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Extreme Makeover: Foreclosure Edition - 07/31/08 08:58 AM
I'm not going lie, I'm a reality-TV junky. I know there's a fair share of garbage being cranked out by some tasteless Hollywood television producer, but there are a few shows that just tug at your heartstrings and make you believe that there is some good in this world. One of those shows is ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." With an army of builders, contractors, interior decorators and volunteers, the "Extreme Makeover" team sweep into neighborhoods across the country and renovate the home of a family in need. The families selected for the shows, usually have heart-wrenching stories of their everyday (6 comments)
Best Cities to Invest in a Home - 07/30/08 09:22 AM
While I have called Chicago my home for the past 10 years, I grew up in the "Lou," or better known as St. Louis by outsiders. So with my allegiance split between the two cities (sorry Redbirds, I'm an official Cubs fan now), it put a smile on my face to see that St. Louis ranked No. 3 on Forbes.com's 2008 "10 Best Cities to Buy a Home" list. Home sweet homeWhen I was growing up, St. Louis's downtown area comprised of large sections of abandoned buildings and run-down neighborhoods. Racial tension and economic strife over the past two decades contributed (4 comments)
Famous Jazz Musician's Home Saved from Foreclosure - 07/29/08 08:47 AM
While the recently passed housing-rescue bill will bring some much needed aid to some 400,000 cash-strapped homeowners struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments, the legislation may be too little too late for many others. That is, unless you're a famous jazz vocalist with some prominent friends willing to lend a helping hand. The Associated Press reports that, "Jazz vocalist Ernestine Anderson's home has been saved from foreclosure - for now, thanks, in part, to music legend Quincy Jones and contemporary jazz artist Diane Schuur. More than $43,000 poured in - including donations from Jones and Schuur - after recent news (2 comments)
Foreclosure Activity Still Soaring - 07/28/08 09:20 AM
As Congress finally passed its landmark housing-rescue package over the weekend, which aims to help some 400,000 strapped homeowners from losing their homes, foreclosure filings across the country continued to pile up. During the second quarter of this year, 739,714 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice, or one in every 171 U.S. households, according to RealtyTrac, which gauges the foreclosure market. The number of foreclosures jumped 14 percent from the first quarter of 2008 and a whopping 121 percent - more than double - compared to the same three-month period last year. According to RealtyTrac's Q2 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market (3 comments)
Home sales continued their downward slide in June, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors. The real estate trade group's latest report indicated a 2.6 percent drop in home sales last month. The continued decline has also depressed home prices, bringing the median price last month down by 6.1 percent to $215,100 from $229,000 a year ago. The median new-home price is expected to decline 3.2 percent to $239,300 this year and then rise 5.3 percent in 2009 to $251,900, according to NAR. NAR President Richard F. Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists (2 comments)
House Passes Housing Bill - 07/24/08 09:08 AM
While it wouldn't be the first time President George Bush backpedaled on his position on a hotly contested political issue, Democrats in Congress this time around are welcoming his change of heart. The Associated Press reported that "President Bush dropped his opposition Wednesday to legislation aiming to calm the chaotic housing market despite his objections to a $3.9 billion provision." Bush's decision helped speed the bill through passage in the House on Wednesday. After months of threatening a veto, on Wednesday President George Bush surprised fellow Republicans with his announcement in support of the housing rescue bill. Under the bill, the (0 comments)
About a month ago, fellow Homescape blogger Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, wrote a great post alerting our readers about real estate and apartment scams on Craigslist.org, the popular classified advertising Web site. While the Internet can be an easy breeding ground for scammers, law officials across the country have started to aggressively seek out these online criminals. Busted New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced last Thursday that an undercover investigation found a New York City company acting as an apartment broker used bait-and-switch schemes on Craigslist to bilk 4,000 New Yorkers out of nearly $1 million dollars. The investigation led (2 comments)
Single and House Hunting - 07/22/08 09:13 AM
ladies from Sex in the City may have found love, budding careers and chic abodes in the Big Apple, but if you're single and over 30, check out CNNMoney.com's top 25 cities to live and possibly find your soul mate. Move over New York, Massachusetts topped the list with three of the top five cities for singles. Here are the top 5 urban enclaves for singles: This 2-bed, 1-bath Hoboken, NJ, condo is completely rehabbed with Kohler fixtures and hardwood floors. The unit is listed at $369,00. 1. Hoboken, NJ: · Happening bar scene · Just minutes from New York City (10 comments)
Most Walkable Places to Live - 07/21/08 09:38 AM
Walk Score, a relatively new civic-minded Web site, recently ranked 2,508 neighborhoods in the largest 40 U.S. cities to help people find the most walkable places to live. Walk Score helps you calculate the "walkability" of a certain address. A score of 90 to 100 is considered a Walkers' Paradise, where many folks can get by without a car and run most errands on foot. A score of zero to 24 is a Driving Only area, which means you'll need to walk from your front door to your car, because virtually no neighborhood destinations are within walking range. In many ways, (6 comments)
Home Listing Photos: Quanity vs. Quality - 07/17/08 09:10 AM
I spend a good amount of my day looking at various photos of homes listed on Homescape.com. From luxury abodes to foreclosed properties, what I've determined is that some agents just don't get it when it comes to marketing their client's properties. One of the most important tool an agent can use to market a home, are the photos. The old adage of "A picture speaks a thousand words," couldn't be more true when selling your home. But in some cases it doesn't say much if you don't use the right pics. I recently came across a great article on Inman (18 comments)
Best Small Cities to Live in 2008 - 07/16/08 09:18 AM
From affordable housing to low crime rates, great job diversity and the best schools in the nation, CNNMoney.com recently ranked the top 100 small cities to live in 2008. You won't be finding big name metropolises like New York and Chicago on this best-of list. The news site analyzed the nation's cities with populations of 50,000 to 300,000 for their report. Here was CNNMoney.com's top 5 picks: This 5-bed, 2-bath Plymouth, MN home boasts a heated swimming pool and a lush landscaped backyard. The home is listed for $399,900. 1. Plymouth, MN: · Population: 70,000 · Pros: Top three school districts (3 comments)
