Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank have let foreclosed homes in black and Latino neighborhoods lapse into disrepair, while bank-owned homes in mainly white neighborhoods are better cared-for
Owning your own home makes a lot of sense. Or at least it did, back when workers enjoyed steady jobs and when mortgages were owned by the bank downtown
There were high hopes that 2012 would be the year when the housing market, battered by the explosion of the real estate bubble, would finally begin to recover. But any good news on the housing front has quickly been followed by negative news
Speculating in unknown or unsafe neighborhoods is a risky game
The implosion of the housing market has made selling an arduous process. But there are steps sellers can take to improve their chances
Many economists predict 2012 will be the year the economy turns around and permanently ends the Great Recession. But does the closing chapter of the Great Recession also signal an end to the housing slump?
If it's not one thing, it's another. Long blamed for much of the housing market's woes, massive for-sale home inventories are now dwindling across the nation. Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily mean relief for the housing market, and instead calls attention to a host of other problems
Mortgage defaults are rising again after nearly a year of trending downward, raising concerns about homeowners falling behind on their payments and undermining whatever nascent housing recovery may be under way
For the millions of homeowners with mortgages underwater there are no easy answers. Should they keep paying and hope the market improves? Try for a loan modification? Cut their losses and walk away? Personal finance expert Gerri Detweiler explains the pros and cons of several options for those with underwater homes
These cities will meet your retirement lifestyle needs and suit your budget
An encouraging jobs report and news of progress in the euro debt crisis have given markets a confidence boost
In its latest report, RealtyTrac announced that foreclosure activity fell on a year-over-year basis in 84 percent of metro areas with at least 200,000 residents. That's the good news. The real question is how long will it last?
To help consumers better understand the advantages of new home buying, a handful of experts compiled the following list of nine reasons to choose a new home over a resale
Here's the dirty little secret about home renovations: Most of them don't pay off. For anyone trying to decide whether to take on a home renovation, these five tips can help
These days, many banks require a down payment of 15 percent or more for mortgages, a staggering amount for many first-time home buyers. Here are seven ways would-be home buyers can get their hands on the down payment cash they need to close the deal on a home
The number of U.S. households headed by someone over age 65 will jump 35 percent in the coming decade as baby boomers age, according to 'The State of the Nation's Housing,' a report issued recently by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University
The popular tax deduction for home mortgage interest has come under fire again as politicians tasked with bridging an enormous budget gap puzzle over how the country can make ends meet. But what politician has the political capital to suggest such a measure? And does this really make sense?
Prospective home buyers and sellers could run into additional roadblocks in coming months as new mortgage regulations set to take effect this fall filter into the system
Whether your home is priced at $100,000 or $6 million, there are a couple of basic truths to listing a home in today's market. Keep them in mind when preparing to list your home for sale
It sounds like another round of bad news for the mortgage industry. The government has made it clear that no one is constitutionally entitled to a government-backed mortgage of up to $729,750, no matter where you live. Even in places where the cost of buying a house is far above the national average
Despite historically low home prices and rock-bottom mortgage rates, tight lending standards continue to keep would-be buyers on the sidelines. Higher credit-score requirements and more extensive income documentation requirements have also played a role in discouraging consumers from becoming homeowners
If you own a home, you might want to start thinking about the IRS. According to Julian Block's Home Sellers' Guide to Tax Savings, there are ways to lighten your tax load whether you're living in your home or selling it
Home inspections are limited. The purpose of a home inspection is to look for material defects of a property -- things that are unsafe, not working, or that create a hazard. However, home inspectors can't catch everything. That means home buyers need to take matters into their own hands and also budget for unexpected expenses. Here are five ways to mitigate those surprise costs
The world is flat, the economy is global, and on any given day you're as likely to speak to a call center in India or the Philippines as you are to visit your local grocery store. The world's boundaries have blurred, but at the same time the easy and immediate communication of a Twitter or Facebook makes the planet feel smaller and more connected
Before the credit crisis, some appraisals seemed to be mere formalities; that attitude helped fuel the boom days. Now, overly conservative appraisal standards -- many unfairly calculated, some observers argue -- may be holding back the housing recovery
It might seem counterintuitive, but increasing rental activity might be the medicine the ailing U.S. housing market needs to get back on its feet.
Home prices are expected to continue falling, but according to some real estate experts, that's good news savvy real estate investors can take to the bank. But while housing market conditions might be ripe for real estate investors, there's a few things newbies should know before taking the plunge
For those looking for a bright spot amid the barrage of depressing data recently, news that housing prices were up for the third month in a row might have buoyed morale a bit. However, the housing outlook might not be so rosy after all
The technology industry offers tales of woe: jobs aplenty in hot spots like Silicon Valley, but candidates across the country who, anchored by houses that have dropped in value, can't move to fill them. And yet a new study tells a different story.
