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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Living Smart: Easy Projects to Spruce up Your Landscaping

(MCT)—Having a mid-summer’s dream of better landscaping? Here are three easy projects to help realize your vision: ...


A New Challenge to HUD’s Reverse-Mortgage Program

(MCT)—The United States faces a retirement funds crisis: a rapidly growing number of people who retire without the financial capacity to support themselves during ever-increasing life spans. The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) reverse-mortgage program, which allows older homeowners to convert some ...


To Go Solar or Not? That Is the Question!

I spend a lot of time monitoring the home solar industry and passing new information on whenever it develops. As more companies emerge to help homeowners with solar energy projects, and the price of related equipment continues to drop, more and more ...


Three-Quarters of American Homeowners Have Used a REALTOR®

According to the results of a housing survey released recently by BMO Harris Bank, three-quarters (77 percent) of homeowners have used a real estate agent. However, nearly half (47 percent) of Americans are confident they could sell a home without the help ...


Real Estate Q&A: Loan Status Depends on What Deed Says

(MCT)—QUESTION: Years ago I bought a house with my girlfriend, and it was titled in just her name, as was the mortgage loan. Several years later, we deeded the property into both of our names, even though we never got married. She ...


30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Surge, Then Settle

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow® Mortgage Marketplace is currently 4.03 percent, up five basis points from this time last week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate steadily increased last week, spiking to 4.26 percent on Friday before declining to the current ...


Bipartisan Energy Codes Bill a Boon for Consumers

Bipartisan legislation introduced recently by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) would help promote savings in commercial buildings and residential homes through the use of more cost-effective energy codes, which set energy efficiency baselines for buildings, according to the National ...


Diggin’ In: Landscapes Need Renovating Just Like Homes

Your landscape is very much like your home’s interior décor. ...


Your Place: Soot on Walls Likely from Radiator Burning Dust

(MCT)—Question: I have a question about electric heat. ...


8 Ways Homebuyers Annoy Sellers

(MCT)---Selling a home is stressful. And poorly behaved buyers add to the strain. A little give-and-take is normal, but some buyers push the envelope, as well as the sellers' buttons. Here are eight ways that homebuyers annoy sellers. ...


Costs to Incorporate Green Features

The cost to make a home green (energy efficiency, water and indoor quality, etc.) is higher than the cost of construction of other homes, and this differential may persist as more builders enter the green market. However, builder experience with green technique ...


5 Things You Shouldn’t Keep in Your Car

For many people, a car is like a traveling storage bin. But there are some things you shouldn't keep in your car -- unless you want potential thieves to purloin your personal information. ...


The Dying Dining Room

The dining room isn’t what it used to be. ...


Brave Buyers: The “American Horror Story” House Is on the Market

The Alfred F. Rosenheim estate, otherwise known as the “Murder House” featured on “American Horror Story,” is now up for grabs! Originally built as a private home in 1908, the home boasts an enormous wooden interior that has quite the history attached ...


The Legal Ins and Outs of Buying a House with Someone

Many people consider buying a house together for many different reasons. Whether it is your first-time home or an investment property, buying a house together does have its perks. If done with care, this arrangement can be very beneficial in getting you a house that you may not have otherwise ...


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