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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Good economic news continues to trickle out

The economic recovery was once again reinforced last week with the majority of data continuing to point towards growth. Retail Sales rose a solid .7% showing that consumers are continuing to increase spending long after the holiday season has ended.

February 23, 2012 | By DEBORAH ROMERO Special to the Bulletin | HOME SCENE


Rising sales point to better year for housing

WASHINGTON (AP) - The housing market is flashing signs of health ahead of the spring-buying season.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.95%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage jumped after standing pat for three straight weeks at record lows. But the rate stayed below 4 percent for the 12th straight week, keeping home-buying and refinancing attractive for those who can qualify.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Seniors: Avoid lump-sum mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I am 74 and recently have been contemplating paying off my condo mortgage. The remainder of the mortgage is $98,000 at 6 percent. Can you help me through this? On the surface it seems like a good idea, but I'm not aware of all the particulars. I am in good health and will not need the $98,000 in the near future. --Dee Dee

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Housing agency could run out of money in 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Housing Administration could run out of money over the next year and require a $700 million cash infusion from the Treasury Department to stay afloat, according to the Obama administration's budget request sent Monday to Congress.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Fewer Americans at risk of foreclosure in fourth quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans at risk of foreclosure is declining, as more homeowners climb out of debt and find steady work.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage stays at record 3.87 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage held steady at a record low for a third straight week, offering more incentive to those looking to buy a home or refinance.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Homebuilder optimism rises for 5th straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. homebuilders are gradually growing more optimistic about the depressed housing market and believe homes sales could pick up sharply when the spring buying season begins.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Housing starts rise modestly to start new year

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction of single-family homes cooled off slightly in January after surging in the final month last year. But a rise in permits suggests builders are growing more confident that more buyers are ready to come off the sidelines.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Foreclosure activity edges higher in January

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Banks took back more U.S. homes in January than in the previous month, the latest sign that foreclosures are accelerating after slowing sharply last year while lenders sorted out foreclosure-abuse claims.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Beware of 'force-placed' hazard insurance

DEAR BENNY: My wife and I closed on a short-sale house in Florida back in 2010. We paid "in full" the homeowners and flood insurance even before we took title to the property. Once we became the owner of the property, confusion started when the insurance agent apparently (and incorrectly) advised the lender that we did not have the necessary insurance coverage.

February 16, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


$26 billion settlement between banks, states not what it seems

The big headline announced this month is the $26 settlement reached between the nation's five largest banks and 49 state attorney generals. The settlement is to compensate and assist homeowners that have been either foreclosed on improperly, or homeowners that owe significantly more than the value of their home.

February 16, 2012 | By DEBORAH ROMERO Mortgage Loan Officer | HOME SCENE


10 things to keep in mind when renting

Rent vs. own? More Americans are wrestling with that question as the economy continues its slow recovery. Even though homes are selling at record lows, many Americans are choosing to rent instead, maintaining their mobility and financial flexibility until the economy, as well as their job prospects, improve.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Getting more out of rooms

Did you ever watch a home improvement show team transform a drab room into something spectacular using a shoestring budget and less time than it takes you to clean out your closet? Ever wonder how they did it? Here's the secret: they cheat. And you can too.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Flex is the word at Oakwood Shores

Oakwood Shores 2.0 isn't simply an upgrade of the initial gated lakefront community that took major nosedive during the collapse of the housing bubble.

February 09, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


What to look for in renovations

The kitchen is the focal point of any home. It's a place where you eat, congregate and celebrate life's big moments. If you are an empty-nester looking for the kitchen of your dreams, a parent seeking to match your kitchen to your growing family or you simply feel inspired to change things for the better, it's time to stop dreaming and start planning.

December 26, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


STAYING PUT

When considering a home renovation, think outside the box for design inspiration and setting the overall tone.

December 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Simple steps for protecting your home during 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 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Surprising big ticket bargains you can find at holiday time

Bargain hunting is practically a sport, especially during the holiday shopping season. Deloitte's 2014 annual holiday survey predicts the average American will drop nearly $1,300 this holiday season. With that level of spending in mind, planning to save real money elsewhere is crucial to managing a household's bottom line.

December 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Creating the perfect porch can be simple, low-maintenance

Your porch should be a warm, welcoming outdoor living space that offers comfort and helps make a house a home. Whether you want to remodel your porch from the ground up, or just give it a refreshing new look and feel, it's easier than you think to create a perfect porch.

December 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Timeless, trendy? Achieve both in your home decor

Are you looking for ways to update your home this new year? With so many fresh interior ideas available, it can be difficult to balance current design trends with classic styles for a look that is both of-the-moment and everlasting. Follow these guidelines to find a way to blend now and forever for a look you will love today and tomorrow.

December 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year loan rate falls to 3.80%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan rate reaching a new low for the year.

December 19, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home starts drop 1.6% in November

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction of new homes fell slightly in November, reflecting weakness in construction of single-family homes.

December 19, 2014 | | 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


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