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Archive By Section - 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


High-tech homes make everyday living simpler, even more secure

If you find yourself wondering how you ever got along before your smartphone, laptop and GPS, you're not alone. Technology is so much a part of how we go about our days that we often take it for granted. However, in many cases, houses haven't caught up to the same technological standards as the gadgets people carry with them 24/7. But that's all about to change, as new ideas begin to revolutionize the way we view our homes.

February 21, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


‘Gifted’ loan down payments come back to haunt FHA

Uncle Sam's failure to practice tough love is creating more foreclosures.

February 15, 2013 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Remodeling: How to go from a far-off dream to 'DIY'

Year after year, no matter the state of the housing market, kitchen remodeling remains a good idea. The project perennially tops lists of value-for-your-money home improvements and almost every buyer will be attracted to a kitchen that's updated and move-in ready. Even if you're planning on staying in your home for a while, few things can reinvigorate your home like a brand new kitchen.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


California home prices and sales up in January

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The number of homes sold in California rose 2.7 percent last month from a year earlier and the median price soared as the housing market showed continuing signs of recovery, the reporting firm DataQuick said Thursday.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Late-payment rate on US mortgages hits four-year low

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Homeowners who took on mortgages well after the housing bubble burst are doing a better job in keeping up with payments, a trend that has helped push the national rate of late payments on home loans to the lowest level in four years.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


4 must-knows about mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I will be soon paying off (in its entirety) the mortgage on my home. For your information, I have been current on my payments throughout the 10-year term. The mortgage company is a credit union, and I intend to continue residing in my home.

February 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Expanding outdoor living spacecan increase value of your home

Even during a challenging economy, the outdoor living trend remains popular as homeowners seek to add lasting value and functional living space under the sky and stars. Whether it's a do-it-yourself patio or a professionally installed outdoor kitchen, the beauty, usefulness, value and ease of maintenance in outdoor living space is limitless.

February 07, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


RENTING VS BUYING

The naysayers were insistent.

January 16, 2015 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Expert tips for choosing a window for kitchen remodel

What are the hottest updates for homes in 2015? The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in the home to remodel, and for good reason. According to HGTV and Trulia, a kitchen update is one of the secrets to selling your home.

January 16, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Stunning painting projects can be done in day or less

Modern, lively, exciting - if these words don't describe the style of your favorite rooms, an update is in order. Painting is a classic makeover tool for interior spaces. To give your home's aesthetic a boost of personality and style, consider these surprisingly simple DIY paint projects that can be done in one day or less.

January 16, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Right tools can help you make home repairs after disasters

The life of a homeowner is unpredictable. It is inevitable you will encounter necessary home fixes and even an occasional disaster. From storm-damaged roofs and extended power outages to a cabinet door ready to fall off its hinges, it's important to fix issues quickly before they become a hazard to your family, pets or visitors.

January 16, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


California home sales rise in December on stronger economy

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales jumped in December, buoyed by a stronger economy and lower interest rates, a research firm said Thursday. Prices rose modestly.

January 16, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on mortgage falls to 3.66%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, with the benchmark 30-year rate again marking its lowest level since May 2013. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, dipped below 3 percent for the first time since then.

January 16, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


New coat of paint: Success tips for DIY painting projects

Painting projects are more popular than ever with do-it-yourselfers with 94 percent planning a painting project in 2015, according to a Sherwin-Williams survey of homeowners. DIYers are also planning their painting projects earlier in the year, with January, February and March marked as popular months to upgrade homes with color.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Create bathroom retreat

With so much time spent in the bathroom, it is important to give that space a little TLC like the rest of the home. Almost everyone that enters your home sees your bathroom. From changing accessories to a total bath remodel, it is important that it receives a little refreshment. A bathroom should be an oasis, and the environment that it displays directly correlates with just how relaxing it is.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


SMARTER HOME

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Technology forecasters are calling 2015 the year of the Internet of Things - that idea that everyday objects will use sensors and Internet connectivity to start thinking and acting for themselves. At the International CES gadget show this week, I explored many of the elements that could lead to a smarter home. Some were intriguing; others disappointing. Are the capabilities on offer worth the expense and hassle? I'm not entirely convinced.

January 09, 2015 | | 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


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