Sure, kitchen and bath renovations get all the glamour and credit for offering high returns on your investment when it's time to sell your home. But a host of other, often-overlooked improvements can also offer great ROI - while completely changing the look of your home at a fraction of the cost of bigger projects.
DEAR BENNY: Is the definition of "capital improvement" something that increases the actual value of the house, even if it may not trigger a change in taxes, or must it be taxable?
Here's a shocker.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages moved closer to their record lows this week, a trend that has made home buying more affordable and helped sustain a housing recovery.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A measure of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes increased last month to its highest level in two and a half years, the latest sign of improvement in the once-battered housing market.
Across the country, cypress siding is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners who are looking to add value, durability, and a lifetime of good looks to their homes.
DEAR BENNY: Some time ago I entered into a sales contract with my then-fiancee to buy a house. Both our names (hers was in her maiden name) were on the sales contract, which we both signed. I turned over my half of the down payment, we went to closing and we owned the house (or so I thought). Some time after that I learned that the deed was in her name only. I went to the closing attorney who told me I didn't own anything (the house).
It's a mad, mad, mad, mad housing market.
If all is working well, most homeowners put little thought into their water heater. But when this critical appliance fails, it can be a nightmare that halts a home's productivity completely. With no hot water for washing dishes and clothes - let alone for bathing - homeowners are left scrambling to find a new water heater as fast as possible.
DEAR BENNY: I have just been elected president of my 200-unit condominium association and have heard that some property managers throughout the country have embezzled association funds. How can we protect ourselves and our money? --Fred
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in November after starting work in October at the fastest pace in four years. Superstorm Sandy likely slowed starts in the Northeast.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average rates on U.S. fixed mortgages rose this week but remained near record lows, a trend that is leading more Americans to buy homes or refinance their loans.
Looking for a simple, inexpensive way to turn an aging family room into a dazzling showcase? Inspired design professionals will tell you one of the most popular and cost-effective ways to transform a plain space into a room with sizzle is to adorn it with millwork crafted from American hardwoods.
If you're like many homeowners, you consider the patio an extension of your home. So it's fair to ask: Would you be just as comfortable nestled in with your favorite book or preparing a meal in your outdoor space as you would in your living room or your kitchen? As you contemplate ways to improve your outdoor area, think about projects that can both extend the hours you spend outside and make the time you spend there more relaxing.
There are three ways you can possibly lower your property tax bill, two of which can be accomplished without investing even an hour of your time.
The average American spends an hour a day in the kitchen preparing food and cleaning up afterward, according to the American Time Use Survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Add in the time it takes to put groceries away, load and unload dishwashers, organize cabinets and pantries or just hang out, and you spend a whole lot of time in your kitchen.
Nearly everyone (96 percent) wastes up to an hour each week pre-washing their dishes, according to a recent survey. But the reality is that the outdated ritual of pre-washing can actually result in dirtier dishes and waste a valuable resource - water!
Everyone has a preferred style of kitchen, no matter if you're a chef at heart or just prefer to heat something frozen using the microwave. You may be surprised to discover your personality influences the style of kitchen you prefer. So, do you know what style matches your personality?
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices rose at a modest pace in November, held back by weaker sales and a limited number of houses for sale.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week after four straight weeks of declines, while remaining near historically low levels.
Owning a home is part of the American Dream, yet standards on income, credit and debt are making it tougher to buy a home than it was 10 years ago. Even though requirements are relaxing, only three out of five borrowers get approved.
Installing or fixing a faucet can seem like a daunting task. But, in many cases homeowners can update the kitchen and bath themselves - all you need are the right tools, good judgment and a little time to devote to the project.
Do long, winter days holed up indoors have you dreaming of a new deck to relax on come springtime? Whether you envision transforming a deck into a personal sanctuary or building a new outdoor living space for backyard entertaining, now is the perfect time to start turning those dreams into reality.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction of new homes rebounded in December, helping to push activity for the entire year to the highest level since the peak of the housing boom nine years ago.
NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident in their sales prospects ahead of the spring homebuying season, traditionally the peak period for home sales.
Homeowners can avoid emergency repairs by completing a few home projects each season. A simple project such as inspecting the plumbing annually can prevent the unexpected cost of repairing water damage from a pipe that burst.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home rental prices continued to climb at a modest pace in December, but rapidly escalating costs in cities such as San Francisco and Denver suggest that apartment dwellers are facing more financial pressure.
The bathroom doesn't have to be basic. Thanks to a wide array of new products on the market - and plenty of ways to customize - even the most outdated bathrooms can become an oasis of tranquility and a lavish retreat away from the stresses of everyday life. Here are six ideas for transforming your bathroom into a luxurious spa-like space.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, with the benchmark 30-year rate again marking its lowest level since May 2013. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, slipped further below 3 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have agreed to pay more than $35 million combined to resolve claims that loan officers at the two banks received kickbacks in exchange for steering mortgage borrowers to a Maryland title company.