There are responsibilities that come with the joys of home ownership, like paying property taxes and repairing things that go wrong. Some houses are pits into which you can expect to throw all of your time and money for the foreseeable future. You can’t magically predict which houses these will be, but there are some warning signs that our domesticated cousins over at Consumer Reports rounded up. [More]
Anyone can own a house. Why, women are even allowed to own property all by ourselves now! That’s why we suppose it’s good that The word “master,” with its connotations of slaveholding and maleness, is slowly fading from its intended use in the residential real estate business. [More]
Some homeowners are convinced that they need more space, and glance through their walls with visions of new rooms dancing in their heads. The trigger-happy subset of these folks jumps into these projects with abandon, certain that the addition will “pay for itself” by upping the value of the home. But in a housing market like this, such assumptions can be faulty. [More]
When you owe more than your ever-plummeting home is worth, a foreclosure or short sale — in which you sell the home for less than you owe — can seem like an attractive escape. The move may make financial sense, but it comes with repercussions to your credit and somewhat strict qualification parameters. [More]
By expending a little effort to keep your stuff in good condition, you can save yourself the pain of costly repairs or replacements. [More]
How did an Iowa couple with two foreclosures already under their belts get to own their house free and clear after making only one mortgage payment? By taking advantage of a law designed to keep married couples from making huge financial commitments without the other’s consent. Since the wife was late to their closing and didn’t sign the mortgage, the couple now owns their house free and clear after making only one payment. [More]
Last June, we shared the story of Jeannine and her husband, who discovered all kinds of exciting surprises in their home after purchasing it. These included a sealed room filled with garbage coated in a fuzzy white mold and a shower literally patched up with duct tape. None of these issues were disclosed by the sellers, or noticed by the inspector that the couple hired. Consumerist readers had 266 comments’ worth of advice for Jeannine and Mr. Jeannine, but we never heard back from them. So where are they now? Things have actually gotten worse. [More]
If you’ve signed your life away on a mortgage, you’ve probably dreamed of tossing that paperwork into the shredder after you’ve made the final payment. But outright ownership isn’t all positive. [More]
Are you a fancy person? Then you have a 1 in 7 chance of defaulting on your mortgage, says a new study of data compiled for the New York Times. Those of you with mortgages of less than a million dollars only have a 1 in 12 chance of defaulting, the paper says. [More]
As if the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers wasn’t enough, Clayton Homes, a Tennessee-based seller of manufactured, modular, and mobile homes, is offering a little something to sweeten the deal: a can of pork and beans. [More]
Buying a foreclosed home may seem like a great deal, since the bank that’s selling it would rather unload it at a loss than stay on as owner. But foreclosures come with a lot of risks — including vandalism by former owners or theives who strip vacant homes of just about anything that isn’t bolted down — and even things that are (you know, like toilets).
Three children have died after being strangled in the cords of window blinds, so today six companies announced a massive recall of several brands of window treatments.
An Oregon landlord refuses to let his tenants install air conditioners because he thinks they “look tacky.” Tenants of the Arbor Creek complex in Aloha who choose to sacrifice aesthetics for comfort have ten days to correct their mistake before facing eviction. One tenant’s kid already landed in the hospital thanks to heat stroke.
The New York Times says a white roof on your house “can cost as little as 15 percent more than its dark counterpart” yet “reduce air-conditioning costs by 20 percent or more in hot, sunny weather.” This is because, scientifically speaking, the color white hates the stupid sun and won’t have anything to do with it.
Jeffrey and his wife found their dream house. Except they failed to realize the difficulty that one tiny problem with the house might give them. The difficulty? Well, the previous owners doubled the size of the house. Only they sort of forgot to get permits for any of the additions or renovations.