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.
Twinkling lights, fragrant wreaths and freshly baked cookies help set the stage, but holiday guests truly feel at home when you provide a warm, cozy environment.
Manteca has plenty of "zombies."
DEAR BENNY: I live in Connecticut and my husband stays several nights a week in Massachusetts. We saw a duplex we would like to buy in Massachusetts. He would live in one part and there is already a tenant in the other part.
Welcoming friends and family into your home is one of the best ways to celebrate the season. One of the keys to making visitors feel right at home is to be a happy host. So, do yourself - and your guests - a favor and put a little effort into getting your home holiday houseguest perfect.
Here's an eye-opener: Housing prices in California are expected to surge 11.5 percent in 2012.
DEAR BENNY: Do we have to do a HUD-1 form on a cash sale? The home is paid off and I am selling for cash. There is no lender involved. --Keith
From high-heeled shoes to dog paws and kitchen spills, your home's flooring faces tough challenges every day. When it comes to choosing a floor that will stand up to today's hyper-active households, experts recommend laminate for its low-maintenance, realistic beauty and durability. But savvy shoppers should keep in mind that not all laminates are created equal, especially when it comes to long-term performance. To find the best floor for your high-traffic home, look for the following:
The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill, but by making just a few simple changes to use water more efficiently, you could save approximately $170 per year and help the environment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
DEAR BENNY: My mother died in February of this year. About a month before her death she executed a beneficiary deed leaving the home to me, her daughter. I was also the sole beneficiary of her will. She had no other assets (only debt) and so there was no probate.
Whether you've signed a lease agreement or purchased a house, moving into your first home is an exciting time. For many people, it's their first opportunity to express their personal style by decorating their own space.
It's the room where you start and end your day, so it should be one of the most enjoyable places in your home. But, most of the time, your bathroom is not the relaxing retreat you hoped it would be. Whether it is overrun with towels and toiletries - or is tough to keep clean with smudged mirrors and faucets - today's bathrooms are in need of some serious updates and organization. Luckily, a few simple tips and tricks can bring style and sanity to your bathroom vanity in no time.
RIPON - Mike Fisher is the guest speaker for the 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, meeting of the Ripon Garden Club at the American Legion Hall, 206 Stockton Ave., Ripon.
Fall patio season is upon us, which means hosting family and friends for warm-weather gatherings and barbecues. Don't fret; outdoor events don't have to break the bank. With just a bit of creative vision and DIY savvy, you'll have an al fresco affair to remember in no time at all.
Hand-planed, reclaimed hardwood floors? Beautiful but pricey. Custom drapery? The cost can be blinding. When it comes to home decorating, it's easy to blow your budget on one or two upgrades - and maybe that would be OK if those improvements also amped up the drama in your decor. Too often, however, costly decorating ploys disappoint, wearing out or becoming dated before you've paid off the financing.
YORK, Maine (AP) - Lighthouses for sale! Actually, lots of lighthouses for free.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The average 30-year U.S. mortgage rate this week remained at a 52-week low of 4.10 percent for the third straight week.