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Consumer News and Advice Archive


For Your Clients: How to Find the Best REALTOR®

There are good apples and bad apples in every bunch. The same can be said for myriad professionals who become involved when you are thinking of buying or selling a home. ...


Casey Kasem’s Ordeal Offers 5 Estate-Planning Lessons

Beloved radio personality Casey Kasem passed away last Sunday, leaving behind a media legacy and some eye-opening lessons regarding end-of-life/estate planning. ...


Great Spaces: Michael Bay Sees Action for Bel-Air Estate

“Transformers” head honcho Michael Bay has sold his Bel-Air estate for a hefty $11.45 million. Now he can probably afford to make some more terrible films! ...


Living Smart: Consumer Gag Orders

(MCT)—Online sites that allow consumers to describe or rate their experiences with contractors and other service providers are a fact of modern life. ...


Adjustable-Rate Loans Can Be a Smart Risk

(MCT)—The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that only about 1 of every 10 home mortgages being written today carries an adjustable interest rate. A combination of negative press on adjustable-rate mortgages and a widespread belief that interest rates are bound to start rising ...


Email Etiquette for Generation Text

Most likely, you already understand that you’ll need to structure your professional emails differently than you would a text or a tweet. But unless you had the good fortune to take an “Email Etiquette 101” course in college, you might be unsure ...


FHA Offers First-Time Homebuyers Discounted Loans for Taking Class

(MCT)—Home loans are about to go on the discount rack for first-time buyers willing to spend a few hours learning the ropes of homeownership, from applying for a mortgage to choosing a contractor for a kitchen remodel. ...


Your Place: Make Preparations Now in Case Storms Strike

(MCT)—We’ve barely gotten over winter’s misery and already are being reminded about hurricane preparedness. Yet the season officially started June 1, so perhaps a few tips from the American Bankers Association are in order: ...


Spring-Summer Buying and Selling Season Yet to Bloom

Americans’ concerns about the direction of the economy and their household income appear to be weighing on housing growth, according to results from Fannie Mae’s May 2014 National Housing Survey. The share of respondents who believe the economy is headed in the ...


Great Spaces: Pop Musician’s Amazing Arizona Estate

Have you ever wanted to live like a pop superstar? This 1929 Arizona residence, owned by Grammy Award-winning country music star Linda Ronstadt, offers privacy and luxury right in the heart of Tucson. ...


Barbecue Safety Tips

(MCT)—Ladies and gentlemen, start your grills. It’s June — the (unofficial) start of barbecue season. And as you maneuver this meaty course, stay alert for these flags along the way: ...


Equity Position of U.S. Households Improves

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ recently released statistics on the financial accounts of U.S. households. The release shows continued improvement in the financial position of U.S. households with real estate. If fact, the household real estate equity position improved ...


Living Smart: Swimming Pool Design Ideas and Tips

(MCT)—Are you considering taking the plunge to add a pool or update an existing one? ...


The Open Floor Plan Challenge

Open floor plans continue to be popular, but as many homeowners discover, living with this kind of layout can take some getting used to. While these spaces – with minimal wall interruption, lots of light, and a spacious feeling – have much ...


Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

With the summer real estate season upon us, many Americans are following the seasonal real estate trend and considering purchasing a home over the next few months. The total mortgage originations market is estimated to be around $1 trillion in 2014. With ...


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