Faced with a languishing housing market that's expected to remain in the doldrums for months, home builders are increasingly looking beyond bricks and mortar for more lucrative business opportunities to stay afloat
Seniors will have fewer avenues to secure steady retirement income, now that the two largest lenders in the reverse-mortgage business have decided to discontinue offering reverse mortgages
A little-known regulation sparked by the 2008 housing meltdown has the potential to fundamentally change the landscape of the housing and mortgage markets, further tightening the stranglehold on credit availability and deepening the housing market downturn. Known as the qualified residential mortgage (QRM), this draft rule currently being debated by regulators
Although the Golden State was battered when the housing bubble burst, California is still home to six of the 10 most expensive housing markets in the country, according to Coldwell Banker's Home Listing Report. Here are the top 10 most (and least) expensive housing markets in the United States
If you're looking to buy foreclosures or short sales, there are can't-miss opportunities out there, in every market
Sales of existing homes in May fell by 3.8 percent from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors
I received yet another letter from a homeowner struggling over whether to do a strategic default and leave the house he loves or to stay in a neighborhood that is now in a serious downward spiral. I'm printing the letter, my response, and his follow-up because I think it's emblematic of the choice so many homeowners are facing
Thanks to falling home prices and rising rents, would-be home buyers have the upper hand this house-hunting season. In nearly 4 out of 5 major U.S. cities, it's now cheaper to buy a home than to rent. But will house hunters make the move this season?
Mortgage rates may be at historic lows, but they've still jumped around somewhat in recent months, perplexing Americans mulling a home purchase this spring. If you're getting serious about buying a home this spring, here are a few things besides your credit score that could impact the mortgage rate you get on your home loan
Despite the drop in desired median home square footage, it's not so much a matter of downsizing as right-sizing -- c. Americans are reconsidering the notion of financially stretching themselves to the limit to purchase a large home
Just being 30 days late on your mortgage means your credit score will drop precipitously. In fact, the difference in the hit your credit score will take between being 30 days late in paying your mortgage and going into foreclosure isn't that big
If you're into bottom-fishing, now may be the time to start trolling for real estate. At least that's the advice of Michael Corbett, author of 'Before You Buy: The Homebuyer's Handbook for Today's Market'
Despite the favorable conditions for refinancing -- U.S. mortgage rates are near their lowest levels in more than 50 years -- many homeowners haven't been able to benefit from the downward march in mortgage rates because they either don't have enough equity in their homes or don't qualify under today's stringent lending rules
With more energy-conscious consumers and changing building codes in mind, an increasing number of builders are integrating more energy-efficient designs into new constructions.
Of the 51 metropolitan areas with populations over 1 million, these are the 10 most affordable metro areas
Bank-owned house sales remained high during the second quarter of the year with homes in some stage of the foreclosure process, including short sales, rising to 31 percent of sales compared to 24 percent a year earlier
The United States doesn't need government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to sustain the housing market. At least that's what Anthony Sanders, professor of real estate finance at George Mason University, told the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises
More bad news for the housing market cropped up in data, indicating that home prices have double dipped, dropping to new post-Recession lows in March. The disappointing figures scale back incremental gains made in the wake of the 2010 home buyer's tax credit and reinforce the probability of a long, slow recovery for the housing market
Why aren't homebuyers buying? Maybe they've heard the recent spate of bad housing news. On the other hand, this may be the best time in several decades to buy a home
There are plenty of outstanding second-home locations near every major metropolitan area where homebuyers can get a lot of house for their money. According to the latest HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report, some 15 percent of vacation homeowners say they bought a vacation home because of the decline in real estate prices
With home prices at historic lows and distressed properties selling at discounts of 35 percent or more in some parts of the country, scooping up bank-owned bargains has become increasingly lucrative for real estate investors. However, while the demand for foreclosures continues to grow, real estate investors face a host of challenges when it comes to closing the deal on distressed properties
Despite what some housing experts say is the best buyer's market in years, house hunters are finding themselves discouraged by tighter lending standards and the challenge of selling existing properties. Rather than purchasing a new home, some would-be buyers are considering other options
The Mortgage Bankers Association announced this week that the number of delinquent homeowners rose a little in the first quarter of 2011, but over the course of a year the number has dropped substantially
In the first quarter of this year, homeownership rates fell to levels not seen since 1998. Despite that gloomy statistic, some experts say the decline might not be such a bad thing.
