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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


Timely solutions to get your house holiday ready

The fun chaos of the holidays is right around the corner. Family gatherings to plan, delicious meals to prepare, gifts to find and purchase, and a house to decorate ... the list goes on!

November 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Timely solutions to get your house holiday ready

The fun chaos of the holidays is right around the corner. Family gatherings to plan, delicious meals to prepare, gifts to find and purchase, and a house to decorate ... the list goes on!

November 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Say bye-bye to bathroom remodeling blues with 5 tips

Beautifying your bathroom sounds exciting but oftentimes renovation plans begin with good intentions and end up a long, costly nightmare. The national average cost for a bathroom remodel is $10,142, according to the Cost Guide from HomeAdvisor.com. That's a hefty investment but one that can easily be reduced with a simple refresh of the space instead. Here are five cost-effective updates you can make to your bathroom in as little as a weekend.

November 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Six yard projects you shouldn’t skip this fall

When it comes to caring for your yard, maintenance is crucial - especially during the fall when it needs to recover from the wear and tear of summer and prepare for winter's harsh conditions. Knowing what your lawn and garden needs from season to season not only makes it easier for you to stay organized with your list of backyard to-do's, but it also allows you to identify and treat any problems before they become bigger issues down the road.

November 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Five common weatherization myths taken apart and busted

Last winter's visit from the polar vortex made for bone-chilling blizzards and teeth-chattering temperatures. If this year is anything like the last, drafty homes and high thermostat settings will accompany the freezing weather. Unfortunately, many homeowners get cold feet when it comes to weatherizing their homes, citing various reasons why they don't just get it done. Here are five common weatherizing myths you should overcome to help you get ready this winter:

November 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rate up to 4.02 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates rose this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan crawling back over 4 percent. It was the second straight week of increases in rates after they had fallen for five weeks amid concern over global economic weakness.

November 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


SHOP AROUND

Beware of e-lenders and unsolicited junk mail from boiler room mortgage lenders bearing gifts of lower mortgage payments.

October 31, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


FHA loan limits need to go up

Most first-time buyers can come up with the income to comfortably cover a monthly house payment but often lack the money needed up front.

December 12, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


3% DOWN LOANS

WASHINGTON (AP) - Some Americans will soon be able to buy a home with a down payment as low as 3 percent, compared with the current minimum of 5 percent, the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Create a happy homemade Christmas setting this year

One of the best ways to kick off the holiday season is to decorate. And while it's easy to load your cart with beautiful decor from your favorite store, Christmas is more personal when decorations are homemade.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Bathroom upgrades to impress guests & family

Game night, girls' night or family reunion – your home serves as the backdrop for many occasions. Preparing your space for friends and family can feel like a heavy undertaking, but with a few simple entertaining tips, hosts can wave goodbye to anxieties.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Reurposing garage doors into walls with a view

Have you ever admired a coffee table cleverly fabricated using a discarded door sitting on a frame? Or been surprised by the sight of an old refrigerator reborn as a bookshelf or TV cabinet? Even bathroom fixtures have been known to draw notice (and a snicker or two) when repurposed as garden containers.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year loan rate increases to 3.93 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged higher this week after four weeks of declines, but they remained at historically low levels that could entice potential homebuyers.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Tips to keep garden & hand tools in top shape

From painting supplies to gardening and hand tools, buying well-made home improvement tools can help improve project results. The tools you use may be an investment, so you'll want to take care of them to ensure they last for more than just one project.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Master bathroom trends for homes in 2015 & beyond

When it comes to renovating spaces in your home, the master bath should be top of mind. Leading master bath trends for 2015 go beyond functionality to incorporate features that complement the design aesthetic and provide a touch of luxury for lasting results.

December 12, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Let her handle the money

Despite the earning power of today's women, many still shy away from investing and long-term planning. One of the reasons may be a lack of confidence. A 2014 report by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that half of women say they are not confident about the ability to retire comfortably.

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


5 ways to protect your home the holidays

When you think of the holidays, celebrations, presents and friends likely come to mind - not crime. Unfortunately, burglaries increase at this time of year, and your home could be a target. With a few simple safety precautions, you can protect your property, your family and your valuables now and well into the new year.

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


SPRUCE UP

The fun chaos of the holidays is right around the corner. Family gatherings to plan, delicious meals to prepare, gifts to find and purchase, and a house to decorate ... the list goes on!

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average US 30-year loan rate falls to 3.89 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, a continuing boon for potential homebuyers.

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Troubled US homeowners get more relief

WASHINGTON (AP) - Homeowners whose mortgages were modified to stave off foreclosure could next year receive an additional $5,000 reduction in their loans from the government, the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development departments said Thursday.

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


How to cut clutter & take back your home

You've reached your breaking point. You've tripped over the same thing in the living room too many times. Now you've picked it up to finally put it away and you realize - you have nowhere to put it. You have too much clutter in your home. So what do you do? How do you decide where to start so you can reduce the clutter in your home and make your walkways safe once more?

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Taking a spin down Memory Lane

OK you Real Estate Boys; I am fairly new to Turlock and so far love it here and love the Valley. When I moved from the right coast mid-summer my Realtor kept telling me all the neat things about Turlock and I couldn't stop thinking about John and Paul's "She Loves You." Yeah, yeah, yeah. "You're just saying that stuff." Well, 6 months into my new life I am now saying the same about my newly adopted home. I'm sort of hoping you Boys can tell me some of the changes you've seen over the ...

December 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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