With the new year under way, you may be thinking about needed home improvements and how you'll use your credit to fund them. While it's important to understand your credit before making major home improvement decisions, you should also consider another kind of credit - tax credits for energy efficient home improvements.
If you've ever had new carpeting installed in your house and found yourself suffering from a nagging cough for days afterward, you've experienced the effect some home improvement materials can have on your health.
It's not uncommon for homeowners to get the itch to move when they've been in their house awhile. While just picking up and moving isn't an option for most of us, there's another approach that people are taking: Refreshing their house to create a high-impact, high-style look, but doing it in a way that's cost effective.
DEAR BENNY: Our buyer defaulted on his real estate contract and has decided not to buy our house. He had put up a $20,000 earnest money deposit, which we want. However, our real estate broker is refusing to release those funds. What can we do? --Dylan
December 31, 2011|
by BENNY L. KASS
Say goodbye to the McMansion. According to a leading real estate website, Trulia.com, 2010 was officially the year that homes over 3,200 square feet ended their dominance and appeal. But don't think that downsizing means downgrading. In fact, homeowners are looking to upsize their amenities to help them enjoy every inch of their homes.
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
December 23, 2011|
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.