New Year's is a time when many people commit to starting fresh or developing some positive changes in their lives. As you consider what you will change in 2012, think about where you spend the majority of your time. Your surroundings can greatly influence your mood and actions, and a refreshed interior can help you step forward into a new and improved lifestyle. Enjoying life more in 2012 could start with just a few simple updates to your home.
DEAR BENNY: My husband died this past August. We owned and lived in our house for more than 15 years, but now I want to sell. Am I eligible for the up-to-$500,000 exclusion of any profit that I will make? --Annie
Ready to give your bathroom a facelift, but can't decide what changes to make? From tubs to toilets to tile, the sky is the limit when it comes to bathroom renovations, even if budget is not.
The California Housing Finance Agency is now offering the Schools Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance program to qualified buyers of newly constructed homes. With home prices and mortgage interest rates already near all-time lows, the down payment assistance increases the affordability of new homes even more for qualified buyers.
STOCKTON - Wells Fargo & Company is hosting a free Home Preservation Workshop in Stockton for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, Wachovia Mortgage and Wells Fargo Home Equity customers facing financial hardships.
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.
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.
Ah, the good old days before Proposition 13.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - These homes are set apart by their amenities - for dogs.
Whether you're beautifying your landscape with a lawn mower and hedge trimmer or using a chain saw to clear space for that deck you've always dreamed of, it's important to take proper care when using outdoor power equipment. Safety measures help protect both the equipment and the people using it.
It's the perfect time to think green.
Your kitchen doesn't need a Matterhorn vista to stay on top of the latest "chalet chic" design trend. It's easier than you think to get this style by mixing rustic pieces with modern touches.
Summer is the ideal time to host events at home with family and friends. But is your home ready for summer soirees? The kitchen is the heart of the home and where people naturally congregate, so it's important it showcases your signature style and reflects the relaxed feeling of the summer season.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Would-be home sellers across the country are grappling with a once-in-a-lifetime problem: They have mortgage rates so absurdly low it would hurt them financially to sell.
The Ripon Garden Club is planning a field trip on Wednesday, Aug. 6, at 9 a.m. at Wild Blooms Flower & Produce Farm, 22828 North Ripon Road, Ripon.
Q: I have been divorced since 2010, and my ex still has 2 properties owned jointly with me. Is it at all possible that I can force the sale of these properties. Kay.
River Islands at Lathrop - the largest ever planned community in the Northern San Joaquin Valley - is off to a strong start.
There are regular backyard projects and then there are those special backyard projects that bring families closer together, both during the construction and while enjoying the finished piece.
When spring-cleaning uncovers a worn floor it may be time to consider purchasing a new one, especially if you're selling your home in the near future. A new floor, like refreshed paint and updated fixtures, makes a home more enjoyable to live in as well as more marketable.
Can you imagine a museum without paintings? Technology has impacted society in countless ways but many overlook its impact on the arts. The very phrase "the arts" might evoke images of oils, watercolors or sculpture but technology is inspiring a whole new generation of artists who are using new mediums to create their masterpieces.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages edged up slightly this week, remaining near historically low levels.
Selling or staying, it makes no difference - everyone wants a home that looks great from the curb. Curb appeal comes together when all the elements of a home's facade are in good shape and working together. Driveways that are cracked or pitted with potholes, dingy front doors and other seemingly minor complaints like a shabby, scuffed mailbox, can all significantly detract from a home's overall curb appeal.