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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

With the summer real estate season upon us, many Americans are following the seasonal real estate trend and considering purchasing a home over the next few months. The total mortgage originations market is estimated to be around $1 trillion in 2014. With ...


Good News for Sellers: Listings Sell Faster despite Weak Sales

Despite weak demand and an infusion of new listings over the past two months, listings are selling nearly as fast as a year ago and prices are still rising. Realtor.com reported recently that in April the total U.S. for sale inventory of ...


Great Spaces: Who Wants to Live in a Barn?

Has quiet country life ever appealed to you? Itch that desire without going full farm by moving into a converted barn space—all luxury, no manual labor. This charming, spacious, revamped barn is located in Indian Hill, Ohio. ...


Getting Rid of the Clutter Helps Increase Inner Peace

(MCT)—Window-opening weather is upon us, and perhaps with it, the temptation to clean out closets and winnow what once seemed so necessary. ...


Will Short Sale on Second Home Hurt Me?

(MCT)—Question: A second home of mine went into default a few years ago and eventually sold as a short sale. How long will this impact my credit report? We intend to sell our primary residence and buy another this year. We’re current on that mortgage, and we’ve paid all of ...


BBB Issues Advisory about ‘House Flipping’ Workshops

I have long preached the 'if it's too good to be true...' mantra. According to a recent report from Kelsey Owen at BBB, folks that may be attracted to the idea of getting in the high velocity and potentially lucrative business of ...


Play It Safe When You Leave Home: Vacation Security Smarts

As summer gets into full swing, it makes sense to review some simple but important steps you should take to secure your home during vacation season. Amidst all of the decisions about where to go, where to stay, and what to do ...


Rates on New Home Loans Remain Stable

The average characteristics of conventional mortgages used to buy newly built homes were little changed in April, according to data released recently by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). ...


Your Place: Hire Someone Else to Fix Leaning Garage

(MCT)—Question: I have a 75-year-old, one-car, detached wooden garage that has started to lean. What do I need to do to straighten it up? I am really handy and would like to do it myself if I could, but I have nowhere ...


Fixed Mortgage Rates Lower for Fifth Straight Week

Freddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates falling for the fifth consecutive week and hitting new 2014 lows. The average for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at its lowest point since the week of October 31, 2013. ...


Living Smart: Unglamorous Home Projects

(MCT)—It’s almost painful to shell out hard-earned money for some home projects. Unlike adding a new deck or remodeling the kitchen, replacing a sump pump is hardly cause for a party. ...


Hot Property: Leaving Another Zip Code?

(MCT)—Jason Priestley, who made a name for himself playing Brandon Walsh on “Beverly Hills, 90210” in the 1990s, has sold a home in the San Fernando Valley’s Toluca Lake neighborhood for $2 million. ...


Microchips in Our Passports and Credit Cards: Are they Safe?

(MCT)—U.S. passports have them. And these days, many more U.S. credit cards are starting to carry them, too. ...


Hot Property: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski Add House to Their Portfolio

(MCT)—Emily Blunt has been quite busy—she’ll be tearing up the big screen this year—but apparently she still had time to go house shopping. She and husband John Krasinski have spent $2.575 million for a home in Hollywood Hills ...


Nine Ways Air Travel Is Better Than It’s Ever Been

(MCT)—If I read one more article about how awful air travel is today compared to the “golden days of air travel” my head is going to explode. I’m as nostalgic as the next guy, and would pay anything to take one last ...


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