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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Rethinking the yard in drought-stricken regions

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Texans watched disaster unfold slowly last year as a historic drought took a withering toll across the region.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Some money from mortgage settlement to be diverted

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The ink wasn't even dry on a settlement with the nation's top mortgage lenders when Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon laid claim to a chunk of the money to avert a huge budget cut for public colleges and universities.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Good economic news continues to trickle out

The economic recovery was once again reinforced last week with the majority of data continuing to point towards growth. Retail Sales rose a solid .7% showing that consumers are continuing to increase spending long after the holiday season has ended.

February 23, 2012 | By DEBORAH ROMERO Special to the Bulletin | HOME SCENE


Rising sales point to better year for housing

WASHINGTON (AP) - The housing market is flashing signs of health ahead of the spring-buying season.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.95%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage jumped after standing pat for three straight weeks at record lows. But the rate stayed below 4 percent for the 12th straight week, keeping home-buying and refinancing attractive for those who can qualify.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Seniors: Avoid lump-sum mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I am 74 and recently have been contemplating paying off my condo mortgage. The remainder of the mortgage is $98,000 at 6 percent. Can you help me through this? On the surface it seems like a good idea, but I'm not aware of all the particulars. I am in good health and will not need the $98,000 in the near future. --Dee Dee

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Housing agency could run out of money in 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Housing Administration could run out of money over the next year and require a $700 million cash infusion from the Treasury Department to stay afloat, according to the Obama administration's budget request sent Monday to Congress.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Fewer Americans at risk of foreclosure in fourth quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans at risk of foreclosure is declining, as more homeowners climb out of debt and find steady work.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage stays at record 3.87 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage held steady at a record low for a third straight week, offering more incentive to those looking to buy a home or refinance.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Homebuilder optimism rises for 5th straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. homebuilders are gradually growing more optimistic about the depressed housing market and believe homes sales could pick up sharply when the spring buying season begins.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Housing starts rise modestly to start new year

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction of single-family homes cooled off slightly in January after surging in the final month last year. But a rise in permits suggests builders are growing more confident that more buyers are ready to come off the sidelines.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Foreclosure activity edges higher in January

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Banks took back more U.S. homes in January than in the previous month, the latest sign that foreclosures are accelerating after slowing sharply last year while lenders sorted out foreclosure-abuse claims.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Beware of 'force-placed' hazard insurance

DEAR BENNY: My wife and I closed on a short-sale house in Florida back in 2010. We paid "in full" the homeowners and flood insurance even before we took title to the property. Once we became the owner of the property, confusion started when the insurance agent apparently (and incorrectly) advised the lender that we did not have the necessary insurance coverage.

February 16, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


$26 billion settlement between banks, states not what it seems

The big headline announced this month is the $26 settlement reached between the nation's five largest banks and 49 state attorney generals. The settlement is to compensate and assist homeowners that have been either foreclosed on improperly, or homeowners that owe significantly more than the value of their home.

February 16, 2012 | By DEBORAH ROMERO Mortgage Loan Officer | HOME SCENE


10 things to keep in mind when renting

Rent vs. own? More Americans are wrestling with that question as the economy continues its slow recovery. Even though homes are selling at record lows, many Americans are choosing to rent instead, maintaining their mobility and financial flexibility until the economy, as well as their job prospects, improve.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Affordable entertaining ideas for holiday parties

The holidays are coming up quickly, and that means there's plenty of reason to celebrate. Whether you're throwing a party for the first time or you're continuing a long-running annual tradition, hosting a festive celebration with friends and family is a lot of work and always worth it. This year, take your party to the next level to truly impress your guests - without breaking the bank.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Five home design tips on layering from professionals

Designers are often drawn to a simple, modern look - however, layering unique patterns and textures in the home is a quickly growing trend. Keep your space harmonized, yet distinct, with the tips outlined below.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


THE ENTERTAINER

Looking for a home that does more than put on a good facade from the curb?

November 14, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Get a jump on this year’s predicted polar vortex

Last winter's polar vortex not only affected the majority of the country with subfreezing temperatures, but wreaked havoc on utility bills. In fact, consumers in 13 states and the District of Columbia used enough energy in January to capture eight of the 10 highest winter demand days on record, according to PJM Interconnection, the electricity grid operator. According to the Farmers' Almanac and other weather predictors, a polar vortex is expected to rear its ugly head again this winter.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Tips on how to make your bathroom shower sing

It's where some of your best ideas are born, and where you unwind - or get ready - for the day. And although your current shower might be fine, why not make it fabulous? Here are the latest trends and products to create a fantastic shower experience.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Subprime services firm abandons disputed fees

WASHINGTON (AP) - A company with ties to the nation's largest overseer of subprime mortgages announced under pressure Wednesday it will stop collecting controversial insurance fees from homeowners whose properties were under foreclosure. The announcement came three months after The Associated Press highlighted its business practices.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


30-year loan rate slips to 4.01 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged lower this week, approaching their lows for the year. The benchmark 30-year loan rate hovered near 4 percent.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


ORIGINAL OWNERS

Its rare today in Manteca to find a newer home with four bedrooms under $150 a square-foot that is in move-in condition in a desirable neighborhood.

November 07, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Timely solutions to get your house holiday ready

The fun chaos of the holidays is right around the corner. Family gatherings to plan, delicious meals to prepare, gifts to find and purchase, and a house to decorate ... the list goes on!

November 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Timely solutions to get your house holiday ready

The fun chaos of the holidays is right around the corner. Family gatherings to plan, delicious meals to prepare, gifts to find and purchase, and a house to decorate ... the list goes on!

November 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Say bye-bye to bathroom remodeling blues with 5 tips

Beautifying your bathroom sounds exciting but oftentimes renovation plans begin with good intentions and end up a long, costly nightmare. The national average cost for a bathroom remodel is $10,142, according to the Cost Guide from HomeAdvisor.com. That's a hefty investment but one that can easily be reduced with a simple refresh of the space instead. Here are five cost-effective updates you can make to your bathroom in as little as a weekend.

November 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Six yard projects you shouldn’t skip this fall

When it comes to caring for your yard, maintenance is crucial - especially during the fall when it needs to recover from the wear and tear of summer and prepare for winter's harsh conditions. Knowing what your lawn and garden needs from season to season not only makes it easier for you to stay organized with your list of backyard to-do's, but it also allows you to identify and treat any problems before they become bigger issues down the road.

November 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Five common weatherization myths taken apart and busted

Last winter's visit from the polar vortex made for bone-chilling blizzards and teeth-chattering temperatures. If this year is anything like the last, drafty homes and high thermostat settings will accompany the freezing weather. Unfortunately, many homeowners get cold feet when it comes to weatherizing their homes, citing various reasons why they don't just get it done. Here are five common weatherizing myths you should overcome to help you get ready this winter:

November 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rate up to 4.02 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates rose this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan crawling back over 4 percent. It was the second straight week of increases in rates after they had fallen for five weeks amid concern over global economic weakness.

November 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


SHOP AROUND

Beware of e-lenders and unsolicited junk mail from boiler room mortgage lenders bearing gifts of lower mortgage payments.

October 31, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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