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Hot & cool trend: Saltwater pools

One of the hottest summers in US history has sent everyone scurrying into their pools to cool off, and the biggest new trend in swimming pools is salt water. First developed in Australia, saltwater pools offer several advantages over conventional chlorine and have become incredibly popular in the last decade.

July 26, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Go big or go home with your redecorating? Why not both?

"Go big or go home." It's a popular sports chant that's found its way into numerous other aspects of American life. But when it comes to home decor, going big at home may not seem like an option, especially if your budget is less than grand.

July 26, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Mortgage rates dip below 3.5% for first time in at least 60 years

WASHINGTON (AP) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell again, this time dropping below 3.50 percent for the first time on records dating back 60 years.

July 26, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Zillow: Home values have hit bottom; now starting to go up

SEATTLE (AP) - U.S. home values have risen four consecutive months, said on Tuesday, a trend that led the housing website to declare that the market has turned the corner from its five-year slump.

July 26, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Deposit should be big enough to deter ‘buyer’s remorse’

DEAR BENNY: Some states such as California have a 3 percent limit to deposit recovery; buyers have the right, if they legally back out of a contract, to secure a full return of up to a 3 percent deposit. Any deposit over 3 percent is not refundable. In California, I have never seen a deposit over 3 percent. --Joe

July 26, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE

Secrets to successful outdoor entertaining

What makes an outdoor party great? It's simple: Keep guests comfortable.

July 26, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Flat tops to McMansions

It's little wonder that Ozzie was joined by Harriet in the work world.

July 20, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE

California home prices climb 8 percent in June

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home prices rose sharply last month to the highest levels in more than two years, a research firm said Wednesday.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Young earns short sale designation to help owners in danger of foreclosure

Brad Young of PMZ Real Estate in Manteca has earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, having completed extensive training in foreclosure avoidance, with a particular emphasis on short sales.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Request a payment plan for unpaid condo dues

DEAR BENNY: I need to write a "request for payment plan" letter to my homeowners association, but I don't know how to write an effective one. I owe several months of back dues totaling about $3,000, which includes attorney's fees and interest. I really need help on writing this letter. I have not paid because of major health issues in 2011 to date. --Liz

July 19, 2012 | By BENNY L. KASS Inman News | HOME SCENE

Housing confidence picks up five years after collapse

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans are regaining confidence in the housing market five years after it collapsed.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

How low can they go? 30-year mortgage now at record low 3.53%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average rates on fixed mortgages fell again this week to record lows, creating more incentive for buyers to enter the recovering housing market.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Foreclosure hits older Americans harder than most

WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 1.5 million older Americans already have lost their homes, with millions more at risk as the national housing crisis takes its toll on those who are among the worst positioned to weather the storm, a new AARP report says.

July 19, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

Now’s the time to put safeguards in against new home flipping

Looking back at flipping in 2005 it is amazing that the housing market collapse wasn't worse.

July 12, 2012 | Dennis Wyatt | HOME SCENE

USDA spends millions to stimulate rural housing ownership numbers

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) - Kjell Thompson has long dreamed of owning her own home, but until recently she thought it out of her reach.

July 12, 2012 | | HOME SCENE

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