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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Six Credit Report Tips for Homebuyers

(MCT)—Whether you plan to buy a home in six months or a year or two, you’ve probably been told to request your free credit report to check for errors and to see what a lender can learn about you from the report. ...


Buying a Home from a Foreign Seller? Don’t Forget FIRPTA!

Recently, I talked about the growing number of multicultural home buyers entering the American Real Estate market. But there is also some very important information American buyers need to heed if they are buying a home from a foreign owner. ...


Know When to Hold or Pitch Common Household Items

Every few weeks, I decide whether it's time to pitch out certain household items. While many things we use around the home including most food items have expiration dates, are they really a valid indicator that the item in question is obsolete? ...


Cooling Housing Market Highlights Best Markets for Buyers, Sellers

U.S. home values rose more slowly in August than they have in a year, and the cooling market offered a clear view of local markets that favor either buyers or sellers. ...


Your Place: Necessary to Redo Attic Spray Foam after 4 Years?

(MCT)—Question: I had our attic spray-foamed in 2010. Our HVAC contractor recently did a semiannual service. The technician came down from the attic, where he was checking the air handler, and he was wringing wet with sweat. ...


Putting a Garden to Bed for the Winter Requires Special Tools

(MCT)—Even if you’re tending to the same garden, you’ll need different tools in the fall. “In the fall, you’re putting the garden to bed, so it’s important to have large multipurpose tools to work the soil,” says Maree Gaetani, director of gardening ...


12 Tips for Creating Great Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything and your home is no exception. When your home is listed for sale, you'll want the initial look to create a positive impression that invites house hunters indoors to see what's inside. ...


FHA Fees Are Holding Back First-Time Homebuyers

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on AmericanBanker.com. In recent testimony before Congress, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen confirmed what many aspiring homebuyers have known for several years. "It has now become the case that any borrower without a pretty ...


Furniture and Appliance Purchases off Lows

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported results from the 2013 consumer expenditure survey. In 2013, the average annual expenditure on housing increased 1.5 percent to $17,148. As a share of total expenditures housing was 33.6 percent; an increase from the 2012 share of 32.8 percent. ...


Hot Property: Following in Celebrity Footsteps

(MCT)—Vince Vaughn has bought a Hollywood Hills West home from Kate Bosworth for $2.375 million. ...


U.S. Waterfront Home Values Twice as High as Overall Home Values

Nationwide, the typical oceanfront or lakefront, single-family home is worth more than double the median value of all homes, and in some communities the median waterfront house could be worth ten or more times the median value of ...


Adding Value with Home Repairs

Selling your home? Don’t overlook some easy and relatively inexpensive fixes that can add real value to your home’s selling price. While major remodeling is costly and may not address the needs and tastes of prospective buyers, these repairs and maintenance suggestions ...


Getting Started: Considering Moving Money from a 401(k)? Here’s What to Know

(MCT)—It was a silly oversight. Back in high school, I had worked for my town’s library and accumulated a tiny retirement savings account. ...


Vinyl Is the Most Widely Used Siding on New Homes Started

According to data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC), vinyl (including vinyl-covered aluminum) was the most common exterior wall material used in homes started in 2013 (31 percent), followed by brick or brick veneer (24 percent), stucco (22 percent), and ...


Great Spaces: The Most Absurd Features of Leonardo DiCaprio’s NYC Apartment

Leonardo DiCaprio is a baller. Though he may be sans-Oscar (hopefully not for much longer), this “Wolf of Wall Street” can still afford to drop $10 million on a two-bedroom apartment in an eco-friendly New York ...


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