Traditionally, spring is when prospective home buyers begin the hunt for their next residence. But with the economy still in flux, budget battles raging in Washington, and a housing market on shaky ground, many house hunters are wondering whether it's the right time to buy. To help consumers sort through the pros and cons of buying this spring, here's house-hunting advice from the experts
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has thrown out a rule it put in effect in 2008 for reverse mortgages that was causing grief for some homeowners and heirs. The rule reversal came about in response to litigation by the AARP Foundation
Frustration in trying to get a home mortgage loan closed is rather common these. Wouldn't it be nice if closings could go smoothly and without delays and repeated requests for documents?
More and more seniors are turning to reverse mortgages to supplement their retirement income. If you are considering making this move, you need to understand some of the options and all of the initial and recurring costs associated with them
More and more these days, seniors who have substantial equity in their homes, but who are nonetheless cash-poor, are turning to reverse mortgages to supplement their retirement savings. A reverse mortgage may provide a lump sum payment to the homeowner/borrower, or it may make periodic payments or set up a line of credit -- or a combination of the three
Reverse mortgages were created to help seniors stay in their homes by tapping the equity built up over the years. Now, a small but growing number of reverse mortgage borrowers find themselves at risk of losing their homes anyway. That's because the number of reverse mortgages in default is growing. So how can a reverse mortgage be in default?
In retirement, you can simply gaze out the window at a fresh blanket of snow and pour yourself a second cup of coffee. And snowy evenings are the perfect excuse to light a fire and stay in. When you do venture out into the snow, in can be to ski, ice skate, or simply catch snowflakes on your tongue. Here's a few winter wonderlands for retirement living
What do mortgage lenders look for when they scrutinize your finances? It all boils down to financial stability and making sure you're a good credit risk. On your application, you'll be asked to disclose personal finance information that will help the lender decide whether your finances are stable or precarious at that moment in time
The number of foreclosures would have been even higher except for the foreclosure moratoriums imposed by the banks near the end of the year. While everyone in the real estate industry is hopeful that 2011 is going to be the big turnaround year, it doesn't look good for foreclosures. Here are five things you should know about foreclosure
Michael Barr, the U.S. assistant treasury secretary for financial institutions, recently spoke in front of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to summarize regulators' findings in a widespread probe of the mortgage foreclosure industry
When you refinance, you face several different choices that will directly affect how much you pay. There are also several factors over which you have no (or almost no) control that will play directly into the refinancing cost. Here are some facts about refinancing (and financing) mortgages that account for the differences in what people pay
Will lower interest rates spur home buyers to jump off the fence and make an offer? Mortgage interest rates are nearly at 4 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate loan. But buying a home is a bigger decision than simply looking at how low interest rates are
It's an intriguing but tricky sell: Leave your home and neighborhood while you're still relatively healthy and move to a retirement community that offers a range of housing, country-club-style amenities and access to future care. To pay for your new setting, called a continuing-care retirement community (or CCRC), you fork over a hefty entrance fee, stiff monthly fees or both
It's hard to understand what game the Obama Administration is playing. Of perhaps 7 million homeowners who are in foreclosure or who are seriously delinquent on their mortgages, fewer than 500,000 have received permanent loan modifications
Home buyers and owners across the country are having appraisal problems. Some buyers are denied mortgages because the properties they want to purchase have been appraised for less than the agreed upon price. Many owners trying to refinance are being rejected because lower appraisals are eliminating the equity they need to qualify for new loans
There's so much housing stock available that you could spend months seeing and thinking about available homes for sale. But that isn't a particularly efficient way to shop for a home. Your time is valuable, and so is your real estate agent's. Here are eight things you can do to narrow your focus and streamline the time you spend shopping for a home
As for making the process more understandable to consumers? Having just gone through it, I'd say there's a lot more work to be done. What can you expect when you're closing on your mortgage loan? Here are some of the highlights from our own loan closing
I received a notice that my escrow fund is now underfunded because my property taxes (which were paid in full and on time from my escrow fund) were significantly higher than initially forecasted in the calculation of the sale price of the home. It turns out that the local tax assessor assessed the home at a higher value. What can I do?
It's been a pretty lousy year for home sellers. If you're hoping to sell in 2011, you'll be facing all the same challenges, and more -- the real estate industry isn't expected to improve much over the next couple of years. So what can you do if you want or need to sell in 2011? Consider the following New Year's Resolutions for home sellers
Are loss-mitigation and short sale the same things? I don't want to sell my home. I am just interested in trying to lower my payments if at all possible.
Every year since I started writing this column in 1993, I've offered New Year's Resolutions for home buyers and sellers, plus New Year's financial resolutions that everyone can use to start their year off right.
The housing market reflects a paradox of the Great Recession: While some baby boomers are struggling to prevent their primary residences from sliding into foreclosure, others are realizing their dream of purchasing a vacation getaway.
