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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


MetLife pays $123.5M in settlement

NEW YORK (AP) - MetLife's home lending unit will pay $123.5 million to end an investigation into allegations it gave government-backed mortgages to people who didn't meet federal requirements.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Ideas to easily enhance, organize master closets

So, you've decided to make some updates to your home? Whether you plan on building a home from the ground up, purchasing new construction or adding value to your current residence, there are many opportunities for upgrades.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Get inspired by outdoor living ideas for your home

Inspired by neighbors, home improvement shows and social media channels like Pinterest and Houzz, today's homeowners are entering the deck planning and building process more informed than ever before. But sorting through this wealth of information and inspiration can make it hard to decipher what's really hot for today's outdoor spaces – and to choose what's right for your home.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


CEILINGS

Want to infuse your home with architectural interest? Start at the top.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Signed contracts rise to 18-month high

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rose at a healthy pace in January, a sign that home sales are poised to accelerate after a slow start to the year.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.8%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have edged up for a third straight week while remaining near their historically low levels reached in May 2013.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


New home sales fall slightly during January

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sales of new U.S. homes were basically flat in January, evidence that recent job gains and relatively low mortgage rates have yet to spur the real estate market.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Add a signature style to your home

To satisfy homeowners seeking to add a signature style to their indoor living spaces, more and more design professionals and builders are going back to basics and rediscovering the versatility, durability and good looks of cypress.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Home sales plunge 4.9 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home sales struck a snow drift in January, plunging to the slowest pace in nine months.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Energy guzzlers greener

For the first time in six years, Energy Star certification, a standard seal of approval for energy efficiency, has been expanded to include another major household appliance.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Tips for replacing water heaters

Some 37 million residential water heaters gave up the ghost and were replaced over the past five years, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy. While some things get better with age, water heaters aren't among them. In fact, the average life expectancy for a new water heater is 10 to 15 years, with the occasional stoic dinosaur making it two decades or more.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


A stunning backsplash without the whiplash

The kitchen is the heart of the home and a top-selling feature with homebuyers. Does yours convey style and functionality? Whether you've just completed a remodel or you're looking for ways to upgrade your existing kitchen, a tile backsplash will instantly transform the space into an eye-catching masterpiece.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


6 steps to select best remodeling contractor

A remodeling project is one of the most invigorating lifestyle changes a homeowner can make. However, trusting a contractor with both your home and your money can feel overwhelming. Spare your time, money and sanity by following these steps for choosing the best remodeling contractor:

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Central Valley group names Realtors, Affiliate of the Year

Every year the Central Valley Association of Realtors recognizes members who have gone above and beyond in the real estate profession and community service. This year CVAR named two recipients as Realtor of the Year - Shelly Bell and Larry Rumbeck - and as Affiliate of the Year, the honor goes to Taylor Phillips.

February 20, 2015 | Staff reports | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year loans rises to 3.76%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have risen for a second straight week yet remained near historically low levels.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


What’s your storage style?

Storage has style? Really? Of course it does. And when it comes to tackling storage projects, don't skimp on creating the style that best suits your personality.

April 24, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


DIY kids’ room makeovers

Once school lets out, it's a great time to make updates to kids' rooms. Not only does it let children personalize their own space with decor that reflects their growing personality, it's a great way to keep them busy with all that extra time to burn.

April 24, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


THE BIG SQUEEZE

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Living in an apartment? Expect your rent to go up again.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


5 upgrades for under $5,000 to lure buyers

It's a sobering truth of real estate that sellers often have to spend money to make money. Even if your home is relatively new, you still face costs associated with getting it ready to show, such as repainting interior rooms or hiring professional cleaners and stagers. If your home could use some TLC and updating, spending as little as $5,000 on key upgrades could improve its appeal for buyers - and ensure a speedier sale at a better price.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Demystifying 2015 kitchen design trends

Every new year brings along new design trends, with homeowners often feeling the pressure to mix up their kitchen interiors to keep things current. But the truth is, when embarking on any renovation project, incorporating more timeless (and less trendy) assets will save both time and money in the long run. This ensures any kitchen styling stays current and "fits in" no matter which way the design pendulum swings.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Tips for parents considering helping their child buy a home

Rising prices and a dearth of homes for sale in many markets have made it harder for many looking to buy their first home.

April 17, 2015 | ALEX VEIGA AP Business Writer | HOME SCENE


House approves legislation to ease rules on home loans

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly adopted legislation to ease some mortgage lending requirements of the sweeping 2010 law reining in banks and Wall Street as the Republican majority continues its assault on the so-called Dodd-Frank law enacted after the financial crisis.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


California home prices reach new 7-year high, sales rebound

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home prices reached fresh seven-year-highs in March, a research firm said Friday, helping sales rebound from a two-month slide as some homeowners put their property on the market to reap gains.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


OAKWOOD SHORES

Oakwood Shores is not just among a handful of neighborhoods surrounding private lakes in the Northern San Joaquin Valley but it has another feature that few of those have - a gated community with 24-hour security patrols.

April 10, 2015 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Your perfect State of home Organization

Life gets busy and clutter has a way of sneaking up on everyone. It may be all those shoes, the lack of space or the fact that you have absolutely no time - there are many reasons for the mess. But, whether you're a single person living in an apartment or have a large family in a sprawling house, everyone can benefit from more organization. By simply thinking about storage differently and coming up with a smart organizational system that works for you, you'll be on the way to creating a well-balanced, happier home.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Five projects to help redo your basement

Have you ever wished you had more space in your home? Maybe you'd use the space to pursue a hobby, host out-of-town guests or just spread out and get some quiet time to yourself. The space you desire could already be in your home in your basement. If your cellar is nothing but a series of unfinished areas used for storage, you're not getting all the benefits you could be from the space.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


TRID could delay closing of escrow

LOS GATOS (AP) - Members of the real estate industry are getting ready for a new regulation scheduled to take effect this summer that requires changes to the traditional mortgage loan acquisition process. The upcoming TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule takes effect Aug. 1 and, if not understood by all parties involved, could delay the closing of escrow. Issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, TRID combines the mortgage disclosure established by the Truth-in-Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act into one single rule. However, according to a lender panel at a Silicon Valley Association of Realtors meeting, the move ...

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


SHARED HOUSING TREND GROWS

BOWIE, Md. (AP) - In 2008, Bonnie Moore was going through a divorce. And as she was adjusting to a one-income lifestyle, the recession hit and her five-bedroom, three-bathroom home lost half its value.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Ripon launches effort to conserve energy & water

Ripon has launched the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program, which enables homeowners and commercial property owners to make energy- and water-efficiency improvements and pay them off through their property tax bill.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Latest tool for selling real estate: FaceTime

REDWOOD CITY (AP) - Real estate agent Julie Ray has come of age in the red-hot housing market. But this was a first: zooming through a $1.7 million house with her iPhone, she used its FaceTime video application to send images of the property -- including bathroom tile and a backyard lemon tree - to the prospective buyers in Switzerland.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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