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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Watchdog: Limit Fannie, Freddie legal fees more

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. government regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must do a better job limiting legal expenses paid by the two mortgage giants to their former executives facing lawsuits, a new watchdog report says.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rethinking the yard in drought-stricken regions

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Texans watched disaster unfold slowly last year as a historic drought took a withering toll across the region.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Some money from mortgage settlement to be diverted

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The ink wasn't even dry on a settlement with the nation's top mortgage lenders when Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon laid claim to a chunk of the money to avert a huge budget cut for public colleges and universities.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Good economic news continues to trickle out

The economic recovery was once again reinforced last week with the majority of data continuing to point towards growth. Retail Sales rose a solid .7% showing that consumers are continuing to increase spending long after the holiday season has ended.

February 23, 2012 | By DEBORAH ROMERO Special to the Bulletin | HOME SCENE


Rising sales point to better year for housing

WASHINGTON (AP) - The housing market is flashing signs of health ahead of the spring-buying season.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.95%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage jumped after standing pat for three straight weeks at record lows. But the rate stayed below 4 percent for the 12th straight week, keeping home-buying and refinancing attractive for those who can qualify.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Seniors: Avoid lump-sum mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I am 74 and recently have been contemplating paying off my condo mortgage. The remainder of the mortgage is $98,000 at 6 percent. Can you help me through this? On the surface it seems like a good idea, but I'm not aware of all the particulars. I am in good health and will not need the $98,000 in the near future. --Dee Dee

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Housing agency could run out of money in 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Housing Administration could run out of money over the next year and require a $700 million cash infusion from the Treasury Department to stay afloat, according to the Obama administration's budget request sent Monday to Congress.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Fewer Americans at risk of foreclosure in fourth quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans at risk of foreclosure is declining, as more homeowners climb out of debt and find steady work.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage stays at record 3.87 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage held steady at a record low for a third straight week, offering more incentive to those looking to buy a home or refinance.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Homebuilder optimism rises for 5th straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. homebuilders are gradually growing more optimistic about the depressed housing market and believe homes sales could pick up sharply when the spring buying season begins.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Housing starts rise modestly to start new year

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction of single-family homes cooled off slightly in January after surging in the final month last year. But a rise in permits suggests builders are growing more confident that more buyers are ready to come off the sidelines.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Foreclosure activity edges higher in January

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Banks took back more U.S. homes in January than in the previous month, the latest sign that foreclosures are accelerating after slowing sharply last year while lenders sorted out foreclosure-abuse claims.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Beware of 'force-placed' hazard insurance

DEAR BENNY: My wife and I closed on a short-sale house in Florida back in 2010. We paid "in full" the homeowners and flood insurance even before we took title to the property. Once we became the owner of the property, confusion started when the insurance agent apparently (and incorrectly) advised the lender that we did not have the necessary insurance coverage.

February 16, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


$26 billion settlement between banks, states not what it seems

The big headline announced this month is the $26 settlement reached between the nation's five largest banks and 49 state attorney generals. The settlement is to compensate and assist homeowners that have been either foreclosed on improperly, or homeowners that owe significantly more than the value of their home.

February 16, 2012 | By DEBORAH ROMERO Mortgage Loan Officer | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


THE BIG SQUEEZE

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Living in an apartment? Expect your rent to go up again.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


5 upgrades for under $5,000 to lure buyers

It's a sobering truth of real estate that sellers often have to spend money to make money. Even if your home is relatively new, you still face costs associated with getting it ready to show, such as repainting interior rooms or hiring professional cleaners and stagers. If your home could use some TLC and updating, spending as little as $5,000 on key upgrades could improve its appeal for buyers - and ensure a speedier sale at a better price.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Demystifying 2015 kitchen design trends

Every new year brings along new design trends, with homeowners often feeling the pressure to mix up their kitchen interiors to keep things current. But the truth is, when embarking on any renovation project, incorporating more timeless (and less trendy) assets will save both time and money in the long run. This ensures any kitchen styling stays current and "fits in" no matter which way the design pendulum swings.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Tips for parents considering helping their child buy a home

Rising prices and a dearth of homes for sale in many markets have made it harder for many looking to buy their first home.

April 17, 2015 | ALEX VEIGA AP Business Writer | HOME SCENE


House approves legislation to ease rules on home loans

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly adopted legislation to ease some mortgage lending requirements of the sweeping 2010 law reining in banks and Wall Street as the Republican majority continues its assault on the so-called Dodd-Frank law enacted after the financial crisis.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


California home prices reach new 7-year high, sales rebound

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home prices reached fresh seven-year-highs in March, a research firm said Friday, helping sales rebound from a two-month slide as some homeowners put their property on the market to reap gains.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


OAKWOOD SHORES

Oakwood Shores is not just among a handful of neighborhoods surrounding private lakes in the Northern San Joaquin Valley but it has another feature that few of those have - a gated community with 24-hour security patrols.

April 10, 2015 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Your perfect State of home Organization

Life gets busy and clutter has a way of sneaking up on everyone. It may be all those shoes, the lack of space or the fact that you have absolutely no time - there are many reasons for the mess. But, whether you're a single person living in an apartment or have a large family in a sprawling house, everyone can benefit from more organization. By simply thinking about storage differently and coming up with a smart organizational system that works for you, you'll be on the way to creating a well-balanced, happier home.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Five projects to help redo your basement

Have you ever wished you had more space in your home? Maybe you'd use the space to pursue a hobby, host out-of-town guests or just spread out and get some quiet time to yourself. The space you desire could already be in your home in your basement. If your cellar is nothing but a series of unfinished areas used for storage, you're not getting all the benefits you could be from the space.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


TRID could delay closing of escrow

LOS GATOS (AP) - Members of the real estate industry are getting ready for a new regulation scheduled to take effect this summer that requires changes to the traditional mortgage loan acquisition process. The upcoming TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule takes effect Aug. 1 and, if not understood by all parties involved, could delay the closing of escrow. Issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, TRID combines the mortgage disclosure established by the Truth-in-Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act into one single rule. However, according to a lender panel at a Silicon Valley Association of Realtors meeting, the move ...

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


SHARED HOUSING TREND GROWS

BOWIE, Md. (AP) - In 2008, Bonnie Moore was going through a divorce. And as she was adjusting to a one-income lifestyle, the recession hit and her five-bedroom, three-bathroom home lost half its value.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Ripon launches effort to conserve energy & water

Ripon has launched the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program, which enables homeowners and commercial property owners to make energy- and water-efficiency improvements and pay them off through their property tax bill.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Latest tool for selling real estate: FaceTime

REDWOOD CITY (AP) - Real estate agent Julie Ray has come of age in the red-hot housing market. But this was a first: zooming through a $1.7 million house with her iPhone, she used its FaceTime video application to send images of the property -- including bathroom tile and a backyard lemon tree - to the prospective buyers in Switzerland.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage falls to 3.66%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, approaching historically low levels with the spring home-buying season underway.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


LIVE IN A PORSCHE?

SUNNY ISLES BEACH, Florida (AP) - The wow factor for Miami's skyscraper condos no longer comes from a dazzling Atlantic Ocean view.

April 03, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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