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Home prices fell in January in most cities

WASHINGTON (AP) - Home prices fell in January for a fifth straight month in most major U.S. cities, as modest sales increases have yet to boost prices.

March 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Study: Making car payment takes priority over paying the mortgage

NEW YORK (AP) - The recession and its hangover may have turned bill-paying habits upside down. Cash-strapped Americans are paying off their car loans before they pay credit card bills and make mortgage payments, a study finds.

March 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Must giftee pay IRS when property is later sold?

DEAR BENNY: In April 2001, a friend and I purchased a condo in California for $100,000. We are on title as tenants in common. My wife and I own 50 percent, and my friend owns 50 percent.

March 29, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


2012 outdoor living trends can easily update your patio or deck

More homeowners want their outdoor space to truly be an extension of their house and are taking steps to create an inviting area to relax, play and host guests. If you want to update your deck or patio for warm weather entertaining, you don't have to spend a lot of time or money. You can easily refresh the items you already have and add new stylish elements by keeping some top trends and design ideas in mind.

March 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Is owning your own home worth it? Sit down and try to figure it out

Is owning a home really worth it?

March 23, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


California home sales jump in February

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Home sales rose sharply in California last month as investors snapped up the lowest-priced properties, often paying cash, a research firm reported Thursday. Prices continued to fall.

March 22, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Credit score can impact home purchase

Purchasing a home can be the most rewarding - and also the most frustrating - financial transaction of your life. Especially today, when the news is filled with stories about the great market conditions for buyers. One aspect of the home buying process that's often overlooked is the extra cost that interest from a home loan adds to the total price of the home.

March 22, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


US court freezes assets for 5 mortgage companies

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal court has frozen assets at five California companies that are being investigated for trying to scam U.S. homeowners facing foreclosure.

March 22, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Builders betting on brighter housing market

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders are betting that the housing market is finally on the path back to health.

March 22, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Home re-sales complete best winter in 5 years

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home sales are gradually coming back. A mild winter and a stronger job market have helped boost sales ahead of the crucial spring buying season.

March 22, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Fed fines 8 US banks for alleged foreclosure abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve said Monday that it plans to fine eight additional U.S. bank holding companies for improperly foreclosing on homeowners.

March 22, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgages jumps above 4% for 1st time in five months

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage rose above 4 percent for the first time in five months. The sharp increase suggests the window to buy or refinance a home at historically low rates is closing.

March 22, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


One day soon low mortgage rates will be seen just in rearview mirror

By now you have probably seen at least one AT&T commercial that talks about how fast their phone service is and how they use the expression "That's so 42 seconds ago"...Well that is pretty much the same thing that can be said for mortgage rates. Any advertising you see this week about rates is going to be off by more than ¼% because those ads per place more than a week ago.

March 22, 2012 | By DEBORAH ROMERO Special to the Bulletin | HOME SCENE


Must-knows before selling home to daughter

DEAR BENNY: I own two properties and would like to sell my current residence to my daughter and her husband, and move into the other. Its assessed tax value is about $150,000, but I'd like to sell it to them for about $200,000 interest-free. Both my houses are paid off so I don't need any down payment from them.

March 22, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Designing your home office for maximum comfort & productivity

There's no doubt that we're a connected society - and connected like never before through email, social networks, video conference technology, instant messaging, smart phones, the list goes on. While this influx in connectivity has made it easier to do business, it has also blurred the lines between work and home life, resulting with many of us working in our homes at least a few hours each week. If your kitchen countertop has become your go-to place for paying bills, responding to emails and conducting business, it may be time to consider adding a dedicated office space in your ...

March 22, 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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