DEAR BENNY: A mortgage broker advised us several years ago to split our mortgage into a $400,000 mortgage and a $100,000 line of credit (we had $300,000 total available on the HELOC). A few months ago, we refinanced our $400,000 mortgage with our current lender. (Our house is assessed at $900,000.) We asked our lender if we could refinance our mortgage up to $500,000, pay down the $100,000 drawn on the HELOC, but still keep the HELOC with the HELOC lender open, and our lender said "yes."
November 01, 2012|
By BENNY L. KASS
As you prepare to celebrate the holidays, welcoming loved ones into your home is a highlight of the festivities. You may eagerly look forward to gathering with family and friends, but is your house holiday and houseguest ready?
Americans are on the move. The United States Census Bureau estimates that 12.5 percent of Americans - nearly 40 million people - changed residences each of the past two years. While many turned to moving professionals for assistance, some learned the hard way that not all moving companies are created equally. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) received nearly 3,000 complaints about moving companies last year alone - a double-digit increase from the prior year.
Driven by a growing senior population, soldiers returning home injured from war and the ongoing obesity epidemic, mobility and home accessibility issues are becoming more commonplace in America. In response, companies today are creating innovative home solutions that focus on both improved form and function, and serve to create welcome alternatives to traditional solutions for homeowners with mobility and home access challenges.
Why is it that some people can do daring things with color in their living rooms or bedrooms, but stick with the strongholds of beige and white in their kitchens and baths? As bright hues are surfacing in kitchen and bath design trends, existing oft-neutral palettes make it easy to introduce bold splashes.
If you know a senior homeowner who is running out of money, a reverse mortgage might generate enough cash to allow them to stay in their home for many more years. Last fall, the Federal Housing Administration created new rules, and opportunities, for lower-cost reverse mortgages. Now that most lenders have launched these new products, it's worth an updated look.
October 18, 2012|
By TERRY SAVAGE
Just as tasteful, well-chosen jewelry can turn an unexciting outfit into a stylish, eye-catching ensemble, carefully applied hardwood mouldings and trimwork can transform a plain-Jane interior into an interesting - even beautiful - space.
In the midst of the winter we love to think of the summer as this idyllic time when we live barefoot under the sky and everything is perfect and beautiful. Then when the summertime comes, we find ourselves complaining about too much sun, being too hot or bugs - and stay inside in the cool AC to avoid them. The good news is you can create a cool, shady and even bug-free spot for yourself, no matter the size of your outdoor space or your wallet.