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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Steady housing recovery is boosting national economy

WASHINGTON (AP) - From purchases and prices to builder sentiment and construction, the U.S. housing market is making consistent gains.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


New home starts jump to fastest pace in four years

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders started construction last month on the most homes and apartments since July 2008, more evidence that the housing recovery is gaining momentum.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


How low will they go? Mortgage rates at record 3.31 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell to fresh record lows this week, a trend that is boosting home sales and aiding the housing recovery.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Opening door to more do-it-yourself home improvement projects is possible

On any given weekend, homeowners can be found climbing around in attics to add insulation, repairing shingles on the roof, installing new floors in kitchens and bathrooms, and handling many other home improvement projects that, with a little elbow grease, they are able to do themselves.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Don’t buy home until you sell the current one

Q: I have a fixed-rate mortgage at 5.99 percent that doesn't have to be refinanced until 2016. I know I will want to move to a more suitable place before then, but if I sell now at current low prices, I will have very little equity left to put down on a new condo.

November 21, 2012 | By TERRY SAVAGE Financial Advisor | HOME SCENE


Avoid FHA financing restriction on intrafamily purchase

DEAR BENNY: I am currently trying to purchase a home from my daughter. The loan was approved, but the lender told me there is a law that if you purchase a home from a family member, they can finance only 85 percent of the sales price. Is this true? --Roger

November 21, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Need more space? Some put up a cottage out back

Something small is afoot. Backyard cottages - from 800-square-foot bungalows to Lilliputian studio cabins - are springing up behind houses in many cities, some of which have changed zoning laws to accommodate them.

November 15, 2012 | The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Three ways save energy in your home

'Red means stop, green means go' - we learn that axiom as children. When it comes to home energy costs, however, going green can help homeowners put a stop to runaway utility bills. And maximizing your home's use of natural light - call it 'green lighting' - is a great way to boost your home's energy efficiency.

November 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Some facts about composite decking

Have you ever considered composite decking but disregarded the idea because you felt like you didn't know enough about it? Maybe you've wondered how composite decking is made? Or what kinds of materials make up composite decking?

November 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


San Francisco Bay area home prices gain in October; up 19 percent over last year

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A research firm says home prices in the San Francisco Bay area registered a sixth straight annual increase last month.

November 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage hits record low of 3.34 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell to fresh record lows this week, a trend that has helped the housing market start to recover this year.

November 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Foreclosure starts down on annual basis in October

LOS ANGELES (AP) - U.S. homes are entering the foreclosure process at a slower pace than a year ago, and fewer properties are being repossessed by lenders, new data show.

November 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Create a warm & stylish holiday wreath

The front door is often the focal point of a house and the welcoming committee to guests as they enter your home. And as the attention-seeking centerpiece, it should always be looking its best. A great addition to any door is a beautiful wreath - either decorative or seasonal - to greet your guests and neighbors. Although many stores sell wreaths, it's easy, fun and cost-effective to create a unique and one-of-a-kind statement piece.

November 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


4 fast fixes for to create a fabulous shower for your home bathroom

For many people, the shower is an escape from reality ... perhaps the only 'me time' in an otherwise hectic day. But if your current shower isn't living up to your relaxing expectations, it may be time for a facelift.- Don't think you have the time or money? Don't throw in the towel just yet - an improved shower is within your reach. Simply follow these four quick and easy fixes that will make an amazing improvement to the everyday enjoyment of your shower.

November 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


How much HELOC interest can I deduct?

DEAR BENNY: This question is related to our home equity line of credit (HELOC). In 2001, we obtained this loan for $150,000, which we withdrew in its entirety to remodel the kitchen, bath, etc. This is an adjustable 25-year loan. As of 2011, we owe $122,000.

November 15, 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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