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.
DEAR BENNY: My mother died in February of this year. About a month before her death she executed a beneficiary deed leaving the home to me, her daughter. I was also the sole beneficiary of her will. She had no other assets (only debt) and so there was no probate.
Whether you've signed a lease agreement or purchased a house, moving into your first home is an exciting time. For many people, it's their first opportunity to express their personal style by decorating their own space.
It's the room where you start and end your day, so it should be one of the most enjoyable places in your home. But, most of the time, your bathroom is not the relaxing retreat you hoped it would be. Whether it is overrun with towels and toiletries - or is tough to keep clean with smudged mirrors and faucets - today's bathrooms are in need of some serious updates and organization. Luckily, a few simple tips and tricks can bring style and sanity to your bathroom vanity in no time.
RIPON - Mike Fisher is the guest speaker for the 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, meeting of the Ripon Garden Club at the American Legion Hall, 206 Stockton Ave., Ripon.
DEAR BENNY: My cousin and disabled elderly aunt are living in a house that my aunt sold about four years ago in which the agreement included lifetime living rights without the stipulation of rent payment or payment for taxes. Does the owner have the right to demand rental payments now? Is there a website that I might be able to check to find out more information for them? --Patti
NEW YORK (AP) - MetLife's home lending unit will pay $123.5 million to end an investigation into allegations it gave government-backed mortgages to people who didn't meet federal requirements.
So, you've decided to make some updates to your home? Whether you plan on building a home from the ground up, purchasing new construction or adding value to your current residence, there are many opportunities for upgrades.
Inspired by neighbors, home improvement shows and social media channels like Pinterest and Houzz, today's homeowners are entering the deck planning and building process more informed than ever before. But sorting through this wealth of information and inspiration can make it hard to decipher what's really hot for today's outdoor spaces – and to choose what's right for your home.
Want to infuse your home with architectural interest? Start at the top.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rose at a healthy pace in January, a sign that home sales are poised to accelerate after a slow start to the year.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have edged up for a third straight week while remaining near their historically low levels reached in May 2013.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sales of new U.S. homes were basically flat in January, evidence that recent job gains and relatively low mortgage rates have yet to spur the real estate market.
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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home sales struck a snow drift in January, plunging to the slowest pace in nine months.
For the first time in six years, Energy Star certification, a standard seal of approval for energy efficiency, has been expanded to include another major household appliance.
Some 37 million residential water heaters gave up the ghost and were replaced over the past five years, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy. While some things get better with age, water heaters aren't among them. In fact, the average life expectancy for a new water heater is 10 to 15 years, with the occasional stoic dinosaur making it two decades or more.
The kitchen is the heart of the home and a top-selling feature with homebuyers. Does yours convey style and functionality? Whether you've just completed a remodel or you're looking for ways to upgrade your existing kitchen, a tile backsplash will instantly transform the space into an eye-catching masterpiece.
A remodeling project is one of the most invigorating lifestyle changes a homeowner can make. However, trusting a contractor with both your home and your money can feel overwhelming. Spare your time, money and sanity by following these steps for choosing the best remodeling contractor:
Every year the Central Valley Association of Realtors recognizes members who have gone above and beyond in the real estate profession and community service. This year CVAR named two recipients as Realtor of the Year - Shelly Bell and Larry Rumbeck - and as Affiliate of the Year, the honor goes to Taylor Phillips.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have risen for a second straight week yet remained near historically low levels.