Hinsdale Woman Says She Was Scammed On Home Improvement Projects

Lynne M. Centeno

HINSDALE, IL — Many suburban residents visit public Facebook pages to get recommendations on specialists in home projects. That’s how Megan Richards Martin, a public relations executive in Hinsdale, found someone to do work at her house. And she is sorry she did — she said she was scammed.

Martin was looking for someone to replace her fence, front porch, sidewalk and driveway on Oakwood Terrace. So she sought recommendations on the Hinsdale Area Moms Facebook group. And a person in the group led her to Ed Kavanaugh, an Elmhurst resident.

On April 6, Martin called police about the matter. According to a police report, Martin hired Kavanaugh of Elmhurst-based Goliath Construction in January and gave him $10,000 as a deposit. The company then removed the driveway and front porch. It also laid brick pavers for the front porch, but did not finish the project and never did any

Read More

L.A. County ends controversial PACE home improvement loan program

Lynne M. Centeno
Ossie Hill, a homeowner, becomes upset over the possibility of foreclosure in May 2017. Hill said a contractor misrepresented how her PACE loan would work. <span class="copyright">(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Ossie Hill, a homeowner, becomes upset over the possibility of foreclosure in May 2017. Hill said a contractor misrepresented how her PACE loan would work. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County has ended its controversial PACE home improvement loan program, a decision that follows years of criticism that the county enabled predatory lending and put people at risk of losing their homes.

County officials — who launched the PACE program in 2015 to fund energy- and water-efficient home improvements — said they made the decision after determining the program lacked adequate consumer protections.

Homeowners repeatedly alleged the private home improvement contractors who signed them up for PACE misrepresented how the financing would work, saddling them with loans they could not understand or afford.

The county also faced lawsuits alleging that government authorities failed to properly oversee the private lenders it partnered with to issue loans that, if

Read More

Chip and Joanna Gaines Are Wealthy but Not the Wealthiest Home Improvement Stars

Lynne M. Centeno

Home improvement reality stars usually teach viewers how to save a buck on home renovation, selling, and buying. But most are making some bucks— a lot of serious bucks.

Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines
Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines | Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

For instance, Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper have become a household name for their no-nonsense, family-friendly approach to home transformations. For five years, the couple helped a slew of families create their dream home on a budget using their complementary approach to home building and design.

The couple has amassed a nice fortune in the process, each worth a cool $10 million apiece, according to GoBankingRates. In addition to their series, the couple’s vast company, Magnolia includes real estate, home improvement, and design services. With $20 million in combined wealth, the couple won’t have to worry about money. But they aren’t the wealthiest in the

Read More

Home improvement projects to calm your mind.

Lynne M. Centeno

Yahoo Life is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Spending time at home leads to noticing all the things you want to change. And maybe you should switch some things up: Did you know pursuing a mini-makeover can actually benefit your mental health? “A great way to manage stress when life is uncertain and scary is to take on a new project,” says Jennifer Hochman, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in treating anxiety disorders. “It allows us to create new goals to focus on and gives us a feeling of accomplishment when tasks are complete.”

Especially if you have a lot of time on your hands, zeroing in on a task can re-energize you. “It gives you a sense of purpose for your day,”

Read More