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Archive for May, 2013

HARP Mortgage Refinancing Program Extended Two Years

HARP Mortgage Refinancing Program Extended Two Years

The government’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) will continue through December 31, 2015, according to the Treasury Department. Previously the program was scheduled to shut down at the end of this year. Started in 2009 by the Obama administration, HARP is designed to help borrowers refinance to new and lower interest rates. So far, as of March […]

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Duck Dynasty, Donald Trump And Real Estate

Duck Dynasty, Donald Trump And Real Estate

If you had to pick the most-interesting show on television it likely would not involve controversy, conflict or Kardashians. Instead, it’s A&E’s Duck Dynasty, a show which is as much about real estate as duck calls. The story is that Phil Robertson was one of seven children who grew up in rural Louisiana. His father […]

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When Should A Real Estate Broker Be Paid?

When Should A Real Estate Broker Be Paid?

Millions of homes are sold each year and the overwhelming majority are marketed through professional real estate brokers. It might seem as though real estate brokers are paid when they list and sell homes but technically that’s not quite the case, something which has created a stir in California and a controversy which is likely […]

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Are More Foreclosures And New Construction Good For Home Prices?

Are More Foreclosures And New Construction Good For Home Prices?

A new study find that new construction and foreclosure activity are running neck-and-neck, with building permits and foreclosure both up 27 in the first quarter from a year ago. The new numbers from RealtyTrac suggest that housing markets in many are areas are returning. “Nationwide and in most markets it appears builders are planning to […]

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Will An Internet Sales Tax Save Shopping Malls?

Will An Internet Sales Tax Save Shopping Malls?

You can think of it as the “shopping mall protection act”  or maybe just a hint of marketplace fairness, legislation recently passed by the US Senate would require online retailers with revenues of more than $1 million to collect and pay sales taxes. This is something very new in the history of the Internet, a […]

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Foreclosure Activity Hits Six-Year Low

Foreclosure Activity Hits Six-Year Low

Foreclosure activity hit a six-year low in April according to RealtyTrac, but while home losses were down in general they actually rose in states where foreclosure actions must go through local courts. Maryland, for example, is the nation’s wealthiest state in terms of household income and yet foreclosure activity — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank […]

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New Mortgage Rules Favor Borrowers — and Taxpayers

New Mortgage Rules Favor Borrowers — and Taxpayers

Mortgage borrowers are about to get more protections when financing real estate as a result of new rules for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, lenders can avoid virtually all liability by making what are called “qualified mortgages” or QMs. In basic terms, such loans include all fully-documented, […]

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Rent Affordability Drops As Incomes Fall

Rent Affordability Drops As Incomes Fall

While stock market values soar, executive bonuses rise and big corporations continue to shelter massive profits the fate of many renters continues to decline: a new study by the Center for Housing Policy shows that one-in-four tenants now spend at least half their income on rent. The big question raised by the report is just […]

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Par Pricing Mortgage Option Still Available

Par Pricing Mortgage Option Still Available

It seemed like a good idea at the time: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was thinking that maybe lenders should be required to offer mortgage borrowers a zero-zero financing option, but after lots of letters and comments it ultimately rejected a zero-zero requirement. What is a zero-zero mortgage option? And why would you like to […]

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