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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Claiming $500K tax break after spouse dies

DEAR BENNY: My husband died this past August. We owned and lived in our house for more than 15 years, but now I want to sell. Am I eligible for the up-to-$500,000 exclusion of any profit that I will make? --Annie

December 23, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Bathroom remodeling ideas: From small to total overhaul that can save money

Ready to give your bathroom a facelift, but can't decide what changes to make? From tubs to toilets to tile, the sky is the limit when it comes to bathroom renovations, even if budget is not.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Down payment assistance available to buyers of new homes to cover school fees

The California Housing Finance Agency is now offering the Schools Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance program to qualified buyers of newly constructed homes. With home prices and mortgage interest rates already near all-time lows, the down payment assistance increases the affordability of new homes even more for qualified buyers.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Wells Fargo to help area customers facing mortgage payment challenges

STOCKTON - Wells Fargo & Company is hosting a free Home Preservation Workshop in Stockton for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, Wachovia Mortgage and Wells Fargo Home Equity customers facing financial hardships.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Sellers have recourse when buyers back out

DEAR BENNY: We recently had a contract to sell our home to a "cash" buyer. He and his wife were allegedly inheriting a large sum of money, and their Realtor confirmed that she had seen the bank account statement confirming a "vast sum of money," reportedly well in excess of our contract price.

December 16, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Installing gas fireplaces

A gas fireplace can add ambiance and warmth to any room, and with the cold weather, you might be dreaming of adding one in your home. Because purchasing a fireplace is not something we do every day, there are some important things to consider.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Help protect your home from rodents this winter

The cold temperatures are settling in for the winter months, and if you're not careful, rodents can also settle into your home. Your house - especially your kitchen - offers everything rats and mice are looking for: food, water and warmth.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Save money with energy efficiency tips

Saving money is on everyone's mind this winter season. Between the holiday expenses, colder temperatures and tight budgets, finding ways to reduce costs can be a bit of a challenge. If you're looking for ways to save, look at your home, and see if you can improve on your energy efficiency - thereby keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Easy ways to warm up your home decor

As the chill of winter sets in, your home interior may be lacking the warmth and comfort you'd prefer. Fortunately, creating an inviting atmosphere does not require huge amounts of time or money. And you don't need to be a professional interior designer - or even have experience in decorating - to transform your home into a welcoming haven. To bring your decor into the season and give your home noticeable appeal, follow a few easy tips.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Smart ways to use credit when redecorating

When your redecorating project is done, you want everyone who sees it to think it looks like a million bucks. But woe to your wallet - and possibly your credit - if you overspend to achieve that look.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


More affordable to buy in SJ Valley

The Northern San Joaquin Valley was flying high five years ago.

December 09, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Sidestep penalty for early mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I was at the closing table for my condo purchase only to discover that there was a penalty for early payoff. I called the bank immediately and they told me to "take it or leave it."

December 09, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Top home decor trends for 2012

From warm woods and creative colors to memorable murals and tailored textures, interior designers and industry experts predict 2012 will offer a multitude of options for those interested in giving their homes a fresh look. Even better for today's cost-conscious consumers is that many of the trends are easy and inexpensive.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Winter: Time to plan outdoor updates

Does the bitter cold weather have you dreaming of warm days spending time with friends and family in your backyard? The cold may keep us indoors, but professionals in the landscape and remodeling industry are still thinking about the outdoors and use the winter months to plan spring projects, and so should you.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Greet holiday guests with a warm, stylish, sensible home

Twinkling lights, fragrant wreaths and freshly baked cookies help set the stage, but holiday guests truly feel at home when you provide a warm, cozy environment.

November 18, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Obama to sign relief from flood insurance hikes

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is set to sign into law a bipartisan bill relieving homeowners living in flood-prone neighborhoods from big increases in their insurance bills.

March 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year loan rate up to 4.37%.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose last week but remained close to historically low levels.

March 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Is it a good time to sell and hit the open road?

Dear Real Estate Boys: My wife and I have been reading your articles in the Journal now for over a year. So far we give you a B+. Not bad at all; we've learned some real estate facts. Anyway, we are Dick and Jane. We met you in early grammar school. Remember us? It went something like this. See Jane? See Dick? See Jane run? See Dick run? Well, I finally caught Jane and we've been married for many happy years now. And yes, we have a dog named Spot. OK, here's our question. Jane was a ...

March 14, 2014 | Real Estate Boys | HOME SCENE


Your home could be attracting termites & what you should do

Spring is when pests come out of hiding and hibernation to search for new places to establish their colonies. Unfortunately, it's not only the flowers in your garden that attract pests but also your home itself. One of the most determined springtime pests is termites.

March 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Community groups’ lawsuit contend California mortgage money mishandled

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Three community assistance organizations sued Gov. Jerry Brown and other state officials on Friday, alleging the state improperly diverted nearly $370 million that was intended to help homeowners struggling with foreclosures.

March 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


California home sales fall in February; prices increase

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home prices rose slightly in February from the previous month, while low inventories kept a lid on sales, a research firm said Thursday.

March 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Opening door to space, privacy

Homeowners, builders and remodelers are always looking for innovative and new ways to enhance existing spaces during home makeovers and room renovations.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Solve everyday setbacks via 5 simple ‘life hacks’

Fifty-six percent of adults who completed home improvements in the past year spent $1,000 or more, according to The Scarborough Report. Next time you're faced with a home improvement project, instead of wasting money throwing away fixable objects or hiring professionals for quick and easy repairs and improvements, keep these money-saving tips in mind. Here are five simple life hacks to help you throughout your entire home and trying one just might make you $40,000 richer!

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate slips to 4.28 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell after three weeks of increases, edging closer to historically low levels.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Sowing the seeds of spring: Start your garden indoors

While cooler temperatures slowly fade, gardeners across the country eagerly await the arrival of spring - and the chance to get outdoors and grow something. If gardening is your passion, you don't have to wait until the weather is perfect to get started. In fact, working ahead by growing your own seedlings is a great way to ensure your garden is successful throughout the warmer months.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Eight tips to get your lawn mower ready for optimum use this spring

With spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to tune up your lawn mower for the season ahead. A yearly tune-up is important to ensure all parts of your mower are functioning properly and safely. Use these eight tips to rev up your engine and get your mower ready for spring:

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Six tips for growing lawns

To help get your lawn ready for use and enjoyment this season, the Craftsman brand has developed the following tips to ensure that your lawn kicks grass, takes names and becomes the envy of neighbors everywhere.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Tiny houses help address nation’s homeless problem

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - While tiny houses have been attractive for those wanting to downsize or simplify their lives for financial or environmental reasons, there's another population benefiting from the small-dwelling movement: the homeless.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Nix the neutrals: Make a new home your own

When selling a house, the mantra for most is neutral, neutral, neutral. To help potential new owners envision themselves moving in, real estate experts remind sellers to de-personalize their homes. That means removing family photos and mementos and replacing favorite color schemes with more vanilla shades and hues. So as a new homeowner, how do you begin to de-neutralize your new house to make it your new home?

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices dip for second straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices fell for the second straight month in December as brutally cold weather, tight supply and higher costs slowed sales.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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