(L. Bird)

Enormous Beach Vacation Home Built On Wrong Lot

How do you accidentally build a beach house in the wrong place? We wondered that back in June, when sharing the story of a $1.8 million home in Rhode Island that was accidentally built on public park land. Meanwhile, in Florida, a couple spent $680,000 building a custom beach house…on the lot next door to the one that they actually own. [More]

(tina kugler)

5 Signs You’re Gazing Into A Money Pit, Not Buying A House

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]

(Maulleigh)

Real Estate Political Correctness: ‘Master Bedroom’ Becomes ‘Owner’s Suite’

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]

Stuff To Consider Before Building An Addition Onto Your Home

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]

The Ins And Outs Of Short Sales

The Ins And Outs Of Short Sales

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]

Quick, Easy DIY Home Maintenance Tips

Quick, Easy DIY Home Maintenance Tips

By expending a little effort to keep your stuff in good condition, you can save yourself the pain of costly repairs or replacements. [More]

Couple Uses Legal Loophole, Gets House Practically For Free

Couple Uses Legal Loophole, Gets House Practically For Free

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]

Where Are They Now? The First-Time Homebuyers And The Secret Room Filled With Moldy Garbage

Where Are They Now? The First-Time Homebuyers And The Secret Room Filled With Moldy Garbage

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]

House Prices Sink To Lowest Level Since 2002

House Prices Sink To Lowest Level Since 2002

House prices are dropping like game-winning Derrick Williams and-ones, reportedly now sinking in February to an average of $156,100, the lowest point since 2002. [More]

Reasons It's Not So Great To Own A Home Free And Clear

Reasons It's Not So Great To Own A Home Free And Clear

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]

Rich People: More Likely To Default On Mortgages Than You Are

Rich People: More Likely To Default On Mortgages Than You Are

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]

Top 10 Cities Where Owning Is Cheaper Than Renting

Top 10 Cities Where Owning Is Cheaper Than Renting

As home prices continue to stagnate in many markets across the country, renters are facing some tough choices: should they take advantage of low prices and make the move into home ownership, or wait a while longer, on the chance that the market hasn’t yet hit bottom? In some cities, the choice is easier: prices have fallen so much that it’s cheaper to buy than it is to rent. [More]

Buy A Home, Get Free Can Of Food

Buy A Home, Get Free Can Of Food

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]

How To Buy A Foreclosed House (That You Might Actually Want To Live In)

How To Buy A Foreclosed House (That You Might Actually Want To Live In)

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).

Over 5 Million Window Treatments Recalled Today, While Nation's Peeping Toms Celebrate*

Over 5 Million Window Treatments Recalled Today, While Nation's Peeping Toms Celebrate*

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.

Crazy Landlord Fights Heat Wave With Air Conditioning Ban

Crazy Landlord Fights Heat Wave With Air Conditioning Ban

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.

Save On Cooling Costs By Installing A White Roof

Save On Cooling Costs By Installing A White Roof

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.

Ask The Consumerists: A House Divided Forgot Its Permits

Ask The Consumerists: A House Divided Forgot Its Permits

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.