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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Wish List for a Better 401k

RISMEDIA, January 8, 2010—(MCT)—Data from Fidelity Investments show that more participants increased the amount they were saving in the second quarter 2009 than decreased it. And account balances at the end of the second quarter were up 13.5% from the first quarter. The market's bullish rise definitely had something to ...


Pending Home Sales Down from Surge but Higher than a Year Ago

RISMEDIA, January 7, 2010—Contract activity for pending home sales fell after a surge of activity in preceding months to beat the original deadline for the first-time home buyer tax credit but remains comfortably above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®. ...


How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many?

RISMEDIA, January 7, 2010—While one in seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards, the average is four, according to a report from Experian. Usage on credit cards has dropped dramatically in the last two years as financially constrained consumers have reduced spending and began paying off debt. The national ...


Making the Most of 2010

RISMEDIA, January 5, 2010—In the days leading up to the New Year, I found myself in numerous conversations where the central theme was relief about the ending of 2009, as though the year itself were somehow the problem. But, a year is just a slice of time and the events ...


Home Prices Still Improving, but at a Moderating Pace

RISMEDIA, December 31, 2009—Data through October 2009, recently released by Standard & Poor's for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, one of the leading measures of U.S. home prices, show that the annual rate of decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites improved compared to last month's reading. This marks approximately ...


9 Things That Are Looking Up for 2010

RISMEDIA, December 29, 2009—This is the time of year when columnists either write about the major events of the past year or make predictions about the coming year. If you don’t know, I’ll let someone else tell you about 2009. ...


Regional Spotlight: Florida’s Existing Home, Condo Sales Up in November 2009

RISMEDIA, December 29, 2009—Florida's existing home sales rose in November 2009, marking 15 months that sales activity has increased in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors. ...


‘Tis the Season to Forgive: Why Letting Go of Your Business Grievances Will Make for a Happier New Year

RISMEDIA, December 28, 2009—What's the best thing you can do for your work life this holiday season? If you're a business leader, your reaction is probably something like: "Figure out how to bring in more business in 2010." If you're an employee, it might be: "Get a hefty end-of-year bonus." ...


HUD to Provide Temporary Relief to Homeowners Facing Problem Drywall

RISMEDIA, December 28, 2009—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that FHA-insured families experiencing problems associated with problem drywall may be eligible for assistance to help them rehabilitate their properties. In addition, HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program may also be a resource to help local communities ...


Regional Spotlight: New York’s November 2009 Home Sales up 34% Compared to Last Year

RISMEDIA, December 24, 2009—Statewide sales of existing single-family homes in New York State jumped 34% in November 2009, compared to November 2008, according to preliminary existing single-family sales data accumulated by the New York State Association of Realtors® (NYSAR). The statewide median sales price rose by 3% compared to November ...


Volunteers Encourage Neighbors to Seek Trial Loan Modifications

RISMEDIA, December 31, 2009—(MCT)—Standing on the front stoop of neighborhood homes, Betty Gutierrez sees her community from a different vantage point than she has in the 25 years she has lived in West Lawn, Ill. ...


HUD Issues Booklet to Help Consumers Shop for Home Loans

RISMEDIA, December 24, 2009—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released a new settlement cost booklet to help consumers shop for the best mortgage to meet their needs. This booklet will help borrowers become familiar with the various stages of the home buying process, including deciding whether ...


Virtual Staging Technique Helps Realtors and Home Owners Sell Vacant Properties

RISMEDIA, December 23, 2009—Realtors and Homeowners are raving about www.virtualstagingsolutions.com, a low-cost, innovative, home staging site that's helping them sell vacant properties faster than ever before with a new technique that virtually displays the properties furnished in order to show its potential. ...


First-Time Home Buyers Active in New Jersey Real Estate Market

RISMEDIA, December 23, 2009—According to the 2009 Profile of New Jersey Home Buyers and Sellers, first-time buyers account for a larger portion of the housing market than in previous years, largely due to the impact of the federal home buyer tax credit. The survey results released by the New Jersey ...


Home for the Holidays

RISMEDIA, December 22, 2009—That is a phrase that stirs deep emotions. The very idea of spending the most precious time of the year in a warm safe place surrounded by friends and family is the very essence of the perfect Christmas. ...


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