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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE

How to tell if lender is overcharging escrow account

DEAR BENNY: I own a house worth approximately $400,000. The current mortgage is $25,000. A company in Florida took over the mortgage about six months ago. The mortgage company handles the tax and insurance payments through an escrow account. Given the current schedule of payments, the account has had a positive balance during all of 2012 and will average at least a $1,000 balance during the 12 months. The mortgage company wants to double the escrow payments so that the minimum balance is $1,000, the maximum is $3,000 and the average account balance is $2 ...

November 29, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE

Rate on US 30-year mortgage ticks up to 3.32 pct

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages stayed close to record lows this week, a trend that has made home buying more affordable and helped the housing market recover.

November 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

US pending home sales jump to nearly a 6-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) - An index measuring the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in October jumped to nearly its highest level in almost six years. Steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates have made home buying more attractive.

November 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Make your home smarter, more efficient this winter

The coldest time of the year can also be the busiest. With holiday entertaining, overnight guests and winter getaways, it can be hard to ensure your home heating and other systems are performing for optimal comfort and efficiency. In addition, the Department of Energy reports that no matter what-energy-source you use, heating this winter will cost more, an important consideration since heating and cooling typically makes up about 54 percent of your utility bill.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Tips on home care for holiday pleasure

Whether it's guests arriving for a holiday party, visiting relatives or holiday revelers, your home can feel like a revolving door during the holiday season. Unfortunately, all of this added traffic can also bring unwanted dirt and germs that can outweigh holiday cheer. Keep your home looking clean, germ-free and ready to welcome guests throughout the holiday season by establishing a cold-weather cleaning routine.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Home tech: affordable, uncomplicated ideas to add enjoyment to your home

Did you know it's almost the year that Michael J. Fox went "back to the future?" While we don't have hover boards or flying cars, our innovations have changed drastically since 1985, especially when it comes to technology in the home. Now there are many affordable innovations that are simple to use and can add unique benefits and enjoyment to routine activities.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Steady housing recovery is boosting national economy

WASHINGTON (AP) - From purchases and prices to builder sentiment and construction, the U.S. housing market is making consistent gains.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

New home starts jump to fastest pace in four years

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders started construction last month on the most homes and apartments since July 2008, more evidence that the housing recovery is gaining momentum.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

How low will they go? Mortgage rates at record 3.31 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell to fresh record lows this week, a trend that is boosting home sales and aiding the housing recovery.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Opening door to more do-it-yourself home improvement projects is possible

On any given weekend, homeowners can be found climbing around in attics to add insulation, repairing shingles on the roof, installing new floors in kitchens and bathrooms, and handling many other home improvement projects that, with a little elbow grease, they are able to do themselves.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Don’t buy home until you sell the current one

Q: I have a fixed-rate mortgage at 5.99 percent that doesn't have to be refinanced until 2016. I know I will want to move to a more suitable place before then, but if I sell now at current low prices, I will have very little equity left to put down on a new condo.

November 21, 2012 | By TERRY SAVAGE Financial Advisor | HOME SCENE

Avoid FHA financing restriction on intrafamily purchase

DEAR BENNY: I am currently trying to purchase a home from my daughter. The loan was approved, but the lender told me there is a law that if you purchase a home from a family member, they can finance only 85 percent of the sales price. Is this true? --Roger

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

Need more space? Some put up a cottage out back

Something small is afoot. Backyard cottages - from 800-square-foot bungalows to Lilliputian studio cabins - are springing up behind houses in many cities, some of which have changed zoning laws to accommodate them.

November 15, 2012 | The Associated Press | HOME SCENE

Three ways save energy in your home

'Red means stop, green means go' - we learn that axiom as children. When it comes to home energy costs, however, going green can help homeowners put a stop to runaway utility bills. And maximizing your home's use of natural light - call it 'green lighting' - is a great way to boost your home's energy efficiency.

November 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Some facts about composite decking

Have you ever considered composite decking but disregarded the idea because you felt like you didn't know enough about it? Maybe you've wondered how composite decking is made? Or what kinds of materials make up composite decking?

November 15, 2012 | | 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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