DEAR BENNY: I want to get the PMI off my mortgage in February of next year, which will be two years from the time of my refinancing. All my payments have been on time. I have communicated with my current mortgage company that I wish to have the PMI canceled and they informed me in writing that I have to wait for two years and that I have to get an appraisal (which I have to pay for) in order to make sure I will have 20 percent equity of the new appraised value.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week near record lows, providing more incentive for Americans to buy homes and refinance.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home prices posted a ninth straight annual increase in November as buyers competed for a limited number of available properties, a research firm reported Thursday.
Remodeling and refreshing the home is a great way to keep cabin fever at bay during long winter months. Designing a bathroom remodel to incorporate innovative style, comfort and efficiency helps to speed the winter months along, and your family will certainly enjoy the rest of the season with a beautiful new bathroom.
Despite its negative reputation, the number 13 doesn't always have to be unlucky. Take these top 10 decor trends for 2013 from design experts, manufacturers and trend forecasters across the country. They're fresh, fun and sure to bring good fortune to any home.
As cooler temperatures approach, more homeowners are turning to value-driven renovation projects that will warm up their space and withstand the test of time.
If you're tired of looking at your outdated kitchen, but feel replacement would be impractical, you're not alone. In 2013, consumers will be trying to find the beauty in the beast. Projects that help the old look new will be the next big makeover trend - especially in the kitchen where remodeling becomes more pricey.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Sales of U.S. homes facing foreclosure are on the rise and outpacing sales of bank-owned homes, a reflection of stepped up efforts this year by lenders to avoid foreclosing on homes with mortgages gone unpaid.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A measure of U.S. home prices rose 6.3 percent in October compared with a year ago, the largest yearly gain since July 2006. The jump adds to signs of a comeback in the once-battered housing market.
DEAR BENNY: My sisters and I "own" some Tennessee properties inherited from my late father, who died in 1984. In his will, he wanted to provide for his current wife ("B"), so she was given a "life estate" for her use of both properties during her lifetime. My sisters and I are the owners on the deeds. One of the properties is a residence, and the other is an income-producing commercial property.
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - The premiere of "Salvage Dawgs" opens with Mike Whiteside, 56, rolling up Roanoke's Memorial Avenue and into the parking lot of Black Dog Salvage with a giant, rusty rocket strapped to the top of his red Chevy pickup truck.
It's a design opportunity that's easily missed: Even the most stylishly decorated rooms often have bland wooden doors with cheap hardware.
Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon spent many years and covered many miles searching for the fabled "fountain of youth." Fortunately, you don't have to go to those lengths to find a special fountain that will transform your backyard into a private oasis. You only need to make a trip to the local garden store.
Slim is "in" ... and not just for people watching their weight. Flat screen TVs and the wall mounts that turn the TVs into decorator showpieces seem to grow sleeker and slimmer every year. And when it comes to viewing technology, thinner not only looks better, it has practical advantages, too.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. sales of new homes fell slightly in October and September sales were slower than initially thought. The October sales pace was dragged lower by steep declines on the East Coast, partly related to Superstorm Sandy.
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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home rental prices rose at a steady rate in January, but prices barely budged or even dipped in parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.
LOS GATOS - As millennials enter the home-buying market in larger numbers, builders say homes will get a little smaller, energy-efficient appliances and laundry rooms will be essential, and home technology will become increasingly prevalent. These predictions are based on two surveys conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, one asking home builders what features they are most likely to include in a typical new home this year, and one asking millennials what features are most likely to affect their home-buying decisions. Of the top 10 features mentioned by home builders, four have to do with energy efficiency: low-E windows ...
While you're making resolutions and setting goals, consider adding updating the look of your home to your list. If your walls are looking a little dated, follow these five color suggestions to give your space a renewed look.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week yet remained near historically low levels.
HONOLULU (AP) - Shipping containers: They're strong, durable and portable, stack easily and link together like Legos.
You've been dreaming about digging in your garden, changing your landscaping or improving your house all winter long. Finally the weather is nice, your yard is clear and dry, and it's time for you to get your hands dirty. With the right tools and equipment, you can get all your DIY tasks done while saving time, money and elbow grease.