Saving money is on everyone's mind this winter season. Between the holiday expenses, colder temperatures and tight budgets, finding ways to reduce costs can be a bit of a challenge. If you're looking for ways to save, look at your home, and see if you can improve on your energy efficiency - thereby keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket.
As the chill of winter sets in, your home interior may be lacking the warmth and comfort you'd prefer. Fortunately, creating an inviting atmosphere does not require huge amounts of time or money. And you don't need to be a professional interior designer - or even have experience in decorating - to transform your home into a welcoming haven. To bring your decor into the season and give your home noticeable appeal, follow a few easy tips.
When your redecorating project is done, you want everyone who sees it to think it looks like a million bucks. But woe to your wallet - and possibly your credit - if you overspend to achieve that look.
The Northern San Joaquin Valley was flying high five years ago.
DEAR BENNY: I was at the closing table for my condo purchase only to discover that there was a penalty for early payoff. I called the bank immediately and they told me to "take it or leave it."
From warm woods and creative colors to memorable murals and tailored textures, interior designers and industry experts predict 2012 will offer a multitude of options for those interested in giving their homes a fresh look. Even better for today's cost-conscious consumers is that many of the trends are easy and inexpensive.
Does the bitter cold weather have you dreaming of warm days spending time with friends and family in your backyard? The cold may keep us indoors, but professionals in the landscape and remodeling industry are still thinking about the outdoors and use the winter months to plan spring projects, and so should you.
Twinkling lights, fragrant wreaths and freshly baked cookies help set the stage, but holiday guests truly feel at home when you provide a warm, cozy environment.
Manteca has plenty of "zombies."
DEAR BENNY: I live in Connecticut and my husband stays several nights a week in Massachusetts. We saw a duplex we would like to buy in Massachusetts. He would live in one part and there is already a tenant in the other part.
Welcoming friends and family into your home is one of the best ways to celebrate the season. One of the keys to making visitors feel right at home is to be a happy host. So, do yourself - and your guests - a favor and put a little effort into getting your home holiday houseguest perfect.
Here's an eye-opener: Housing prices in California are expected to surge 11.5 percent in 2012.
DEAR BENNY: Do we have to do a HUD-1 form on a cash sale? The home is paid off and I am selling for cash. There is no lender involved. --Keith
From high-heeled shoes to dog paws and kitchen spills, your home's flooring faces tough challenges every day. When it comes to choosing a floor that will stand up to today's hyper-active households, experts recommend laminate for its low-maintenance, realistic beauty and durability. But savvy shoppers should keep in mind that not all laminates are created equal, especially when it comes to long-term performance. To find the best floor for your high-traffic home, look for the following:
The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill, but by making just a few simple changes to use water more efficiently, you could save approximately $170 per year and help the environment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The biggest price rebound for housing in the Manteca market is also still the most affordable - the Cherry Lane Condos along Union Road.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales continue to climb - with the October sales tally reaching the highest it has been for that month in two years, a research firm said Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans bought homes in October at the briskest pace this year, a sign that the sluggish housing market is turning around.
Ever since humans stopped dwelling in caves and started living in huts made of tree branches, wood has been an indispensible structural and decorative residential material. Man's house-building relationship with wood - historically, culturally and experientially - is deep, long and universal. In part that's because wood is abundant, economical, durable and flexible. But our enduring love affair with wood is also due to the fact that, like us, each piece of timber is unique - its color, texture and grain are as individual as a human personality, so we keep discovering new aspects of its beauty and versatility to delight ...
To satisfy homeowners seeking to add a signature style to their indoor living spaces, more and more design professionals and builders are going back to basics and rediscovering the versatility, durability and good looks of cypress.
Prioritizing a home-improvement wish list is never easy. Do you put design and aesthetics ahead of functionality? Or do you choose comfort and convenience over energy efficiency and cost savings?
WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction of new homes fell slightly in October after a big surge in the previous month, but the weakness was largely driven by the volatile apartment sector.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates continued to tick down this week, remaining close to yearlong lows.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Housing Finance Agency has yet to deliver on changes to a controversial type of homeowner's insurance even as its director told the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday that it's making progress.
The holidays are coming up quickly, and that means there's plenty of reason to celebrate. Whether you're throwing a party for the first time or you're continuing a long-running annual tradition, hosting a festive celebration with friends and family is a lot of work and always worth it. This year, take your party to the next level to truly impress your guests - without breaking the bank.
Designers are often drawn to a simple, modern look - however, layering unique patterns and textures in the home is a quickly growing trend. Keep your space harmonized, yet distinct, with the tips outlined below.
Looking for a home that does more than put on a good facade from the curb?
Last winter's polar vortex not only affected the majority of the country with subfreezing temperatures, but wreaked havoc on utility bills. In fact, consumers in 13 states and the District of Columbia used enough energy in January to capture eight of the 10 highest winter demand days on record, according to PJM Interconnection, the electricity grid operator. According to the Farmers' Almanac and other weather predictors, a polar vortex is expected to rear its ugly head again this winter.
It's where some of your best ideas are born, and where you unwind - or get ready - for the day. And although your current shower might be fine, why not make it fabulous? Here are the latest trends and products to create a fantastic shower experience.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A company with ties to the nation's largest overseer of subprime mortgages announced under pressure Wednesday it will stop collecting controversial insurance fees from homeowners whose properties were under foreclosure. The announcement came three months after The Associated Press highlighted its business practices.