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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Are Short Sales Really the Next Big Thing?

RISMEDIA, November 11, 2009—If you believe the hype, it appears that the next phase of the housing market recovery is going to rely heavily on short sales to help remove distressed properties from the home sales pipeline.  ...


Understanding Home Owners Association Fees

“The Home Owners Association fee is too high!”  ...


Consumers Pay off Debt for Record 8th Straight Month

RISMEDIA, November 10, 2009—(MCT)-Outstanding consumer credit fell at a 7.2% annual rate in September 2009, the eighth consecutive decline, the Federal Reserve reported. Credit balances had never fallen eight months in a row before in the 66-year history of the data.  ...


Expanded Version of Tax Credit Will Allow More Homebuyers to Qualify

RISMEDIA, November 9, 2009—President Obama recently signed an expanded version of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit that was set to expire on November 30. “The new version of the tax credit has the potential to stimulate the housing market even more than the old version due to the fact that ...


Negative Equity Falls in Third Quarter, Home Values Show Short-Term Stabilization

RISMEDIA, November 14, 2009—The percent of American single-family homes with mortgages in negative equity fell to 21% in the third quarter, down from 23% in the second, as home values stabilized in the short term and more underwater homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure, according to the third quarter Zillow Real ...


Stage Your Home for Under $1,000

RISMEDIA, November 6, 2009—(MCT)—Staging a home for sale can set it apart from the competition and make it inviting to the greatest number of buyers. Kiplinger's Personal Finance has these suggestions for staging your home for less than $1,000:  ...


Consumers Would Rather Make Their Homes Prettier than Energy-Efficient, According to Energy Pulse Survey

RISMEDIA, November 4, 2009—A new national survey recently released finds Americans once again prefer aesthetic home improvements–a refinished kitchen or bathroom–over money-saving improvements, such as energy-efficient windows or a high-efficiency furnace.  ...


Coming Together to Rebuild and Restore – How Two Companies are Bringing Hope to America’s Home Buyers

RISMEDIA, November 3, 2009—We’ve heard a lot about the ‘perfect storm’ over the past year—appreciating home prices, plus loans gone bad, plus unemployment equals a devastating downturn for real estate. But there’s another perfect storm you should know about: distressed ...


In Tough Economic Times, More Homeowners Look to Roommates to Help Make Ends Meet

RISMEDIA, November 3, 2009—(MCT)—Last year, Lori Gordon lost half her nest egg but gained a new friend about half her age. That would be Brooke Thalacker, the teacher and aspiring school counselor who now rents part of Gordon's home.  ...


Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension Crucial, Say Local Real Estate Professionals

RISMEDIA, November 2, 2009—(MCT)—Local real estate professionals hear a clock ticking, and they're sure it's wired to the economy. The federal government's first-time homebuyer tax credit is scheduled to expire Nov. 30. The credit, part of the Obama administration-backed economic stimulus package, rewards Americans for buying a home by cutting them ...


CAR Reports September Home Sales Increased 2.1 Percent; Median Home Price Declined 7.3 Percent

RISMEDIA, November 2, 2009—Home sales increased 2.1% in September 2009 in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home declined 7.3%, the California Association of Realtors® (C.A.R.) recently reported.  ...


Administration Calls on Congress to Approve Key Housing Measures

RISMEDIA, October 31, 2009—Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan called on Congress to approve three important measures to improve housing and the housing market for Americans: extension of the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit for a limited period, extension of higher loan limits for home mortgages, and secure funding ...


Social Security 101 – Make Your Choice Wisely

RISMEDIA, October 31, 2009—(MCT)—Many Americans take Social Security early, at age 62, because they really need it. They're in poor health or unemployed or both. Others take benefits early because they're worried they'll lose out on what's rightfully theirs if benefits are reduced. But few people try to figure out the ...


Op-ed: Stimulus Aids Strong Economic Rebound – U.S. Economy Expands 3.5 Percent

RISMEDIA, October 30, 2009—There is light at the end of the tunnel, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act got the economic engine closer to that light. The economy grew at an annual inflation-adjusted rate of 3.5% in the third quarter of 2009, the Bureau of Economic Analysis recently reported. This ...


Most Landlords Willing to Discount Rent to Aid Cash-Strapped Tenants

RISMEDIA, October 30, 2009—More than two-thirds (69%) of smaller, independent landlords will reduce rents to help tenants remain in their homes, according to The National Association of Independent Landlords.  ...


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