Posts by Ilyce R. Glink
If you want to pay off a mortgage early, should you do it gradually or all at once? An expert answersSpaces3 days ago
Welcome to the launch of Yahoo Homes' Ask an Expert feature. Our money maven Ilyce Glink will be answering readers' home-related finance questions on subjects like mortgages, refis, and home equity or home improvement loans. Click here to submit a question. She might answer in a future post here on Yahoo Homes!
Our first question comes from Tami, a 56-year-old single woman who wants to be mortgage-free by the time she's 66:
Q: I am wondering what your opinion is about paying additional money toward my mortgage principal to pay off the balance early. Is it better to put extra money into paying off the mortgage, or should I invest that same money in another investment or 401(k)? I'd like to be able to either pay off the mortgage in 10 years at age 66 or have the funds available from other investments or my 401(k) to pay off at that time. -- Tami
- Spaces17 days ago
Lee Marvin, the late gravelly-voiced, white-haired film star, would have been 90 today. He was born on Feb. 19, 1924.
Known for playing tough guys in detective shows, war flicks and westerns, Marvin’s defining role (or at least one of them) was drunk wreck, philanderer and gold prospector Ben Rumson in “Paint Your Wagon,” a film that is part Western and part musical.
Apparently, Marvin took his debaucherous role seriously and even carried on his Rumson-like antics off the site, according to a family selling the home where Marvin stayed while filming “Paint Your Wagon” in Baker City, Ore.
Marvin lived in the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home at 2595 Main during the summer of 1968 and he managed to dust up quite a bit of attention while there. Urban legends still surround his stay: Some say he rode his motorcycle up the front steps, through the house and out the back door. He partied at the yellow Victorian with co-star Clint Eastwood. All this led to substantial damage to the home, but the owners apparently didn’t care because they were handsomely compensated, the listing says.
- Spaces29 days ago
50 years ago today, The Beatles arrived in the U.S., bringing with them the first wave of the British Invasion.
Though they were household names in the U.K., and had their first U.S. No. 1 single with “I Want to Hold Your Hand” they weren’t sure how they would be received in the U.S.
Any fears were quickly squashed when a crowd of somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 greeted their flight at JFK Airport in New York. Two days later, they made their famous appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”
Americans became obsessed with the band, but also British culture itself, and that obsession still sticks around today (it was even amplified by the Royal Wedding and the 2012 London Olympics). You can find British Invasion designs, particularly Britain’s Union Jack flag, planted in homes throughout the U.S. even across the world.
See how the British Invasion design aesthetic continues to invade homes around the world.
Feb. 5: On the anniversary of the National Wildlife Federation’s start, tips for building a bird houseSpaces1 mth ago
On this day 78 years ago, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist named Ding Darling dropped his pen and took up the podium to call conservationists to action by forming the National Wildlife Federation.
The momentous occasion was marked in one of Darling’s cartoons, which “features an army of hunters, anglers, gardeners, biologists and children storming the nation’s Capitol. At the fore, men armed with fishing rods and shotguns pluck a figure dubbed “Congress” from the Capitol dome” the NWF writes on its website.
“I’ve always been sympathetic to conservation,” the figure squeals.
“Sympathy is not enough,” the crowd cries. “What we want is ACTION.”
That is in fact what Daring was doing at the time, pulling together some 1,500 people to attend the first North American Wildlife Conference, which took place over the first week of February 1936.
Today, the NWF boasts more than 4 million supporters and has expanded to one of the largest conservation groups in the world.
- Spaces1 mth ago
Famed Finnish architect and furniture designer Alvar Aalto was born on this day 116 years ago.
Aalto was known for marrying practicality and aesthetics in his designs during his 50-year career, and his furniture is widely regarded as the predecessor to IKEA.
Aalto was one of the earliest Nordic Modernists and Functionalists. He first gained international fame for the design of the Paimio Sanatorium—a hospital designated for the treatment of tuberculosis before antibiotics were used to treat the disease. He weaved the principles of functionalism into the design and made the hospital user-friendly to patients. He painted the walls dark green to avoid the glare of the lights, which he kept out of the prone patient’s line of sight. He added balconies that staffers could roll patients out onto from their beds. He and his wife, Aino, also an architect, designed everything for the building, down to the furniture.
- Spaces1 mth ago
It’s every homeowner’s dream: a home that cleans itself.
For 99-year-old Frances Gabe, that dream became a reality. On this day 30 years ago in 1984, Gabe filed a patent with 68 different devices to create a self-cleaning home in Newberg, Ore.
She built the cinder-block home in a remote area, surrounded by pine trees along a rural road.
Each of the rooms in her home is outfitted with a sprinkler-like rotating nozzle that sprays soapy water all over the rooms, rinses them and then blows them dry. The floors are sloped slightly toward the walls, where small drains carry the excess water off.
