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Consumer News and Advice Archive


HUD Secretary Tells REALTORS® FHA Is Exploring Alternative Credit Scoring Models to Expand Mortgage Access

A diverse group of housing industry stakeholders participated in a credit access symposium recently to discuss how alternative credit scoring models could expand access to mortgage credit for responsible borrowers who may have thin credit histories or extenuating ...


5 Great Home Improvements for $500 or Less

When it comes to upgrading our homes, there is a never-ending list of things to do, from buying new patio furniture to replacing the kitchen cabinets. But the editors of Money Magazine suggest five home remodeling projects that will vastly improve the look ...


Spending on Happiness

(TNS)—Giving money to people you love probably makes you happy. Spending money on others also probably makes you happier than spending it on yourself, just as spending money on experiences makes you happier than spending money on things. So does that mean you ...


9 Spring Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers

(TNS)—Dust the baseboards. Check! Tackle the pantry. Check! And the bookshelves, and the—achoo! Spring cleaning stirring up allergens? ...


Finding a Paint to Bust Ghost Shadows on Ceiling

(TNS)—Q: The ceiling in my house is showing shadow or ghost lines that correspond to the longitudinal beams of the roof structure. ...


5 Questions for the First-Time Homebuyer

(TNS)—Usually, a first-time homebuyer picks out a house before lining up financing, but experts say it should be the opposite. ...


3 Steps to an Emergency Fund

(TNS)—If you lose your job tomorrow, do you have enough money to pay your rent next month? Bad things can happen. Start an emergency fund in three simple steps to cushion you in times of trouble. ...


How Does the Color of Your Home Affect Buyers?

It’s no secret that color is crucial when marketing a product. In fact, consumers come to a subconscious conclusion about a product within 90 seconds of viewing, and much of that judgment (62-90 percent) is based solely on color, according to the Institute ...


4 Easy Ways to Xeriscape Your Yard

Unless you hire a crew for upkeep, your responsibilities as a homeowner likely include some form of landscape maintenance. Did you know that a large portion of household water usage goes directly to maintaining a landscape? ...


Consumer Housing Optimism Rising, Increased Rental Rates Hindering Recovery

According to the Fannie Mae February 2015 Housing Survey, consumer optimism toward the housing market and the economy has reached a new all-time survey high. Forty-seven percent of respondents says they believe the economy is headed in the right direction. Likewise, the share of respondents who believe it would be ...


Working at Home: Who Claims the Home-Office Deduction?

With tax preparation season well underway, it is a good time to examine the use of the home-office deduction. ...


To Stage or Not to Stage? Survey Proves Home Staging Pays

I have been detailing all kinds of information about home staging for years. So it was great to know that the suspected benefits of home staging have now been validated. ...


Spending Smart: 10 Things You Should Know about Credit Unions

(TNS)—Perhaps the most underused, underappreciated consumer-friendly institutions, next to public libraries, are credit unions, which people use for loans, savings and daily banking. But recent data show the secret is slowly but surely leaking out. ...


Living Smart: Mulch Madness and Basic Buying Tips

(TNS)—Nothing signals the return of spring like a smelly pile of mulch. Aside from its questionable stench, mulch plays an essential role in landscaping, from boosting curb appeal to retaining moisture and suffocating weeds. But before you hire a landscaper or get out ...


How Changing Habits Can Change Your Happiness

Our habits, says Gretchen Rubin, are our destiny. Which isn’t to say they’re predetermined. ...


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