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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Claiming $500K tax break after spouse dies

DEAR BENNY: My husband died this past August. We owned and lived in our house for more than 15 years, but now I want to sell. Am I eligible for the up-to-$500,000 exclusion of any profit that I will make? --Annie

December 23, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Bathroom remodeling ideas: From small to total overhaul that can save money

Ready to give your bathroom a facelift, but can't decide what changes to make? From tubs to toilets to tile, the sky is the limit when it comes to bathroom renovations, even if budget is not.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Down payment assistance available to buyers of new homes to cover school fees

The California Housing Finance Agency is now offering the Schools Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance program to qualified buyers of newly constructed homes. With home prices and mortgage interest rates already near all-time lows, the down payment assistance increases the affordability of new homes even more for qualified buyers.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Wells Fargo to help area customers facing mortgage payment challenges

STOCKTON - Wells Fargo & Company is hosting a free Home Preservation Workshop in Stockton for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, Wachovia Mortgage and Wells Fargo Home Equity customers facing financial hardships.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Sellers have recourse when buyers back out

DEAR BENNY: We recently had a contract to sell our home to a "cash" buyer. He and his wife were allegedly inheriting a large sum of money, and their Realtor confirmed that she had seen the bank account statement confirming a "vast sum of money," reportedly well in excess of our contract price.

December 16, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Installing gas fireplaces

A gas fireplace can add ambiance and warmth to any room, and with the cold weather, you might be dreaming of adding one in your home. Because purchasing a fireplace is not something we do every day, there are some important things to consider.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Help protect your home from rodents this winter

The cold temperatures are settling in for the winter months, and if you're not careful, rodents can also settle into your home. Your house - especially your kitchen - offers everything rats and mice are looking for: food, water and warmth.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Save money with energy efficiency tips

Saving money is on everyone's mind this winter season. Between the holiday expenses, colder temperatures and tight budgets, finding ways to reduce costs can be a bit of a challenge. If you're looking for ways to save, look at your home, and see if you can improve on your energy efficiency - thereby keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Easy ways to warm up your home decor

As the chill of winter sets in, your home interior may be lacking the warmth and comfort you'd prefer. Fortunately, creating an inviting atmosphere does not require huge amounts of time or money. And you don't need to be a professional interior designer - or even have experience in decorating - to transform your home into a welcoming haven. To bring your decor into the season and give your home noticeable appeal, follow a few easy tips.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Smart ways to use credit when redecorating

When your redecorating project is done, you want everyone who sees it to think it looks like a million bucks. But woe to your wallet - and possibly your credit - if you overspend to achieve that look.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


More affordable to buy in SJ Valley

The Northern San Joaquin Valley was flying high five years ago.

December 09, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Sidestep penalty for early mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I was at the closing table for my condo purchase only to discover that there was a penalty for early payoff. I called the bank immediately and they told me to "take it or leave it."

December 09, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Top home decor trends for 2012

From warm woods and creative colors to memorable murals and tailored textures, interior designers and industry experts predict 2012 will offer a multitude of options for those interested in giving their homes a fresh look. Even better for today's cost-conscious consumers is that many of the trends are easy and inexpensive.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Winter: Time to plan outdoor updates

Does the bitter cold weather have you dreaming of warm days spending time with friends and family in your backyard? The cold may keep us indoors, but professionals in the landscape and remodeling industry are still thinking about the outdoors and use the winter months to plan spring projects, and so should you.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Greet holiday guests with a warm, stylish, sensible home

Twinkling lights, fragrant wreaths and freshly baked cookies help set the stage, but holiday guests truly feel at home when you provide a warm, cozy environment.

November 18, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Give your home a checkup

There's no better time than now to give your home the attention it deserves. Give it an annual checkup before cold weather arrives to help add comfort, save energy and cut home maintenance in the long-run.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Year-over-year: Price gains slowing

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices rose in June by the smallest year-over-year amount in 20 months, slowed by modest sales and more properties coming on the market.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


HOME PRICE TSUNAMI

Median home prices in San Jose are at $720,600.

August 01, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Fresh ideas for summer alfresco entertaining

Warm days are calling, as summer traditionally kicks off the outdoor entertaining season. But this year, tradition takes a new direction. More hosts are breaking the boundaries of indoor versus outdoor entertaining. Gone are the paper plates and plastic cups. Instead, people are daring to take their dinnerware outside.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Handcrafted items speak to soul with unique appeal

The quilt handed down through generations, the turn-of-the-century wooden rocking chair made by a long-gone relative, hand-stitched samplers that have graced every home your family has lived in - handcrafted items simply speak to the soul. In today's society, when we're surrounded by technology and homogenous machine-made items from clothes to curtains, handcrafting imparts a human, customized quality to home decor.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Fresh ideas for summer alfresco entertaining

Warm days are calling, as summer traditionally kicks off the outdoor entertaining season. But this year, tradition takes a new direction. More hosts are breaking the boundaries of indoor versus outdoor entertaining. Gone are the paper plates and plastic cups. Instead, people are daring to take their dinnerware outside.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Reasons to love your lawn & why you should take care of it

As summer approaches and your thoughts turn to home improvement and the outdoors, you're probably considering a variety of ways to make your home more comfortable, more attractive and more environmentally sustainable - while hopefully increasing its value as well. One feature that can achieve all these goals is a healthy lawn.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Senior citizens share homes for cost saving plus companionship

NEW YORK (AP) - It's not exactly "The Golden Girls," but for Marcia Rosenfeld, it'll do.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage at 4.12%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates declined slightly this week, hovering near their lows for the year.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


LOOK IN LATHROP

Homes that qualify for FHA mortgages are in high demand.

July 25, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Revive the charm of mid- century modern design

Mid-century modern inspiration draws from the 1940s through the 1960s, a twenty-year span when design was sleek, elegant and functional. Although the style originated more than 70 years ago, this trend has resurfaced with a fresh revival.

July 25, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Lawn mower accessories help you get landscaping jobs done

Efficiency is the name of the game these days. At the office it comes into play in processing work quickly and at a lower cost. At home, efficiency means being able to get the household and landscaping chores done so you can spend time with the family.

July 25, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


To stack TVs & fireplaces? That is the great debate

When choosing a focal point for a room, designers and homeowners alike often plan for a single feature - windows, TVs, artwork, or fireplaces - to take center stage. However, the explosion of flat screen TVs for every room in the home has created a debate - can you really have more than one focal point?

July 25, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Laying a good foundation for improvement success

You've probably heard the saying: "Your home is your castle." But if your current home - or the home you're thinking of buying -feels more like the servant's quarters than the royal palace, you may need to plan a renovation. At times like these it's easy to give in to your excitement and get the project moving forward, but take a moment to plan your overall strategy. You'll find that, much like your future castle, your renovation project will benefit from a solid foundation.

July 25, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate at 4.13%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates were stable to slightly higher this week, remaining near their lows for the year.

July 25, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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