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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Three steps to ensure you get best deal when buying a house

Ample inventory, low mortgage rates and motivated sellers - all these key elements are present in real estate markets across the country, indicating it's still a great time to buy a house. If you're thinking of buying a house - whether it's new or existing, your first home or your fifth - you can help ensure you get the best possible deal by doing a few things before you get down to serious shopping.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Colorful exteriors without drop of paint

Nothing brightens a home's personality more dramatically than brilliant color. It's easy to freshen your home's exterior with color trim around windows, doors or along corners. With color trim, there are endless ways you can evoke any emotion or personality you desire. Whether you wish for tranquility, elegance or modernism, it's time to add some color to your "to-do" list.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


How do you know when you are ready to buy a house?

Since the foreclosure crisis began, many Americans have been thinking a little bit more critically about whether they are truly ready for home ownership.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Update interiors with quick flooring transformation

Is your home in need of a makeover to go from boring to brilliant? What better time than now to update your home's tired, worn interior. You need look no further than right under your feet - to the floor below - for a simple, budget-minded way to freshen your decor and add to your home's value. Give any room of the house an updated look with flooring that mimics natural stone or ceramic tile, but without the upkeep or high cost.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Five tips for small landlords on how to protect your investment

More and more homeowners who are moving are delaying selling their homes, choosing instead to rent them out as the housing market continues to struggle. The lagging housing market has given others the opportunity to buy properties for investment purposes. Since many of these homeowners don't have much experience as a landlord, they're often required to learn on the fly.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Buying puts money in your pocket in long run even without equity gain

What is the better value: Three bedrooms, one bathroom with 986 square feet of living space for $720 a month or three bedrooms, two bathrooms with 1,012 to 1,296 square feet of living space for $855 a month?

March 26, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Going green: Energy efficient windows

Now that spring is here, many homeowners are thinking about remodeling projects that will improve the home this season and year-round. Whether you're planning a few do-it-yourself improvements or a major renovation, it's important to think "green." One way to enhance the beauty and comfort of your home while saving on energy is by installing highly energy efficient windows.

March 26, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Growing vegetables can be easy

Some things bear repeating: Plant vegetables.

March 26, 2011 | By LEE REICH For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Garden prep 101: Getting ready for season

Outside birds are singing and bits of green are popping up all around. As seasons change from winter to spring, the gardener's mind quickly leaps to growing flowers and produce. Before getting out there and planting, follow these basic garden preparations to get the most out of this growing season.

March 26, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Sensory gardens: Days of wine & roses

FULTON (AP) - Imagine a garden where melon, peach, apple, lemon, pear and gardenias bloom. Then imagine holding all that in a glass.

March 19, 2011 | By MICHELLE LOCKE For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Going from cookie cutter to custom

A new home: It's your chance to personalize your living space with details that suit your taste and personality. Or, so you think. Many builders only allow you to choose colors; and offer limited options beyond their builders' grade materials. Or, if you've purchased a previously owned home, it too is most likely equipped with many basic options.

March 19, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Pros and cons of organic vs. synthetic fertilizers

Another growing season is fast approaching, and before you can seed you must feed.

March 19, 2011 | By DEAN FOSDICK For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Manteca prices up, SF prices down in 2011

Bay Area housing price trends in the past have been used by real estate agents as a barometer as what is to come in Manteca and the rest of the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

March 12, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Doors, a forgotten design element

It's a design opportunity that's easily missed: Even the most stylishly decorated rooms often have bland wooden doors with cheap hardware.

March 12, 2011 | By MELISSA RAYWORTH For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Spring’s hot color for homes?

Bright red-pink and bursting with energy, honeysuckle is dominating home decor trends in 2011 as a playful and vibrant alternative to the serene turquoise of 2010.

March 12, 2011 | By SARAH WOLFE For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Home sales rise in October

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans bought homes in October at the briskest pace this year, a sign that the sluggish housing market is turning around.

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Beauty of wood turns homes into architectural masterpieces

Ever since humans stopped dwelling in caves and started living in huts made of tree branches, wood has been an indispensible structural and decorative residential material. Man's house-building relationship with wood - historically, culturally and experientially - is deep, long and universal. In part that's because wood is abundant, economical, durable and flexible. But our enduring love affair with wood is also due to the fact that, like us, each piece of timber is unique - its color, texture and grain are as individual as a human personality, so we keep discovering new aspects of its beauty and versatility to delight ...

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Cypress adds a signature style to the look of a home

To satisfy homeowners seeking to add a signature style to their indoor living spaces, more and more design professionals and builders are going back to basics and rediscovering the versatility, durability and good looks of cypress.

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home improvements that give most bang for your buck

Prioritizing a home-improvement wish list is never easy. Do you put design and aesthetics ahead of functionality? Or do you choose comfort and convenience over energy efficiency and cost savings?

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home starts drop 2.8% in October

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction of new homes fell slightly in October after a big surge in the previous month, but the weakness was largely driven by the volatile apartment sector.

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rates drop to 3.99%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates continued to tick down this week, remaining close to yearlong lows.

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Federal agency yet to act on controversial insurance used by banks

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Housing Finance Agency has yet to deliver on changes to a controversial type of homeowner's insurance even as its director told the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday that it's making progress.

November 21, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Affordable entertaining ideas for holiday parties

The holidays are coming up quickly, and that means there's plenty of reason to celebrate. Whether you're throwing a party for the first time or you're continuing a long-running annual tradition, hosting a festive celebration with friends and family is a lot of work and always worth it. This year, take your party to the next level to truly impress your guests - without breaking the bank.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Five home design tips on layering from professionals

Designers are often drawn to a simple, modern look - however, layering unique patterns and textures in the home is a quickly growing trend. Keep your space harmonized, yet distinct, with the tips outlined below.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


THE ENTERTAINER

Looking for a home that does more than put on a good facade from the curb?

November 14, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Get a jump on this year’s predicted polar vortex

Last winter's polar vortex not only affected the majority of the country with subfreezing temperatures, but wreaked havoc on utility bills. In fact, consumers in 13 states and the District of Columbia used enough energy in January to capture eight of the 10 highest winter demand days on record, according to PJM Interconnection, the electricity grid operator. According to the Farmers' Almanac and other weather predictors, a polar vortex is expected to rear its ugly head again this winter.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Tips on how to make your bathroom shower sing

It's where some of your best ideas are born, and where you unwind - or get ready - for the day. And although your current shower might be fine, why not make it fabulous? Here are the latest trends and products to create a fantastic shower experience.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Subprime services firm abandons disputed fees

WASHINGTON (AP) - A company with ties to the nation's largest overseer of subprime mortgages announced under pressure Wednesday it will stop collecting controversial insurance fees from homeowners whose properties were under foreclosure. The announcement came three months after The Associated Press highlighted its business practices.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


30-year loan rate slips to 4.01 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged lower this week, approaching their lows for the year. The benchmark 30-year loan rate hovered near 4 percent.

November 14, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


ORIGINAL OWNERS

Its rare today in Manteca to find a newer home with four bedrooms under $150 a square-foot that is in move-in condition in a desirable neighborhood.

November 07, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


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