• Homeowners Beware: Forensic Loan Audit Scam

    Homeowners Beware: Forensic Loan Audit Scam

    The calls started last November. Speaking in Spanish, a representative from New Century Solutions in Lake Forest, Calif., pitched Jose Chirino to purchase a forensic loan audit. For $2,995, the representative said, an audit could help the San Jose, Calif., homeowner get a much-desired loan modification and... Continue Reading

  • Is Now the Best Time to Refinance Your Mortgage?

    Is Now the Best Time to Refinance Your Mortgage?

    Some homeowners in their 50s are taking advantage of historic low rates to refinance their homes and score themselves a mortgage-free retirement. Mark and Jan Sass, 55-year-olds who live in Cincinnati, Ohio, refinanced their home last week to lock in lower rates, Reuters reported. They switched from a 20-year... Continue Reading

  • How to Rent in a Landlord's World: Tips for Today's Market

    How to Rent in a Landlord's World: Tips for Today's Market

    If your rent went up this spring, you are not alone. The rental market is playing out a classic supply-and-demand scenario: Demand is increasing and supply has remained neutral as existing renters have stayed put. Add to that rising costs for oil, and gas, and the result is a bigger monthly tab for renters. In... Continue Reading

  • Watch: Signs We've Hit the Housing Bottom

    Watch: Signs We've Hit the Housing Bottom

    For nearly two years, economists and real estate experts have been on the lookout for the bottom of the housing market. That time is here, says Russell Price, a senior economist with Ameriprise Financial (AMP), a financial services company. Price spoke with DailyFinance to explain why the decline in real estate... Continue Reading

  • Buy vs. Rent: Top Tips for Your Big Decision

    Buy vs. Rent: Top Tips for Your Big Decision

    When Dr. Alexis Roettinger returned last year to Newport, R.I., she knew it was worth it to buy a house. After completing her medical residency in Buffalo, N.Y., she had landed a new job at the local hospital in the seaside city where she grew up. Roettinger, 35, knew she'd be staying a while. To save money... Continue Reading

  • Tag Your Home Photos for Better Insurance Claims

    Tag Your Home Photos for Better Insurance Claims

    On the morning of Nov. 24, 2007, Brad Stanley and his wife Anita watched as their home in Malibu, Calif., burned to the ground. They were not alone. More than 50 other homes were destroyed in the wildfire. With everything they owned now gone, the family had to start to process of documenting their losses to... Continue Reading

  • Home Values: What's in a Neighborhood Name?

    Home Values: What's in a Neighborhood Name?

    Want to boost the price on your house? Go country. Commonly held wisdom is that a prestigious-sounding name can add value to a neighborhood or subdivision. Now the research proves it. Buyers are willing to pay a premium of 4.2 percent for a property with "country" in the name and an additional 5.1 percent for... Continue Reading

  • Who Walks Away From a Mortgage? Not Whom You'd Expect

    Who Walks Away From a Mortgage? Not Whom You'd Expect

    Peter Safronoff drives a Hyundai and lives in a rental bungalow in Encinitas, Calif., a beach community north of San Diego. At 63, it's not the golden-years lifestyle the financial consultant planned on, but it's the one he has. "I live in a beautiful place, in more modest circumstances," he says, "but at least... Continue Reading

  • Want to Avoid Foreclosure? Listen to Mom

    Want to Avoid Foreclosure? Listen to Mom

    Academic data has shown time and again how important parents are in modeling good financial habits that affect their children's adult lives. New research shows that goes for housing-related finances as well. A story today in DailyFinance.com reports that adults who said they received a lot of parental teaching... Continue Reading

  • Natural Disasters and Terror Plots: What Home Insurance Covers

    Natural Disasters and Terror Plots: What Home Insurance Covers

    The deadly tornadoes and flooding that affected many parts of the South and Midwest in April, the tragic earthquake in Japan, and a renewed sense of concern for national security after Osama bin Laden's death Sunday underscore the importance for property owners to be ready for a worst-case scenario. Last week,... Continue Reading

  • Spring Sellers Try House Swap Instead

    Spring Sellers Try House Swap Instead

    Wendy Bauwens is no stranger to swapping. As a horse trainer, she has traded a harness for a new website and a riding lesson for a haircut. Today, however, she's lining up her biggest swap yet: her horse farm, Sunnyside Farms (pictured at left), located near Bozeman, Mont., for something closer to the ocean. A... Continue Reading

  • Foreclosed Homeowners May Not See Settlement Cash

    Foreclosed Homeowners May Not See Settlement Cash

    Will homeowners see a penny of the reimbursements that the government has ordered 16 mortgage lenders to pay? Not likely, foreclosure victims and housing activists say. Under a settlement between regulators and banks announced on Wednesday, an independent review will be conducted of all foreclosures that took... Continue Reading

  • Five Real Estate Questions for Divorcing Couples

    Five Real Estate Questions for Divorcing Couples

    A cracked foundation brings down the best structures--house or relationship. Even if your marriage hasn't progressed to The War of the Roses stage, with his-and-hers square footage, there's no doubt emotions run high around property issues. The depressed housing market is magnifying that tension. "In... Continue Reading

  • Mortgage Broker Reform Could Limit Consumer Options

    Mortgage Broker Reform Could Limit Consumer Options

    Starting April 1, a federal law will change the way mortgage brokers earn their pay. Advocates say the rule prevents needless mark-ups on loans that pad brokers' incomes. However, critics argue the law hurts consumers by narrowing the marketplace and funnels more customers to fewer lenders. Don Hagan, vice... Continue Reading