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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Average rate on 30-year loan dips to 3.39 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage slipped this week and stayed near its record low, a trend that's helped boost home sales and refinancing.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Refinance misstep forfeits low HELOC rate

DEAR BENNY: A mortgage broker advised us several years ago to split our mortgage into a $400,000 mortgage and a $100,000 line of credit (we had $300,000 total available on the HELOC). A few months ago, we refinanced our $400,000 mortgage with our current lender. (Our house is assessed at $900,000.) We asked our lender if we could refinance our mortgage up to $500,000, pay down the $100,000 drawn on the HELOC, but still keep the HELOC with the HELOC lender open, and our lender said "yes."

November 01, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Broker: Wright-designed Ariz. home to be preserved

PHOENIX (AP) - A Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Phoenix home that had been slated for demolition will apparently survive under a new owner.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


US builders boost September spending by 0.6 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders spent more on home construction in September, a gain that helped offset weakness in nonresidential building and government projects.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Nick-of-time tips to make your home holiday ready

As you prepare to celebrate the holidays, welcoming loved ones into your home is a highlight of the festivities. You may eagerly look forward to gathering with family and friends, but is your house holiday and houseguest ready?

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Selecting a trustworthy mover is the first step in avoiding headaches

Americans are on the move. The United States Census Bureau estimates that 12.5 percent of Americans - nearly 40 million people - changed residences each of the past two years. While many turned to moving professionals for assistance, some learned the hard way that not all moving companies are created equally. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) received nearly 3,000 complaints about moving companies last year alone - a double-digit increase from the prior year.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Sales contracts to buy homes rose last month

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose only slightly, suggesting sales may level off in the coming months after solid gains in the past year.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Sales contracts to buy homes rose last month

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose only slightly, suggesting sales may level off in the coming months after solid gains in the past year.

October 25, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Must I compensate my agent if I don’t buy?

DEAR BENNY: Could you advise me of the appropriate (and legal) way to compensate the buyer's agent we used for our unsuccessful house hunt?

October 25, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


New home sales hit in 2½ year high

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. sales of new homes jumped last month to the highest level in more than two years, further evidence of a sustained housing recovery that could help lift the lackluster economy.

October 25, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Mobility & home accessibility

Driven by a growing senior population, soldiers returning home injured from war and the ongoing obesity epidemic, mobility and home accessibility issues are becoming more commonplace in America. In response, companies today are creating innovative home solutions that focus on both improved form and function, and serve to create welcome alternatives to traditional solutions for homeowners with mobility and home access challenges.

October 25, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Sacramento pockets cash from settlement for housing help

The State of California has benefited handsomely from the misery of those in the Golden State who lost their homes in the foreclosure crisis.

October 19, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Color tips from the pros: How to bring bold hues into kitchen, bath

Why is it that some people can do daring things with color in their living rooms or bedrooms, but stick with the strongholds of beige and white in their kitchens and baths? As bright hues are surfacing in kitchen and bath design trends, existing oft-neutral palettes make it easy to introduce bold splashes.

October 18, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Understand options when it comes to reverse mortgages

If you know a senior homeowner who is running out of money, a reverse mortgage might generate enough cash to allow them to stay in their home for many more years. Last fall, the Federal Housing Administration created new rules, and opportunities, for lower-cost reverse mortgages. Now that most lenders have launched these new products, it's worth an updated look.

October 18, 2012 | By TERRY SAVAGE Financial Advisor | HOME SCENE


Bank of America says housing has 'begun to turn'

NEW YORK (AP) - For banks, mortgage-making kept profits humming before the financial crisis, then blackened reputations and stamped out earnings when the crisis hit.

October 18, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Homebuilder confidence, sales outlook slip slightly in January

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident in their sales prospects ahead of the spring homebuying season, traditionally the peak period for home sales.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Seasonal guide for you to maintain your home

Homeowners can avoid emergency repairs by completing a few home projects each season. A simple project such as inspecting the plumbing annually can prevent the unexpected cost of repairing water damage from a pipe that burst.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rents keep climbing, especially in San Francisco

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home rental prices continued to climb at a modest pace in December, but rapidly escalating costs in cities such as San Francisco and Denver suggest that apartment dwellers are facing more financial pressure.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Six ways to make your bathroom more luxurious

The bathroom doesn't have to be basic. Thanks to a wide array of new products on the market - and plenty of ways to customize - even the most outdated bathrooms can become an oasis of tranquility and a lavish retreat away from the stresses of everyday life. Here are six ideas for transforming your bathroom into a luxurious spa-like space.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.63%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the fourth 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, slipped further below 3 percent.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Banks settle mortgage kickbacks probe

WASHINGTON (AP) - Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have agreed to pay more than $35 million combined to resolve claims that loan officers at the two banks received kickbacks in exchange for steering mortgage borrowers to a Maryland title company.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


RENTING VS BUYING

The naysayers were insistent.

January 16, 2015 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Expert tips for choosing a window for kitchen remodel

What are the hottest updates for homes in 2015? The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in the home to remodel, and for good reason. According to HGTV and Trulia, a kitchen update is one of the secrets to selling your home.

January 16, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Stunning painting projects can be done in day or less

Modern, lively, exciting - if these words don't describe the style of your favorite rooms, an update is in order. Painting is a classic makeover tool for interior spaces. To give your home's aesthetic a boost of personality and style, consider these surprisingly simple DIY paint projects that can be done in one day or less.

January 16, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Right tools can help you make home repairs after disasters

The life of a homeowner is unpredictable. It is inevitable you will encounter necessary home fixes and even an occasional disaster. From storm-damaged roofs and extended power outages to a cabinet door ready to fall off its hinges, it's important to fix issues quickly before they become a hazard to your family, pets or visitors.

January 16, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


California home sales rise in December on stronger economy

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales jumped in December, buoyed by a stronger economy and lower interest rates, a research firm said Thursday. Prices rose modestly.

January 16, 2015 | | 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


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