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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


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


Big design ideas for small kitchen spaces

Bigger isn't always better in the real estate world, and what's more, it's not always possible. With more baby boomers downsizing from McMansions to smaller, more manageable houses, and a growing number of people opting to rent rather than buy, many families are looking for new ways to decorate, design and work with smaller spaces.

June 07, 2012 | | 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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