Solar Panels Puzzle Would-Be Buyers

(MCT)—With solar panel prices plunging and generous tax credits and incentives still available, now may be as good a time as any to go solar. But shopping for a solar power system can be a tough task. Consumers face a bewildering array of options. There are thousands of different solar panel models from dozens of […] Continue Reading →

Mortgages Are Coming Home

Since late last year, industry experts forecast a drop in mortgage refinancings as rates rise, and a revival of purchase mortgages, as the housing recovery creates business for lenders willing to work with buyers. The spring housing market is here and now the mortgage market is following. Purchase mortgages zoomed to their highest monthly market […] Continue Reading →

Real Estate Q&A: How to Get Out of a Land Deal Gone Bad

(MCT)—QUESTION: I bought a vacant lot a few years ago on the Internet, sight unseen. Turns out, the property is unusable because it’s on the edge of a development and on a deep slope. I found out that it is part of an association, and the dues now have exceeded the value of the property. […] Continue Reading →

Housing Passes One Million Mark

Housing construction passed the psychological mark of one million starts in March coming in at 1.036 million homes, up 7 percent from an upwardly revised February level of 968,000. The surge was due to a 31 percent increase in apartment construction to a level of 417,000 units, the highest since January 2006. Single-family construction fell […] Continue Reading →

Freddie Mac CreditSmart® Online Tutorial Helps Prepare Future Borrowers for Homeownership

Freddie Mac recently announced a free, online CreditSmart(R) tutorial to provide working families and new or inexperienced borrowers with basic sound information about building savings, personal credit, and making wise financial choices. CreditSmart is a comprehensive, multilingual financial education curriculum that has reached more than three million consumers in 44 states through lenders, churches, schools […] Continue Reading →

The Vacation Home Makes a Comeback

As the market continues to shift, one industry trend seems to be making continuous waves: vacation homes. With low prices and mortgage rates still available in most parts of the country, affluent buyers—or those who have always dreamed of a cabin on a lake—are making their move and purchasing second homes in exotic locations to […] Continue Reading →

Ask the Experts: What Should Home Sellers Do to Prepare for a Home Inspection?

We see it every day. Sellers who don’t take the time to ensure a smooth home inspection and who pay for it in the long run. A little preparation can ensure sellers have great home inspections. Home inspectors typically arrive 30-45 minutes early to the home inspection appointment so that they are professionally set up […] Continue Reading →

HARP Mortgage Refinancing Program Extended by Two Years

(MCT)—Underwater homeowners with Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed mortgages will be able to try to refinance their mortgages for another two years. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Thursday that Fannie and Freddie’s Home Affordable Refinance Program, which was set to expire Dec. 31, will be extended until the end of 2015. “More than 2 […] Continue Reading →

Twenty Percent of Bankers Expect Lending Standards to Loosen

Expectations among bank risk professionals for the relaxation of lending standards increased sharply in the first quarter, rising from 12.1 to 19.9 percent, according to the quarterly FICO/PRMIA survey. One out of five bank risk professionals now expect the approval criteria for loans to become less stringent, the third highest level ever registered for looser […] Continue Reading →

New Homes Provide the Living Space Buyers Want

Results from NAHB’s What Home Buyers Really Want survey and a combination of Census Bureau/HUD data show that new homes generally do a good job of satisfying the typical buyer’s desire for living space, especially when compared to existing homes on the market. A simple way to get an idea of how new and existing […] Continue Reading →