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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Recoup ‘life estate’ maintenance costs

DEAR BENNY: We have an unusual situation. When my dad died, he left a life estate in a house/rented duplex to his widow. My sister and I have managed the duplex for 12 years, with all income going for repairs and any surplus to the widow. We would like to be done with it. His widow does not want to move.

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


Long-time renter ahead by owning

She's a single woman in Manteca in her 50s.

July 23, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Turn to nature for inspiration when revitalizing tired interiors

The colors are blooming outside and chances are you're feeling inspired to add some color inside your home as well. Using nature as your guide, there are some quick and easy ways to refresh your home's interior.

July 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Marriage of natural light & right colors works wonders for home decor

Mother Nature is a master decorator. In summer, she dresses the world in lush greens and vibrant floral hues. And in every season, natural light is one of her most powerful designer touches.

July 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Avoid tax bite while saving brother’s house

DEAR BENNY: My brother bought his home about 15 years ago. He holds title only in his name, as a "single man." He lost his job a couple of years ago. He is older and is having a difficult time getting rehired. Long story short: He is now in arrears (18 months), owes escrow for taxes and insurance payments, and is facing foreclosure. His lack of employment is presenting a problem getting loan modifications or refinancing.

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


Turn-Key event offers big value

Woodside Homes is celebrating the start of its Turn-Key sales event this weekend, allowing homebuyers to unlock their choice of instant upgrades or assistance with interest rate buydowns or closing costs.

July 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Set the scene for outdoor entertaining

It's not hard to get people to come to an outdoor gathering on a warm summer's evening, and it should be just as easy to pull together a memorable affair. To make the most of your time and budget, look for low-maintenance solutions that you can use throughout the season - and in summers yet to come. From the dishes you serve to the way you decorate, the less work you have to do, the more you'll be able to enjoy the time with your guests.

July 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Next-generation technologies

When new technology makes its way into home design, often it enters through the kitchen. The heart of the home is also the portal for innovation, and many of the technologies that we now use throughout our homes were first applied in the kitchen.

July 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


The wrong way to sell a time share

DEAR BENNY: I recently read your suggestions on how to get rid of a time share. You suggested attempting to give your time share back to the company with a "deed in lieu," but said that it probably won't work. You are right. It did not work. However, I found a broker who was willing to take the time share off my hands for $3,000. Is this the only other way to rid oneself of this burden? By paying money to give something away?

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


Get ready for a 1% gain in resale housing prices

Manteca median prices should be up by 1 percent in value by summer's end.

June 25, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Outdoor summer fun

The warmer months provide numerous opportunities for hosting outdoor events: birthday parties, barbecues, backyard campouts, weddings or a gathering for watching fireworks on the Fourth of July - the list is endless. Even when just hosting a fun neighborhood picnic or ice cream social, it's important to get the outdoor living space looking its best for the big day.

June 25, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


File civil lawsuit for property damage?

DEAR BENNY: While we were out of town, my neighbor and a well installer destroyed 400 square feet of my lawn, leaving us with ruts, dirt piles and dead sod. In addition, they buried 40 linear feet of water pipe and electrical cable on our land without our permission. I have a recent land survey to validate our claims.

June 25, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Tips to save on home energy costs

Summer's sizzling temperatures can make it difficult to keep your home comfortable, and even more difficult to keep up with the higher utility bills that often come with it. Yet even a few well-chosen improvements can make a big difference in home comfort and energy efficiency. Here are some ways to save on energy costs this season.

June 25, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Easy improvements equal dramatic facelift

Home improvement projects don't need to be difficult, and with the right tools and attitude, they can be exciting as you watch your house transform. Summer is the perfect time to look at your home to-do list and get going. Here are some easy ideas you can get started on today.

June 25, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Downsize in space, upgrade in quality of life

Smaller homes equal better quality of living these days. Many homeowners are downsizing the space they occupy, but are upgrading and customizing that space to make it better fit their lifestyle.

June 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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