Bead Board WALLPAPER!!! Once it’s up, trimmed with a chair rail, and painted, you’d never know it was wallpaper! Would look neat on a ceiling, too!

Check out some of the options at 



The recovery in the housing market is driving a turnaround in the labor market as well.

The better-than-expected February jobs report got a big lift from 48,000 new jobs in the construction industry. Builders have added 151,000 jobs over the last five months, the sector’s best hiring surge since the 2006 housing bubble.

The employment numbers reiterate what other housing reports have found: Home prices are up, as are home sales. Near record low mortgage rates and a drop inforeclosures have created a much better market for builders. In January, they filed for the greatest number of building permits since 2008.

“Our members are hiring so much that they’re starting to get worried about finding enough labor out there,” said Paul Emrath, economist with the National Association of Home Builders. “Most are talking about adding people.”

Related: Housing to drive economic growth (finally!)

He said his group’s forecast is that residential construction hiring in 2013 will be about five times the pace of last year.

Employment levels in construction are still very low compared to not just the housing boom years but also to employment even before the bubble started to inflate. The industry would have to add about 1 million workers overall to return to levels seen in early 2003.

Related: Housing recovery gains strength

“We are coming from a very, very low trough,” said Emrath. So many workers left the field during the downturn, that it’s become more difficult to find skilled construction workers, he said.

The jobs report also showed a pick-up in real estate hiring, as that sector added 13,400 over the last three months, the best three-month rush of hiring in the sector in seven years. Building supply stores also added 4,300 workers in February, making it one of the hottest retail segments to add workers. To top of page


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After that colossal snow fall this past weekend, we’ve spent some time tooling around Pinterest in search of some bright, cheerful and vibrant outdoor gardens. Helps to keep us motivated and looking forward to all the beauty of spring. There are some really cute ideas out there that seem pretty easy to implement into any size garden or outdoor space.


If you are a first-time home buyer who has been looking for the perfect opportunity to buy a new home, then the time is now. The current real estate market is perfect for everything from buying a new home to investing in the real estate market, which is why first-time home buyers and investors have been going head to head and competing for the best real estate on the market.

Why, exactly, is now a great time for first time home buyers to purchase a new home? From incredible deals on foreclosure and short sales to low interest rates and a projection for rising home prices in the future, now is the perfect real estate market for first-time home buyers.

Short Sales and Bank-Owned Homes

If you are a first-time home buyer looking to buy a new home in the current real estate market then you are more than likely looking for the best deals possible. Fortunately, with the number of foreclosures and short sales on the market, you can find discounted properties that are well below market value, which essentially allows for a lower monthly mortgage payment.

In fact, with the tax break on short sales that allows struggling homeowners to avoid paying federal taxes on their unpaid mortgages set to expire December 31, there are a ton of short sale properties currently on the market. Therefore, if you are in the market to buy your first home then start looking today, especially if you are interested in short sales and other distressed properties.

Plus, with mortgage rates still remaining incredibly low, there is nothing better than for a first-time home buyer to be able to purchase a home below market value and secure an incredibly low mortgage rate. This is the perfect recipe for a low monthly mortgage payment.

Rising Home Prices

Some people may be wondering “Why now?” The simple answer to that question essentially revolves around one thing: home prices. Home prices have already started to rise as the real estate market makes progress toward recovery; however, predictions for 2013 include home prices continuing to increase as the real estate market strengthens. Therefore, if you are looking to buy a new home for a discounted price, then do so now before home prices rise.

In conclusion, with the high number of distressed properties (including short sales and foreclosures) still on the market and low home prices (coupled with low mortgage rates), now is the perfect time for first-time home buyers to obtain a new home for well below market value and secure a lower mortgage payment. So, if you are a first time home buyer, start your search for your dream home today! 

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Looking for a neutral color palette for your home? Martha Stewart has a host of fabulous suggested neutral colors on her website that are perfect for so many different home plans. 

1. Buoyant Blue, No. 6483, Sherwin-Williams,
2. Dragonfly, No. AF-510, Benjamin Moore,
3. Gray Horse, No. 2140-50, Benjamin Moore,
4. Blue Fir, No. MSL124, Martha Stewart Living Paint,
5. Cooking Apple Green, No. 32, Farrow & Ball,
6. Titanium, No. 2141-60, Benjamin Moore,
7. Punch, No. MSL014, Martha Stewart Living Paint,
8. Stonington Gray, No. HC-170, Benjamin Moore,
9. Babouche, No. 223HC-170, Farrow & Ball,
10. Heath, No. MSL212, Martha Stewart Living Paint,
11. Natural Twine, No. MSL217, Martha Stewart Living Paint,
12. Lancaster Blue, No. UL34, Ralph Lauren Paint,
13. Makaha, No. 19-32, Pratt & Lambert,