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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Sales contracts for homes rose 2 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January to the highest level in nearly two years, supporting the view that the housing market is gradually coming back.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Foreclosures comprised smaller slice of 2011 sales

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Bank-owned homes and short sales last year accounted for the smallest slice of overall sales in three years but still made up nearly a quarter of all U.S. homes sold in 2011.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Qualifying for $500K home-sale tax break

DEAR BENNY: My husband and I each have a trust, and our house is in my trust. We have lived in this house for 14 years. If we were to sell it, would we qualify for the $500,000 tax exemption? I understand each person is permitted $250,000, and a couple twice that amount. Does my trust make a difference, and if so, what should we do? --Arlene

March 01, 2012 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


‘Daylighting' improvements for homes

If your home will be on the market this spring, you're probably looking for every possible edge that will make it stand out to potential buyers. But even if you're staying put, you still want to make your home as attractive and valuable as your budget will allow.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


SJ Master Gardeners offer free workshops

The free monthly workshop program offered by the San Joaquin Master Gardeners at the Manteca Public Library is making a comeback following its initial successful run last year.

February 24, 2012 | Rose Albano Risso | HOME SCENE


Oakwood Shores making big splash with lifestyle, price & lakefront access

The next best thing in Manteca housing is here: Oakwood Shores.

February 24, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Watchdog: Limit Fannie, Freddie legal fees more

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. government regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must do a better job limiting legal expenses paid by the two mortgage giants to their former executives facing lawsuits, a new watchdog report says.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rethinking the yard in drought-stricken regions

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Texans watched disaster unfold slowly last year as a historic drought took a withering toll across the region.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Some money from mortgage settlement to be diverted

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The ink wasn't even dry on a settlement with the nation's top mortgage lenders when Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon laid claim to a chunk of the money to avert a huge budget cut for public colleges and universities.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Good economic news continues to trickle out

The economic recovery was once again reinforced last week with the majority of data continuing to point towards growth. Retail Sales rose a solid .7% showing that consumers are continuing to increase spending long after the holiday season has ended.

February 23, 2012 | By DEBORAH ROMERO Special to the Bulletin | HOME SCENE


Rising sales point to better year for housing

WASHINGTON (AP) - The housing market is flashing signs of health ahead of the spring-buying season.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.95%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage jumped after standing pat for three straight weeks at record lows. But the rate stayed below 4 percent for the 12th straight week, keeping home-buying and refinancing attractive for those who can qualify.

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Seniors: Avoid lump-sum mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I am 74 and recently have been contemplating paying off my condo mortgage. The remainder of the mortgage is $98,000 at 6 percent. Can you help me through this? On the surface it seems like a good idea, but I'm not aware of all the particulars. I am in good health and will not need the $98,000 in the near future. --Dee Dee

February 23, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Housing agency could run out of money in 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Housing Administration could run out of money over the next year and require a $700 million cash infusion from the Treasury Department to stay afloat, according to the Obama administration's budget request sent Monday to Congress.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Fewer Americans at risk of foreclosure in fourth quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans at risk of foreclosure is declining, as more homeowners climb out of debt and find steady work.

February 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


CREDIT SCORES

NEW YORK (AP) - There are changes coming to FICO, a broadly used credit score, that may mean higher credit scores for many consumers. Banks, credit card issuers, auto lenders and other businesses use those scores to decide whether to lend to consumers and how much interest to charge them. A higher score could get you better terms on loans for cars and homes.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rate at 4.14 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but remained near their lows for the year.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Keep them happy & studying: Creating a kid-friendly space

Would a great study space ease your child's transition from summer to school? Perhaps an awesome lounge area could convince your teens - and all their friends - that your house is the best hangout spot ever. Whatever your objectives, a few design and decorating tricks can help you create a kid-friendly space in your home.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Five fixes for kitchens that get compliments

No matter if you're an aspiring chef or TV dinner connoisseur ... if the look of your kitchen makes you want to dine out - it may be time for an upgrade. The kitchen should be the heart of your home: it's where you entertain, hold family meetings and even pay bills, so why not take it from "make-do" to "magnificent?"

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Must-have technology makes bathrooms healthier & safer

Think home technology begins with your wireless, programmable thermostat and ends with the high-definition, 3-D, web-enabled flat-screen TV with surround sound? Think again - whole home technology means using leading-edge devices to improve life in every room of the house, including the bathroom.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Season-extending gardening tips for fall

Warm weather, continued care and robust plants have yielded a bounty of beautiful, fresh vegetables - and personal satisfaction - from your garden this season. As the weather cools and fall approaches, it is not time to hang up your hat, gloves and trowel for the year. Autumn provides optimum weather and ample opportunity to keep growing and harvesting delicious, healthy produce well into the season.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Give your home a checkup

There's no better time than now to give your home the attention it deserves. Give it an annual checkup before cold weather arrives to help add comfort, save energy and cut home maintenance in the long-run.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Year-over-year: Price gains slowing

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices rose in June by the smallest year-over-year amount in 20 months, slowed by modest sales and more properties coming on the market.

August 08, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


HOME PRICE TSUNAMI

Median home prices in San Jose are at $720,600.

August 01, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Fresh ideas for summer alfresco entertaining

Warm days are calling, as summer traditionally kicks off the outdoor entertaining season. But this year, tradition takes a new direction. More hosts are breaking the boundaries of indoor versus outdoor entertaining. Gone are the paper plates and plastic cups. Instead, people are daring to take their dinnerware outside.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Handcrafted items speak to soul with unique appeal

The quilt handed down through generations, the turn-of-the-century wooden rocking chair made by a long-gone relative, hand-stitched samplers that have graced every home your family has lived in - handcrafted items simply speak to the soul. In today's society, when we're surrounded by technology and homogenous machine-made items from clothes to curtains, handcrafting imparts a human, customized quality to home decor.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Fresh ideas for summer alfresco entertaining

Warm days are calling, as summer traditionally kicks off the outdoor entertaining season. But this year, tradition takes a new direction. More hosts are breaking the boundaries of indoor versus outdoor entertaining. Gone are the paper plates and plastic cups. Instead, people are daring to take their dinnerware outside.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Reasons to love your lawn & why you should take care of it

As summer approaches and your thoughts turn to home improvement and the outdoors, you're probably considering a variety of ways to make your home more comfortable, more attractive and more environmentally sustainable - while hopefully increasing its value as well. One feature that can achieve all these goals is a healthy lawn.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Senior citizens share homes for cost saving plus companionship

NEW YORK (AP) - It's not exactly "The Golden Girls," but for Marcia Rosenfeld, it'll do.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage at 4.12%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. mortgage rates declined slightly this week, hovering near their lows for the year.

August 01, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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