DEAR BENNY: Subsequent to the purchase/settlement of my condo, I began receiving claims of delinquent real estate taxes that the seller had neglected to pay from a previous year, prior to my purchase of the property. I notified my settlement agent, who asked that the seller look into the matter, and I have emailed the seller to see what he had done about it.
Just about every child wishes for a dream bedroom, but it takes inspiration to transform four white walls into a fairytale princess room or tree house hideaway. Fortunately, you don't have to be an interior designer or skilled craftsman to become a hero. A little family compromising, combined with some simple painting techniques, can go a long way in creating a fun, personalized design that kids love - and parents can live with over time.
Are you over orange as an autumn decorating accent? Bored with relying on balsam and fir touches to evoke a holiday spirit in your home? If cooler weather and the coming holidays have you looking for new decorating ideas, here are some trends that will be heating up interior design this year:
DEAR BENNY: My wife and I want to give our two grown children an interest-free loan for $360,000. They currently have a 15-year fixed 5 percent loan for this amount for a second home they both enjoy. With our given money they can immediately pay off the bank loan and pay us back $4,587 per month for approximately 6.5 years. The $4,587 is their current monthly payment. Staying with the bank loan, they would fully pay it off in seven years and 10 months. Paying the loan off 16 months early will represent a savings to ...
You may not want to think about it, but winter will be here again before you know it. Of course, winter means it's time to turn the heat back on, which can be a strain on your home energy budget.
When your child skins her knee or bumps her head, how do you comfort her? With a kiss and a hug? No matter how loving and careful you are, it's impossible to shield your children from all of life's little injuries.
Back to the future - that is exactly what the government needs to do.
For some of us, the shower is a personal sanctuary - the only place and time of the day to unwind and not be bothered by anything from the outside world. So why not make an exceptional shower the centerpiece of your next bathroom remodel? Utilize the latest in style - and even technology - to create the ultimate retreat.
DEAR BENNY: In a recent column you said that "a foreclosure by a first-trust (lender) will wipe out any subordinate liens." But that is not necessarily the case, is it?
STOCKTON - The California Rural Legal Assistance is holding a free clinic that will provide legal information to those who are at risk of eviction, foreclosure or housing discrimination.
When winter approaches, do you stow the grill and cover the patio furniture, wishing there was some way you could continue to enjoy your outdoor living space all year? If so, you're not alone.
Just as matching food with the right wine can elevate a simple meal to the level of a culinary experience, artfully pairing design elements in your kitchen can turn a utilitarian room into a chef's paradise.
Mountain House - ballyhooed as San Joaquin's first affordable housing community in the late 1990s when massive zoning changes were needed to make it happen - is anything but even four years into the foreclosure debacle.
With the success of more than 200 homes sold since the Woodside Homes "Turn-Key" sales event began in mid-July, the builder is extending the celebration through September 30. As part of the promotion, homebuyers enjoy a selection of any two of the available bonuses, including: a designer-coordinated package of a new stainless steel side-by-side refrigerator, washer, dryer and window coverings; backyard landscaping; or 30-year fixed rate financing at a below-market rate of just 3.75 percent.
DEAR BENNY: I recently was the successful bidder on a condo. The closing was within 15 days of the sale, and a special warranty deed was conveyed for the amount of my bid. The closing agent told me after the closing that I had signed a memorandum of foreclosure agreeing to reimburse the seller for prepaid taxes and all amounts claimed owing by the condominium association.
How much do you spend on utilities? Are you looking for ways to save? A typical American household spends about $2,100 on energy bills each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Most of that expense comes from a home's energy use during the winter heating season. But a quick home checkup can help you can reduce these costs, prepare for winter and enjoy energy savings.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates tumbled this week. The 30-year loan hit its lowest level since June 2013 as Treasury bond yields marked new lows amid concern over global economic weakness.
Halloween has its fair share of iconic symbols: ghosts, witches, mummies and pumpkins, just to name a few. But if your home decor is becoming just as iconic, it may be time to change it up and take your decorating in a new direction.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales rose for the first time in a year in September, a research firm said Tuesday, as cooling prices and a strong economy encouraged buyers.
Homeowners have spent more on kitchen remodeling than any other home improvement category in the last 10 years, according to Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies - and there's good reason. An updated kitchen does more than boost the value of your home; whether you make just a few changes or completely renovate the entire space, a kitchen that feels new is always refreshing. From basic cooking to frequent entertaining, your dream kitchen should look good and function well.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction firms broke ground on more apartment complexes in September, pushing up the pace of U.S. homebuilding.
Americans are renovating again, and instead of letting resale value alone drive their renovation choices, in 2014 homeowners are weighing many more factors. They are seeking renovations that are beautiful, luxurious and eco-friendly, and that both enhance resale value and their ability to age in place should they choose not to sell down the road.
If you are a first-time homebuyer defined as someone who hasn't owned a home in the last three years you could be eligible for $6,500 in interest free down payment assistance.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, making it more affordable to borrow to buy a home.
In the U.S. alone, approximately 60 million people suffer from asthma and allergies, which according to the American Lung Association can be triggered by mold for those who are allergic. As a responsible homeowner, it's essential to be aware of the many threats, such as mold and fire, which may cause harm to your family and your investment.
Cooler temperatures are on the horizon and now is the ideal time to begin checking items off your seasonal to-do list. Complete simple projects before the harsh winter weather arrives so your home is ready to enjoy in the coming season.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices increased in August, yet the pace of these gains continues to slow, helping to improve affordability for would-be buyers.
Whether you're spending quality time with family or entertaining guests, few things compare to the cozy, warm and welcoming atmosphere created by a fire pit in the backyard. In fact, fire pits are among the most popular features for enhancing an outdoor living space, according to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Even better, with little experience and materials, you can build a fire pit in just a few hours.
The oil boom and skyrocketing housing prices west of the Altamont Pass are setting the stage for a 21st century Grapes of Wrath migration.
The tub tucked away in your home's master bathroom is so much more than a place to get clean. It's a calming refuge and therapeutic retreat after a busy, high-pressure day. Tub trends indicate that bathtubs are primarily used for soaking, while shower time is mainly for cleansing. The soaking tub has become the destination for relaxation amid today's fast-paced lifestyles.