DEAR BENNY: For the life of me I cannot fathom why all real estate people insist borrowers keep a mortgage going. My husband and I bought our house and paid it off in five years. Now, instead of getting a deduction off our taxes, we have our paychecks free and clear. I cannot see how paying $1,000 a month for 30 years would have been better. With that money in pocket we amassed nearly $1 million in savings. Here is what it allowed us to do:
October 18, 2012|
By BENNY L. KASS
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Confidence among U.S. homebuilders remains at its highest level in six years, reflecting improved optimism over the strengthening housing market this year and a pickup in visits by prospective buyers to builders' communities.
When you finally tackle that home improvement project you've been planning for a while, you're probably eager to get the job done quickly, well and on-budget. Injuries can delay your project, and cost money for medical expenses or even time lost from your job. It's important to take steps to prevent injury.
It's easy to instantly trim your energy consumption and boost the eco-friendliness of your home. The key to easy energy savings is lighting. Though for many homeowners and renters, knowing how and what to do to improve their home's lighting energy efficiency can be confusing.
For a basic green living project with benefits to your wallet and the environment, consider revamping the kitchen pantry. The cupboard is the starting point for most kitchen activity and is more than just a storage space. Develop good buying habits and build a strong foundation and you can avoid the waste of food and money. Here's how to tackle the task at once or little by little.
Everyone wants an immaculate home, but not everyone wants to spend their free time scrubbing and straightening. The reality revealed in a recent Good Housekeeping magazine study is that the average homeowner spends roughly 19 hours a week cleaning.
DEAR BENNY: If damage to an individual unit is from a common-area element and was caused by negligence, and the condo documents as I understand them state that the damage to the unit involved is the responsibility of the condominium owners association, should that not then be covered by the master policy? Also, what is an HO-6 policy? --Lois
October 11, 2012|
By BENNY L. KASS
From cooking to entertaining, the kitchen - always the heart of the home - now takes center stage as the 21st century hub of the home. As families spend more time in their homes, today's "command central" kitchen needs to be multi-functional and high-definition with easy-to-maintain surfaces dedicated to cooking, working, Web surfing and blogging, paying bills and doing homework, as well as creating a comfortable environment to entertain with family and friends.
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.