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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Recoup ‘life estate’ maintenance costs

DEAR BENNY: We have an unusual situation. When my dad died, he left a life estate in a house/rented duplex to his widow. My sister and I have managed the duplex for 12 years, with all income going for repairs and any surplus to the widow. We would like to be done with it. His widow does not want to move.

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


Long-time renter ahead by owning

She's a single woman in Manteca in her 50s.

July 23, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Turn to nature for inspiration when revitalizing tired interiors

The colors are blooming outside and chances are you're feeling inspired to add some color inside your home as well. Using nature as your guide, there are some quick and easy ways to refresh your home's interior.

July 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Marriage of natural light & right colors works wonders for home decor

Mother Nature is a master decorator. In summer, she dresses the world in lush greens and vibrant floral hues. And in every season, natural light is one of her most powerful designer touches.

July 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Avoid tax bite while saving brother’s house

DEAR BENNY: My brother bought his home about 15 years ago. He holds title only in his name, as a "single man." He lost his job a couple of years ago. He is older and is having a difficult time getting rehired. Long story short: He is now in arrears (18 months), owes escrow for taxes and insurance payments, and is facing foreclosure. His lack of employment is presenting a problem getting loan modifications or refinancing.

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


Turn-Key event offers big value

Woodside Homes is celebrating the start of its Turn-Key sales event this weekend, allowing homebuyers to unlock their choice of instant upgrades or assistance with interest rate buydowns or closing costs.

July 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


The wrong way to sell a time share

DEAR BENNY: I recently read your suggestions on how to get rid of a time share. You suggested attempting to give your time share back to the company with a "deed in lieu," but said that it probably won't work. You are right. It did not work. However, I found a broker who was willing to take the time share off my hands for $3,000. Is this the only other way to rid oneself of this burden? By paying money to give something away?

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


Set the scene for outdoor entertaining

It's not hard to get people to come to an outdoor gathering on a warm summer's evening, and it should be just as easy to pull together a memorable affair. To make the most of your time and budget, look for low-maintenance solutions that you can use throughout the season - and in summers yet to come. From the dishes you serve to the way you decorate, the less work you have to do, the more you'll be able to enjoy the time with your guests.

July 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Next-generation technologies

When new technology makes its way into home design, often it enters through the kitchen. The heart of the home is also the portal for innovation, and many of the technologies that we now use throughout our homes were first applied in the kitchen.

July 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Get ready for a 1% gain in resale housing prices

Manteca median prices should be up by 1 percent in value by summer's end.

June 25, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Outdoor summer fun

The warmer months provide numerous opportunities for hosting outdoor events: birthday parties, barbecues, backyard campouts, weddings or a gathering for watching fireworks on the Fourth of July - the list is endless. Even when just hosting a fun neighborhood picnic or ice cream social, it's important to get the outdoor living space looking its best for the big day.

June 25, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


File civil lawsuit for property damage?

DEAR BENNY: While we were out of town, my neighbor and a well installer destroyed 400 square feet of my lawn, leaving us with ruts, dirt piles and dead sod. In addition, they buried 40 linear feet of water pipe and electrical cable on our land without our permission. I have a recent land survey to validate our claims.

June 25, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Tips to save on home energy costs

Summer's sizzling temperatures can make it difficult to keep your home comfortable, and even more difficult to keep up with the higher utility bills that often come with it. Yet even a few well-chosen improvements can make a big difference in home comfort and energy efficiency. Here are some ways to save on energy costs this season.

June 25, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Easy improvements equal dramatic facelift

Home improvement projects don't need to be difficult, and with the right tools and attitude, they can be exciting as you watch your house transform. Summer is the perfect time to look at your home to-do list and get going. Here are some easy ideas you can get started on today.

June 25, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Downsize in space, upgrade in quality of life

Smaller homes equal better quality of living these days. Many homeowners are downsizing the space they occupy, but are upgrading and customizing that space to make it better fit their lifestyle.

