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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Retaining walls and pavers add curb appeal

Front-porch entertaining is making a comeback in America's neighborhoods, thanks to homeowners' renewed interest in beautifying the front entries of their homes. The days of uninspired concrete front stoops have passed, giving way to elegant combinations of freestanding walls, columns and matching pavers to create welcoming entrances that also serve as gathering places.

January 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


November construction spending up 1.2%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction spending jumped in November as builders spent more on single-family homes, apartments and remodeling projects.

January 12, 2012 | The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


2011's foreclosure rate lowest since pre-recession in 2007

NEW YORK (AP) - About 1.9 million homes entered the foreclosure process in 2011, the lowest level since 2007 when the recession began, according to a report Thursday by the foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc.

January 12, 2012 | The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Don't spend that escrow windfall

DEAR BENNY: We moved to Jacksonville, Fla., in 2010, but still own a home in Pensacola that we are renting to some friends. We got a check in the mail for an alleged overpayment from escrow. I remember telling my wife that the home insurance (was listed wrong) on the HUD-1 form, so we figured it was discovered, and we were reimbursed. We used the money to pay bills.

January 12, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Rents on rise after dropping just 10% while home prices are flat after 60% fall

Rents are on the move again.

January 06, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Save money with an ‘enlightened’ roof

Enlightenment isn't just a state of mind - it can also be an important energy-saving state of being for your home's roof. By "enlightening" your roof, you can use less energy, save money, and dress up the interior of your home at the same time.

January 06, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Get rid of an upside-down second home

DEAR BENNY: We live in California and own a second home within five miles of our primary residence. This second home has been used as a rental, initially to persons we were not connected with in any way. For the past 10 years, two different sets of relatives who were in need of a new start in life lived in the home.

January 06, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage down to record 3.91%

WASHINGTON (AP) - 2012 looks to be another year of opportunity for the few who can afford to buy or refinance a home.

January 06, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


November construction spending rose 1.2%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction spending jumped in November as builders spent more on single-family homes, apartments and remodeling projects.

January 06, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Tax credits, deductions for home improvement in 2012

With the new year under way, you may be thinking about needed home improvements and how you'll use your credit to fund them. While it's important to understand your credit before making major home improvement decisions, you should also consider another kind of credit - tax credits for energy efficient home improvements.

January 06, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Healthier options drive rediscovery of ceramic tile

If you've ever had new carpeting installed in your house and found yourself suffering from a nagging cough for days afterward, you've experienced the effect some home improvement materials can have on your health.

January 06, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Four ways to achieve a luxurious look with an affordable price tag

It's not uncommon for homeowners to get the itch to move when they've been in their house awhile. While just picking up and moving isn't an option for most of us, there's another approach that people are taking: Refreshing their house to create a high-impact, high-style look, but doing it in a way that's cost effective.

January 06, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Where the ‘good old’ days really that good when it came to housing?

What does $325,000 buy you in Manteca today?

December 31, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Living large in smaller spaces

The American home may be shrinking, but not the Great American Dream. Americans are still living large, just doing so in smaller spaces.

December 31, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Seller’s right to earnest money

DEAR BENNY: Our buyer defaulted on his real estate contract and has decided not to buy our house. He had put up a $20,000 earnest money deposit, which we want. However, our real estate broker is refusing to release those funds. What can we do? --Dylan

December 31, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Average year mortgage rate at 4.12 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, approaching their lows for the year.

August 15, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


CREDIT SCORES

NEW YORK (AP) - There are changes coming to FICO, a broadly used credit score, that may mean higher credit scores for many consumers. Banks, credit card issuers, auto lenders and other businesses use those scores to decide whether to lend to consumers and how much interest to charge them. A higher score could get you better terms on loans for cars and homes.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rate at 4.14 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but remained near their lows for the year.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Keep them happy & studying: Creating a kid-friendly space

Would a great study space ease your child's transition from summer to school? Perhaps an awesome lounge area could convince your teens - and all their friends - that your house is the best hangout spot ever. Whatever your objectives, a few design and decorating tricks can help you create a kid-friendly space in your home.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Five fixes for kitchens that get compliments

No matter if you're an aspiring chef or TV dinner connoisseur ... if the look of your kitchen makes you want to dine out - it may be time for an upgrade. The kitchen should be the heart of your home: it's where you entertain, hold family meetings and even pay bills, so why not take it from "make-do" to "magnificent?"

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Must-have technology makes bathrooms healthier & safer

Think home technology begins with your wireless, programmable thermostat and ends with the high-definition, 3-D, web-enabled flat-screen TV with surround sound? Think again - whole home technology means using leading-edge devices to improve life in every room of the house, including the bathroom.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Season-extending gardening tips for fall

Warm weather, continued care and robust plants have yielded a bounty of beautiful, fresh vegetables - and personal satisfaction - from your garden this season. As the weather cools and fall approaches, it is not time to hang up your hat, gloves and trowel for the year. Autumn provides optimum weather and ample opportunity to keep growing and harvesting delicious, healthy produce well into the season.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Give your home a checkup

There's no better time than now to give your home the attention it deserves. Give it an annual checkup before cold weather arrives to help add comfort, save energy and cut home maintenance in the long-run.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Year-over-year: Price gains slowing

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices rose in June by the smallest year-over-year amount in 20 months, slowed by modest sales and more properties coming on the market.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


HOME PRICE TSUNAMI

Median home prices in San Jose are at $720,600.

August 01, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Fresh ideas for summer alfresco entertaining

Warm days are calling, as summer traditionally kicks off the outdoor entertaining season. But this year, tradition takes a new direction. More hosts are breaking the boundaries of indoor versus outdoor entertaining. Gone are the paper plates and plastic cups. Instead, people are daring to take their dinnerware outside.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Handcrafted items speak to soul with unique appeal

The quilt handed down through generations, the turn-of-the-century wooden rocking chair made by a long-gone relative, hand-stitched samplers that have graced every home your family has lived in - handcrafted items simply speak to the soul. In today's society, when we're surrounded by technology and homogenous machine-made items from clothes to curtains, handcrafting imparts a human, customized quality to home decor.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Fresh ideas for summer alfresco entertaining

Warm days are calling, as summer traditionally kicks off the outdoor entertaining season. But this year, tradition takes a new direction. More hosts are breaking the boundaries of indoor versus outdoor entertaining. Gone are the paper plates and plastic cups. Instead, people are daring to take their dinnerware outside.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Reasons to love your lawn & why you should take care of it

As summer approaches and your thoughts turn to home improvement and the outdoors, you're probably considering a variety of ways to make your home more comfortable, more attractive and more environmentally sustainable - while hopefully increasing its value as well. One feature that can achieve all these goals is a healthy lawn.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Senior citizens share homes for cost saving plus companionship

NEW YORK (AP) - It's not exactly "The Golden Girls," but for Marcia Rosenfeld, it'll do.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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