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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Recoup ‘life estate’ maintenance costs

DEAR BENNY: We have an unusual situation. When my dad died, he left a life estate in a house/rented duplex to his widow. My sister and I have managed the duplex for 12 years, with all income going for repairs and any surplus to the widow. We would like to be done with it. His widow does not want to move.

July 23, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Long-time renter ahead by owning

She's a single woman in Manteca in her 50s.

July 23, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Turn to nature for inspiration when revitalizing tired interiors

The colors are blooming outside and chances are you're feeling inspired to add some color inside your home as well. Using nature as your guide, there are some quick and easy ways to refresh your home's interior.

July 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Marriage of natural light & right colors works wonders for home decor

Mother Nature is a master decorator. In summer, she dresses the world in lush greens and vibrant floral hues. And in every season, natural light is one of her most powerful designer touches.

July 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Avoid tax bite while saving brother’s house

DEAR BENNY: My brother bought his home about 15 years ago. He holds title only in his name, as a "single man." He lost his job a couple of years ago. He is older and is having a difficult time getting rehired. Long story short: He is now in arrears (18 months), owes escrow for taxes and insurance payments, and is facing foreclosure. His lack of employment is presenting a problem getting loan modifications or refinancing.

July 16, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Turn-Key event offers big value

Woodside Homes is celebrating the start of its Turn-Key sales event this weekend, allowing homebuyers to unlock their choice of instant upgrades or assistance with interest rate buydowns or closing costs.

July 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


The wrong way to sell a time share

DEAR BENNY: I recently read your suggestions on how to get rid of a time share. You suggested attempting to give your time share back to the company with a "deed in lieu," but said that it probably won't work. You are right. It did not work. However, I found a broker who was willing to take the time share off my hands for $3,000. Is this the only other way to rid oneself of this burden? By paying money to give something away?

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


Set the scene for outdoor entertaining

It's not hard to get people to come to an outdoor gathering on a warm summer's evening, and it should be just as easy to pull together a memorable affair. To make the most of your time and budget, look for low-maintenance solutions that you can use throughout the season - and in summers yet to come. From the dishes you serve to the way you decorate, the less work you have to do, the more you'll be able to enjoy the time with your guests.

July 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Next-generation technologies

When new technology makes its way into home design, often it enters through the kitchen. The heart of the home is also the portal for innovation, and many of the technologies that we now use throughout our homes were first applied in the kitchen.

July 09, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Get ready for a 1% gain in resale housing prices

Manteca median prices should be up by 1 percent in value by summer's end.

June 25, 2011 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Outdoor summer fun

The warmer months provide numerous opportunities for hosting outdoor events: birthday parties, barbecues, backyard campouts, weddings or a gathering for watching fireworks on the Fourth of July - the list is endless. Even when just hosting a fun neighborhood picnic or ice cream social, it's important to get the outdoor living space looking its best for the big day.

June 25, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


File civil lawsuit for property damage?

DEAR BENNY: While we were out of town, my neighbor and a well installer destroyed 400 square feet of my lawn, leaving us with ruts, dirt piles and dead sod. In addition, they buried 40 linear feet of water pipe and electrical cable on our land without our permission. I have a recent land survey to validate our claims.

June 25, 2011 | by BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE


Tips to save on home energy costs

Summer's sizzling temperatures can make it difficult to keep your home comfortable, and even more difficult to keep up with the higher utility bills that often come with it. Yet even a few well-chosen improvements can make a big difference in home comfort and energy efficiency. Here are some ways to save on energy costs this season.

June 25, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Easy improvements equal dramatic facelift

Home improvement projects don't need to be difficult, and with the right tools and attitude, they can be exciting as you watch your house transform. Summer is the perfect time to look at your home to-do list and get going. Here are some easy ideas you can get started on today.

June 25, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Downsize in space, upgrade in quality of life

Smaller homes equal better quality of living these days. Many homeowners are downsizing the space they occupy, but are upgrading and customizing that space to make it better fit their lifestyle.

June 18, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Contracts to buy homes rise in July

WASHINGTON (AP) - More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in July, a sign that buying has improved as mortgage rates have slipped, the number of listings has risen and the rate of price increases has slowed.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


4 steps for garage organization

Organizing the garage may be one of the most feared tasks in household history. According to a recent Gladiator GarageWorks survey, nearly three out of four households can only park one car in their two-car garage, illustrating the need for a serious garage intervention.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


30-year mortgage rate at 4.1 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average 30-year U.S. mortgage rate remained at a 52-week low of 4.10 this week.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average home price gains slows in June

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices increased at a slower pace in June - a cooldown that could continue for several more months.

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Room-to-room home additions

Add quality and comfort to your favorite rooms

August 29, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


UNDER $230,000

The under $230,000 market when it comes to nicer resale homes is almost history once again in Manteca.

August 22, 2014 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE


Overcome challenges with raised beds and planters

Small yards, city dwelling or soil that's sandy, rocky or full of clay - it seems no obstacles can keep Americans from the joys of gardening. More than 78 million U.S. households grow gardens, according to the Garden Writers Association Foundation, and many of them don't have optimal conditions to plant their gardens in the ground. When space constraints or soil conditions make traditional gardens impossible or inconvenient, gardeners turn to raised beds and planter boxes to grow the vegetables, herbs and flowers they crave.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Decor through the decades: Kitchen, bath design evolves

Remember when brass fixtures and mauve countertops were all the rage in kitchen design? How about the days of shag carpet (yes, in the bathroom) and avocado tile? Fortunately, those particular trends have come and gone. And, whether you embraced them or not, they did have an influence on the space you live in right now. Take a look through the decades to see how decor styles have evolved into the modern kitchens and bathrooms of today.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Improvements boost safety, comfort and value of home

Home improvement season is in full swing, and homeowners across the country are deciding which projects to tackle this year. By taking a strategic approach to selecting home improvements, you can go beyond adding value to your property - you can also boost your comfort and safety as well.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Housing recovery picking up steam

WASHINGTON (AP) - A fourth straight monthly increase in sales of existing homes provided the latest evidence Thursday that the U.S. housing market is rebounding from a weak start to the year.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Home renovation starts with good planning, good insurance

The United States is a country of renovators and remodelers, judging from the steady growth of home improvement projects across the nation in recent years.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Average 30-year rate on fixed rate mortgage at 4.10 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week, with the 30-year loan rate hitting its 52-week low.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Late-payment rate on mortgages declines in 2Q, lowest in 6 years

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fewer U.S. homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, a trend that has reduced the late-payment rate on home loans to the lowest level in six years, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


Ways to discover the design potential of the ‘Fifth wall’

With autumn just a few short weeks away, many people will soon spend less time on the patio and more time within four walls. Actually, five walls if you include the ceiling.

August 22, 2014 | | HOME SCENE


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