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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Expert tips for choosing the right fountain

Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon spent many years and covered many miles searching for the fabled "fountain of youth." Fortunately, you don't have to go to those lengths to find a special fountain that will transform your backyard into a private oasis. You only need to make a trip to the local garden store.

November 29, 2012 | | 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


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


CEILINGS

Want to infuse your home with architectural interest? Start at the top.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Signed contracts rise to 18-month high

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rose at a healthy pace in January, a sign that home sales are poised to accelerate after a slow start to the year.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.8%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have edged up for a third straight week while remaining near their historically low levels reached in May 2013.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


New home sales fall slightly during January

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sales of new U.S. homes were basically flat in January, evidence that recent job gains and relatively low mortgage rates have yet to spur the real estate market.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Add a signature style to your home

To satisfy homeowners seeking to add a signature style to their indoor living spaces, more and more design professionals and builders are going back to basics and rediscovering the versatility, durability and good looks of cypress.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Home sales plunge 4.9 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home sales struck a snow drift in January, plunging to the slowest pace in nine months.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Energy guzzlers greener

For the first time in six years, Energy Star certification, a standard seal of approval for energy efficiency, has been expanded to include another major household appliance.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Tips for replacing water heaters

Some 37 million residential water heaters gave up the ghost and were replaced over the past five years, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy. While some things get better with age, water heaters aren't among them. In fact, the average life expectancy for a new water heater is 10 to 15 years, with the occasional stoic dinosaur making it two decades or more.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


A stunning backsplash without the whiplash

The kitchen is the heart of the home and a top-selling feature with homebuyers. Does yours convey style and functionality? Whether you've just completed a remodel or you're looking for ways to upgrade your existing kitchen, a tile backsplash will instantly transform the space into an eye-catching masterpiece.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


6 steps to select best remodeling contractor

A remodeling project is one of the most invigorating lifestyle changes a homeowner can make. However, trusting a contractor with both your home and your money can feel overwhelming. Spare your time, money and sanity by following these steps for choosing the best remodeling contractor:

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Central Valley group names Realtors, Affiliate of the Year

Every year the Central Valley Association of Realtors recognizes members who have gone above and beyond in the real estate profession and community service. This year CVAR named two recipients as Realtor of the Year - Shelly Bell and Larry Rumbeck - and as Affiliate of the Year, the honor goes to Taylor Phillips.

February 20, 2015 | Staff reports | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year loans rises to 3.76%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have risen for a second straight week yet remained near historically low levels.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rents rise overall but dip in Chicago & Minneapolis

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home rental prices rose at a steady rate in January, but prices barely budged or even dipped in parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Millennials seek tech-ready, smaller energy-efficient houses

LOS GATOS - As millennials enter the home-buying market in larger numbers, builders say homes will get a little smaller, energy-efficient appliances and laundry rooms will be essential, and home technology will become increasingly prevalent. These predictions are based on two surveys conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, one asking home builders what features they are most likely to include in a typical new home this year, and one asking millennials what features are most likely to affect their home-buying decisions. Of the top 10 features mentioned by home builders, four have to do with energy efficiency: low-E windows ...

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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