Some homeowners run cool on pools

By Marcie Geffner - The Washington Post

California homeowner David Cady is over his swimming pool. So much so that he recently paid a contractor $8,700 to smash the top of the concrete structure, bury the rubble in the back yard and fill in the entire space with compacted dirt.
The pool wasn’t a selling point when Cady, 53, and his wife Connie, 50, bought their home in Danville, east of the San Francisco Bay Area, 22 years ago. The pool got a lot of use when the couple’s son, Ryan, 18, and daughter Erin, 15, were part of the under-10 set, but over time the teenagers’ focus shifted away from the family’s back yard.
Read more:

How much equity is needed to refinance?

By Marcie Geffner -

Many homeowners think they need a big chunk of equity to refinance. But in fact, it's possible to refinance with very little equity or even none at all.

How much you'll need depends on a number of factors, says Michelle Velez, sales manager at W.J. Bradley, a mortgage company in San Mateo, California.

Read on: