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Archive By Section - 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


How to tell if lender is overcharging escrow account

DEAR BENNY: I own a house worth approximately $400,000. The current mortgage is $25,000. A company in Florida took over the mortgage about six months ago. The mortgage company handles the tax and insurance payments through an escrow account. Given the current schedule of payments, the account has had a positive balance during all of 2012 and will average at least a $1,000 balance during the 12 months. The mortgage company wants to double the escrow payments so that the minimum balance is $1,000, the maximum is $3,000 and the average account balance is $2 ...

November 29, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Rate on US 30-year mortgage ticks up to 3.32 pct

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages stayed close to record lows this week, a trend that has made home buying more affordable and helped the housing market recover.

November 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


US pending home sales jump to nearly a 6-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) - An index measuring the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in October jumped to nearly its highest level in almost six years. Steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates have made home buying more attractive.

November 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Make your home smarter, more efficient this winter

The coldest time of the year can also be the busiest. With holiday entertaining, overnight guests and winter getaways, it can be hard to ensure your home heating and other systems are performing for optimal comfort and efficiency. In addition, the Department of Energy reports that no matter what-energy-source you use, heating this winter will cost more, an important consideration since heating and cooling typically makes up about 54 percent of your utility bill.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Tips on home care for holiday pleasure

Whether it's guests arriving for a holiday party, visiting relatives or holiday revelers, your home can feel like a revolving door during the holiday season. Unfortunately, all of this added traffic can also bring unwanted dirt and germs that can outweigh holiday cheer. Keep your home looking clean, germ-free and ready to welcome guests throughout the holiday season by establishing a cold-weather cleaning routine.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Home tech: affordable, uncomplicated ideas to add enjoyment to your home

Did you know it's almost the year that Michael J. Fox went "back to the future?" While we don't have hover boards or flying cars, our innovations have changed drastically since 1985, especially when it comes to technology in the home. Now there are many affordable innovations that are simple to use and can add unique benefits and enjoyment to routine activities.

November 21, 2012 | | 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


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Average 30-year rate edges up to 4.02%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates were mixed this week, marking slight increases or declines but remaining close to high levels for the year.

June 26, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Simple home safety improvement steps

Renovating a house can be a tough job. With so many details to consider, just knowing where to begin can be a challenge. But one consideration homeowners shouldn't skip is safety.

June 26, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Brisk sales at Atherton means model homes are now for sale

By DENNIS WYATT

June 26, 2015 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


‘THE ADDRESS’

Here's an interesting tidbit: Fifty percent of the home buyers at River Islands at Lathrop are coming from Mountain House and Tracy,

June 19, 2015 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Floor your house with design twists

Hardwood flooring brings enduring beauty, charm and value to a home. Not content to keep a good thing underfoot, inspired homeowners are now finding new and creative locations to use it for a dramatic effect.

June 19, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Is your money going out of the windows?

One of the largest contributors to a home's energy efficiency is its windows. Energy-efficient windows can lower your energy costs and increase your home's comfort while reducing your carbon footprint and increasing your home's value.

June 19, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


California home sales rise; median price tops $400,000

IRVINE (AP) - California home sales continued their year-over-year rise last month as the state recovers from its housing slump. The median price of homes hit $401,000 statewide and $650,000 in the San Francisco Bay Area, a real estate research firm reported Thursday.

June 19, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Kitchen designer tells all

When remodeling your kitchen, it can be tricky to know where to start. Certified Kitchen Designer MaryJo Camp has been there, in more ways than one. As a designer certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), Camp has designed thousands of kitchens in her 35-year career – including her own. With a newfound personal understanding of remodeling challenges, Camp has pulled together her top tips for a successful kitchen revamp.

June 19, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Average rate on 30-year loan drops to 4%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates eased this week after hitting their highest levels this year in the previous week.

June 19, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Homebuilders’ confidence in sales surges in June

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - U.S. homebuilders are feeling more confident about their sales prospects than they have since last fall, while their outlook for sales over the next six months is at the highest level in 10 years.

June 19, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


KB Home profit tops forecasts

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Shares of KB Home jumped Friday after the custom home builder reported better-than-expected results for the second-quarter, delivered more homes for a higher average selling price and said its backlog of orders spiked.

June 19, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Mother Nature knows best

When it comes to health and wellness, the design of your home may prove to be just as important as your diet, sleep habits or exercise routine. This is the premise behind biophilic design - the idea that incorporating natural elements into your home, such as wood or plants, can actually improve overall health.

June 19, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Regulators impose limits on six banks

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal regulators have slapped restrictions on the mortgage businesses of six banks, saying they haven't fully complied with requirements imposed on them to resolve allegations that they abused the foreclosure process after the collapse of the housing market.

June 19, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


SAVVY STORAGE

Just because you don't own your home or have a permanent abode, does not mean you can't be neat and organized in the place you currently hang your hat.

June 12, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Broker gets FAA approval to use drone

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Across Southern Nevada, homes listed online usually have a slideshow of photos - some good-quality, some not - showing the yards, bedrooms, kitchen, garage and other areas of the house.

June 12, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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