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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Unfinished Homes a Sad Symbol of Real Estate Downturn

RISMEDIA, March 13, 2010—(MCT)—The listing describes the new, six-bedroom, six-bath Colonial on Timberlane Road in Upper Saddle River, N.J., as "spectacular." With an asking price of almost $1.6 million, it's a "must see," the listing says. ...


Jumbo Mortgage Market Beginning to Thaw

RISMEDIA, March 13, 2010—(MCT)—Phil Kelly had 18 more months to go before the fixed rate on his $2.5 million mortgage became adjustable. But when Kelly, a former computer executive living in Rancho Santa Fe, California learned he could knock his interest rate down by a full percentage point by refinancing, ...


Renters: 6 Ways to Spruce Up Your Space

RISMEDIA, March 13, 2010—(MCT)—The new American dream: Renting, until the dust settles. More Americans are renting homes and giving up on home ownership—at least for now. Job loss and foreclosures are forcing some folks out of their family homes and into apartments and rental homes. ...


Government Urges Short Sales; Experts Aren’t Sure They’ll Help

RISMEDIA, March 12, 2010—(MCT)—With the highly touted federal mortgage-modification program falling short of its target numbers, the government has looked into alternatives to foreclosure and come up with a possible, though not original, solution: the short sale, a transaction in which the lender accepts less than the balance owed on ...


MBA Report Shows 1 in 10 Mortgages Now Delinquent or in Foreclosure

RISMEDIA, March 12, 2010—The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) recently reported that serious mortgage delinquencies- those at least 90 days past due or in foreclosure- remained at record levels in the fourth quarter of 2009. These latest statistics show that one in 10 borrowers is seriously delinquent on their mortgage, up ...


U.S. Foreclosure Activity Decreases 2% in February 2010

RISMEDIA, March 11, 2010—RealtyTrac, a leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, released its February 2010 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows foreclosure filings—default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions—were reported on 308,524 U.S. properties during the month, a decrease of 2% from the previous month but still 6% above the ...


Appraisal Institute Opposes Obama Administration’s Plan for Homeowner Short Sales

RISMEDIA, March 11, 2010—Citing concerns about increased mortgage fraud, four organizations representing more than 35,000 real estate appraisers recently voiced their opposition to changes to an Obama administration program that will encourage short sales of homes. The coalition was led by the Appraisal Institute, one of the nation’s largest organizations ...


Home Values for Older Americans Begin to Rebound in Fourth Quarter 2009

RISMEDIA, March 10, 2010—Golden Gateway Financial, a financial resource for seniors and retirees, recently released new usage data from its online Reverse Mortgage Calculator that showed average home values for older Americans have halted their slide after remaining flat or declining for seven consecutive quarters. The national average self-reported home ...


NAHB Commends President’s Proposed Energy Efficiency Incentives

RISMEDIA, March 9, 2010—Home energy efficiency incentives proposed by President Barack Obama will create much-needed jobs and help make America more energy independent, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). ...


Buyers Shift More Firmly into Driver’s Seat during January 2010

RISMEDIA, March 8, 2010—For the second month in a row, home buyers across much of the country negotiated bigger discounts off the last listing price of homes than they had the prior month, according to new data from real estate website Zillow.com. ...


Home Sales Dip in January 2010

RISMEDIA, March 8, 2010—(MCT)—In another sign that the foundation of the U.S. housing recovery might be shaky, the number of homes placed under sales contract fell 7.6% in January 2010, according to a national index. ...


NAHB Reminds Home Buyers: Tax Credit Expiring Soon

RISMEDIA, March 5, 2010—The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) wants potential home buyers to be aware that they still have the opportunity to take advantage of the $8,000 first-time home buyer or $6,500 repeat buyer tax credits, as long as they act quickly—the credits expire on April 30, 2010. ...


More Government Help Coming to Homeowners in California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Michigan

RISMEDIA, March 1, 2010—President Obama recently announced an additional $1.5 billion in homeowner aid for the areas of the country hardest-hit by declining home values. Florida, Michigan, Arizona, California and Nevada are the five states that will receive funds. ...


11.3 Million Homeowners Underwater on Mortgage

RISMEDIA, February 26, 2010—(MCT)—More than 11.3 million homeowners—nearly one-fourth of all Americans with a mortgage—owe more on their loan than their home is now worth, according to a report recently released by FirstAmerican CoreLogic. ...


C.A.R. Reports Entry-Level Housing Affordability Remained at 64 Percent in Fourth Quarter 2009

RISMEDIA, February 25, 2010—The percentage of households that could afford to buy an entry-level home in California remained at 64% in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with 61% (revised) for the same period a year ago, according to a report released by the California Association of Realtors® (C.A.R.). ...


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