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.
When new technology makes its way into home design, often it enters through the kitchen. The heart of the home is also the portal for innovation, and many of the technologies that we now use throughout our homes were first applied in the kitchen.
Manteca median prices should be up by 1 percent in value by summer's end.
The warmer months provide numerous opportunities for hosting outdoor events: birthday parties, barbecues, backyard campouts, weddings or a gathering for watching fireworks on the Fourth of July - the list is endless. Even when just hosting a fun neighborhood picnic or ice cream social, it's important to get the outdoor living space looking its best for the big day.
DEAR BENNY: While we were out of town, my neighbor and a well installer destroyed 400 square feet of my lawn, leaving us with ruts, dirt piles and dead sod. In addition, they buried 40 linear feet of water pipe and electrical cable on our land without our permission. I have a recent land survey to validate our claims.
Summer's sizzling temperatures can make it difficult to keep your home comfortable, and even more difficult to keep up with the higher utility bills that often come with it. Yet even a few well-chosen improvements can make a big difference in home comfort and energy efficiency. Here are some ways to save on energy costs this season.
Home improvement projects don't need to be difficult, and with the right tools and attitude, they can be exciting as you watch your house transform. Summer is the perfect time to look at your home to-do list and get going. Here are some easy ideas you can get started on today.
Smaller homes equal better quality of living these days. Many homeowners are downsizing the space they occupy, but are upgrading and customizing that space to make it better fit their lifestyle.
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.