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How to Consolidate Your Credit Card Debt

If you are looking to buy a home but hold a large amount of credit card debt, it may make sense to consolidate your debt as part of your overall path to financial fitness. Obtaining a new loan with a lower interest rate allows you to knock out older debt with higher interest rates and …

Giving the Gift of Real Estate? Keep an Eye on Tax Rules

Catherine Lane/iStock Looking for a Christmas present your children (or parents, partner, or very, very good friend) will never forget? Skip the Xbox One. Buy a house. Seem too generous? For most people, it is. In most cities, houses cost hundreds of thousands of dollars—and even in cities with a low cost of living, dropping a hundred grand on someone else’s home …

Mortgage Rates Climb

Due largely to strong data on consumer spending, the average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages climbed for the second consecutive week, but still remain close to historic lows. Cheap loans have kept home-buying and refinancing desirable as the real estate market and economy at large continue to rebound. Two weeks removed from hitting a historic …

What is Quitclaim Deed Fraud and How Does it Happen?

A quitclaim deed is a legal document for transferring ownership in a property to someone else. These deeds are most commonly used by family members to transfer ownership of a house—between parents and children, among siblings, and after a marriage or divorce. Quitclaim deeds also are used by corporations to transfer a property between closely related entities …

Escrow Accounts: What Home Buyers Need to Know

MCCAIG/iStock Escrow accounts are a part of the mortgage process homebuyers typically cannot avoid. With mortgages, home buyers typically pay extra money into escrow accounts every month, along with their home loan payments. While a mortgage holder (such as a bank) collects the principal and interest payments each month, they also can collect property tax and homeowners insurance payments, and pay …

Sold Your Parents’ Home in 2014? Check This Tax Advice

courtneyk/iStock Q. We sold our parents’ home in 2014. What do we need to know for taxes this year? A. The tax implications of a home sale can be complex, particularly when you’re selling a relative’s property rather than your primary residence. It’s always best to consult a professional tax adviser to get individualized advice, …