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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Give Your Front Door a Face Lift

(MCT)—A front door is your home’s chance to make a good first impression. ...


Housing Affordability Edges Higher in First Quarter

Slightly lower median home prices along with steady mortgage rates contributed to higher housing affordability in the first quarter, according to the recently released National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). ...


4 Things That Help You Advance at Work

(MCT)—Aiming for higher management in the workplace is a lot like running for political office. Your past and current behaviors will be dissected. ...


Spotlight Your Home’s Best Side: Staging Helps Sell Faster

(MCT)—Maria Sapuppo needed to sell her comfy bi-level with five bedrooms and three bathrooms last year, but her real estate agent warned it looked a little too “lived-in” as it was and suggested staging it. Sapuppo, a River Vale, N.J., mother of two, ...


Housing as a Job Creator – Congressional Testimony

Recently, NAHB economist Robert Dietz testified before the Economic Policy Subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee on housing issues and the economics of home building as a job creator. ...


Everyone Needs an Estate Plan, Regardless of Wealth

(MCT)—Unless you’re rich, you may think the term “estate planning” doesn’t apply to you. Well, think again. ...


Protect Your Home from Wildfires

Wildfire season is approaching and it’s time to make sure you have done everything you can to protect your property. Firefighters must make snap judgments about which structures to try to save and which are too dangerous to defend. A defensible space ...


Consumer Optimism Toward Housing Continues Gradual Climb

Americans’ outlook toward the housing market continued to improve in April, perhaps foreshadowing an increase in housing activity in the coming months, according to results from Fannie Mae’s April 2014 National Housing Survey. The share of respondents who believe now is a ...


Family Travel Five: Make Your Vacation Picture-Perfect

(MCT)—Smile: It’s a family photo. Here are ideas for adding photographic interest to your vacation and some contact info for finding destinations. ...


Real Estate Is a Better Investment than Gold

Almost every day, I hear advertisements about buying gold because it is such a great investment. As I have heard these claims, I have wondered how real estate stacks up to gold as an investment. ...


Your Place: Condensing Furnace Exhaust Vapors Can Freeze Near Chimney

(MCT)—A reminder: Asking a question here should not be a substitute for hiring a professional to handle a problem. The most important function of this column is as a forum for ideas. Some problems look alike but often are not ...


Baths Edge Kitchens for Most Common Remodeling Project in 2013

May is National Home Remodeling Month. This is the first of a series of posts in recognition of the occasion with results from NAHB’s quarterly Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey showing that bathrooms remained the most common type of jobs performed by ...


Great Spaces: Immaculate, Zen-Like Connecticut Estate

This Mid-Century modern New England estate, designed by architects Donald Billinkoff and Yvan Prokesch and nicknamed Strawberry Ridge, is located in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains in Ridgefield, Conn. Spanning 11,272 square feet, the six-bedroom, six-bathroom home has some unique features, ...


Sorting through Sea of Documents at Closing

(MCT)—QUESTION: I recently read that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is going to make the mortgage closing process more consumer-friendly. Do you think it can? ...


The Most Popular Features to Improve the Performance of Your Home

According to a new National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers survey, high-performing, Low-emissive (Low-E) windows are the most common green building products used by residential remodelers. To kick off National Home Remodeling Month in May, NAHB released the survey results, which ...


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