DEAR BENNY: I own a house worth approximately $400,000. The current mortgage is $25,000. A company in Florida took over the mortgage about six months ago. The mortgage company handles the tax and insurance payments through an escrow account. Given the current schedule of payments, the account has had a positive balance during all of 2012 and will average at least a $1,000 balance during the 12 months. The mortgage company wants to double the escrow payments so that the minimum balance is $1,000, the maximum is $3,000 and the average account balance is $2 ...
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages stayed close to record lows this week, a trend that has made home buying more affordable and helped the housing market recover.
WASHINGTON (AP) - An index measuring the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in October jumped to nearly its highest level in almost six years. Steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates have made home buying more attractive.
The coldest time of the year can also be the busiest. With holiday entertaining, overnight guests and winter getaways, it can be hard to ensure your home heating and other systems are performing for optimal comfort and efficiency. In addition, the Department of Energy reports that no matter what-energy-source you use, heating this winter will cost more, an important consideration since heating and cooling typically makes up about 54 percent of your utility bill.
Whether it's guests arriving for a holiday party, visiting relatives or holiday revelers, your home can feel like a revolving door during the holiday season. Unfortunately, all of this added traffic can also bring unwanted dirt and germs that can outweigh holiday cheer. Keep your home looking clean, germ-free and ready to welcome guests throughout the holiday season by establishing a cold-weather cleaning routine.
Did you know it's almost the year that Michael J. Fox went "back to the future?" While we don't have hover boards or flying cars, our innovations have changed drastically since 1985, especially when it comes to technology in the home. Now there are many affordable innovations that are simple to use and can add unique benefits and enjoyment to routine activities.
WASHINGTON (AP) - From purchases and prices to builder sentiment and construction, the U.S. housing market is making consistent gains.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders started construction last month on the most homes and apartments since July 2008, more evidence that the housing recovery is gaining momentum.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell to fresh record lows this week, a trend that is boosting home sales and aiding the housing recovery.
On any given weekend, homeowners can be found climbing around in attics to add insulation, repairing shingles on the roof, installing new floors in kitchens and bathrooms, and handling many other home improvement projects that, with a little elbow grease, they are able to do themselves.
Q: I have a fixed-rate mortgage at 5.99 percent that doesn't have to be refinanced until 2016. I know I will want to move to a more suitable place before then, but if I sell now at current low prices, I will have very little equity left to put down on a new condo.
DEAR BENNY: I am currently trying to purchase a home from my daughter. The loan was approved, but the lender told me there is a law that if you purchase a home from a family member, they can finance only 85 percent of the sales price. Is this true? --Roger
Something small is afoot. Backyard cottages - from 800-square-foot bungalows to Lilliputian studio cabins - are springing up behind houses in many cities, some of which have changed zoning laws to accommodate them.
'Red means stop, green means go' - we learn that axiom as children. When it comes to home energy costs, however, going green can help homeowners put a stop to runaway utility bills. And maximizing your home's use of natural light - call it 'green lighting' - is a great way to boost your home's energy efficiency.
Have you ever considered composite decking but disregarded the idea because you felt like you didn't know enough about it? Maybe you've wondered how composite decking is made? Or what kinds of materials make up composite decking?
MONTECITO . (AP) - Ganna Walska, a wealthy Polish opera singer, created the Lotusland garden in her own likeness - beautiful, eccentric, intelligent, quixotic, romantic, spiritual - on a private estate here about 100 miles north of Los Angeles.
Did you know it takes just one afternoon to save money on your utility bills? Take on a few easy DIY projects this weekend to see immediate savings while making your home more comfortable and environmentally friendly for the long term. As hot months quickly approach, now is the perfect time to improve your home's energy efficiency and set the stage for a cool, comfortable home this summer.
Warmer weather and sunnier days are on their way and many homeowners are itching to begin home improvement projects. If you are one of them, consider these areas of your home when prepping for spring.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales fell slightly in February as buyers struggled with higher prices and a thin supply of properties for sale, a research firm reported Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, remaining near historically low levels at the start of the spring home-buying season.
It is country living with all the benefits of solitude but without the extra work of caring for land.
Just as tasteful, well-chosen jewelry can turn an unexciting outfit into a stylish, eye-catching ensemble, carefully applied hardwood mouldings and trimwork can transform a plain-Jane interior into an interesting - even beautiful - space.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week yet remained near historic lows reached in May 2013.
DANVILLE, Va. (AP) - They were offered in a catalogue - and shipped in a kit - via railroad a century ago.
In the midst of the winter we love to think of the summer as this idyllic time when we live barefoot under the sky and everything is perfect and beautiful. Then when the summertime comes, we find ourselves complaining about too much sun, being too hot or bugs - and stay inside in the cool AC to avoid them. The good news is you can create a cool, shady and even bug-free spot for yourself, no matter the size of your outdoor space or your wallet.
NEW CANAAN, Conn. (AP) - In the years after World War II, when suburban towns were still "the country," this unassuming village an hour north of Manhattan became an epicenter of modernist architecture, and a birthplace of then-radical concepts like family rooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and open-plan living.
STOCKHOLM (AP) - Lost that charger again for your cellphone or tablet? Hate sorting heaps of wires to charge various devices?
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Millennials' much-discussed preference for urban living may be ending.
Busy has become a way of life. Between work, household chores, time with family and friends, people often don't have time to complete that entire wish list of home updates. Luckily, there are several simple kitchen and bath projects that you can conquer in minimal time that deliver maximum style and functional impact. In fact, here are a few projects that can be completed in about an hour or less.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term mortgage rates have fallen for the first time in four weeks and remain near historic lows reached in May 2013.