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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, approaching historically low levels with the spring home-buying season underway.
SUNNY ISLES BEACH, Florida (AP) - The wow factor for Miami's skyscraper condos no longer comes from a dazzling Atlantic Ocean view.
Whether you've heard it in the office, a classroom or a soccer field, that old saying about mistakes being valuable learning tools really rings true, doesn't it? If those mistakes occur during the course of a kitchen renovation, however, it may be difficult to be philosophical about them. Bungle a kitchen redesign, and you'll either have to live with the consequences for a long time or invest even more money to correct them.
Now that warmer weather is here, you want to spend as much time outdoors as possible - and that includes mealtime. But what if your outdoor kitchen space is lacking? Worry not! There are several easy, affordable projects that can help you transform the area into the perfect cooking and entertaining area. Give these projects a try to recreate your space.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices rose at a steady pace in January, pushing prices up at a faster pace than wages and putting more homes financially out of reach for would-be buyers.
MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) - Of Google gets to build a new office complex north of Highway 101, no one will feel the "Googly" aura of the canopied tech wonderland quite like the people living along Space Park Way.
If you have a FHA backed mortgage there are a lot of people out there convinced you can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year if you just call them.
Whether you're planning to list your home for sale soon or you're simply working to maintain features that attracted you to the charming abode in the first place, careful attention to curb appeal is a must.
A recent study found that 50 percent of homeowners claim their garage is the most disorganized place in the home. In addition, The Department of Energy cites 25 percent of people with two-car garages have too much clutter to leave room for cars, while 32 percent only have room for one vehicle. Isn't it time to do something about the mess? This year, focus your efforts on maximizing storage space in the garage.
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (AP) - Two leading Realtor boards have come out against future ridgeline development in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Slightly more Americans bought homes in February, but tight inventories, affordability problems and nasty winter weather point to sluggish sales in the coming few months.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sales of new U.S. homes in February climbed to their fastest pace in seven years, as an otherwise dormant housing market showed fresh signs of life.
When considering a home renovation, think outside the box for design inspiration and setting the overall tone.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for a second straight week, edging closer to historically low levels at the start of the spring home-buying season.