November 29, 2023

What's involved with a mortgage refi

Mortgage rates more than doubled last year and have remained stubbornly higher in 2023. For most borrowers, that's not the ideal climate for replacing a current loan with a new one. Regardless, a refinance might be in your near future for many reasons.

Learn more about how refinancing a mortgage works, the common options available to you and pros and cons to consider by checking out my newest article for the McClatchy Media Network, available here.

November 21, 2023

How home equity can help build generational wealth

Every parent’s hope and wish is to provide their children with tools and resources that can help them live healthier, safer and happier lives – including financial resources. One of the best ways to grow generational wealth is to invest in real estate as a homeowner and transfer that property and the home equity you’ve accrued to your inheritors.

Learn more about why home equity is important, how to build generational wealth through home equity, building wealth through real estate, and how to pass down property and the challenges associated with it by reading my newest article, published in the Charlotte Observer, available here.

November 14, 2023

Cineversary podcast honors 70th birthday of Ozu's Tokyo Story

In Cineversary podcast episode #64, host Erik Martin is joined by David Desser, emeritus professor of cinema studies at the University of Illinois and one of the world’s foremost experts on Asian cinema, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Tokyo Story, directed by Yasujirō Ozu. They discuss why and how this film remains a masterwork, Tokyo Story’s prominent themes, Ozu’s unique style, and much more.
David Desser
To listen to this episode, click here or click the "play" button on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download, or subscribe to Cineversary wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, AudibleCastboxGoogle PodcastsPocket CastsPodBeanRadioPublic, and Overcast.

Learn more about the Cineversary podcast at and email show comments or suggestions to

November 7, 2023

Ramping up efforts to make a more accessible home

Creating a secure living environment for individuals with disabilities often entails a significant investment of both time and finances. Indeed, the process of adapting a home to accommodate disabilities and making necessary home modifications can seem overwhelming and possibly unfeasible. But these improvements can significantly improve quality of life for occupants with physical challenges.

Even minor adjustments within the residence of an individual living with a disability or experiencing the challenges of aging can have a profound impact on their daily life. Learn more about upgrades and renovations you can make in your home to better accommodate those with disabilities and what the expected costs are for many of these projects by checking out my newest piece for Bankrate, available here.

October 31, 2023

Avoid the gore and decorate with care this Halloween

More homeowners than ever before are decking their halls with dread and amplifying their exteriors during the Halloween season. Consider that spending for this spooky holiday hit a record high of $10.6 billion in 2022, per the National Retail Foundation, up from $8 billion spent in 2020 – with 75% of these consumers purchasing holiday décor, which increasingly includes animatronics and large outdoor figures such as the 12-foot Home Depot skeleton that’s been all the rage the past three years.

But while Halloween decorating and enthusiasm around October 31 festooning are on the rise, so are the risks associated with such. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 3,200 Halloween-related injuries occur every year, on average. Many of these injuries are caused by decorations, including carving a pumpkin, using a ladder to hang up décor and electric shocks from faulty wires when employing electric lights.

Learn more about ways to adorn your abode safely this Halloween by reading my latest story for CTW Features, available here.

October 24, 2023

How to buy a home remotely

Years ago, the idea of ​​purchasing a home sight unseen – that is, without physically inspecting the property – was strongly frowned upon by most in the real estate industry. After all, what is probably the biggest and most expensive transaction of your life should include looking, touching and walking through the home to prevent buyer’s regrets.

But especially since the pandemic, remote buying has become a viable trend, making sense for a significant number of out-of-state/international buyers who can’t make the trip in time but still want to claim an available property before someone else does.

Learn more by reading my latest article for CTW Features, available here.