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How to sell in a buyer's market

June 23, 2019

You've got to be proactive on price, marketing and more. Here are 10 steps to take before you plant the "for sale" sign. If you're selling your home this year, be prepared for a marathon, not a sprint. In most places, those heady days of putting a property on the market, receiving multiple bids, getting more than you expected, and accepting ...

Paid off home, now how to get title?

June 20, 2019

Q: I live in Southern California and paid off my home. I received "Substitution of Trustee and full reconveyance" that was recorded in my county in June 2007. Is there some other document that I should receive indicating title, deed or ownership of my property? I received an ad from a private company indicating they would assist for a fee to ...

Extra payment to principal may not dent monthly payments

June 19, 2019

Many borrowers would like a mortgage on which the monthly payment would drop following a large payment to principal. They may have highly irregular income, or they may anticipate coming into a large sum of money from a bonus, bequest or insurance settlement. Mortgages fall into four categories with regard to how responsive they are to this ...

Free storage

June 18, 2019

Staying organized is always a challenge. Stuff collects and gets out of hand. There are lots of everyday throw-away items you can use to stay organized. Get creative in your search. Instead of looking at an object's label, look at its size and shape. Match that to what you're trying to store and you've got a winning combination. You'll be able ...

Turn, turn, turn

June 16, 2019

One afternoon last week, three hours apart, I met with two couples, both of whom read this blog. As it turned out, they both wanted financial help. The young, urban couple – he’s in IT, she’s in HR – rent a one-bedroom condo and are shopping for a home. But not fast. When they do, I was told, it will be in the $700,000 range. They have $82,000 ...

Quiet zone

June 8, 2019

Simple steps during construction deliver the joys of peace. There's a certain kind of mania that sets in during home renovations or new construction, and unless you resist it, you'll probably end up with a much noisier house than you bargained for. Building sound-resistant construction features into walls and floors seems so insignificant in ...

Net Zero bonus

June 6, 2019

A dozen demonstration homes across the country to prove benefits of going green. Imagine a house that can monitor the outside temperature and weather forecast before deploying the window awnings or divert excess heat coming off the rooftop solar panels to run the clothes dryer. That house, called EcoTerra, opened last week in Quebec, the ...

10 tips on staging your home to sell

June 4, 2019

It doesn't take long for a prospective buyer to form an opinion about your house. Here's how you can tilt the odds in your favor by making your home appeal to the widest clientele possible. You don't have much time. Prospective home buyers form an opinion about the home you're selling in 15 seconds, by one estimate. And the clock starts ...

Dealing with an eyesore next door

June 1, 2019

In a buyer's market, curb appeal -- yours and the neighborhood's -- becomes even more important. Fresh paint, a new front door and colorful landscaping often are sure-fire ways to tease potential buyers over the threshold of a home for sale. But in some cases, no matter how perfect your pansies, nothing can draw their gaze past the ...

Little house, big flip

May 29, 2019

After some creative renovations, Toronto's tiniest home is back on the market and poised to make its owner a tidy profit. When David Blois opens his front door and says, "Let me give you a quick tour," he's not kidding about the quick part. Five months ago, he bought the littlest house in Toronto, a 300-square-foot home squeezed into what ...
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