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Questions and Stories about Homeowners

Listed below is the compilation of all of the questions and stories that homeowners have asked, shared, or submitted as a response to our national writing contest. Topics range from education, to money, to relationships, to health, and many more in between. Do you have a homeowner story to share about your experiences? Click the "Share Your Story" button to add your voice to!

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I am a 72 year old lady and have a male friend I would like to bring to MY house. My adult daughter and my 15 year old granddaughter live with me. When I mentioned my friend coming to spend the night with me, my daughter hit the roof.I think as it's My house she should just chill. She says her 15 year old lives here and I should not bring him here. She doesn't even want him to come to the house at all, just to see me. I need advice, this is causing a problem. It means I can't even enjoy my lif

Last year, I grew tomatoes, basil, parsley, and mint on our deck. But this summer, I wanted to add something pretty to the mix!

Unfortunately, our deck gets blasted with non-relenting sun in the afternoon. Therefore, I was on a mission to find some flowers that love full sunshine.

I carefully perused all the flower packets at Lowe's, and finally settled on a packet of pretty purple daisies and some blue flowers which I can not remember the name of, since I have s

Selling a home for the price you’re asking for can be extremely difficult. If your home is in a highly competitive or saturated market, it can seem all but impossible. Unless you’ve taken great care over the years to keep your home up-to-date, chances are your home will need a few upgrades before it’s ready to go on the market. Here are five remodeling projects that are sure to make your home sell faster.
Start with needed repairs
Though it’s not as glamorous as some of the other home

The bathroom is one of the most common areas to be remodeled. The bathrooms in older homes especially are often in need of a complete overhaul. If you’ve been putting off that bathroom remodeling project you’ve desperately needed for a while now, don’t put it off any longer. Though any remodeling project is a big project, there are some tips to make the process easier. Here are four tips to keep in mind for your next bathroom remodel.
1. Plan Ahead

It is impossible to plan too

Buying an apartment is one of the most lucrative investments that you can ever make. This is because unlike other products or services, it value appreciates as years pass. Automatically, you will sell it at a higher value. However, when acquiring the property, you ought to consider certain important factors. Therefore, you must know the tips for selecting the best houses for sale.

Since many people are looking for apartme
here is a kingdom ruled by Queens, they are Home Makers. So this blog is not just to talk about good qualities of home makers, not just to say they cook well, their house is clean etc. Those are world – wide known facts.

Here are few tips for the home makers to make sure, they are not “just” home makers but they are “INDEPENDENT” home makers & top reasons to pat you

1. Have a hobby! It is a g

We have just bought a house in a HOA development..It clearly states only 2 vehicles allowed per house. My son is away at college and we took his car here and parked it in a "guest parking spot". We receive a letter stating that it needs to be removed..

My son will be coming home in two weeks and we want him to be able to use one of the "10" guest spots here.

My question is: how long is a person who comes to visit in your house considered a guest? He will be leaving in Mid

My husband (which, to be honest, is still a little weird to say) and I have recently begun looking for a new place to live. We currently stay in a one bedroom, one bath apartment, and were hoping to upgrade a two bedroom apartment in the winter when the prices on apartments go down. But here's the problem: prices weren't going down. In fact, they were going up. Way up.

After anxiously waiting for a price drop that wasn't coming for two months, we took a step back. What about buying?

I have two cousins (a father and a son) stay with me for four months while they did a work project. I didn't ask for them to pay rent or anything. The only thing I asked is for any increases in the utilities to be paid. They bought their own groceries, but never replenished any of the items (dish/laundry detergent, paper towels, etc) in the house. They did use regular items (spices, etc) for cooking. They never offered to help with anything financially. They only assisted while I did some renov

Falling In love all over agan
The holidays to me are the ones best enjoyed during the fall season. When you live in a big city like chicago , being surrounded by Deep Dish Pizza, Hot Dogs , Popcorn and cheesecake, and you cant afford to travel. Nonthing feels better than awaiting the star studded nights, Fall weather, colorful leaves, crisp air, beautiful cloudy days, and most of all comfort foods. The hots days of Chicago can be intense. But the Days of the fall, are a true breath

A year ago, my family moved from the city to a more provincial town a few miles north. Our new street was full of pricey homes with extravagant landscaping. The neighborhood lived up to the name Oak Tree, and was full of mature trees.

