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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Deposit should be big enough to deter ‘buyer’s remorse’

DEAR BENNY: Some states such as California have a 3 percent limit to deposit recovery; buyers have the right, if they legally back out of a contract, to secure a full return of up to a 3 percent deposit. Any deposit over 3 percent is not refundable. In California, I have never seen a deposit over 3 percent. --Joe

July 26, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Secrets to successful outdoor entertaining

What makes an outdoor party great? It's simple: Keep guests comfortable.

July 26, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Flat tops to McMansions

It's little wonder that Ozzie was joined by Harriet in the work world.

July 20, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


California home prices climb 8 percent in June

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home prices rose sharply last month to the highest levels in more than two years, a research firm said Wednesday.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Young earns short sale designation to help owners in danger of foreclosure

Brad Young of PMZ Real Estate in Manteca has earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, having completed extensive training in foreclosure avoidance, with a particular emphasis on short sales.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Request a payment plan for unpaid condo dues

DEAR BENNY: I need to write a "request for payment plan" letter to my homeowners association, but I don't know how to write an effective one. I owe several months of back dues totaling about $3,000, which includes attorney's fees and interest. I really need help on writing this letter. I have not paid because of major health issues in 2011 to date. --Liz

July 19, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Housing confidence picks up five years after collapse

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans are regaining confidence in the housing market five years after it collapsed.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


How low can they go? 30-year mortgage now at record low 3.53%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average rates on fixed mortgages fell again this week to record lows, creating more incentive for buyers to enter the recovering housing market.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Foreclosure hits older Americans harder than most

WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 1.5 million older Americans already have lost their homes, with millions more at risk as the national housing crisis takes its toll on those who are among the worst positioned to weather the storm, a new AARP report says.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Now’s the time to put safeguards in against new home flipping

Looking back at flipping in 2005 it is amazing that the housing market collapse wasn't worse.

July 12, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


USDA spends millions to stimulate rural housing ownership numbers

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) - Kjell Thompson has long dreamed of owning her own home, but until recently she thought it out of her reach.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Cook up a whole new look for your kitchen is easy

We spend hours in the kitchen socializing, keeping the family organized, and, of course, cooking and eating. As the center of the home's activities, the kitchen should be as fun as it is functional. With just a few supplies and a free weekend, you can cook up a whole new look for your kitchen.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Daring creativity blooms in floral decor

A little black dress, a great pair of jeans and a leather jacket - some styles never go out of fashion. Some elements of home decor share that same sense of timelessness, and none more so than a simple floral theme.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


No limit to amount HOAs can charge

DEAR BENNY: My homeowners association fees are of great concern to me, since I am on a limited income. The monthly fees are $399, and this, combined with my mortgage payments of nearly $1,400, creates a burden. I have been a widow since 1973 and am, of course, a "retired" senior with no retirement income benefits.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Upgrading to your dream home

The real estate market is still in a state of limbo, which has many homeowners staying in place and looking for ways to make their current abode the most comfortable it can be. Real estate agents expect the market to continue to be flat in 2012, according to ActiveRain Corp, a real estate social network. Because they're not selling, homeowners are looking at remodeling rooms, changing out decorating schemes and in some cases, even adding on to the home.

July 12, 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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