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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Easy seasonal changes refresh homes

Spring's new growth and warm sunshine provide inspiration for renewal in our lives. It's a time to pack away the sweaters and boots for lighter layers and brimmed hats. Homeowners should embrace this same mindset - one where you pack away the heavy textures and colors of winter in favor of breezy fabrics and fun decor that inspire a fresh feeling in your house.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Average rate on 30-year mortgage down to 3.90% just above record low

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year mortgage edged down this week to hover again above record lows. Cheaper rates have spurred modest improvements in the battered housing market, but not enough to signal a recovery.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Sales contracts for homes rose 2 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January to the highest level in nearly two years, supporting the view that the housing market is gradually coming back.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Foreclosures comprised smaller slice of 2011 sales

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Bank-owned homes and short sales last year accounted for the smallest slice of overall sales in three years but still made up nearly a quarter of all U.S. homes sold in 2011.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Qualifying for $500K home-sale tax break

DEAR BENNY: My husband and I each have a trust, and our house is in my trust. We have lived in this house for 14 years. If we were to sell it, would we qualify for the $500,000 tax exemption? I understand each person is permitted $250,000, and a couple twice that amount. Does my trust make a difference, and if so, what should we do? --Arlene

March 01, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


‘Daylighting' improvements for homes

If your home will be on the market this spring, you're probably looking for every possible edge that will make it stand out to potential buyers. But even if you're staying put, you still want to make your home as attractive and valuable as your budget will allow.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


SJ Master Gardeners offer free workshops

The free monthly workshop program offered by the San Joaquin Master Gardeners at the Manteca Public Library is making a comeback following its initial successful run last year.

February 24, 2012 | Rose Albano Risso | HOME SCENE


Oakwood Shores making big splash with lifestyle, price & lakefront access

The next best thing in Manteca housing is here: Oakwood Shores.

February 24, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Watchdog: Limit Fannie, Freddie legal fees more

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. government regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must do a better job limiting legal expenses paid by the two mortgage giants to their former executives facing lawsuits, a new watchdog report says.

February 23, 2012 | | 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


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


AIM FOR THE SKY

The average American spends an hour a day in the kitchen preparing food and cleaning up afterward, according to the American Time Use Survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Add in the time it takes to put groceries away, load and unload dishwashers, organize cabinets and pantries or just hang out, and you spend a whole lot of time in your kitchen.

January 30, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


America’s doing it all wrong when it comes to dishwashing

Nearly everyone (96 percent) wastes up to an hour each week pre-washing their dishes, according to a recent survey. But the reality is that the outdated ritual of pre-washing can actually result in dirtier dishes and waste a valuable resource - water!

January 30, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


What’s your kitchen style?

Everyone has a preferred style of kitchen, no matter if you're a chef at heart or just prefer to heat something frozen using the microwave. You may be surprised to discover your personality influences the style of kitchen you prefer. So, do you know what style matches your personality?

January 30, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Home price gains increase modestly

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices rose at a modest pace in November, held back by weaker sales and a limited number of houses for sale.

January 30, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rises to 3.66 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week after four straight weeks of declines, while remaining near historically low levels.

January 30, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


MILLENNIALS

Owning a home is part of the American Dream, yet standards on income, credit and debt are making it tougher to buy a home than it was 10 years ago. Even though requirements are relaxing, only three out of five borrowers get approved.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Answers for your top 5 plumbing questions

Installing or fixing a faucet can seem like a daunting task. But, in many cases homeowners can update the kitchen and bath themselves - all you need are the right tools, good judgment and a little time to devote to the project.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Five ways to revamp your outdoor living space this year

Do long, winter days holed up indoors have you dreaming of a new deck to relax on come springtime? Whether you envision transforming a deck into a personal sanctuary or building a new outdoor living space for backyard entertaining, now is the perfect time to start turning those dreams into reality.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


US home construction up 4.4 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction of new homes rebounded in December, helping to push activity for the entire year to the highest level since the peak of the housing boom nine years ago.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Homebuilder confidence, sales outlook slip slightly in January

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident in their sales prospects ahead of the spring homebuying season, traditionally the peak period for home sales.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Seasonal guide for you to maintain your home

Homeowners can avoid emergency repairs by completing a few home projects each season. A simple project such as inspecting the plumbing annually can prevent the unexpected cost of repairing water damage from a pipe that burst.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rents keep climbing, especially in San Francisco

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home rental prices continued to climb at a modest pace in December, but rapidly escalating costs in cities such as San Francisco and Denver suggest that apartment dwellers are facing more financial pressure.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Six ways to make your bathroom more luxurious

The bathroom doesn't have to be basic. Thanks to a wide array of new products on the market - and plenty of ways to customize - even the most outdated bathrooms can become an oasis of tranquility and a lavish retreat away from the stresses of everyday life. Here are six ideas for transforming your bathroom into a luxurious spa-like space.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.63%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, with the benchmark 30-year rate again marking its lowest level since May 2013. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, slipped further below 3 percent.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Banks settle mortgage kickbacks probe

WASHINGTON (AP) - Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have agreed to pay more than $35 million combined to resolve claims that loan officers at the two banks received kickbacks in exchange for steering mortgage borrowers to a Maryland title company.

January 23, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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