Coming from a less "gardened" section of Oklahoma City, my husband and I were uncertain how to pep up our new yard. Following suggestions, we called a landscaper.
The man presented a complicated set of drawings. His eyes shone bright and I could'v

Becoming a homeowner not only gave me the feeling of adult responsibility and independence, it revealed an unexpected side of myself and infused in me a passion that occupied all my free time. At first, I worked in the yard to avoid housework and to tame the previous owner’s overgrown hodgepodge of random vegetation. Once I had removed the weeds, the garden looked empty. So, I went to the garden center and picked up something pretty that was on sale. It promptly died from too much sun

It all depends on how you look at life.

In June my family and I moved from our cozy little home in Pennsylvania to an idyllic community in Illinois about an hour outside of Chicago.

When we lived in Pennsylvania my husband’s constant travel schedule back and forth to his job in Illinois prompted us to take a look at our “family together time” and re-prioritize what’s the most important aspects of our lives. We left so much behind - familiarity, our families, our comfo

So you plan to relocate to a new place - you're either moving out of the neighborhood because the family needs a bigger home, or you're moving to a different city for professional reasons. There could be a million reasons why the house that you own and currently live in, could be put on the market for resale. One of the things that you're likely to be looking at is Chicago moving companies to help you with your packing and relocation. Ho

Some people renovate their homes to rectify damage, others do so to make the home into their own, still others renovate in order to make it more easy to sell. Whatever your reason, it’s important to be aware of how renovations impact home value and what to expect from your post-renovation home appraisal. The Appraisal Foundation has come up with a few tips to help you maximize your appraisal.

Value doesn’t equal home value plus reno cost

If you thought appraising a home’s

March Madness: David and Goliath

A rapid knock on the door.
An unexpected phone call.
A siren heard in the distance.
A tragedy on the news.

These things have all caused a sense of panic in various ways over the years. Madness and mental illness are such horrific twins; companions conjoined in the dark. Yet, I wonder will it always be so?

Mental illness is no laughing matter to those who have witness

You want the interior of your home to reflect your taste, your style, your personality — but you may not be able to find the right furnishings at a major department store. With a little bit of effort, though, you can hand-craft items that will make your home uniquely you.

Following are some items you can make that will help you personalize your space.


An easy way to add personality to your living space is to make your own curtains. Head to your l

My boyfriends brother and his wife come to visit us a few weeks ago. We live in a resort area, so they wanted to stay at our house, so my boyfriend told them yes. Well the first day was fine, until the next day I went to work, a few hours later my boyfriend called and said his brother fell over the dog fence and he was taking him to the hospital. I asked my boyfriend how did he do that, he replied that he told his brother to open the gate and not to step over it several of times. His brother re

Does your backyard patio need some attention? There’s a lot you can do to make your outdoor space feel more inviting and livable — and many upgrades are relatively inexpensive.

Following are some ways you can make your patio a place you want to be.

Use color

If you have a gray or brown patio and wood furniture with neutral cushions, the overall look can be a little uninspiring. One quick and affordable way to make your space stand out is to add pops of co

The right tools can make any project easier, but how do you know which tools are the right ones? Staple guns are a fantastic way to make fast work of everything from craft projects to home improvement tasks, but first you have to know which staple gun is the best one for the job. Following are a few details on the different types of staple guns and their various uses.

Manual staple guns

Manual staple guns are just what they sound like: They’re powered by hand, rathe

Whenever I think of people moving two things always pop into my head. 1) Based on the location of the house (city, spread-out town, farmland, middle-of-nowhere, etc.) how do the children in the area go about their trick-or-treating on Halloween? 2) Is a piece of advice I heard from the movie Under the Tuscan Sun which basically says that with all the chaos involved in moving from one home to another it is important to create one room that is all your own where you can go when the chaos is too m

Unfinished wood furniture is, as the name suggests, unfinished. Typically the furniture would be made from solid wood such as pine, maple, teak, oak, beech and so on, but it would be unfinished in terms of its stain, polish, varnish, paint or glaze. This would then be completed by the purchaser to get the look and effect desired.

Is unfinished furniture the right choice for you?

If you are the do it yourself type of person, unfini

Homeowners’ Associations (HOA) are organized by real estate developers who build community subdivisions of single-family homes, condominiums or townhomes. Typically, membership in an HOA is a condition of purchase although some HOAs offer voluntary membership. In a voluntary association the owner can choose not to join and pay dues. HOAs all have a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R) which applies to all homeowners whether they are members of the HOA or not. HOAs c

There is no doubt that affordable residential housing and commercial buildings are essential for many reasons and indeed required as a more cost effective solution. Modular prefabricated buildings offer a viable solution to this problem and come with a whole host of impressive benefits that include ease of transportation, construction, affordability and eco friendliness.

