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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE

Be proactive when canceling PMI

DEAR BENNY: We purchased our home a year ago for $153,000 and put $16,000 cash down. PMI was required. I want to end the PMI as soon as possible and understand that the home equity must reach a certain point (the agent said after two years we could try to get it canceled). Isn't there a law that if we are current with our payments we can opt out of PMI? We purchased a short-sale home and the value has been appraised higher now. Will that work against us? --Phyllis

February 28, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

The higher they went, the harder a home price fell

The highest sale price ever recorded in Manteca for a production home was $720,000.

February 22, 2013 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE

California gets larger share of mortgage deal

SACRAMENTO (AP) - California should receive at least $20.6 billion from a settlement with the nation's major mortgage lenders, the largest share of any state and about $2 billion more than expected when the agreement to assist homeowners was announced last year, according to a report released Thursday.

February 21, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Rate on 30-year mortgage loans rises to 3.56 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week but remained near historic lows. Low mortgage rates have helped support the slowly recovering housing market.

February 21, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

High-tech homes make everyday living simpler, even more secure

If you find yourself wondering how you ever got along before your smartphone, laptop and GPS, you're not alone. Technology is so much a part of how we go about our days that we often take it for granted. However, in many cases, houses haven't caught up to the same technological standards as the gadgets people carry with them 24/7. But that's all about to change, as new ideas begin to revolutionize the way we view our homes.

February 21, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

‘Gifted’ loan down payments come back to haunt FHA

Uncle Sam's failure to practice tough love is creating more foreclosures.

February 15, 2013 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE

Remodeling: How to go from a far-off dream to 'DIY'

Year after year, no matter the state of the housing market, kitchen remodeling remains a good idea. The project perennially tops lists of value-for-your-money home improvements and almost every buyer will be attracted to a kitchen that's updated and move-in ready. Even if you're planning on staying in your home for a while, few things can reinvigorate your home like a brand new kitchen.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

California home prices and sales up in January

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The number of homes sold in California rose 2.7 percent last month from a year earlier and the median price soared as the housing market showed continuing signs of recovery, the reporting firm DataQuick said Thursday.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Late-payment rate on US mortgages hits four-year low

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Homeowners who took on mortgages well after the housing bubble burst are doing a better job in keeping up with payments, a trend that has helped push the national rate of late payments on home loans to the lowest level in four years.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

4 must-knows about mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I will be soon paying off (in its entirety) the mortgage on my home. For your information, I have been current on my payments throughout the 10-year term. The mortgage company is a credit union, and I intend to continue residing in my home.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Expanding outdoor living spacecan increase value of your home

Even during a challenging economy, the outdoor living trend remains popular as homeowners seek to add lasting value and functional living space under the sky and stars. Whether it's a do-it-yourself patio or a professionally installed outdoor kitchen, the beauty, usefulness, value and ease of maintenance in outdoor living space is limitless.

February 07, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Don't grant lenders unlimited access to tax records

DEAR BENNY: I understand that when homebuyers sign closing documents, they are routinely required to sign a blanket form allowing the lender to access IRS records with no time limit. The form says not to sign it unless dates are specified on the form, but lenders routinely insist they be signed without any specification as to which years of IRS records are covered.

February 07, 2013 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE

Home prices rose during 2012 by most in 6.5 years

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices jumped by the most in 6 ½ years in December, spurred by a low supply of available homes and rising demand.

February 07, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Thinking about being a landlord?

NEW YORK (AP) ‑ Low mortgage rates have made buying a home more affordable and turned rentals into an attractive option for investors.

February 07, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Preparing your credit profile

Winter can seem like an eternity. Yet when it comes to your credit profile, house-hunting and the spring real estate season is just around the corner.

January 31, 2013 | | 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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