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How to Pay Off Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and Save $200 a Month

I recently paid off the private mortgage insurance (PMI) on my mortgage. For me, that’s a savings of just under $200 a month ... which is substantial. Private mortgage insurance is a monthly expense tacked onto mortgages for home purchases in wh … [Read more...]

Considering a Move to the Suburbs? Here’s What to Look For

In mid-June, we treated Money Under 30 readers to our list of  "The 20 Best Cities in America to be Young, Broke and Single," and the response was phenomenal: more than 15,000 likes on Facebook, 900 Tweets ... and at least one amusing piece of hate … [Read more...]

Military Housing Programs for Servicemembers and their Families

When you’re serving your country while overseas, the last thing you want to worry about is the risk of your family getting evicted or foreclosed upon. Military families make a lot of sacrifices so we can all enjoy our freedoms. Because of this, the U … [Read more...]

The Not-so-empty Nest: Why One in Three Adults Under 35 Live With Their Parents

There's a one in three chance that as you're reading this — whether by tablet, smartphone, or a sophisticated-looking Mac laptop — a big part of your life remains somewhat unsophisticated and, well, maybe even embarrassing. Pssst: Your mom just cal … [Read more...]

How to Make a Winning Real Estate Offer With a Few Easy Tricks

My offer to purchase a home in Poway, California recently beat out 19 other offers. Literally 19 strong offers! How did I do it? Representing myself and my husband as the buyer’s agent, I realized that on this particular property, the seller c … [Read more...]

Mortgage Pre-approval Checklist

This scenario happens to me approximately once per week: a potential buyer comes to me letting me know that they are looking for a 5- bedroom, 4-bath house with a large backyard, a pool, an open kitchen and a great school district. I say that I would … [Read more...]

Budgeting for Home Expenses: Expect the Unexpected

Americans are buying houses again. Home prices throughout the United States are expected to increase an average of 13 percent in 2013 and 2014, according to National Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. If you’re about to pur … [Read more...]

When Buying, Look for Features That Add Value to Your Home

If you're buying a home, you want it to appreciate. Even if you realize your own house may not be a great investment, you still want it to hold it's value and — hopefully — to be able to sell it someday for more than you paid for it. But in real est … [Read more...]

Does Somebody Really Live There? Crazy and Amazing Houses in America

As I was driving from San Diego to Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago, I saw a massive house at the very top of a huge mountain. The house was overlooking the freeway and had no other houses nearby. I wondered who lives there and what it would be like … [Read more...]

Discount Real Estate Brokerages: Worthwhile or a Scam?

“Sell your home for only 1.5% commission!” read a billboard that caught my eye recently as I drove down the freeway. As a Real Estate Broker with a family to support, my first thought was that if I made that little on every transaction, I wouldn’t … [Read more...]