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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Is owner's title insurance worth the cost?

DEAR BENNY: We are getting ready to close on a home and there is a settlement fee of $685 for lender's title insurance and $683 for owner's title insurance. Must we pay both fees? --Phyllis

February 09, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


What settlement will and won’t do for homeowners

WASHINGTON (AP) - The mortgage settlement that government officials announced Thursday is intended to help victims of foreclosure abuses that followed the housing bust.

February 09, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Easy-to-install suggestions for bathroom remodeling

Dreaming about a bathroom remodel? With today's easy-to-install products - many of which are also easy-to-clean - your new bathroom can actually exceed your wildest dreams. What could be better than an easy-to-clean new bathroom?

February 02, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Tips for a secure home & peace of mind

Homeowners often worry about keeping their homes safe and secure for their families. And it's no wonder: nearly 70 percent of home break-ins are in the form of kick-ins to a door, according to the U. S. Department of Justice.

February 02, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices dropped in November in most cities

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices fell for a third straight month in nearly all cities tracked by a major index. The declines show that most homeowners are not reaping the benefits from some signs of an improving housing market.

February 02, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Obama seeks to broaden reach assistance

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) - Conceding his earlier housing programs have fallen short, President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed a vast expansion of government assistance to homeowners, aiming to make lower lending rates a possibility for millions of borrowers who have not been able to get out from under burdensome mortgages.

February 02, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices dropped in November in most cities

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices fell for a third straight month in nearly all cities tracked by a major index. The declines show that most homeowners are not reaping the benefits from some signs of an improving housing market.

February 02, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Builders step up spending for 5th straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) - Builders increased their spending in December for the fifth consecutive month, ending a weak construction year on a hopeful note.

February 02, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to record low point of 3.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell this week to a record low, the ninth time that has happened in the last year. Even with the cheapest rates in history, the housing market remains depressed.

February 02, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Exercising lease option during foreclosure

DEAR BENNY: We have been renting a house with an option to buy for two years now. We recently learned from mail the bank has sent that the property was listed for foreclosure. (No, we have not opened the letters addressed to the owners, but they are from the bank that holds the mortgage and they have been coming every two weeks addressed to both lien holders.) We also received a letter from an attorney indicating that the property was listed for foreclosure.

February 02, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


The hottest colors for your home

As you anticipate what exciting things this year will bring, you might notice your home decor has been left behind. Fortunately, you can easily beautify and modernize your home using hints from design experts on the hottest color trends. Don't worry that you'll need to break the bank - simply updating the shades of your walls can create the feel of an entire new home without the cost of buying one. And you'll enjoy starting the year in fresh, contemporary surroundings.

January 26, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


A shocker as agent refunds client’s $20K

DEAR BENNY: I am selling my house and received two offers on the same day: The first offer came in first thing in the morning, and I made a counteroffer. Several hours later there was another offer. My agent informed both buyers' agents of the competing offers and shortly after was informed by buyer's agent No. 1 that his clients had accepted the counteroffer. I rejected offer No. 2, as required, and started packing.

January 26, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Foreclosures made up 20 percent of home sales in 3Q

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Foreclosures made up a smaller slice of all U.S. homes sold in last year's third quarter, as banks delayed placing properties for sale and home sales slowed.

January 26, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage rises to 3.98%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week for the first time this month, though it remained below 4 percent for the eighth straight week.

January 26, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Obama proposes broad refinancing for homeowners including private lenders

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is proposing a program to allow homeowners with privately held mortgages to refinance at lower interest rates.

January 26, 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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