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Consumer News and Advice Archive


5 Questions for the First-Time Homebuyer

(TNS)—Usually, a first-time homebuyer picks out a house before lining up financing, but experts say it should be the opposite. ...


3 Steps to an Emergency Fund

(TNS)—If you lose your job tomorrow, do you have enough money to pay your rent next month? Bad things can happen. Start an emergency fund in three simple steps to cushion you in times of trouble. ...


How Does the Color of Your Home Affect Buyers?

It’s no secret that color is crucial when marketing a product. In fact, consumers come to a subconscious conclusion about a product within 90 seconds of viewing, and much of that judgment (62-90 percent) is based solely on color, according to the Institute ...


4 Easy Ways to Xeriscape Your Yard

Unless you hire a crew for upkeep, your responsibilities as a homeowner likely include some form of landscape maintenance. Did you know that a large portion of household water usage goes directly to maintaining a landscape? ...


Consumer Housing Optimism Rising, Increased Rental Rates Hindering Recovery

According to the Fannie Mae February 2015 Housing Survey, consumer optimism toward the housing market and the economy has reached a new all-time survey high. Forty-seven percent of respondents says they believe the economy is headed in the right direction. Likewise, the share of respondents who believe it would be ...


Working at Home: Who Claims the Home-Office Deduction?

With tax preparation season well underway, it is a good time to examine the use of the home-office deduction. ...


To Stage or Not to Stage? Survey Proves Home Staging Pays

I have been detailing all kinds of information about home staging for years. So it was great to know that the suspected benefits of home staging have now been validated. ...


Spending Smart: 10 Things You Should Know about Credit Unions

(TNS)—Perhaps the most underused, underappreciated consumer-friendly institutions, next to public libraries, are credit unions, which people use for loans, savings and daily banking. But recent data show the secret is slowly but surely leaking out. ...


Living Smart: Mulch Madness and Basic Buying Tips

(TNS)—Nothing signals the return of spring like a smelly pile of mulch. Aside from its questionable stench, mulch plays an essential role in landscaping, from boosting curb appeal to retaining moisture and suffocating weeds. But before you hire a landscaper or get out ...


How Changing Habits Can Change Your Happiness

Our habits, says Gretchen Rubin, are our destiny. Which isn’t to say they’re predetermined. ...


Renters Feeling Heat from Heightened Housing Costs

The gap between rental costs and household income is widening to unsustainable levels in many parts of the country, and the situation could worsen unless new home construction meaningfully rises, according to new research by the National Association of REALTORS®. ...


Hot Property: Murdoch Keeps It in the Family

(TNS)—Media magnate Rupert Murdoch sold a house in Beverly Hills for $30 million, public records show. ...


Consumers Increasingly Optimistic about Economy, Housing

Amid continued strengthening in employment, consumer optimism toward the economy is growing and appears to be contributing to further improvement in overall housing sentiment, according to results from Fannie Mae's February 2015 National Housing Survey™. ...


Disputing Credit Report Could Get Easier under New Rules

(TNS)—Disputing a mistake on your credit report could get easier and the effects of medical debt less severe under changes being made by the three largest credit-reporting agencies. ...


5 Tips to Avoid Home-Design Arguments

(TNS)—Sharing your life with someone is a beautiful thing, but that doesn’t always mean you share the same design and style preferences when it comes to your home. Whether you’ve lived together for one year or 20, use ...


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