Archives for November 2011

Housing the Margin Effect

By Lance Roberts Economist With each and every report comes “hope” that maybe, potentially, somehow the moribund housing market has finally reached its inevitable bottom and is now on the verge of the next great advance. Nothing could be further from the truth. I say this with a bit of pain because I am a homeowner. I do not like seeing the annual appraisal values on my home falling - even though it means lower taxes. My home, as with … [Read more...]

Underwater Mortgages Drop Slightly

By Mike Colpitts Homeowners with underwater mortgages or those who owe more on their homes than their properties are currently worth dropped in the third quarter in the U.S., according to real estate data firm CoreLogic. The decline, however, was marginal falling to 10.7-million residential homeowners, which is 200,000 less than the second quarter of 2011. Another 2.4-million mortgage borrowers with homes, however, had less than 5% equity … [Read more...]

Mortgages Drop As Homeowners Await New Refinancing Program

By Kevin Chiu Mortgage applications dropped for the third straight week as homeowners waited for the new Obama administration refinancing program to go into effect, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications slowed by nearly 12% from one week earlier. The drop-off in activity was also led by a slowdown caused by the Thanksgiving Holiday, pushing applications 15.3% lower on refinances. However, home purchase applications … [Read more...]

Louisiana Outlaws Transfer Taxes

By Kevin Chiu It may be true that no other state in the U.S. can use a break more than battered Louisiana in these tough economic times. The state that suffered the twin hardships from Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill has outlawed real estate transfer taxes in an effort to increase home sales. The law was passed by an overwhelming majority of voters, but the ban will not affect previously established taxes or those in New Orleans … [Read more...]

Cash is King in Current Real Estate Market

By Miike Colpitts As investors attempt to capitalize on the current state of the economy and snap up bargain priced deals in the real estate market, all cash sales are soaring and account for almost one in three residential transactions. Cash is king. Bargain hungry investors have been looking for cheaply priced housing to pay off at the time they close their purchases in record numbers. Rental homes and small apartment buildings are … [Read more...]

Homeowner Insurance Guide

By Erika Stewart Home insurance is important to insure that property is protected in the event of emergencies like natural disasters, fires, and even over liability issues like a friend or visitor falling and hurting themselves. Having homeowner insurance protects not only the home but its occupants and their possessions. However, not all home insurance coverage is the same, which is why it is important to compare rates, terms and … [Read more...]

Baseball’s Manny Ramirez Finally Sells Penthouse

By Kevin Chiu Exiled ex-baseball star Manny Ramirez has finally sold his Boston penthouse for a major loss after trying to sell the place more than six years, which just might be close to a record for any other earth-bound homeowner. The former baseball slugger finally quit the big leagues in disgrace after being busted for taking steroids a second time. His first suspension of 50 games was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After being traded … [Read more...]

Home Purchases for Low Mortgage Rates Jump

By Mike Colpitts Home purchase mortgage applications jumped as a result of the second lowest mortgage rates on record, but overall home loan activity barely budged last week as applications slowed by a thin margin (1.2%), according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The jump in mortgage buying activity for home purchases, however, is a positive sign for the housing market as consumers make every effort to take advantage of the second … [Read more...]

Mortgage Rates Drop as Adjustables Hit New Lows

By Kevin Chiu Mortgage rates dropped on popular fixed rate loans and hit a new low on adjustable rate mortgages, according to Freddie Mac. The drop in rates sent the 30-year fixed rate average at or below 4% for the fourth straight week. The loan averaged 3.98%, slipping two basis points from last week, according to the giant mortgage lenders’ survey, which was published a day early this week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. The 5-year … [Read more...]

Homeowners Opt to Buy Appraisals

By Mike Colpitts Homeowners are buying independent appraisals as they prepare to place their homes on the market for sale in growing numbers, attempting to determine the real value of their homes. The move is growing momentum as transactions on existing home sales fail at increasing rates. One out of three sales contracted during the month of October fell through as problems with appraised home values, new appraisal requirements and … [Read more...]