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A homeowner’s guide to a year-round deck

During the warm summer months, having an outdoor deck for barbecues and gatherings with family and friends is a great addition to any backyard. The approach of cool weather may signal the end of barbecue season, but homeowners can still use their deck after the warm temperatures have passed.

August 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Taking on condo commandos

Q: I have lived in a four unit condo for almost four years. In that length of time we have never had a condo meeting nor have we received any financial statements. I have been fine with that until recently.

August 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Be the buyer sellers wants to deal with

For years, the real estate market has been a buyer's world, with ample inventory, fewer qualified buyers, and highly motivated (read: desperate) sellers. This spring, some signs are pointing to a shift back toward a seller's market. If you're shopping for a home this spring and summer, chances are you'll face increased competition from other buyers.

August 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Homebuilder confidence nears 8-year high

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Confidence among U.S. homebuilders is at its highest level in nearly eight years, fueled by optimism that demand for new homes will drive sales growth into next year.

August 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Do the banks earn profit from foreclosures through insurance?

Real Estate Boys; It is a pleasure to write to you guys. We enjoy your column and finally think we have a question of merit for your comments. Here goes…we have heard, but are not certain, that when the banks foreclose on a home there is an insurance policy that the bank collects on the premium. Do you Boys have any knowledge of this fact or myth?

August 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Myth busters: Why vinyl siding is a hot home design feature

Chances are, you've seen and heard a lot about vinyl siding on home renovation television shows, in magazines and in your neighborhood. Once seen as a drab and boring alternative to aluminum siding, vinyl siding is now driving new design trends, effortlessly adapting to any architectural home style.

August 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Farm family wins a fight vs. big utility, NY state over eminent domain move

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A farm family unwilling to give up land it has tilled for four generations took on a major power utility and the state and won, at least for now.

August 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Feds investigating PNC over pricing

NEW YORK (AP) - PNC Financial Services said Thursday that the Justice Department and federal regulators are examining some of its mortgage-related practices, including how it priced mortgage loans.

August 15, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Whitewashed floors complement lively decorating trends for homes

It's the season of sunshine and enjoying the great outdoors. Celebrate it with a style makeover for your home by tapping lively decorating trends and home decor ideas that will refresh and brighten your living space.

August 09, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Commuters save $15,500 per mile on housing

Housing prices in the 209 are back to the future.

August 09, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Best Mortgage Deal? Try loans for 15 years

Now that a 30-year fixed rate mortgage has jumped to 4.4 percent hat's the best mortgage deal around?

August 09, 2013 | Terry Savage | HOME SCENE

Closing Fannie, Freddie could boost mortgage rates

WASHINGTON (AP) - Homebuyers could feel the pinch if Congress follows through on plans to shut down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage guarantee giants that were rescued by a $187 billion taxpayer bailout during the financial crisis.

August 09, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Average rate on 30-year loan at 4.40 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages barely changed this week, giving prospective homebuyers time to lock in relatively low rates.

August 09, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

Real estate inheritance tax tips

DEAR BENNY: I am a retired widow who owns two homes. I have two children. Is it possible for each one to be a co-owner with me: one child on one house and the other on the second property? How would I go about doing this? Would that save anything on taxes, etc., for my two adult children? Would it cost me anything other than the filing fee for the property ownership papers of each of the homes?

August 09, 2013 | BENNY L. KASS | HOME SCENE

Freddie Mac earns $5B in 2nd quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) - Freddie Mac earned $5 billion from April through June, the seventh straight profitable quarter for the mortgage giant.

August 09, 2013 | | HOME SCENE

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