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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Flat screens: No such thing as too slim

Slim is "in" ... and not just for people watching their weight. Flat screen TVs and the wall mounts that turn the TVs into decorator showpieces seem to grow sleeker and slimmer every year. And when it comes to viewing technology, thinner not only looks better, it has practical advantages, too.

November 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


US sales of new homes dip 0.3 percent in October

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. sales of new homes fell slightly in October and September sales were slower than initially thought. The October sales pace was dragged lower by steep declines on the East Coast, partly related to Superstorm Sandy.

November 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


How to tell if lender is overcharging escrow account

DEAR BENNY: I own a house worth approximately $400,000. The current mortgage is $25,000. A company in Florida took over the mortgage about six months ago. The mortgage company handles the tax and insurance payments through an escrow account. Given the current schedule of payments, the account has had a positive balance during all of 2012 and will average at least a $1,000 balance during the 12 months. The mortgage company wants to double the escrow payments so that the minimum balance is $1,000, the maximum is $3,000 and the average account balance is $2 ...

November 29, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Rate on US 30-year mortgage ticks up to 3.32 pct

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages stayed close to record lows this week, a trend that has made home buying more affordable and helped the housing market recover.

November 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


US pending home sales jump to nearly a 6-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) - An index measuring the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in October jumped to nearly its highest level in almost six years. Steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates have made home buying more attractive.

November 29, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Make your home smarter, more efficient this winter

The coldest time of the year can also be the busiest. With holiday entertaining, overnight guests and winter getaways, it can be hard to ensure your home heating and other systems are performing for optimal comfort and efficiency. In addition, the Department of Energy reports that no matter what-energy-source you use, heating this winter will cost more, an important consideration since heating and cooling typically makes up about 54 percent of your utility bill.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Tips on home care for holiday pleasure

Whether it's guests arriving for a holiday party, visiting relatives or holiday revelers, your home can feel like a revolving door during the holiday season. Unfortunately, all of this added traffic can also bring unwanted dirt and germs that can outweigh holiday cheer. Keep your home looking clean, germ-free and ready to welcome guests throughout the holiday season by establishing a cold-weather cleaning routine.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Home tech: affordable, uncomplicated ideas to add enjoyment to your home

Did you know it's almost the year that Michael J. Fox went "back to the future?" While we don't have hover boards or flying cars, our innovations have changed drastically since 1985, especially when it comes to technology in the home. Now there are many affordable innovations that are simple to use and can add unique benefits and enjoyment to routine activities.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Steady housing recovery is boosting national economy

WASHINGTON (AP) - From purchases and prices to builder sentiment and construction, the U.S. housing market is making consistent gains.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


New home starts jump to fastest pace in four years

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders started construction last month on the most homes and apartments since July 2008, more evidence that the housing recovery is gaining momentum.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


How low will they go? Mortgage rates at record 3.31 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell to fresh record lows this week, a trend that is boosting home sales and aiding the housing recovery.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Opening door to more do-it-yourself home improvement projects is possible

On any given weekend, homeowners can be found climbing around in attics to add insulation, repairing shingles on the roof, installing new floors in kitchens and bathrooms, and handling many other home improvement projects that, with a little elbow grease, they are able to do themselves.

November 21, 2012 | | HOME SCENE


Don’t buy home until you sell the current one

Q: I have a fixed-rate mortgage at 5.99 percent that doesn't have to be refinanced until 2016. I know I will want to move to a more suitable place before then, but if I sell now at current low prices, I will have very little equity left to put down on a new condo.

November 21, 2012 | By TERRY SAVAGE Financial Advisor | HOME SCENE


Avoid FHA financing restriction on intrafamily purchase

DEAR BENNY: I am currently trying to purchase a home from my daughter. The loan was approved, but the lender told me there is a law that if you purchase a home from a family member, they can finance only 85 percent of the sales price. Is this true? --Roger

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


Need more space? Some put up a cottage out back

Something small is afoot. Backyard cottages - from 800-square-foot bungalows to Lilliputian studio cabins - are springing up behind houses in many cities, some of which have changed zoning laws to accommodate them.

November 15, 2012 | The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rises to 3.8 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates are up this week to the highest level since mid-March.

May 08, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Seeking advice on buying first home

Hey you Real Estate Boys: There's a lot going on my/our lives in the coming months. First and most importantly we will be getting married right after we both graduate in May, from Stanislaus with our respective degrees. We both have good jobs in this area and are looking forward to becoming old and boring and raising a family. "She is so brilliant." So, being the conservative future couple we'd like to make sure we start our lives on the correct foot/feet. And that, sirs, is our question. How does a young couple start a life ...

May 08, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Fannie Mae posts $1.9B profit for quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mortgage giant Fannie Mae says it had net income of $1.9 billion for the first quarter. That's sharply down from the same period a year ago due to lower fee income and larger losses on investments used to hedge against swings in interest rates.

May 08, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Building tiny houses into big help for Los Angeles’ homeless

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Shortly after Elvis Summers befriended Irene McGhee, he learned she was sleeping on the streets of South Los Angeles.

May 08, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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