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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Shirley MacLaine’s New-Age New Mexico Ranch

Actress, author and older sister of Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine has listed her New Mexico ranch for $18 million. Plaza Blanca Ranch, as it’s called, is her “refuge from a very confused and conflicted world,” as she described to the Wall Street ...


Living Smart: Are You Properly Insured for Remodeling?

There are many topics more exciting than homeowners insurance, I’ll grant you that. But since your house is likely to be your biggest asset, it’s wise to periodically examine coverage, to ensure that you’re adequately covered ...


Great Spaces: Southern California Celebrity Haven Up for Sale

Located in the Outpost Estates in Los Angeles, this Maravilla Drive estate has been home to several notable celebrities, including Bela Lugosi in the ’30s and Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner in the early ’50s. A magnet for fame, other celebrities who ...


10 Cheapest States for Mortgage Rates

Last year, most financial experts — really, anyone who kept up with Fed moves — were certain that interest rates would finally begin to rise in 2014. Now, eight months into the year, mortgage rates are still at record lows and — surprisingly — consumers aren’t even taking advantage of ...


Closing Costs Soar 20.8 Percent

While most homebuyers are focused on rising home prices, closing costs are rising nearly as quickly over the past three years, increasing by more than 20 percent since 2010, according recent information from Bankrate.com. Mortgage closing costs rose 6 percent over 2013 ...


Hot Property: ‘Mad Men’ Actor Vincent Kartheiser Puts a Little Something up for Sale

(MCT)—Vincent Kartheiser of “Mad Men” has listed his tiny Hollywood bungalow at $808,000. ...


Ask the Expert: How Can I Keep Energy Costs Down, Home Condition Up?

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


Your Place: Odors from the Air Conditioner

(MCT)—Question: Over the last month, after running the air conditioner in my son’s room, we noticed that it smelled like an ashtray. ...


A $1,000 Increase in Home Prices Keeps More than 200,000 Households Out of the Market

Each $1,000 increase in the cost of a new median-priced home price forces 206,000 prospective buyers out of the marketplace, according to a new study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). ...


Timing Is Key when Selling a Business

(MCT)—Sometimes the owner of a business has no choice but to sell a thriving enterprise, such as in a divorce, the splitting of a partnership or the death of a major shareholder. ...


What to Expect when Looking at Las Vegas Real Estate

Regional Spotlight—Home ownership is a dream that’s made even sweeter for some people by the thought of having a brand new home built. When it comes to buying homes in Las Vegas, there’s something available that will fit every budget, lifestyle and taste imaginable. Here are a few things you ...


Five Housing Trends for Summer

(MCT)—It may still be hard to find the home of your dreams with the limited inventory for sale. But at least when it comes to getting a mortgage, you might have more options as lenders loosen some of their standards. ...


Living Smart: House Cleaning Means the Exterior, Too

(MCT)—House cleaning isn’t just an inside job. Your siding, driveway and garage floor get dirty, too. And just as a freshly cleaned car seems to drive better, a spic-and-span exterior feels great to come home to. ...


For Your Client: Mold Prevention and Control

Mold is a common occurrence in homes, but it can potentially cause health problems as well as damage to structures and surfaces if it is not controlled. Mold begins growing indoors when spores come in contact with wet surfaces or substances. Once ...


Down Payments Go Up for First-time Buyers

Fewer first-time homebuyers are finding a way to buy a house with a relatively low down payment as their options shrink and lenders’ down payment requirements rise. ...


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