Contributed by David W. Myers

About Real Estate: Speed up insurance claim after natural disaster or fire

There are several steps that homeowners can take to expedite an insurance claim, regardless of the factors that caused the loss. Q. We suffered major damage to our Texas home when Hurricane Harvey hit in late August. We have already called our insurance agent, but it will be several days before an adjuster can visit … Read More »

September 17th, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: Keeping real estate purchase a secret is possible but difficult

It’s hard to prevent a property sale from becoming public knowledge, but there are ways to slow it down. Q. My girlfriend and I would like to purchase our first home but, for reasons I don’t want to explain, we would like to keep our purchase secret. I know that when the property would be … Read More »

September 10th, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: Homeowner’s credit score shouldn’t be affected when lender ‘sells’ mortgage

Q. We bought our house in 2014, and we received a notice from our lender last week that says our mortgage has been “sold” to another bank. What does this mean? Is this a scam? Even if it’s not, will it hurt our credit score because we now will have to deal with a new … Read More »

September 3rd, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: Kids or not, buying in a good school district is important

Home prices in areas with above-average schools almost always rise faster, even if the buyers don’t have children. Q. Why do real estate agents and columnists like you always harp on the importance of buying a home in a neighborhood that is served by good public schools? Truth is, my wife and I don’t have … Read More »

August 27th, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: Honesty is always best policy, especially when selling home

Q. We are getting ready to sell our house. The roof leaks when the rain comes, but we don’t want to spend the $4,000 or so that it would cost to repair it. Could we avoid our state’s real-estate disclosure laws if we market the property on an “as-is” basis? A. Sorry, but no. Many … Read More »

August 22nd, 2017 at 11:52 am

About Real Estate: How proceeds from a tax-deed sale are divided

Q. When a home is sold at a tax-deed sale, how are the sale proceeds divided? A. Tax-deed sales occur when a property owner fails to pay his or her annual property taxes or special assessments. In most areas, the home is sold at a public auction that’s coordinated by the county’s tax collector or … Read More »

August 13th, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: Adding soon-to-be spouse to title is optional for homeowner

Q. I am getting married in October. I bought my own home in 2013, but my fiance rents an apartment. After we get married, will I have to put his name on the title to my home? Also, is a prenuptial agreement necessary? A. You have no legal obligation to add your groom’s name to … Read More »

August 6th, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: Misplaced fence creates ‘wall’ between neighbors

Q. We live in an older community, where most of the homes were built on oddly shaped lots. Our neighbor is trying to refinance her property, and the bank said that she’d first have to get a land survey — which subsequently found that the fence that we share between our homes encroaches about 3 … Read More »

July 30th, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: Census survey shows why grown children go back home

Q. During the past three months, three of my closest friends each have had at least one of their grown children move back into their home with them. I have read that this is a trend across America, but are there any legitimate statistics to back this up? A. Yes. In the largest and most … Read More »

July 23rd, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: ‘Re-scoring’ credit could help buyers get home mortgage

Most homebuyers don’t know that many banks offer a service that can quickly improve their credit score. It may save them thousands over the life of a loan, or even make the difference between getting a mortgage and being declined. Q. We signed a contract to purchase a home. However, when we applied for a … Read More »

July 16th, 2017 at 6:00 am