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  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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'

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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