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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Lease-option contracts come with risk

DEAR BENNY: In a recent column you mentioned a renter who has a lease with an option to purchase the property and who makes his rent payments as agreed, but the property owner has not been paying the mortgage and is heading towards foreclosure.

March 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Outdoor spring cleaning tips

If the warmer temperatures, bright sunshine and greening of spring give you the urge to clean, you're not alone. If you want to make spring cleaning easier, especially outdoor spring cleaning, a little planning will save lots of elbow grease.

March 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


An early sign of buyer interest picking up pace?

Buyers apparently sense a change in the wind.

March 01, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Home prices fell in December in most cities for 4th month

WASHINGTON (AP) - Home prices fell in December for a fourth straight month in most major U.S. cities, as modest sales gains in the depressed housing market have yet to lift prices.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


AG seeks statewide mortgage protections

SACRAMENTO (AP) - State Attorney General Kamala Harris promoted legislation Wednesday to reform the mortgage process in California and provide more protections for homeowners, three weeks after she secured $18 billion for California in a nationwide bank settlement.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Easy seasonal changes refresh homes

Spring's new growth and warm sunshine provide inspiration for renewal in our lives. It's a time to pack away the sweaters and boots for lighter layers and brimmed hats. Homeowners should embrace this same mindset - one where you pack away the heavy textures and colors of winter in favor of breezy fabrics and fun decor that inspire a fresh feeling in your house.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Average rate on 30-year mortgage down to 3.90% just above record low

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year mortgage edged down this week to hover again above record lows. Cheaper rates have spurred modest improvements in the battered housing market, but not enough to signal a recovery.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Sales contracts for homes rose 2 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January to the highest level in nearly two years, supporting the view that the housing market is gradually coming back.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Foreclosures comprised smaller slice of 2011 sales

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Bank-owned homes and short sales last year accounted for the smallest slice of overall sales in three years but still made up nearly a quarter of all U.S. homes sold in 2011.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Qualifying for $500K home-sale tax break

DEAR BENNY: My husband and I each have a trust, and our house is in my trust. We have lived in this house for 14 years. If we were to sell it, would we qualify for the $500,000 tax exemption? I understand each person is permitted $250,000, and a couple twice that amount. Does my trust make a difference, and if so, what should we do? --Arlene

March 01, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


‘Daylighting' improvements for homes

If your home will be on the market this spring, you're probably looking for every possible edge that will make it stand out to potential buyers. But even if you're staying put, you still want to make your home as attractive and valuable as your budget will allow.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


SJ Master Gardeners offer free workshops

The free monthly workshop program offered by the San Joaquin Master Gardeners at the Manteca Public Library is making a comeback following its initial successful run last year.

February 24, 2012 | Rose Albano Risso | HOME SCENE


Oakwood Shores making big splash with lifestyle, price & lakefront access

The next best thing in Manteca housing is here: Oakwood Shores.

February 24, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Watchdog: Limit Fannie, Freddie legal fees more

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. government regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must do a better job limiting legal expenses paid by the two mortgage giants to their former executives facing lawsuits, a new watchdog report says.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rethinking the yard in drought-stricken regions

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Texans watched disaster unfold slowly last year as a historic drought took a withering toll across the region.

February 23, 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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