WASHINGTON -- The average commission rate paid on American home sale transactions continues to decline and could dip below 5 percent within the next few years.
That’s the conclusion of Real Trends Consulting Inc., a research and advisory company that monitors hundreds of realty brokerage firms and compiles data on sales and commission rates ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The biggest holiday gift this year for millions of Americans doesn’t fit under a tree and can be a little hard to grasp, but it may be of exceptional value: If you own a home, the odds are good that your equity holdings increased by thousands of dollars over the past 12 months.
New quarterly data released by the Federal Reserve ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- They are the three biggest snares for home buyers seeking mortgages, and if you focus on them in advance you’re much less likely to have your application denied. This is especially true if you’re buying -- or planning to buy -- your first home.
So what are they? A recently completed Federal Reserve study covering millions of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- If you’ve got a home mortgage, you probably also have an escrow or impound -- a savings account incorporated into your monthly payment and managed by your loan servicer so that your annual property tax and hazard insurance bills get paid on time. Most lenders require them and will only allow a waiver if you pay a higher interest ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- You probably know that your credit score is a crucial factor in your ability to qualify for a mortgage. You might also know that your score can vary depending on the type of scoring model your lender uses. If it’s an old, outdated version you might get a lower score. If it’s a newer, more advanced model, you’ve got a ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Could it be a grim and grinchy December for thousands of home owners facing ongoing challenges with their mortgage payments and property values? Could popular deductions for mortgage insurance premiums and energy-efficient home improvements abruptly vanish?
That’s the way things are shaping up in the closing weeks of the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Can computers, big data and advanced analytics replace real live humans when it comes to accurately valuing the home you want to buy? One of the two largest financial players in U.S. real estate thinks so and is preparing to introduce changes that could prove momentous -- and highly controversial.
Giant mortgage investor Freddie ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Call it a housing policy head fake -- one with potentially painful consequences for moderate-income buyers, sellers and seniors in hundreds of condominium projects around the country. If you were thinking about purchasing a condo unit with a low down payment FHA mortgage in the coming year, this could affect you.
Last week, ...Read more
If You Leave this Farm: The Dream Is DestroyedAmanda Farmer
A Memoir about courage, hope, and resilience. The story powerfully shows the internal struggle and conflict between personal desires, the crushing weight of constant submission to a father's misguided use of God-given authority, and the need to be accepted by one's ...
WASHINGTON -- A decision by a federal appellate court last week is casting new light on practices in the real estate field that buyers and sellers often know little about: Creative, under-the-table payoff schemes among realty brokers, mortgage lenders and title companies that can stifle market competition and raise settlement costs to consumers ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- So you still think it's impossible to get a mortgage because lenders' standards continue to be super-strict and your profile doesn't quite fit the standard underwriting molds? You're right -- it can be tough. But it's no longer impossible, thanks to new programs that are becoming available from national and regional lenders for ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- For many condominium buyers and sellers across the country, the Obama administration delivered what seemed like encouraging news last week: The Federal Housing Administration, once the primary source of mortgage financing for moderate-income and first-time condo buyers, is coming back, big time.
But the real story was more complex...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Do home values have any significance when it comes to presidential elections? Not directly. But indirectly they are manifestations of economic growth, unemployment rates, incomes, household formations, population inflows and outflows, along with historical patterns of land use and restrictions on building.
Almost certainly home ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- With homeowners' equity soaring to near-record levels, financial technology entrepreneurs -- backed by deep-pocket venture capital -- are dreaming up sophisticated ways to help consumers access that equity without traditional interest payments.
The core concept in most of these plans: We'll give you cash, say $30,000 to $200,000 ...Read more