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More affordable to buy in SJ Valley

The Northern San Joaquin Valley was flying high five years ago.

December 09, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Sidestep penalty for early mortgage payoff

DEAR BENNY: I was at the closing table for my condo purchase only to discover that there was a penalty for early payoff. I called the bank immediately and they told me to "take it or leave it."

December 09, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Top home decor trends for 2012

From warm woods and creative colors to memorable murals and tailored textures, interior designers and industry experts predict 2012 will offer a multitude of options for those interested in giving their homes a fresh look. Even better for today's cost-conscious consumers is that many of the trends are easy and inexpensive.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Winter: Time to plan outdoor updates

Does the bitter cold weather have you dreaming of warm days spending time with friends and family in your backyard? The cold may keep us indoors, but professionals in the landscape and remodeling industry are still thinking about the outdoors and use the winter months to plan spring projects, and so should you.

December 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Greet holiday guests with a warm, stylish, sensible home

Twinkling lights, fragrant wreaths and freshly baked cookies help set the stage, but holiday guests truly feel at home when you provide a warm, cozy environment.

November 18, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Get ready for revival of the zombies

Manteca has plenty of "zombies."

November 18, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Circumvent rigid down-payment gift rules

DEAR BENNY: I live in Connecticut and my husband stays several nights a week in Massachusetts. We saw a duplex we would like to buy in Massachusetts. He would live in one part and there is already a tenant in the other part.

November 17, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Affordable holiday decor updates

Welcoming friends and family into your home is one of the best ways to celebrate the season. One of the keys to making visitors feel right at home is to be a happy host. So, do yourself - and your guests - a favor and put a little effort into getting your home holiday houseguest perfect.

November 10, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Housing prices going up 11.5% next year?

Here's an eye-opener: Housing prices in California are expected to surge 11.5 percent in 2012.

November 10, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


When is a HUD-1 form required?

DEAR BENNY: Do we have to do a HUD-1 form on a cash sale? The home is paid off and I am selling for cash. There is no lender involved. --Keith

November 10, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


What’s the best floor choice for your high-traffic home?

From high-heeled shoes to dog paws and kitchen spills, your home's flooring faces tough challenges every day. When it comes to choosing a floor that will stand up to today's hyper-active households, experts recommend laminate for its low-maintenance, realistic beauty and durability. But savvy shoppers should keep in mind that not all laminates are created equal, especially when it comes to long-term performance. To find the best floor for your high-traffic home, look for the following:

November 04, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Simple water-saving tips keep money in your wallet

The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill, but by making just a few simple changes to use water more efficiently, you could save approximately $170 per year and help the environment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

November 04, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Assume mortgage with transfer-on-death deed

DEAR BENNY: My mother died in February of this year. About a month before her death she executed a beneficiary deed leaving the home to me, her daughter. I was also the sole beneficiary of her will. She had no other assets (only debt) and so there was no probate.

November 04, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


How to turn your first home into a decorator’s showcase

Whether you've signed a lease agreement or purchased a house, moving into your first home is an exciting time. For many people, it's their first opportunity to express their personal style by decorating their own space.

November 04, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Vanity sanity: Organize your bathroom wisely

It's the room where you start and end your day, so it should be one of the most enjoyable places in your home. But, most of the time, your bathroom is not the relaxing retreat you hoped it would be. Whether it is overrun with towels and toiletries - or is tough to keep clean with smudged mirrors and faucets - today's bathrooms are in need of some serious updates and organization. Luckily, a few simple tips and tricks can bring style and sanity to your bathroom vanity in no time.

November 04, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Del Webb comes home

The largest residential development in Manteca history - and one that is slowly changing the city's demographics – is the progression of an idea launched 58 years ago by a Fresno native.

July 04, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Custom home decor without all the hassle and high costs

Conventional wisdom holds that in order to achieve a custom look in your home decor you either have to spend a bundle hiring professionals, or invest countless hours of hard work doing it yourself. In the Internet age, however, it's easier than ever to achieve the look of custom home decor without the expense or hassle of traditional methods.

July 04, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


How to easily achieve today’s hottest home improvements

Whether you're staying in place or planning to take advantage of an improving real estate market to sell your home, spring and summer are upgrade seasons. From adding a bathroom to creating an outdoor kitchen, certain improvements pay off for both homeowners who are selling and those who are staying. And while plumbing challenges, such as breaking through concrete or opening walls, may discourage some people, savvy homeowners know a tried-and-true option solves such problems.

July 04, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


How ceiling fans offer energy efficiency, decor

Savvy interior designers know that items that are both fashionable and functional are in high demand. One of the best examples of a stylish, hardworking home fixture is also one of the most overlooked: the ceiling fan. In 2014, more homeowners are realizing the potential this classic technology has not only on their comfort levels, but also on their interior's design aesthetic.

July 04, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Empty nesters want low- maintenance yards, not fuss

One of the first questions new empty nesters face is: what do we do with the nest? Some are eager to downsize and sell. Others like where they live and choose to stay put.

July 04, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


6 upgrades to secure a speedy sale

When the weather warms up, so does the real estate market. Spring and summer are traditionally the seasons when both home buyers and sellers are most active across the country. If you'll be putting your home on the market this year, simple, cost-effective upgrades can help ensure a speedy sale at a good price.

June 27, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Lew announces expanded housing support programs

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is extending for another year a program aimed at helping people struggling to avoid foreclosure on their homes, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Thursday.

June 27, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Design inspiration at your fingertips

More than 40 percent of homeowners plan to update their homes in the next two years, according to the latest Houzz & Home Study. Of those who plan to remodel, 78 percent cite their motivation as improving the look and feel of the space.

June 27, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Increasing your resale value is easy

Investing in home improvements is a smart idea when you're thinking of putting your home on the market. So where is the best place to spend your money?

June 27, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate falls

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week, hovering near historically low levels.

June 27, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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