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Kitchens Sell a House

It’s a tool used by house flippers all across the nation. Stagers know its power. Real estate agents push its importance. What is this not-so-well-kept secret of real estate? A kitchen can sell a house. A kitchen is the heart of a home. This is true all across the globe. The old saying that the Read More

Five Issues For Housing In 2012

Trying to figure out where the housing market is headed in 2012 offers a strong sense of déjà vu: The market feels just as it did at the beginning of 2011, when many pundits optimistically predicted that housing would finally hit bottom. The housing market didn’t deteriorate in 2011, but it didn’t firm up either Read More

Help With A Down Payment

With most lenders requiring home buyers to put down at least 20 percent — and sometimes, with more expensive properties, an even greater amount — the best holiday gift some people might receive would be help with the down payment. Under federal tax law, each individual is permitted to give away money or valuables worth Read More

HARP 2 Refinance Plan A Boost To Borrowers, Banks

The government’s expanded refinance program for underwater homeowners, dubbed HARP 2, looks better than expected for both borrowers and banks. The Obama administration announced the broad outlines of the plan on Oct. 24. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac filled in most of the details in guidance bulletins issued late Tuesday. The new program greatly reduces Read More

How To Figure The Fuzzy Math Of Internet Home Values

Jason Gonsalves worked hard to turn his 6,500-square-foot stucco-and-stone home in the suburbs of Sacramento into the ultimate grown-up party pad, complete with game room, custom wine cellar and an infinity-edge pool overlooking Folsom Lake. When interest rates fell recently, Mr. Gonsalves, who runs a lobbying firm, looked into refinancing his $750,000 mortgage. That’s when Read More

Ten Things You Need To Know About Buying Or Selling A Home

After staying put during the economic recession, you might be tempted by stabilizing real estate prices and low mortgage interest rates to sell your house and buy your next place. What you may not realize is how long and complicated the process of buying and selling a home has become. New lending regulations, appraisal procedures Read More

Next Generation Of Homeowners Are Freaked Out

A new paper by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston economists used consumer sentiment data collected in the Michigan Survey of Consumers over the summer to try to find out how the housing market’s terrible state of affairs was affecting the willingness to buy a new home. Age mattered, which suggests a new generation may be Read More

Supply vs. Demand: Why Is Housing Hurting?

Is low demand or poor supply the biggest cause for concern in the current housing market? Of course, one of the biggest problems facing the U.S. housing market right now is that there aren’t enough buyers for homes. Mortgage rates are hovering near their lowest levels in most Americans’ adult lifetimes, but demand is anemic. Read More

Determining A Home’s Value

Again and again, you hear about mortgage rates hitting historic lows; now you’re thinking it’s time to refinance. But one hitch may hold some homeowners back: declining property values. “Homes have lost equity,” said Kathleen Bowen-Ha, the owner-broker and an appraiser for Global Keepers in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. Millions of homeowners nationwide have either no Read More

Realtors Expect 1% Rise in California Home Sales

Home sales in California, the most populous U.S. state, are likely to rise 1 percent in 2012 after being “essentially flat” this year, the California Association of Realtors forecast today. Sales of existing homes are expected to rise to 496,200 units from a projected 491,100 in 2011 and 491,500 last year, the Los Angeles-based group Read More

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