Her kitchen cabinets washes the dishes, similar to dishwasher, and her closet washes and dries her clothes, similar to a washing machine. Her bathtub, sink and toilet also clean themselves, and her bookshelves dust themselves.
- Spaces1 mth ago
A little work can go a long way when it comes to home remodeling.
A few minor upgrades to your home will not only improve its aesthetic and functional appeal, but boost your asking price when it comes time to sell.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s recently released 2014 Cost Vs. Value report -- an industry-leading survey of remodeling project costs and their recouped value when a home is sold -- the value of remodeling projects is up across the board. The average amount recouped on remodeling projects nationally hit 66.1 percent, up 5.5 percentage points over last year and the largest increase since 2005.
But if you dig in, the report highlights several projects that beat that 66.1 percent average by a large margin. Projects like replacing your front door, doing some kitchen rehab or building a deck can make a big impact on your home value without making a big impact on your wallet. Minor, inexpensive fixes, done the right way, can dazzle buyers and make your whole home seem more modern, updated and expensive.
- Spaces1 mth ago
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, America's longest-serving president, was born on this day in 1882 in a stately New York mansion in Hyde Park, between Albany and New York City. Roosevelt lived on the property almost his entire life -- until he became president in 1933, moved into the White House and instantly grew homesick. "All that is within me cries out to go back to my home on the Hudson River," he said during his first month in the White House. Despite his new address, he visited his family home in Hyde Park frequently, even going so far as to call it the "Summer White House." Some of his famous fireside chats took place in the library as well. The home's history isn't quite clear, but it is believed that the central portion was originally a Federal Style-farmhouse built around 1800. It was remodeled in 1845 in the Italianate style, and a three-story tower was added. In 1866, Roosevelt’s father purchased the property for $40,000--or about $620,000 in today’s dollars—and remodeled it throughout his life. FDR then worked on remodeling it with his mother in order to accommodate his growing family, as well as his growing collection of books, paintings, stamps, coins and political associates whom he wanted to entertain (that list would later include Canadian and European royalty as well as Winston Churchill). This doubled the home’s size and gave it more of a Colonial Revival look. In 1943, he donated the estate to the American people, as long as his family maintained a lifetime right to use it. When he died in 1945, he was buried near the sundial in the Rose Garden. The family relinquished their rights two years later, after Roosevelt died, and the home became a National Historic Site that sees more than 100,000 visitors a year. Ilyce Glink is an award-winning, nationally syndicated real estate columnist, blogger and radio talk show host, and managing editor of the Equifax Finance Blog. Follow her on Twitter @Glink.
- Spaces1 mth ago
Oprah Winfrey turns 60 today, and it seems she'll happily spend her birthday someplace warm. The media mogul and former talk show host, known for Chicago-based "Oprah" show, is taking yet another step to reduce her footprint in the Windy City. She recently listed the nearly 10,000-square-foot condo she called home for $7.75 million. Oprah has been selling off her Chicago real estate investments in chunks since moving herself and her production company to California in 2011. In 2012, she sold her 4,600-square-foot Chicago co-op (for a $3 million loss). She is also apparently looking at options for her Harpo facility on Chicago's west side. As for her currently-listed condo in Water Tower Place in Chicago, Oprah actually created the home by combining four units on the 56th and 57th floors of the building. The home includes four bedrooms, seven bathrooms and two kitchens. There are no photos of the interior, but a floor plan reveals its impressive size. For now, the talk show queen allegedly splits her time between her "Promised Land" home in California and her farmhouse in Hawaii (where FLOTUS Michelle Obama recently celebrated her 50th birthday). She'll be investing a sizable chunk of time and money remodeling her behemoth, 23,000-square-foot home in Montecito, Calif. In preparation, she held an epic auction of her personal belongings for charity last year. Ilyce Glink is an award-winning, nationally syndicated real estate columnist, blogger and radio talk show host, and managing editor of the Equifax Finance Blog. Follow her on Twitter @Glink.
- Spaces1 mth ago
The inventor of the American suburb died 10 years ago today, but his legacy certainly lives on.
William Jaird Levitt, dubbed the King of Suburbia, forever changed the American landscape when he, along with his father and brother, built the first true subdivision for returning World War II veterans and their families. Using assembly-line building techniques, Levitt's real estate development company, Levitt & Sons, built 17,400 homes for 82,000 people in former potato fields 25 miles east of Manhattan on Long Island, New York.
Dubbed Levittown, it was the country's largest housing development at the time and would become the model for the rapid suburbanization of the U.S.
Levitt learned utilitarian construction while in the Army during World War II. New construction was largely halted in the United States during the war, but Levitt anticipated a building boom when the soldiers returned home--and he was right. The subdivision was an immediate success, with as many as 30 homes being built per day.