DEAR BENNY: We recently had a contract to sell our home to a "cash" buyer. He and his wife were allegedly inheriting a large sum of money, and their Realtor confirmed that she had seen the bank account statement confirming a "vast sum of money," reportedly well in excess of our contract price.
A gas fireplace can add ambiance and warmth to any room, and with the cold weather, you might be dreaming of adding one in your home. Because purchasing a fireplace is not something we do every day, there are some important things to consider.
The cold temperatures are settling in for the winter months, and if you're not careful, rodents can also settle into your home. Your house - especially your kitchen - offers everything rats and mice are looking for: food, water and warmth.
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. An influx of Bay Area buyers - squeezed out of living close to their jobs due to affordability issues - were snapping up everything they could east of the Altamont Pass. As a result buying an existing home in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties was significantly higher than the national average making affordability for those who lived and worked in the two counties so ...
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." You can find them everywhere: Moffat Boulevard, West Yosemite Avenue, Spreckels Avenue, South Main Street, and downtown. The zombies are the living dead in real estate - commercial property that has sat vacant for the past three to five years - that are now coming back to life. The Wall Street Journal chronicled the trend earlier this month using an example of a Manteca dentist who had been paying $6,000 ...
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.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fewer U.S. homes are completing the foreclosure process and ending up repossessed by banks because investors are increasingly buying up properties when they go on sale at public auction.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fewer U.S. homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, aided by rising home values, low interest rates and stable job gains.
DEAR BENNY: My mother and her boyfriend lived together for 18 years. He owned the house by himself. He has two surviving adult children. He always told me he wanted my mom to have everything. He did not have a close relationship to his children.
Boys: My husband and I have just made an offer to purchase a home and when we wrote the offer, we found out it must be approved by the court. The Realtor used the word "probate." Our Realtor could not give a clear picture of what's going on or what is going to happen. Can you Real Estate Boys come to the rescue and explain what in the world we've gotten ourselves into with this purchase?
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose for the second straight week amid some signs of economic strength. Still rates remain near historically low levels.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales and prices were fairly flat in October compared to September, but other figures indicate a market that is slowly regaining its health after a yearslong slump, a research firm reported Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly last week but remained near historically low levels.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac posted strong earnings for the July-September period as the housing market continued to recover. The gains will enable the mortgage giants to finish repaying their taxpayer aid or come close to doing so five years after they were rescued by the government.
Every holiday party is as individual as the hosts and interesting as the guests. Yet whether you plan a sophisticated dinner party or an afternoon buffet, all parties do have one thing in common: the need for entertaining space.
Homeowners will pay 13 percent more this year to heat their homes with natural gas, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A measure of U.S. home prices rose only slightly in September from August, a sign that prices are leveling off after big gains earlier this year.
Q: I haven't noticed this issue in your column. My neighbor's townhouse smells! When she has her windows or doors open, the odor is so overwhelming that I am unable to be outside or even have my windows open. This past summer, the smell was even drawn in by the air conditioner. I've had guests suddenly cover their nose and comment on the smell so, it's not my imagination.
Many triggers can affect our moods. From sights to sounds to smells - it's a sensory experience that we don't seem to have much control over. Or so we used to think. But with more research being done on exactly how these elements might affect our stress or happiness levels, we now have better insight on how to enhance our mood. This is good news for those looking to make home improvements.
When looking to transform your home, elements such as doors, ceilings and trim are perfect places to add color. These architectural details can create a wow factor with well-placed splashes of color.
Hey Real Estate Boys; This should be a quick and easy question for you boys. Sometime in April or March the market picked up, as you both reported, and we seemed to have a resurgent market all of a sudden. Well, the end of the summer, say July, I saw signs sitting a lot longer in front yards. Then looking at the closed sales in another newspaper, the sales seemed to have dropped or stopped ...