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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Tips for choosing the right water heater

If all is working well, most homeowners put little thought into their water heater. But when this critical appliance fails, it can be a nightmare that halts a home's productivity completely. With no hot water for washing dishes and clothes - let alone for bathing - homeowners are left scrambling to find a new water heater as fast as possible.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Protecting condo funds from embezzlement

DEAR BENNY: I have just been elected president of my 200-unit condominium association and have heard that some property managers throughout the country have embezzled association funds. How can we protect ourselves and our money? --Fred

December 20, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Housing starts slowed to 861,000 in November

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in November after starting work in October at the fastest pace in four years. Superstorm Sandy likely slowed starts in the Northeast.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rates rise; still near record lows

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average rates on U.S. fixed mortgages rose this week but remained near record lows, a trend that is leading more Americans to buy homes or refinance their loans.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


American hardwood millwork transforms an aging room into a dazzling showcase

Looking for a simple, inexpensive way to turn an aging family room into a dazzling showcase? Inspired design professionals will tell you one of the most popular and cost-effective ways to transform a plain space into a room with sizzle is to adorn it with millwork crafted from American hardwoods.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


How to truly make your patio an extension of your home

If you're like many homeowners, you consider the patio an extension of your home. So it's fair to ask: Would you be just as comfortable nestled in with your favorite book or preparing a meal in your outdoor space as you would in your living room or your kitchen? As you contemplate ways to improve your outdoor area, think about projects that can both extend the hours you spend outside and make the time you spend there more relaxing.

December 20, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


It may be worth your time to see if you can lower your tax bill

There are three ways you can possibly lower your property tax bill, two of which can be accomplished without investing even an hour of your time.

December 13, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Color match part of polymer roof tile’s charm

What does a homeowner do when he's so happy with his colorful new Bellaforté roof that he wants to share it with family and friends? If that homeowner is Dan Baer, he throws a roof party!

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Five fast home decor updates

With the fast-paced lives people can lead today, often we strive for instant gratification to fit into our busy schedules. So when it comes to home improvement projects, wouldn't you love an instant update for boring home decor? Fortunately, there are numerous fast fixes that can produce fantastic results. Try these easy update ideas and realize the rewards of a fabulous and functional home makeover.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Bank repossessions hit 9-month high of 59,134 during November

LOS ANGELES (AP) - U.S. home repossessions rose to a nine-month high in November, even as the number of homes starting on the path to foreclosure declined to the lowest level in six years.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Managers at Fannie, Freddie earned $200,000 as media pay last year

WASHINGTON (AP) - A government report finds median pay for nearly 2,000 senior managers at government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exceeded $200,000 last year.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Know your rights for canceling private mortgage insurance

DEAR BENNY: I want to get the PMI off my mortgage in February of next year, which will be two years from the time of my refinancing. All my payments have been on time. I have communicated with my current mortgage company that I wish to have the PMI canceled and they informed me in writing that I have to wait for two years and that I have to get an appraisal (which I have to pay for) in order to make sure I will have 20 percent equity of the new appraised value.

December 13, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year fixed rate mortgage dips to 3.32 %

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week near record lows, providing more incentive for Americans to buy homes and refinance.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


California home prices rise 19% in November

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home prices posted a ninth straight annual increase in November as buyers competed for a limited number of available properties, a research firm reported Thursday.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Use winter to update and beautify your bathroom

Remodeling and refreshing the home is a great way to keep cabin fever at bay during long winter months. Designing a bathroom remodel to incorporate innovative style, comfort and efficiency helps to speed the winter months along, and your family will certainly enjoy the rest of the season with a beautiful new bathroom.

December 13, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


New ideas to improve your home for an enjoyable 2015

The start of a new year usually means one thing: endless resolutions. As you bid farewell to the holidays, it's all about what you want to change, upgrade and do better. Health and well-being are always the first things that come to mind, but don't overlook your home. In fact, sometimes it's the first place to start - from a total overhaul to the simplest design changes. Those major or minor design decisions can really impact not only how you live, but also the health and happiness of you, your family and your home.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


5 easy kitchen and bath upgrades that are quick

Do your kitchen and bathrooms look a bit drab? If you don't have the time or budget for a full remodel, there are still many simple updates you can do to refresh these spaces and invigorate each with impressive style. From affordable faucet updates to pretty paints, each takes one day or less to complete, instantly providing a dramatic effect.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Lower premiums could save $900 yearly

PHOENIX (AP) - Standing at the epicenter of the nation's recent housing crisis, President Barack Obama on Thursday promoted plans to lower some mortgage insurance premiums, a move the White House says could save homeowners $900 a year and attract 250,000 first-time buyers.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rates hit lowest level in 21 months

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates started the year by dipping to new lows, with the benchmark 30-year rate marking its lowest level since May 2013.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Top 5 real estate trends of 2015

According to the "2014 Housing Review" released by realtor.com , 2014 "demonstrated a steady buildup of housing momentum fueled by significant improvements in economic fundamentals, low mortgage rates and compressed inventory, and is expected to carry the market into 2015 gains."

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices drifted upward in November

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home values rose at a measured pace in November, a sign that demand remains weak as many buyers have been priced out of the market.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


New homebuyers checklist

When you're about to buy a house, it's easy to get excited about its great location, spacious floor plan or beautifully decorated interior. Yet the old saying, "beauty's only skin deep" can apply to any home, especially if you're considering an older, previously owned property. Before signing on the dotted line, use this checklist to help avoid some potentially costly surprises and anticipate repairs or upgrades that may be needed.

January 09, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Timeless interior design protects your investment

Kitchens are the heart of the home. It's where you prepare meals, help your kids with homework and entertain guests. It's the room in the house where everyone gathers, where memories are made, and, with solid investment, can single-handedly increase the value of your home and help you build more of a nest egg. Even if you're considering selling your home, all eyes of prospective buyers will inevitably be on the kitchen.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Hot home decor color trends make statement

It's a strategy interior designers often use to create stunning rooms that wow the instant someone enters them: the use of creative color. Homeowners looking to deliver impressive interior style can take cues from what will be the trendiest hues of 2015 and beyond.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rate edges up to 3.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week, but the benchmark 30-year rate stayed near a 19-month low.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Mortgage rate edges up to 3.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week, but the benchmark 30-year rate stayed near a 19-month low.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


100-YEAR-OLD CRAFTSMAN

PASADENA . (AP) - My love of 100-year-old California Craftsman bungalows - those low-slung, early 20th century Arts and Crafts-era homes known for their clean, horizontal lines and sturdy woodwork - runs long and deep.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Curb energy loss with renovation investments

While homeowners may not immediately think of their attic as a major source of energy loss, the reality is that as much as 25 percent of the energy lost in the average American home occurs there. As the weather begins to get cooler, you may be inclined to increase the thermostat to maintain a warm and comfortable home. However, air leakage, caused by numerous gaps and cracks throughout your home's infrastructure, particularly the attic, can cause your HVAC equipment to work overtime and place a strain on your wallet every month.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


6 design trends to make your home’s style in 2015

As the new year kicks off, it's the premier time to refresh and refocus on certain aspects of your life ... and the home is no exception. Say goodbye to lackluster interiors as renowned interior designer and DIY television personality, Taniya Nayak, has forecasted the top trends for 2015 that will be sure to enhance and revive any home.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Pending home sales rise slightly

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rose modestly in November as a strengthening economy helped nudge some would-be homebuyers.

January 02, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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