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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


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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