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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Hot Property: Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian are Moving On to a New Episode

(MCT)—The marital home of former Laker Lamar Odom and television personality Khloe Kardashian came on the market in Tarzana at $5.499 million this month and was in escrow in 10 days. ...


Living Smart: Radon

(MCT)--There’s a chance your home contains elevated levels of an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that is the country’s second-leading cause of lung cancer. ...


10 Reasons to Buy a Brand New Home

Much like the rest of the real estate industry, new home construction is on the rise! Are you a real estate agent who sells or even specializes in new builds? ...


Consumer Confidence Shows Mixed Results

Measures of consumer confidence were mixed in the most recent release. The Conference Board reported that the Consumer Confidence Index increased by 3.2 points on a month-over-month seasonally adjusted basis in December to 80.7. Meanwhile, according to Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, the Consumer Sentiment Index fell by ...


Trashed Online? Act Quickly to Protect Your Reputation

(MCT)—It can take a long time—if ever—to undo damage caused by comments on the Internet. Scathing posts can tarnish reputations for individuals and businesses, and the snarkiest stuff can go viral before you know about it. ...


Home Protection Plans Help Homeowners Worry Less

American Home Shield goes above and beyond for buyers, sellers and real estate professionals alike ...


Spending Smart: What Light Bulb Technology Should You Use?

(MCT)—Would a savvy consumer rather pay 40 cents for a light bulb, or $1.75 or $10? ...


Price Transparency Key to Expanding Reverse-Mortgage Market

(MCT)—My last column discussed some modest initiatives my colleagues and I have taken to help enlarge the market for home equity conversion mortgages, or HECMs. These included a monograph on matching HECM options to senior needs, a senior-friendly calculator showing the ...


Owners Spend $1.9 Million to Remodel in Typical Zip Code

Homeowners in the typical zip code area spent a total of $1.9 million to improve their homes in 2013, according to new zip-level estimates developed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This works out to about $1,400 per owner-occupied home ...


Your Place: Keeping Indoor Humidity at a Pleasant Level

(MCT)--Q: My daughter and her 5-year-old sleep in a bedroom with a hardwood floor, filled with clothing and stuffed animals. She recently added a small table-top air filter and a humidifier that she activates every night, putting a half-gallon of water ...


Housing Recovery Entering Middle Innings in 2014, as Local Market Performances Are Expected to Vary Widely

In Q4 2013, Appreciation Slowed from Summer Peaks; Formerly Boiling Markets like Bay Area Reduced to a Simmer, According to Zillow Fourth Quarter Real Estate Market Reports ...


Want Dream Home? Don’t Move—Renovate

David Shanks longed for a bigger house. A roomy kitchen was on the list—he loved to cook and had a hard time whipping up specialties for his wife and two daughters in their old narrow one. ...


The Aging Housing Stock

The American housing stock continues to age, a trend that represents an opportunity for remodelers and over the long term may signal a future increased demand for new home construction. ...


How to Safeguard Your New Electronic Presents

(MCT)—If you received a tablet, computer or a new phone this holiday, you’re not alone. This year, tech gifts were expected to top a third of all holiday wish lists, according to the National Retail Federation. ...


REALTORS® Announce Most Valuable Home Improvements

A home’s curb appeal is crucial because it can be the first thing buyers notice about a home. That’s why REALTORS® rated exterior projects among the most valuable home improvement projects in the 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report. ...