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Archive By Section - 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


Going green: Energy efficient windows

Now that spring is here, many homeowners are thinking about remodeling projects that will improve the home this season and year-round. Whether you're planning a few do-it-yourself improvements or a major renovation, it's important to think "green." One way to enhance the beauty and comfort of your home while saving on energy is by installing highly energy efficient windows.

March 26, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Growing vegetables can be easy

Some things bear repeating: Plant vegetables.

March 26, 2011 | By LEE REICH For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Garden prep 101: Getting ready for season

Outside birds are singing and bits of green are popping up all around. As seasons change from winter to spring, the gardener's mind quickly leaps to growing flowers and produce. Before getting out there and planting, follow these basic garden preparations to get the most out of this growing season.

March 26, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Sensory gardens: Days of wine & roses

FULTON (AP) - Imagine a garden where melon, peach, apple, lemon, pear and gardenias bloom. Then imagine holding all that in a glass.

March 19, 2011 | By MICHELLE LOCKE For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Going from cookie cutter to custom

A new home: It's your chance to personalize your living space with details that suit your taste and personality. Or, so you think. Many builders only allow you to choose colors; and offer limited options beyond their builders' grade materials. Or, if you've purchased a previously owned home, it too is most likely equipped with many basic options.

March 19, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Pros and cons of organic vs. synthetic fertilizers

Another growing season is fast approaching, and before you can seed you must feed.

March 19, 2011 | By DEAN FOSDICK For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Manteca prices up, SF prices down in 2011

Bay Area housing price trends in the past have been used by real estate agents as a barometer as what is to come in Manteca and the rest of the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

March 12, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Doors, a forgotten design element

It's a design opportunity that's easily missed: Even the most stylishly decorated rooms often have bland wooden doors with cheap hardware.

March 12, 2011 | By MELISSA RAYWORTH For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Spring’s hot color for homes?

Bright red-pink and bursting with energy, honeysuckle is dominating home decor trends in 2011 as a playful and vibrant alternative to the serene turquoise of 2010.

March 12, 2011 | By SARAH WOLFE For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Going green on your remodel? Try tile

Are you planning an upcoming remodel for your home? Going green and using sustainable building materials continues to be a top trend in home improvement. Remodeling green isn't just about using products with recycled content, it's also about using superior products that will stand the test of time and reduce energy costs.

March 12, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Different kind of short sale

Short sales - and not bank foreclosures - is where the largest chunk of the action is today in the Manteca housing market.

March 05, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | 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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