Archives for June 2008

Shaquille O’Neal – Robinhood or Superhero

Shaq: Robin Hood or Superhero By David Wilkening It's no surprise larger-than-life NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal has a Superman on the floor of the movie theatre in his upscale Orlando home, but is he having delusions of grandeur in another area: the home foreclosure issue? The 7 foot, one inch, 350-pound basketball star says he is working on plans to help homeowners facing foreclosure in Orlando with the possibility of taking his plan … [Read more...]

Playbook to Real Estate Recovery

By John Hines Economist Historians will write the current economic recession was the worst heist in U.S. history, capturing more victims than any other financial crisis. Wall Street and bankers fleeced more money out of the pockets of investors from stocks, securities and real estate mortgages than thought imaginable. The Security and Exchange Commission was asleep at the switch on Wall Street and financial regulators else where were … [Read more...]

Harvard Study Shows Slow Return

The worst housing depression since at least the Great Depression has a long way to go before improving, despite better home sales, according to the annual Joint Center for Housing Studies report of Harvard University. With mortgage interest rates heading higher and the economy contracting a sustained recovery faces stiff opposition. Home equity fell by $2.5 trillion in 2008 and is now down $5.9 trillion from 2005 levels adjusted for inflation, … [Read more...]

Rise and Fall of Homeownership

Propelled by the nation's worst epidemic of foreclosures on the heels of the most liberal mortgage underwriting in history, the percentage of home ownership has fallen to a new 20 year low. The rate of homeownership soared to its highest level of 69.1% during the real estate boom in 2005 only to see the worst housing crisis in national history. As a consequence, homeownership has fallen to 67.2%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Nearly a … [Read more...]

Tearing Down the House

  By Paul Kleiman Homes designed by Richard Neutra, highly regarded as one of the leading architects of the 20th Century have been demolished to build new houses. Many people aren't happy about any teardown deemed to threaten the character of a neighborhood. But whether the home is an architectural treasure or a 1,200 square foot track house, the decision to tear down and build comes down to two things: dollars and cents. For … [Read more...]

Home Inspection Needed

By Penny Shreve Have you ever bought a vehicle? Chances are you spent time checking it out looking under the hood, cranking it up and driving before you put down the cash. "Why then, would you not have a home inspection done before buying a house?" asks Kevin Shreve of Shreve Home Inspection in Fairfield, Illinois. In some situations, an inspection may be required before the transaction is finalized. But even if it's not, it would be wise … [Read more...]

Have-Nots Growing in New Economy

By John Hines Economist The new economy ushered in by the nation's financial crisis is developing a growing nation of haves and have-nots. Many of the have-nots are unemployed or under-employed. The foreclosure epidemic is delivering growth in homelessness as a side effect of the housing bust. The homeless population is growing amid the wreckage of the financial crisis. Tent cities in dozens of communities stretch from Rhode Island across … [Read more...]

Home Prices Drop at Record Rates

Real Estate Market Bottom Drops The deflationary cycle of housing prices is falling at the fastest rate since the Great Depression, according to the Housing Predictor index. Home prices are dropping at record rates, averaging a loss in the last 12 months of 13.2%, which is worse than the 10.5% drop of 1932, the lowest point of the Depression. The Housing Predictor index is compiled from a cross section of more than 250 local housing markets … [Read more...]

Time to Build that Dream House

By David Wilkening In today's depressed housing market, it might seem like a poor time to build your custom dream home. But perhaps you should "dream on" a little more. One reason is that the cost of building is coming down. "Build now if you are going to build, for building material prices will probably never be lower than they are today," said Allen E. Beals of the Dow Service Daily Building Reports. One major reason is that with new … [Read more...]

Home Mortgage Rates Rising

by Mike Colpitts Editor Like a batter waiting to hit at home plate, many people are waiting and worrying about when it’s the right time to buy real estate again. Batter up!!! It’s time to hit. The mortgage melt down will last well into the next couple of years, but it’s apparent that interest rates are at the lowest rate they’ll be for quite some time. If you need a mortgage to buy, you might consider acting now. Over the last two weeks … [Read more...]