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.
How much do you spend on utilities? Are you looking for ways to save? A typical American household spends about $2,100 on energy bills each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Most of that expense comes from a home's energy use during the winter heating season. But a quick home checkup can help you can reduce these costs, prepare for winter and enjoy energy savings.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates tumbled this week. The 30-year loan hit its lowest level since June 2013 as Treasury bond yields marked new lows amid concern over global economic weakness.
Halloween has its fair share of iconic symbols: ghosts, witches, mummies and pumpkins, just to name a few. But if your home decor is becoming just as iconic, it may be time to change it up and take your decorating in a new direction.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales rose for the first time in a year in September, a research firm said Tuesday, as cooling prices and a strong economy encouraged buyers.
Homeowners have spent more on kitchen remodeling than any other home improvement category in the last 10 years, according to Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies - and there's good reason. An updated kitchen does more than boost the value of your home; whether you make just a few changes or completely renovate the entire space, a kitchen that feels new is always refreshing. From basic cooking to frequent entertaining, your dream kitchen should look good and function well.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction firms broke ground on more apartment complexes in September, pushing up the pace of U.S. homebuilding.
Americans are renovating again, and instead of letting resale value alone drive their renovation choices, in 2014 homeowners are weighing many more factors. They are seeking renovations that are beautiful, luxurious and eco-friendly, and that both enhance resale value and their ability to age in place should they choose not to sell down the road.
If you are a first-time homebuyer defined as someone who hasn't owned a home in the last three years you could be eligible for $6,500 in interest free down payment assistance.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, making it more affordable to borrow to buy a home.
In the U.S. alone, approximately 60 million people suffer from asthma and allergies, which according to the American Lung Association can be triggered by mold for those who are allergic. As a responsible homeowner, it's essential to be aware of the many threats, such as mold and fire, which may cause harm to your family and your investment.
Cooler temperatures are on the horizon and now is the ideal time to begin checking items off your seasonal to-do list. Complete simple projects before the harsh winter weather arrives so your home is ready to enjoy in the coming season.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices increased in August, yet the pace of these gains continues to slow, helping to improve affordability for would-be buyers.
Whether you're spending quality time with family or entertaining guests, few things compare to the cozy, warm and welcoming atmosphere created by a fire pit in the backyard. In fact, fire pits are among the most popular features for enhancing an outdoor living space, according to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Even better, with little experience and materials, you can build a fire pit in just a few hours.