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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


5 percent jump in home prices biggest in 6 years

WASHINGTON (AP) - A measure of U.S. home prices jumped 5 percent in September compared with a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase since July 2006. The gain reported by CoreLogic offered more evidence of a sustainable housing recovery.

November 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Learn important lesson from Sandy’s destruction

In the past year, we've seen tornadoes sweeping across middle America, rivers flooding their banks along the Mississippi and out-of-control wildfires destroying homes in California, Colorado and Texas. But watching the ocean sweep across Wall Street, flooding the New York subway system and destroying a whole section of Queens and New Jersey must finally bring home our total vulnerability to nature.

November 08, 2012 | By TERRY SAVAGE Financial Advisor | 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


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Tips to prepare windows & doors for winter to save

How much do you spend on utilities? Are you looking for ways to save? A typical American household spends about $2,100 on energy bills each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Most of that expense comes from a home's energy use during the winter heating season. But a quick home checkup can help you can reduce these costs, prepare for winter and enjoy energy savings.

October 17, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate at 3.97 %

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates tumbled this week. The 30-year loan hit its lowest level since June 2013 as Treasury bond yields marked new lows amid concern over global economic weakness.

October 17, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Ideas to bring Halloween decor back from the dead

Halloween has its fair share of iconic symbols: ghosts, witches, mummies and pumpkins, just to name a few. But if your home decor is becoming just as iconic, it may be time to change it up and take your decorating in a new direction.

October 17, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home sales rise in September

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales rose for the first time in a year in September, a research firm said Tuesday, as cooling prices and a strong economy encouraged buyers.

October 17, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


From make-do to all new: Create your dream kitchen

Homeowners have spent more on kitchen remodeling than any other home improvement category in the last 10 years, according to Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies - and there's good reason. An updated kitchen does more than boost the value of your home; whether you make just a few changes or completely renovate the entire space, a kitchen that feels new is always refreshing. From basic cooking to frequent entertaining, your dream kitchen should look good and function well.

October 17, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Apartments pushed up September homebuilding

WASHINGTON (AP) - Construction firms broke ground on more apartment complexes in September, pushing up the pace of U.S. homebuilding.

October 17, 2014 | | 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


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