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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Apartment rents up as vacancies drop across nation

Renters that have the desire and wherewithal to buy but are waiting for either lower prices or lower loan rates should consider this a warning.

April 09, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Porches that are stylish & durable

It's been a long, hard winter in much of the country. Towering snowdrifts, icy roads, freak hailstorms. For many of us, spring can't come fast enough, and with it the chance to enjoy our porches, patios and sunrooms.

April 09, 2011 | By MELISSA RAYWORTH The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Manteca plans garden tour for May 14

An expansive garden with a Japanese theme and a garden that illustrates how green thumbs with physical limitations can still enjoy their hobby are two of the six that are being featured in the 2011 Manteca Garden Tour.

April 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Modesto garden tour on May 7

MODESTO - The Modesto Garden Club's Saturday, May 7, Annual Spring Tour of Town & Country Gardens provides a look at eight private gardens in town and country settings and the Modesto Garden Club office garden.

April 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


White helps adds a touch of spring to homes

Like freshly washed laundry dancing on the line on a sunny day, this season's white decor is a welcome sight. Just when we're ready to fling open the windows, shake out rugs and scrub the memory of winter away, stores are responding by stocking tabletop accessories, throw pillows, furniture and more in crisp whites and soothing creams.

April 09, 2011 | By KIM COOK The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Hybrids: Pros & cons in backyard garden

These days, hybrids are either panned or praised in the world of gardening. Not that hybrids are such oddities. A hybrid is merely the offspring of two parents that are not genetically the same.

April 09, 2011 | By LEE REICH The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


America’s new favorite pastime

More than 41 million Americans planted vegetable gardens in 2009 - a number expected to increase as food costs climb, according to a recent Gardening Trends Research Report. When you factor in flowers, herbs and fruits, it's difficult to find a home where people are not working the soil on a warm sunny day.

April 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Heat up your kitchen with color

The kitchen is the heart of the home: a place to cook and share a meal, to entertain friends, gather as a family and even pay bills or do homework.

April 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Gardening mistakes & how to avoid them

Gardening is a forgiving hobby. You can always right any wrongs next growing season.

April 02, 2011 | By DEAN FOSDICK For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Three steps to ensure you get best deal when buying a house

Ample inventory, low mortgage rates and motivated sellers - all these key elements are present in real estate markets across the country, indicating it's still a great time to buy a house. If you're thinking of buying a house - whether it's new or existing, your first home or your fifth - you can help ensure you get the best possible deal by doing a few things before you get down to serious shopping.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Colorful exteriors without drop of paint

Nothing brightens a home's personality more dramatically than brilliant color. It's easy to freshen your home's exterior with color trim around windows, doors or along corners. With color trim, there are endless ways you can evoke any emotion or personality you desire. Whether you wish for tranquility, elegance or modernism, it's time to add some color to your "to-do" list.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


How do you know when you are ready to buy a house?

Since the foreclosure crisis began, many Americans have been thinking a little bit more critically about whether they are truly ready for home ownership.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Update interiors with quick flooring transformation

Is your home in need of a makeover to go from boring to brilliant? What better time than now to update your home's tired, worn interior. You need look no further than right under your feet - to the floor below - for a simple, budget-minded way to freshen your decor and add to your home's value. Give any room of the house an updated look with flooring that mimics natural stone or ceramic tile, but without the upkeep or high cost.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Five tips for small landlords on how to protect your investment

More and more homeowners who are moving are delaying selling their homes, choosing instead to rent them out as the housing market continues to struggle. The lagging housing market has given others the opportunity to buy properties for investment purposes. Since many of these homeowners don't have much experience as a landlord, they're often required to learn on the fly.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Buying puts money in your pocket in long run even without equity gain

What is the better value: Three bedrooms, one bathroom with 986 square feet of living space for $720 a month or three bedrooms, two bathrooms with 1,012 to 1,296 square feet of living space for $855 a month?

March 26, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | 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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