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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Good news: Assessor says the bottom has bottomed out

My property tax bill hasn't changed for the second straight year.

November 02, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Create your holiday home with lights that accent looks

When it comes to decorating with lights for the holidays, there are unlimited ways to add twinkle to the inside as well as the outside of your home. Some people favor an elegant, restrained sprinkling of lights around a door, while others go for a more exuberant display of illumination on virtually every surface.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices rise at faster pace for sustained gains

WASHINGTON (AP) - Home prices rose in August in nearly all U.S. cities, and many of the markets hit hardest during the crisis are starting to show sustained gains. The increases are the latest evidence of a steady housing recovery.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Flood insurance still relatively rare for Northeast homeowners

NEW YORK (AP) - Many homeowners who suffered losses because of flooding from Hurricane Sandy are likely to find themselves out of luck. Standard homeowners policies don't cover flooding damage, and the vast majority of homeowners don't have flood insurance.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Average rate on 30-year loan dips to 3.39 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage slipped this week and stayed near its record low, a trend that's helped boost home sales and refinancing.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Refinance misstep forfeits low HELOC rate

DEAR BENNY: A mortgage broker advised us several years ago to split our mortgage into a $400,000 mortgage and a $100,000 line of credit (we had $300,000 total available on the HELOC). A few months ago, we refinanced our $400,000 mortgage with our current lender. (Our house is assessed at $900,000.) We asked our lender if we could refinance our mortgage up to $500,000, pay down the $100,000 drawn on the HELOC, but still keep the HELOC with the HELOC lender open, and our lender said "yes."

November 01, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Broker: Wright-designed Ariz. home to be preserved

PHOENIX (AP) - A Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Phoenix home that had been slated for demolition will apparently survive under a new owner.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


US builders boost September spending by 0.6 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders spent more on home construction in September, a gain that helped offset weakness in nonresidential building and government projects.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Nick-of-time tips to make your home holiday ready

As you prepare to celebrate the holidays, welcoming loved ones into your home is a highlight of the festivities. You may eagerly look forward to gathering with family and friends, but is your house holiday and houseguest ready?

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Selecting a trustworthy mover is the first step in avoiding headaches

Americans are on the move. The United States Census Bureau estimates that 12.5 percent of Americans - nearly 40 million people - changed residences each of the past two years. While many turned to moving professionals for assistance, some learned the hard way that not all moving companies are created equally. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) received nearly 3,000 complaints about moving companies last year alone - a double-digit increase from the prior year.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Sales contracts to buy homes rose last month

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose only slightly, suggesting sales may level off in the coming months after solid gains in the past year.

November 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Sales contracts to buy homes rose last month

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose only slightly, suggesting sales may level off in the coming months after solid gains in the past year.

October 25, 2012 | | 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


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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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