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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


A warning about unpaid real estate taxes

DEAR BENNY: Subsequent to the purchase/settlement of my condo, I began receiving claims of delinquent real estate taxes that the seller had neglected to pay from a previous year, prior to my purchase of the property. I notified my settlement agent, who asked that the seller look into the matter, and I have emailed the seller to see what he had done about it.

October 07, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Creating a dream bedroom for your child

Just about every child wishes for a dream bedroom, but it takes inspiration to transform four white walls into a fairytale princess room or tree house hideaway. Fortunately, you don't have to be an interior designer or skilled craftsman to become a hero. A little family compromising, combined with some simple painting techniques, can go a long way in creating a fun, personalized design that kids love - and parents can live with over time.

October 07, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Fall/winter home decorating tips

Are you over orange as an autumn decorating accent? Bored with relying on balsam and fir touches to evoke a holiday spirit in your home? If cooler weather and the coming holidays have you looking for new decorating ideas, here are some trends that will be heating up interior design this year:

September 30, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


No-interest loan comes with tax bite

DEAR BENNY: My wife and I want to give our two grown children an interest-free loan for $360,000. They currently have a 15-year fixed 5 percent loan for this amount for a second home they both enjoy. With our given money they can immediately pay off the bank loan and pay us back $4,587 per month for approximately 6.5 years. The $4,587 is their current monthly payment. Staying with the bank loan, they would fully pay it off in seven years and 10 months. Paying the loan off 16 months early will represent a savings to ...

September 30, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Winterize your home for long-term payback

You may not want to think about it, but winter will be here again before you know it. Of course, winter means it's time to turn the heat back on, which can be a strain on your home energy budget.

September 30, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Protecting young children in the home

When your child skins her knee or bumps her head, how do you comfort her? With a kiss and a hug? No matter how loving and careful you are, it's impossible to shield your children from all of life's little injuries.

September 30, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Time for mortgage lending to go back to the future

Back to the future - that is exactly what the government needs to do.

September 23, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Designing with an exceptional shower

For some of us, the shower is a personal sanctuary - the only place and time of the day to unwind and not be bothered by anything from the outside world. So why not make an exceptional shower the centerpiece of your next bathroom remodel? Utilize the latest in style - and even technology - to create the ultimate retreat.

September 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Does foreclosure wipe out all liens?

DEAR BENNY: In a recent column you said that "a foreclosure by a first-trust (lender) will wipe out any subordinate liens." But that is not necessarily the case, is it?

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


‘Know your rights’ housing day Oct. 8

STOCKTON - The California Rural Legal Assistance is holding a free clinic that will provide legal information to those who are at risk of eviction, foreclosure or housing discrimination.

September 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Creating a year-round oasis in your backyard

When winter approaches, do you stow the grill and cover the patio furniture, wishing there was some way you could continue to enjoy your outdoor living space all year? If so, you're not alone.

September 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Artful design pairings create a culinary paradise

Just as matching food with the right wine can elevate a simple meal to the level of a culinary experience, artfully pairing design elements in your kitchen can turn a utilitarian room into a chef's paradise.

September 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Stockton, Modesto homes $58,000 lower than Manteca

Mountain House - ballyhooed as San Joaquin's first affordable housing community in the late 1990s when massive zoning changes were needed to make it happen - is anything but even four years into the foreclosure debacle.

September 17, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Buy new, buy now: ‘Turn-key’ sales event

With the success of more than 200 homes sold since the Woodside Homes "Turn-Key" sales event began in mid-July, the builder is extending the celebration through September 30. As part of the promotion, homebuyers enjoy a selection of any two of the available bonuses, including: a designer-coordinated package of a new stainless steel side-by-side refrigerator, washer, dryer and window coverings; backyard landscaping; or 30-year fixed rate financing at a below-market rate of just 3.75 percent.

