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Archive By Section - 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


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


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


What’s your storage style?

Storage has style? Really? Of course it does. And when it comes to tackling storage projects, don't skimp on creating the style that best suits your personality.

April 24, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


DIY kids’ room makeovers

Once school lets out, it's a great time to make updates to kids' rooms. Not only does it let children personalize their own space with decor that reflects their growing personality, it's a great way to keep them busy with all that extra time to burn.

April 24, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


THE BIG SQUEEZE

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Living in an apartment? Expect your rent to go up again.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


5 upgrades for under $5,000 to lure buyers

It's a sobering truth of real estate that sellers often have to spend money to make money. Even if your home is relatively new, you still face costs associated with getting it ready to show, such as repainting interior rooms or hiring professional cleaners and stagers. If your home could use some TLC and updating, spending as little as $5,000 on key upgrades could improve its appeal for buyers - and ensure a speedier sale at a better price.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Demystifying 2015 kitchen design trends

Every new year brings along new design trends, with homeowners often feeling the pressure to mix up their kitchen interiors to keep things current. But the truth is, when embarking on any renovation project, incorporating more timeless (and less trendy) assets will save both time and money in the long run. This ensures any kitchen styling stays current and "fits in" no matter which way the design pendulum swings.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Tips for parents considering helping their child buy a home

Rising prices and a dearth of homes for sale in many markets have made it harder for many looking to buy their first home.

April 17, 2015 | ALEX VEIGA AP Business Writer | HOME SCENE


House approves legislation to ease rules on home loans

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly adopted legislation to ease some mortgage lending requirements of the sweeping 2010 law reining in banks and Wall Street as the Republican majority continues its assault on the so-called Dodd-Frank law enacted after the financial crisis.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


California home prices reach new 7-year high, sales rebound

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home prices reached fresh seven-year-highs in March, a research firm said Friday, helping sales rebound from a two-month slide as some homeowners put their property on the market to reap gains.

April 17, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


OAKWOOD SHORES

Oakwood Shores is not just among a handful of neighborhoods surrounding private lakes in the Northern San Joaquin Valley but it has another feature that few of those have - a gated community with 24-hour security patrols.

April 10, 2015 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Your perfect State of home Organization

Life gets busy and clutter has a way of sneaking up on everyone. It may be all those shoes, the lack of space or the fact that you have absolutely no time - there are many reasons for the mess. But, whether you're a single person living in an apartment or have a large family in a sprawling house, everyone can benefit from more organization. By simply thinking about storage differently and coming up with a smart organizational system that works for you, you'll be on the way to creating a well-balanced, happier home.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Five projects to help redo your basement

Have you ever wished you had more space in your home? Maybe you'd use the space to pursue a hobby, host out-of-town guests or just spread out and get some quiet time to yourself. The space you desire could already be in your home in your basement. If your cellar is nothing but a series of unfinished areas used for storage, you're not getting all the benefits you could be from the space.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


TRID could delay closing of escrow

LOS GATOS (AP) - Members of the real estate industry are getting ready for a new regulation scheduled to take effect this summer that requires changes to the traditional mortgage loan acquisition process. The upcoming TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule takes effect Aug. 1 and, if not understood by all parties involved, could delay the closing of escrow. Issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, TRID combines the mortgage disclosure established by the Truth-in-Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act into one single rule. However, according to a lender panel at a Silicon Valley Association of Realtors meeting, the move ...

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


SHARED HOUSING TREND GROWS

BOWIE, Md. (AP) - In 2008, Bonnie Moore was going through a divorce. And as she was adjusting to a one-income lifestyle, the recession hit and her five-bedroom, three-bathroom home lost half its value.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Ripon launches effort to conserve energy & water

Ripon has launched the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program, which enables homeowners and commercial property owners to make energy- and water-efficiency improvements and pay them off through their property tax bill.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Latest tool for selling real estate: FaceTime

REDWOOD CITY (AP) - Real estate agent Julie Ray has come of age in the red-hot housing market. But this was a first: zooming through a $1.7 million house with her iPhone, she used its FaceTime video application to send images of the property -- including bathroom tile and a backyard lemon tree - to the prospective buyers in Switzerland.

April 10, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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