Life Style & Travel

FHA Loans Are A Gift To Home Buyers

LOS ANGELES—It used to be that if you didn’t have enough money for a down payment to purchase a home, you were out of luck. Families would have to wait years before they could save enough to make a down payment for a new home. Thankfully, those days are long gone. Today, you don’t need to make a big down...

Watering Water Wise Plants

UNITED STATES—Native plants like coast live oak, valley oak, toyon, flannel bush, Western redbud and California lilac (ceanothus) are among the most resilient of plants as the weather gets dry and warm after spring. So are plants from similar climates, like bottlebrush, oleander, rockrose, grevillea, acacia and eucalyptus. They survive dry summers by dispersing their roots deeply into soil...

A Few Favorite Cut Flowers

UNITED STATES—Flowers add such variety of color and fragrance to the garden that it is no wonder that they are so popularly cut and brought from the garden into the home. Even though larger quantities of flowers can be purchased from markets or florists without depleting those blooming in the garden, growing our own can be so much more...

Retirees Can Get Financing

LOS ANGELES—Retirement is an exciting time in life. Being able to spend more time with family and friends is especially enticing after nearly a lifetime of working. But for some retirees, they wonder if they can get financing for the next home they hope to buy. The answer is yes. Being retired doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for a mortgage...

Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

LOS ANGELES—Putting your home on the market is an emotional decision, but watching it sit there with little interest from potential buyers can add frustration to the mix. So take a step back and reexamine the situation and try to determine what you may have overlooked. Sometimes it’s a question of price that has many heading in the opposite direction...

Gardening Up A Wall

UNITED STATES—Like so many fads often do, the vertical gardening fad has become trendier than it really should be. It certainly has practical applications, and is very appealing in the right situations. However, in the wrong situations, it can be more problematic than it is worth. Vertical gardens can shade and insulate exposed walls, but really do little more than...

Are You Prepared To Be A Landlord?

LOS ANGELES—These days many are jumping into the rental property market. And given the recent growth of real estate in general, it’s not surprising to see this surge. The prospect of acquiring apartment buildings or multiplexes with a steady cash flow is hard to resist, some may say. For those considering this move, it’s a good idea to go over...

Time For Warm Season Annuals

UNITED STATES—Nasturtium and sweet alyssum seem to be more than warm season annuals. Like many other warm season annuals, they get established best if added to the garden just after winter, and then grow and bloom mostly during warm spring and summer weather. Then, if allowed to stay in the garden as cooler weather inhibits bloom somewhat, they survive...

The Rental Market Is Back

LOS ANGELES—The economy may not be doing that well, given a still sluggish job market and continuing troubles in many sectors. But one thing is bucking the trend – the real estate market and more particularly, the rental market. And it’s not surprising as many investors realize that the positive cash flow of rental properties is one of the few...

The Stakes Could Be High

UNITED STATES—The irony of landscaping and gardening to bring nature closer to the home is that it is so very unnatural. Plant specie are imported from all over the world, grown in synthetic environments, and then expected to perform in unfamiliar climates and soils far from home. Most plants have been bred for optimal retail appeal at the expense...
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