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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Living Smart: Do I Need to Cut Down That Tree?

(TNS)--Just like people and pets — trees get sick. ...


5 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

(TNS)—You’ve decided to go for it. Buying a home can be thrilling and nerve-wracking at the same time, especially for a first-time homebuyer. It’s difficult to know exactly what to expect. The learning curve can be steep, but most of the issues can ...


5 Tax-Saving Strategies to Help This Tax Season


Millions of Americans face a challenge in meeting their budgets every month—not just financially, but also in their time budgets, says investment advisor Reid Abedeen. ...


New Study Finds Price Premium for Solar Homes

A study conducted by a team of researchers,  led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Berkeley Laboratory, found that homebuyers are willing to pay more for homes that have installed solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. The research (Selling into the Sun: ...


Great Spaces: Soak Up South Carolina Luxury at Seven Oaks

Looking to get luxurious down south? Look no further than Seven Oaks, a palatial manor with river views and access located in Bluffton, S.C., just minutes from the white sand beaches of Hilton Head Island and close to the romantic towns of Savannah, ...


8 Small Ways to Save Big

Yes, it’s hard to save money—especially when you think you’ve already cut the fat out of your monthly budget. But Kiplinger’s personal finance editors offer eight ways you may not have considered that can help you wring out a few more dollars to ...


87 Percent of U.S. Homes Qualify for Down Payment Help

RealtyTrac recently released a Down Payment Resource (DPR) on the availability of down payment programs across the country. Out of more than 78 million U.S. single family homes and condos, more than 68 million (87 percent) would qualify ...


Effective Rate on New Home Loans Continues Downward Drift

On average, the contract rate on conventional mortgages used to purchase newly-built homes, remained a constant 4.03 percent in December, according to data released yesterday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). However, initial ...


Expert Ways to Increase Home Value

With housing prices at recent highs, it’s a great time to sell; and still-low interest rates also make it a good time to buy a home.  Findings from a new, exclusive survey of more than 300 licensed residential real estate agents by the Consumer Reports National Research Center point to ...


A More Robust Year for Housing in 2015

NAHB hosted an economic and housing outlook seminar at its International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas inviting Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, and David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance, to join David Crowe to discuss the outlook for 2015. Here’s ...


10 Ways to Raise Your Credit Score 100 Points in 2015

(TNS)—It’s important to get your credit score as high as possible if you want to qualify for the best loans and credit. Many lenders don’t even look at your credit report; they stop at your credit score. FICO credit scores ...


Millennials Seek Smaller Houses, but Won’t Sacrifice Details

As Millennials begin to enter the home buying market in larger numbers, homes will get a little smaller, laundry rooms will be essential, and home technology will become increasingly prevalent, says panelists during an International Builders’ Show press conference on home trends and ...


Keeping Your Phone on Lock Down: App Awareness

You just had a flat tire along a dark country road. Luckily, you downloaded a flashlight app into your cellphone and now can put it to use. ...


7 Ways You’re Accidentally Improving your Credit

(TNS)—There’s little doubt that Americans with higher credit scores get better deals on core consumer items like mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. ...


Best Ski Towns for Real Estate Investing 2015 Edition

Thanks to the popularity of the inaugural Best Ski Towns for Real Estate Investing list for 2014, the RealtyTrac editorial team sacrificed their precious holidays to endure the toils of travel to idyllic ski resort towns and the trials of ...


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