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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Recoup ‘life estate’ maintenance costs

DEAR BENNY: We have an unusual situation. When my dad died, he left a life estate in a house/rented duplex to his widow. My sister and I have managed the duplex for 12 years, with all income going for repairs and any surplus to the widow. We would like to be done with it. His widow does not want to move.

July 23, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Long-time renter ahead by owning

She's a single woman in Manteca in her 50s.

July 23, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Turn to nature for inspiration when revitalizing tired interiors

The colors are blooming outside and chances are you're feeling inspired to add some color inside your home as well. Using nature as your guide, there are some quick and easy ways to refresh your home's interior.

July 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Marriage of natural light & right colors works wonders for home decor

Mother Nature is a master decorator. In summer, she dresses the world in lush greens and vibrant floral hues. And in every season, natural light is one of her most powerful designer touches.

July 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Avoid tax bite while saving brother’s house

DEAR BENNY: My brother bought his home about 15 years ago. He holds title only in his name, as a "single man." He lost his job a couple of years ago. He is older and is having a difficult time getting rehired. Long story short: He is now in arrears (18 months), owes escrow for taxes and insurance payments, and is facing foreclosure. His lack of employment is presenting a problem getting loan modifications or refinancing.

July 16, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Turn-Key event offers big value

Woodside Homes is celebrating the start of its Turn-Key sales event this weekend, allowing homebuyers to unlock their choice of instant upgrades or assistance with interest rate buydowns or closing costs.

July 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Set the scene for outdoor entertaining

It's not hard to get people to come to an outdoor gathering on a warm summer's evening, and it should be just as easy to pull together a memorable affair. To make the most of your time and budget, look for low-maintenance solutions that you can use throughout the season - and in summers yet to come. From the dishes you serve to the way you decorate, the less work you have to do, the more you'll be able to enjoy the time with your guests.

July 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Next-generation technologies

When new technology makes its way into home design, often it enters through the kitchen. The heart of the home is also the portal for innovation, and many of the technologies that we now use throughout our homes were first applied in the kitchen.

July 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


The wrong way to sell a time share

DEAR BENNY: I recently read your suggestions on how to get rid of a time share. You suggested attempting to give your time share back to the company with a "deed in lieu," but said that it probably won't work. You are right. It did not work. However, I found a broker who was willing to take the time share off my hands for $3,000. Is this the only other way to rid oneself of this burden? By paying money to give something away?

July 09, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Get ready for a 1% gain in resale housing prices

Manteca median prices should be up by 1 percent in value by summer's end.

June 25, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Outdoor summer fun

The warmer months provide numerous opportunities for hosting outdoor events: birthday parties, barbecues, backyard campouts, weddings or a gathering for watching fireworks on the Fourth of July - the list is endless. Even when just hosting a fun neighborhood picnic or ice cream social, it's important to get the outdoor living space looking its best for the big day.

June 25, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


File civil lawsuit for property damage?

DEAR BENNY: While we were out of town, my neighbor and a well installer destroyed 400 square feet of my lawn, leaving us with ruts, dirt piles and dead sod. In addition, they buried 40 linear feet of water pipe and electrical cable on our land without our permission. I have a recent land survey to validate our claims.

June 25, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Tips to save on home energy costs

Summer's sizzling temperatures can make it difficult to keep your home comfortable, and even more difficult to keep up with the higher utility bills that often come with it. Yet even a few well-chosen improvements can make a big difference in home comfort and energy efficiency. Here are some ways to save on energy costs this season.

June 25, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Easy improvements equal dramatic facelift

Home improvement projects don't need to be difficult, and with the right tools and attitude, they can be exciting as you watch your house transform. Summer is the perfect time to look at your home to-do list and get going. Here are some easy ideas you can get started on today.

June 25, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Downsize in space, upgrade in quality of life

Smaller homes equal better quality of living these days. Many homeowners are downsizing the space they occupy, but are upgrading and customizing that space to make it better fit their lifestyle.

June 18, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate slips to 4.28 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell after three weeks of increases, edging closer to historically low levels.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Sowing the seeds of spring: Start your garden indoors

While cooler temperatures slowly fade, gardeners across the country eagerly await the arrival of spring - and the chance to get outdoors and grow something. If gardening is your passion, you don't have to wait until the weather is perfect to get started. In fact, working ahead by growing your own seedlings is a great way to ensure your garden is successful throughout the warmer months.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Eight tips to get your lawn mower ready for optimum use this spring

With spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to tune up your lawn mower for the season ahead. A yearly tune-up is important to ensure all parts of your mower are functioning properly and safely. Use these eight tips to rev up your engine and get your mower ready for spring:

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Six tips for growing lawns

To help get your lawn ready for use and enjoyment this season, the Craftsman brand has developed the following tips to ensure that your lawn kicks grass, takes names and becomes the envy of neighbors everywhere.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Tiny houses help address nation’s homeless problem

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - While tiny houses have been attractive for those wanting to downsize or simplify their lives for financial or environmental reasons, there's another population benefiting from the small-dwelling movement: the homeless.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Nix the neutrals: Make a new home your own

When selling a house, the mantra for most is neutral, neutral, neutral. To help potential new owners envision themselves moving in, real estate experts remind sellers to de-personalize their homes. That means removing family photos and mementos and replacing favorite color schemes with more vanilla shades and hues. So as a new homeowner, how do you begin to de-neutralize your new house to make it your new home?

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices dip for second straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices fell for the second straight month in December as brutally cold weather, tight supply and higher costs slowed sales.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Solid new-home sales lift hopes for housing market

WASHINGTON (AP) - A surprisingly strong pace of new-home sales last month has boosted hopes that the spring buying season will be solid enough to lift the overall economy.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate reaches 4.37 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose for a third straight week as new data showed a surprisingly strong pace of new-home sales last month. Rates still remain near historically low levels.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Freddie Mac posts $8.6B profit in 4Q

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mortgage giant Freddie Mac posted net income of $8.6 billion for the October through December period, its ninth straight profitable quarter. Earnings were boosted by the continued rise in home prices, which reduced the amounts the company had to set aside to cover losses on mortgages.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Oscar horse race to be a photo finish

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Many of the winners who will take home an Oscar on Sunday have long been forecast, their triumph made seemingly self-evident after months of anticipation. That is, except for one little category: best picture.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


ND home prices soar with oil boom

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's oil boom isn't just driving up housing prices at the epicenter. Getting a roof overhead is getting more expensive throughout the state, with the average value of a home sold last year topping $200,000 - up more than 20 percent from 2011, a real estate trade group says.

February 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Builder confidence sinks in February

NMEW YORK (AP) - U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market declined sharply this month as the severe weather battering much of the nation keeps many would-be buyers at home.

February 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Put your decorating fears to bed by employing the latest color trends

The bedroom is an oasis. It's the place where you wake up, energized and ready to start the day, as well as where you slip away and unwind from the day's activities. This is the one room that is truly yours, so make sure it's a reflection of your personality.

February 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Put your decorating fears to bed by employing the latest color trends

The bedroom is an oasis. It's the place where you wake up, energized and ready to start the day, as well as where you slip away and unwind from the day's activities. This is the one room that is truly yours, so make sure it's a reflection of your personality.

February 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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