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Consumer News and Advice Archive


30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate Creeps Further Below 4% for the Eighth Straight Week

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow(R) Mortgages is currently 3.77 percent, down five basis points from this time last week. The 30-year fixed mortgage fell steadily last week before settling at the current rate. ...


Living Smart: to Fully Winterize, Look Outside the Home

(TNS)—It’s wise, before the snow flies (or as soon as possible if flakes have already flown), to take the time to prep your home and property for winter. We hear often about emergency service calls that could have been avoided if homeowners had taken time to winterize or to hire ...


Fall Is for Fireplaces

A wood burning fireplace is an appealing feature of many homes. Here are some reminders and tips for keeping safe and getting full enjoyment from your fireplace this season: ...


Bluetooth May Be the Key to Your Future Smart Home

(TNS)—If you’ve ever considered trying to turn your house into a smart home, you’ve likely found the prospect expensive or technologically intimidating. That situation could soon change, thanks in part to an old technology learning some new tricks. ...


Knob and Tube Wiring in Older Homes

Homes built prior to 1950 may still have a knob and tube wiring system. Though the technology is old, it is still capable of carrying electricity throughout the home. There are additional factors, however, that homeowners should know about when buying ...


Beware Hot Air! Debunking Heating Myths to Stay Warm, Save Money

(TNS)—Advice about saving money on home heating costs abounds this time of year, but some of it is oversimplified, marketing hype or just plain wrong, while some long-standing myths persist about keeping warm on the cheap. ...


The Best Money Mindset

(TNS)—Do you want to more easily change your overspending behavior? According to some new research, maybe all you need is to count your life’s blessings. A mindset of gratitude gives people the patience to handle money better. ...


New Survey Identifies Top Trends in Smart Home Technology

According to a survey conducted by ERA Real Estate and HGTV, nearly half (46 percent) of consumers believe it is important that their current home or next home they purchase be equipped with smart home technology. Not only do they see the ...


Do You Know How Much Money Burns up in a Dirty Furnace?

With all the buttoning up many homeowners are doing as temperatures drop and winter approaches, I went looking for some basic tips to help that won't break the bank. ...


Small Banks See Stronger Demand for MF Loans, but Tighten Standards

The Federal Reserve Board recently released its survey of senior bank loan officers. The October 2014 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices (SLOOS) addressed changes in the standards and terms on, and demand for, bank loans to businesses and households over the third quarter of ...


‘Real Estart’: When Art and Real Estate Collide

What happens when an art curator puts his home on the market? The home itself acts as a living exhibit. Recently, Los Angeles County Museum of Art curator emeritus Maurice Tuchman put his Hollywood Hills West home on the market with an asking price of $5.75 million. ...


6 Seemingly Smart Moves That May Ruin Your Remodel

You are dying to get an updated home, and you are very excited for the remodeling process to begin. But you aren’t naive. You have heard the horror stories about renovations, and you intend to make yours go smoothly. So you have done ...


Employee Wellness Programs: 5 Legal Reminders

Measuring and ensuring employee wellness is a great way to ground a holistic approach to getting the most out of your workforce. But like any employer initiative, business owners should be careful that their good intentions don't become oppressive or illegal. ...


The Bigger Drag on Homeownership: Down Payments or Debt?

The affordability of housing has been on the tip of everyone's tongue as of late. With many things shifting in the industry, some experts talk about the lowering of required down payments. RealtyTrac recently analyzed affordability in512 U.S. counties with a combined population ...


Winterizing Your Home Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

With all the buttoning up many homeowners are doing as temperatures drop in many areas of the country, I went looking for some basic tips to help that won't break the bank. Luckily, our partners at Better Business Bureau say that winterizing your ...


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