Remodeling for rookies New lower-cost models and materials give more bang for the buck
A glut of unsold homes and plummeting prices are luring more first-time buyers into the market. According to a recent story in The Wall Street Journal, first-time home buyers made up more than 40 percent of all buyers at the end of 2008, up from 36 percent in 2006—when boomburgs and boomburbs were, well, booming.
If you're a recent first-time home buyer, you know what it's like to sign the roughly 439 closing-related documents, pay your lawyer and others who get a piece of the action (perhaps a buyer's broker, the title company, et al.), and put the key in the front door for the first time. The home is finally all yours.
And so is the Depression-era boiler, the 1960s paneling in the family room, or the mismatched array of disco-generation appliances. If you're planning major remodeling, renovating, or redecorating, use our Home Improvement Guide (shown). The free interactive is based on our unbiased, independent tests and includes information on dozens of products, including those mentioned below as well as mattresses, air conditioners, closet organizers, paints and stains, smoke and CO alarms, vacuum cleaners, and snow blowers.
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