How to Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud

Do you know what "card-not-present" fraud is? It's up 40%. In fact, credit card fraud and identity theft are rising overall, according to the results of a new study from Javelin Strategy Research. Approximately 15.4 million people fell victim to identity thieves in 2016, an increase of 16% over the previous year. Identity thieves dealt consumers losses of $16 billion in total. In 2015 identity theft took the number two spot on the Federal Trade Commission's list of consumer complaints, Read more [...]

4 Risky Moves to Buy a Home That People Are Making

These days it seems that Americans may be willing to make some risky moves to buy a home. If you’re considering taking a chance, one of the first questions you need to ask yourself is, “How much can I really afford?” Mortgage rates are once again above 4%, and after a December rate hike of 0.25%, the Federal Reserve is expected to make additional increases to the federal funds rate. French Bank BNP Paribas SA predicted in January that rates would rise again in the second half of 2017, Read more [...]

Short Sell Your Home to Avoid Foreclosure

If you're having financial troubles with your house because your adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) has reset to a rate you can't afford, you've experienced a major financial setback like losing your job, or you need to sell for whatever reason, but your house is worth less than your mortgage, foreclosure may not be your only option. However, there is a last-ditch move that can salvage your credit and help you avoid bankruptcy. It's called a real estate short sale, and for those who are left Read more [...]

Protect Yourself Against Reverse Mortgage Scams

Of all financial con artists, reverse mortgage scammers are arguably the worst. They abuse their standing as trusted advisors or lenders – or supposedly professional contractors – to take advantage of elderly folks who need funds. They convince them to sign up for a financial product that’s complicated even for well-educated, fully cognizant people to wrap their heads around, much less someone whose mental capability may have diminished with age. Then they steal the proceeds, leaving Read more [...]

Should You Refinance Your Home if You’re Over 50?

If you're a homeowner aged 50 or older, your age doesn't necessarily preclude you from refinancing your mortgage. Although conventional wisdom would say you want to shorten the length you’re paying a mortgage not extend it, there are instances when a refinanced mortgage makes sense, particularly in an environment where interest rates on mortgages remain low. Ever since the housing meltdown, lots of people have taken advantage of the record low mortgage rates by refinancing their home loans, Read more [...]

Advantages And Disadvantages of Using a Mortgage Broker

When shopping for a mortgage, many home buyers enlist the services of a mortgage broker to find them the best terms and rates. Since the real estate market crash in 2008; however, the business practices of brokers have come under scrutiny, and the question of whether they are acting in customers' best interests has been raised. Working with an experienced, competent mortgage broker can help you find the right mortgage, but there are both advantages and disadvantages that you should consider Read more [...]

Using Lyft Line and UberPool vs. Owning a Car

If you live in a major urban area, you’ve probably already used Lyft or Uber to get around – and may even have tried their new ride-sharing services: LyftLLine and UberPool. City planners and governments have tried for years to get people to stop clogging up roadways with one-passenger cars. Why commute long distances by yourself when you could do it with somebody else for less cost? The HOV lane is one attempt at a solution, but then the sharing economy came along. Do you still need Read more [...]

Top 6 Tips for Turning Your Home Into a Rental Property

There are many reasons for using your property as a rental. Maybe your home has been on the market for a long period, and you've determined that you can't sell it at a value that allows you to break even. Maybe you have an extra home due to an inheritance or another gift that you don't want to sell, or maybe you want to supplement your income as a landlord. Regardless of your reason, you'll first need to get your house in order both financially and physically. Below are key steps you should Read more [...]

Top Websites For Home Sales

According to a National Association of Realtors report, 42% of all homebuyers will first look online for properties, and 92% of homebuyers will use the Internet at some point during their home search. Once limited to brief property descriptions, today's real estate websites have evolved to offer a multitude of tools designed to modernize and simplify the home-buying experience. Buyers can now find property listings, street-view maps, virtual tours, market statistics and financial calculators Read more [...]

The Smartest Way to Tap Your Home Equity

When it becomes necessary to come up with a pile of cash, many homeowners see a second loan on their house as the easiest and most convenient way to accomplish this. Even those who have other assets can find this avenue appealing, because they may not want to sell taxable holdings that will generate capital gains or pay withdrawal penalties on early IRA or retirement plan distributions. Those who borrow on their home equity have three options from which to choose, and the best one for any Read more [...]