Refinance Without Closing Costs

With the housing market on the slow path to recovery, many brokers continue to offer low-cost refinances -- a mortgage payment revamping that covers closing costs -- to sweeten the deal for homeowners. According to mortgage broker Kirk Tatom of Dallas-based Tatom Lending, a low-cost refinance also referred to as a... Continue Reading »

Kelly Clarkson's Nashville Real Estate Blues

Pop sensation Kelly Clarkson was the first winner of "American Idol" to hit major stardom, but she's not the first celeb to take a loss on her home. The Grammy-winning singer recently listed her Nashville manor for $1.45 million, slightly less than the $1.49 million she paid in 2007. Referring to the asking price of... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure Help: What a Housing Counselor Can Do

In 2010 an estimated 4 million homes will be slapped with foreclosure notices, making it the worst year yet for foreclosures during the housing crisis. And without a strong economic recovery the numbers could continue to escalate, leaving more Americans unable to afford their homes. One way to turn back the tide is with... Continue Reading »

Online Calculator Answers 'Should I Refinance?' With a Yes or No

As the economy wavers and mortgage rates inch lower, an increasing number of homeowners are questioning whether or not they should refinance. Even those who locked in lower rates a year or two ago are debating a second go-round. But thanks to a new online refinance calculator, consumers don't have to look any further than... Continue Reading »

North, South Dakota Weathering Housing Crisis Better Than Most

The Dakotas are commonly knocked as remote places where few live or want to live. But hold the jokes -- new data suggests that the duo of northern Plains states are also more economically stable, with housing markets more steady than in most parts of the U.S. The region tops the list for having the least-stressed... Continue Reading »

Staging a Home? Declutter It First

Back in her days as a pack rat, writer Betsy Talbot gave in to clutter. She let piles of magazines gather dust, printed out too many paper copies of digital photos, and kept hundreds of obsolete CDs from her music collection even though she had upgraded to an iPod. Talbot was reluctant to declutter and get rid of the things... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Applications Plunge 37% as Refinancings Rise

It's time to find some patience because home sales aren't likely to rebound significantly this selling season, new mortgage data indicates. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 37 percent drop in applications for home loans last week compared to the same week in 2009. Even though the weekly survey -- an index... Continue Reading »

Moving Boxes: The Ultimate Guide

You may have not have put much thought into the topic of what moving boxes you'll use for your next move. But it's a bigger decision than you think. The type of moving and storage boxes range in size, materials and construction. And choosing the correct moving boxes for the job could streamline the moving process, save you... Continue Reading »

Real Estate Fraud Rising: Kentucky Man Steals Dead Neighbor's Condo

A 71-year-old resident of Fisherville, Ky., faces an eight-month jail sentence for mail fraud, which he committed while taking illegal control of a dead man's apartment, reports the Mortgage Fraud Blog. Louisville lawyer Ronald Snyder, brother of the late Kentucky U.S. Rep. Gene Snyder, admitted that he rented out a... Continue Reading »

Movers: Hire Professionals or Do-It-Yourself?

With only a few belongings, Molly Rankin didn't need movers when she moved into her first Chicago apartment out of college. But the story was different when she relocated to a new apartment last year. Throughout her early 20s, she accumulated more personal belongings, including large furnishings -- like a bed, couch and... Continue Reading »

Changing Rentals? Save on Your Next Move

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, renters have much higher rates of moving than homeowners. The website,, shows that the average cost of hiring a mover for a two-bedroom apartment runs from $300 to $450, and a three-bedroom unit could cost as much as $600 to 900. So it stands to reason that moving every... Continue Reading »

Home Inspections: What to Expect

When Amy and Joe Hayek put their Atlanta, Ga. home on the market, the inspection found that the roof was in bad condition. This came as a surprise to them. The roof didn't leak and their family had been living comfortably under it for years. According to real estate experts, home sellers often have this reaction. Home... Continue Reading »

How to Score Top Dollar for Your Home Sale

After unsuccessfully trying to sell her Chicago condo "For Sale by Owner" for a few months, Sarah Kadlic brought in a real estate agent to help price and market her property. For many homeowners like Sarah, pricing a piece of real estate is a moving target. There's no magic number for a home sale, real estate experts... Continue Reading »

Make Moving Day Easy

The night after Liz Kocourek moved into her new Manhattan apartment, she got a call from her bank about erratic charges on one of her credit cards. It was a spare card that she had thrown into a bag with a bunch of other random belongings before her move. When she went looking for her charge card, it was nowhere to be... Continue Reading »

New FHA Credit Requirements Turn the Heat Up on Borrowers -- SPONSORSHIP

Ever since the housing crisis hit, homeowners unable to secure loans from private lenders -- which have gone back to requiring the traditional 20 percent down payment -- have relied on government-insured loans offered for as little as 3.5 percent down. Now the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is tightening its belt by... Continue Reading »

Open House: When It's Worth It -- or Not

To help sell her Austin, Texas condo, Tara Akins held a series of weekend open houses. Despite the fact that they were "well attended," according to her real estate agent, the eventual buyer came not from one of the open houses but through a private showing. For many sellers, that's how the home-selling process unfolds.... Continue Reading »

Home Improvements That Get Your House Sold

It took James Peterson only six days to sell his house for the full asking price. He did it, says Dallas-Fort Worth real estate agent Geoff Walsh, by making some strategic improvements that were key to getting the house sold. Walsh -- Peterson's neighbor as well as his agent -- advised him to upgrade the appliances and... Continue Reading »

Pending Home Sales: Decline Highlights High-Inventory Problem

Forget that home prices are stabilizing and new-home sales are rising, it's the amassing inventory of homes that could mire the housing market's recovery. According to The Wall Street Journal, the decline in the pending-home-sales index indicates that inventory is rising, meaning there are too many houses and too few... Continue Reading »

Sink Maintenance: How to Defeat Smelly, Clogged Drains

Kitchen sinks that smell and induce nose-holding fits -- and showers clogged with huge clumps of hair -- are reoccurring problems for most small spaces. And bringing roommates into the mix only escalates these domestic messes, not to mention feeds the drama. So, before you drone on about how the stench of unwashed dishes... Continue Reading »

Times Square Bomber's Home Auction Fizzles

Confessed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad may be infamous for an attempt to detonate a car bomb in Manhattan's busiest plaza, but the foreclosure sale of his former Connecticut home ended like most auctions these days -- back in the hands of the bank. At this past weekend's foreclosure auction, no one countered the... Continue Reading »

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