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Shape up your home in time for the holidays

Excited about hosting a holiday party; but dreading the decorating? You don't have to spend a great deal of money or invest a lot of time to get your home holiday ready. There are a number of quick, easy and inexpensive projects you can complete to update your decor before the first guest rings the doorbell.

November 29, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


How to maintain your deck for year-round entertainment

Expanding livable space using decks and patios is a top home improvement trend, but today's homeowners aren't satisfied with limiting entertaining outdoors to the warmer months. With a few smart updates, they're creating spaces that make outdoor entertaining possible all year long. Breathe new life into your existing deck and create a space that can be used for entertaining year-round with a few expert tips.

November 29, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Few supporting delaying changes in flood insurance

WASHINGTON (AP) - Efforts to delay implementation of changes in the federal flood insurance program have run into roadblocks on both sides of Capitol Hill.

November 22, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Tips to make your home sparkle for your holiday guests

The holiday season's here - time for enjoying your favorite foods, cider simmering on the stove and gatherings of friends and family. If you're hosting a holiday celebration, prepping your home now will help reduce last-minute chores and make the season more enjoyable.

November 22, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Son getting dinged for more money after escrow

Q: About a month ago, our son sold his home he had owned for 9 years. Three years ago, he obtained a loan modification to lower his payments. The title attorney that handled the recent closing received a pay-off from the lender in the amount of XXXXX. Our son needed to sell, so he took a loss and had to pay over $5,000 at the closing.

November 22, 2013 | Benny L. Kass | HOME SCENE


Average rate on 30-year fixed rate mortgage declines to 4.2 perecent.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week after two weeks of increases, keeping home-buying affordable.

November 22, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Existing home sales fall 3.2 percent during October as supply tightens

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fewer Americans bought existing homes in October, as higher mortgage rates, the 16-day partial government shutdown and a limited supply of houses on the market reduced sales.

November 22, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


HEART & SOUL

"A kitchen provides physical and spiritual nourishment, and for many homes is now the heart and soul of family life." That's how Terence Conran opened his classic Kitchen Book 20 years ago, and it's probably even truer today. The kitchen's central importance in most households means that Americans are paying more attention than ever to the design and decoration of this vital space - a search for functionality, comfort and beauty that's reflected in current trends in hardwood kitchen cabinetry.

November 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Festive tabletop ideas for holiday entertaining

Do you have the blues this holiday season? How about the pinks? Non-traditional holiday colors are a popular trend in home decor this yuletide, especially when it comes to decking the table for special gatherings with family and friends.

November 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Fewer homes repossessed by lenders during October

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fewer U.S. homes are completing the foreclosure process and ending up repossessed by banks because investors are increasingly buying up properties when they go on sale at public auction.

November 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Late-payment mortgage rate down in 3rd Q

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fewer U.S. homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, aided by rising home values, low interest rates and stable job gains.

November 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Rights when boyfriend dies without a will

DEAR BENNY: My mother and her boyfriend lived together for 18 years. He owned the house by himself. He has two surviving adult children. He always told me he wanted my mom to have everything. He did not have a close relationship to his children.

November 15, 2013 | Benny L. Kass | HOME SCENE


What exactly is a probate sale?

Boys: My husband and I have just made an offer to purchase a home and when we wrote the offer, we found out it must be approved by the court. The Realtor used the word "probate." Our Realtor could not give a clear picture of what's going on or what is going to happen. Can you Real Estate Boys come to the rescue and explain what in the world we've gotten ourselves into with this purchase?

November 15, 2013 | Real Estate Boys | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage at 4.35%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose for the second straight week amid some signs of economic strength. Still rates remain near historically low levels.

November 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


California home sales fairly flat in October

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales and prices were fairly flat in October compared to September, but other figures indicate a market that is slowly regaining its health after a yearslong slump, a research firm reported Wednesday.

November 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


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