Prefabricated buildings are as the term implies buildings that are manufactured in sections or modules to a

So yesterday I did this great thing, I signed the lease to the house I'm living in next year. I don't think excited properly explains how I feel.

I know it's going to be tough, living with three other people (one whom I still haven't met) but I have faith in my friend's ability to pick people I won't have problems with.

I have a lot of plans as well, as far as cooking and decorating go. I'm more excited to cook, because I'll be cooking way more often, but I also feel lik

Although there is still a whole year for the film about Wikileaks, "The Fifth Estate", opens in theaters around the world, Julian Assange already has a copy of it and his criticism of her has been pretty hard.

Inside his refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London, Julian Assange continues to talk and this time as a result of the film directed by screenwriter and director Bill Condon about his emporium Wikileaks and the leaks that have both talk.

Assange was able to get a l

Hello All,

Stage of Life is proud to announce its latest endeavor - the development of the first mobile storytelling game! For the last three months, we have been putting our creative efforts into drafting Writing Race, a multiplayer story writing game for Apple iPhone where friends will collaboratively (or competitively) write a story together using their mobile phone.

Our idea to expand Stage of Life’s literacy initiative to the mobile realm began as some scribbling on

As World War II ended, everything was scarce--apartments, automobiles, refrigerators and money. With luck, we found a place in an old house being renovated by a friend. Our $40 per month pied a terre was part of a rear, second floor addition, probably originally intended as a solarium.

At the top of a curved staircase was a long skinny hallway, just big enough for a sink and stove and a refrigerator we didn’t have. At the end of the hallway, on the left, was a multi-windowed r

Sixteen years ago, I was wearing prescription-strength rose colored glasses when I walked through the front door and knew that this house was going to be my home. Four bedrooms, three sets of stairs and a huge backyard... What single, 24 year old woman wouldn’t need this? SOLD!

I got the key, moved in and furnished one room. (Two, if you count the mattress on the floor in the bedroom.) All I had to do now was acquire things and people. I immediately became an avid yard-saler and mar

Most people would agree that there are various external factors that can have a significant impact on our lives. Where we live, our partners and natural facets of the world we live in such as the weather. It is our innate ability to overcome issues and problems within all of these elements that make us who we are and how we enjoy our day to day life wherever we choose to reside.

In terms of weather, there is a surprisingly diverse range of weather and climatic conditions around

The term Anxiety is an often quoted word that is becoming prevalent in the current era. Anxiety is the body's reaction to stress and the related symptoms which are manifested can be many, with anything from trouble sleeping, sexual dysfunction through to palpitations and nausea as well as panic attacks. It is inherently caused by increased levels of stress, which itself can be caused by external factors such as financial pressures, work issues or simply family problems. All of these circumstanc

A little late to queue but better than never, thinking of a household emergency, of sort, one dark night came to mind.

Years ago, living in the high sierras, it was not uncommon for us to have visits from all kinds of wildlife. We had face to face encounters with bears ....literally. We've been stood off by angry raccoons, been allowed to admire deer as they foraged on our property...the stories go on. But one in particular sticks in my head. It was a night where quick thinking

It is my fervent hope that my dearly beloved, departed husband is satisfied. For months before his demise, he worried about how I would fare without him. He urged me to be practical, suggested I leave the home that he had carefully planned to meet every need and to move into an independent living facility.

A smart wheeler-dealer, he would have been more or less satisfied with the agent’s negotiated price in this bad housing market, but he would marvel at how expertly our children ha

Have you checked out the details or done a price comparative with your homeowners insurance lately?

Recently, I was all too happy that my auto policy and home policy was now with one, leading nationwide company, and as a result I had saved a little over $300 a year by adding the two in with the same company. For a change, I felt like I was truly "in good hands”! Boy, was that a short lived feeling.

Exactly one year later, I had received a renewal notice that both our h

We refinanced our home mortgage last month--again. Financing or refinancing mortgages is becoming old hat for us, though it’s always a “You’re kidding!” moment to see the number of pages and lines to be signed or initialed.

