Days on market and why they matter

By Marcie Geffner - Open Door

Bread. Cake. Data. News.

Sooner or later, they all get stale.

The same can be said of for-sale homes. When you’re trying to sell, stale is one thing you don’t want your home to be.

While there’s no hard-and-fast rule for when a home becomes stale, there is a key metric that tells buyers how long your home has been for sale. Known as days on the market, or DOM, this metric counts up by one every day your home remains unsold.

Read more:

Yes, retail store cards are easier to get

By Marcie Geffner - Credit Karma

It’s generally believed that retail credit cards (sometimes called “store” credit cards) come with better approval odds. But they may also come with some big negatives, such as relatively high annual percentage rates (APRs) and steep penalty fees.

And then there’s the matter of actually using them. As personal finance expert Alex Gerard notes in our article on easier approval credit cards, “[Retail] cards are easier on approval but have limited use – mostly you can use them only at that particular store chain.”

Given the pros and cons, are retail cards worth the potential disadvantages for consumers looking to improve their credit?

The answer is more complicated than yes or no.

Read on:

6 reasons to refinance when rates are rising

By Marcie Geffner -

Rising rates tend to discourage homeowners from refinancing, but there are good reasons to refinance even when rates are going up.

“The direction of interest rates shouldn’t impact your decision. Instead, you should refinance when it makes sense to you and based on how long you expect to hold on to the mortgage and property,” says Brian Koss, executive vice president at Mortgage Network in Danvers, Mass.

With that in mind, here are six scenarios for refinancing while rates are rising.

1. If you don’t already have a super-low rate, you might still be able to get a rate that’s lower than your current one.

Read on:

5 ways reverse mortgages help senior homeowners

By Marcie Geffner

Seniors can get big benefits from reverse mortgages.

Financial planner Todd Burkhalter at Drive Planning in Johns Creek, Ga., says he's seen "countless situations" where a reverse mortgage is "a perfect fit" for a senior homeowner. Consider five significant reverse mortgage benefits:

1. Reverse mortgage pays for long-term care insurance

Burkhalter recently recommended this type of loan to a widow in her early 70s who owned a condominium, but wanted to leave cash to her grown children who owned their own homes. The income from the reverse mortgage was used to purchase long-term care insurance, which the woman had wanted but felt she couldn't afford. If she doesn't utilize the insurance, her heirs are entitled to receive a death benefit.

Read on: