Is there a selling or buying season?

Following is advice on the best times to buy or sell a house in the unique Silicon Valley market.

How the Democrats' "blue wave" could impact consumers

Regardless of your politics and which set of alternative facts you choose to believe, it’s hard to deny the country experienced a “blue wave” in the Nov. 6 midterm elections, with Democrats taking the U.S. House of Representatives.

What does 'contingency' mean in a real estate contract?

Q: What is a contingency?

How to determine the actual affordability of student loans

A four-year bachelor’s degree is commonly considered the minimum entry point for the higher-paying jobs of the future. But if you are going to borrow money to complete one, you can and should determine in advance how much you can afford to borrow based on the career you wish to pursue.

Suppose you are interested in becoming a software engineer. You can use data from PayScale.com to figure out how much you can borrow. Visit payscale.com/college-salary-report/majors-that-pay-you-back/bachelors and click “Major” to sort the data. Software engineer is the degree with the 48th best earning potential.

End-of-year checklist spotlights tax-smart charitable giving

’Tis the season for giving, and one of the best ways to feel good while making a difference in the world is to donate to charities. However, how you donate can significantly affect your tax bill, especially given the tax reform package passed last year.

Following are some strategies to consider, though please consult your tax professional to see how these strategies apply to you.

What exactly is a trust?

Trusts, wills and probate court are tricky topics that often don’t come up until a family is at its most fragile: following the loss of a loved one. Getting a sense of the basics of these financial terms can help prevent familial discord.


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