5 Signs a ‘For Rent’ Ad Is Fake

Monday, December 14th, 2015

With rents through the roof and decent apartments scarcer than ever in America’s top cities, it’s understandable that renters might be feeling desperate to find a good deal and fall for one of a growing number of fake “for rent” ads online.

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Now that the U.S. has regained its job-creation mojo, as the October employment report showed, the demand for housing is only going to grow.

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When Should I Lock in My Mortgage Rate?

Friday, November 13th, 2015

A mortgage rate lock could help you save some money on the total cost of your home. A lock is essentially an agreement that says a lender will charge a specific rate and price on the mortgage for a specified period of time while a borrower gets ready to close.

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Selling your home in the winter is hard enough without snow.

Add some frozen tundra or gray-brown slush, and you might be tempted to put that “For Sale” sign away until spring, when budding flowers and lush lawns entice buyers on their own. But waiting isn’t an option for everyone. If a job transfer or family circumstances have you on a tight timeline, you might be stuck trudging through the wintertime sell.

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As we approach the midpoint of 2015, the residential real estate market is on track for its best year since 2006, the peak of the housing bubble. (This time, though, it's no bubble.)

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Fair Isaac Corp., the creator of the most widely used consumer credit scores, announced a new score intended to make millions of people who have had difficulty getting approved for financing creditworthy.

The Wall Street Journal reported the creation of the new score, currently in a pilot phase.

The pilot program from Fair Isaac, also known as FICO, allows 12 of the largest U.S. credit-card issuers to identify consumers who would otherwise have difficulty getting approved for credit, though FICO didn’t name the issuers.

FICO said the score complies with regulations that will allow lenders to “extend credit responsibly.” The firm plans to complete the pilot program and make the score available to more lenders this year.

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Homeowners insurance is a necessity. If you have a mortgage, your lender will require coverage—and if your home is mortgage-free, then you should have coverage anyway.

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If you’re moving out while your home is still on the market, your vacant property could attract more than potential buyers—it could attract criminal activity.

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A Gender Gap in Real Estate

Friday, February 13th, 2015

What do men want? When it comes to real estate, they want granite countertops, kitchen islands and walk-in closets, according to surveys. Women, on the other hand, seem primarily concerned about stairs.

Numbers from the National Association of Realtors 2013 Home Features Survey suggest gender plays a role in how real estate is perceived. Some of the findings upend traditional real-estate wisdom: that women are looking for great kitchens while men prize man-cave spots like the basement.

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Millennials make up the second-largest generation in U.S. history, representing 20 million American households. While millennials have been dubbed the renting generation by some, they are starting to make strides in the housing market. In the summer of 2014, 30% of home buyers were millennials, according to an analysis from realtor.com.

Even though more millennials plan to buy a home in 2015, your first home purchase can still be a scary proposition. After all, how do you know if you’re too young for homeownership? Here’s how to tell if you’re ready.

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