5 Fast Facts About Mobile Check Deposit

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate

Mobile check deposit, or "remote deposit capture" as it's known to banks, lets you deposit a check into your bank account by taking a picture of it with your smartphone or tablet.
One Bank of America study of 1,300 adults found 63% of those who used a smartphone to do their banking had used mobile deposit.
And a November 2014 survey from The Pew Charitable Trusts found that 37 of the nation's 50 largest banks offer consumers mobile deposit.
Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/banking/mobile-check-deposit-facts.aspx

When to buy energy-efficient appliances

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate

The average U.S. family spends about $2,200 each year for energy costs, and the use of large appliances accounts for a hefty chunk of that total, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
That means families can save money by replacing old appliances with newer, more energy-efficient models, says Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit coalition that promotes energy efficiency.
"You want to be smart and save money, you buy an energy-efficient appliance," Callahan says.
Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/smart-spending/should-you-buy-energy-efficient-appliances-sooner-or-later.aspx

Should you buy your parents' home?

Marcie Geffner - HSH.com

If you love your parents' home, why not buy it from them?

The idea might have a lot of appeal across the generations from you to your parents and even their parents – but don’t let your heart win over your head on the decision.

Living together with your parents after buying their home has become a trend, says John Graham, emeritus professor of marketing and international business at the University of California, Irvine, and co-author of "All in the Family: A Practical Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living." 

Buying your parents' home is "consistent with this whole idea that we're returning to the interdependence of the extended family and moving away from the 50-year experiment of the nuclear family," Graham says.

Read more:

Journalist receives Bronze Award

Ventura County Star reports:

Marcie Geffner, of Ventura, received an award in the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ 65th annual Journalism Awards, which recognize excellence in reporting, writing and editing stories about residential and commercial real estate.

Read more:

3 Vets tell their home and VA loan stories

By Marcie Geffner - TheMortgageReports.com

Saving a $100,000 down payment to buy a home with six children in the family is no easy task.

That's why David Dei Rossi, 60, and his wife Cindy, 50, chose a VA loan when they bought their home in Gilroy, Calif., in March 2014.

The VA loan, guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, allows zero-down financing and offers borrowers competitive interest rates and flexible guidelines to qualify.

Read more:

If ever there were a fan club for VA loans, Howard Lovely, Jr., surely would be a member.

He might even be club president.

Lovely, 51, likes VA loans so much he's used them for his home, business and even retirement plan.

"The VA loan system is a great program if you take advantage of it and utilize it," Lovely says.

Read more:

Mike Davis has plenty of praise for the VA Loan Guaranty Program, a veterans benefit guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Not long ago, the VA loan had a so-so reputation. But Davis, a recent home buyer and VA borrower, formed a favorable impression of the loan based on his personal experience.

In fact, he says he'd encourage other servicemembers to look into the VA loan as a benefit of their service and see whether it makes sense for them.

"The stereotype is that it's a lot more cumbersome, and it's slower," Davis says. "I think they've made good progress on (fixing) that."

Read more: