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New-homes sales rise 1.5 percent in March to 417K

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. sales of new homes rose in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000. The increase added to evidence of a sustained housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season.

April 25, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Add low-cost living space with outdoor room

Adding living space to your home can be an expensive prospect. However, creating an outdoor room is a budget-friendly option that gives you more square footage, as well as additional opportunities to enjoy the season. As an extension of the home, outdoor rooms with decks or pergolas can be personalized to truly bring indoor comforts outside for relaxation and entertaining.

April 25, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Condo boards eyeing ‘mortgage termination’

DEAR BENNY: I am the president of a large condominium in the Midwest and have just heard about a program called "mortgage termination." It sounds fascinating and very useful for our condo, since we have a number of delinquencies with properties that are underwater. Are you familiar with this and if so, how does it work? --Phyllis

April 25, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Fast, fabulous fixes to banish a boring bath

The best bathrooms are more than just functional areas - they're sanctuaries where you can escape, reset and recharge. And as one of the smallest and most-used rooms in the home, that's likely why they've become the most popular remodeling project (78 percent), according to the National Association of Home Builders.

April 25, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 15-year loan at record-low 2.61 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell last week to its lowest level on record, making refinancing and home-buying more attractive to those who can qualify.

April 25, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Easy solutions to backyard problems

For time-stretched gardeners who prefer to enjoy their backyards rather than work in them, several new products make outdoor living easier. Each offers a thoughtful solution to a common outdoor living problem, providing time-saving help to gardeners, gadget geeks and all who love to focus on fun outdoors.-

April 25, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Sure-grow guidance for 1st-time gardeners

Each year, thousands of first-timers will join the millions of seasoned gardeners who already know the satisfaction of picking a perfect tomato at its peak, serving up salads from greens just grown right outside the back door, or harvesting home-grown peppers and specialty herbs never even seen at the grocery store.

April 25, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Next generation of Del Webb homes

There is a reason why Del Webb was able to sell almost three out of every 10 new homes in Manteca during the past five years of The Great Recession.

April 18, 2013 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Previously owned home sales highest in more than 3 years

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose in February to their fastest pace in more than three years, and more people put their homes on the market. The increases suggest a growing number of Americans believe the housing recovery will strengthen.

March 22, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year mortgage declines back to 3.54 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week and remained near historic lows, a trend that has supported a recovery in housing.

March 22, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


$500 home improvement tax rebates good for 2013 & retroactively for 2012 energy efficient work

When U.S. lawmakers made a deal to keep the country from going off the "fiscal cliff" at the end of 2012, they reinstated a tax break of up to $500 to help homeowners earn money back for energy efficient home improvements.

March 22, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage rises to 3.63%

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week to its highest level in seven months but remains near historic lows. Low mortgage rates have helped support the gradually recovering housing market.

March 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Investors keep SoCal mid- to high-end sales strong

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Southern California home sales continued strong last month as investors snapped up mid- to high-end homes, though it was unclear whether the rebound will continue through the year, real estate research firm DataQuick reported Wednesday.

March 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


Sharp drop in foreclosures

LOS ANGELES (AP) - While the nation's foreclosure woes persist, new data show they're easing amid a resurgent housing market, rising home prices and efforts by some states to buy homeowners more time to avoid losing their homes.

March 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


San Francisco Bay area February home sales dip but prices on the rise

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Home sales dropped and prices rose in the San Francisco Bay area last month as supplies remained tight, the real estate research firm DataQuick reported Thursday.

March 14, 2013 | | HOME SCENE


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