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Consumer News and Advice Archive


Commercial Mortgage Lender Appetite Expected to Exceed that of Borrowers in 2014

Commercial and multifamily mortgage lending is expected to increase in 2014, as lenders’ appetites to place new loans grow even stronger, according to a new Mortgage Bankers Association survey of the top commercial and multifamily mortgage origination firms. Lenders were also polled on their expectations for borrower appetites in the ...


Housing-Related Tax Rules That Expired at the End of 2013

At the end of 2013, a number of housing-related tax provisions expired. Collectively, these housing and other tax rules are part of a set of policies known as “tax extenders,” which have traditionally been extended every year or so. ...


Hot Property: House where Perry Never Made a Grand Entrance Sells

Katy Perry has tidied up some old business, selling her fortress-like compound in Hollywood Hills West for $5.565 million. ...


Social Media 101: Hashtag Tips and Explanations

(MCT)—Hashtag #etiquette: ...


Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Regain Popularity as Prices, Rates Rise

(MCT)—When Michael Shuken recently bought his family’s first home, a four-bedroom in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista area, his adjustable-rate mortgage helped them stay on the pricey Westside. ...


Great Spaces: Comedian Curbs Price in Pacific Palisades

Comedian Larry David of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has curbed prices, cutting more than $2 million off the listing price of his Pacific Palisades home. ...


Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased 2.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 3, 2014. The most recent week’s results include an adjustment to account for the New Year’s Day holiday, while the previous week’s results ...


Mortgage Rates Stay Largely Unchanged

Freddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates little changed amid a week of light economic reports. ...


‘Downton Abbey’ Style Comes to Modern American Homes

(MCT)—My anglophile roots are showing, but I’m not alone. Like millions of Americans, I love “Downton Abbey.” ...


Housing Recovery Remains on Firm Footing as Americans’ Housing Sentiment Bounces Back from an Autumn Dip

Year-over-year gains in Americans’ attitudes toward homeownership demonstrate that the housing recovery continues to move forward on firm footing despite a drop in housing sentiment during the fall, according to Fannie Mae's December National Housing Survey results. Forty-nine percent of consumers surveyed believe home prices will go up over the ...


Real Estate Industry Wary ahead of New Mortgage Rules

(MCT)—Real estate officials are bracing for new federal mortgage rules intended to press lenders to ensure that prospective borrowers are able to repay home loans. ...


2014: The Emerging Purchase Market

Freddie Mac’s November 2013 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook showed that the major shift for 2014 will be a transition from a refinance-dominated mortgage market to the first purchase-dominated market the industry has seen since 2000. ...


Excessive Financial Optimism Can Be Dangerous

The December poll hosted on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website revealed that more than half of the respondents, 56 percent, predicted they would be in a better place financially at this time next year. This response rate tripled the ...


The Mobile Consumer and the Right Response to Responsive Design, Part IV: Mobile to Win Local

Over the course of this series, The Mobile Consumer and the Right Response to Responsive Design, we examined some of today’s most popular technology trends such as Responsive Web Design, Mobile SEO and Mobile Lead Generation. This month, in the final piece of the series, we’ll examine how the trends ...


On The Money: Cash in on Home Upgrades at Tax Time

(MCT)—As you prepare to file your federal tax return for 2013, you should remember to take advantage of several home energy-efficiency tax credits that expired last year. ...