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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Spending Smart: Extended Warranties Warrant a Closer Look

(MCT)—Do extended service contracts warrant your attention and your dollars? ...


Texas REALTORS® De-Mystify Three Top Home Selling Myths

I recently came across some very interesting and de-mystifying information courtesy of the Texas Association of REALTORS® directed at first-time sellers. The Association warns that there are lots of myths out there about the right way to sell a home. ...


Your Place: Paint Peeling, Plaster Crumbling—What to Do?

(MCT)—Q: I had a new roof put on my home 10 years ago. ...


Alternative Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

(MCT)—A standard, fully amortizing mortgage pays off the balance over the term. With a 30-year term, this requires 360 monthly payments, while a 15-year term requires 180 payments. Many lenders, however, offer special loan repayment programs that promise to pay off the ...


Ask the Expert: How Can You Prepare Clients for Home Inspection?

Today's “Ask the Expert” column features Jay Gregg, the Director of Marketing with Pillar To Post. ...


For Your Clients: What Is Good Advice on a Home Appraisal Worth to You?

One of the required services when buying or selling a home involves hiring an appraiser. So I was excited to receive the latest news from the Appraisal Foundation, the nation’s foremost authority on the valuation profession, has additional resources for consumers. ...


Consumer Spending Increases in February while Inflation Stays Low

(MCT)—Consumer spending increased last month the most since November as Americans appeared to start shaking off the effects of severe winter weather. ...


Living Smart: Interior Painting—Picking Color and Finish

(MCT)—In the spring, many a homeowner’s fancy turns to thoughts of fresh paint, because what else renews a room as quickly? That doesn’t mean interior painting is a breeze. There are defined steps to a quality job, and they start with picking ...


What Home Buyers Really Want: Ethnic Preferences (Part III)

Previous posts highlighting findings from the study What Home Buyers Really Want: Ethnic Preferences have shown that a buyer’s race or ethnicity can play a role in how he/she evaluates the characteristics and features of a prospective home. The analysis ...


Your Place: Choosing an Oceanside-Worthy Air Conditioning Unit

(MCT)—Q: In 2012, I wrote about possible solutions to a wet crawl space at my newly acquired home in Mantoloking, N.J., and your reply and the input from your readers was helpful. ...


Popularity Contest: Most Coveted Features for New Homes

During New Homes Month in April, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is sharing with home buyers the most popular features in new single-family homes in 2014. Builders from across the country were surveyed on what features they were most likely ...


February Pending Home Sales Continue Slide

Pending home sales declined for the eighth straight month in February, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Modest increases in the Midwest and West were offset by declines in the Northeast and South; all regions are below a year ago. ...


How to Buy a Second Home

(MCT)—If you have been toying with the idea of buying a second home, now could be a good time to take the leap. Interest rates are still low by historic standards, and home prices are recovering from the bust but aren’t out ...


Real Estate Q&A: Bank Blows Its Own Short Sale Deadline

(MCT)—QUESTION: I’m buying a short sale. After I submitted the application, the seller’s bank told me I could expect an answer in 30 days. But that date has come and gone with no answer yet. It’s an all-cash offer for market value. ...


Subtle Pitfalls Can Damage Credit Scores

(MCT)—Many people know that making late payments, skipping payments or filing for bankruptcy are surefire ways to ruin their credit. ...