How To Slash Your Heating Bills this Winter

on October 11, 2015

Falling energy prices may have the global economy in upheaval, but they’re great news for homeowners. Lower energy costs and a forecast for a warmer winter in most of the country will mean big savings on your heating bill this winter.

7 Tax Tricks For Homeowners

on October 06, 2015

Who knew owning a house could be so taxing? You have to worry about income taxes, property taxes, estate taxes. “You need to be aware of the rules and be aware of the exceptions to the rules so you don’t inadvertently lose benefits,” Shier says. Here’s a rundown of some of the most taxing areas.

9 Common Real Estate Myths That Plague Buyers and Sellers

on August 04, 2015

Buying or selling a house is not something most of us do every day. You may do it once a decade, or even once in a lifetime. Despite the fact that most of us enter the world of real estate only rarely, we all think we know how it works, based on the experiences of friends and family members, stories we have heard and things we have read.

But for everything we believe we know about the industry, there are a number of myths that circulate about how real estate actually works. Buying into those can hurt your chances of buying or selling the right home at the right price.

21 Hot Housing Trends for 2015

on December 2014

Everyone wants to be hip, and the latest trends in design can help distinguish one home from another. And it’s not all flash; many new home fads are geared to pare maintenance and energy use and deliver information faster. Here’s a look at what’s coming.

FHA offers first time homebuyers discounted loan for taking class

on June 14, 2014

(MCT)—Home loans are about to go on the discount rack for first-time buyers willing to spend a few hours learning the ropes of homeownership, from applying for a mortgage to choosing a contractor for a kitchen remodel.

New home construction surged to an eight-month high in July 2014

(MCT)—New home construction surged to an eight-month high in July, providing a lift to the broader economy. Housing starts jumped 15.7 percent from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,093,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Economists had expected a rate of 965,000, according to FactSet.

The department also revised June’s rate of housing starts upward, to 945,000 from 893,000.

“This was a solid report,” IHS Global Insight economists Patrick Newport and Stephanie Karol wrote in an analysis. “Builders’ optimism is picking up.”

That optimism, if it continues, could have a sustained, broad effect on the economy, including companies that specialize in home improvement and construction materials.

Home Depot, for instance, said Tuesday its profit in its fiscal second quarter, which ended Aug. 3, jumped 14 percent to $2.05 billion, or $1.52 a share, from $1.8 billion, or $1.24, a year earlier.

The company, based in Atlanta, also raised its profit outlook for the year. Home Depot’s stock was trading up 5.8 percent Monday morning to $88.47.

The monthly Commerce Department report showed new home construction climbed in all regions except the Midwest, where starts fell 24.8 percent. Building permits, a gauge of future construction, rose 8.1 percent nationally in July.

Credit Suisse economist Dana Saporta said the latest housing-start report should lessen concerns, raised last week by Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, that the housing market had become a major impediment to a more robust economic recovery.

“Looking forward, a case could be made for continued improvement in the housing sector,” Saporta said.

And there have been signs the national housing market is strengthening, after starting to cool last summer amid higher prices and mortgage rates.

Sales of previously owned homes have been on the rise, and a gauge of home-builder confidence is at a seven month-high, a trade group reported Monday.

Short Sale Tax Break Passes in House

on December 05, 2014

Homeowners who had short sales in 2014 may not be facing massive tax bills after all, after the House of Representatives passed a one-year extension of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act on Wednesday.

Fannie Mae announces 3% down Loan Program for First-time Homebuyers

on December 08, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced an option for qualified first-time homebuyers that will allow for a down payment as low as three percent. Building upon Fannie Mae’s successful lower down payment program offered through state Housing Finance Agencies, the 97 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) option will expand access to credit for qualified first-time homebuyers that may not have the resources for a larger down payment. These loans will meet Fannie Mae’s usual eligibility requirements, including underwriting, income documentation and risk management standards. These loans will require private mortgage insurance or other risk sharing, as is required on purchase loans acquired by the company with greater than 80 percent LTV.

Winter is the best time to sell, Study shows

on December 15, 2014

The housing market doesn’t hibernate in the winter. Sellers who list and buyers who buy often find the winter season the most advantageous time to make a move in real estate, according to a new study by the real estate brokerage Redfin. The winter season officially takes place between Dec. 21 and March 20, and real estate professionals should be ready for a season that often brings in more focused and active sellers and buyers.