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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Common Myths about Appraisals in the Home-Buying Process

At The Appraisal Foundation, we often encounter misperceptions about the appraisal process in real estate transactions – from how an appraisal is ordered and carried out, to the type of communication permitted with appraisers. As a result, we have compiled the most ...


How Do Investing Habits Change as Retirement Nears?

(MCT)—After stocks leaped forward in 2013, the hangover in the early going of 2014, not surprisingly, took a toll on retirement savers’ risk tolerance. ...


Great Spaces: Snag 14 Acres in Arizona

Looking for a desert hideaway? This 14-acre home, safe and snug inside the guard-gated Lost Canyon in Scottsdale, Ariz., may be the perfect space for you. The home includes four bedrooms, six bathrooms and more than 9,500 square feet of space. ...


Real Estate Q&A: Is My Home a Short Sale or a Regular Sale?

(MCT)—QUESTION: Due to a hardship, we stopped making our mortgage payments. Because values have increased recently, we think the house is worth more than we owe. How do we know ...


To Remodel or Not to Remodel: Some ‘Upgrades’ May Detract from the Sale

(MCT)—Nancy and Thomas James’ Dana Point, Calif., home has expansive ocean views, four bedrooms, a wide deck for entertaining, solar paneling — even an elevator. ...


From Loan Qualification to Divorce, Marriage Brings up Mortgage Issues

(MCT)—When a married couple purchases a house with the help of a mortgage, they become subject to a wide range of legal rules and custom-based practices at every stage of the process. This column will summarize some of the major issues that ...


5 Things to Know about Getting a VA Mortgage

(MCT)—As banks tighten lending standards, demand has increased tremendously in recent years for Veterans Affairs mortgages, known as VA loans. ...


Housing Recovery Expected to Press

Americans’ outlook on housing and the economy has fluctuated somewhat during the past few months, but the trend for most indicators remains positive overall, according to Fannie Mae’s February 2014 National Housing Survey results. ...


Selling? 12 Tips to Choosing a Good REALTOR®

Hoping to have a great home sale this year? The first step is finding a great REALTOR®. Expert home seller, author & Real Estate Broker Brett Furman offers suggestions from getting your house ready to the final closing of your home. ...


How to Make the Best Choices in the Pet Food Aisle

(MCT)—There are many different choices of food at the pet store, and short of sampling them yourself, you’re going to have to rely on your pet’s feedback to learn whether or not the food is appealing. But because pets can’t fill out ...


Home Shopping: Dream Wish List for Relocating Employees

Employees relocating to a new market for a job know all too well which features and amenities they want most in their next home and the location: it needs to be larger than their previous home, with an upgraded kitchen and be ...


Your Place: In Springtime, Our Thoughts Turn to Stain Removal

(MCT)—Now that we’re at least on the same calendar page as spring, it’s time to tackle a reader’s question about removing pine sap from her car. Thanks to all for their suggestions. ...


Real Estate with a Humanitarian Twist: New Company Bridges Home Sales with Building Homes for Those in Need

REALTORS® have been giving back to their communities for decades. However, a new company is working with agents to provide a different kind of service: building homes for those in need. ...


Average Size of New Single-Family Homes Down at the End of 2013

The size of a typical new single-family home declined slightly for the final quarter of 2013, although the trend for the year was one of increasing size. The trend is likely due to an atypical mix of buyers. ...


Great Spaces: A One-of-a-Kind, Two-Story Florida Penthouse

Furnished by Fendi Casa, this wowing, two-story penthouse contains more than 15,000 square feet of living space, six bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms, an indoor/outdoor theater, an outdoor dining area, a family room, a wine room, a billiard room, a grand salon with an ...