New Year's is a time when many people commit to starting fresh or developing some positive changes in their lives. As you consider what you will change in 2012, think about where you spend the majority of your time. Your surroundings can greatly influence your mood and actions, and a refreshed interior can help you step forward into a new and improved lifestyle. Enjoying life more in 2012 could start with just a few simple updates to your home.
DEAR BENNY: My husband died this past August. We owned and lived in our house for more than 15 years, but now I want to sell. Am I eligible for the up-to-$500,000 exclusion of any profit that I will make? --Annie
Ready to give your bathroom a facelift, but can't decide what changes to make? From tubs to toilets to tile, the sky is the limit when it comes to bathroom renovations, even if budget is not.
The California Housing Finance Agency is now offering the Schools Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance program to qualified buyers of newly constructed homes. With home prices and mortgage interest rates already near all-time lows, the down payment assistance increases the affordability of new homes even more for qualified buyers.
STOCKTON - Wells Fargo & Company is hosting a free Home Preservation Workshop in Stockton for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, Wachovia Mortgage and Wells Fargo Home Equity customers facing financial hardships.
DEAR BENNY: We recently had a contract to sell our home to a "cash" buyer. He and his wife were allegedly inheriting a large sum of money, and their Realtor confirmed that she had seen the bank account statement confirming a "vast sum of money," reportedly well in excess of our contract price.
A gas fireplace can add ambiance and warmth to any room, and with the cold weather, you might be dreaming of adding one in your home. Because purchasing a fireplace is not something we do every day, there are some important things to consider.
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.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week for a second straight week but remained near historic lows.
The real estate market heats up when the weather does, and spring and summer are traditionally the most active seasons for home sales. This year, industry experts predict that home prices will continue to rise and, with mortgage rates remaining low, the spring and summer real estate season will be competitive for both buyers and sellers.
Gain a couple of pounds since 2006?
Despite record-low interest rates, monthly mortgage payments may double for more than 1 million American homeowners. That's because a decade ago they opted for "interest-only" loans or home equity lines of credit. But most of those loans were structured to reset after 10 years - at which time the loan would require payment of both principal and interest.
When spring-cleaning uncovers a worn floor it may be time to consider purchasing a new one, especially if you're selling your home in the near future. A new floor, like refreshed paint and updated fixtures, makes a home more enjoyable to live in as well as more marketable.
Give your home an energy shot this spring with bright colors and bold patterns.
From barbecues and games of bocce to parties and candlelit dinners, your outdoor space can be a hub for entertaining friends and family.
Homeowners, builders and remodelers are always looking for innovative and new ways to enhance existing spaces during home makeovers and room renovations.
Homes priced under $304,000 that are ready-to-move-in and don't require major work such as new roofs, kitchen upgrades or bathroom repairs are moving relatively briskly in Manteca.
Wood may be known for its timeless visual appeal, but there's nothing static about the way people showcase it in American homes. Designers, homeowners and DIYers are re-discovering the warmth and beauty of wood. From inventive new uses to re-interpretations of existing styles, they're finding creative ways to use wood throughout the home.
Let's face it - life is busy. And one of the byproducts of a busy life is a cluttered house. With piles of paper coming home from school and toys creating obstacle courses in the family room, parents may wonder how they'll ever take back control of the house. A few experts share their ideas for doing just that.
From genteel porches in the East to sleek, seaside balconies in the West, the popularity of outdoor living spaces is poised for significant growth from coast to coast with industry analysts predicting it will be a $5.7 billion market by 2016. Reinforcing these projections, 63 percent of architects cite an outdoor living space as the most popular "special function room" in housing construction, according to the American Institute of Architects. What's more, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association reports that homebuilders list decks among the top three features most requested with new home buys.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices rose in March, but the gains are decelerating as fewer Americans can afford to buy.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sales of U.S. new homes recovered in April after slumping in the previous two months. But Americans are still buying new homes at a slower pace than they did a year ago.