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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Tips for choosing the right water heater

If all is working well, most homeowners put little thought into their water heater. But when this critical appliance fails, it can be a nightmare that halts a home's productivity completely. With no hot water for washing dishes and clothes - let alone for bathing - homeowners are left scrambling to find a new water heater as fast as possible.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Protecting condo funds from embezzlement

DEAR BENNY: I have just been elected president of my 200-unit condominium association and have heard that some property managers throughout the country have embezzled association funds. How can we protect ourselves and our money? --Fred

December 20, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Housing starts slowed to 861,000 in November

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in November after starting work in October at the fastest pace in four years. Superstorm Sandy likely slowed starts in the Northeast.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rates rise; still near record lows

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average rates on U.S. fixed mortgages rose this week but remained near record lows, a trend that is leading more Americans to buy homes or refinance their loans.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


American hardwood millwork transforms an aging room into a dazzling showcase

Looking for a simple, inexpensive way to turn an aging family room into a dazzling showcase? Inspired design professionals will tell you one of the most popular and cost-effective ways to transform a plain space into a room with sizzle is to adorn it with millwork crafted from American hardwoods.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


How to truly make your patio an extension of your home

If you're like many homeowners, you consider the patio an extension of your home. So it's fair to ask: Would you be just as comfortable nestled in with your favorite book or preparing a meal in your outdoor space as you would in your living room or your kitchen? As you contemplate ways to improve your outdoor area, think about projects that can both extend the hours you spend outside and make the time you spend there more relaxing.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


It may be worth your time to see if you can lower your tax bill

There are three ways you can possibly lower your property tax bill, two of which can be accomplished without investing even an hour of your time.

December 13, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Color match part of polymer roof tile’s charm

What does a homeowner do when he's so happy with his colorful new Bellaforté roof that he wants to share it with family and friends? If that homeowner is Dan Baer, he throws a roof party!

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Five fast home decor updates

With the fast-paced lives people can lead today, often we strive for instant gratification to fit into our busy schedules. So when it comes to home improvement projects, wouldn't you love an instant update for boring home decor? Fortunately, there are numerous fast fixes that can produce fantastic results. Try these easy update ideas and realize the rewards of a fabulous and functional home makeover.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Bank repossessions hit 9-month high of 59,134 during November

LOS ANGELES (AP) - U.S. home repossessions rose to a nine-month high in November, even as the number of homes starting on the path to foreclosure declined to the lowest level in six years.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Managers at Fannie, Freddie earned $200,000 as media pay last year

WASHINGTON (AP) - A government report finds median pay for nearly 2,000 senior managers at government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exceeded $200,000 last year.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Know your rights for canceling private mortgage insurance

DEAR BENNY: I want to get the PMI off my mortgage in February of next year, which will be two years from the time of my refinancing. All my payments have been on time. I have communicated with my current mortgage company that I wish to have the PMI canceled and they informed me in writing that I have to wait for two years and that I have to get an appraisal (which I have to pay for) in order to make sure I will have 20 percent equity of the new appraised value.

December 13, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year fixed rate mortgage dips to 3.32 %

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week near record lows, providing more incentive for Americans to buy homes and refinance.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


California home prices rise 19% in November

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home prices posted a ninth straight annual increase in November as buyers competed for a limited number of available properties, a research firm reported Thursday.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Use winter to update and beautify your bathroom

Remodeling and refreshing the home is a great way to keep cabin fever at bay during long winter months. Designing a bathroom remodel to incorporate innovative style, comfort and efficiency helps to speed the winter months along, and your family will certainly enjoy the rest of the season with a beautiful new bathroom.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Energy guzzlers greener

For the first time in six years, Energy Star certification, a standard seal of approval for energy efficiency, has been expanded to include another major household appliance.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Tips for replacing water heaters

Some 37 million residential water heaters gave up the ghost and were replaced over the past five years, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy. While some things get better with age, water heaters aren't among them. In fact, the average life expectancy for a new water heater is 10 to 15 years, with the occasional stoic dinosaur making it two decades or more.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


A stunning backsplash without the whiplash

The kitchen is the heart of the home and a top-selling feature with homebuyers. Does yours convey style and functionality? Whether you've just completed a remodel or you're looking for ways to upgrade your existing kitchen, a tile backsplash will instantly transform the space into an eye-catching masterpiece.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


6 steps to select best remodeling contractor

A remodeling project is one of the most invigorating lifestyle changes a homeowner can make. However, trusting a contractor with both your home and your money can feel overwhelming. Spare your time, money and sanity by following these steps for choosing the best remodeling contractor:

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Central Valley group names Realtors, Affiliate of the Year

Every year the Central Valley Association of Realtors recognizes members who have gone above and beyond in the real estate profession and community service. This year CVAR named two recipients as Realtor of the Year - Shelly Bell and Larry Rumbeck - and as Affiliate of the Year, the honor goes to Taylor Phillips.

February 20, 2015 | Staff reports | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year loans rises to 3.76%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have risen for a second straight week yet remained near historically low levels.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rents rise overall but dip in Chicago & Minneapolis

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home rental prices rose at a steady rate in January, but prices barely budged or even dipped in parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Millennials seek tech-ready, smaller energy-efficient houses

LOS GATOS - As millennials enter the home-buying market in larger numbers, builders say homes will get a little smaller, energy-efficient appliances and laundry rooms will be essential, and home technology will become increasingly prevalent. These predictions are based on two surveys conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, one asking home builders what features they are most likely to include in a typical new home this year, and one asking millennials what features are most likely to affect their home-buying decisions. Of the top 10 features mentioned by home builders, four have to do with energy efficiency: low-E windows ...

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Freshen up your home with five sharp colors

While you're making resolutions and setting goals, consider adding updating the look of your home to your list. If your walls are looking a little dated, follow these five color suggestions to give your space a renewed look.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rises to 3.69%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week yet remained near historically low levels.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


CONTAINERS

HONOLULU (AP) - Shipping containers: They're strong, durable and portable, stack easily and link together like Legos.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Take the sweat out of your DIY projects this year

You've been dreaming about digging in your garden, changing your landscaping or improving your house all winter long. Finally the weather is nice, your yard is clear and dry, and it's time for you to get your hands dirty. With the right tools and equipment, you can get all your DIY tasks done while saving time, money and elbow grease.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


A lush lawn can be yours in 4 easy steps

Want to get the best out of your lawn this year? Implement these simple hacks to keep your lawn green and growing, your equipment up and running, and your yard looking great:

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


POCKET DOORS

Did you know that the smallest room in your home can be the most dangerous?

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rate falls to 3.59%.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, resuming their downward trend of this year after rising slightly last week. Rates are near historically low levels.

February 07, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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