Leave it in the rain, drop it in the pool, plant it in a snowbank while shoveling yourself out. It’s been tested to survive full water immersion for up to 30 minutes. Each unit contains two main speaker drivers, two tweeters, and two passive subwoofers (electronics lingo that equals a balanced stereo effect and crisp, clear sound.) And it can be paired with another one if you feel the need to cover the entire neighborhood – or a big party – with even bigger sound. This unit has six preset EQ mode settings, backlit buttons, and a large LED display. It even comes with two cup holders. (They know us so well.)

Provides seven different color changing themes, and can change the pace of those color patterns from slow to fast and back.

Provides seven different color changing themes, and can change the pace of those color patterns from slow to fast and back. (Blufree/)

This speaker not only floats in your pool, it looks darn good doing so. The LED Bluetooth speaker provides seven color themes and can change the pace from slow to fast and back. But Blufree’s model is not just another pretty face. It’s also rugged, with surround sound that works on both land and sea. Its sound range extends up to 50 feet, and its battery life in use lasts up to eight hours. It also includes a built-in microphone, so you can take a call while swimming, lounging, or even taking a shower. Come on, you know you want to tell someone you’re talking on the phone while floating in the pool.

It floats and can handle submersion of up to 3 feet for 30 minutes. It handles incoming calls without the need to touch your water-sensitive phone.

It floats and can handle submersion of up to 3 feet for 30 minutes. It handles incoming calls without the need to touch your water-sensitive phone. (INSMY/)

This model has all the bells and whistles, and adds a few of its own. Its battery life can extend a full day at half volume, and it has a connection range to your source of up to 100 feet. These speakers employ the newest Bluetooth technology (Bluetooth 5.0), which provides a faster and more consistent signal transmission than the Bluetooth 4.2 version can. It is designed with highly efficient drivers and dual passive bass radiators to bring a deep, rich, high-def sound – with less than 1 percent harmonic distortion! (This simply means it will sound great.) It can also be paired with another similar speaker for bigger beach and pool parties.

Three passive radiators convey the deep lows and highs of favorite tunes, and the battery will give you eight to 10 hours of playing time.

Three passive radiators convey the deep lows and highs of favorite tunes, and the battery will give you eight to 10 hours of playing time. (COWIN/)

Waterproof speakers tend to be treated like pool toys, so the tough, rubber-like casing that surrounds the COWIN IPX7 is a nice way to start. Not as powerful as some speakers in this category, but it makes up for it and then some in sound quality. The wireless range can go over 30 feet, and the five different color patterns of LED lighting at the top adds a little pizazz to pool parties and backyard barbecues.

Use a single color to light up a night swim or jacuzzi gathering, use fast flash for parties.

Use a single color to light up a night swim or jacuzzi gathering, use fast flash for parties. (KingSom/)

Don’t tell anyone that these party lights are reminiscent of the dazzling displays from the days of discotheques. There are some great features with the Kingsom IPX7, including its multi-functional built-in LED lights. Or you can sync it to the music of the night, slow or fast, as it reacts automatically to the beat. The speaker shows little distortion in the water, and has a range of nearly 50 feet. Like some competitors – but not all – it can handle immersion of 3 feet for 30 seconds before being compromised. Holds its charge for up to 10 hours of music, so your festivities can go on for that long, too. Charging it back up can take as little as 2 hours.

100 Years of White House Oval Office Decor: What’s Changed—and Stayed the Same

oval office

Getty Images

Every time a new U.S. president assumes office and moves into the White House, it’s tradition that he puts his own mark on the decor—particularly in the Oval Office.

In fact, the Oval Office may have undergone more makeovers than just about any other work-from-home space in history. As proof, home maintenance company American Home Shield studied how the design and furnishings here have changed over the past century, and rendered this evolution in nifty 3D diagrams shedding light on each president’s personal tastes.

For a fascinating peek at how Oval Office decor has evolved, check out this timeline, which highlights the biggest, boldest presidential home office design moves from 1909, under William Taft (who’s responsible for this room’s curvy shape), to John F. Kennedy (who hauled in the 1,000-plus-pound Resolute desk) to Joe Biden today.

William Howard Taft, 1909–13

William Howard Taft was the first president to use the Oval Office.

American Home Shield

We can credit the 27th president for moving the location of the executive office from the Roosevelt Room to the Oval. William Howard Taft was even responsible for making the room’s lines—which were already rounded at one end—more fully oval in shape. He also favored olive green for his presidential palette, silk velvet curtains, and caribou hide upholstery on the chairs.

Harry S. Truman, 1945–53

A pretty aqua hue was introduced during the Truman era.

American Home Shield

Presidents Wilson, Harding, Hoover, and others kept the muted dark-green tones in place for years, but at last Harry S. Truman brightened up the Oval Office with a new blue-green paint job. Truman was also the first U.S. leader to install a rug with the Seal of the President—an eagle holding an olive branch in one talon and 13 arrows in the other.

John F. Kennedy, 1961–63

John F. Kennedy accessorized his Oval Office decor with model boats.

American Home Shield

John F. Kennedy was the first president to use the famed Resolute desk in the Oval Office. It weighs a half-ton and was crafted from oak pieces taken from the British warship the HMS Resolute. Kennedy further personalized his workspace with naval paintings and seascapes, while first lady Jacqueline Kennedy brought in decor help from French designer Stéphane Boudin. Some of his touches included lighter curtains, white walls, a bracing red rug, green desk chair, and pale couches.

Richard M. Nixon, 1969–74

Richard Nixon favored the Wilson desk instead of the Resolute.

American Home Shield

Richard Nixon made a wholesale change in the Oval Office’s color scheme, installing navy blue and gold with the help of first lady Pat Nixon, who suggested these hues to match those of her husband’s home state of California. Nixon kept a bust of Abraham Lincoln here, as well as three different portraits of George Washington that were rotated and hung over the fireplace mantel.

Ronald Reagan, 1981–89

Ronald Reagan had a jar of jelly beans, his favorite candy, in the Oval Office.

American Home Shield

Ronald Reagan didn’t leap to redecorate right away, instead waiting until his second term to put in new walnut and white oak floors and a gorgeous cream-colored rug with a sunbeam design. Inspired by the many years he spent in California before he became president, Reagan’s office featured earth tones, Western art, and a set of bronze saddles. He also had the Resolute desk altered slightly, adding a 2-inch block to its base so he could sit comfortably at it without banging his knees.

George H.W. Bush, 1989–93

George H.W. Bush displayed many family photos throughout his Oval Office.

American Home Shield

A more modern color palette of soft blue, ivory, and gold was introduced in the office of George H.W. Bush. Steel-blue draperies were brought in, along with two cream-colored sofas and newly upholstered armchairs near his desk that date to the Hoover administration. But Bush didn’t sit at the Resolute like so many before him. Instead, he’s the only U.S. president to have chosen the C&O desk as his main perch. The reason? He’d gotten used to it during the eight years he served as Reagan’s vice president.

Barack Obama, 2009–17

Designer Michael S. Smith was tasked with Barack Obama’s Oval Office overhaul.

American Home Shield

Barack Obama tapped interior decorator Michael S. Smith  to oversee a full White House renovation, including his workspace. Neutrals were Smith’s go-to, which featured light brown velvet sofas and beige striped wallpaper. Obama also displayed Native American pottery and a rug embroidered with wise words from Martin Luther King Jr. and Lincoln.

Donald Trump, 2017–21

Obama’s taupe couches were ditched in favor of ones covered in gray suede.

American Home Shield

Having lived in a gold-clad tower in New York City, Donald Trump applied his signature glitzy style to the Oval Office via gold drapes and brocade sofas. The 45th president also replaced Obama’s wallpaper with a design featuring sea scrolls, and placed a bust of Winston Churchill nearby. As for refreshment, the 45th president was a big fan of Diet Coke—and even had a red “Diet Coke” button wired on the Resolute desk, which he could press every time he needed a refill.

Joe Biden, 2021–present

Joe Biden has a moon rock from a space mission completed in 1972.

American Home Shield

Joe Biden‘s Oval Office looks harken back to those of Bill Clinton, including similar drapes and a royal blue rug with red and yellow details that was actually designed by first lady Laura Bush. Biden has filled his executive suite with portraits of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as with busts of Rosa Parks and Robert F. Kennedy.

The post 100 Years of White House Oval Office Decor: What’s Changed—and Stayed the Same appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Massachusetts Estate From 1680 Is Oldest Home to Hit the Market This Week

Massachusetts Oldest Home

realtor.com

Giddyup, historic home lovers! The oldest home to land on the market this week is a honey of a horse property spread across 5 acres, smack-dab between Boston and Cape Cod and built back in 1680.

While equestrian pursuits probably weren’t top of mind when ground was broken to build the home, it’s since become a horse lover’s paradise. The property is outfitted with riding ring, pen, and pastures. And while the home is a classic, there are a few nods to modern lifestyle outside—like the in-ground pool with cabana and hot tub.

A wide range of historic homes feature in our Top 10, some with waterfront views, some in city centers, and others surrounded by mature trees and vegetation that it would take a lifetime—or several—to try to recreate.

So saddle up, and join us on a journey through this week’s oldest homes.

