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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Don’t let layoff derail condo conversion refi

DEAR BENNY: We are three owners of a property in a nice neighborhood. We own the property as tenants in common, and have shared an interest-only loan since 2005. We are in the process of converting the property into three condominium units. One of the owners lost her job last spring and is now self-employed. The other two owners' employment status has not changed.

June 21, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Don’t let layoff derail condo conversion refi

DEAR BENNY: We are three owners of a property in a nice neighborhood. We own the property as tenants in common, and have shared an interest-only loan since 2005. We are in the process of converting the property into three condominium units. One of the owners lost her job last spring and is now self-employed. The other two owners' employment status has not changed.

June 21, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Who lived here? How to dig up your house's history

The construction of Julian Sellers' bungalow in St. Paul, Minn., was started in 1926 and finished in early 1927. The builder was a Swedish immigrant. The family who first lived there included a married couple, their 6-year-old daughter and the wife's mother.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Small space solutions for kitchen

Crowded cabinets, cluttered counters and nonexistent prep space. Sound familiar? For many homeowners, small kitchen spaces make everyday use and entertaining a source of frustration. While a small kitchen can pose many challenges, it doesn't have to stop you from enjoying the space. From a full scale home renovation to some simple and quick fixes, there are many options to help you realize your kitchen's full potential and transform it into a welcoming place where you'll want to spend time.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Good health advice you can easily follow

(ARA) - Some things we're supposed to do for our health may seem obviously difficult to accomplish: eating less fast food no matter how yummy it tastes, fitting an hour of vigorous exercise into every day, or giving up bad habits like smoking. You may think one bit of common health advice - to get more fresh air and sunshine - would be easy to follow.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year loan rises to 3.71%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average rates on fixed mortgages rose this week, the first increase in seven weeks. But mortgage rates remain near historic lows, boosting prospects for home sales this year.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Selling a Starker exchange property

DEAR BENNY: We own a small single-family home (800 square feet) located on the property adjacent to our primary home. We purchased it using a Starker exchange about 15 years ago. We stopped renting it out eight years ago, when the mortgage was paid off. We now use it as an extension of our primary home, with the living room as a game room, garage and basement as storage, one bedroom as an office, and the other as a guest bedroom.

June 16, 2012 | Benny L. Kass Attorney | HOME SCENE


Exploring what makes your garden grow

When school lets out for summer, exchange those flip flops for gardening shoes. Add a pair of gloves, good sun-block and get out into the garden.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Easy kitchen updates that won’t break the bank & are simple to do

It goes without saying that the kitchen is one of the hardest-working rooms in the home. For most, it's the heart of family life and usually the one room where everyone gathers together. With so much hustle and bustle, it's no wonder that the kitchen runs the risk of looking overworked.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


What lies beneath your dream home?

It's moving season. In a buyer-friendly market, home shoppers can be pretty particular in their search for a dream home. Increasingly, buyers are seeking flawless, move-in ready homes, and while traditional home inspections are a must-have, something equally important lurking beneath homes often goes overlooked.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


May sees pickup in homes facing risk of foreclosure

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Lenders initiated foreclosure proceedings against more U.S. homeowners in May, setting the stage for increases in home repossessions and short sales - scenarios that could further weigh down home values in coming months.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Single-family homes are in a number of cases no longer that

Think American Dream and images of owning a single-family home pop up.

June 08, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


The heat is on outside, keep cool inside

As summer heats up, air conditioning bills can rapidly rise. As homeowners feel the heat, many are looking for ways to save and stay cool.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Tabletop gardens are edible centerpieces

With spring arriving earlier this season, gardeners across the country are inspired to plant now. Daydreams of fresh produce used in delicious sauces, salads and stir fries have many drawing garden plot plans and even starting seeds for future transplanting. Tabletop gardens are a fun and decorative way to expand into new planting opportunities.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Buying a foreclosure or short sale with confidence

Buyers are still clamoring for real estate deals in this turbulent market. Foreclosures and short sales offer some of the best bargains, but also have a higher risk level. Still, more than four in five adults think foreclosures and short sales can be good deals, according to a recent American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) survey.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Tips to prepare windows & doors for winter to save

How much do you spend on utilities? Are you looking for ways to save? A typical American household spends about $2,100 on energy bills each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Most of that expense comes from a home's energy use during the winter heating season. But a quick home checkup can help you can reduce these costs, prepare for winter and enjoy energy savings.

October 17, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate at 3.97 %

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates tumbled this week. The 30-year loan hit its lowest level since June 2013 as Treasury bond yields marked new lows amid concern over global economic weakness.

October 17, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Ideas to bring Halloween decor back from the dead

Halloween has its fair share of iconic symbols: ghosts, witches, mummies and pumpkins, just to name a few. But if your home decor is becoming just as iconic, it may be time to change it up and take your decorating in a new direction.

October 17, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home sales rise in September

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales rose for the first time in a year in September, a research firm said Tuesday, as cooling prices and a strong economy encouraged buyers.

October 17, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


From make-do to all new: Create your dream kitchen

Homeowners have spent more on kitchen remodeling than any other home improvement category in the last 10 years, according to Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies - and there's good reason. An updated kitchen does more than boost the value of your home; whether you make just a few changes or completely renovate the entire space, a kitchen that feels new is always refreshing. From basic cooking to frequent entertaining, your dream kitchen should look good and function well.

October 17, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Apartments pushed up September homebuilding

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction firms broke ground on more apartment complexes in September, pushing up the pace of U.S. homebuilding.

October 17, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Forward-looking luxury in renovation trends

Americans are renovating again, and instead of letting resale value alone drive their renovation choices, in 2014 homeowners are weighing many more factors. They are seeking renovations that are beautiful, luxurious and eco-friendly, and that both enhance resale value and their ability to age in place should they choose not to sell down the road.

October 10, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


KEY HELP

If you are a first-time homebuyer defined as someone who hasn't owned a home in the last three years you could be eligible for $6,500 in interest free down payment assistance.

October 10, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rates down 3rd straight week

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, making it more affordable to borrow to buy a home.

October 10, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


How to keep your family safe from home’s hidden hazards

In the U.S. alone, approximately 60 million people suffer from asthma and allergies, which according to the American Lung Association can be triggered by mold for those who are allergic. As a responsible homeowner, it's essential to be aware of the many threats, such as mold and fire, which may cause harm to your family and your investment.

October 10, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Easy ways to warm up your space this winter

Cooler temperatures are on the horizon and now is the ideal time to begin checking items off your seasonal to-do list. Complete simple projects before the harsh winter weather arrives so your home is ready to enjoy in the coming season.

October 10, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Slower growth for US home prices in August

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices increased in August, yet the pace of these gains continues to slow, helping to improve affordability for would-be buyers.

October 10, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Building your memories around outdoor fire pit

Whether you're spending quality time with family or entertaining guests, few things compare to the cozy, warm and welcoming atmosphere created by a fire pit in the backyard. In fact, fire pits are among the most popular features for enhancing an outdoor living space, according to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Even better, with little experience and materials, you can build a fire pit in just a few hours.

October 10, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


EXODUS TO EXURBS

The oil boom and skyrocketing housing prices west of the Altamont Pass are setting the stage for a 21st century Grapes of Wrath migration.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Sink into these top tub trends for ultimate bathing experience

The tub tucked away in your home's master bathroom is so much more than a place to get clean. It's a calming refuge and therapeutic retreat after a busy, high-pressure day. Tub trends indicate that bathtubs are primarily used for soaking, while shower time is mainly for cleansing. The soaking tub has become the destination for relaxation amid today's fast-paced lifestyles.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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