Contributed by David W. Myers

About Real Estate: Now may be time to call it quits on old home appliance

A typical washing machine should last about 10 years, so it usually doesn’t make sense to pay a lot of money to repair an old washing machine instead of buying a new one. Q. We bought our washing machine in 2005, but it recently quit working. We paid $70 for a repairman to come and … Read More »

November 19th, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: Seller not obligated to accept full-price offer without contract

Q. We made a full-price offer for a home, but the seller rejected it and asked for $3,500 more. We refused to pay the extra money. Can we sue him because we offered to pay the price that he originally advertised, but then he asked for more? A. You could sue, but you probably wouldn’t … Read More »

November 5th, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: Tales of mysterious ‘watcher,’ ghosts inspire chills

Halloween is near — time for another round of chilling tales. Q. Are you familiar with a property in New Jersey that’s called “The Watcher” house? If so, what’s its story? A. The six-bedroom, four-bath house in the upscale suburb of Westfield, New Jersey, has burst into newspaper headlines recently. Built in 1905, the home’s … Read More »

October 30th, 2017 at 11:31 am

About Real Estate: Spendthrift trust keeps heirs from squandering assets

Q. I am a 70-year-old widow with only one heir, a 31-year-old son. I love my son very much, but he spends money like it’s going out of style, and often winds up borrowing cash from me. Is there a way that I can ensure that he won’t sell my longtime home after I pass … Read More »

October 22nd, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: More homeowners report health problems linked to defective drywall

Q. A weird “rotten egg” smell has been filling our home for several months. Inspectors from our local gas company have come out twice and said they smell it, too, but have determined that we have no gas leak. We have also checked out our home, from the crawlspace under the house up to our … Read More »

October 15th, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: Equifax hacking catastrophe worse than thought

An additional 2.5 million Americans may have had their credit histories stolen, one of the nation’s largest credit bureaus said, pushing the number of pilfered accounts to as many as 145.5 million — roughly half of the nation’s total population. There are steps consumers can take to protect themselves. Q. I contacted the Equifax credit … Read More »

October 8th, 2017 at 6:00 am

About Real Estate: Quitclaim deed won’t let divorcee escape from contract

From a legal standpoint, it can be easy to dissolve a marriage. “Divorcing” yourself from an existing mortgage can be more difficult. Q. My husband and I are getting divorced. He has a good job and wants to keep our house, so he said that he’ll make all of the future mortgage payments if I … Read More »

October 2nd, 2017 at 8:32 am

About Real Estate: Discover, protect against credit-card security breaches

A major credit bureau admits that nearly half of Americans’ files recently may have been compromised by computer hackers. There are steps that consumers can take to protect themselves. Q. I recently heard that Equifax had a major breach of its security that could expose millions of people to identity theft. How can I find … Read More »

September 24th, 2017 at 6:00 am

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