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Help protect your home from rodents this winter

The cold temperatures are settling in for the winter months, and if you're not careful, rodents can also settle into your home. Your house - especially your kitchen - offers everything rats and mice are looking for: food, water and warmth.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Save money with energy efficiency tips

Saving money is on everyone's mind this winter season. Between the holiday expenses, colder temperatures and tight budgets, finding ways to reduce costs can be a bit of a challenge. If you're looking for ways to save, look at your home, and see if you can improve on your energy efficiency - thereby keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Easy ways to warm up your home decor

As the chill of winter sets in, your home interior may be lacking the warmth and comfort you'd prefer. Fortunately, creating an inviting atmosphere does not require huge amounts of time or money. And you don't need to be a professional interior designer - or even have experience in decorating - to transform your home into a welcoming haven. To bring your decor into the season and give your home noticeable appeal, follow a few easy tips.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Smart ways to use credit when redecorating

When your redecorating project is done, you want everyone who sees it to think it looks like a million bucks. But woe to your wallet - and possibly your credit - if you overspend to achieve that look.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


More affordable to buy in SJ Valley

The Northern San Joaquin Valley was flying high five years ago.

December 09, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Sidestep penalty for early mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I was at the closing table for my condo purchase only to discover that there was a penalty for early payoff. I called the bank immediately and they told me to "take it or leave it."

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


Top home decor trends for 2012

From warm woods and creative colors to memorable murals and tailored textures, interior designers and industry experts predict 2012 will offer a multitude of options for those interested in giving their homes a fresh look. Even better for today's cost-conscious consumers is that many of the trends are easy and inexpensive.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Winter: Time to plan outdoor updates

Does the bitter cold weather have you dreaming of warm days spending time with friends and family in your backyard? The cold may keep us indoors, but professionals in the landscape and remodeling industry are still thinking about the outdoors and use the winter months to plan spring projects, and so should you.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Greet holiday guests with a warm, stylish, sensible home

Twinkling lights, fragrant wreaths and freshly baked cookies help set the stage, but holiday guests truly feel at home when you provide a warm, cozy environment.

November 18, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Get ready for revival of the zombies

Manteca has plenty of "zombies."

November 18, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Circumvent rigid down-payment gift rules

DEAR BENNY: I live in Connecticut and my husband stays several nights a week in Massachusetts. We saw a duplex we would like to buy in Massachusetts. He would live in one part and there is already a tenant in the other part.

November 17, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Affordable holiday decor updates

Welcoming friends and family into your home is one of the best ways to celebrate the season. One of the keys to making visitors feel right at home is to be a happy host. So, do yourself - and your guests - a favor and put a little effort into getting your home holiday houseguest perfect.

November 10, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Housing prices going up 11.5% next year?

Here's an eye-opener: Housing prices in California are expected to surge 11.5 percent in 2012.

November 10, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


When is a HUD-1 form required?

DEAR BENNY: Do we have to do a HUD-1 form on a cash sale? The home is paid off and I am selling for cash. There is no lender involved. --Keith

November 10, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


What’s the best floor choice for your high-traffic home?

From high-heeled shoes to dog paws and kitchen spills, your home's flooring faces tough challenges every day. When it comes to choosing a floor that will stand up to today's hyper-active households, experts recommend laminate for its low-maintenance, realistic beauty and durability. But savvy shoppers should keep in mind that not all laminates are created equal, especially when it comes to long-term performance. To find the best floor for your high-traffic home, look for the following:

November 04, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Simple steps for organized & sensational garage space

Move over kitchens and bathrooms, homeowners are focusing on a new part of the home: the garage. No longer just a place to park the car and lawn equipment, today's garages are getting bigger and better. Here are a few quick and easy projects to create a useful and organized garage.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Smart, stylish solutions keep entire home cool

Don't sweat it if your home doesn't have central air-conditioning. Whether you live in an older house that can't accommodate ductwork, or you don't want to sacrifice your interior aesthetics with an unattractive air conditioning unit, you can still keep your home feeling - and looking - cool this summer with advanced air conditioning technology.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate at 4.19%

WASHINGTON (AP) - A key long-term U.S. mortgage rate dipped this week, the second drop after a large increase two weeks ago.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Pet-proofing your home in preparation for adopting

The addition of a new pet to the family is always a cause for celebration. Stress can occur, too, no matter how welcome the new addition. When you're thinking about adopting a pet from an animal shelter, some preparation can help ensure he or she is as safe and happy as possible.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Keep winter energy bills in check

As winter temperatures drop, the potential for higher utility bills goes up. Taking steps ahead of the cold season can help you trim costs and make your home more energy efficient, keeping those utility bills in check even as the winter weather rages.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Mini-makeovers deliver big home value return

Kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects can significantly add comfort, improve functionality and increase the home's resale value. Whichever reason drives homeowners to complete an improvement project, they need to pick one that also delivers a return on investment.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


$MART MOVE$

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

September 26, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Driveways to mailboxes: Ways to drive your home’s curb appeal

Selling or staying, it makes no difference - everyone wants a home that looks great from the curb. Curb appeal comes together when all the elements of a home's facade are in good shape and working together. Driveways that are cracked or pitted with potholes, dingy front doors and other seemingly minor complaints like a shabby, scuffed mailbox, can all significantly detract from a home's overall curb appeal.

September 26, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage at 4.20%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined slightly this week, after marking their largest one-week gain of the year the previous week.

September 26, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Selling soon? 6 upgrades to secure a speedy sale

If you'll be putting your home on the market this year, simple, cost-effective upgrades can help ensure a speedy sale at a good price.

September 26, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Do’s and don’ts: Art of tackling your tile project

Do's and don'ts for making your next tile project perfect

September 26, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Avoid bathroom remodeling blues with budget-friendly tips

Beautifying your bathroom sounds exciting but oftentimes renovation plans begin with good intentions and end up a long, costly nightmare. The national average cost for a bathroom remodel is $10,142, according to the Cost Guide from HomeAdvisor.com. That's a hefty investment but one that can easily be reduced with a simple refresh of the space instead. Here are five cost-effective updates you can make to your bathroom in as little as a weekend.

September 26, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


ON THE WATER

You don't have to buy in Stockton's Quail Lakes or Brookside neighborhoods if you want to live on the water.

September 12, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Simple, affordable ways to personalize home decor

Every generation of homeowners has its design priorities. Baby boomers look for home design that will let them age in place, while generation X wants features that facilitate busy lifestyles. Millennials crave interior decor that meshes with their technology, blending energy efficiency, family-friendly features and plenty of personalization. Since many millennials are starting out in their personal and professional lives, affordability is also a priority.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Save money, time and energy making improvements in tandem

Most of us spend our day multi-tasking. At work or home, we want to maximize our time and resources in order to accomplish the most work while expending the minimum required effort. Home improvement should be no different. In order to make the most of your home improvement resources, it makes sense to undertake certain projects in tandem.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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