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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Family Travel Five: Make Your Vacation Picture-Perfect

(MCT)—Smile: It’s a family photo. Here are ideas for adding photographic interest to your vacation and some contact info for finding destinations. ...


Real Estate Is a Better Investment than Gold

Almost every day, I hear advertisements about buying gold because it is such a great investment. As I have heard these claims, I have wondered how real estate stacks up to gold as an investment. ...


Your Place: Condensing Furnace Exhaust Vapors Can Freeze Near Chimney

(MCT)—A reminder: Asking a question here should not be a substitute for hiring a professional to handle a problem. The most important function of this column is as a forum for ideas. Some problems look alike but often are not ...


Baths Edge Kitchens for Most Common Remodeling Project in 2013

May is National Home Remodeling Month. This is the first of a series of posts in recognition of the occasion with results from NAHB’s quarterly Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey showing that bathrooms remained the most common type of jobs performed by ...


Great Spaces: Immaculate, Zen-Like Connecticut Estate

This Mid-Century modern New England estate, designed by architects Donald Billinkoff and Yvan Prokesch and nicknamed Strawberry Ridge, is located in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains in Ridgefield, Conn. Spanning 11,272 square feet, the six-bedroom, six-bathroom home has some unique features, ...


Sorting through Sea of Documents at Closing

(MCT)—QUESTION: I recently read that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is going to make the mortgage closing process more consumer-friendly. Do you think it can? ...


The Most Popular Features to Improve the Performance of Your Home

According to a new National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers survey, high-performing, Low-emissive (Low-E) windows are the most common green building products used by residential remodelers. To kick off National Home Remodeling Month in May, NAHB released the survey results, which ...


Mortgage Applications Slide in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 5.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 25, 2014. ...


House Flippers Are Back in New Reality TV Series

(MCT)—In an era of rising home prices, making money flipping a house seems like a slam-dunk. ...


Great Spaces: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s West Village Apartment Rents after One Day

After only one day on the market, the former apartment of Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman has rented for $10,500 a month—$505 more than the late actor was paying. The 1,100-square-foot pad is located at ...


Family Travel: Five Great Places to Hit the Hot Springs

(MCT)—After winter’s chill, a dip in the hot springs could be just what the family ordered. Here are five to consider: ...


Hot Property: Actress Ready for Seller Role

(MCT)—Actress Victoria Tennant has listed her home in Bel-Air for sale at $6.995 million. ...


Diggin’ In: Creating a Rain Garden

(MCT)—Rain is a natural resource for your yard. ...


Good News and Bad News about the Spring Housing Market

As America emerges from winter into a hopeful but untested spring housing market, the real estate industry has been aflutter with a mix of news. ...


Living Smart: Spring Cleaning for Your Home Exterior

(MCT)—Don’t let dirty windows obscure your view of nature in full spring glory. Whether you do the job yourself or hire an experienced pro, few home investments are as immediately satisfying as clean, sparkling windows. ...


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