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Consumer News and Advice Archive


How does the seller determine what rate to provide?

The interest rate on a purchase money note is negotiable, as are the other terms in a seller-financed transaction. To get an idea about what to charge, sellers can check with a lender or mortgage broker to determine current rates on mortgage loans, including second mortgages. ...


Web site Offers Landlords Ways to Check on Problem Renters

RISMEDIA, Nov. 23, 2007-As a landlord, Bob DeCosmo has dealt with his share of problem tenants. He also has grown increasingly frustrated with how difficult it is to evict someone from one of his rental properties. ...


How do I respond to a low-ball offer?

Let your agent know it is too low to warrant a counteroffer and that you are willing to negotiate but only once a more reasonable offer is made. Ask the agent if the buyer was shown comparable market values of similar homes that have recently sold in your area; and ...


Are agents responsible for disclosing material facts?

They can certainly be held accountable, particularly if they had prior knowledge of a material fact or should have known about it. ...


Can the seller also include contingencies in a contract?

Yes. For example, if you decide to sell your existing home first before buying another one, you can make the sale of your home contingent on finding a replacement home. Some sellers opt for this contingency to avoid a double move, such as moving to a hotel or rental until ...


Do I have to consider contingencies made by the buyer?

You can reject, accept, or counter any offer that is presented to you. Most offers include contingencies, which protect the buyer in case something goes wrong. ...


Condos, a Bright Spot in Seattle Housing Market

RISMEDIA, Nov. 20, 2007-(MCT)-Overlooked for years as a significant housing source, condominiums are now a rapidly growing presence providing a ray of sunshine in an otherwise gray local housing-sales scene. ...


Enhance Basement Areas for Holiday Gatherings

RISMEDIA, Nov. 19, 2007-Often an overlooked area of the house, primarily used for storage, basements are gaining popularity for their many other practical uses. Expanding the living space into the basement can be much more economical than adding another room or floor onto an existing home. Refinishing a basement area ...


How to Find a Professional Roofing Contractor

RISMEDIA, Nov. 15, 2007-Southern California homeowners and building owners looking to repair or replace their damaged roof systems after the recent wildfires should heed this important advice: Insist on a professional. The National Roofing Contractors Association can help you find a professional roofing contractor in your area. Here are some ...


Fall Planting: Time for Trees and Shrubs

By Ellen Russell ...


Avoiding Bankruptcy: What Every Consumer Should Know

RISMEDIA, Nov. 9, 2007-With U.S. bankruptcy filings up more than 40% this year, Americans 62 years old and older should realize they may be able to avoid bankruptcy by applying for a reverse mortgage loan. ...


Home Sellers Throw in Extras to Lure Buyers

RISMEDIA, Nov. 8, 2007-(MCT)-Facing a tough market for selling new homes, Pacific Union Homes tried a new tactic last month -- buy one home, get 1/52 of a second home for free. ...


De-Coding the Meaning of ‘Mortgage’

By Ralph Roberts ...


How to Know When the Price is Right

By Curtis Seltzer ...


10 Tips for Getting Your Home Off the Market this Fall

RISMEDIA, Nov. 10, 2007-Many homeowners and buyers have their eyes peeled on the housing market. While groups like the National Association of Realtors continue to manage consumer expectations and provide reassurance that the housing market will steadily improve by 2008, hopes can fall hard for homeowners who are preparing their ...