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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Fixed mortgage rates fall to new record lows

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fixed U.S. mortgage rates fell again to new record lows, providing prospective buyers with more incentive to brave a modestly recovering housing market.

July 05, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rights when boyfriend dies without a will

DEAR BENNY: My mother and her boyfriend lived together for 18 years. He owned the house by himself. He has two surviving adult children. He always told me he wanted my mom to have everything. He did not have a close relationship to his children.

July 05, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Eclectic design trends breathe new life into your rooms & home

The newest interior design trends are invoking a playful vibe into rooms by mixing and matching different styles for an eclectic, fun look. According to "ELLE Decor," home decorating is shifting toward a more theatrical and eclectic decorating style highlighting richer colors, layers of textures and patterns and a fusion of time periods, styles and atmosphere.

July 05, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


$235,000 in Manteca 7 years ago bought a small house on an alley

Spend $235,000 today to buy a home in Manteca and you can get a new home of about 1,500 square feet with the latest built-in energy efficiencies.

June 29, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Big US cities boom as young adults shun suburbs

WASHINGTON (AP) - For the first time in a century, most of America's largest cities are growing at a faster rate than their surrounding suburbs as young adults seeking a foothold in the weak job market shun home-buying and stay put in bustling urban centers.

June 28, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Energy-saving tips for every room in the house

Keeping your home beautiful, organized and running smoothly is a never-ending task. The chores from the kitchen unfold into the dining room, which spills into the living room, the bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry room and beyond. Once you've added it all up, the amount of time and energy you spend on housework - day to day and year to year - is staggering.

June 28, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Contracts to buy homes rise, match two-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans signed more contracts to buy previously occupied homes in May, matching the fastest pace in two years. The increase suggests home sales will rise this summer and the modest housing recovery will continue.

June 28, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Appraisal fee can be challenged

DEAR BENNY: I have a question regarding a refinance. We had several unsuccessful attempts with two mortgage brokers because our house is located in a risky ZIP code and the appraiser said that he was unable to get two comps to complete the deal. Finally, we found another bank who said "no problem" right off the bat.

June 28, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Easy exterior projects that add lasting beauty to your home

In the current economy, homeowners want to improve their home's exterior while saving time, labor and money. You can enhance your lifestyle by choosing options that extend product performance and add beauty and enjoyment to outdoor living.

June 28, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Builders start more single-family homes

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders started work on more single-family homes in May and requested the most permits to build homes and apartments in three and a half years. The increase suggests the housing market is slowly recovering even as other areas of the economy have weakened.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Signs that termites might be invading your house

Termites live to eat. Their hunger causes $5 billion worth of damage each year in the U.S., damage most homeowner's insurance doesn't cover. In fact, a colony can devour a foot of 2-by-4 wood in only six months. And since termites are masters at going undetected, they can destroy entire support beams before you discover their presence. That's why it's so important to know what to look for.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Home sales slipped 1.5 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans bought fewer homes in May than April, suggesting a sluggish job market could threaten a modest recovery in housing.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Extend summer fun with lighting

From neighborhood picnics to kids' play time, summer means outside time. Much of that activity occurs during longer daylight hours, but darkness is also a great time to enjoy warm-weather days. How can you create an environment that extends the fun of summer past sunset?

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to record 3.66%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell this week to a record low for the seventh time in eight weeks. Cheap mortgages have helped drive a modest recovery in the weak housing market this year.

June 21, 2012 | | 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


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Six ways to make your bathroom more luxurious

The bathroom doesn't have to be basic. Thanks to a wide array of new products on the market - and plenty of ways to customize - even the most outdated bathrooms can become an oasis of tranquility and a lavish retreat away from the stresses of everyday life. Here are six ideas for transforming your bathroom into a luxurious spa-like space.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.63%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the fourth 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, slipped further below 3 percent.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Banks settle mortgage kickbacks probe

WASHINGTON (AP) - Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have agreed to pay more than $35 million combined to resolve claims that loan officers at the two banks received kickbacks in exchange for steering mortgage borrowers to a Maryland title company.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


RENTING VS BUYING

The naysayers were insistent.

January 16, 2015 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Expert tips for choosing a window for kitchen remodel

What are the hottest updates for homes in 2015? The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in the home to remodel, and for good reason. According to HGTV and Trulia, a kitchen update is one of the secrets to selling your home.

January 16, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Stunning painting projects can be done in day or less

Modern, lively, exciting - if these words don't describe the style of your favorite rooms, an update is in order. Painting is a classic makeover tool for interior spaces. To give your home's aesthetic a boost of personality and style, consider these surprisingly simple DIY paint projects that can be done in one day or less.

January 16, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Right tools can help you make home repairs after disasters

The life of a homeowner is unpredictable. It is inevitable you will encounter necessary home fixes and even an occasional disaster. From storm-damaged roofs and extended power outages to a cabinet door ready to fall off its hinges, it's important to fix issues quickly before they become a hazard to your family, pets or visitors.

January 16, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


California home sales rise in December on stronger economy

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales jumped in December, buoyed by a stronger economy and lower interest rates, a research firm said Thursday. Prices rose modestly.

January 16, 2015 | | 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


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