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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Tips to Prevent Pests This Winter Season

RISMEDIA, Dec. 27, 2007-This winter season's unwelcome pests may soon join homeowners by the fire to stay warm and out of the elements. Colder temperatures send wintry pests, such as rodents, spiders and cockroaches searching for food, water and shelter indoors. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) provides tips for ...


New Pub Advises Consumers What to Do If Mortgage Lender Closes or Files for Bankruptcy

RISMEDIA, Dec. 21, 2007-A new Facts for Consumers publication issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises consumers what to do if their mortgage company or mortgage servicing company closes or files for bankruptcy. ...


2007′s Top 5 Decorative Concrete Trends

RISMEDIA, Dec. 21, 2007-Today's options in concrete offer limitless possibilities for creating concrete surfaces that include custom colors, unique textures, and exquisite patterns. These decorative options have altered society's perceptions of concrete, from plain, gray surfaces to one-of-a-kind masterpieces. With over ten million visitors per year researching these applications, it's ...


Regional Spotlight: Illinois Radon Disclosure Requirements Begin January 1

RISMEDIA, Dec. 20, 2007-When a buyer and seller sign a contract on residential real estate property in Illinois on or after January 1, 2008, the new Illinois Radon Awareness Act will apply to the sales transaction. According to the new law, the seller must supply the buyer with two documents ...


Four Common Solutions for Homeowners Looking to Avoid Foreclosure

RISMEDIA, Dec. 19, 2007-The recent agreement by federal regulators and mortgage lenders to freeze interest rates for five years on certain subprime, adjustable rate mortgage loans is intended to help many homeowners avoid foreclosure. ...


Radio Show Offers Initiative to Stop Foreclosure Crisis

RISMEDIA, Dec. 19, 2007-Real Estate Radio USA, an Internet talk radio show, is taking the initiative to help stop the foreclosure crisis by offering to reinstate the mortgages of those in homeowners in foreclosure. ...


U.S. Homeowners Urged to Update Home Insurance Policy

RISMEDIA, Dec. 18, 2007-After a six-month study, Americas Watchdog and its Homeowners Consumer Center have just released results showing that most Americans are under insured with respect to replacement cost related to personal contents in their home. Even worse most U.S. homeowners have no clue as to what their homeowners ...


Giving ‘Green’ Has New Meaning This Holiday Season

RISMEDIA, Dec. 18, 2007-More consumers are interested in environmentally conscious gift-giving, as the selection and quality of green gifts have improved and awareness has grown. According to a recent survey by Opinion Research Corp, about 58% of Americans are interested in receiving a green gift this year. ...


Why Buying Now Can Be a Smart Move

RISMEDIA, Dec. 17, 2007-Although much of the housing market is in a slump, this is still a good time for most to buy a home. ...


Can I contest my property taxes?

Many people do, mainly because determining value can often be tricky. This is especially true in a changing market when local prices either take off dramatically or plunge precipitously, like during the Texas oil bust of the 1980s. ...


Are special tax breaks available for historic rehabilitation?

Certified historic structures now enjoy a 20 percent investment tax credit for qualified rehabilitation expenses, if they are income producing properties. A historic structure is one listed in the National Register of Historic Places or so designated by an appropriate state or local historic district that is certified by the ...


Are victims whose homes are damaged by natural disasters granted any tax relief?

Damage, destruction, or loss of property from fires, floods, earthquakes and other disasters are deductible from both state and federal income taxes. ...


Can I deduct improvements made to my home?

Yes, but only after you have sold it because improvements add to the basis of your home. Your gain is defined as your home's selling price, minus deductible closing costs, minus your basis. The basis is the original purchase price of the home, plus improvements, less any depreciation. ...


What is guaranteed replacement cost insurance?

The most comprehensive insurance policy is guaranteed replacement cost coverage, which will pay to rebuild your home even if the cost to rebuild is more than your policy limit. ...


What about a vacation home as an investment?

Like any investment, it can be risky. Location and current market conditions are extremely important when deciding whether to buy. ...