WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January to the highest level in nearly two years, supporting the view that the housing market is gradually coming back.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Bank-owned homes and short sales last year accounted for the smallest slice of overall sales in three years but still made up nearly a quarter of all U.S. homes sold in 2011.
DEAR BENNY: My husband and I each have a trust, and our house is in my trust. We have lived in this house for 14 years. If we were to sell it, would we qualify for the $500,000 tax exemption? I understand each person is permitted $250,000, and a couple twice that amount. Does my trust make a difference, and if so, what should we do? --Arlene
If your home will be on the market this spring, you're probably looking for every possible edge that will make it stand out to potential buyers. But even if you're staying put, you still want to make your home as attractive and valuable as your budget will allow.
The free monthly workshop program offered by the San Joaquin Master Gardeners at the Manteca Public Library is making a comeback following its initial successful run last year.
The next best thing in Manteca housing is here: Oakwood Shores.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. government regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must do a better job limiting legal expenses paid by the two mortgage giants to their former executives facing lawsuits, a new watchdog report says.
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Texans watched disaster unfold slowly last year as a historic drought took a withering toll across the region.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The ink wasn't even dry on a settlement with the nation's top mortgage lenders when Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon laid claim to a chunk of the money to avert a huge budget cut for public colleges and universities.
The economic recovery was once again reinforced last week with the majority of data continuing to point towards growth. Retail Sales rose a solid .7% showing that consumers are continuing to increase spending long after the holiday season has ended.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The housing market is flashing signs of health ahead of the spring-buying season.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage jumped after standing pat for three straight weeks at record lows. But the rate stayed below 4 percent for the 12th straight week, keeping home-buying and refinancing attractive for those who can qualify.
DEAR BENNY: I am 74 and recently have been contemplating paying off my condo mortgage. The remainder of the mortgage is $98,000 at 6 percent. Can you help me through this? On the surface it seems like a good idea, but I'm not aware of all the particulars. I am in good health and will not need the $98,000 in the near future. --Dee Dee
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Housing Administration could run out of money over the next year and require a $700 million cash infusion from the Treasury Department to stay afloat, according to the Obama administration's budget request sent Monday to Congress.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans at risk of foreclosure is declining, as more homeowners climb out of debt and find steady work.
Small yards, city dwelling or soil that's sandy, rocky or full of clay - it seems no obstacles can keep Americans from the joys of gardening. More than 78 million U.S. households grow gardens, according to the Garden Writers Association Foundation, and many of them don't have optimal conditions to plant their gardens in the ground. When space constraints or soil conditions make traditional gardens impossible or inconvenient, gardeners turn to raised beds and planter boxes to grow the vegetables, herbs and flowers they crave.
Remember when brass fixtures and mauve countertops were all the rage in kitchen design? How about the days of shag carpet (yes, in the bathroom) and avocado tile? Fortunately, those particular trends have come and gone. And, whether you embraced them or not, they did have an influence on the space you live in right now. Take a look through the decades to see how decor styles have evolved into the modern kitchens and bathrooms of today.
Home improvement season is in full swing, and homeowners across the country are deciding which projects to tackle this year. By taking a strategic approach to selecting home improvements, you can go beyond adding value to your property - you can also boost your comfort and safety as well.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A fourth straight monthly increase in sales of existing homes provided the latest evidence Thursday that the U.S. housing market is rebounding from a weak start to the year.
The United States is a country of renovators and remodelers, judging from the steady growth of home improvement projects across the nation in recent years.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, with the 30-year loan rate hitting its 52-week low.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fewer U.S. homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, a trend that has reduced the late-payment rate on home loans to the lowest level in six years, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.
With autumn just a few short weeks away, many people will soon spend less time on the patio and more time within four walls. Actually, five walls if you include the ceiling.
The appeal of Del Webb at Woodbridge goes beyond the obvious.
Moving up - vacating your current, smallish home for a larger, roomier abode - was the American way before the Great Recession. Now that the economy is humming again, at least some of the people who stayed put during those lean years will be looking to move into larger, nicer homes this summer. High demand and low inventory, however, may leave many with nowhere to go. Some will rediscover a time-honored space-gaining technique: attic conversion.
Summer is here and this is the time when you want to be outside as much as possible, soak up the sun, eat amazing food and enjoy the company of family and friends. You'll also see more of your home's exterior on days like this than any other time of the year so this is also a great time to complete those outdoor projects. In fact, 60 percent of homeowners will accomplish a summer home improvement project this year according to survey data from the Zillow Digs Summer Home Improvement Trend and Spending Survey.
Mom rules the media room, Johnny loves the basement workshop and the kitchen is Dad's domain. Gender roles notwithstanding, each family member has one room where he or she enjoys spending more time. One room, however, is equally used and loved - or reviled - by all: the bathroom.
Most people enter their home through the garage or backdoor, forgetting how the front entrance looks to neighbors and guests. Your front door is often the first thing others notice about your home. That's why it's key to make a positive first impression.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales declined in July compared to the same time last year as buyers struggled to find something they could afford in the tight market, a research firm said Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, approaching their lows for the year.