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Simple things for a fresh new look for your home in 2012

New Year's is a time when many people commit to starting fresh or developing some positive changes in their lives. As you consider what you will change in 2012, think about where you spend the majority of your time. Your surroundings can greatly influence your mood and actions, and a refreshed interior can help you step forward into a new and improved lifestyle. Enjoying life more in 2012 could start with just a few simple updates to your home.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Claiming $500K tax break after spouse dies

DEAR BENNY: My husband died this past August. We owned and lived in our house for more than 15 years, but now I want to sell. Am I eligible for the up-to-$500,000 exclusion of any profit that I will make? --Annie

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


Bathroom remodeling ideas: From small to total overhaul that can save money

Ready to give your bathroom a facelift, but can't decide what changes to make? From tubs to toilets to tile, the sky is the limit when it comes to bathroom renovations, even if budget is not.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Down payment assistance available to buyers of new homes to cover school fees

The California Housing Finance Agency is now offering the Schools Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance program to qualified buyers of newly constructed homes. With home prices and mortgage interest rates already near all-time lows, the down payment assistance increases the affordability of new homes even more for qualified buyers.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Wells Fargo to help area customers facing mortgage payment challenges

STOCKTON - Wells Fargo & Company is hosting a free Home Preservation Workshop in Stockton for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, Wachovia Mortgage and Wells Fargo Home Equity customers facing financial hardships.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Sellers have recourse when buyers back out

DEAR BENNY: We recently had a contract to sell our home to a "cash" buyer. He and his wife were allegedly inheriting a large sum of money, and their Realtor confirmed that she had seen the bank account statement confirming a "vast sum of money," reportedly well in excess of our contract price.

December 16, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Installing gas fireplaces

A gas fireplace can add ambiance and warmth to any room, and with the cold weather, you might be dreaming of adding one in your home. Because purchasing a fireplace is not something we do every day, there are some important things to consider.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Help protect your home from rodents this winter

The cold temperatures are settling in for the winter months, and if you're not careful, rodents can also settle into your home. Your house - especially your kitchen - offers everything rats and mice are looking for: food, water and warmth.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Save money with energy efficiency tips

Saving money is on everyone's mind this winter season. Between the holiday expenses, colder temperatures and tight budgets, finding ways to reduce costs can be a bit of a challenge. If you're looking for ways to save, look at your home, and see if you can improve on your energy efficiency - thereby keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Easy ways to warm up your home decor

As the chill of winter sets in, your home interior may be lacking the warmth and comfort you'd prefer. Fortunately, creating an inviting atmosphere does not require huge amounts of time or money. And you don't need to be a professional interior designer - or even have experience in decorating - to transform your home into a welcoming haven. To bring your decor into the season and give your home noticeable appeal, follow a few easy tips.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Smart ways to use credit when redecorating

When your redecorating project is done, you want everyone who sees it to think it looks like a million bucks. But woe to your wallet - and possibly your credit - if you overspend to achieve that look.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


More affordable to buy in SJ Valley

The Northern San Joaquin Valley was flying high five years ago.

December 09, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Sidestep penalty for early mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I was at the closing table for my condo purchase only to discover that there was a penalty for early payoff. I called the bank immediately and they told me to "take it or leave it."

December 09, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Top home decor trends for 2012

From warm woods and creative colors to memorable murals and tailored textures, interior designers and industry experts predict 2012 will offer a multitude of options for those interested in giving their homes a fresh look. Even better for today's cost-conscious consumers is that many of the trends are easy and inexpensive.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Winter: Time to plan outdoor updates

Does the bitter cold weather have you dreaming of warm days spending time with friends and family in your backyard? The cold may keep us indoors, but professionals in the landscape and remodeling industry are still thinking about the outdoors and use the winter months to plan spring projects, and so should you.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


FHA loan limits need to go up

Most first-time buyers can come up with the income to comfortably cover a monthly house payment but often lack the money needed up front.

December 12, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


3% DOWN LOANS

WASHINGTON (AP) - Some Americans will soon be able to buy a home with a down payment as low as 3 percent, compared with the current minimum of 5 percent, the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Create a happy homemade Christmas setting this year

One of the best ways to kick off the holiday season is to decorate. And while it's easy to load your cart with beautiful decor from your favorite store, Christmas is more personal when decorations are homemade.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Bathroom upgrades to impress guests & family

Game night, girls' night or family reunion – your home serves as the backdrop for many occasions. Preparing your space for friends and family can feel like a heavy undertaking, but with a few simple entertaining tips, hosts can wave goodbye to anxieties.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Reurposing garage doors into walls with a view

Have you ever admired a coffee table cleverly fabricated using a discarded door sitting on a frame? Or been surprised by the sight of an old refrigerator reborn as a bookshelf or TV cabinet? Even bathroom fixtures have been known to draw notice (and a snicker or two) when repurposed as garden containers.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year loan rate increases to 3.93 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged higher this week after four weeks of declines, but they remained at historically low levels that could entice potential homebuyers.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Tips to keep garden & hand tools in top shape

From painting supplies to gardening and hand tools, buying well-made home improvement tools can help improve project results. The tools you use may be an investment, so you'll want to take care of them to ensure they last for more than just one project.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Master bathroom trends for homes in 2015 & beyond

When it comes to renovating spaces in your home, the master bath should be top of mind. Leading master bath trends for 2015 go beyond functionality to incorporate features that complement the design aesthetic and provide a touch of luxury for lasting results.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Let her handle the money

Despite the earning power of today's women, many still shy away from investing and long-term planning. One of the reasons may be a lack of confidence. A 2014 report by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that half of women say they are not confident about the ability to retire comfortably.

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


5 ways to protect your home the holidays

When you think of the holidays, celebrations, presents and friends likely come to mind - not crime. Unfortunately, burglaries increase at this time of year, and your home could be a target. With a few simple safety precautions, you can protect your property, your family and your valuables now and well into the new year.

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


SPRUCE UP

The fun chaos of the holidays is right around the corner. Family gatherings to plan, delicious meals to prepare, gifts to find and purchase, and a house to decorate ... the list goes on!

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average US 30-year loan rate falls to 3.89 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, a continuing boon for potential homebuyers.

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Troubled US homeowners get more relief

WASHINGTON (AP) - Homeowners whose mortgages were modified to stave off foreclosure could next year receive an additional $5,000 reduction in their loans from the government, the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development departments said Thursday.

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


How to cut clutter & take back your home

You've reached your breaking point. You've tripped over the same thing in the living room too many times. Now you've picked it up to finally put it away and you realize - you have nowhere to put it. You have too much clutter in your home. So what do you do? How do you decide where to start so you can reduce the clutter in your home and make your walkways safe once more?

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Taking a spin down Memory Lane

OK you Real Estate Boys; I am fairly new to Turlock and so far love it here and love the Valley. When I moved from the right coast mid-summer my Realtor kept telling me all the neat things about Turlock and I couldn't stop thinking about John and Paul's "She Loves You." Yeah, yeah, yeah. "You're just saying that stuff." Well, 6 months into my new life I am now saying the same about my newly adopted home. I'm sort of hoping you Boys can tell me some of the changes you've seen over the ...

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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