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Rights when boyfriend dies without a will

DEAR BENNY: My mother and her boyfriend lived together for 18 years. He owned the house by himself. He has two surviving adult children. He always told me he wanted my mom to have everything. He did not have a close relationship to his children.

November 15, 2013 | Benny L. Kass | HOME SCENE

What exactly is a probate sale?

Boys: My husband and I have just made an offer to purchase a home and when we wrote the offer, we found out it must be approved by the court. The Realtor used the word "probate." Our Realtor could not give a clear picture of what's going on or what is going to happen. Can you Real Estate Boys come to the rescue and explain what in the world we've gotten ourselves into with this purchase?

November 15, 2013 | Real Estate Boys | HOME SCENE

Rate on 30-year mortgage at 4.35%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose for the second straight week amid some signs of economic strength. Still rates remain near historically low levels.

November 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

California home sales fairly flat in October

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales and prices were fairly flat in October compared to September, but other figures indicate a market that is slowly regaining its health after a yearslong slump, a research firm reported Wednesday.

November 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Average 30-year mortgage at 4.16 %

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly last week but remained near historically low levels.

November 08, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Fannie, Freddie post strong earnings as housing market recovery continues

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac posted strong earnings for the July-September period as the housing market continued to recover. The gains will enable the mortgage giants to finish repaying their taxpayer aid or come close to doing so five years after they were rescued by the government.

November 08, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Space-making ideas create room for holiday entertaining

Every holiday party is as individual as the hosts and interesting as the guests. Yet whether you plan a sophisticated dinner party or an afternoon buffet, all parties do have one thing in common: the need for entertaining space.

November 08, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

A prescription for comfort and cost savings for winter

Homeowners will pay 13 percent more this year to heat their homes with natural gas, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts.

November 08, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Home prices start leveling off after big value gains

WASHINGTON (AP) - A measure of U.S. home prices rose only slightly in September from August, a sign that prices are leveling off after big gains earlier this year.

November 08, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

What to do about smelly neighbor

Q: I haven't noticed this issue in your column. My neighbor's townhouse smells! When she has her windows or doors open, the odor is so overwhelming that I am unable to be outside or even have my windows open. This past summer, the smell was even drawn in by the air conditioner. I've had guests suddenly cover their nose and comment on the smell so, it's not my imagination.

November 08, 2013 | Benny L. Kass | HOME SCENE

Home improvement tricks to help you avoid the winter blues

Many triggers can affect our moods. From sights to sounds to smells - it's a sensory experience that we don't seem to have much control over. Or so we used to think. But with more research being done on exactly how these elements might affect our stress or happiness levels, we now have better insight on how to enhance our mood. This is good news for those looking to make home improvements.

November 01, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Colorful accents create unique living spaces

When looking to transform your home, elements such as doors, ceilings and trim are perfect places to add color. These architectural details can create a wow factor with well-placed splashes of color.

November 01, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Why the sudden slow down in home sales?

Hey Real Estate Boys; This should be a quick and easy question for you boys. Sometime in April or March the market picked up, as you both reported, and we seemed to have a resurgent market all of a sudden. Well, the end of the summer, say July, I saw signs sitting a lot longer in front yards. Then looking at the closed sales in another newspaper, the sales seemed to have dropped or stopped again. So, here's my question for you: First, have you noticed, or will you admit to a slow down, and if so, why do ...

November 01, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

5 lawn care tips & projects to complete before winter

With the autumn season in full swing, there's no better time to watch leaves change colors, enjoy a hayride with family and friends, and indulge in a cup of hot apple cider. But, did you know it's also the perfect time to prepare your backyard for winter?

November 01, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

What to do with dad’s house with $330K mortgage

Q: My dad is in his 70's still working. Mom died a couple years ago and he's left with a mortgage (remaining balance of $330K on a single-home) on top of house maintenance, monthly costs and unpaid debts. Lately, dad expressed concern that he is getting old and worried how he can pay for the house. He is opposed to selling the house because of life memories. Stated the idea of us (family of 3, paying mortgage on a townhome bought in 2010) moving in with him. Wife and myself are hesitant because we cannot afford the cost ...

November 01, 2013 | Benny L. Kass | HOME SCENE

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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


You might be doing more of your shopping at discount stores, vacationing nearby (if you're vacationing at all), and postponing plans to improve your ...

November 06, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

USA housing recovery divided on age, race, place

WASHINGTON (AP) - It's the most profitable time to sell a house since the Great Recession started in late 2007. But first-time buyers are increasingly ...

November 06, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

Average rate on 30-year mortgage jumps to 3.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose sharply this week amid growing expectations that the Federal Reserve may soon raise its key short-term ...

November 06, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

Wood improves indoor air quality

A recent Life Cycle Analysis of wood flooring conducted by the University of Wisconsin supports this belief. The study compared five different floor coverings in ...

November 06, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

Wells Fargo to pay $81.6M to homeowners in bankruptcy

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Wells Fargo Bank has agreed to pay $81.6 million to settle claims that it failed to notify homeowners in bankruptcy of ...

November 06, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

Water damage caused by you cleaning appliances can clean out wallet

Being a homeowner means being vigilant. From the roof to the foundation, you need to keep a close eye on your house to guard against ...

November 06, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

Fannie Mae posts $2B profit for 3Q

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mortgage giant Fannie Mae reported net income of $2 billion for the July-September period, down from $3.9 billion a year earlier.

November 06, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

Natural light helps save money

Wild seasonal temperature changes and the high utility bills extreme temperatures can cause - no wonder a change in season can make many Americans feel down ...

November 06, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


With sales of new and existing homes remaining slow nationwide, many homeowners are looking for ways to add value now. Installing stylish interior doors and ...

October 30, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

Home rental prices rose at slower pace

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. home rental market cooled in September. The slowdown hit major hubs of the energy industry such as Dallas, Houston and ...

October 30, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

In San Francisco, high rents matched by rising incomes

WASHINGTON (AP) - San Francisco has outlandishly high rents - among the highest in the nation - yet a striking number of tenants there can afford to plunk ...

October 30, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

US home values and rents defying global slowdown

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. housing appears to be insulated so far from the cooling global economy.

October 30, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

Turn to nature for color inspiration

The colors are blooming outside and chances are you're feeling inspired to add some color inside your home as well. Using nature as your ...

October 30, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

Wright house aimed at wider audience rediscovered in Madison

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Linda McQuillen long wondered whether her 1917 home had any connection to Frank Lloyd Wright, thinking at best maybe one of his ...

October 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

Chef-centered kitchen

Many homeowners with a passion for cooking desire a kitchen that mirrors those of renowned chefs. To achieve this, various design elements and simple upgrades ...

October 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE

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