I bought my first house 40 years ago. I’m pretty sure it was all done with one page. If there was an application, it was probably a matchbook cover. For last month’s refinancing, the application alone had 45 pages. 45! We only had to sign or initial about half. F

The best advice I can give any new homeowners facing remodeling issues is to take your time and do it right. And I’m not just talking about the quality of the work. Not that that isn’t important. But there are other things that you should consider that are just as important if not more so.

First, look around at EVERYTHING and talk to EVERYBODY. Yes, this will take time. But, in the long run, it will save you time and grief. If you have a friend in the design or architecture busines

Now that we are in our sixties, our home maintenance has slowed to a crawl. Part of the reason is the weather, part of it is our financial situation, but mostly it has to do with just getting older. The man of the house is now 66 and drives an hour to work and an hour back home. He is tired when he gets home and doesn't have much daylight left to do outdoor work. Weekends seem to fill up quickly with babysitting for grandchildren, trips to visit our children and relatives, going to visit our co

Have you ever walked out of someone’s house and said to the person you were with, “And did you see that potted, multi-colored – what was it? A tree? - in the bathroom? It was taller than the sink! I had to keep pushing the branches away just so that I could wash my hands!”

Not those exact words, of course, but something to that effect. In other word: have you ever been to a house that had the tackiest look in the world?

How embarrassing for the person that lives there, r

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce you to “Furnish Your Patio 101. In this class, we will be discussing the best ways to furnish and utilize the space on your outdoor patio to its maximum potential for enjoyment. Without further ado, let’s begin our course!

Lesson #1: Utilizing and Furnishing the Patio
Not only are they good for just getting out of the house and taking a big breath of f

For many homes, the bathroom is one of the smallest spaces and a major source of contention and aggravation. This turbulence is compounded when it’s time to perform a renovation, no matter how minor. Performing the seemingly easiest tasks can cause major headaches if you’re not prepared, get in over your head or don’t hire professionals. Learn from the mistakes made by others before you and avoid the pitfalls of these five common bathroom mistakes.

Almost every home in America has “that room.” You know: the space in your house that is terminally uncool or outdated and in desperate need of a complete overhaul, or at the very least, a little updating. Many of these same homeowners also fall into the trap of visiting their local home improvement center and furniture store without either a budget or strategy in mind.

The end result is a space that isn’t aesthetically pleasing, extraordinarily functional and has gone way over-budge

My homeowner needs have evolved over 40 years of owning homes in three different states (geographic). In recent years, however, my top three can’t-live-without-‘em needs are unquestionably (1) my wife, (2) the Internet and (3) the telephone. Although I’ve numbered them 2 and 3, the Internet and telephone are actually tied for priority ranking.

My Wife

My wife has been first on my homeowner-needs list since we first shared a home, and not because she may read this. Although

Tired of your bedroom and have no idea what to do with it? Here are some great tips that will help you along, and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg to do yourself.

Clean Your Room!
Yes, it sounds like your mother, but seriously - clean your room. Put all the clothes away that you le

When you’re getting ready to move, it’s a perfect opportunity for a major purge of your unnecessary and unwanted items. Do you really want to pack up all of the clothes that are too small and out of style, the unused toys and games, and other miscellaneous junk that’s clogging your closets and drawers?

Cleaning out and organizing your items before a move not only reduces the amount of stuff you have to pack, it can also save you money. Moving companies generally charge based on the w

What is important to you? This seems to be a very simple question. How about what three things are important to you as a homeowner? Now, that may seem like a more narrowed question. As a homeowner myself for now a little short of a year I’d have to say the three that I could not live without: laptop, electricity, and water.
The importance of these things that I can’t live without is what I believe to be obvious. At the top of the list would have to be electricity. Thi

For the first time in almost 2 years, we get to live on our own. We have owned a house for that entire time, but have been renting the house to others almost since the day we closed our contract. Sadly, we have also been living with others until the beginning of this year. Finally being in house, I am completely amazed to find how little people care for a home when it isn’t their own. Still, apparently we got off easy as we only have a few holes to patch and bits of carpet to clean. But I have

My uncle was watching the basement and the next thing I hear is my name being called. I run to the door and my uncle is standing in water. He was holding down the chest freezer because it was floating from the all water in the basement.
He asked me to hold it down so that he could look at the other part of the basement to see what it looked like. When he came back he told me that bins of clothes fell over and were filled with water.
When the water was low enough we went upstairs

Folks who live in our area are very accustomed to something called Hurricane Season which runs from June 1 through November 30 every year. It's not something that we fret over but we do stay stocked with the necessary items should the need arise. People in the low-country are very grateful that the need rarely arises. And one of the main reasons for this gratefulness stems from September 21, 1989.

