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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Early 401k Withdrawals Thwart Long-Term Goals

RISMEDIA, October 1, 2009—(MCT)—A forthcoming federal report on retirement savings recommends easing a penalty for hardship withdrawals from 401(k) plans and that workers receive better education about the consequences of such decisions.  ...


Credit Woes to Threaten Housing Recovery?

RISMEDIA, September 30, 2009—Nearly two-thirds of single-family home builders are reporting a severe lack of credit for housing production, threatening the fragile housing recovery before it has time to take hold, according to a new builder survey of acquisition, development ...


Consumer Confidence Slips in September

RISMEDIA, September 30, 2009—(MCT)—The U.S. consumer confidence index fell in September as Americans grew more concerned about the economy, their job prospects and their incomes, the Conference Board recently reported.  ...


Regional Spotlight: Florida’s Existing Home, Condo Sales up in August

RISMEDIA, September 29, 2009—Florida’s existing home sales rose in August 2009– marking a full calendar year (12 months) that sales activity increased in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®.  ...


Op-Ed: 60 Million Mortgages May Have Fatal Flaws

RISMEDIA, October 5, 2009—The latest chapter in the mortgage meltdown is being written in court, as one by one, judges are putting a halt to foreclosures. The latest was a recent Kansas Supreme Court case. In Landmark National Bank v. Kesler, the court held that a nominee company called ...


$2 Million Difference between Homes in Most Expensive and Most Affordable Market, According to Coldwell Banker Home Price Comparison Index

RISMEDIA, October 5, 2009—The 2009 Coldwell Banker® Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI) recently released found a price gap of more than $2 million between the most expensive and most affordable U.S. housing markets. ...


The Possible Impact and Real Cost of Extending the First–Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

RISMEDIA, September 28, 2009—A recent survey conducted by Zillow in conjunction with Harris Interactive asked prospective first-time homebuyers how an extension of the $8,000 tax credit would influence their decision to buy a home next year. If the credit were extended, of those who intend to buy a home, 18% ...


‘Real Deadline’ for First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit is Mid-October at the Latest

RISMEDIA, October 5, 2009—Those interested in taking advantage of the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit must realize that the much-publicized November 30th deadline is for the closing date (i.e., the day keys are officially handed over). However, the list of customary closing requirements- ranging from mortgage approvals and appraisals to home ...


Real Estate Tips: Sell Your Home to Yourself

RISMEDIA, September 28, 2009—As you look around your home, it's hard not to notice all the minor flaws. Maybe you want to move to something bigger and better, but your realtor thinks you're better off staying put for a while. You don't have to wait out the market in a ...


5 Ways to Make Your Nest Egg Last a Lifetime

RISMEDIA, September 26, 2009—(MCT)—Back in the good old days, before the crisis of 2008-09, many experts suggested that all you needed to do was withdraw 4% per year, adjusted for inflation, from your nest egg. That strategy, experts said, was a near-guarantee that your nest egg would last a lifetime.  ...


Federal Reserve Stands Pat on Low Interest Rate

RISMEDIA, September 25, 2009—(MCT)-The Federal Reserve recently maintained short-term interest rates at near zero and offered no indication of any imminent change in that policy, even as the central bank gave a more upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy.  ...


Regional Spotlight: New Home Price Stability Emerges in California

RISMEDIA, September 22, 2009—According to the John Burns Real Estate Consulting September survey of home builders, the housing market is stabilizing, with more builders raising prices than dropping prices in California.  ...


July 2009 Data Shows Continued Improvement in Home Value Trends

RISMEDIA, September 21, 2009—Home values continued to show encouraging signs according to new data released in Zillow.com Real Estate Market Reports for the July 2009 time period. The Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) was down 9.9% from its level one year ago, compared to a 10.5% and an 11.9% ...


Helping Agents, Educating Consumers

RISMEDIA, September 21, 2009—Building awareness of the importance of home warranties takes a clever, consumer-friendly approach, according to Home Warranty of America (HWA). That’s why the Chicago-based firm introduced their cartoon mascot, Ollie the Orange, last year and has now taken it a step further with a new, educational, 10-minute consumer ...


Top 12 Tips for Buying an Investment Property

RISMEDIA, November 13, 2009—Christine Van Tuyl and Margaret La Grange, an award-winning mother-daughter team with Prudential California Realty in Coronado, have compiled their latest list, the “Top Twelve Tips for Buying an Investment Property.”  ...


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