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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Pending home sales rise to highest level in 2½ years

WASHINGTON (AP) - A measure of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes increased last month to its highest level in two and a half years, the latest sign of improvement in the once-battered housing market.

January 03, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Cypress siding provides a natural choice to enhance today's homes

Across the country, cypress siding is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners who are looking to add value, durability, and a lifetime of good looks to their homes.

January 03, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Name on the sales contract, but not the deed

DEAR BENNY: Some time ago I entered into a sales contract with my then-fiancee to buy a house. Both our names (hers was in her maiden name) were on the sales contract, which we both signed. I turned over my half of the down payment, we went to closing and we owned the house (or so I thought). Some time after that I learned that the deed was in her name only. I went to the closing attorney who told me I didn't own anything (the house).

January 03, 2013 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


The days of rock-bottom affordability are gone

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad housing market.

December 21, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Tips for choosing the right water heater

If all is working well, most homeowners put little thought into their water heater. But when this critical appliance fails, it can be a nightmare that halts a home's productivity completely. With no hot water for washing dishes and clothes - let alone for bathing - homeowners are left scrambling to find a new water heater as fast as possible.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Protecting condo funds from embezzlement

DEAR BENNY: I have just been elected president of my 200-unit condominium association and have heard that some property managers throughout the country have embezzled association funds. How can we protect ourselves and our money? --Fred

December 20, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Housing starts slowed to 861,000 in November

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in November after starting work in October at the fastest pace in four years. Superstorm Sandy likely slowed starts in the Northeast.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rates rise; still near record lows

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average rates on U.S. fixed mortgages rose this week but remained near record lows, a trend that is leading more Americans to buy homes or refinance their loans.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


American hardwood millwork transforms an aging room into a dazzling showcase

Looking for a simple, inexpensive way to turn an aging family room into a dazzling showcase? Inspired design professionals will tell you one of the most popular and cost-effective ways to transform a plain space into a room with sizzle is to adorn it with millwork crafted from American hardwoods.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


How to truly make your patio an extension of your home

If you're like many homeowners, you consider the patio an extension of your home. So it's fair to ask: Would you be just as comfortable nestled in with your favorite book or preparing a meal in your outdoor space as you would in your living room or your kitchen? As you contemplate ways to improve your outdoor area, think about projects that can both extend the hours you spend outside and make the time you spend there more relaxing.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


It may be worth your time to see if you can lower your tax bill

There are three ways you can possibly lower your property tax bill, two of which can be accomplished without investing even an hour of your time.

December 13, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Color match part of polymer roof tile’s charm

What does a homeowner do when he's so happy with his colorful new Bellaforté roof that he wants to share it with family and friends? If that homeowner is Dan Baer, he throws a roof party!

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Five fast home decor updates

With the fast-paced lives people can lead today, often we strive for instant gratification to fit into our busy schedules. So when it comes to home improvement projects, wouldn't you love an instant update for boring home decor? Fortunately, there are numerous fast fixes that can produce fantastic results. Try these easy update ideas and realize the rewards of a fabulous and functional home makeover.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Bank repossessions hit 9-month high of 59,134 during November

LOS ANGELES (AP) - U.S. home repossessions rose to a nine-month high in November, even as the number of homes starting on the path to foreclosure declined to the lowest level in six years.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Managers at Fannie, Freddie earned $200,000 as media pay last year

WASHINGTON (AP) - A government report finds median pay for nearly 2,000 senior managers at government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exceeded $200,000 last year.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Rate on mortgage falls to 3.66%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, with the benchmark 30-year rate again marking its lowest level since May 2013. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, dipped below 3 percent for the first time since then.

January 16, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


New coat of paint: Success tips for DIY painting projects

Painting projects are more popular than ever with do-it-yourselfers with 94 percent planning a painting project in 2015, according to a Sherwin-Williams survey of homeowners. DIYers are also planning their painting projects earlier in the year, with January, February and March marked as popular months to upgrade homes with color.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Create bathroom retreat

With so much time spent in the bathroom, it is important to give that space a little TLC like the rest of the home. Almost everyone that enters your home sees your bathroom. From changing accessories to a total bath remodel, it is important that it receives a little refreshment. A bathroom should be an oasis, and the environment that it displays directly correlates with just how relaxing it is.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


SMARTER HOME

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Technology forecasters are calling 2015 the year of the Internet of Things - that idea that everyday objects will use sensors and Internet connectivity to start thinking and acting for themselves. At the International CES gadget show this week, I explored many of the elements that could lead to a smarter home. Some were intriguing; others disappointing. Are the capabilities on offer worth the expense and hassle? I'm not entirely convinced.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


New ideas to improve your home for an enjoyable 2015

The start of a new year usually means one thing: endless resolutions. As you bid farewell to the holidays, it's all about what you want to change, upgrade and do better. Health and well-being are always the first things that come to mind, but don't overlook your home. In fact, sometimes it's the first place to start - from a total overhaul to the simplest design changes. Those major or minor design decisions can really impact not only how you live, but also the health and happiness of you, your family and your home.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


5 easy kitchen and bath upgrades that are quick

Do your kitchen and bathrooms look a bit drab? If you don't have the time or budget for a full remodel, there are still many simple updates you can do to refresh these spaces and invigorate each with impressive style. From affordable faucet updates to pretty paints, each takes one day or less to complete, instantly providing a dramatic effect.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Lower premiums could save $900 yearly

PHOENIX (AP) - Standing at the epicenter of the nation's recent housing crisis, President Barack Obama on Thursday promoted plans to lower some mortgage insurance premiums, a move the White House says could save homeowners $900 a year and attract 250,000 first-time buyers.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rates hit lowest level in 21 months

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates started the year by dipping to new lows, with the benchmark 30-year rate marking its lowest level since May 2013.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Top 5 real estate trends of 2015

According to the "2014 Housing Review" released by realtor.com , 2014 "demonstrated a steady buildup of housing momentum fueled by significant improvements in economic fundamentals, low mortgage rates and compressed inventory, and is expected to carry the market into 2015 gains."

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices drifted upward in November

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home values rose at a measured pace in November, a sign that demand remains weak as many buyers have been priced out of the market.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


New homebuyers checklist

When you're about to buy a house, it's easy to get excited about its great location, spacious floor plan or beautifully decorated interior. Yet the old saying, "beauty's only skin deep" can apply to any home, especially if you're considering an older, previously owned property. Before signing on the dotted line, use this checklist to help avoid some potentially costly surprises and anticipate repairs or upgrades that may be needed.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Timeless interior design protects your investment

Kitchens are the heart of the home. It's where you prepare meals, help your kids with homework and entertain guests. It's the room in the house where everyone gathers, where memories are made, and, with solid investment, can single-handedly increase the value of your home and help you build more of a nest egg. Even if you're considering selling your home, all eyes of prospective buyers will inevitably be on the kitchen.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Hot home decor color trends make statement

It's a strategy interior designers often use to create stunning rooms that wow the instant someone enters them: the use of creative color. Homeowners looking to deliver impressive interior style can take cues from what will be the trendiest hues of 2015 and beyond.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rate edges up to 3.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week, but the benchmark 30-year rate stayed near a 19-month low.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rate edges up to 3.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week, but the benchmark 30-year rate stayed near a 19-month low.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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