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Archive By Section - HOME SCENE


Downsizing homes, but upsize the amenities

Say goodbye to the McMansion. According to a leading real estate website, Trulia.com, 2010 was officially the year that homes over 3,200 square feet ended their dominance and appeal. But don't think that downsizing means downgrading. In fact, homeowners are looking to upsize their amenities to help them enjoy every inch of their homes.

December 31, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Simple things for a fresh new look for your home in 2012

New Year's is a time when many people commit to starting fresh or developing some positive changes in their lives. As you consider what you will change in 2012, think about where you spend the majority of your time. Your surroundings can greatly influence your mood and actions, and a refreshed interior can help you step forward into a new and improved lifestyle. Enjoying life more in 2012 could start with just a few simple updates to your home.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Claiming $500K tax break after spouse dies

DEAR BENNY: My husband died this past August. We owned and lived in our house for more than 15 years, but now I want to sell. Am I eligible for the up-to-$500,000 exclusion of any profit that I will make? --Annie

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


Bathroom remodeling ideas: From small to total overhaul that can save money

Ready to give your bathroom a facelift, but can't decide what changes to make? From tubs to toilets to tile, the sky is the limit when it comes to bathroom renovations, even if budget is not.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Down payment assistance available to buyers of new homes to cover school fees

The California Housing Finance Agency is now offering the Schools Facility Fee Down Payment Assistance program to qualified buyers of newly constructed homes. With home prices and mortgage interest rates already near all-time lows, the down payment assistance increases the affordability of new homes even more for qualified buyers.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Wells Fargo to help area customers facing mortgage payment challenges

STOCKTON - Wells Fargo & Company is hosting a free Home Preservation Workshop in Stockton for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, Wachovia Mortgage and Wells Fargo Home Equity customers facing financial hardships.

December 23, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Sellers have recourse when buyers back out

DEAR BENNY: We recently had a contract to sell our home to a "cash" buyer. He and his wife were allegedly inheriting a large sum of money, and their Realtor confirmed that she had seen the bank account statement confirming a "vast sum of money," reportedly well in excess of our contract price.

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


Installing gas fireplaces

A gas fireplace can add ambiance and warmth to any room, and with the cold weather, you might be dreaming of adding one in your home. Because purchasing a fireplace is not something we do every day, there are some important things to consider.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Help protect your home from rodents this winter

The cold temperatures are settling in for the winter months, and if you're not careful, rodents can also settle into your home. Your house - especially your kitchen - offers everything rats and mice are looking for: food, water and warmth.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Save money with energy efficiency tips

Saving money is on everyone's mind this winter season. Between the holiday expenses, colder temperatures and tight budgets, finding ways to reduce costs can be a bit of a challenge. If you're looking for ways to save, look at your home, and see if you can improve on your energy efficiency - thereby keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Easy ways to warm up your home decor

As the chill of winter sets in, your home interior may be lacking the warmth and comfort you'd prefer. Fortunately, creating an inviting atmosphere does not require huge amounts of time or money. And you don't need to be a professional interior designer - or even have experience in decorating - to transform your home into a welcoming haven. To bring your decor into the season and give your home noticeable appeal, follow a few easy tips.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


Smart ways to use credit when redecorating

When your redecorating project is done, you want everyone who sees it to think it looks like a million bucks. But woe to your wallet - and possibly your credit - if you overspend to achieve that look.

December 16, 2011 | | HOME SCENE


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


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Articles by Section - HOME SCENE


Add a signature style to your home

To satisfy homeowners seeking to add a signature style to their indoor living spaces, more and more design professionals and builders are going back to basics and rediscovering the versatility, durability and good looks of cypress.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Home sales plunge 4.9 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home sales struck a snow drift in January, plunging to the slowest pace in nine months.

February 27, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Energy guzzlers greener

For the first time in six years, Energy Star certification, a standard seal of approval for energy efficiency, has been expanded to include another major household appliance.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Tips for replacing water heaters

Some 37 million residential water heaters gave up the ghost and were replaced over the past five years, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Energy. While some things get better with age, water heaters aren't among them. In fact, the average life expectancy for a new water heater is 10 to 15 years, with the occasional stoic dinosaur making it two decades or more.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


A stunning backsplash without the whiplash

The kitchen is the heart of the home and a top-selling feature with homebuyers. Does yours convey style and functionality? Whether you've just completed a remodel or you're looking for ways to upgrade your existing kitchen, a tile backsplash will instantly transform the space into an eye-catching masterpiece.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


6 steps to select best remodeling contractor

A remodeling project is one of the most invigorating lifestyle changes a homeowner can make. However, trusting a contractor with both your home and your money can feel overwhelming. Spare your time, money and sanity by following these steps for choosing the best remodeling contractor:

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Central Valley group names Realtors, Affiliate of the Year

Every year the Central Valley Association of Realtors recognizes members who have gone above and beyond in the real estate profession and community service. This year CVAR named two recipients as Realtor of the Year - Shelly Bell and Larry Rumbeck - and as Affiliate of the Year, the honor goes to Taylor Phillips.

February 20, 2015 | Staff reports | HOME SCENE


Rate on 30-year loans rises to 3.76%

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have risen for a second straight week yet remained near historically low levels.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Rents rise overall but dip in Chicago & Minneapolis

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home rental prices rose at a steady rate in January, but prices barely budged or even dipped in parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


Millennials seek tech-ready, smaller energy-efficient houses

LOS GATOS - As millennials enter the home-buying market in larger numbers, builders say homes will get a little smaller, energy-efficient appliances and laundry rooms will be essential, and home technology will become increasingly prevalent. These predictions are based on two surveys conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, one asking home builders what features they are most likely to include in a typical new home this year, and one asking millennials what features are most likely to affect their home-buying decisions. Of the top 10 features mentioned by home builders, four have to do with energy efficiency: low-E windows ...

February 20, 2015 | | HOME SCENE


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