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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Buying a home: prepare by getting finances in order

For those considering buying a home, the current real estate market presents some unique opportunities. One of the side effects of the economic roller coaster ride of the past few years is that home prices have gone down and more homes have gone on the market. For buyers, that means more choices and better deals. However, those same tumultuous years also can also teach buyers a lesson: Make smart buying decisions and be wise with your finances.

July 05, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Bathroom remodeling ideas that add style, space

Now, more than ever, homeowners are adding to the value and comfort of their homes by renovating bathrooms into private retreats with luxurious touches that rival those of an upscale spa or resort.

July 05, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Construction spending rose 0.9 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) - A surge in homebuilding pushed U.S. construction spending up by the largest amount in five months, the latest indication that the housing sector is slowly recovering.

July 05, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Fixed mortgage rates fall to new record lows

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fixed U.S. mortgage rates fell again to new record lows, providing prospective buyers with more incentive to brave a modestly recovering housing market.

July 05, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rights when boyfriend dies without a will

DEAR BENNY: My mother and her boyfriend lived together for 18 years. He owned the house by himself. He has two surviving adult children. He always told me he wanted my mom to have everything. He did not have a close relationship to his children.

July 05, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Eclectic design trends breathe new life into your rooms & home

The newest interior design trends are invoking a playful vibe into rooms by mixing and matching different styles for an eclectic, fun look. According to "ELLE Decor," home decorating is shifting toward a more theatrical and eclectic decorating style highlighting richer colors, layers of textures and patterns and a fusion of time periods, styles and atmosphere.

July 05, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


$235,000 in Manteca 7 years ago bought a small house on an alley

Spend $235,000 today to buy a home in Manteca and you can get a new home of about 1,500 square feet with the latest built-in energy efficiencies.

June 29, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Big US cities boom as young adults shun suburbs

WASHINGTON (AP) - For the first time in a century, most of America's largest cities are growing at a faster rate than their surrounding suburbs as young adults seeking a foothold in the weak job market shun home-buying and stay put in bustling urban centers.

June 28, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Energy-saving tips for every room in the house

Keeping your home beautiful, organized and running smoothly is a never-ending task. The chores from the kitchen unfold into the dining room, which spills into the living room, the bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry room and beyond. Once you've added it all up, the amount of time and energy you spend on housework - day to day and year to year - is staggering.

June 28, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Contracts to buy homes rise, match two-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans signed more contracts to buy previously occupied homes in May, matching the fastest pace in two years. The increase suggests home sales will rise this summer and the modest housing recovery will continue.

June 28, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Appraisal fee can be challenged

DEAR BENNY: I have a question regarding a refinance. We had several unsuccessful attempts with two mortgage brokers because our house is located in a risky ZIP code and the appraiser said that he was unable to get two comps to complete the deal. Finally, we found another bank who said "no problem" right off the bat.

June 28, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Easy exterior projects that add lasting beauty to your home

In the current economy, homeowners want to improve their home's exterior while saving time, labor and money. You can enhance your lifestyle by choosing options that extend product performance and add beauty and enjoyment to outdoor living.

June 28, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Builders start more single-family homes

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders started work on more single-family homes in May and requested the most permits to build homes and apartments in three and a half years. The increase suggests the housing market is slowly recovering even as other areas of the economy have weakened.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Signs that termites might be invading your house

Termites live to eat. Their hunger causes $5 billion worth of damage each year in the U.S., damage most homeowner's insurance doesn't cover. In fact, a colony can devour a foot of 2-by-4 wood in only six months. And since termites are masters at going undetected, they can destroy entire support beams before you discover their presence. That's why it's so important to know what to look for.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Home sales slipped 1.5 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans bought fewer homes in May than April, suggesting a sluggish job market could threaten a modest recovery in housing.

June 21, 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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