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Consumer News and Advice Archive


New Home Sales Hesitate

New home sales fell another 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 412,000 in July, down 10,000 from an upwardly revised June figure of 422,000. The last three months of sales averaged the same as the annual figure for 2013 at 429,000—but in contrast to the first two months of ...


Recovery Will Continue: A Perspective of the U.S. Residential Housing Market

Editor’s Note: The following is a perspective on the housing market recovery provided by HomeServices of America. ...


A Fight for Urban Trees: Wealthier Neighborhoods Leafier

(MCT)—The benefits of trees—from their grace and beauty to their gifts of cool, clean air and stress relief—are well-known and documented in study after study. Yet as the city grows, it is struggling to hold onto its trees, especially in poorer areas. ...


Why the School District Should Impact Your Home Search

Buying a home in a good school district can result in resale advantages, offer protection from market fluctuation and provide a great education. Real estate experts in markets across the country share what you should know about a school district’s impact on ...


Ice Bucket Challenge Is Taking America’s Charitable Giving by Storm

(MCT)—Martha Stewart did it. So did Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon, Roger Goodell, Carson Daly, the New England Patriots, Ethel Kennedy, Adam Zuckerberg, Knightro the University of Central Floria mascot and probably someone you know. ...


Affordability Approaches Pre-2004 Norm as Prices Firm

Housing affordability dipped slightly in the second quarter of 2014 as several markets saw a firming of home prices, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).  Nationwide, the second quarter HOI was 62.6—i.e., 62.6 percent of new and existing ...


Bon Jovi’s Soho Penthouse Drops in Price

If you've been looking for a high-end real estate deal, you're in luck…sort of. Jon Bon Jovi's Soho penthouse was recently reduced from $42 million to $37.5 million. The 7,452-square-foot spot has been ...


Real Estate Q&A: Who Gets the Money?

(MCT)—Q: We had an investment property that fell into foreclosure a few years ago. It finally went to auction and was bought by a third party for about $20,000 more than what we owed the lender. Who gets that money?  — Liz ...


Simple Tips to Take Your Backyard from ‘Blah’ to ‘Breathtaking’

Living in an apartment community certainly has its perks (i.e., not having to fix things when they break), but one thing I truly miss is having a backyard that I can enjoy—whenever and however I want to. While a quick look out ...


Budgeting Basics for Homeowners

A new home often means making significant adjustments to how you spend your money. Expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance add up quickly and can easily throw your best financial intentions out of whack. Creating and following ...


Getting Started: College Textbook-Shopping Tips

(MCT)—Back-to-school shopping has started, and for college students, that means figuring out how to pay for at least one big expense: textbooks. ...


Home-Price Gains Decelerate in Many Metro Areas during Second Quarter

Home-price growth continued to moderate in many metropolitan areas in the second quarter and national year-over-year price appreciation is now at its slowest pace since 2012, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of REALTORS®. ...


Inheriting Property? These Home Inheritance Solutions Can Help

The passing of a loved one is both devastating and trying. It presents the time to mourn and celebrate the person’s life, to gather with family and friends, and to organize any assets that have been left behind. A significant ...


Shirley MacLaine’s New-Age New Mexico Ranch

Actress, author and older sister of Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine has listed her New Mexico ranch for $18 million. Plaza Blanca Ranch, as it’s called, is her “refuge from a very confused and conflicted world,” as she described to the Wall Street ...


Living Smart: Are You Properly Insured for Remodeling?

There are many topics more exciting than homeowners insurance, I’ll grant you that. But since your house is likely to be your biggest asset, it’s wise to periodically examine coverage, to ensure that you’re adequately covered ...


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