Smart Moves

Smart Moves by Ellen James Martin

April 16, 2014

Home-Buying 101: Tips for First-Timers

As the owner of a large portfolio of residential investment properties -- and head of her own realty firm --Karen Rittenhouse has guided her two sons on home-buying. She advised both to take the leap early, and they accepted her advice. One bought a house near his campus at the age of 19. The other bought a condo the day... continue

April 09, 2014

Let's Get Fiscal: How to Save for a House

A couple in their mid-40s have lived in a cramped city apartment their whole married life. Yet in their dreams, they own a cottage in the suburbs with blooming flowers and a fenced yard where their young daughter could romp. Despite a combined salary of more than $150,000, this pair has found it nearly... continue

April 02, 2014

Tips for All the Single Buyers

Last year, when the National Association of Realtors surveyed homebuyers throughout America, it found that single buyers had been especially hard-hit by the restrictive mortgage standards that began during the economic downturn. According to the survey, the market share of single buyers declined from 32 percent... continue

March 26, 2014

Pre-Sale Upgrades Don't Have to Cost a Fortune

The owners of a small split-level -- a high-school history teacher and his homemaker wife -- were at wits' end. To house their growing family, the couple was eager to sell their house and move to a larger space. But even as nearby properties were flying off the market, their place languished unsold. After six months,... continue

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