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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Simple things for a fresh new look for your home in 2012

New Year's is a time when many people commit to starting fresh or developing some positive changes in their lives. As you consider what you will change in 2012, think about where you spend the majority of your time. Your surroundings can greatly influence your mood and actions, and a refreshed interior can help you step forward into a new and improved lifestyle. Enjoying life more in 2012 could start with just a few simple updates to your home.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Claiming $500K tax break after spouse dies

DEAR BENNY: My husband died this past August. We owned and lived in our house for more than 15 years, but now I want to sell. Am I eligible for the up-to-$500,000 exclusion of any profit that I will make? --Annie

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


Bathroom remodeling ideas: From small to total overhaul that can save money

Ready to give your bathroom a facelift, but can't decide what changes to make? From tubs to toilets to tile, the sky is the limit when it comes to bathroom renovations, even if budget is not.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Down payment assistance available to buyers of new homes to cover school fees

The California Housing Finance Agency is now offering the Schools Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance program to qualified buyers of newly constructed homes. With home prices and mortgage interest rates already near all-time lows, the down payment assistance increases the affordability of new homes even more for qualified buyers.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Wells Fargo to help area customers facing mortgage payment challenges

STOCKTON - Wells Fargo & Company is hosting a free Home Preservation Workshop in Stockton for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, Wachovia Mortgage and Wells Fargo Home Equity customers facing financial hardships.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Sellers have recourse when buyers back out

DEAR BENNY: We recently had a contract to sell our home to a "cash" buyer. He and his wife were allegedly inheriting a large sum of money, and their Realtor confirmed that she had seen the bank account statement confirming a "vast sum of money," reportedly well in excess of our contract price.

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


Installing gas fireplaces

A gas fireplace can add ambiance and warmth to any room, and with the cold weather, you might be dreaming of adding one in your home. Because purchasing a fireplace is not something we do every day, there are some important things to consider.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Help protect your home from rodents this winter

The cold temperatures are settling in for the winter months, and if you're not careful, rodents can also settle into your home. Your house - especially your kitchen - offers everything rats and mice are looking for: food, water and warmth.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Save money with energy efficiency tips

Saving money is on everyone's mind this winter season. Between the holiday expenses, colder temperatures and tight budgets, finding ways to reduce costs can be a bit of a challenge. If you're looking for ways to save, look at your home, and see if you can improve on your energy efficiency - thereby keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Easy ways to warm up your home decor

As the chill of winter sets in, your home interior may be lacking the warmth and comfort you'd prefer. Fortunately, creating an inviting atmosphere does not require huge amounts of time or money. And you don't need to be a professional interior designer - or even have experience in decorating - to transform your home into a welcoming haven. To bring your decor into the season and give your home noticeable appeal, follow a few easy tips.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Smart ways to use credit when redecorating

When your redecorating project is done, you want everyone who sees it to think it looks like a million bucks. But woe to your wallet - and possibly your credit - if you overspend to achieve that look.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


More affordable to buy in SJ Valley

The Northern San Joaquin Valley was flying high five years ago.

December 09, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Sidestep penalty for early mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I was at the closing table for my condo purchase only to discover that there was a penalty for early payoff. I called the bank immediately and they told me to "take it or leave it."

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


Top home decor trends for 2012

From warm woods and creative colors to memorable murals and tailored textures, interior designers and industry experts predict 2012 will offer a multitude of options for those interested in giving their homes a fresh look. Even better for today's cost-conscious consumers is that many of the trends are easy and inexpensive.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Winter: Time to plan outdoor updates

Does the bitter cold weather have you dreaming of warm days spending time with friends and family in your backyard? The cold may keep us indoors, but professionals in the landscape and remodeling industry are still thinking about the outdoors and use the winter months to plan spring projects, and so should you.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


How bad would it be without Prop. 13?

Ah, the good old days before Proposition 13.

July 18, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


GOING TO THE DOGS

LOS ANGELES (AP) - These homes are set apart by their amenities - for dogs.

July 18, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Mowers, chain saws & high- ethanol gas: safety tips

Whether you're beautifying your landscape with a lawn mower and hedge trimmer or using a chain saw to clear space for that deck you've always dreamed of, it's important to take proper care when using outdoor power equipment. Safety measures help protect both the equipment and the people using it.

July 18, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Energy-efficient home upgrades that can also save you money

It's the perfect time to think green.

July 18, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Chic chalet: Give your kitchen a stunning mountain makeover

Your kitchen doesn't need a Matterhorn vista to stay on top of the latest "chalet chic" design trend. It's easier than you think to get this style by mixing rustic pieces with modern touches.

July 18, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Tricks to instantly refresh your home design for entertaining

Summer is the ideal time to host events at home with family and friends. But is your home ready for summer soirees? The kitchen is the heart of the home and where people naturally congregate, so it's important it showcases your signature style and reflects the relaxed feeling of the summer season.

July 18, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Downside of low rates? Owners reluctant to sell

WASHINGTON (AP) - Would-be home sellers across the country are grappling with a once-in-a-lifetime problem: They have mortgage rates so absurdly low it would hurt them financially to sell.

July 18, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Ripon Garden Club plans tour of Wild Blooms Flower & Produce

The Ripon Garden Club is planning a field trip on Wednesday, Aug. 6, at 9 a.m. at Wild Blooms Flower & Produce Farm, 22828 North Ripon Road, Ripon.

July 18, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


How can she force a sale of properties held jointly with ex?

Q: I have been divorced since 2010, and my ex still has 2 properties owned jointly with me. Is it at all possible that I can force the sale of these properties. Kay.

July 11, 2014 | Benny L. Kass | HOME SCENE


RIVER ISLAND’S APPEAL

River Islands at Lathrop - the largest ever planned community in the Northern San Joaquin Valley - is off to a strong start.

July 11, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Build a lasting memory with backyard project

There are regular backyard projects and then there are those special backyard projects that bring families closer together, both during the construction and while enjoying the finished piece.

July 11, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


A sure-footed way to choose new flooring

When spring-cleaning uncovers a worn floor it may be time to consider purchasing a new one, especially if you're selling your home in the near future. A new floor, like refreshed paint and updated fixtures, makes a home more enjoyable to live in as well as more marketable.

July 11, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Modern art creation, display evolves with new technology

Can you imagine a museum without paintings? Technology has impacted society in countless ways but many overlook its impact on the arts. The very phrase "the arts" might evoke images of oils, watercolors or sculpture but technology is inspiring a whole new generation of artists who are using new mediums to create their masterpieces.

July 11, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rate rises to 4.15 pct

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages edged up slightly this week, remaining near historically low levels.

July 11, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Driveways to mailboxes are overlooked for curb appeal

Selling or staying, it makes no difference - everyone wants a home that looks great from the curb. Curb appeal comes together when all the elements of a home's facade are in good shape and working together. Driveways that are cracked or pitted with potholes, dingy front doors and other seemingly minor complaints like a shabby, scuffed mailbox, can all significantly detract from a home's overall curb appeal.

July 11, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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