His name was Hurricane Hugo and he came through here with the intent of making his pre

It has never been a surprise when we get a lot of rain that our basement has some water in it. We prefer to call it a cellar, because it has a partial dirt floor and low ceilings and well....not something you can ever make into a rec room. I have my washer and dryer down there and have developed an intense hatred of doing laundry because of the place I have to do it in. I just dread going down to that dark, musty cellar.
Recently our area received (and not like a gift - more like a

I’m acutely aware that there are those amongst us who worship the rites of spring and summer. Inside our home, my wife, Vicki, has plants on every level surface, vines hanging from the ceilings. That’s not enough. Getting outside to prune, weed, spread mulch, dig, plant, sweat, roll in the grass, bark… no, not the last …she ranks that up there with chocolate and trail runs.

That’s not how I care to spend my time.

The Lawn

I will mow the lawn if the grass taunts

My husband and I recently bought our home; part of our price negotiation was the fact that the house and garage needed a new roof. This wasn’t such a daunting repair to us, as my husband is a contractor. He estimated that the house roof would be fine until next year but we needed to tackle the garage this summer. So we set out to complete it. My husband estimated that he and I could do all of the work ourselves and it would only take a weekend, and me, being the independent pseudo feminist that

In the scheme of a working life, you retire, you move, right? We decided not to, at least not in the near term. There are several reasons, but the big one is the wish of my wife, Vicki, to spend more time helping her father in Wisconsin some 900 miles away.

(Vicki is planning ahead, well ahead. Her father is a guy, who, in his mid-80s, builds and flies his own airplanes, just built a Model-T Ford, and last year, painted his barn perched on a 30 foot lift.)

So, rather than

1 I have pumped a chicken pit that was 30 ft deep 40 ft wide filled with chicken parts the plant couldn't use like feet,guts and such .2 sucked dead ground up baby chickens that was in a tanker truck that spilled allover the ground .3 we have pumped blood out of a tank in a funeral home .4 unstopped a embalming tank while there was someone on the table.5 jetted out a line on a pig farm filled with pig crap .6 removed a couple of dead animals from a vent in a house.7 repaired a broken sewer li

Its getting colder, and those little furry critters (or pests) are finding nice warm houses a comfort this time of year. Of course mouse traps are nice to have in the house...but what if you don't have one!

Well this is the exact situation I'm stuck with right now, but google has come to the rescue once again.

I found the perfect way to catch a mouse without using a mouse trap! Here is the website ---->

For those of you celebrating Christmas (or Druidism) this holiday season, I wonder if you go real tree or fake tree. And whose choice is it? Yours? Your spouse? Mom or dad's?

Oh, and we go real tree. My choice. ;)

I'm curious as to what everyone's worst home improvement story is?

Answer: Have a "scent plan."

Let me explain. My wife and I had dinner with some friends this weekend and we found out they have a "scent plan." What's a "scent plan" you ask?

We asked the same thing.

It turns out that for each season, they burn candles in their home that match the seasonal flair. For instance, in autumn, it's "Pumpkin Pie" and "Fall Harvest" scents. In the winter, it's "Cinnamon." In the spring it's "Fresh Linen."

You get the

Hey everyone, I have equal access to both Home Depot and Lowes in my town. Which is better?

Give me the skinny on which one you like best and why.

Owning a home is great, but maintenance can be a pain. I am always looking for ideas about how to reduce maintenance chores. I try not use wood outside because it needs to be painted, sealed, etc. every few years. My wife really want a new deck but I don't know if the new maintenance free fake wood is a good idea or not.

Any other maintenance reducing ideas would be great!

I work for a large homebuilder as a warranty manager. I have hundreds of homes in the 6 developments that I cover. One of the interesting things I found a couple weeks ago when the temps got up into the 90's were all the calls we received for no AC. The HVAC Company I deal with had over 300 calls by late afternoon on that first hot day of the season.

There are a couple things that can be checked before calling a HVAC company.

First, check the breaker. Sometimes, the ou

My parents want to turn the title of their house over to me and wife. They have a wonderful home AND it's paid off. The good news about this is that we could sell our house, keep the money and then live mortgage free in my parents home. There's one catch, and here's the bad parents want to continue living there with us. They are both in their 70s and in good health but they foresee a time when they can't take care of themselves and would like some help verses having to move out of

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