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Archive By Section - 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


Trends for spring home improvement projects

Warmer temperatures, green grass and increased daylight help shake off the winter blues and inspire home and yard improvements to spruce up your surroundings.

February 09, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Create a dream summer outdoor living space

Beat the winter blues by taking the first steps to create a summer backyard oasis. By preparing now, you'll be ready to install - and enjoy - a dream deck once warmer weather arrives.

February 09, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


To rid your garden of weeds, focus on seeds

Every garden is filled with them: millions of unseen weeds. They are dormant seeds that lurk just below the soil surface, ready to spring to life with just the briefest exposure to light. Weeds can choke a garden, robbing it of space, nutrients and water. Allowing weeds to mature compounds the problem, as they are naturally prolific seed producers. They grow aggressively and can be tough to get rid of, because pulling weeds brings more weed seeds to the surface.

February 09, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Builders group sees pickup in housing this year

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The U.S. housing market will begin to mount a turnaround this year, building toward a solid recovery in 2013, according to a forecast issued Wednesday by the chief economist of a homebuilding industry trade group.

February 09, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage stays at record 3.87%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage stayed at a record low this week, providing some added incentive for those looking to buy a home or refinance.

February 09, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Is owner's title insurance worth the cost?

DEAR BENNY: We are getting ready to close on a home and there is a settlement fee of $685 for lender's title insurance and $683 for owner's title insurance. Must we pay both fees? --Phyllis

February 09, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate slips to 4.28 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell after three weeks of increases, edging closer to historically low levels.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Sowing the seeds of spring: Start your garden indoors

While cooler temperatures slowly fade, gardeners across the country eagerly await the arrival of spring - and the chance to get outdoors and grow something. If gardening is your passion, you don't have to wait until the weather is perfect to get started. In fact, working ahead by growing your own seedlings is a great way to ensure your garden is successful throughout the warmer months.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Eight tips to get your lawn mower ready for optimum use this spring

With spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to tune up your lawn mower for the season ahead. A yearly tune-up is important to ensure all parts of your mower are functioning properly and safely. Use these eight tips to rev up your engine and get your mower ready for spring:

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Six tips for growing lawns

To help get your lawn ready for use and enjoyment this season, the Craftsman brand has developed the following tips to ensure that your lawn kicks grass, takes names and becomes the envy of neighbors everywhere.

March 07, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Tiny houses help address nation’s homeless problem

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - While tiny houses have been attractive for those wanting to downsize or simplify their lives for financial or environmental reasons, there's another population benefiting from the small-dwelling movement: the homeless.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Nix the neutrals: Make a new home your own

When selling a house, the mantra for most is neutral, neutral, neutral. To help potential new owners envision themselves moving in, real estate experts remind sellers to de-personalize their homes. That means removing family photos and mementos and replacing favorite color schemes with more vanilla shades and hues. So as a new homeowner, how do you begin to de-neutralize your new house to make it your new home?

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices dip for second straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices fell for the second straight month in December as brutally cold weather, tight supply and higher costs slowed sales.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Solid new-home sales lift hopes for housing market

WASHINGTON (AP) - A surprisingly strong pace of new-home sales last month has boosted hopes that the spring buying season will be solid enough to lift the overall economy.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate reaches 4.37 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose for a third straight week as new data showed a surprisingly strong pace of new-home sales last month. Rates still remain near historically low levels.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Freddie Mac posts $8.6B profit in 4Q

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mortgage giant Freddie Mac posted net income of $8.6 billion for the October through December period, its ninth straight profitable quarter. Earnings were boosted by the continued rise in home prices, which reduced the amounts the company had to set aside to cover losses on mortgages.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Oscar horse race to be a photo finish

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Many of the winners who will take home an Oscar on Sunday have long been forecast, their triumph made seemingly self-evident after months of anticipation. That is, except for one little category: best picture.

February 28, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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