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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Contracts to buy homes rise, match two-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans signed more contracts to buy previously occupied homes in May, matching the fastest pace in two years. The increase suggests home sales will rise this summer and the modest housing recovery will continue.

June 28, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Appraisal fee can be challenged

DEAR BENNY: I have a question regarding a refinance. We had several unsuccessful attempts with two mortgage brokers because our house is located in a risky ZIP code and the appraiser said that he was unable to get two comps to complete the deal. Finally, we found another bank who said "no problem" right off the bat.

June 28, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Easy exterior projects that add lasting beauty to your home

In the current economy, homeowners want to improve their home's exterior while saving time, labor and money. You can enhance your lifestyle by choosing options that extend product performance and add beauty and enjoyment to outdoor living.

June 28, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Builders start more single-family homes

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders started work on more single-family homes in May and requested the most permits to build homes and apartments in three and a half years. The increase suggests the housing market is slowly recovering even as other areas of the economy have weakened.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Signs that termites might be invading your house

Termites live to eat. Their hunger causes $5 billion worth of damage each year in the U.S., damage most homeowner's insurance doesn't cover. In fact, a colony can devour a foot of 2-by-4 wood in only six months. And since termites are masters at going undetected, they can destroy entire support beams before you discover their presence. That's why it's so important to know what to look for.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Home sales slipped 1.5 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans bought fewer homes in May than April, suggesting a sluggish job market could threaten a modest recovery in housing.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Extend summer fun with lighting

From neighborhood picnics to kids' play time, summer means outside time. Much of that activity occurs during longer daylight hours, but darkness is also a great time to enjoy warm-weather days. How can you create an environment that extends the fun of summer past sunset?

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to record 3.66%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell this week to a record low for the seventh time in eight weeks. Cheap mortgages have helped drive a modest recovery in the weak housing market this year.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Don’t let layoff derail condo conversion refi

DEAR BENNY: We are three owners of a property in a nice neighborhood. We own the property as tenants in common, and have shared an interest-only loan since 2005. We are in the process of converting the property into three condominium units. One of the owners lost her job last spring and is now self-employed. The other two owners' employment status has not changed.

June 21, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Don’t let layoff derail condo conversion refi

DEAR BENNY: We are three owners of a property in a nice neighborhood. We own the property as tenants in common, and have shared an interest-only loan since 2005. We are in the process of converting the property into three condominium units. One of the owners lost her job last spring and is now self-employed. The other two owners' employment status has not changed.

June 21, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Who lived here? How to dig up your house's history

The construction of Julian Sellers' bungalow in St. Paul, Minn., was started in 1926 and finished in early 1927. The builder was a Swedish immigrant. The family who first lived there included a married couple, their 6-year-old daughter and the wife's mother.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Small space solutions for kitchen

Crowded cabinets, cluttered counters and nonexistent prep space. Sound familiar? For many homeowners, small kitchen spaces make everyday use and entertaining a source of frustration. While a small kitchen can pose many challenges, it doesn't have to stop you from enjoying the space. From a full scale home renovation to some simple and quick fixes, there are many options to help you realize your kitchen's full potential and transform it into a welcoming place where you'll want to spend time.

June 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Good health advice you can easily follow

(ARA) - Some things we're supposed to do for our health may seem obviously difficult to accomplish: eating less fast food no matter how yummy it tastes, fitting an hour of vigorous exercise into every day, or giving up bad habits like smoking. You may think one bit of common health advice - to get more fresh air and sunshine - would be easy to follow.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year loan rises to 3.71%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average rates on fixed mortgages rose this week, the first increase in seven weeks. But mortgage rates remain near historic lows, boosting prospects for home sales this year.

June 16, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Selling a Starker exchange property

DEAR BENNY: We own a small single-family home (800 square feet) located on the property adjacent to our primary home. We purchased it using a Starker exchange about 15 years ago. We stopped renting it out eight years ago, when the mortgage was paid off. We now use it as an extension of our primary home, with the living room as a game room, garage and basement as storage, one bedroom as an office, and the other as a guest bedroom.

June 16, 2012 | Benny L. Kass Attorney | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Simple steps for organized & sensational garage space

Move over kitchens and bathrooms, homeowners are focusing on a new part of the home: the garage. No longer just a place to park the car and lawn equipment, today's garages are getting bigger and better. Here are a few quick and easy projects to create a useful and organized garage.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Smart, stylish solutions keep entire home cool

Don't sweat it if your home doesn't have central air-conditioning. Whether you live in an older house that can't accommodate ductwork, or you don't want to sacrifice your interior aesthetics with an unattractive air conditioning unit, you can still keep your home feeling - and looking - cool this summer with advanced air conditioning technology.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate at 4.19%

WASHINGTON (AP) - A key long-term U.S. mortgage rate dipped this week, the second drop after a large increase two weeks ago.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Pet-proofing your home in preparation for adopting

The addition of a new pet to the family is always a cause for celebration. Stress can occur, too, no matter how welcome the new addition. When you're thinking about adopting a pet from an animal shelter, some preparation can help ensure he or she is as safe and happy as possible.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Keep winter energy bills in check

As winter temperatures drop, the potential for higher utility bills goes up. Taking steps ahead of the cold season can help you trim costs and make your home more energy efficient, keeping those utility bills in check even as the winter weather rages.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Mini-makeovers deliver big home value return

Kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects can significantly add comfort, improve functionality and increase the home's resale value. Whichever reason drives homeowners to complete an improvement project, they need to pick one that also delivers a return on investment.

October 03, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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