Consumer News and Advice Archive
(MCT)—Factory-built homes might be shaking their low-end reputation, as climate-controlled home-building factories increasingly cater to high-end home buyers and investors with customized, amenity-filled homes.
The crime of money laundering continues to be a growing area of concern in the United States. Therefore, law enforcement agencies and the financial sector devote considerable time and resources to combating these illegal financial activities. While money laundering is most often associated with banks and other financial institutions, real estate transactions can also provide cover for various money laundering schemes.
Money laundering is the process criminals use to disguise the illegal origin of their funds. Certain criminal activities generate substantial proceeds. Legitimizing, or “laundering” this money through the financial system, is a critical component for criminals to hide their activities
Indicators of consumer confidence were mixed in the first month of the new year. Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan reported that its final estimate of consumer confidence, Consumer Sentiment,
(MCT)—QUESTION: I bought a co-op apartment unit in January 2010 with a conventional mortgage. I am trying to refinance it and have found that big banks are not willing to work with me. Can you please explain what’s happening here?
ANSWER: When you buy a home in a community, there are several ways that you can own it. In a “fee simple” arrangement, you own the land and home outright and the community
The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently allocated $5.4 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery funding to five states
From homes to cabins to dormitories—and everything in between—re-purposed shipping containers, or ISBUs (Intermodal Steel Building Units) are making their mark on the residential real estate sector, blurring the lines between two very distinct industries as one’s trash becomes the other’s treasure. Originally built to transport goods, the average life of a shipping container is now being extended, thanks to environmentally conscious consumers, builders, designers and a host of other real estate professionals who see their potential when it comes to building homes.
(MCT)—In the market for a hot-water-dispensing refrigerator? That was just one of the innovative and unusual products on display last month at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.
The annual event, put on by the National Association of Home Builders, serves as a massive showcase for new ideas and technology for the home.
CoreLogic®, a leading residential property information, analytics and services provider, recently released its December CoreLogic HPI® report. Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased on a year-over-year basis by 8.3 percent in December 2012 compared to December 2011. This change represents the biggest increase since May 2006 and the 10th consecutive monthly increase in home prices nationally. On a month-over-month basis, including distressed sales, home prices increased by 0.4 percent in December 2012 compared to November 2012. The HPI analysis shows that all but four states are experiencing year-over-year price gains.
Excluding distressed sales, home prices increased on a
(MCT)—It's called “shadow inventory,” and it could halt or reverse a recovering housing market. That's why the phrase, which describes homes in some form of distress but not yet on the market, popped up
(MCT)—If you’re thinking about replacing your windows this year with more energy efficient options, Washington just upped the incentive to actually get the job done.
As part of the “fiscal cliff” agreement earlier this year, federal lawmakers agreed to reinstate the energy efficiency home improvement tax credits that had expired with 2011.
Homeowners who did not claim the full credit from 2006-11 can now receive 10 percent of the cost, up to a $200 tax credit, for Energy Star qualifying replacement windows purchased between Jan. 1, 2012 through the end of this year.
As the real estate market quickens its pace toward recovery, brokerage firms from around the country are reporting increasingly positive numbers. Brokers will document their organization’s success by participating in RISMedia’s 25th Annual Power Broker Report & Survey, the industry’s preeminent report ranking the nation’s top real estate firms.
Sponsored by Move, Inc. and HSA Home Warranty, the 2013 Power Broker Survey has long served as a competitive differentiator for firms of all sizes. To complete the survey now, please click here
. The survey deadline is February 27, 2013.
Several federal agencies recently unveiled Advancing Healthy Housing – A Strategy for Action. White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Nancy Sutley, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Clear Capital, a premium provider of data, collateral risk assessment, and real estate asset valuation and analytics, recently released its Home Data Index™ (HDI) Market Report with data through January 2013.
The U.S. housing recovery is real and underway. The end-of-year numbers are in for the primary housing measures. Existing home sales were up 9 percent in 2012 from 2011; new home sales were up 20 percent in 2012 from a year earlier and housing starts were up 27 percent this past year compared to the previous year.
Granted, these advances were based off historically low bases but we will take what we can get after six years mired in a housing recession. Perhaps a more telling statistic for the nation’s housing outlook is appreciating home values. Over the past six months, home prices increased between 4 and 9 percent, according to the major home price indexes.
By now, homeowners around the country have begrudgingly made that often pricey decision to turn on the furnace and crank up the dial. Winter is here and for some territories that means brisk to freezing temperatures,