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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


6 hot design trends

Does the change of seasons have you itching to refresh a tired, lackluster room? Or maybe you're looking for some small ways to make a big impact on your home's style? Whatever the case, here are some of this season's most buzzed-about trends and how you can incorporate them into your next project.

February 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


First builders selected for River Islands

LATHROP - When River Islands, the largest new master planned community in Northern California, opens in the late spring, home buyers will be able to walk through models from three of the state's leading homebuilders: Brookfield Residential, De Nova Homes, and Van Daele Development.

February 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year loan rate at 4.23 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages fell this week as the latest data continued to indicate a pause in the housing market's recovery.

February 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Slower sales led to dip in home prices in December

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices slipped from November to December, and the year-over-year increase slowed, likely a result of weaker sales at the end of last year.

February 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Ways of making your outdoor living spaces more useful all year

No matter if you live on a coast or in the Upper Midwest, you can use your outdoor spaces to the fullest in any season by adding a few enhancements. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, it's easy to add features like a seat wall and a fire ring for an outdoor gathering spot, or an outdoor kitchen to create the taste of summer all year. A few simple improvements can help you create a space that keeps you outside longer into the night, earlier in the spring and later into the cooler seasons.

February 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Upgrading your home’s bathroom

How much time do you spend in the bathroom each day? Whether it's where you prep the kids for bed or step away for some alone time, the bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in the home. It's also one of the best areas in which to invest; renovating or simply updating this space can lead to a 62 percent return on investment.

January 31, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Creative trends for your home’s hardwood flooring

The recovering U.S. housing market has led to increased demand for certain luxury items, including hardwood flooring. Exciting trends are influencing the marketplace and for today's consumers, there are more hardwood flooring options than ever before.

January 31, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Pending home sales slow down

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes in December, suggesting a slowdown in real estate. Pending home sales fell to the lowest point since October 2011.

January 31, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average rate on 30-year loan at 4.32%.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages slipped this week as new data showed a decline in home prices in November and a drop in new homes sales last month.

January 31, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Sales of new homes drop 7 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. sales of new homes fell in December for a second consecutive month but even with the pause at the end of the year, sales for all of 2013 climbed to the highest level in five years.

January 31, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Cold weather puts chill on home prices

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices fell slightly in November as colder weather slowed buying, ending nine straight months of price gains.

January 31, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Should resale value factor in when you’re remodeling?

To the Good Old Real Estate Boys: My wife and I are having a rather heated disagreement about adding a room onto our home. The man of the house, that's me, wants a man cave where I can go and watch the 49ers on Sunday afternoon with a few friends, male of course, or maybe on a special day like New Year's go and spend the entire day watching the college games. The Olympics are coming and I could go shut the door and just enjoy on my big screen. On the flip side my beautiful, kind wife ...

January 24, 2014 | Real Estate Boys | HOME SCENE


For sale: Historic small town drive-in theater up for grabs

GRANBURY, Texas (AP) - The sign in front of the historic Brazos Drive-In says "closed."

January 24, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Top 10 home decor trends for 2014: Color to natural

Renew. Rejuvenate. Reinvigorate. The same objectives people have when making their personal New Year's resolutions can be just as easily be applied to their homes. There's no better time to give a home a fresh look, whether it's incorporating a new color palette, adding accessories, repurposing furniture or putting something interesting up on the walls.

January 24, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Energy-efficiency growing part of remodeling trends

Remodeling trends come and go, which is a good thing if you're talking about shag carpet or avocado-colored Formica. But some trends have both staying power and universal appeal, such as the strengthening movement toward homes that are more energy efficient and eco-friendly.

January 24, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Obama to sign relief from flood insurance hikes

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is set to sign into law a bipartisan bill relieving homeowners living in flood-prone neighborhoods from big increases in their insurance bills.

March 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year loan rate up to 4.37%.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose last week but remained close to historically low levels.

March 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Is it a good time to sell and hit the open road?

Dear Real Estate Boys: My wife and I have been reading your articles in the Journal now for over a year. So far we give you a B+. Not bad at all; we've learned some real estate facts. Anyway, we are Dick and Jane. We met you in early grammar school. Remember us? It went something like this. See Jane? See Dick? See Jane run? See Dick run? Well, I finally caught Jane and we've been married for many happy years now. And yes, we have a dog named Spot. OK, here's our question. Jane was a ...

March 14, 2014 | Real Estate Boys | HOME SCENE


Your home could be attracting termites & what you should do

Spring is when pests come out of hiding and hibernation to search for new places to establish their colonies. Unfortunately, it's not only the flowers in your garden that attract pests but also your home itself. One of the most determined springtime pests is termites.

March 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Community groups’ lawsuit contend California mortgage money mishandled

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Three community assistance organizations sued Gov. Jerry Brown and other state officials on Friday, alleging the state improperly diverted nearly $370 million that was intended to help homeowners struggling with foreclosures.

March 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


California home sales fall in February; prices increase

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home prices rose slightly in February from the previous month, while low inventories kept a lid on sales, a research firm said Thursday.

March 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Opening door to space, privacy

Homeowners, builders and remodelers are always looking for innovative and new ways to enhance existing spaces during home makeovers and room renovations.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Solve everyday setbacks via 5 simple ‘life hacks’

Fifty-six percent of adults who completed home improvements in the past year spent $1,000 or more, according to The Scarborough Report. Next time you're faced with a home improvement project, instead of wasting money throwing away fixable objects or hiring professionals for quick and easy repairs and improvements, keep these money-saving tips in mind. Here are five simple life hacks to help you throughout your entire home and trying one just might make you $40,000 richer!

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate slips to 4.28 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell after three weeks of increases, edging closer to historically low levels.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Sowing the seeds of spring: Start your garden indoors

While cooler temperatures slowly fade, gardeners across the country eagerly await the arrival of spring - and the chance to get outdoors and grow something. If gardening is your passion, you don't have to wait until the weather is perfect to get started. In fact, working ahead by growing your own seedlings is a great way to ensure your garden is successful throughout the warmer months.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Eight tips to get your lawn mower ready for optimum use this spring

With spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to tune up your lawn mower for the season ahead. A yearly tune-up is important to ensure all parts of your mower are functioning properly and safely. Use these eight tips to rev up your engine and get your mower ready for spring:

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Six tips for growing lawns

To help get your lawn ready for use and enjoyment this season, the Craftsman brand has developed the following tips to ensure that your lawn kicks grass, takes names and becomes the envy of neighbors everywhere.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Tiny houses help address nation’s homeless problem

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - While tiny houses have been attractive for those wanting to downsize or simplify their lives for financial or environmental reasons, there's another population benefiting from the small-dwelling movement: the homeless.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Nix the neutrals: Make a new home your own

When selling a house, the mantra for most is neutral, neutral, neutral. To help potential new owners envision themselves moving in, real estate experts remind sellers to de-personalize their homes. That means removing family photos and mementos and replacing favorite color schemes with more vanilla shades and hues. So as a new homeowner, how do you begin to de-neutralize your new house to make it your new home?

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices dip for second straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices fell for the second straight month in December as brutally cold weather, tight supply and higher costs slowed sales.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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