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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


HOME IMRPOVEMENT Four steps to a more beautiful bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most frequented areas in your home, making your choice of bathroom decor pretty important. Don't forget about this key area when considering your next home improvement project. With a few tips, you can take your bathroom from so-so to spectacular in no time at all.

February 28, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Soul-lifting home improvements that are good for your wallet, too

No matter how value conscious a homeowner may be, few people ever make a home improvement simply to increase their house's resale value. People also undertake home improvements to enhance their enjoyment of their home - or to fix a problem, which, in its own way, is good for the soul, too.

February 28, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Be proactive when canceling PMI

DEAR BENNY: We purchased our home a year ago for $153,000 and put $16,000 cash down. PMI was required. I want to end the PMI as soon as possible and understand that the home equity must reach a certain point (the agent said after two years we could try to get it canceled). Isn't there a law that if we are current with our payments we can opt out of PMI? We purchased a short-sale home and the value has been appraised higher now. Will that work against us? --Phyllis

February 28, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


The higher they went, the harder a home price fell

The highest sale price ever recorded in Manteca for a production home was $720,000.

February 22, 2013 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


California gets larger share of mortgage deal

SACRAMENTO (AP) - California should receive at least $20.6 billion from a settlement with the nation's major mortgage lenders, the largest share of any state and about $2 billion more than expected when the agreement to assist homeowners was announced last year, according to a report released Thursday.

February 21, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage loans rises to 3.56 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week but remained near historic lows. Low mortgage rates have helped support the slowly recovering housing market.

February 21, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


High-tech homes make everyday living simpler, even more secure

If you find yourself wondering how you ever got along before your smartphone, laptop and GPS, you're not alone. Technology is so much a part of how we go about our days that we often take it for granted. However, in many cases, houses haven't caught up to the same technological standards as the gadgets people carry with them 24/7. But that's all about to change, as new ideas begin to revolutionize the way we view our homes.

February 21, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


‘Gifted’ loan down payments come back to haunt FHA

Uncle Sam's failure to practice tough love is creating more foreclosures.

February 15, 2013 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Remodeling: How to go from a far-off dream to 'DIY'

Year after year, no matter the state of the housing market, kitchen remodeling remains a good idea. The project perennially tops lists of value-for-your-money home improvements and almost every buyer will be attracted to a kitchen that's updated and move-in ready. Even if you're planning on staying in your home for a while, few things can reinvigorate your home like a brand new kitchen.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


California home prices and sales up in January

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The number of homes sold in California rose 2.7 percent last month from a year earlier and the median price soared as the housing market showed continuing signs of recovery, the reporting firm DataQuick said Thursday.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Late-payment rate on US mortgages hits four-year low

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Homeowners who took on mortgages well after the housing bubble burst are doing a better job in keeping up with payments, a trend that has helped push the national rate of late payments on home loans to the lowest level in four years.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


4 must-knows about mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I will be soon paying off (in its entirety) the mortgage on my home. For your information, I have been current on my payments throughout the 10-year term. The mortgage company is a credit union, and I intend to continue residing in my home.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Expanding outdoor living spacecan increase value of your home

Even during a challenging economy, the outdoor living trend remains popular as homeowners seek to add lasting value and functional living space under the sky and stars. Whether it's a do-it-yourself patio or a professionally installed outdoor kitchen, the beauty, usefulness, value and ease of maintenance in outdoor living space is limitless.

February 07, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Don't grant lenders unlimited access to tax records

DEAR BENNY: I understand that when homebuyers sign closing documents, they are routinely required to sign a blanket form allowing the lender to access IRS records with no time limit. The form says not to sign it unless dates are specified on the form, but lenders routinely insist they be signed without any specification as to which years of IRS records are covered.

February 07, 2013 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Home prices rose during 2012 by most in 6.5 years

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices jumped by the most in 6 ½ years in December, spurred by a low supply of available homes and rising demand.

February 07, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Garden takes inspiration from quilts

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - It's not uncommon to see floral patterns on quilts. But how about flowers planted in a quilt pattern?

June 12, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Tips, tech make for a tidy home

With spring in full swing and summer fast approaching, finding ways to save time on indoor chores can help get you out of the house faster and back to enjoying your favorite outdoor pastimes. Tame household dust, hair and dirt in a snap this summer with these efficient and effective cleaning tips:

June 12, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


How to secure the home loan you need

Springtime represents new beginnings and is the prime time to get the house in order. Whether you're looking to make a first-time purchase, refresh an existing home or simply leverage built-up equity for other reasons, it's important to figure out which path is right for you and understand the lending options available.

June 12, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage jumps to high for year

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped this week to their highest levels this year, with the key 30-year rate topping 4 percent for the first time since late 2014.

June 12, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


LET IT GROW

Whether it's a just a vibrant pop of pretty petals you want added to the front of the home or a raised bed full of delicious fruits and vegetables, the return of warmer weather has many homeowners reaching for their gardening gloves.

June 12, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


How to bring the indoors out

Gone are the days of basic backyards outfitted with plastic furniture and folding lawn chairs. Today's outdoor spaces have evolved to become true extensions of the home offering all the style, comfort and function of an interior living area. From furniture and accessories to fully-appointed outdoor kitchens, the lines between indoors and out have blurred beyond distinction.

June 12, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Drought spurs home water recycling

BERKELEY (AP) - Showering during California's drought is a guilt-free experience for homeowners Catarina Negrin and Noah Friedman.

June 05, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Out-of-the-ordinary upgrades

Perhaps your home is in pretty good shape - newish roof, well-maintained furnace and air-conditioning, and fresh paint throughout. Or maybe you've bought a brand-new house that's move-in ready. Even though you don't really need to do a thing to the home, you may still have the urge to update. But what can you do when everything is already just about perfect?

June 05, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Average rate on 30-year mortgage stays at 3.87 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates were flat to slightly lower this week, remaining near their highest levels so far this year.

June 05, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


HOUSING DEBT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Al and Saundra Karp have found an unconventional way to raise money and help save their Miami-area home from foreclosure: They're lining up gigs for their family jazz band.

June 05, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


US regulators warn: Ads for reverse mortgages can mislead

WASHINGTON (AP) - We've seen the TV ad pitches from celebrities like "The Fonz" Henry Winkler and actor and ex-senator Fred Thompson, touting the benefits of reverse mortgages for older homeowners.

June 05, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Pot or plot? ‘Right-size’ plant picks

Have you ever walked into a room that was so full of over-sized furniture it made an already small space feel miniscule and unusable? Or tricked your tummy into being satisfied with less food by using a small plate to make a modest portion look huge? Scale makes a decided difference in many aspects of life, and gardening is no different.

June 05, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


SF files suit against landlord for evictions

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco has filed a lawsuit against a property owner, claiming she has been harassing and intimidating her rent-controlled tenants to force them from their apartments.

June 05, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


BEST POSITIONING

Equations are for more than just math class; did you know there's a proper order of operations for your home, too? Whether it's arranging your couch and television for optimal viewing or making sure towel bars are right within reach, knowing a few key numbers can help you determine the ideal place for each item in your home - creating spaces that look great and are easy-to-use.

May 29, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Creating an island paradise in kitchen

Custom cabinetry, granite countertops, reclaimed wood flooring and accents, and top-of-the-line, high-tech appliances - what more do you need to make your kitchen renovation perfect? How about adding an island? Designers and builders across the country are pointing to the addition of an island as the must-have upgrade for kitchen renovations this year.

May 29, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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