September 10, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Beware of hidden foreclosure fees

DEAR BENNY: I recently was the successful bidder on a condo. The closing was within 15 days of the sale, and a special warranty deed was conveyed for the amount of my bid. The closing agent told me after the closing that I had signed a memorandum of foreclosure agreeing to reimburse the seller for prepaid taxes and all amounts claimed owing by the condominium association.

September 03, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Late-payment rate on mortgages declines in 2Q, lowest in 6 years

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fewer U.S. homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, a trend that has reduced the late-payment rate on home loans to the lowest level in six years, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Ways to discover the design potential of the ‘Fifth wall’

With autumn just a few short weeks away, many people will soon spend less time on the patio and more time within four walls. Actually, five walls if you include the ceiling.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


DEL WEBB LIFESTYLE

The appeal of Del Webb at Woodbridge goes beyond the obvious.

August 15, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Three tips for converting an attic into living space

Moving up - vacating your current, smallish home for a larger, roomier abode - was the American way before the Great Recession. Now that the economy is humming again, at least some of the people who stayed put during those lean years will be looking to move into larger, nicer homes this summer. High demand and low inventory, however, may leave many with nowhere to go. Some will rediscover a time-honored space-gaining technique: attic conversion.

August 15, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Making your home sensational for summer outdoor living

Summer is here and this is the time when you want to be outside as much as possible, soak up the sun, eat amazing food and enjoy the company of family and friends. You'll also see more of your home's exterior on days like this than any other time of the year so this is also a great time to complete those outdoor projects. In fact, 60 percent of homeowners will accomplish a summer home improvement project this year according to survey data from the Zillow Digs Summer Home Improvement Trend and Spending Survey.

August 15, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Family-friendly bathroom renovations to consider

Mom rules the media room, Johnny loves the basement workshop and the kitchen is Dad's domain. Gender roles notwithstanding, each family member has one room where he or she enjoys spending more time. One room, however, is equally used and loved - or reviled - by all: the bathroom.

August 15, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Simple ideas to refresh your home’s entryway

Most people enter their home through the garage or backdoor, forgetting how the front entrance looks to neighbors and guests. Your front door is often the first thing others notice about your home. That's why it's key to make a positive first impression.

August 15, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


California home sales decline amid tight real estate market

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales declined in July compared to the same time last year as buyers struggled to find something they could afford in the tight market, a research firm said Thursday.

August 15, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average year mortgage rate at 4.12 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, approaching their lows for the year.

August 15, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


CREDIT SCORES

NEW YORK (AP) - There are changes coming to FICO, a broadly used credit score, that may mean higher credit scores for many consumers. Banks, credit card issuers, auto lenders and other businesses use those scores to decide whether to lend to consumers and how much interest to charge them. A higher score could get you better terms on loans for cars and homes.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rate at 4.14 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but remained near their lows for the year.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Keep them happy & studying: Creating a kid-friendly space

Would a great study space ease your child's transition from summer to school? Perhaps an awesome lounge area could convince your teens - and all their friends - that your house is the best hangout spot ever. Whatever your objectives, a few design and decorating tricks can help you create a kid-friendly space in your home.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Five fixes for kitchens that get compliments

No matter if you're an aspiring chef or TV dinner connoisseur ... if the look of your kitchen makes you want to dine out - it may be time for an upgrade. The kitchen should be the heart of your home: it's where you entertain, hold family meetings and even pay bills, so why not take it from "make-do" to "magnificent?"

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Must-have technology makes bathrooms healthier & safer

Think home technology begins with your wireless, programmable thermostat and ends with the high-definition, 3-D, web-enabled flat-screen TV with surround sound? Think again - whole home technology means using leading-edge devices to improve life in every room of the house, including the bathroom.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Season-extending gardening tips for fall

Warm weather, continued care and robust plants have yielded a bounty of beautiful, fresh vegetables - and personal satisfaction - from your garden this season. As the weather cools and fall approaches, it is not time to hang up your hat, gloves and trowel for the year. Autumn provides optimum weather and ample opportunity to keep growing and harvesting delicious, healthy produce well into the season.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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