Okay, this one would have to be a project for a really rainy weekend, but the IRS has published a free guide, Publication 584, Casualty, Disaster and Theft Loss Workbook, that can help you inventory all your belongings--and their values. It's info that becomes invaluable if catastrophe, say a flood, fire or hurricane, were to hit and you have to file an insurance claim--and to report your losses on an income tax form.
There's a Catch-22 that always arises when home prices start to increase near the end of a recession. Even though buyers are willing to pay more, appraisals often come in lower than the agreed-upon price because they're based on comparable sales from three-to-six months earlier, when prices were bottoming. Real estate agents and mortgage brokers say it's happening now, and that it's disrupting sales.
It's one thing to know about your rights; it's another thing to know how to assert them. Renters wondering how they can assert their rights to remain in their home after the landlord has lost it to foreclosure can find answers from an online legal toolkit put together by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the National Housing Law Project. You don't have to have a low income to benefit from the information.
Brace yourself for more
cars moving vans on Washington-area roads: Two national magazines, Kiplinger's Personal Finance and Forbes, have us on their "Best of" lists.
The Echo Boomers will probably have less money to spend on housing--and other needs--than their predecessors. "The depth of the downturn may, for the first time in at least 40 years, reduce the real median household incomes of each 10-year [age group] relative to its predecessor by 2010," says the report. That new decade happens to start in only seven little months.