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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


2013's hottest improvement trends

The busy home remodeling season is a great time for homeowners to focus on increasing curb appeal. The percentage of homeowners who feel now is a good time to spend money on home improvement has doubled since 2009, according to a recent survey among Better Homes and Gardens readers. Considering two of the top four features consumers have on their wish lists for their next home are low maintenance exteriors and a private backyard, high-performance products that come in a variety of colors, textures and designs are expected to be in high demand this year.

March 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Staging on a shoestring: Tips from pros for quick home sales

The real estate market is starting to show signs of improvement, which is welcome news for people wanting to sell their homes. This positive momentum alone isn't enough to close a deal, though - a homeowner must make their properties appealing to potential buyers so they stand out from the competition. The good news is it's easy to create an appealing atmosphere with a few staging tips and tricks from the experts.

March 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


HOME IMRPOVEMENT Four steps to a more beautiful bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most frequented areas in your home, making your choice of bathroom decor pretty important. Don't forget about this key area when considering your next home improvement project. With a few tips, you can take your bathroom from so-so to spectacular in no time at all.

February 28, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Soul-lifting home improvements that are good for your wallet, too

No matter how value conscious a homeowner may be, few people ever make a home improvement simply to increase their house's resale value. People also undertake home improvements to enhance their enjoyment of their home - or to fix a problem, which, in its own way, is good for the soul, too.

February 28, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Be proactive when canceling PMI

DEAR BENNY: We purchased our home a year ago for $153,000 and put $16,000 cash down. PMI was required. I want to end the PMI as soon as possible and understand that the home equity must reach a certain point (the agent said after two years we could try to get it canceled). Isn't there a law that if we are current with our payments we can opt out of PMI? We purchased a short-sale home and the value has been appraised higher now. Will that work against us? --Phyllis

February 28, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


The higher they went, the harder a home price fell

The highest sale price ever recorded in Manteca for a production home was $720,000.

February 22, 2013 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


California gets larger share of mortgage deal

SACRAMENTO (AP) - California should receive at least $20.6 billion from a settlement with the nation's major mortgage lenders, the largest share of any state and about $2 billion more than expected when the agreement to assist homeowners was announced last year, according to a report released Thursday.

February 21, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage loans rises to 3.56 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week but remained near historic lows. Low mortgage rates have helped support the slowly recovering housing market.

February 21, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


High-tech homes make everyday living simpler, even more secure

If you find yourself wondering how you ever got along before your smartphone, laptop and GPS, you're not alone. Technology is so much a part of how we go about our days that we often take it for granted. However, in many cases, houses haven't caught up to the same technological standards as the gadgets people carry with them 24/7. But that's all about to change, as new ideas begin to revolutionize the way we view our homes.

February 21, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


‘Gifted’ loan down payments come back to haunt FHA

Uncle Sam's failure to practice tough love is creating more foreclosures.

February 15, 2013 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Remodeling: How to go from a far-off dream to 'DIY'

Year after year, no matter the state of the housing market, kitchen remodeling remains a good idea. The project perennially tops lists of value-for-your-money home improvements and almost every buyer will be attracted to a kitchen that's updated and move-in ready. Even if you're planning on staying in your home for a while, few things can reinvigorate your home like a brand new kitchen.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


California home prices and sales up in January

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The number of homes sold in California rose 2.7 percent last month from a year earlier and the median price soared as the housing market showed continuing signs of recovery, the reporting firm DataQuick said Thursday.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Late-payment rate on US mortgages hits four-year low

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Homeowners who took on mortgages well after the housing bubble burst are doing a better job in keeping up with payments, a trend that has helped push the national rate of late payments on home loans to the lowest level in four years.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


4 must-knows about mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I will be soon paying off (in its entirety) the mortgage on my home. For your information, I have been current on my payments throughout the 10-year term. The mortgage company is a credit union, and I intend to continue residing in my home.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Expanding outdoor living spacecan increase value of your home

Even during a challenging economy, the outdoor living trend remains popular as homeowners seek to add lasting value and functional living space under the sky and stars. Whether it's a do-it-yourself patio or a professionally installed outdoor kitchen, the beauty, usefulness, value and ease of maintenance in outdoor living space is limitless.

February 07, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Rents rise overall but dip in Chicago & Minneapolis

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home rental prices rose at a steady rate in January, but prices barely budged or even dipped in parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Millennials seek tech-ready, smaller energy-efficient houses

LOS GATOS - As millennials enter the home-buying market in larger numbers, builders say homes will get a little smaller, energy-efficient appliances and laundry rooms will be essential, and home technology will become increasingly prevalent. These predictions are based on two surveys conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, one asking home builders what features they are most likely to include in a typical new home this year, and one asking millennials what features are most likely to affect their home-buying decisions. Of the top 10 features mentioned by home builders, four have to do with energy efficiency: low-E windows ...

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Freshen up your home with five sharp colors

While you're making resolutions and setting goals, consider adding updating the look of your home to your list. If your walls are looking a little dated, follow these five color suggestions to give your space a renewed look.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rises to 3.69%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week yet remained near historically low levels.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


CONTAINERS

HONOLULU (AP) - Shipping containers: They're strong, durable and portable, stack easily and link together like Legos.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Take the sweat out of your DIY projects this year

You've been dreaming about digging in your garden, changing your landscaping or improving your house all winter long. Finally the weather is nice, your yard is clear and dry, and it's time for you to get your hands dirty. With the right tools and equipment, you can get all your DIY tasks done while saving time, money and elbow grease.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


A lush lawn can be yours in 4 easy steps

Want to get the best out of your lawn this year? Implement these simple hacks to keep your lawn green and growing, your equipment up and running, and your yard looking great:

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


POCKET DOORS

Did you know that the smallest room in your home can be the most dangerous?

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rate falls to 3.59%.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, resuming their downward trend of this year after rising slightly last week. Rates are near historically low levels.

February 07, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Challenge to real estate law fails

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A judge has dismissed a California real estate broker's lawsuit over a Nebraska law requiring licensing to market Nebraska homes online.

February 07, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


RIVER ISLANDS

With Phase I 90% sold out, Van Daele Homes has released Phase II at their Waterpointe community at River Island in Lathrop.

February 07, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Give your landscaping a no-maintenance makeover

Low- and no-maintenance features top the list when making over outdoor living spaces because less time maintaining means more time enjoying.

February 07, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Style and function blend for ideal bathroom visibility

Bathroom remodels are one of the most popular home improvement projects and they provide impressive return on investment. While plenty of focus goes into selecting the perfect tile or ideal shower surround, there's one critical area that too often is overlooked: the lighting.

January 30, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Keeping the heat inside your home during winter

The heat is definitely on this winter. With winter storms hitting many parts of the country early in the season, furnaces are plugging away, causing rising heating bills. Space heating is the largest energy expense in the average U.S. home, accounting for 45 percent of energy bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Consumers are looking to keep their homes cozy as the temperature continues to drop, while also having manageable utility bills.

January 30, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Getting rid of property ‘miners’ cuts crime

Fred Sheil fights crime.

January 30, 2015 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


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