The cold temperatures are settling in for the winter months, and if you're not careful, rodents can also settle into your home. Your house - especially your kitchen - offers everything rats and mice are looking for: food, water and warmth.
Saving money is on everyone's mind this winter season. Between the holiday expenses, colder temperatures and tight budgets, finding ways to reduce costs can be a bit of a challenge. If you're looking for ways to save, look at your home, and see if you can improve on your energy efficiency - thereby keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket.
As the chill of winter sets in, your home interior may be lacking the warmth and comfort you'd prefer. Fortunately, creating an inviting atmosphere does not require huge amounts of time or money. And you don't need to be a professional interior designer - or even have experience in decorating - to transform your home into a welcoming haven. To bring your decor into the season and give your home noticeable appeal, follow a few easy tips.
When your redecorating project is done, you want everyone who sees it to think it looks like a million bucks. But woe to your wallet - and possibly your credit - if you overspend to achieve that look.
The Northern San Joaquin Valley was flying high five years ago.
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:
NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. homebuilders lost a little confidence in the housing market this month but remain generally upbeat ahead of the spring home-selling next season.
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that the GOP-controlled House won't take up legislation aimed at neutering a 2012 overhaul of the federal flood insurance program that is hitting homeowners with big premium hikes.
DEAR BENNY: I am having problems with my mortgage. I fell on some hard times lately and fell behind on my mortgage payments. My mortgage lender has been dragging this out for over a year. I have been set up on two separate trial payments and made them both with no problem. Now my loan has gone into foreclosure. The lender keeps telling me that I am under review. Can you tell me what options I have to try to keep my home? --Hodges
SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home prices rose in December while tight inventories kept a lid on sales, a research firm reported Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages declined this week, edging closer to historically low levels.
It is costing me just $52 more a month to buy my own home in Manteca when all is said and done than if I was still renting a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment at Laurel Glen.
With new home trends emerging, it's an ideal time to collect ideas to inspire your next home improvement plans.
PALO ALTO - Master baths top most homeowners' lists and four in ten will be skipping the tub (43 percent), according to the Winter Houzz Bathroom Remodeling Survey of more than 7,500 Houzz users who are in the midst of, or are planning, a bathroom remodel. Houzz ( www.houzz.com ), the world's leading platform for home remodeling and design.
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Another buyer might not have flinched at the idea of demolishing the tiny 1920s house in Lyon Park, with its two bedrooms, single bathroom and basement built for dwarves.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages barely changed this week, hovering near historically low levels.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices barely rose in November from the previous month and year-over-year gains slowed, reflecting declines in sales in the fall.
(BPT) - While giving a new $900,000 home a thorough going-over, Salt Lake City home inspector Kurt Salomon found a problem under the deck. The builder had cut corners, using the wrong kind of fasteners to secure the deck to the house. Yet, the municipal building official had approved the work.