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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Maximizing extra mortgage payments

DEAR BENNY: In response to your question about whether it is better to make additional mortgage payments monthly or annually, I believe you are correct that monthly payments are better than if the annual payment is made at year's end.

August 27, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


K. Hovnanian Homes hosts ‘$20k any way’ sales event

This weekend only, K. Hovnanian Homes is hosting a "$20K Any Way" sales celebration at Medallion in Manteca. Customers who enter purchase agreements now through Sunday will receive a $20,000 credit they can apply to designer upgrades, structural options, appliances, closing costs or a buydown of their interest rate.

August 20, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Home decorating: Taking items from being discarded to divine

Warmer weather is often considered perfect for cleaning up and cleaning out. As the saying goes, "Out with the old, in with the new." However, according to Molly J. Deas, academic director for Interior Design at The Art Institute of Portland, summer is an ideal time to inject trends of the season and redecorate by reusing items in new ways.

August 20, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Beware when canceling real estate contract

DEAR BENNY: My husband and I signed a contract in November and put $1,000 down. The real estate agent put financing as "n/a" (not applicable) because we were preapproved by our bank. He sent us to a bank and the loan was approved, with a great interest rate and no points. Then problems started.

August 20, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Keep modern convenience under traditional wraps

Do you tend to lean toward traditional designs, but like the convenience of modern technology? If you do, you're not alone. Keep your kitchen pretty and polished with these items that pack a modern punch ... but only on the inside.

August 20, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


3 last-ditch efforts to halt foreclosure

DEAR BENNY: I am having problems with my mortgage. I fell on some hard times lately and fell behind on my mortgage payments. My mortgage lender has been dragging this out for over a year. I have been set up on two separate trial payments and made them both with no problem. Now my loan has gone into foreclosure. The lender keeps telling me that I am under review. Can you tell me what options I have to try to keep my home? --Hodges

August 13, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Savings event continues at K. Hovnanian Homes

With 70 days gone by and just 30 days remaining in the K. Hovnanian Homes 100 Days of Summer sales event, customers continue to keep traffic and sales rates high at neighborhood sales centers as they receive special summer savings with their home purchases. More than 80 homes have been sold since the promotion began Memorial Day weekend.

August 06, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Green is beautiful: Tips for an eco-friendlier lifestyle

As the negative effects of human impact on the environment become more evident, a strong push toward global conservation continues to grow and gather steam. Scores of corporations have committed to becoming more "green" in recent years and countless environment-focused initiatives and organizations have popped up around the world. But even on an individual level, some small changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference in preserving the Earth for future generations.

August 06, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Incorporating timeless style into your home

Think traditional styling is only for opulent mansions and stuffy country clubs? Well, think again. Traditional design is not only extremely accessible to incorporate into any home, but according to research by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), it's the most popular, too. Learn how to take back traditional and customize your own space.

August 06, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


The smart way to go from renting to owning

If you've paid attention to any news media over the past few years, you know that the housing market has dropped off. From a seller's perspective, that makes life a lot harder. But for a buyer, it can mean a wider world of options and opportunities. For those want to become owners rather than renters, it's vitally important to make smart decisions - as the markets have shown.

August 06, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Renters reaping real estate tax benefits?

DEAR BENNY: My husband and I recently filed for bankruptcy after our home was foreclosed. My mother is willing to purchase a home in her name (as an investment property) and rent it back to us, as long as we can come up with the down payment for her purchase. My in-laws have agreed to provide the down payment. The terms of the investment loan do not allow the down payment to come from a third party, so the money needs to be "gifted" to my mother.

August 06, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Ceramic tile for unexpected outdoor spaces

If you're thinking about creating or upgrading an outdoor living space, you're probably considering what materials to use for your project. You'll likely weigh concerns of cost and quality, durability and beauty before arriving at a final decision. If an outdoor shower is part of your plan, you'll probably consider ceramic tile.

July 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Pool safety measures for a safer summer

Enjoy the pleasures of home pool ownership and ensure a safer summer for your family by employing a few safety measures around your pool.

July 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Mulch: Unsung hero of the garden

Gardeners know that mulch is a great-looking layer of topping on the soil in gardens and landscapes, but mulch is so much more than just a decorative cover. Mirroring the leaf layer found on a forest floor, mulch covering can benefit both plants and soil.

July 23, 2011 | | 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


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


New home sales fall slightly during January

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sales of new U.S. homes were basically flat in January, evidence that recent job gains and relatively low mortgage rates have yet to spur the real estate market.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Add a signature style to your 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.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Home sales plunge 4.9 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home sales struck a snow drift in January, plunging to the slowest pace in nine months.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Energy guzzlers greener

For the first time in six years, Energy Star certification, a standard seal of approval for energy efficiency, has been expanded to include another major household appliance.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Tips for replacing water heaters

Some 37 million residential water heaters gave up the ghost and were replaced over the past five years, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy. While some things get better with age, water heaters aren't among them. In fact, the average life expectancy for a new water heater is 10 to 15 years, with the occasional stoic dinosaur making it two decades or more.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


A stunning backsplash without the whiplash

The kitchen is the heart of the home and a top-selling feature with homebuyers. Does yours convey style and functionality? Whether you've just completed a remodel or you're looking for ways to upgrade your existing kitchen, a tile backsplash will instantly transform the space into an eye-catching masterpiece.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


6 steps to select best remodeling contractor

A remodeling project is one of the most invigorating lifestyle changes a homeowner can make. However, trusting a contractor with both your home and your money can feel overwhelming. Spare your time, money and sanity by following these steps for choosing the best remodeling contractor:

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Central Valley group names Realtors, Affiliate of the Year

Every year the Central Valley Association of Realtors recognizes members who have gone above and beyond in the real estate profession and community service. This year CVAR named two recipients as Realtor of the Year - Shelly Bell and Larry Rumbeck - and as Affiliate of the Year, the honor goes to Taylor Phillips.

February 20, 2015 | Staff reports | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year loans rises to 3.76%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have risen for a second straight week yet remained near historically low levels.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rents rise overall but dip in Chicago & Minneapolis

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home rental prices rose at a steady rate in January, but prices barely budged or even dipped in parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Millennials seek tech-ready, smaller energy-efficient houses

LOS GATOS - As millennials enter the home-buying market in larger numbers, builders say homes will get a little smaller, energy-efficient appliances and laundry rooms will be essential, and home technology will become increasingly prevalent. These predictions are based on two surveys conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, one asking home builders what features they are most likely to include in a typical new home this year, and one asking millennials what features are most likely to affect their home-buying decisions. Of the top 10 features mentioned by home builders, four have to do with energy efficiency: low-E windows ...

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Freshen up your home with five sharp colors

While you're making resolutions and setting goals, consider adding updating the look of your home to your list. If your walls are looking a little dated, follow these five color suggestions to give your space a renewed look.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rises to 3.69%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week yet remained near historically low levels.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


CONTAINERS

HONOLULU (AP) - Shipping containers: They're strong, durable and portable, stack easily and link together like Legos.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Take the sweat out of your DIY projects this year

You've been dreaming about digging in your garden, changing your landscaping or improving your house all winter long. Finally the weather is nice, your yard is clear and dry, and it's time for you to get your hands dirty. With the right tools and equipment, you can get all your DIY tasks done while saving time, money and elbow grease.

February 13, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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