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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


Greet holiday guests with a warm, stylish, sensible home

Twinkling lights, fragrant wreaths and freshly baked cookies help set the stage, but holiday guests truly feel at home when you provide a warm, cozy environment.

November 18, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Get ready for revival of the zombies

Manteca has plenty of "zombies."

November 18, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Circumvent rigid down-payment gift rules

DEAR BENNY: I live in Connecticut and my husband stays several nights a week in Massachusetts. We saw a duplex we would like to buy in Massachusetts. He would live in one part and there is already a tenant in the other part.

November 17, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Affordable holiday decor updates

Welcoming friends and family into your home is one of the best ways to celebrate the season. One of the keys to making visitors feel right at home is to be a happy host. So, do yourself - and your guests - a favor and put a little effort into getting your home holiday houseguest perfect.

November 10, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Housing prices going up 11.5% next year?

Here's an eye-opener: Housing prices in California are expected to surge 11.5 percent in 2012.

November 10, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


When is a HUD-1 form required?

DEAR BENNY: Do we have to do a HUD-1 form on a cash sale? The home is paid off and I am selling for cash. There is no lender involved. --Keith

November 10, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


What’s the best floor choice for your high-traffic home?

From high-heeled shoes to dog paws and kitchen spills, your home's flooring faces tough challenges every day. When it comes to choosing a floor that will stand up to today's hyper-active households, experts recommend laminate for its low-maintenance, realistic beauty and durability. But savvy shoppers should keep in mind that not all laminates are created equal, especially when it comes to long-term performance. To find the best floor for your high-traffic home, look for the following:

November 04, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Simple water-saving tips keep money in your wallet

The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill, but by making just a few simple changes to use water more efficiently, you could save approximately $170 per year and help the environment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

November 04, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


MARKET BAROMETER

The biggest price rebound for housing in the Manteca market is also still the most affordable - the Cherry Lane Condos along Union Road.

November 21, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


California home sales increase by 1.4 percent

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales continue to climb - with the October sales tally reaching the highest it has been for that month in two years, a research firm said Thursday.

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home sales rise in October

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans bought homes in October at the briskest pace this year, a sign that the sluggish housing market is turning around.

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Beauty of wood turns homes into architectural masterpieces

Ever since humans stopped dwelling in caves and started living in huts made of tree branches, wood has been an indispensible structural and decorative residential material. Man's house-building relationship with wood - historically, culturally and experientially - is deep, long and universal. In part that's because wood is abundant, economical, durable and flexible. But our enduring love affair with wood is also due to the fact that, like us, each piece of timber is unique - its color, texture and grain are as individual as a human personality, so we keep discovering new aspects of its beauty and versatility to delight ...

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Cypress adds a signature style to the look of a home

To satisfy homeowners seeking to add a signature style to their indoor living spaces, more and more design professionals and builders are going back to basics and rediscovering the versatility, durability and good looks of cypress.

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home improvements that give most bang for your buck

Prioritizing a home-improvement wish list is never easy. Do you put design and aesthetics ahead of functionality? Or do you choose comfort and convenience over energy efficiency and cost savings?

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home starts drop 2.8% in October

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction of new homes fell slightly in October after a big surge in the previous month, but the weakness was largely driven by the volatile apartment sector.

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rates drop to 3.99%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates continued to tick down this week, remaining close to yearlong lows.

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Federal agency yet to act on controversial insurance used by banks

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Housing Finance Agency has yet to deliver on changes to a controversial type of homeowner's insurance even as its director told the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday that it's making progress.

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Affordable entertaining ideas for holiday parties

The holidays are coming up quickly, and that means there's plenty of reason to celebrate. Whether you're throwing a party for the first time or you're continuing a long-running annual tradition, hosting a festive celebration with friends and family is a lot of work and always worth it. This year, take your party to the next level to truly impress your guests - without breaking the bank.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Five home design tips on layering from professionals

Designers are often drawn to a simple, modern look - however, layering unique patterns and textures in the home is a quickly growing trend. Keep your space harmonized, yet distinct, with the tips outlined below.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


THE ENTERTAINER

Looking for a home that does more than put on a good facade from the curb?

November 14, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Get a jump on this year’s predicted polar vortex

Last winter's polar vortex not only affected the majority of the country with subfreezing temperatures, but wreaked havoc on utility bills. In fact, consumers in 13 states and the District of Columbia used enough energy in January to capture eight of the 10 highest winter demand days on record, according to PJM Interconnection, the electricity grid operator. According to the Farmers' Almanac and other weather predictors, a polar vortex is expected to rear its ugly head again this winter.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Tips on how to make your bathroom shower sing

It's where some of your best ideas are born, and where you unwind - or get ready - for the day. And although your current shower might be fine, why not make it fabulous? Here are the latest trends and products to create a fantastic shower experience.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Subprime services firm abandons disputed fees

WASHINGTON (AP) - A company with ties to the nation's largest overseer of subprime mortgages announced under pressure Wednesday it will stop collecting controversial insurance fees from homeowners whose properties were under foreclosure. The announcement came three months after The Associated Press highlighted its business practices.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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