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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


Home renovation starts with good planning, good insurance

The United States is a country of renovators and remodelers, judging from the steady growth of home improvement projects across the nation in recent years.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year rate on fixed rate mortgage at 4.10 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, with the 30-year loan rate hitting its 52-week low.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Late-payment rate on mortgages declines in 2Q, lowest in 6 years

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fewer U.S. homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, a trend that has reduced the late-payment rate on home loans to the lowest level in six years, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Ways to discover the design potential of the ‘Fifth wall’

With autumn just a few short weeks away, many people will soon spend less time on the patio and more time within four walls. Actually, five walls if you include the ceiling.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


DEL WEBB LIFESTYLE

The appeal of Del Webb at Woodbridge goes beyond the obvious.

August 15, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Three tips for converting an attic into living space

Moving up - vacating your current, smallish home for a larger, roomier abode - was the American way before the Great Recession. Now that the economy is humming again, at least some of the people who stayed put during those lean years will be looking to move into larger, nicer homes this summer. High demand and low inventory, however, may leave many with nowhere to go. Some will rediscover a time-honored space-gaining technique: attic conversion.

August 15, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Making your home sensational for summer outdoor living

Summer is here and this is the time when you want to be outside as much as possible, soak up the sun, eat amazing food and enjoy the company of family and friends. You'll also see more of your home's exterior on days like this than any other time of the year so this is also a great time to complete those outdoor projects. In fact, 60 percent of homeowners will accomplish a summer home improvement project this year according to survey data from the Zillow Digs Summer Home Improvement Trend and Spending Survey.

August 15, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Family-friendly bathroom renovations to consider

Mom rules the media room, Johnny loves the basement workshop and the kitchen is Dad's domain. Gender roles notwithstanding, each family member has one room where he or she enjoys spending more time. One room, however, is equally used and loved - or reviled - by all: the bathroom.

August 15, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Simple ideas to refresh your home’s entryway

Most people enter their home through the garage or backdoor, forgetting how the front entrance looks to neighbors and guests. Your front door is often the first thing others notice about your home. That's why it's key to make a positive first impression.

August 15, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


California home sales decline amid tight real estate market

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales declined in July compared to the same time last year as buyers struggled to find something they could afford in the tight market, a research firm said Thursday.

August 15, 2014 | | 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


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