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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Previously owned home sales highest in more than 3 years

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose in February to their fastest pace in more than three years, and more people put their homes on the market. The increases suggest a growing number of Americans believe the housing recovery will strengthen.

March 22, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage declines back to 3.54 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week and remained near historic lows, a trend that has supported a recovery in housing.

March 22, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


$500 home improvement tax rebates good for 2013 & retroactively for 2012 energy efficient work

When U.S. lawmakers made a deal to keep the country from going off the "fiscal cliff" at the end of 2012, they reinstated a tax break of up to $500 to help homeowners earn money back for energy efficient home improvements.

March 22, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage rises to 3.63%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week to its highest level in seven months but remains near historic lows. Low mortgage rates have helped support the gradually recovering housing market.

March 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Investors keep SoCal mid- to high-end sales strong

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Southern California home sales continued strong last month as investors snapped up mid- to high-end homes, though it was unclear whether the rebound will continue through the year, real estate research firm DataQuick reported Wednesday.

March 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Sharp drop in foreclosures

LOS ANGELES (AP) - While the nation's foreclosure woes persist, new data show they're easing amid a resurgent housing market, rising home prices and efforts by some states to buy homeowners more time to avoid losing their homes.

March 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


San Francisco Bay area February home sales dip but prices on the rise

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Home sales dropped and prices rose in the San Francisco Bay area last month as supplies remained tight, the real estate research firm DataQuick reported Thursday.

March 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


2013's hottest improvement trends

The busy home remodeling season is a great time for homeowners to focus on increasing curb appeal. The percentage of homeowners who feel now is a good time to spend money on home improvement has doubled since 2009, according to a recent survey among Better Homes and Gardens readers. Considering two of the top four features consumers have on their wish lists for their next home are low maintenance exteriors and a private backyard, high-performance products that come in a variety of colors, textures and designs are expected to be in high demand this year.

March 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Staging on a shoestring: Tips from pros for quick home sales

The real estate market is starting to show signs of improvement, which is welcome news for people wanting to sell their homes. This positive momentum alone isn't enough to close a deal, though - a homeowner must make their properties appealing to potential buyers so they stand out from the competition. The good news is it's easy to create an appealing atmosphere with a few staging tips and tricks from the experts.

March 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


HOME IMRPOVEMENT Four steps to a more beautiful bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most frequented areas in your home, making your choice of bathroom decor pretty important. Don't forget about this key area when considering your next home improvement project. With a few tips, you can take your bathroom from so-so to spectacular in no time at all.

February 28, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Soul-lifting home improvements that are good for your wallet, too

No matter how value conscious a homeowner may be, few people ever make a home improvement simply to increase their house's resale value. People also undertake home improvements to enhance their enjoyment of their home - or to fix a problem, which, in its own way, is good for the soul, too.

February 28, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Be proactive when canceling PMI

DEAR BENNY: We purchased our home a year ago for $153,000 and put $16,000 cash down. PMI was required. I want to end the PMI as soon as possible and understand that the home equity must reach a certain point (the agent said after two years we could try to get it canceled). Isn't there a law that if we are current with our payments we can opt out of PMI? We purchased a short-sale home and the value has been appraised higher now. Will that work against us? --Phyllis

February 28, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


The higher they went, the harder a home price fell

The highest sale price ever recorded in Manteca for a production home was $720,000.

February 22, 2013 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


California gets larger share of mortgage deal

SACRAMENTO (AP) - California should receive at least $20.6 billion from a settlement with the nation's major mortgage lenders, the largest share of any state and about $2 billion more than expected when the agreement to assist homeowners was announced last year, according to a report released Thursday.

February 21, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage loans rises to 3.56 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week but remained near historic lows. Low mortgage rates have helped support the slowly recovering housing market.

February 21, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


New ideas to improve your home for an enjoyable 2015

The start of a new year usually means one thing: endless resolutions. As you bid farewell to the holidays, it's all about what you want to change, upgrade and do better. Health and well-being are always the first things that come to mind, but don't overlook your home. In fact, sometimes it's the first place to start - from a total overhaul to the simplest design changes. Those major or minor design decisions can really impact not only how you live, but also the health and happiness of you, your family and your home.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


5 easy kitchen and bath upgrades that are quick

Do your kitchen and bathrooms look a bit drab? If you don't have the time or budget for a full remodel, there are still many simple updates you can do to refresh these spaces and invigorate each with impressive style. From affordable faucet updates to pretty paints, each takes one day or less to complete, instantly providing a dramatic effect.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Lower premiums could save $900 yearly

PHOENIX (AP) - Standing at the epicenter of the nation's recent housing crisis, President Barack Obama on Thursday promoted plans to lower some mortgage insurance premiums, a move the White House says could save homeowners $900 a year and attract 250,000 first-time buyers.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rates hit lowest level in 21 months

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates started the year by dipping to new lows, with the benchmark 30-year rate marking its lowest level since May 2013.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Top 5 real estate trends of 2015

According to the "2014 Housing Review" released by realtor.com , 2014 "demonstrated a steady buildup of housing momentum fueled by significant improvements in economic fundamentals, low mortgage rates and compressed inventory, and is expected to carry the market into 2015 gains."

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices drifted upward in November

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home values rose at a measured pace in November, a sign that demand remains weak as many buyers have been priced out of the market.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


New homebuyers checklist

When you're about to buy a house, it's easy to get excited about its great location, spacious floor plan or beautifully decorated interior. Yet the old saying, "beauty's only skin deep" can apply to any home, especially if you're considering an older, previously owned property. Before signing on the dotted line, use this checklist to help avoid some potentially costly surprises and anticipate repairs or upgrades that may be needed.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Timeless interior design protects your investment

Kitchens are the heart of the home. It's where you prepare meals, help your kids with homework and entertain guests. It's the room in the house where everyone gathers, where memories are made, and, with solid investment, can single-handedly increase the value of your home and help you build more of a nest egg. Even if you're considering selling your home, all eyes of prospective buyers will inevitably be on the kitchen.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Hot home decor color trends make statement

It's a strategy interior designers often use to create stunning rooms that wow the instant someone enters them: the use of creative color. Homeowners looking to deliver impressive interior style can take cues from what will be the trendiest hues of 2015 and beyond.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rate edges up to 3.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week, but the benchmark 30-year rate stayed near a 19-month low.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rate edges up to 3.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week, but the benchmark 30-year rate stayed near a 19-month low.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


100-YEAR-OLD CRAFTSMAN

PASADENA . (AP) - My love of 100-year-old California Craftsman bungalows - those low-slung, early 20th century Arts and Crafts-era homes known for their clean, horizontal lines and sturdy woodwork - runs long and deep.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Curb energy loss with renovation investments

While homeowners may not immediately think of their attic as a major source of energy loss, the reality is that as much as 25 percent of the energy lost in the average American home occurs there. As the weather begins to get cooler, you may be inclined to increase the thermostat to maintain a warm and comfortable home. However, air leakage, caused by numerous gaps and cracks throughout your home's infrastructure, particularly the attic, can cause your HVAC equipment to work overtime and place a strain on your wallet every month.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


6 design trends to make your home’s style in 2015

As the new year kicks off, it's the premier time to refresh and refocus on certain aspects of your life ... and the home is no exception. Say goodbye to lackluster interiors as renowned interior designer and DIY television personality, Taniya Nayak, has forecasted the top trends for 2015 that will be sure to enhance and revive any home.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Pending home sales rise slightly

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rose modestly in November as a strengthening economy helped nudge some would-be homebuyers.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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