DEAR BENNY: We have an unusual situation. When my dad died, he left a life estate in a house/rented duplex to his widow. My sister and I have managed the duplex for 12 years, with all income going for repairs and any surplus to the widow. We would like to be done with it. His widow does not want to move.
She's a single woman in Manteca in her 50s.
The colors are blooming outside and chances are you're feeling inspired to add some color inside your home as well. Using nature as your guide, there are some quick and easy ways to refresh your home's interior.
Mother Nature is a master decorator. In summer, she dresses the world in lush greens and vibrant floral hues. And in every season, natural light is one of her most powerful designer touches.
DEAR BENNY: My brother bought his home about 15 years ago. He holds title only in his name, as a "single man." He lost his job a couple of years ago. He is older and is having a difficult time getting rehired. Long story short: He is now in arrears (18 months), owes escrow for taxes and insurance payments, and is facing foreclosure. His lack of employment is presenting a problem getting loan modifications or refinancing.
Woodside Homes is celebrating the start of its Turn-Key sales event this weekend, allowing homebuyers to unlock their choice of instant upgrades or assistance with interest rate buydowns or closing costs.
DEAR BENNY: I recently read your suggestions on how to get rid of a time share. You suggested attempting to give your time share back to the company with a "deed in lieu," but said that it probably won't work. You are right. It did not work. However, I found a broker who was willing to take the time share off my hands for $3,000. Is this the only other way to rid oneself of this burden? By paying money to give something away?
It's not hard to get people to come to an outdoor gathering on a warm summer's evening, and it should be just as easy to pull together a memorable affair. To make the most of your time and budget, look for low-maintenance solutions that you can use throughout the season - and in summers yet to come. From the dishes you serve to the way you decorate, the less work you have to do, the more you'll be able to enjoy the time with your guests.
When new technology makes its way into home design, often it enters through the kitchen. The heart of the home is also the portal for innovation, and many of the technologies that we now use throughout our homes were first applied in the kitchen.
Manteca median prices should be up by 1 percent in value by summer's end.
The warmer months provide numerous opportunities for hosting outdoor events: birthday parties, barbecues, backyard campouts, weddings or a gathering for watching fireworks on the Fourth of July - the list is endless. Even when just hosting a fun neighborhood picnic or ice cream social, it's important to get the outdoor living space looking its best for the big day.
DEAR BENNY: While we were out of town, my neighbor and a well installer destroyed 400 square feet of my lawn, leaving us with ruts, dirt piles and dead sod. In addition, they buried 40 linear feet of water pipe and electrical cable on our land without our permission. I have a recent land survey to validate our claims.
Summer's sizzling temperatures can make it difficult to keep your home comfortable, and even more difficult to keep up with the higher utility bills that often come with it. Yet even a few well-chosen improvements can make a big difference in home comfort and energy efficiency. Here are some ways to save on energy costs this season.
Home improvement projects don't need to be difficult, and with the right tools and attitude, they can be exciting as you watch your house transform. Summer is the perfect time to look at your home to-do list and get going. Here are some easy ideas you can get started on today.
Smaller homes equal better quality of living these days. Many homeowners are downsizing the space they occupy, but are upgrading and customizing that space to make it better fit their lifestyle.
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.