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Consumer News and Advice Archive


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. ...


Breaking the Logjam on Reverse Mortgages

(MCT)—People reaching retirement age are living longer than ever, and retiring with less capacity to maintain their living standards. With good reason, this situation has been termed a “retirement funds crisis.” ...


Real Estate Q&A: Lien Filed against Wrong Homeowner

(MCT)—QUESTION: I recently learned that a company mistakenly filed a lien against our home. It’s clear that the company did not even check for accuracy. I contacted the firm, and it released the lien, but without written explanation. My wife and I ...


Hot Property: Is a Quick Sale in the Cards?

(MCT)—Constance Zimmer of “House of Cards” put her home in the Hollywood Hills up for sale at $1.175 million and in 10 days it was in escrow. ...


Steps for Battling Flu

(MCT)—It's flu season, but that doesn't mean you need to get sick. Below are several steps for battling the flu. ...


Meeting the Requirements of the Affordable Care Act

Under the Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2014, Americans who can afford to buy health insurance are required to do so or pay a penalty when they file their federal tax return. Everyone must enroll in a health insurance program by the March 31, 2014 deadline. ...


A Beginner’s Guide to Reddit

(MCT)—Reddit’s that website you’ve heard of but maybe don’t quite understand. Is it a social network? A message board? Its spare design and free-for-all culture can be intimidating, but don’t underestimate its users’ collective power—for good and, sometimes, not-so-good. The site is ...


Commercial Mortgage Lender Appetite Expected to Exceed that of Borrowers in 2014

Commercial and multifamily mortgage lending is expected to increase in 2014, as lenders’ appetites to place new loans grow even stronger, according to a new Mortgage Bankers Association survey of the top commercial and multifamily mortgage origination firms. Lenders were also polled on their expectations for borrower appetites in the ...


Housing-Related Tax Rules That Expired at the End of 2013

At the end of 2013, a number of housing-related tax provisions expired. Collectively, these housing and other tax rules are part of a set of policies known as “tax extenders,” which have traditionally been extended every year or so. ...


Hot Property: House where Perry Never Made a Grand Entrance Sells

Katy Perry has tidied up some old business, selling her fortress-like compound in Hollywood Hills West for $5.565 million. ...


Social Media 101: Hashtag Tips and Explanations

(MCT)—Hashtag #etiquette: ...