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Posted at 10:05 AM ET, 04/05/2013

Editor’s Column: Preview the new Real Estate section

Welcome to a preview of the redesigned Real Estate section. On Saturday, you can get the full effect of the new tabloid format — be sure to look for it inside the Cars section.

But today, we offer a walk-through, an open house of sorts allowing you to sample some of the new features and regulars that have been refreshed.

Our cover story, “A house that thinks for you,” highlights what it’s like to live in a super-connected house, where the lights, TVs, thermostats, security system and even drapes can be controlled by a smart phone or tablet. Be sure to check out the photo gallery and video that accompany the story.

On Page 3, you’ll find our new Town Squarecolumn. We hope that it will become a gathering spot for readers to get tips and tidbits on real estate trends and deals — as well as the people behind them — in our area.

This week’s items include an upcoming auction of a horse farm in Northern Virginia and the sale of a piece of D.C. history.

On Page 16, you’ll find our new Transitions column, which focuses on people making real estate decisions based on life changes, including marriage, divorce, new kids or kids leaving the nest. The first column highlights the challenges faced by a family that relocated from suburban Chicago to the Washington area.

And on Page 18 is another new feature — Finds, which will look at design and decor trends. The first one focuses on a Rockville couple who renovated their bathroom in a Washington Nationals theme — complete with bats mounted on the walls, home plate in front of the vanity and the curly W team logo embedded in the shower tile.

We’ve refreshed the Where We Live feature, making it easier for you to find the most pertinent details about a community. This week we highlight Mount Pleasant in Northwest Washington, whose mom and pop shops, porches and corner eateries make it feel like a small town.

The issue also has many of your favorites — Ken Harney, Benny Kass, the Where We Live Blog, Ask the Builder and Real Estate Matters.

More new features are in the works.

Let us know what you think of the changes. Contact us at realestate@washpost.com and put “new format” in the subject line.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts as we make this exciting transition.

By Dion Haynes  |  10:05 AM ET, 04/05/2013

 
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