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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


A warning about unpaid real estate taxes

DEAR BENNY: Subsequent to the purchase/settlement of my condo, I began receiving claims of delinquent real estate taxes that the seller had neglected to pay from a previous year, prior to my purchase of the property. I notified my settlement agent, who asked that the seller look into the matter, and I have emailed the seller to see what he had done about it.

October 07, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Creating a dream bedroom for your child

Just about every child wishes for a dream bedroom, but it takes inspiration to transform four white walls into a fairytale princess room or tree house hideaway. Fortunately, you don't have to be an interior designer or skilled craftsman to become a hero. A little family compromising, combined with some simple painting techniques, can go a long way in creating a fun, personalized design that kids love - and parents can live with over time.

October 07, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Fall/winter home decorating tips

Are you over orange as an autumn decorating accent? Bored with relying on balsam and fir touches to evoke a holiday spirit in your home? If cooler weather and the coming holidays have you looking for new decorating ideas, here are some trends that will be heating up interior design this year:

September 30, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


No-interest loan comes with tax bite

DEAR BENNY: My wife and I want to give our two grown children an interest-free loan for $360,000. They currently have a 15-year fixed 5 percent loan for this amount for a second home they both enjoy. With our given money they can immediately pay off the bank loan and pay us back $4,587 per month for approximately 6.5 years. The $4,587 is their current monthly payment. Staying with the bank loan, they would fully pay it off in seven years and 10 months. Paying the loan off 16 months early will represent a savings to ...

September 30, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Winterize your home for long-term payback

You may not want to think about it, but winter will be here again before you know it. Of course, winter means it's time to turn the heat back on, which can be a strain on your home energy budget.

September 30, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Protecting young children in the home

When your child skins her knee or bumps her head, how do you comfort her? With a kiss and a hug? No matter how loving and careful you are, it's impossible to shield your children from all of life's little injuries.

September 30, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Time for mortgage lending to go back to the future

Back to the future - that is exactly what the government needs to do.

September 23, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Designing with an exceptional shower

For some of us, the shower is a personal sanctuary - the only place and time of the day to unwind and not be bothered by anything from the outside world. So why not make an exceptional shower the centerpiece of your next bathroom remodel? Utilize the latest in style - and even technology - to create the ultimate retreat.

September 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Does foreclosure wipe out all liens?

DEAR BENNY: In a recent column you said that "a foreclosure by a first-trust (lender) will wipe out any subordinate liens." But that is not necessarily the case, is it?

September 23, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


‘Know your rights’ housing day Oct. 8

STOCKTON - The California Rural Legal Assistance is holding a free clinic that will provide legal information to those who are at risk of eviction, foreclosure or housing discrimination.

September 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Creating a year-round oasis in your backyard

When winter approaches, do you stow the grill and cover the patio furniture, wishing there was some way you could continue to enjoy your outdoor living space all year? If so, you're not alone.

September 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Artful design pairings create a culinary paradise

Just as matching food with the right wine can elevate a simple meal to the level of a culinary experience, artfully pairing design elements in your kitchen can turn a utilitarian room into a chef's paradise.

September 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Stockton, Modesto homes $58,000 lower than Manteca

Mountain House - ballyhooed as San Joaquin's first affordable housing community in the late 1990s when massive zoning changes were needed to make it happen - is anything but even four years into the foreclosure debacle.

September 17, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Buy new, buy now: ‘Turn-key’ sales event

With the success of more than 200 homes sold since the Woodside Homes "Turn-Key" sales event began in mid-July, the builder is extending the celebration through September 30. As part of the promotion, homebuyers enjoy a selection of any two of the available bonuses, including: a designer-coordinated package of a new stainless steel side-by-side refrigerator, washer, dryer and window coverings; backyard landscaping; or 30-year fixed rate financing at a below-market rate of just 3.75 percent.

September 10, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Beware of hidden foreclosure fees

DEAR BENNY: I recently was the successful bidder on a condo. The closing was within 15 days of the sale, and a special warranty deed was conveyed for the amount of my bid. The closing agent told me after the closing that I had signed a memorandum of foreclosure agreeing to reimburse the seller for prepaid taxes and all amounts claimed owing by the condominium association.

September 03, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | 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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