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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Three steps to ensure you get best deal when buying a house

Ample inventory, low mortgage rates and motivated sellers - all these key elements are present in real estate markets across the country, indicating it's still a great time to buy a house. If you're thinking of buying a house - whether it's new or existing, your first home or your fifth - you can help ensure you get the best possible deal by doing a few things before you get down to serious shopping.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Colorful exteriors without drop of paint

Nothing brightens a home's personality more dramatically than brilliant color. It's easy to freshen your home's exterior with color trim around windows, doors or along corners. With color trim, there are endless ways you can evoke any emotion or personality you desire. Whether you wish for tranquility, elegance or modernism, it's time to add some color to your "to-do" list.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


How do you know when you are ready to buy a house?

Since the foreclosure crisis began, many Americans have been thinking a little bit more critically about whether they are truly ready for home ownership.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Update interiors with quick flooring transformation

Is your home in need of a makeover to go from boring to brilliant? What better time than now to update your home's tired, worn interior. You need look no further than right under your feet - to the floor below - for a simple, budget-minded way to freshen your decor and add to your home's value. Give any room of the house an updated look with flooring that mimics natural stone or ceramic tile, but without the upkeep or high cost.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Five tips for small landlords on how to protect your investment

More and more homeowners who are moving are delaying selling their homes, choosing instead to rent them out as the housing market continues to struggle. The lagging housing market has given others the opportunity to buy properties for investment purposes. Since many of these homeowners don't have much experience as a landlord, they're often required to learn on the fly.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Buying puts money in your pocket in long run even without equity gain

What is the better value: Three bedrooms, one bathroom with 986 square feet of living space for $720 a month or three bedrooms, two bathrooms with 1,012 to 1,296 square feet of living space for $855 a month?

March 26, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Going green: Energy efficient windows

Now that spring is here, many homeowners are thinking about remodeling projects that will improve the home this season and year-round. Whether you're planning a few do-it-yourself improvements or a major renovation, it's important to think "green." One way to enhance the beauty and comfort of your home while saving on energy is by installing highly energy efficient windows.

March 26, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Growing vegetables can be easy

Some things bear repeating: Plant vegetables.

March 26, 2011 | By LEE REICH For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Garden prep 101: Getting ready for season

Outside birds are singing and bits of green are popping up all around. As seasons change from winter to spring, the gardener's mind quickly leaps to growing flowers and produce. Before getting out there and planting, follow these basic garden preparations to get the most out of this growing season.

March 26, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Sensory gardens: Days of wine & roses

FULTON (AP) - Imagine a garden where melon, peach, apple, lemon, pear and gardenias bloom. Then imagine holding all that in a glass.

March 19, 2011 | By MICHELLE LOCKE For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Going from cookie cutter to custom

A new home: It's your chance to personalize your living space with details that suit your taste and personality. Or, so you think. Many builders only allow you to choose colors; and offer limited options beyond their builders' grade materials. Or, if you've purchased a previously owned home, it too is most likely equipped with many basic options.

March 19, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Pros and cons of organic vs. synthetic fertilizers

Another growing season is fast approaching, and before you can seed you must feed.

March 19, 2011 | By DEAN FOSDICK For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Manteca prices up, SF prices down in 2011

Bay Area housing price trends in the past have been used by real estate agents as a barometer as what is to come in Manteca and the rest of the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

March 12, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Doors, a forgotten design element

It's a design opportunity that's easily missed: Even the most stylishly decorated rooms often have bland wooden doors with cheap hardware.

March 12, 2011 | By MELISSA RAYWORTH For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Spring’s hot color for homes?

Bright red-pink and bursting with energy, honeysuckle is dominating home decor trends in 2011 as a playful and vibrant alternative to the serene turquoise of 2010.

March 12, 2011 | By SARAH WOLFE For The Associated Press | 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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