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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Selling a Starker exchange property

DEAR BENNY: We own a small single-family home (800 square feet) located on the property adjacent to our primary home. We purchased it using a Starker exchange about 15 years ago. We stopped renting it out eight years ago, when the mortgage was paid off. We now use it as an extension of our primary home, with the living room as a game room, garage and basement as storage, one bedroom as an office, and the other as a guest bedroom.

June 16, 2012 | Benny L. Kass Attorney | HOME SCENE


Exploring what makes your garden grow

When school lets out for summer, exchange those flip flops for gardening shoes. Add a pair of gloves, good sun-block and get out into the garden.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Easy kitchen updates that won’t break the bank & are simple to do

It goes without saying that the kitchen is one of the hardest-working rooms in the home. For most, it's the heart of family life and usually the one room where everyone gathers together. With so much hustle and bustle, it's no wonder that the kitchen runs the risk of looking overworked.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


What lies beneath your dream home?

It's moving season. In a buyer-friendly market, home shoppers can be pretty particular in their search for a dream home. Increasingly, buyers are seeking flawless, move-in ready homes, and while traditional home inspections are a must-have, something equally important lurking beneath homes often goes overlooked.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


May sees pickup in homes facing risk of foreclosure

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Lenders initiated foreclosure proceedings against more U.S. homeowners in May, setting the stage for increases in home repossessions and short sales - scenarios that could further weigh down home values in coming months.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Single-family homes are in a number of cases no longer that

Think American Dream and images of owning a single-family home pop up.

June 08, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


The heat is on outside, keep cool inside

As summer heats up, air conditioning bills can rapidly rise. As homeowners feel the heat, many are looking for ways to save and stay cool.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Tabletop gardens are edible centerpieces

With spring arriving earlier this season, gardeners across the country are inspired to plant now. Daydreams of fresh produce used in delicious sauces, salads and stir fries have many drawing garden plot plans and even starting seeds for future transplanting. Tabletop gardens are a fun and decorative way to expand into new planting opportunities.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Buying a foreclosure or short sale with confidence

Buyers are still clamoring for real estate deals in this turbulent market. Foreclosures and short sales offer some of the best bargains, but also have a higher risk level. Still, more than four in five adults think foreclosures and short sales can be good deals, according to a recent American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) survey.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Big design ideas for small kitchen spaces

Bigger isn't always better in the real estate world, and what's more, it's not always possible. With more baby boomers downsizing from McMansions to smaller, more manageable houses, and a growing number of people opting to rent rather than buy, many families are looking for new ways to decorate, design and work with smaller spaces.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Fannie Mae names Mayopoulos as new CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) - Timothy Mayopoulos, the general counsel of Fannie Mae, will be the next CEO of the government-controlled mortgage giant.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage drops to record-low 3.67%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages this week fell to fresh record lows for the sixth straight week. Cheap mortgages continue to help boost prospects for home sales this year.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Dangers of downsizing to cut debt

DEAR BENNY: I am 58 years old and married. My total household income is less than $50,000. I have no mortgage; however, I do have a line of credit with $130,000 owed.

June 07, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Top kitchen upgrades

Nowhere else in the home must design and function marry as harmoniously as in the kitchen. The most-used room in the house is also the one where we spend the most work and leisure time, the one that gets the most scrutiny from potential buyers and the spot where most renovation dollars get spent.

June 07, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Foreclosure mess is slowly improving older Manteca housing stock

Here's a silver lining to the foreclosure crisis: There's anecdotal evidence it is leading to the improvement of older housing stock in Manteca.

June 01, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Early season gardening tricks to help garden grow faster

Warm weather begs green thumbs across the country to break out their gardening gloves and till the soil for the season's plantings. Whether this is your first year tending a home garden or it's something you've been doing for decades, gardening offers many rewards, including time spent outdoors, the ability to feel closer to Mother Nature, and of course, the fresh fare plucked just steps from your kitchen.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Upgrades that scream ‘luxury’ with less expensive price tags

Hand-planed, reclaimed hardwood floors? Beautiful but pricey. Custom drapery? The cost can be blinding. When it comes to home decorating, it's easy to blow your budget on one or two upgrades - and maybe that would be OK if those improvements also amped up the drama in your decor. Too often, however, costly decorating ploys disappoint, wearing out or becoming dated before you've paid off the financing.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Supply crunch sends California existing home sales drop to 4-year August low

IRVINE (AP) - The number of homes sold in California fell to the lowest level for an August in four years as a supply crunch pushed prices higher and kept homes out of reach for many buyers, a real estate research company reported Thursday.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


COMPLETE PACKAGE

River Islands at Lathrop - situated to become the most high-profile community development in the 209 for the next 20 years - is marking its grand opening today.

September 05, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Simple home updates are environmentally friendly

Green living not only helps the environment, it helps your pocketbook. When making upgrades to your home - whether it's replacing a light bulb or a total living room makeover - incorporate energy-efficient and repurposed materials to make your living space more environmentally friendly.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Modern man cave musts for you to keep in mind

Whether in a workshop, garden or garage, American men have always enjoyed their personal spaces. With the rise of flat-screen technology, having a "man cave" became an official home improvement trend. In fact, a 2013 survey by online retailer Newegg found that more than half of American homes now have a man cave. Now, after more than a decade of partying, man caves have matured.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Celebrate fall patio season via elegant outdoor updates

Fall patio season is upon us, which means hosting family and friends for warm-weather gatherings and barbecues. Don't fret; outdoor events don't have to break the bank. With just a bit of creative vision and DIY savvy, you'll have an al fresco affair to remember in no time at all.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Upgrades that scream ‘luxury’ are cheaper-than-you-think

Hand-planed, reclaimed hardwood floors? Beautiful but pricey. Custom drapery? The cost can be blinding. When it comes to home decorating, it's easy to blow your budget on one or two upgrades - and maybe that would be OK if those improvements also amped up the drama in your decor. Too often, however, costly decorating ploys disappoint, wearing out or becoming dated before you've paid off the financing.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Plenty of light! Feds selling off lighthouses

YORK, Maine (AP) - Lighthouses for sale! Actually, lots of lighthouses for free.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate steady

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average 30-year U.S. mortgage rate this week remained at a 52-week low of 4.10 percent for the third straight week.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


BUYING FOR ONE

Here's a trend that might catch you off-guard: Upwards of one in six new homebuyers in Manteca are single.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Do’s & don’ts for making your tile project perfect

When you add a tile or natural stone surface to the kitchen or bathroom, it transforms each space with a fresh, clean and customized look. Many homeowners often dream about adding a backsplash or replacing a floor, but never complete the project because they can't decide on the right look, become mentally exhausted by the thought of doing the project or don't know how to accomplish it themselves.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Backyard projects to help create treasured sanctuary

You love the days when you can go home from work, open the windows and enjoy dinner out on the deck. And it sure isn't hard to rise early on those sunny weekend days to spend all day in the backyard. Those days are here, and it's time to get outside to spend time with the grill, the garden and the deck.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home renovation starts with good planning, good insurance

The United States is a country of renovators and remodelers, judging from the steady growth of home improvement projects across the nation in recent years.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


5 hot ways to update your home with wood

Wood may be known for its timeless visual appeal, but there's nothing static about the way people showcase it in American homes. Designers, homeowners and DIYers are re-discovering the warmth and beauty of wood. From inventive new uses to re-interpretations of existing styles, they're finding creative ways to use wood throughout the home.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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