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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Know your rights for canceling private mortgage insurance

DEAR BENNY: I want to get the PMI off my mortgage in February of next year, which will be two years from the time of my refinancing. All my payments have been on time. I have communicated with my current mortgage company that I wish to have the PMI canceled and they informed me in writing that I have to wait for two years and that I have to get an appraisal (which I have to pay for) in order to make sure I will have 20 percent equity of the new appraised value.

December 13, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year fixed rate mortgage dips to 3.32 %

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week near record lows, providing more incentive for Americans to buy homes and refinance.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


California home prices rise 19% in November

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home prices posted a ninth straight annual increase in November as buyers competed for a limited number of available properties, a research firm reported Thursday.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Use winter to update and beautify your bathroom

Remodeling and refreshing the home is a great way to keep cabin fever at bay during long winter months. Designing a bathroom remodel to incorporate innovative style, comfort and efficiency helps to speed the winter months along, and your family will certainly enjoy the rest of the season with a beautiful new bathroom.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Ten lucky home d├ęcor trends coming in 2013

Despite its negative reputation, the number 13 doesn't always have to be unlucky. Take these top 10 decor trends for 2013 from design experts, manufacturers and trend forecasters across the country. They're fresh, fun and sure to bring good fortune to any home.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Siding with style adds timeless value

As cooler temperatures approach, more homeowners are turning to value-driven renovation projects that will warm up their space and withstand the test of time.

December 06, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Kitchen trends for 2013: 'Revamping kits' offer high-end results for less

If you're tired of looking at your outdated kitchen, but feel replacement would be impractical, you're not alone. In 2013, consumers will be trying to find the beauty in the beast. Projects that help the old look new will be the next big makeover trend - especially in the kitchen where remodeling becomes more pricey.

December 06, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Short sales outpacing sales of bank-owned properties

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Sales of U.S. homes facing foreclosure are on the rise and outpacing sales of bank-owned homes, a reflection of stepped up efforts this year by lenders to avoid foreclosing on homes with mortgages gone unpaid.

December 06, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices rise in October by most since July of 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) - A measure of U.S. home prices rose 6.3 percent in October compared with a year ago, the largest yearly gain since July 2006. The jump adds to signs of a comeback in the once-battered housing market.

December 06, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Negligent life tenant raises foreclosure risk

DEAR BENNY: My sisters and I "own" some Tennessee properties inherited from my late father, who died in 1984. In his will, he wanted to provide for his current wife ("B"), so she was given a "life estate" for her use of both properties during her lifetime. My sisters and I are the owners on the deeds. One of the properties is a residence, and the other is an income-producing commercial property.

December 06, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Roanoke shop salvages architecture pieces

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - The premiere of "Salvage Dawgs" opens with Mike Whiteside, 56, rolling up Roanoke's Memorial Avenue and into the parking lot of Black Dog Salvage with a giant, rusty rocket strapped to the top of his red Chevy pickup truck.

November 29, 2012 | | 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.

November 29, 2012 | The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Expert tips for choosing the right fountain

Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon spent many years and covered many miles searching for the fabled "fountain of youth." Fortunately, you don't have to go to those lengths to find a special fountain that will transform your backyard into a private oasis. You only need to make a trip to the local garden store.

November 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Flat screens: No such thing as too slim

Slim is "in" ... and not just for people watching their weight. Flat screen TVs and the wall mounts that turn the TVs into decorator showpieces seem to grow sleeker and slimmer every year. And when it comes to viewing technology, thinner not only looks better, it has practical advantages, too.

November 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


US sales of new homes dip 0.3 percent in October

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. sales of new homes fell slightly in October and September sales were slower than initially thought. The October sales pace was dragged lower by steep declines on the East Coast, partly related to Superstorm Sandy.

November 29, 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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