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Archive By Section - 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


Getting more out of rooms

Did you ever watch a home improvement show team transform a drab room into something spectacular using a shoestring budget and less time than it takes you to clean out your closet? Ever wonder how they did it? Here's the secret: they cheat. And you can too.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Flex is the word at Oakwood Shores

Oakwood Shores 2.0 isn't simply an upgrade of the initial gated lakefront community that took major nosedive during the collapse of the housing bubble.

February 09, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Trends for spring home improvement projects

Warmer temperatures, green grass and increased daylight help shake off the winter blues and inspire home and yard improvements to spruce up your surroundings.

February 09, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Create a dream summer outdoor living space

Beat the winter blues by taking the first steps to create a summer backyard oasis. By preparing now, you'll be ready to install - and enjoy - a dream deck once warmer weather arrives.

February 09, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


To rid your garden of weeds, focus on seeds

Every garden is filled with them: millions of unseen weeds. They are dormant seeds that lurk just below the soil surface, ready to spring to life with just the briefest exposure to light. Weeds can choke a garden, robbing it of space, nutrients and water. Allowing weeds to mature compounds the problem, as they are naturally prolific seed producers. They grow aggressively and can be tough to get rid of, because pulling weeds brings more weed seeds to the surface.

February 09, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Builders group sees pickup in housing this year

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The U.S. housing market will begin to mount a turnaround this year, building toward a solid recovery in 2013, according to a forecast issued Wednesday by the chief economist of a homebuilding industry trade group.

February 09, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage stays at record 3.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage stayed at a record low this week, providing some added incentive for those looking to buy a home or refinance.

February 09, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Is owner's title insurance worth the cost?

DEAR BENNY: We are getting ready to close on a home and there is a settlement fee of $685 for lender's title insurance and $683 for owner's title insurance. Must we pay both fees? --Phyllis

February 09, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


100-YEAR-OLD CRAFTSMAN

PASADENA . (AP) - My love of 100-year-old California Craftsman bungalows - those low-slung, early 20th century Arts and Crafts-era homes known for their clean, horizontal lines and sturdy woodwork - runs long and deep.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Curb energy loss with renovation investments

While homeowners may not immediately think of their attic as a major source of energy loss, the reality is that as much as 25 percent of the energy lost in the average American home occurs there. As the weather begins to get cooler, you may be inclined to increase the thermostat to maintain a warm and comfortable home. However, air leakage, caused by numerous gaps and cracks throughout your home's infrastructure, particularly the attic, can cause your HVAC equipment to work overtime and place a strain on your wallet every month.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


6 design trends to make your home’s style in 2015

As the new year kicks off, it's the premier time to refresh and refocus on certain aspects of your life ... and the home is no exception. Say goodbye to lackluster interiors as renowned interior designer and DIY television personality, Taniya Nayak, has forecasted the top trends for 2015 that will be sure to enhance and revive any home.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Pending home sales rise slightly

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rose modestly in November as a strengthening economy helped nudge some would-be homebuyers.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage edges up

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but the benchmark 30-year low remained very close to the 19-month low hit last week.

December 26, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Reverse mortgage can help seniors

Americans have learned a tough lesson: Your home is not your piggy bank. However, there is a reward for those who did build equity in their homes: In their senior years, their home can provide a monthly stream of tax-free income, or a lump sum of cash to spend as they wish, while remaining safely in their home. Or it can provide a source of financing for a new, smaller home.

December 26, 2014 | TERRY SAVAGE | HOME SCENE


FLAT TOPS TO McMANSIONS

It's little wonder that Ozzie was joined by Harriet in the work world.

December 26, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


What to look for in renovations

The kitchen is the focal point of any home. It's a place where you eat, congregate and celebrate life's big moments. If you are an empty-nester looking for the kitchen of your dreams, a parent seeking to match your kitchen to your growing family or you simply feel inspired to change things for the better, it's time to stop dreaming and start planning.

December 26, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


STAYING PUT

When considering a home renovation, think outside the box for design inspiration and setting the overall tone.

December 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Simple steps for protecting your home during holidays

When you think of the holidays, celebrations, presents and friends likely come to mind - not crime. Unfortunately, burglaries increase at this time of year, and your home could be a target. With a few simple safety precautions, you can protect your property, your family and your valuables now and well into the new year.

December 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Surprising big ticket bargains you can find at holiday time

Bargain hunting is practically a sport, especially during the holiday shopping season. Deloitte's 2014 annual holiday survey predicts the average American will drop nearly $1,300 this holiday season. With that level of spending in mind, planning to save real money elsewhere is crucial to managing a household's bottom line.

December 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Creating the perfect porch can be simple, low-maintenance

Your porch should be a warm, welcoming outdoor living space that offers comfort and helps make a house a home. Whether you want to remodel your porch from the ground up, or just give it a refreshing new look and feel, it's easier than you think to create a perfect porch.

December 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Timeless, trendy? Achieve both in your home decor

Are you looking for ways to update your home this new year? With so many fresh interior ideas available, it can be difficult to balance current design trends with classic styles for a look that is both of-the-moment and everlasting. Follow these guidelines to find a way to blend now and forever for a look you will love today and tomorrow.

December 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year loan rate falls to 3.80%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan rate reaching a new low for the year.

December 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home starts drop 1.6% in November

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction of new homes fell slightly in November, reflecting weakness in construction of single-family homes.

December 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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