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The headlines say that home prices are down 6.7 percent from a year earlier. It's important to recognize that this is a national figure. "National" has nothing to do with real estate. Real estate is local. The chart above is from the latest S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index and -- averaged out -- shows that home prices are declining nationwide. Some areas are showing growth (or flatness): CharlotteDallasPortlandSeattle And, in every town included in the survey, there are neighborhoods that are faring quite well, despite an overall sluggishness. Real estate prices are local. Street by street even. National surveys like the S&P/Case-Shiller (1 comments)
Holiday Spending APPEARS To Be Lower, But It Isn't Really Lower - 12/26/07 04:19 PM
During the Holiday Season, economists watch consumer spending intently because it makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy. When spending is stronger-than-expected, it can lead to inflation which pushes mortgage rates higher. So far this season, mortgage shoppers should be in good spirits. Sales have fallen four weeks in a row and the outlook for a late-December rally are bleak. But there's more to the story than the headline, though. When store report "sales" data, they don't report gift card sales. Gift cards are only accounted for when they are redeemed for actual store merchandise. So, with gift card sales projected to reach (0 comments)
How Congress Is Providing Tax Relief To Foreclosed Homeowners - 12/21/07 09:37 AM
After Thursday's passage of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, foreclosed homeowners have one less worry: taxes. When a homeowner defaults on a home loan, a mortgage lender will sometimes "forgive" the debt owed. One example is when a foreclosed home sells for less money than is owed on it. The mortgage lender will sometimes accept this lesser amount, while considering the mortgage to be "paid in full". This is often called a "short sale" because the lender is "short" of the full amount owed. Prior to Thursday, the IRS treated the forgiven mortgage debt as taxable (1 comments)
For Some Homeowners, PMI Is Tax-Deductible Through 2010 - 12/20/07 08:01 AM
The resurgence of private mortgage insurance continues -- if only because it's aided by Congress. For eligible homeowners, lawmakers voted to extend the tax-deductibility of PMI through 2010. The law was previously scheduled to expire at the end of 2007. For all loans originated prior to December 31, 2010, and within those years, private mortgage insurance is 100% tax-deductible provided that two tests are met: The homeowner's household income is $100,000 or less in the calendar year The home loan is for a primary or secondary residence For households earning more than $100,000, the deduction is phased out to the tune of (2 comments)
You've Been Pre-Approved - Now get RE-Approved! - 12/19/07 10:20 PM
Even if you've been recently pre-qualified (or pre-approved) for a mortgage, it may be prudent to get "re-approved". The mortgage industry is changing quickly; being prepared beats the alternative. Recently, mortgage lenders have made adjustments in what they will lend, and to whom. This shrinks the pool of eligible mortgage borrowers. Some of these guideline changes include: Low or no downpayment loans may require more income and/or assetsNo income verification (i.e. stated) loans may not be availableHigher credit scores may be necessary to qualify In addition to tighter guidelines, many mortgage lenders are now required to pass higher fees and/or (9 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.