Despite the historic bust, U.S. home prices are expected to appreciate steadily over the coming decade. But just as the housing crash impacted Las Vegas much differently than Boston, the pace of future home-price appreciation will vary a great deal from one place to the next. Here are the 10 slowest appreciating housing markets for the next 10 years
Many baby boomers, the first wave of whom were born in 1946 and will start turning 65 next year, are having trouble making monthly mortgage payments that once seemed easy. As such, the costs of retiring with a mortgage are steep. Here's why
When it comes to a 15-year mortgage, prepaying makes less sense. You're already saving 15 years of interest payments, and when the interest rate is so low (again, our new loan is priced at 3.75 percent), it's already virtually free money. Still, let's take a look at how much we'd save by prepaying
Today's low rates have millions of homeowners rushing to refinance. However, a large number of mortgage owners in the U.S. are switching from the old industry standard of 30-year fixed-rate loans to those that must be paid off in 15 or 20 years. Should you shorten the term of your mortgage?
Loan guarantees from Uncle Sam are enabling hundreds of thousands of borrowers to obtain mortgages without putting any money down. To help consumers determine whether or not they might be eligible for such financing, here's a rundown on how to get a government-backed, zero-down-payment mortgage
All it takes is a modicum of good news for housing industry analysts to call an end to the recession. If you've been thinking about refinancing, it's time to develop a plan and get moving before interest rates start moving in the other direction. If you want to have a successful refinance in the current wacky world of mortgage finance, you'll want to take these steps
To find the following 10 historic places to retire, U.S. News used a Best Places to Retire search tool powered by data from Onboard Informatics. We looked for places filled with museums, libraries, and national historic monuments that also offer a good quality of life and plenty of amenities for seniors.
I'm moving and am overwhelmed. There seems to be so much to pack and I'm not sure how to proceed. I've received several bids from moving companies, and the cost for them to pack my possessions took my breath away. I've studied the 'u-pack' moving options, but I wonder if I'm up to the challenge. What advice do you have for moving and packing services?
Fair Isaac Corp., the Minneapolis-based company that invented the credit score, faced a quandary earlier this decade. With the recession deepening, and consumer spending and debt-paying patterns changing, the company decided to give its flagship product, the FICO score, a tune-up, so the score's predictive models would be sharpened against tough economic conditions
It has long been an article of faith among Americans that home ownership is a sure path to financial stability. But with home prices in big cities like Phoenix and Miami down by roughly half from their peak in 2006 (and in major markets overall, down 28 percent), not to mention a lackluster economic outlook, does it make any sense whatsoever to buy a home now?
Jobs and real estate continue to be tethered together. If salaries are frozen, or if more Americans' annual income doesn't keep pace with inflation, it might make them nervous about their future job and income prospects. And Realtors know that if you aren't confident about your future job and income prospects, it's unlikely you'll want to purchase a home
You're better off starting the refinance process and having the lender order the appraisal. If you order an appraisal separately, there is no assurance that the lender you choose will arrive at the same appraised value. The lender will not use your appraisal, and you'll be out the money for the appraisal
Is your city making you overspend? High housing prices, exorbitant living costs, and cultures of spending mean residents in some areas tend to rack up much more debt than others.
Demand for housing has plunged to historic lows now that Uncle Sam has removed a key stimulus program from the market, a development that threatens to torpedo a real estate rebound as well as a broader economic recovery.
Home sales took a nosedive last month, suggesting that prices may soon decline and underscoring concerns about the real estate market's capacity to recover.
Today's house hunter has no shortage of cheap, foreclosed homes to pick through. But despite all those deals in the previously-owned home market, consumers shouldn't overlook the potential benefits of buying a new home. Here's a list of 9 reasons to choose a new home over a resale
What has become painfully clear with the recently released existing-home sales data for July is that the government's real estate industry life support measures were truly keeping the housing industry afloat.
Trying to decide paying off your investment property or paying off your primary residence? Here's what you need to consider
Although cheaper prices and record-low mortgage rates have made home buying increasingly attractive, tight lending standards continue to keep consumers on the sidelines. Even so, it's the down payment needed that prevents many from becoming homeowners. Here are nine ways that consumers can get their hands on the down payment cash they need to purchase a home
President Obama announced more help for homeowners struggling with the long-term financial effects of the Great Recession.
I discussed the state of the real estate market recently with John Burns, who owns a real estate research and consulting firm based in Irvine, Calif., with offices across the country. His clients include some of the biggest companies in real estate. Here are some of the things he's thinking about these days
While the financial reform legislation won't upend the conventions of buying or selling a home, it will precipitate key changes within the mortgage market. Here is a look at the main real estate-related provisions of the financial reform legislation and what they mean for you
Here's 10 places for retirees that provide plenty of recreational and cultural activities, including museums, concerts, and outdoor spaces, and that also offer affordable housing and a reasonable cost of living
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