As the negative effects of human impact on the environment become more evident, a strong push toward global conservation continues to grow and gather steam. Scores of corporations have committed to becoming more "green" in recent years and countless environment-focused initiatives and organizations have popped up around the world. But even on an individual level, some small changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference in preserving the Earth for future generations.
Think traditional styling is only for opulent mansions and stuffy country clubs? Well, think again. Traditional design is not only extremely accessible to incorporate into any home, but according to research by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), it's the most popular, too. Learn how to take back traditional and customize your own space.
If you've paid attention to any news media over the past few years, you know that the housing market has dropped off. From a seller's perspective, that makes life a lot harder. But for a buyer, it can mean a wider world of options and opportunities. For those want to become owners rather than renters, it's vitally important to make smart decisions - as the markets have shown.
DEAR BENNY: My husband and I recently filed for bankruptcy after our home was foreclosed. My mother is willing to purchase a home in her name (as an investment property) and rent it back to us, as long as we can come up with the down payment for her purchase. My in-laws have agreed to provide the down payment. The terms of the investment loan do not allow the down payment to come from a third party, so the money needs to be "gifted" to my mother.
If you're thinking about creating or upgrading an outdoor living space, you're probably considering what materials to use for your project. You'll likely weigh concerns of cost and quality, durability and beauty before arriving at a final decision. If an outdoor shower is part of your plan, you'll probably consider ceramic tile.
Enjoy the pleasures of home pool ownership and ensure a safer summer for your family by employing a few safety measures around your pool.
Gardeners know that mulch is a great-looking layer of topping on the soil in gardens and landscapes, but mulch is so much more than just a decorative cover. Mirroring the leaf layer found on a forest floor, mulch covering can benefit both plants and soil.
DEAR BENNY: We have an unusual situation. When my dad died, he left a life estate in a house/rented duplex to his widow. My sister and I have managed the duplex for 12 years, with all income going for repairs and any surplus to the widow. We would like to be done with it. His widow does not want to move.
She's a single woman in Manteca in her 50s.
The colors are blooming outside and chances are you're feeling inspired to add some color inside your home as well. Using nature as your guide, there are some quick and easy ways to refresh your home's interior.
Mother Nature is a master decorator. In summer, she dresses the world in lush greens and vibrant floral hues. And in every season, natural light is one of her most powerful designer touches.
DEAR BENNY: My brother bought his home about 15 years ago. He holds title only in his name, as a "single man." He lost his job a couple of years ago. He is older and is having a difficult time getting rehired. Long story short: He is now in arrears (18 months), owes escrow for taxes and insurance payments, and is facing foreclosure. His lack of employment is presenting a problem getting loan modifications or refinancing.
Woodside Homes is celebrating the start of its Turn-Key sales event this weekend, allowing homebuyers to unlock their choice of instant upgrades or assistance with interest rate buydowns or closing costs.
DEAR BENNY: I recently read your suggestions on how to get rid of a time share. You suggested attempting to give your time share back to the company with a "deed in lieu," but said that it probably won't work. You are right. It did not work. However, I found a broker who was willing to take the time share off my hands for $3,000. Is this the only other way to rid oneself of this burden? By paying money to give something away?
It's not hard to get people to come to an outdoor gathering on a warm summer's evening, and it should be just as easy to pull together a memorable affair. To make the most of your time and budget, look for low-maintenance solutions that you can use throughout the season - and in summers yet to come. From the dishes you serve to the way you decorate, the less work you have to do, the more you'll be able to enjoy the time with your guests.
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.
NEW YORK (AP) - There are changes coming to FICO, a broadly used credit score, that may mean higher credit scores for many consumers. Banks, credit card issuers, auto lenders and other businesses use those scores to decide whether to lend to consumers and how much interest to charge them. A higher score could get you better terms on loans for cars and homes.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but remained near their lows for the year.
Would a great study space ease your child's transition from summer to school? Perhaps an awesome lounge area could convince your teens - and all their friends - that your house is the best hangout spot ever. Whatever your objectives, a few design and decorating tricks can help you create a kid-friendly space in your home.
No matter if you're an aspiring chef or TV dinner connoisseur ... if the look of your kitchen makes you want to dine out - it may be time for an upgrade. The kitchen should be the heart of your home: it's where you entertain, hold family meetings and even pay bills, so why not take it from "make-do" to "magnificent?"
Think home technology begins with your wireless, programmable thermostat and ends with the high-definition, 3-D, web-enabled flat-screen TV with surround sound? Think again - whole home technology means using leading-edge devices to improve life in every room of the house, including the bathroom.
Warm weather, continued care and robust plants have yielded a bounty of beautiful, fresh vegetables - and personal satisfaction - from your garden this season. As the weather cools and fall approaches, it is not time to hang up your hat, gloves and trowel for the year. Autumn provides optimum weather and ample opportunity to keep growing and harvesting delicious, healthy produce well into the season.