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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Must I compensate my agent if I don’t buy?

DEAR BENNY: Could you advise me of the appropriate (and legal) way to compensate the buyer's agent we used for our unsuccessful house hunt?

October 25, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


New home sales hit in 2½ year high

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. sales of new homes jumped last month to the highest level in more than two years, further evidence of a sustained housing recovery that could help lift the lackluster economy.

October 25, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Mobility & home accessibility

Driven by a growing senior population, soldiers returning home injured from war and the ongoing obesity epidemic, mobility and home accessibility issues are becoming more commonplace in America. In response, companies today are creating innovative home solutions that focus on both improved form and function, and serve to create welcome alternatives to traditional solutions for homeowners with mobility and home access challenges.

October 25, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Sacramento pockets cash from settlement for housing help

The State of California has benefited handsomely from the misery of those in the Golden State who lost their homes in the foreclosure crisis.

October 19, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Color tips from the pros: How to bring bold hues into kitchen, bath

Why is it that some people can do daring things with color in their living rooms or bedrooms, but stick with the strongholds of beige and white in their kitchens and baths? As bright hues are surfacing in kitchen and bath design trends, existing oft-neutral palettes make it easy to introduce bold splashes.

October 18, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Understand options when it comes to reverse mortgages

If you know a senior homeowner who is running out of money, a reverse mortgage might generate enough cash to allow them to stay in their home for many more years. Last fall, the Federal Housing Administration created new rules, and opportunities, for lower-cost reverse mortgages. Now that most lenders have launched these new products, it's worth an updated look.

October 18, 2012 | By TERRY SAVAGE Financial Advisor | HOME SCENE


Bank of America says housing has 'begun to turn'

NEW YORK (AP) - For banks, mortgage-making kept profits humming before the financial crisis, then blackened reputations and stamped out earnings when the crisis hit.

October 18, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


California foreclosure notices fall to 5-year low

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Home foreclosure activity in California fell to a new five-year low in the third quarter as rising prices eased pressure on homeowners and lenders, a research firm said Wednesday.

October 18, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


What’s so great about having a mortgage?

DEAR BENNY: For the life of me I cannot fathom why all real estate people insist borrowers keep a mortgage going. My husband and I bought our house and paid it off in five years. Now, instead of getting a deduction off our taxes, we have our paychecks free and clear. I cannot see how paying $1,000 a month for 30 years would have been better. With that money in pocket we amassed nearly $1 million in savings. Here is what it allowed us to do:

October 18, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage near record low

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has fallen to near its record low set earlier this month.

October 18, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Homebuilder confidence at 6-year high as buyers pickup at subdivisions

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Confidence among U.S. homebuilders remains at its highest level in six years, reflecting improved optimism over the strengthening housing market this year and a pickup in visits by prospective buyers to builders' communities.

October 18, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Injury-prevention tips for do-it-yourselfers

When you finally tackle that home improvement project you've been planning for a while, you're probably eager to get the job done quickly, well and on-budget. Injuries can delay your project, and cost money for medical expenses or even time lost from your job. It's important to take steps to prevent injury.

October 18, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Eight ways to improve your home's energy efficiency through lighting

It's easy to instantly trim your energy consumption and boost the eco-friendliness of your home. The key to easy energy savings is lighting. Though for many homeowners and renters, knowing how and what to do to improve their home's lighting energy efficiency can be confusing.

October 18, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Will gas prices fuel further drops in home prices?

Gas prices - which appear to be heading toward $5 a gallon -may be a wild card in the Manteca housing market recovery but not in the way you might think.

October 12, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Revamp pantry to avoid waste, save money

For a basic green living project with benefits to your wallet and the environment, consider revamping the kitchen pantry. The cupboard is the starting point for most kitchen activity and is more than just a storage space. Develop good buying habits and build a strong foundation and you can avoid the waste of food and money. Here's how to tackle the task at once or little by little.

October 11, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Forward-looking luxury in renovation trends

Americans are renovating again, and instead of letting resale value alone drive their renovation choices, in 2014 homeowners are weighing many more factors. They are seeking renovations that are beautiful, luxurious and eco-friendly, and that both enhance resale value and their ability to age in place should they choose not to sell down the road.

October 10, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


KEY HELP

If you are a first-time homebuyer defined as someone who hasn't owned a home in the last three years you could be eligible for $6,500 in interest free down payment assistance.

October 10, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rates down 3rd straight week

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, making it more affordable to borrow to buy a home.

October 10, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


How to keep your family safe from home’s hidden hazards

In the U.S. alone, approximately 60 million people suffer from asthma and allergies, which according to the American Lung Association can be triggered by mold for those who are allergic. As a responsible homeowner, it's essential to be aware of the many threats, such as mold and fire, which may cause harm to your family and your investment.

October 10, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Easy ways to warm up your space this winter

Cooler temperatures are on the horizon and now is the ideal time to begin checking items off your seasonal to-do list. Complete simple projects before the harsh winter weather arrives so your home is ready to enjoy in the coming season.

October 10, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Slower growth for US home prices in August

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices increased in August, yet the pace of these gains continues to slow, helping to improve affordability for would-be buyers.

October 10, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Building your memories around outdoor fire pit

Whether you're spending quality time with family or entertaining guests, few things compare to the cozy, warm and welcoming atmosphere created by a fire pit in the backyard. In fact, fire pits are among the most popular features for enhancing an outdoor living space, according to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Even better, with little experience and materials, you can build a fire pit in just a few hours.

October 10, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


EXODUS TO EXURBS

The oil boom and skyrocketing housing prices west of the Altamont Pass are setting the stage for a 21st century Grapes of Wrath migration.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Sink into these top tub trends for ultimate bathing experience

The tub tucked away in your home's master bathroom is so much more than a place to get clean. It's a calming refuge and therapeutic retreat after a busy, high-pressure day. Tub trends indicate that bathtubs are primarily used for soaking, while shower time is mainly for cleansing. The soaking tub has become the destination for relaxation amid today's fast-paced lifestyles.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Simple steps for organized & sensational garage space

Move over kitchens and bathrooms, homeowners are focusing on a new part of the home: the garage. No longer just a place to park the car and lawn equipment, today's garages are getting bigger and better. Here are a few quick and easy projects to create a useful and organized garage.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Smart, stylish solutions keep entire home cool

Don't sweat it if your home doesn't have central air-conditioning. Whether you live in an older house that can't accommodate ductwork, or you don't want to sacrifice your interior aesthetics with an unattractive air conditioning unit, you can still keep your home feeling - and looking - cool this summer with advanced air conditioning technology.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate at 4.19%

WASHINGTON (AP) - A key long-term U.S. mortgage rate dipped this week, the second drop after a large increase two weeks ago.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Pet-proofing your home in preparation for adopting

The addition of a new pet to the family is always a cause for celebration. Stress can occur, too, no matter how welcome the new addition. When you're thinking about adopting a pet from an animal shelter, some preparation can help ensure he or she is as safe and happy as possible.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Keep winter energy bills in check

As winter temperatures drop, the potential for higher utility bills goes up. Taking steps ahead of the cold season can help you trim costs and make your home more energy efficient, keeping those utility bills in check even as the winter weather rages.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Mini-makeovers deliver big home value return

Kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects can significantly add comfort, improve functionality and increase the home's resale value. Whichever reason drives homeowners to complete an improvement project, they need to pick one that also delivers a return on investment.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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