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Seeks escrow snafu advice

Q: I am at my wit's end. This is a long story so please bear with me. (Note:For brevity sake, I am summarizing.) Peter appealed his real estate tax assessment but first the County got it wrong and then his lender compounded the problem with yet another error. His lender has calculated last year's monthly escrow payment and Peter believes it is wrong. As Peter wrote me: "Knowing there would be a shortage if I paid the lower payment, every month since March , I have over paid my mortgage by at least $100 and specifically requested it ...

December 27, 2013 | Benny L. Kass | HOME SCENE


What can I do about noisy, rude neighbors?

Ho, Ho, Ho to the Real Estate Boys; We are sort of hoping we might be the Christmas letter of the year, just like Time's person of the year. In fact, we sent Time your names for people of the year, keep your fingers crossed, Guys. OK, enough small talk. Our question is about neighbors who allow dogs to bark all day, rev their motor cycles early in the morning, 6:30 a.m., and sometimes late in the evening; neighbors who have tree branches that drop leaves and sap into my pool - basically, rude neighbors in general. Is ...

December 27, 2013 | Real Estate Boys | HOME SCENE


Mortgage applications tumble to a 13-year low

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans applying for mortgages has fallen 63 percent since a May peak, reflecting a cooling housing market and higher borrowing rates.

December 27, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Construction hits highest pace in 5 years

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders broke ground on homes at the fastest pace in more than five years, strong evidence that the housing recovery is accelerating despite higher mortgage rates.

December 27, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Sales of new homes slips 2.1 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - New-home sales dipped in November, but the government released more positive figures for the previous three months, a sign that housing may be regaining strength after a summer lull.

December 27, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rises to 4.48 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages crept higher this week but remained low by historical standards.

December 27, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Cypress: Best kept secret for exterior

Unique versatility, unrivaled durability, breathtaking beauty - all are qualities that have made cypress a longtime favorite building material in the coastal regions of the South. But the secret about cypress is out, and homeowners across the country are acknowledging its virtues for upgrading their homes' curb appeal and outdoor living spaces.

December 20, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Reclaimed wood ’s appeal

Breathing new life into your home with weathered touches, aged accents and historical character is holding true to the popular belief of "what's old is new." Sparked from the sustainable living trend, reclaimed, recycled and repurposed wood floors have become one of the hottest green design and remodeling trends.

December 20, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Homebuilder confidence surges in December

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. homebuilders' confidence bounced back strongly this month, a sign that construction and industry hiring may pick up in coming months.

December 20, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Is 2nd home a wise investment?

Happy Holidays Real Estate Boys: Our question is simple yet complex. Has highs and also lows. It can be hot or cold, dry and wet. A little dangerous but has great beauty mostly. OK, enough of the word games. The last of my husband's parents has recently passed away and we have inherited a goodly amount of cash and stuff. My husband and I have always wanted a second home in the mountains, not up too high or down too low. Not to hot and not to cold. But just right, if you know what I mean? So, the ...

December 20, 2013 | Real Estate Boys | HOME SCENE


Home construction hits highest pace in US in more than 5 years

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders broke ground on homes at the fastest pace in more than five years, strong evidence that the housing recovery is accelerating despite higher mortgage rates.

December 20, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Debt relief for rental property?

Q: I am hoping you can clarify debt relief as it applies to rental property.

December 20, 2013 | Benny L. Kass | HOME SCENE


Higher rates slow existing home sales for 3rd straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of people who bought existing U.S. homes in November declined for the third straight month. Higher mortgage rates have made home-buying more expensive, while the lingering effect of the October government shutdown might have deterred some sales.

December 20, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Average rate on 30-year loan rises to 4.47 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages rose slightly this week but remained near historically low levels.

December 20, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Safety tips for your garage door

The garage door's role in the home has changed dramatically over the last 30 years and most people don't realize it. Consider this: garage door openers have been installed in 35 million homes across the United States, making them one of the most widely used appliances. In fact, more than 70 percent of today's homeowners use their attached garage as their main entrance to their home.

December 13, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Have the smartest bathroom in town

Smart technology has found a place in virtually every room in the home, even the one where we take care of our most low-tech needs ...

August 11, 2017 | | HOME SCENE


How affordable housing can chip away at residential segregation

Though the low-income housing tax credit could land on the chopping block, it's probably safe due to its history of bipartisan support. Along with ...

August 11, 2017 | | HOME SCENE


Tips for tackling DIY deck project

While planning a new outdoor living space can be overwhelming, chances are there's a home improvement retailer nearby that offers an abundance of resources ...

August 11, 2017 | | HOME SCENE


Complaining about home prices . . .

Good morning Saturday readers. Larry and Lloyd thought they'd have a little fun today by showing our readers how lucky we all are to ...

July 14, 2017 | The Real Estate Boys | HOME SCENE


TRANSFORM YOUR HOME

Summertime isn't just for vacations or weekends at the cabin. Summer weekends - with longer days - are ideal opportunities for quick and inexpensive DIY projects ...

July 14, 2017 | | HOME SCENE


Making wise decisions on big purchases

Are you planning an upcoming home improvement? If so, you are not alone.

July 14, 2017 | | HOME SCENE


Prop 13 & affordable housing

What goes down must come up.

July 14, 2017 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Higher prices squeezing both renters & would- be homeowners

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A diminished supply of available homes is swelling prices in large U.S. metro areas from New York to Miami to Los ...

June 23, 2017 | | HOME SCENE


WATER USE & THE HOME

Cooking dinner, washing dishes, showering and flushing toilets - these are daily activities for most Americans. If you did any of these in the last 24 ...

June 23, 2017 | | HOME SCENE


A VISION FOR AFFORDABLITY

Drive Highway 99 north through Stockton and you'll change any preconceived notions you may have about affordable housing.

June 23, 2017 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


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