1. 465 Union St, Marshfield, MA

Price: $989,000
Year built: 1680
Antique equestrian: This four-bedroom home has been updated over the centuries, but still has original features, like a beehive oven, wide pine floors, and wood-beamed ceilings. Besides the historic home, a buyer will also acquire a prime property for horses.

Situated on a little under 5 acres, this parcel has a five-stall horse barn, lighted riding ring, round pen, and three pastures. There’s also a vegetable garden, storage shed, and a two-car garage with a lift.

Marshfield, MA
Marshfield, MA

realtor.com

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2. 62 Water St, Marion, MA

Price: $2,200,000
Year built: 1690
Historical Cape Cod: Considered to be the second-oldest home in town, and moved from its original resting spot on a nearby lane, this three-bedroom slice of history comes with unobstructed views of Sippican Harbor.

Outside, the 1-acre lot includes a new two-car garage, outbuildings for storage, and waterfront rights for boating, docking, swimming, and fishing.

Marion, MA
Marion, MA

realtor.com

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3. 1235 Westbrook St, Portland, ME

Price: $1,085,000
Year built: 1700
Historic Stroudwater: Make a little history in Maine’s main city—this beautiful home is the oldest in Portland. It was built in 1700 by Col. Thomas Westbrook on the west shore of the tidal Fore River.

The interiors of this five-bedroom home are elegant and airy. Outside, the serene property includes 200 feet of water frontage for canoeing, kayaking, or just relaxing.

Portland, ME
Portland, ME

realtor.com

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4. 1397 Amosite Rd, Bainbridge, PA

Price: $650,000
Year built: 1700
Farmstead paradise: Spanning 25 acres, this landmark property includes a 1700s Germanic wood barn and a stone house with a pitched roof and stone archways.

The two-bedroom, 2,315-square-foot main house, also from 1700, still has vintage doors, moldings, and a large cooking fireplace.

At 320 years old, this home still shines, thanks to its built-ins, custom light fixtures, and rustic hardwood floors, as well as updated kitchen appliances.

Bainbridge, PA
Bainbridge, PA

realtor.com

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5. 136 N. Main St, Port Deposit, MD

Price: $175,000
Year built: 1710
Downtown Port Deposit: This two-bedroom Federal-style house is in the downtown area, close to restaurants and the Susquehanna River.

Highlights of the style-forward residence include hardwood floors throughout, a balcony off the main bedroom, wainscoting in the living room, plus a decorative fireplace and mantel.

Port Deposit, MD
Port Deposit, MD

realtor.com

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6. 29 Pisgah Rd, Durham, CT

Price: $317,500
Year built: 1721
Historic homestead: Tucked away off the main road amid rolling hills, this 2.75-acre homestead has a babbling brook running through the property.

The four-bedroom house was built by a man named Elihu Hickok, and has a large family room, three fireplaces, beehive oven, and wide-plank floors.

The kitchen was recently fully renovated, with double ovens and a six-burner range. We note that it was just pulled off the market, but keep your eyes peeled for a return!

Durham, CT
Durham, CT

realtor.com

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7. 634 Valley St, Maplewood, NJ

Price: $610,000
Year built: 1730
Side Hall Colonial: Recently updated with a kitchen and fireplace, this four-bedroom home includes a deck off the family room and a walk-up attic.

The nearly half-acre of land features a fenced yard with a brick patio and is filled with mature perennials and trees.

Maplewood, NJ
Maplewood, NJ

realtor.com

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8. 720 Swedesford Rd, Ambler, PA

Price: $7,249,000
Year built: 1740
Tunnel Farm: This turnkey country estate on 24 acres is available for the first time, after a three-year renovation, expansion, and restoration.

Highlights of the grounds include a pond, arboretum, organic vegetable garden, orchard, guest cottage, and caretaker’s home.

The five-bedroom main house is a gorgeous balance between rustic and refined, mixing contemporary design with historical touches.

Ambler, PA
Ambler, PA

realtor.com

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9. 25 Ship St, Hingham, MA

Price: $1,579,000
Year built: 1753
Downtown harbor home: This five-bedroom Colonial sits on a lovely landscaped lot, just a block from the waters of Walton Cove.

Lovingly maintained, the home is surrounded by gardens, pergolas with climbing roses, fruit trees, and herb gardens. For additional storage, there’s a two-story barn on the property.

Hingham, MA
Hingham, MA

realtor.com

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10. 401 High St, East Hartford, CT

Price: $249,900
Year built: 1757
Captain’s landing: Built by Capt. Moses Forbes, this updated three-bedroom house has been featured in magazines, thanks to its historic charm.

Inside, you’ll find hardwood floors, three fireplaces, and a center chimney. The windows throughout the home are new, and both of the bathrooms have been recently remodeled.

East Hartford, CT
East Hartford, CT

realtor.com

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