DEAR BENNY: I am currently trying to purchase a home from my daughter. The loan was approved, but the lender told me there is a law that if you purchase a home from a family member, they can finance only 85 percent of the sales price. Is this true? --Roger
November 21, 2012|
By BENNY L. KASS
Something small is afoot. Backyard cottages - from 800-square-foot bungalows to Lilliputian studio cabins - are springing up behind houses in many cities, some of which have changed zoning laws to accommodate them.
November 15, 2012|
The Associated Press
'Red means stop, green means go' - we learn that axiom as children. When it comes to home energy costs, however, going green can help homeowners put a stop to runaway utility bills. And maximizing your home's use of natural light - call it 'green lighting' - is a great way to boost your home's energy efficiency.
Have you ever considered composite decking but disregarded the idea because you felt like you didn't know enough about it? Maybe you've wondered how composite decking is made? Or what kinds of materials make up composite decking?
The front door is often the focal point of a house and the welcoming committee to guests as they enter your home. And as the attention-seeking centerpiece, it should always be looking its best. A great addition to any door is a beautiful wreath - either decorative or seasonal - to greet your guests and neighbors. Although many stores sell wreaths, it's easy, fun and cost-effective to create a unique and one-of-a-kind statement piece.
For many people, the shower is an escape from reality ... perhaps the only 'me time' in an otherwise hectic day. But if your current shower isn't living up to your relaxing expectations, it may be time for a facelift.- Don't think you have the time or money? Don't throw in the towel just yet - an improved shower is within your reach. Simply follow these four quick and easy fixes that will make an amazing improvement to the everyday enjoyment of your shower.
DEAR BENNY: This question is related to our home equity line of credit (HELOC). In 2001, we obtained this loan for $150,000, which we withdrew in its entirety to remodel the kitchen, bath, etc. This is an adjustable 25-year loan. As of 2011, we owe $122,000.
When cold winds blow, it can be tricky to keep different rooms throughout your home at the right temperature - especially if you have old and drafty windows, tight spaces or room additions to work around. It can also be challenging to ensure economical comfort without having to do a major heating system overhaul. Yet there are easy and flexible ways to heat your home in areas where it needs it most and still stay comfortable all winter long.
As America's 77 million-strong baby boomers reach retirement age, one thing is absolutely clear -- they are not going to quietly retreat into their golden years. The most active generation in America's history wants homes that will support their active lifestyles, and homes that will accommodate the challenges boomers will face, from bad knees, to working from home, to taking on grandchildren.
Each year, House Beautiful magazine builds its highly anticipated Kitchen of the Year, a showplace for what's hot in the kitchen. Designed around the latest trends, the annual Kitchen of the Year is the epitome of high-end style. But let's face it. The majority of us don't have the luxury of a 1,000-square-foot kitchen designed by a celebrated designer. Nor do we have the budget.
DEAR BENNY: I lost my home to foreclosure in August 2011. I had a second mortgage on the home that was secured by a deed of trust for $99,000. This was a home equity line of credit (HELOC) that I used to pay off a pool loan, used for home improvements and later tapped each month to make the mortgage payment.
November 08, 2012|
By BENNY L. KASS
Custom cabinetry, granite countertops, reclaimed wood flooring and accents, and top-of-the-line, high-tech appliances - what more do you need to make your kitchen renovation perfect? How about adding an island? Designers and builders across the country are pointing to the addition of an island as the must-have upgrade for kitchen renovations this year.
Outdoor living is a home improvement trend that can't be ignored. If you plan to add a deck to your house, remember the design is only one aspect of the planning process. The materials you decide to use can affect the project in numerous ways, from the initial investment to maintenance years from now.
Traditional, rustic, contemporary, modern - which style will you choose for your kitchen remodel? While each design style has its own appealing characteristics, what if you want a look that is worldly and inspired? You can add flare to any kitchen - and any kitchen design style - by incorporating cultural influences from around the world.