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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


FHA loan limits need to go up

Most first-time buyers can come up with the income to comfortably cover a monthly house payment but often lack the money needed up front.

December 12, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


3% DOWN LOANS

WASHINGTON (AP) - Some Americans will soon be able to buy a home with a down payment as low as 3 percent, compared with the current minimum of 5 percent, the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Create a happy homemade Christmas setting this year

One of the best ways to kick off the holiday season is to decorate. And while it's easy to load your cart with beautiful decor from your favorite store, Christmas is more personal when decorations are homemade.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Bathroom upgrades to impress guests & family

Game night, girls' night or family reunion – your home serves as the backdrop for many occasions. Preparing your space for friends and family can feel like a heavy undertaking, but with a few simple entertaining tips, hosts can wave goodbye to anxieties.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Reurposing garage doors into walls with a view

Have you ever admired a coffee table cleverly fabricated using a discarded door sitting on a frame? Or been surprised by the sight of an old refrigerator reborn as a bookshelf or TV cabinet? Even bathroom fixtures have been known to draw notice (and a snicker or two) when repurposed as garden containers.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year loan rate increases to 3.93 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged higher this week after four weeks of declines, but they remained at historically low levels that could entice potential homebuyers.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Tips to keep garden & hand tools in top shape

From painting supplies to gardening and hand tools, buying well-made home improvement tools can help improve project results. The tools you use may be an investment, so you'll want to take care of them to ensure they last for more than just one project.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Master bathroom trends for homes in 2015 & beyond

When it comes to renovating spaces in your home, the master bath should be top of mind. Leading master bath trends for 2015 go beyond functionality to incorporate features that complement the design aesthetic and provide a touch of luxury for lasting results.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Let her handle the money

Despite the earning power of today's women, many still shy away from investing and long-term planning. One of the reasons may be a lack of confidence. A 2014 report by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that half of women say they are not confident about the ability to retire comfortably.

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


5 ways to protect your home the holidays

When you think of the holidays, celebrations, presents and friends likely come to mind - not crime. Unfortunately, burglaries increase at this time of year, and your home could be a target. With a few simple safety precautions, you can protect your property, your family and your valuables now and well into the new year.

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


SPRUCE UP

The fun chaos of the holidays is right around the corner. Family gatherings to plan, delicious meals to prepare, gifts to find and purchase, and a house to decorate ... the list goes on!

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average US 30-year loan rate falls to 3.89 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, a continuing boon for potential homebuyers.

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Troubled US homeowners get more relief

WASHINGTON (AP) - Homeowners whose mortgages were modified to stave off foreclosure could next year receive an additional $5,000 reduction in their loans from the government, the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development departments said Thursday.

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


How to cut clutter & take back your home

You've reached your breaking point. You've tripped over the same thing in the living room too many times. Now you've picked it up to finally put it away and you realize - you have nowhere to put it. You have too much clutter in your home. So what do you do? How do you decide where to start so you can reduce the clutter in your home and make your walkways safe once more?

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Taking a spin down Memory Lane

OK you Real Estate Boys; I am fairly new to Turlock and so far love it here and love the Valley. When I moved from the right coast mid-summer my Realtor kept telling me all the neat things about Turlock and I couldn't stop thinking about John and Paul's "She Loves You." Yeah, yeah, yeah. "You're just saying that stuff." Well, 6 months into my new life I am now saying the same about my newly adopted home. I'm sort of hoping you Boys can tell me some of the changes you've seen over the ...

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - 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


Rents rise overall but dip in Chicago & Minneapolis

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home rental prices rose at a steady rate in January, but prices barely budged or even dipped in parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Millennials seek tech-ready, smaller energy-efficient houses

LOS GATOS - As millennials enter the home-buying market in larger numbers, builders say homes will get a little smaller, energy-efficient appliances and laundry rooms will be essential, and home technology will become increasingly prevalent. These predictions are based on two surveys conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, one asking home builders what features they are most likely to include in a typical new home this year, and one asking millennials what features are most likely to affect their home-buying decisions. Of the top 10 features mentioned by home builders, four have to do with energy efficiency: low-E windows ...

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Freshen up your home with five sharp colors

While you're making resolutions and setting goals, consider adding updating the look of your home to your list. If your walls are looking a little dated, follow these five color suggestions to give your space a renewed look.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rises to 3.69%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week yet remained near historically low levels.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


CONTAINERS

HONOLULU (AP) - Shipping containers: They're strong, durable and portable, stack easily and link together like Legos.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Take the sweat out of your DIY projects this year

You've been dreaming about digging in your garden, changing your landscaping or improving your house all winter long. Finally the weather is nice, your yard is clear and dry, and it's time for you to get your hands dirty. With the right tools and equipment, you can get all your DIY tasks done while saving time, money and elbow grease.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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