Government Bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - 07/15/08 09:36 AM
With their hands on about 50 percent of all mortgages in the United States at an estimated $5 trillion, lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a huge impact on swinging the housing pendulum. The Federal National Mortgage Association, nicknamed Fannie Mae, and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or Freddie Mac, were created by Congress decades ago to provide a steady stream of money for home mortgages. Impact on first-time homebuyers If you already have a mortgage and don't need a new one and don't own shares in Fannie or Freddie, then recent news of a government bailout of (5 comments)
Population Growth in New Orleans - 07/14/08 10:18 AM
Looks like good times are coming back to the Big Easy. New Orleans, devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, was the fastest-growing large city in the nation between July 2006 and July 2007, according to a new report released by the U.S. Census Bureau. This follows the city having the largest rate of population loss since 2000. Tourist and locals alike pack the streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Experts are crediting growth in the South to relatively strong local economies and housing prices that are among the most affordable in the United States. Although New Orleans is no boom (3 comments)
RealtyTrac, an online company that tracks foreclosure filings, default notices, bank repossessions and auction sale notices nationwide, recently reported a 3 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from May to June. But the recent findings might not yet be a sign of a market turnaround. Nationwide, 252,363 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice in June, up 53 percent from the same month in 2007. 3 states lead the packForeclosure filings increased from a year earlier in all but 11 states. Despite slight monthly decreases in foreclosure activity, Nevada, California and Arizona continued to document the three highest state foreclosure rates (0 comments)
A recent report published by Altos Research, which measures current real estate data in major markets around the country, shows that Las Vegas is the weakest U.S. housing market, with real estate prices down 3.6 percent in June. Denver's housing market showed the strongest growth among major metropolitan areas, enjoying a price increase during June. Altos's Real-Time Market report examines housing pricing, inventory levels and market conditions in 31 major U.S. metropolitan statistical areas: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San (3 comments)
New Fed Rules to Protect Future Home Buyers - 07/09/08 09:07 AM
It looks like big papa Ben Bernanke is ready to put the lending industry in the time-out corner. According to an Associated Press report, "in an effort to prevent a repeat of the current mortgage mess, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday that the Fed will next week issue new rules aimed at protecting future homebuyers from dubious lending practices." U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke In addition to the new rules, the Fed may give Wall Street firms more time to tap the central bank's emergency loan program, Bernanke said. The Fed's helping hand is part of (7 comments)
Top Cities for Retirees to Buy a Home - 07/08/08 11:09 AM
Fortune magazine recently named six cities where real estate deals are looking attractive for financial-savvy retirees. With inventory high and prices continuing to plunge, active adults looking for their retirement dream home may be in luck in finding discount deals that didn't exist during the housing boom of yesteryear. Sun-filled cities like Miami, Phoenix and Las Vegas, which cashed in during the boom, are now experiencing the biggest home price declines in the nation. Here's a snap shot of three most promising cities that made Fortune's list: This spacious 1,245 square-feet, 2-bed, 2-bath condo unit in Sunny Isles Beach, FL is (5 comments)
Manhattan Feels the Housing Crunch - 07/07/08 09:00 AM
When I attended a real estate conference earlier this year in New York City, I remember many industry experts and local Realtors talking about how the Big Apple had weathered the storm after the housing bubble burst. At the time, some said Manhattan's high-priced dwellings made it difficult for unqualified buyers to enter the exclusive market, which helped insulate them from the subprime meltdown. But now, nearly six months later, it appears that not even N.Y. is immune from catching the cold that has the rest of the nation's housing market bedridden. The Inman news service recently reported that real estate (0 comments)
Best Cities to Build Wealth and Raise a Family - 07/03/08 09:32 AM
When I graduated college, many of my friends packed up a moving van and headed to big cities. From New York City to Los Angeles to Washington, DC, they crammed into their tiny new apartments and started their post-collegiate careers. Now six years later, and a few job changes along the way, many of them are once again heading cross country. But this time around, with their significant others in tow, they're on a search for the white-picket-fence wonderland. While there's something to be said about living in a bustling metropolis (great bars and always something to do), the cost of (5 comments)
Historic Homes for the Golden-Age Aficionados - 07/02/08 09:33 AM
I'm a throwback kind of gal, and nothing tickles my fancy more than visiting gorgeous historic homes. From an elaborately ornamental Queen Anne to a classic Greek Revival, golden-age architecture boasts features that are intricate, bold and elegant. With some assistance from the historic-housing experts at PreservationDirectory.com, the editors from This Old House magazine set off looking for the best old-house neighborhoods in America. The editor's criteria for choosing their top 12 picks were architectural diversity, the craftsmanship of the homes and the preservation momentum in the area. The editors also looked for neighborhoods that featured amenities such as walkability, services (1 comments)
Florida Woman Puts House, Love Life on the Market - 07/01/08 08:51 AM
This 2,000 square-foot-West Palm Beach property comes with a single, tall, blonde woman looking for love. I've seen a lot of crazy marketing gimmicks this year when it comes to desperate home sellers trying to unload their properties. One man in Wisconsin offered the title to his $500,000 life insurance plan, while a California developer offered a free home with the purchase of one his luxury abodes. But I will have to say Deven Trabosh's ad on Craigslist and eBay tops them all. Deven Trabosh is a 42-year-old single mother who is looking to sell her home and meet the (6 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.