Condo shopping? Ask these 7 questions before you buy


Don’t get stuck with a lemon. Here are the areas you must check out before putting money down on your next condo. You’ve found your dream condo, and you’re ready to relax among the mango trees and swaying palms. Hold everything. To keep from getting stuck with a lemon, you have to do some homework. […]

The Closing Process: How it Works


On closing day of your home purchase, all parties will sign the papers officially sealing the deal, and ownership of the property will be transferred to you. It’s your opportunity to make any last-minute changes to the transaction.   The day before closing, be sure to gather all the paperwork you have received throughout the […]

Jobless claims fall sharply, recover from Sandy


Great news on the horizon if this trend continues!   The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell for a fourth straight week last week, pointing to steady healing in the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. […]

3 ways to pick the best closing date


When should your deal be sealed? Consider these important points. If you are buying a home, it is important for you to have a say in choosing your closing date. Selecting the right day can help you avoid spending unnecessary cash and reduce the odds that a deal-delaying mistake is made. “For most buyers, a […]

Two-thirds of metro areas ranked as improving


Homebuilders’ index added more cities for a fifth straight month of increase, with improving markets in 48 states. Los Angeles and Chicago joined the list this time.   The latest list of improving markets from the National Association of Home Builders indicates that the housing recovery is under way in at least parts of 48 […]

Do credit scores matter if you avoid debt?


Some people care nothing about their credit scores because they live debt-free and never plan to borrow money again. Could you pull it off?   A long time ago I told my friend Brad Chaffee from Enemy of Debt that not paying attention to your credit scores is dumb.   I refused to listen to his thousand […]

Number of improving markets hits new high


Builders’ index of metro areas where the housing picture is getting better jumped from 125 to 201 in December, with 44 states now represented.   Looking for more evidence that the housing market has come back to life?   The number of metro areas listed as improving by the National Association of Home Builders/First American […]

Homeowner tax break survives ‘cliff’ deal


Struggling homeowners won’t be slammed with taxes when lenders forgive a portion of their debt.   If you’re in foreclosure or are underwater on your mortgage and hoping to sell your home, you can breathe again. Despite all it didn’t get done in this week’s fiscal cliff deal, Congress did keep alive an important program of […]

List price: What’s your lucky number?


In Las Vegas, home sellers love listings with 7s — but in Asian neighborhoods, beware of 4s.   Joe DeVito, a real-estate broker in Brooklyn, N.Y., has 18 active listings in 11219 ZIP code. Half of them have an eight in the asking price. Only one has a four. “They are priced for the luck […]