Buy a Condo at a (Sort Of) Celebrity Book Signing?

Would you buy a condo at a book signing? I pondered that very question the other day after attending one for Laurie David, ex-wife of Larry David, who has written The Family Dinner, a how-to guide on reclaiming the family dinner hour. It was an intimate event, held in a posh highrise apartment near Wall Street in... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Closing Fees Surge: How to Keep Yours Low

A recent report suggests closing costs on mortgages are skyrocketing, with direct bank fees up nearly 23 percent and third-party fees up more than 47 percent. First, the sort-of good news. The survey isn't measuring actual fees levied on completed mortgages; instead it measures the so-called good-faith estimates of fees... Continue Reading »

YouTube Chef Shares Small Kitchen Successes

Serena Palumbo grew up in what foodies would consider a dream kitchen. It had a six-burner stove, two ovens and a marble counter where her family could spread out and cook together -- oh, and it was in Palermo, Italy. When she and her husband settled into a New York apartment with a tiny kitchen, she couldn't give up... Continue Reading »

How to Price a Home to Sell Fast

It's a tough time to be a homeowner trying to sell. The national statistics show inventories and prices holding steady through the first half of 2010. While this is a relief from the grim free fall that home sellers faced after the real estate bubble burst, there still isn't the upward momentum that owners prefer when... Continue Reading »

How Much Can You Afford?

Key Video Takeaways Anu and Michael are young and their lives are still very much in transition. Michael is making his way through medical school -- and taking out a lot of student loans to do it. Anu is just starting her career, not making as much as she would like, and unsure how quickly her salary will... Continue Reading »

Buy or Rent? Which Is Right for You?

Should you buy that first home or remain a renter? It's a classic question made much more complicated by the housing market's recent crash. How do you know if you're ready? Will you be able to afford a mortgage, and all the fees associated with securing a loan and closing? And how can you tell if the local market has fallen... Continue Reading »

Renting 101: How to Find an NYC Apartment

Vicki Salemi is a writer and former HR manager who landed a big-city job and moved from the New Jersey suburbs to New York City when she was 30. She dishes on how to successfully make the career and lifestyle leap in her new book "Big Career in the Big City: Land a Job and Get a Life in New York" (Jist Works). She gives... Continue Reading »

Avoid Foreclosure: Do Your (Math) Homework

How are your math skills? Did you breeze through high school algebra and Econ 101, or struggle through the former and never get to the latter? It turns out, perhaps not surprisingly, that people who know more math and economics are less likely to default on their mortgages. Stephen Meier, an assistant professor at... Continue Reading »

Coney Island's New Rides Won't Lift Home Sales

Brooklyn's Coney Island is getting something of a well-needed makeover. A new, $30-million amusement park featuring the latest in rides and attractions from Italy's renowned Zamperla Group, is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend. It's the latest in a series of upgrades including a new boardwalk, a restyled subway... Continue Reading »

Home-Sale Hardball: What Works Now

If you need to sell a house that's underwater, the last thing you want to do is shell out a realtor fee that's going to cut into your loss even more. But doing an FSBO in this market means a lot more than sticking a sign on your lawn and listing a few open houses in the local paper. You need to be persistent, networked... Continue Reading »

Does Your Home Match Your Lifestyle?

Why go to all the trouble of being a movie star, vineyard owner, golf pro or naturalist, when you can just live like one -- in a spanking new high-rise or community where you have tons of amenities and are surrounded by neighbors just like you? Whether you are an urban sophisticate, a foodie boomer or a nature-loving... Continue Reading »

A New Way to Fund Green Home Renovations

How's this for a clever energy-saving program: homeowners borrow money for green upgrades such as new windows, water heaters, insulation or roof-top solar panels. The money, loaned by states and municipalities that issue bonds to cover the program, is paid back by homeowners over 15 to 20 years, via a property tax... Continue Reading »

Energy Star: Not So Reliable After All

The U.S. government's Energy Star program is shining a little less brightly this week, after an investigation by the Government Accountability Office highlighted some embarrassing lapses. As The New York Times reported late last week, the GAO, acting at the behest of Congress, was able to obtain Energy Star approval for... Continue Reading »

Do You Need a Green Broker?

It's easy to see how the things that go into a new home -- furniture, windows, insulation, even the car sitting in the new garage -- can be made in a more eco-friendly way. Heck, even a lawn can be greener, figuratively speaking. But what about the real estate agent who sold the house? What exactly would make him or her... Continue Reading »

Homeowners Alone Can't Turn Blue Collars Green

A funny thing happened on the way to the green economy: A recession wiped out countless old-line jobs, along with funding for the so-called green-collar jobs that were supposed to replace many of them. Last year, President Obama made green jobs a centerpiece of his job creation and stimulus programs. But despite the... Continue Reading »

A Hedging Option For Your Home

You'd like to buy a home, but you're not sure if the market has hit bottom. And you sure don't want to be the sucker who plunks down his hard-earned money only to see his house start losing value the minute the drapes go up. Sirius Value Protection says it has a product for you. The New York-based start-up has created a... Continue Reading »

Girl, 10, Builds Green Dream Home

Little kids are the big nudges in the environmental movement these days. Just ask all the grown-ups who began recycling because their sons learned about it at school, or who bought a hybrid car instead of a conventional one because their daughters kept nagging them about their carbon footprint. Or, you could ask Jennifer... Continue Reading »

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