LOS ANGELES (AP) - While the nation's foreclosure woes persist, new data show they're easing amid a resurgent housing market, rising home prices and efforts by some states to buy homeowners more time to avoid losing their homes.
The busy home remodeling season is a great time for homeowners to focus on increasing curb appeal. The percentage of homeowners who feel now is a good time to spend money on home improvement has doubled since 2009, according to a recent survey among Better Homes and Gardens readers. Considering two of the top four features consumers have on their wish lists for their next home are low maintenance exteriors and a private backyard, high-performance products that come in a variety of colors, textures and designs are expected to be in high demand this year.
The real estate market is starting to show signs of improvement, which is welcome news for people wanting to sell their homes. This positive momentum alone isn't enough to close a deal, though - a homeowner must make their properties appealing to potential buyers so they stand out from the competition. The good news is it's easy to create an appealing atmosphere with a few staging tips and tricks from the experts.
The bathroom is one of the most frequented areas in your home, making your choice of bathroom decor pretty important. Don't forget about this key area when considering your next home improvement project. With a few tips, you can take your bathroom from so-so to spectacular in no time at all.
No matter how value conscious a homeowner may be, few people ever make a home improvement simply to increase their house's resale value. People also undertake home improvements to enhance their enjoyment of their home - or to fix a problem, which, in its own way, is good for the soul, too.
DEAR BENNY: We purchased our home a year ago for $153,000 and put $16,000 cash down. PMI was required. I want to end the PMI as soon as possible and understand that the home equity must reach a certain point (the agent said after two years we could try to get it canceled). Isn't there a law that if we are current with our payments we can opt out of PMI? We purchased a short-sale home and the value has been appraised higher now. Will that work against us? --Phyllis
SACRAMENTO (AP) - California should receive at least $20.6 billion from a settlement with the nation's major mortgage lenders, the largest share of any state and about $2 billion more than expected when the agreement to assist homeowners was announced last year, according to a report released Thursday.
If you find yourself wondering how you ever got along before your smartphone, laptop and GPS, you're not alone. Technology is so much a part of how we go about our days that we often take it for granted. However, in many cases, houses haven't caught up to the same technological standards as the gadgets people carry with them 24/7. But that's all about to change, as new ideas begin to revolutionize the way we view our homes.
Year after year, no matter the state of the housing market, kitchen remodeling remains a good idea. The project perennially tops lists of value-for-your-money home improvements and almost every buyer will be attracted to a kitchen that's updated and move-in ready. Even if you're planning on staying in your home for a while, few things can reinvigorate your home like a brand new kitchen.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The number of homes sold in California rose 2.7 percent last month from a year earlier and the median price soared as the housing market showed continuing signs of recovery, the reporting firm DataQuick said Thursday.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Homeowners who took on mortgages well after the housing bubble burst are doing a better job in keeping up with payments, a trend that has helped push the national rate of late payments on home loans to the lowest level in four years.