June 18, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Early season gardening tricks to help garden grow faster

Warm weather begs green thumbs across the country to break out their gardening gloves and till the soil for the season's plantings. Whether this is your first year tending a home garden or it's something you've been doing for decades, gardening offers many rewards, including time spent outdoors, the ability to feel closer to Mother Nature, and of course, the fresh fare plucked just steps from your kitchen.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Upgrades that scream ‘luxury’ with less expensive price tags

Hand-planed, reclaimed hardwood floors? Beautiful but pricey. Custom drapery? The cost can be blinding. When it comes to home decorating, it's easy to blow your budget on one or two upgrades - and maybe that would be OK if those improvements also amped up the drama in your decor. Too often, however, costly decorating ploys disappoint, wearing out or becoming dated before you've paid off the financing.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Supply crunch sends California existing home sales drop to 4-year August low

IRVINE (AP) - The number of homes sold in California fell to the lowest level for an August in four years as a supply crunch pushed prices higher and kept homes out of reach for many buyers, a real estate research company reported Thursday.

September 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


COMPLETE PACKAGE

River Islands at Lathrop - situated to become the most high-profile community development in the 209 for the next 20 years - is marking its grand opening today.

September 05, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Simple home updates are environmentally friendly

Green living not only helps the environment, it helps your pocketbook. When making upgrades to your home - whether it's replacing a light bulb or a total living room makeover - incorporate energy-efficient and repurposed materials to make your living space more environmentally friendly.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Modern man cave musts for you to keep in mind

Whether in a workshop, garden or garage, American men have always enjoyed their personal spaces. With the rise of flat-screen technology, having a "man cave" became an official home improvement trend. In fact, a 2013 survey by online retailer Newegg found that more than half of American homes now have a man cave. Now, after more than a decade of partying, man caves have matured.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Celebrate fall patio season via elegant outdoor updates

Fall patio season is upon us, which means hosting family and friends for warm-weather gatherings and barbecues. Don't fret; outdoor events don't have to break the bank. With just a bit of creative vision and DIY savvy, you'll have an al fresco affair to remember in no time at all.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Upgrades that scream ‘luxury’ are cheaper-than-you-think

Hand-planed, reclaimed hardwood floors? Beautiful but pricey. Custom drapery? The cost can be blinding. When it comes to home decorating, it's easy to blow your budget on one or two upgrades - and maybe that would be OK if those improvements also amped up the drama in your decor. Too often, however, costly decorating ploys disappoint, wearing out or becoming dated before you've paid off the financing.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Plenty of light! Feds selling off lighthouses

YORK, Maine (AP) - Lighthouses for sale! Actually, lots of lighthouses for free.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate steady

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average 30-year U.S. mortgage rate this week remained at a 52-week low of 4.10 percent for the third straight week.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


BUYING FOR ONE

Here's a trend that might catch you off-guard: Upwards of one in six new homebuyers in Manteca are single.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Do’s & don’ts for making your tile project perfect

When you add a tile or natural stone surface to the kitchen or bathroom, it transforms each space with a fresh, clean and customized look. Many homeowners often dream about adding a backsplash or replacing a floor, but never complete the project because they can't decide on the right look, become mentally exhausted by the thought of doing the project or don't know how to accomplish it themselves.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Backyard projects to help create treasured sanctuary

You love the days when you can go home from work, open the windows and enjoy dinner out on the deck. And it sure isn't hard to rise early on those sunny weekend days to spend all day in the backyard. Those days are here, and it's time to get outside to spend time with the grill, the garden and the deck.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home renovation starts with good planning, good insurance

The United States is a country of renovators and remodelers, judging from the steady growth of home improvement projects across the nation in recent years.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


5 hot ways to update your home with wood

Wood may be known for its timeless visual appeal, but there's nothing static about the way people showcase it in American homes. Designers, homeowners and DIYers are re-discovering the warmth and beauty of wood. From inventive new uses to re-interpretations of existing styles, they're finding creative ways to use wood throughout the home.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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