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Consumer News and Advice Archive


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 ...


The Economic Impact of the Affordable Housing Credit

In addition to ensuring the supply of affordable rental housing, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) supports jobs and provides benefits to the economy, reports the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Using the NAHB economic impact model of home building, revised ...


Florida Agent Wins Gas Card Giveaway

Last month, we rolled out with a RIS Reader Rewards contest for a tank of gas, on us. The contest, which ran from June 2 to June 27, offered all entries the chance to score a $50 gas card. Entry rules were simple: Tell us what one word describes your ...


If Your Tree Falls onto Neighbor’s Property, Are You Liable?

If your tree falls onto a neighbor's property, it might not make a sound, but you may be liable. ...


Keep Your Cool This Summer

Summer is time for fun in welcome warm weather—but it’s also important to stay cool when the temperatures really get up there. Both indoors and out, keeping cool will help you and your family feel more comfortable and avoid heat-related health problems ...


Living Smart: Easy Projects to Spruce up Your Landscaping

(MCT)—Having a mid-summer’s dream of better landscaping? Here are three easy projects to help realize your vision: ...


A New Challenge to HUD’s Reverse-Mortgage Program

(MCT)—The United States faces a retirement funds crisis: a rapidly growing number of people who retire without the financial capacity to support themselves during ever-increasing life spans. The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) reverse-mortgage program, which allows older homeowners to convert some ...


To Go Solar or Not? That Is the Question!

I spend a lot of time monitoring the home solar industry and passing new information on whenever it develops. As more companies emerge to help homeowners with solar energy projects, and the price of related equipment continues to drop, more and more ...


Three-Quarters of American Homeowners Have Used a REALTOR®

According to the results of a housing survey released recently by BMO Harris Bank, three-quarters (77 percent) of homeowners have used a real estate agent. However, nearly half (47 percent) of Americans are confident they could sell a home without the help ...


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