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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Your Place: Make Preparations Now in Case Storms Strike

(MCT)—We’ve barely gotten over winter’s misery and already are being reminded about hurricane preparedness. Yet the season officially started June 1, so perhaps a few tips from the American Bankers Association are in order: ...


Spring-Summer Buying and Selling Season Yet to Bloom

Americans’ concerns about the direction of the economy and their household income appear to be weighing on housing growth, according to results from Fannie Mae’s May 2014 National Housing Survey. The share of respondents who believe the economy is headed in the ...


Great Spaces: Pop Musician’s Amazing Arizona Estate

Have you ever wanted to live like a pop superstar? This 1929 Arizona residence, owned by Grammy Award-winning country music star Linda Ronstadt, offers privacy and luxury right in the heart of Tucson. ...


Barbecue Safety Tips

(MCT)—Ladies and gentlemen, start your grills. It’s June — the (unofficial) start of barbecue season. And as you maneuver this meaty course, stay alert for these flags along the way: ...


Equity Position of U.S. Households Improves

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ recently released statistics on the financial accounts of U.S. households. The release shows continued improvement in the financial position of U.S. households with real estate. If fact, the household real estate equity position improved ...


Living Smart: Swimming Pool Design Ideas and Tips

(MCT)—Are you considering taking the plunge to add a pool or update an existing one? ...


The Open Floor Plan Challenge

Open floor plans continue to be popular, but as many homeowners discover, living with this kind of layout can take some getting used to. While these spaces – with minimal wall interruption, lots of light, and a spacious feeling – have much ...


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). ...


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