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Designing your home office for maximum comfort & productivity

There's no doubt that we're a connected society - and connected like never before through email, social networks, video conference technology, instant messaging, smart phones, the list goes on. While this influx in connectivity has made it easier to do business, it has also blurred the lines between work and home life, resulting with many of us working in our homes at least a few hours each week. If your kitchen countertop has become your go-to place for paying bills, responding to emails and conducting business, it may be time to consider adding a dedicated office space in your ...

March 22, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Five easy spring cleaning tips

Spring is here, which means one thing: it's time to get your home in tip-top shape. By completing a few easy tasks, you can spend more time soaking up the sun and less time on interior projects. Here are five ways to spruce up your home this spring to prepare for a relaxing summer - and give your home that "spring cleaning" feel without spending the entire spring, well, cleaning.

March 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Some states saw spike in foreclosures

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Foreclosure activity surged last month across about half of the nation's states, as banks tackled a backlog of homes with mortgages that had gone unpaid yet remained in limbo due to delays stemming from foreclosure-abuse claims.

March 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Program helps people become homeowners

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - Single mother Melissa Davis used to live in public housing but dreamed of owning her own home.

March 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year loan rises to 3.92%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate in the U.S. on the 30-year fixed mortgage hovered near historic lows this week, making home-buying and refinancing more attractive to those who can qualify.

March 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Changes in the housing Changes in the housing market

Last week I talked about how I am seeing more "for sale" signs coming out on properties in my area. Reports around the country are similar to mine and it appears that homeowners who have been waiting to sell, are beginning to believe that the market is turning and that now is time to test the waters.

March 15, 2012 | By DEBORAH ROMERO Special to the Bulletin | HOME SCENE


Must-knows before selling home to daughter

DEAR BENNY: I own two properties and would like to sell my current residence to my daughter and her husband, and move into the other. Its assessed tax value is about $150,000, but I'd like to sell it to them for about $200,000 interest-free. Both my houses are paid off so I don't need any down payment from them.

March 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Bank of America to reduce loans for 200K homeowners

NEW YORK (AP) - Bank of America is providing mortgage relief to about 200,000 homeowners.

March 15, 2012 | The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Home improvements that pay off big

It's beautiful outside and the last thing you want to do is spend all of your spare time working on your home when you could be playing or spending time with loved ones.

March 15, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Average rate on 30-year mortgage still a bargain dipping to 3.88 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fixed-rate mortgages remain a bargain at the start of the spring-buying season: The average rate on the 30-year mortgage dipped this week, while the 15-year loan fell to a new record low.

March 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Woodside Homes begins spring fling bonus event

Woodside Homes celebrated the start of its Spring Fling Bonus sales event last weekend, giving buyers their choice of five valuable move-in bonuses with the purchase of a new home.

March 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Home-readiness tips for sports fans

As the weather gets warmer, fans anxiously wait for their favorite sport to take center stage. College basketball fans fill out their brackets, golfers dust off their clubs and dream about green jackets, baseball diamonds are prepped for opening day and the professional basketball playoff run starts heating up.

March 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Obama unveils another housing plan

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is aiming mortgage relief at members of the military as well as homeowners with government-insured loans, the administration's latest efforts to address a persistent housing crisis.

March 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Q&A on administration's latest mortgage-aid plan

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is offering some relief to homeowners who have government-backed mortgages. Under a program President Barack Obama unveiled Tuesday, the government would cut the fees it charges to insure those borrowers.

March 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


The bottom line: It is a good time to jump into market

The European Debt crisis has been noticeably absent from the news this week. No the crisis is not solved…however it does seem like the imminent reports of a Greek debt default have gone away. The stock market investors don't know what to do with themselves. The market continues to trade within a very narrow range. Gas prices are hurting at the pump but not enough to really have consumers changing their spending habits.

March 08, 2012 | By DEBORAH ROMERO Special to the Bulletin | 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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