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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Three steps to ensure you get best deal when buying a house

Ample inventory, low mortgage rates and motivated sellers - all these key elements are present in real estate markets across the country, indicating it's still a great time to buy a house. If you're thinking of buying a house - whether it's new or existing, your first home or your fifth - you can help ensure you get the best possible deal by doing a few things before you get down to serious shopping.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Colorful exteriors without drop of paint

Nothing brightens a home's personality more dramatically than brilliant color. It's easy to freshen your home's exterior with color trim around windows, doors or along corners. With color trim, there are endless ways you can evoke any emotion or personality you desire. Whether you wish for tranquility, elegance or modernism, it's time to add some color to your "to-do" list.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


How do you know when you are ready to buy a house?

Since the foreclosure crisis began, many Americans have been thinking a little bit more critically about whether they are truly ready for home ownership.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Update interiors with quick flooring transformation

Is your home in need of a makeover to go from boring to brilliant? What better time than now to update your home's tired, worn interior. You need look no further than right under your feet - to the floor below - for a simple, budget-minded way to freshen your decor and add to your home's value. Give any room of the house an updated look with flooring that mimics natural stone or ceramic tile, but without the upkeep or high cost.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Five tips for small landlords on how to protect your investment

More and more homeowners who are moving are delaying selling their homes, choosing instead to rent them out as the housing market continues to struggle. The lagging housing market has given others the opportunity to buy properties for investment purposes. Since many of these homeowners don't have much experience as a landlord, they're often required to learn on the fly.

April 02, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Buying puts money in your pocket in long run even without equity gain

What is the better value: Three bedrooms, one bathroom with 986 square feet of living space for $720 a month or three bedrooms, two bathrooms with 1,012 to 1,296 square feet of living space for $855 a month?

March 26, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Going green: Energy efficient windows

Now that spring is here, many homeowners are thinking about remodeling projects that will improve the home this season and year-round. Whether you're planning a few do-it-yourself improvements or a major renovation, it's important to think "green." One way to enhance the beauty and comfort of your home while saving on energy is by installing highly energy efficient windows.

March 26, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Growing vegetables can be easy

Some things bear repeating: Plant vegetables.

March 26, 2011 | By LEE REICH For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Garden prep 101: Getting ready for season

Outside birds are singing and bits of green are popping up all around. As seasons change from winter to spring, the gardener's mind quickly leaps to growing flowers and produce. Before getting out there and planting, follow these basic garden preparations to get the most out of this growing season.

March 26, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Sensory gardens: Days of wine & roses

FULTON (AP) - Imagine a garden where melon, peach, apple, lemon, pear and gardenias bloom. Then imagine holding all that in a glass.

March 19, 2011 | By MICHELLE LOCKE For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Going from cookie cutter to custom

A new home: It's your chance to personalize your living space with details that suit your taste and personality. Or, so you think. Many builders only allow you to choose colors; and offer limited options beyond their builders' grade materials. Or, if you've purchased a previously owned home, it too is most likely equipped with many basic options.

March 19, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Pros and cons of organic vs. synthetic fertilizers

Another growing season is fast approaching, and before you can seed you must feed.

March 19, 2011 | By DEAN FOSDICK For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Manteca prices up, SF prices down in 2011

Bay Area housing price trends in the past have been used by real estate agents as a barometer as what is to come in Manteca and the rest of the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

March 12, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Doors, a forgotten design element

It's a design opportunity that's easily missed: Even the most stylishly decorated rooms often have bland wooden doors with cheap hardware.

March 12, 2011 | By MELISSA RAYWORTH For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


Spring’s hot color for homes?

Bright red-pink and bursting with energy, honeysuckle is dominating home decor trends in 2011 as a playful and vibrant alternative to the serene turquoise of 2010.

March 12, 2011 | By SARAH WOLFE For The Associated Press | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Average 30-year mortgage rate up to 4.20 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week for a second straight week but remained near historic lows.

June 13, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Four real estate tips for buyers, sellers

The real estate market heats up when the weather does, and spring and summer are traditionally the most active seasons for home sales. This year, industry experts predict that home prices will continue to rise and, with mortgage rates remaining low, the spring and summer real estate season will be competitive for both buyers and sellers.

June 13, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Got extra pounds? Blame next door foreclosure

Gain a couple of pounds since 2006?

June 06, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


$100K+ HELOC LOANS

Despite record-low interest rates, monthly mortgage payments may double for more than 1 million American homeowners. That's because a decade ago they opted for "interest-only" loans or home equity lines of credit. But most of those loans were structured to reset after 10 years - at which time the loan would require payment of both principal and interest.

June 06, 2014 | bY TERRY SAVAGE | HOME SCENE


A sure-footed way to choose new flooring

When spring-cleaning uncovers a worn floor it may be time to consider purchasing a new one, especially if you're selling your home in the near future. A new floor, like refreshed paint and updated fixtures, makes a home more enjoyable to live in as well as more marketable.

June 06, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Perk up your home with bright & bold patterns

Give your home an energy shot this spring with bright colors and bold patterns.

June 06, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Create inviting outdoor spaces for entertaining

From barbecues and games of bocce to parties and candlelit dinners, your outdoor space can be a hub for entertaining friends and family.

June 06, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Opening the door to space & privacy is easy

Homeowners, builders and remodelers are always looking for innovative and new ways to enhance existing spaces during home makeovers and room renovations.

June 06, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


A GEM ON EMERALD

Homes priced under $304,000 that are ready-to-move-in and don't require major work such as new roofs, kitchen upgrades or bathroom repairs are moving relatively briskly in Manteca.

May 30, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


5 new ways to update your home with wood

Wood may be known for its timeless visual appeal, but there's nothing static about the way people showcase it in American homes. Designers, homeowners and DIYers are re-discovering the warmth and beauty of wood. From inventive new uses to re-interpretations of existing styles, they're finding creative ways to use wood throughout the home.

May 30, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Finding balance: creating functional family spaces

Let's face it - life is busy. And one of the byproducts of a busy life is a cluttered house. With piles of paper coming home from school and toys creating obstacle courses in the family room, parents may wonder how they'll ever take back control of the house. A few experts share their ideas for doing just that.

May 30, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Coast to coast: 2014’s top outdoor home living trends

From genteel porches in the East to sleek, seaside balconies in the West, the popularity of outdoor living spaces is poised for significant growth from coast to coast with industry analysts predicting it will be a $5.7 billion market by 2016. Reinforcing these projections, 63 percent of architects cite an outdoor living space as the most popular "special function room" in housing construction, according to the American Institute of Architects. What's more, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association reports that homebuilders list decks among the top three features most requested with new home buys.

May 30, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home prices rise at slower rate

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices rose in March, but the gains are decelerating as fewer Americans can afford to buy.

May 30, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


New home sales rose 6.4 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sales of U.S. new homes recovered in April after slumping in the previous two months. But Americans are still buying new homes at a slower pace than they did a year ago.

May 30, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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