DEAR BENNY: Some time ago I entered into a sales contract with my then-fiancee to buy a house. Both our names (hers was in her maiden name) were on the sales contract, which we both signed. I turned over my half of the down payment, we went to closing and we owned the house (or so I thought). Some time after that I learned that the deed was in her name only. I went to the closing attorney who told me I didn't own anything (the house).
January 03, 2013|
By BENNY L. KASS
If all is working well, most homeowners put little thought into their water heater. But when this critical appliance fails, it can be a nightmare that halts a home's productivity completely. With no hot water for washing dishes and clothes - let alone for bathing - homeowners are left scrambling to find a new water heater as fast as possible.
DEAR BENNY: I have just been elected president of my 200-unit condominium association and have heard that some property managers throughout the country have embezzled association funds. How can we protect ourselves and our money? --Fred
December 20, 2012|
By BENNY L. KASS
Looking for a simple, inexpensive way to turn an aging family room into a dazzling showcase? Inspired design professionals will tell you one of the most popular and cost-effective ways to transform a plain space into a room with sizzle is to adorn it with millwork crafted from American hardwoods.
If you're like many homeowners, you consider the patio an extension of your home. So it's fair to ask: Would you be just as comfortable nestled in with your favorite book or preparing a meal in your outdoor space as you would in your living room or your kitchen? As you contemplate ways to improve your outdoor area, think about projects that can both extend the hours you spend outside and make the time you spend there more relaxing.
With the fast-paced lives people can lead today, often we strive for instant gratification to fit into our busy schedules. So when it comes to home improvement projects, wouldn't you love an instant update for boring home decor? Fortunately, there are numerous fast fixes that can produce fantastic results. Try these easy update ideas and realize the rewards of a fabulous and functional home makeover.
DEAR BENNY: I want to get the PMI off my mortgage in February of next year, which will be two years from the time of my refinancing. All my payments have been on time. I have communicated with my current mortgage company that I wish to have the PMI canceled and they informed me in writing that I have to wait for two years and that I have to get an appraisal (which I have to pay for) in order to make sure I will have 20 percent equity of the new appraised value.
December 13, 2012|
By BENNY L. KASS
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.