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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Living Smart: House Cleaning Means the Exterior, Too

(MCT)—House cleaning isn’t just an inside job. Your siding, driveway and garage floor get dirty, too. And just as a freshly cleaned car seems to drive better, a spic-and-span exterior feels great to come home to. ...


For Your Client: Mold Prevention and Control

Mold is a common occurrence in homes, but it can potentially cause health problems as well as damage to structures and surfaces if it is not controlled. Mold begins growing indoors when spores come in contact with wet surfaces or substances. Once ...


Down Payments Go Up for First-time Buyers

Fewer first-time homebuyers are finding a way to buy a house with a relatively low down payment as their options shrink and lenders’ down payment requirements rise. ...


Hot Property: Akon Produces a Dazzling Flip in Woodland Hills

(MCT)—Akon, the R&B and hip-hop singer and producer, has put his ultra-modern home in Los Angeles’ Woodland Hills neighborhood up for sale at $3.5 million. ...


Vacationers Should Watch out for Potential Scams

(MCT)—Vacation. It’s supposed to be a time to kick back and relax, but if you’re traveling, there can be a lot of stress, from finding the best deal when making the hotel reservations, to getting to and waiting at the airport and ...


Seven Is the New Eight when It Comes to Sleep

(MCT)—Suddenly we’re all talking about sleep—how little we get, how badly we do it. When did something so natural, a simple act we usually take for granted, become such a problem? ...


All Families Need to Have the Financial ‘Talk’

(MCT)—It’s the conversation that many families put off. And then put off some more. ...


The Top 10 Affordable Purchase Markets for Aspiring Millennial Homebuyers

First-time homebuyers have been largely absent from the housing market in the current economic recovery, but some metropolitan areas—particularly in the Midwest and West—are well positioned to see increases in home-buying from the Millennial generation in upcoming years, according to ...


Home Sales Expected to Accelerate

After a slow start this year, home sales are predicted to play catch up for the remainder of 2014, according to the Freddie Mac U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for July. The report showed mixed data results for ...


30-Year-Fixed Mortgage Rates Slide for Second Week in a Row

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow Mortgages dropped eight percentage points from this time last week, landing at 3.97 percent. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered between 3.96 and 4.08 percent for the majority of the week, before settling at the current rate on Tuesday. ...


June Existing-Home Sales Reach Recent Highs

During the month of June, existing-home sales reached an annual pace of 5 million sales for the first time since October 2013, according to data recently released by the National Association of REALTORS®. In addition to the heightened existing-home sales, rising inventory ...


Diggin’ In: Rain Barrels Fill Many Needs for Home, Garden

(MCT)--Gardens are typically blessed with spring rains that bring summer flowers—and then the hot, dry months of July and August take their toll. ...


Hot Property: Ellen DeGeneres Sells Trophy Home to Tech Billionaire

(MCT)--Ellen DeGeneres has sold the A. Quincy Jones-designed Brody House on Los Angeles’ Westside to Napster co-founder Sean Parker for $55 million in an off-market deal. ...


The Most Absurd Features of Leonardo DiCaprio’s NYC Apartment

Leonardo DiCaprio is a baller. Though he may be sans-Oscar (hopefully not for much longer), this “Wolf of Wall Street” can still afford to drop $10 million on a two-bedroom apartment in an eco-friendly New York City high rise. But calling ...


Great Spaces: Screenwriter Packs Up in Brentwood

Oscar-winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan (“Traffic,” “Syriana,” “Havoc”), along with fashion designer wife Minnie Mortimer, placed their lucky Brentwood estate on the market for $4.995 million. Why lucky, you may ask? Because it took less than two weeks for the listing to make ...


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