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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Don’t let layoff derail condo conversion refi

DEAR BENNY: We are three owners of a property in a nice neighborhood. We own the property as tenants in common, and have shared an interest-only loan since 2005. We are in the process of converting the property into three condominium units. One of the owners lost her job last spring and is now self-employed. The other two owners' employment status has not changed.

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


Don’t let layoff derail condo conversion refi

DEAR BENNY: We are three owners of a property in a nice neighborhood. We own the property as tenants in common, and have shared an interest-only loan since 2005. We are in the process of converting the property into three condominium units. One of the owners lost her job last spring and is now self-employed. The other two owners' employment status has not changed.

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


Who lived here? How to dig up your house's history

The construction of Julian Sellers' bungalow in St. Paul, Minn., was started in 1926 and finished in early 1927. The builder was a Swedish immigrant. The family who first lived there included a married couple, their 6-year-old daughter and the wife's mother.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Small space solutions for kitchen

Crowded cabinets, cluttered counters and nonexistent prep space. Sound familiar? For many homeowners, small kitchen spaces make everyday use and entertaining a source of frustration. While a small kitchen can pose many challenges, it doesn't have to stop you from enjoying the space. From a full scale home renovation to some simple and quick fixes, there are many options to help you realize your kitchen's full potential and transform it into a welcoming place where you'll want to spend time.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Good health advice you can easily follow

(ARA) - Some things we're supposed to do for our health may seem obviously difficult to accomplish: eating less fast food no matter how yummy it tastes, fitting an hour of vigorous exercise into every day, or giving up bad habits like smoking. You may think one bit of common health advice - to get more fresh air and sunshine - would be easy to follow.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year loan rises to 3.71%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average rates on fixed mortgages rose this week, the first increase in seven weeks. But mortgage rates remain near historic lows, boosting prospects for home sales this year.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Selling a Starker exchange property

DEAR BENNY: We own a small single-family home (800 square feet) located on the property adjacent to our primary home. We purchased it using a Starker exchange about 15 years ago. We stopped renting it out eight years ago, when the mortgage was paid off. We now use it as an extension of our primary home, with the living room as a game room, garage and basement as storage, one bedroom as an office, and the other as a guest bedroom.

June 16, 2012 | Benny L. Kass Attorney | HOME SCENE


Exploring what makes your garden grow

When school lets out for summer, exchange those flip flops for gardening shoes. Add a pair of gloves, good sun-block and get out into the garden.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Easy kitchen updates that won’t break the bank & are simple to do

It goes without saying that the kitchen is one of the hardest-working rooms in the home. For most, it's the heart of family life and usually the one room where everyone gathers together. With so much hustle and bustle, it's no wonder that the kitchen runs the risk of looking overworked.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


What lies beneath your dream home?

It's moving season. In a buyer-friendly market, home shoppers can be pretty particular in their search for a dream home. Increasingly, buyers are seeking flawless, move-in ready homes, and while traditional home inspections are a must-have, something equally important lurking beneath homes often goes overlooked.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


May sees pickup in homes facing risk of foreclosure

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Lenders initiated foreclosure proceedings against more U.S. homeowners in May, setting the stage for increases in home repossessions and short sales - scenarios that could further weigh down home values in coming months.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Single-family homes are in a number of cases no longer that

Think American Dream and images of owning a single-family home pop up.

June 08, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


The heat is on outside, keep cool inside

As summer heats up, air conditioning bills can rapidly rise. As homeowners feel the heat, many are looking for ways to save and stay cool.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Tabletop gardens are edible centerpieces

With spring arriving earlier this season, gardeners across the country are inspired to plant now. Daydreams of fresh produce used in delicious sauces, salads and stir fries have many drawing garden plot plans and even starting seeds for future transplanting. Tabletop gardens are a fun and decorative way to expand into new planting opportunities.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Buying a foreclosure or short sale with confidence

Buyers are still clamoring for real estate deals in this turbulent market. Foreclosures and short sales offer some of the best bargains, but also have a higher risk level. Still, more than four in five adults think foreclosures and short sales can be good deals, according to a recent American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) survey.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Backyard projects to help create treasured sanctuary

You love the days when you can go home from work, open the windows and enjoy dinner out on the deck. And it sure isn't hard to rise early on those sunny weekend days to spend all day in the backyard. Those days are here, and it's time to get outside to spend time with the grill, the garden and the deck.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home renovation starts with good planning, good insurance

The United States is a country of renovators and remodelers, judging from the steady growth of home improvement projects across the nation in recent years.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


5 hot ways to update your home with wood

Wood may be known for its timeless visual appeal, but there's nothing static about the way people showcase it in American homes. Designers, homeowners and DIYers are re-discovering the warmth and beauty of wood. From inventive new uses to re-interpretations of existing styles, they're finding creative ways to use wood throughout the home.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Contracts to buy homes rise in July

WASHINGTON (AP) - More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in July, a sign that buying has improved as mortgage rates have slipped, the number of listings has risen and the rate of price increases has slowed.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


4 steps for garage organization

Organizing the garage may be one of the most feared tasks in household history. According to a recent Gladiator GarageWorks survey, nearly three out of four households can only park one car in their two-car garage, illustrating the need for a serious garage intervention.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rate at 4.1 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average 30-year U.S. mortgage rate remained at a 52-week low of 4.10 this week.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average home price gains slows in June

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices increased at a slower pace in June - a cooldown that could continue for several more months.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Room-to-room home additions

Add quality and comfort to your favorite rooms

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


UNDER $230,000

The under $230,000 market when it comes to nicer resale homes is almost history once again in Manteca.

August 22, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Overcome challenges with raised beds and planters

Small yards, city dwelling or soil that's sandy, rocky or full of clay - it seems no obstacles can keep Americans from the joys of gardening. More than 78 million U.S. households grow gardens, according to the Garden Writers Association Foundation, and many of them don't have optimal conditions to plant their gardens in the ground. When space constraints or soil conditions make traditional gardens impossible or inconvenient, gardeners turn to raised beds and planter boxes to grow the vegetables, herbs and flowers they crave.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Decor through the decades: Kitchen, bath design evolves

Remember when brass fixtures and mauve countertops were all the rage in kitchen design? How about the days of shag carpet (yes, in the bathroom) and avocado tile? Fortunately, those particular trends have come and gone. And, whether you embraced them or not, they did have an influence on the space you live in right now. Take a look through the decades to see how decor styles have evolved into the modern kitchens and bathrooms of today.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Improvements boost safety, comfort and value of home

Home improvement season is in full swing, and homeowners across the country are deciding which projects to tackle this year. By taking a strategic approach to selecting home improvements, you can go beyond adding value to your property - you can also boost your comfort and safety as well.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Housing recovery picking up steam

WASHINGTON (AP) - A fourth straight monthly increase in sales of existing homes provided the latest evidence Thursday that the U.S. housing market is rebounding from a weak start to the year.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home renovation starts with good planning, good insurance

The United States is a country of renovators and remodelers, judging from the steady growth of home improvement projects across the nation in recent years.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year rate on fixed rate mortgage at 4.10 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, with the 30-year loan rate hitting its 52-week low.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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