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Request a payment plan for unpaid condo dues

DEAR BENNY: I need to write a "request for payment plan" letter to my homeowners association, but I don't know how to write an effective one. I owe several months of back dues totaling about $3,000, which includes attorney's fees and interest. I really need help on writing this letter. I have not paid because of major health issues in 2011 to date. --Liz

July 19, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE

Housing confidence picks up five years after collapse

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans are regaining confidence in the housing market five years after it collapsed.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

How low can they go? 30-year mortgage now at record low 3.53%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average rates on fixed mortgages fell again this week to record lows, creating more incentive for buyers to enter the recovering housing market.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Foreclosure hits older Americans harder than most

WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 1.5 million older Americans already have lost their homes, with millions more at risk as the national housing crisis takes its toll on those who are among the worst positioned to weather the storm, a new AARP report says.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Now’s the time to put safeguards in against new home flipping

Looking back at flipping in 2005 it is amazing that the housing market collapse wasn't worse.

July 12, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE

USDA spends millions to stimulate rural housing ownership numbers

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) - Kjell Thompson has long dreamed of owning her own home, but until recently she thought it out of her reach.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Cook up a whole new look for your kitchen is easy

We spend hours in the kitchen socializing, keeping the family organized, and, of course, cooking and eating. As the center of the home's activities, the kitchen should be as fun as it is functional. With just a few supplies and a free weekend, you can cook up a whole new look for your kitchen.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Daring creativity blooms in floral decor

A little black dress, a great pair of jeans and a leather jacket - some styles never go out of fashion. Some elements of home decor share that same sense of timelessness, and none more so than a simple floral theme.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

No limit to amount HOAs can charge

DEAR BENNY: My homeowners association fees are of great concern to me, since I am on a limited income. The monthly fees are $399, and this, combined with my mortgage payments of nearly $1,400, creates a burden. I have been a widow since 1973 and am, of course, a "retired" senior with no retirement income benefits.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Upgrading to your dream home

The real estate market is still in a state of limbo, which has many homeowners staying in place and looking for ways to make their current abode the most comfortable it can be. Real estate agents expect the market to continue to be flat in 2012, according to ActiveRain Corp, a real estate social network. Because they're not selling, homeowners are looking at remodeling rooms, changing out decorating schemes and in some cases, even adding on to the home.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Teberg and team sweep landscape design awards at Alameda County Fair

Eric Teberg was taking his good friend, Joan Collins, to the doctor in Sacramento when he received the good news.

July 12, 2012 | Rose Albano Risso | HOME SCENE

Foreclosures on market could swell in early 2013

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Banks are increasingly placing homes with unpaid mortgages on a countdown that could deliver a swell of new foreclosed properties onto the market by early next year, potentially weighing further on home values.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

30-year mortgage rate drops to record 3.56%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell again to record lows, giving would-be buyers more incentive to brave the housing market.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

California adopts law on 'abusive' home lending

LOS ANGELES (AP) - California has a new law to stop what Gov. Jerry Brown calls abusive home lending tactics.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Underwater? It isn’t a financial disaster if you can make payments

One in five homes nationally is underwater.

July 06, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE

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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE

Plan for futuristic communities opposed

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The utopic communities envisioned by a wealthy Mormon businessman near religious landmarks in Utah and Vermont would feature small homes clustered ...

August 25, 2016 | | HOME SCENE

Should you keep renting or buy a house?

"Ask Brianna" from NerdWallet is a Q&A column for 20-somethings, or anyone else starting out. I'm here to help you manage your money ...


30-year rate unchanged at 3.43%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Long-term U.S. mortgage rates didn't budge this week, remaining at historically low levels that continue to lure prospective home buyers.

August 25, 2016 | | HOME SCENE

Bring style to your closet

Closet designer may not be a title on your resume, but deep down you may find talents you never knew existed. Whether you are laying ...

August 25, 2016 | | HOME SCENE

New-home sales climb to best level since late 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans stepped up their purchases of new homes in July to the fastest pace in nearly nine years, the latest sign that low ...

August 25, 2016 | | HOME SCENE

Sales fall amid inventory shortage

WASHINGTON (AP) - US homebuyers pulled back in July, as sales declined amid a shortage of available properties and steadily rising prices.

August 25, 2016 | | HOME SCENE

Bank goes after borrower after foreclosed house sold

Q: My home was recently foreclosed upon. The bank claimed I owed $375,000 on the day of the foreclosure, but the bank was the ...

August 25, 2016 | Benny L. Kass | HOME SCENE

Buying after a bankruptcy or a foreclosure

Hey Real Estate Boys! How goes it on this bright and cheeriest of days? There is no such thing as a bad Saturday in my ...

August 25, 2016 | Real Estate Boys | HOME SCENE


When tiny houses first became popular, they seemed to be geared towards people who were looking to shed some of the glitz and glamour of ...

August 25, 2016 | CAMILLE MOORE | HOME SCENE


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