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Home-readiness tips for sports fans

As the weather gets warmer, fans anxiously wait for their favorite sport to take center stage. College basketball fans fill out their brackets, golfers dust off their clubs and dream about green jackets, baseball diamonds are prepped for opening day and the professional basketball playoff run starts heating up.

March 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Obama unveils another housing plan

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is aiming mortgage relief at members of the military as well as homeowners with government-insured loans, the administration's latest efforts to address a persistent housing crisis.

March 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Q&A on administration's latest mortgage-aid plan

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is offering some relief to homeowners who have government-backed mortgages. Under a program President Barack Obama unveiled Tuesday, the government would cut the fees it charges to insure those borrowers.

March 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


The bottom line: It is a good time to jump into market

The European Debt crisis has been noticeably absent from the news this week. No the crisis is not solved…however it does seem like the imminent reports of a Greek debt default have gone away. The stock market investors don't know what to do with themselves. The market continues to trade within a very narrow range. Gas prices are hurting at the pump but not enough to really have consumers changing their spending habits.

March 08, 2012 | By DEBORAH ROMERO Special to the Bulletin | HOME SCENE


Lease-option contracts come with risk

DEAR BENNY: In a recent column you mentioned a renter who has a lease with an option to purchase the property and who makes his rent payments as agreed, but the property owner has not been paying the mortgage and is heading towards foreclosure.

March 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Outdoor spring cleaning tips

If the warmer temperatures, bright sunshine and greening of spring give you the urge to clean, you're not alone. If you want to make spring cleaning easier, especially outdoor spring cleaning, a little planning will save lots of elbow grease.

March 08, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


An early sign of buyer interest picking up pace?

Buyers apparently sense a change in the wind.

March 01, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Home prices fell in December in most cities for 4th month

WASHINGTON (AP) - Home prices fell in December for a fourth straight month in most major U.S. cities, as modest sales gains in the depressed housing market have yet to lift prices.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


AG seeks statewide mortgage protections

SACRAMENTO (AP) - State Attorney General Kamala Harris promoted legislation Wednesday to reform the mortgage process in California and provide more protections for homeowners, three weeks after she secured $18 billion for California in a nationwide bank settlement.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Easy seasonal changes refresh homes

Spring's new growth and warm sunshine provide inspiration for renewal in our lives. It's a time to pack away the sweaters and boots for lighter layers and brimmed hats. Homeowners should embrace this same mindset - one where you pack away the heavy textures and colors of winter in favor of breezy fabrics and fun decor that inspire a fresh feeling in your house.

March 01, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Average rate on 30-year mortgage down to 3.90% just above record low

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year mortgage edged down this week to hover again above record lows. Cheaper rates have spurred modest improvements in the battered housing market, but not enough to signal a recovery.

March 01, 2012 | | 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


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Celebrate fall patio season via elegant outdoor updates

Fall patio season is upon us, which means hosting family and friends for warm-weather gatherings and barbecues. Don't fret; outdoor events don't have to break the bank. With just a bit of creative vision and DIY savvy, you'll have an al fresco affair to remember in no time at all.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Upgrades that scream ‘luxury’ are cheaper-than-you-think

Hand-planed, reclaimed hardwood floors? Beautiful but pricey. Custom drapery? The cost can be blinding. When it comes to home decorating, it's easy to blow your budget on one or two upgrades - and maybe that would be OK if those improvements also amped up the drama in your decor. Too often, however, costly decorating ploys disappoint, wearing out or becoming dated before you've paid off the financing.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Plenty of light! Feds selling off lighthouses

YORK, Maine (AP) - Lighthouses for sale! Actually, lots of lighthouses for free.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate steady

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average 30-year U.S. mortgage rate this week remained at a 52-week low of 4.10 percent for the third straight week.

September 05, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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