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Archive By Section - 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


Fixed mortgage rates end year at 3.95 percent, above record lows

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fixed mortgage rates rose slightly this week off their record lows. The year ends much like it began, with few people able to take advantage of the best rates in history.

December 31, 2011 | The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


CVAR staging Leadership for Local Charity installation lunch at River Mill Jan. 12

FRENCH CAMP – The Central Valley Association of Realtors is holding their annual Leadership installation at the historic River Mill on Jan. 12.

December 31, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Top 2012 garden and lifestyle trends

In today's world where news travels at the speed of now, people are searching for balance and purpose and are tapping into the power of plants to cultivate the 'new good life'.

December 31, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Downsizing homes, but upsize the amenities

Say goodbye to the McMansion. According to a leading real estate website, Trulia.com, 2010 was officially the year that homes over 3,200 square feet ended their dominance and appeal. But don't think that downsizing means downgrading. In fact, homeowners are looking to upsize their amenities to help them enjoy every inch of their homes.

December 31, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Simple things for a fresh new look for your home in 2012

New Year's is a time when many people commit to starting fresh or developing some positive changes in their lives. As you consider what you will change in 2012, think about where you spend the majority of your time. Your surroundings can greatly influence your mood and actions, and a refreshed interior can help you step forward into a new and improved lifestyle. Enjoying life more in 2012 could start with just a few simple updates to your home.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Claiming $500K tax break after spouse dies

DEAR BENNY: My husband died this past August. We owned and lived in our house for more than 15 years, but now I want to sell. Am I eligible for the up-to-$500,000 exclusion of any profit that I will make? --Annie

December 23, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - 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


Rates hit lowest level in 21 months

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates started the year by dipping to new lows, with the benchmark 30-year rate marking its lowest level since May 2013.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Top 5 real estate trends of 2015

According to the "2014 Housing Review" released by realtor.com , 2014 "demonstrated a steady buildup of housing momentum fueled by significant improvements in economic fundamentals, low mortgage rates and compressed inventory, and is expected to carry the market into 2015 gains."

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices drifted upward in November

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home values rose at a measured pace in November, a sign that demand remains weak as many buyers have been priced out of the market.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


New homebuyers checklist

When you're about to buy a house, it's easy to get excited about its great location, spacious floor plan or beautifully decorated interior. Yet the old saying, "beauty's only skin deep" can apply to any home, especially if you're considering an older, previously owned property. Before signing on the dotted line, use this checklist to help avoid some potentially costly surprises and anticipate repairs or upgrades that may be needed.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Timeless interior design protects your investment

Kitchens are the heart of the home. It's where you prepare meals, help your kids with homework and entertain guests. It's the room in the house where everyone gathers, where memories are made, and, with solid investment, can single-handedly increase the value of your home and help you build more of a nest egg. Even if you're considering selling your home, all eyes of prospective buyers will inevitably be on the kitchen.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Hot home decor color trends make statement

It's a strategy interior designers often use to create stunning rooms that wow the instant someone enters them: the use of creative color. Homeowners looking to deliver impressive interior style can take cues from what will be the trendiest hues of 2015 and beyond.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rate edges up to 3.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week, but the benchmark 30-year rate stayed near a 19-month low.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rate edges up to 3.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week, but the benchmark 30-year rate stayed near a 19-month low.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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