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Consumer News and Advice Archive


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 ...


Real Estate Q&A: Loan Status Depends on What Deed Says

(MCT)—QUESTION: Years ago I bought a house with my girlfriend, and it was titled in just her name, as was the mortgage loan. Several years later, we deeded the property into both of our names, even though we never got married. She ...


30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Surge, Then Settle

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow® Mortgage Marketplace is currently 4.03 percent, up five basis points from this time last week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate steadily increased last week, spiking to 4.26 percent on Friday before declining to the current ...


Bipartisan Energy Codes Bill a Boon for Consumers

Bipartisan legislation introduced recently by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) would help promote savings in commercial buildings and residential homes through the use of more cost-effective energy codes, which set energy efficiency baselines for buildings, according to the National ...


Diggin’ In: Landscapes Need Renovating Just Like Homes

Your landscape is very much like your home’s interior décor. ...


Your Place: Soot on Walls Likely from Radiator Burning Dust

(MCT)—Question: I have a question about electric heat. ...


8 Ways Homebuyers Annoy Sellers

(MCT)---Selling a home is stressful. And poorly behaved buyers add to the strain. A little give-and-take is normal, but some buyers push the envelope, as well as the sellers' buttons. Here are eight ways that homebuyers annoy sellers. ...


Costs to Incorporate Green Features

The cost to make a home green (energy efficiency, water and indoor quality, etc.) is higher than the cost of construction of other homes, and this differential may persist as more builders enter the green market. However, builder experience with green technique ...


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