southern highlands: Freddie Mac to auction REO homes in Vegas in late April - Be there - 04/13/10 10:15 AM
Mortgage money remains affordable, prices are way low in Southern Nevada - with subdivisions like Rhodes Ranch, Southern Highlands, Silverstone Ranch, Charleston Heights, Silverado Ranch and Mountains Edge - and Washington is sweetening the pot with an up to $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit. What more can a rookie home buyer expect? Well, there is more. Now Freddie Mac brings its multi-car auction train to Las Vegas with a passion.  
Freddie Mac has a HomeSteps unit that markets and sells its REOs, or real estate owned, across the country. In this exhausting housing downturn it has been increasingly … (4 comments)

southern highlands: Will mortgage rates head higher soon? A tough one - 03/18/10 10:23 AM
The real estate market has been meandering along with little purpose for a long time, trying urgently to locate firm ground anywhere from which to launch something resembling a rebound. That it is in a position like this at all it can thank the government for. Despite what the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have done, the Fed has easily been the main dynamo supplying badly needed liquidity to the secondary mortgage market, where it has been actively buying MBS, or mortgage-backed securities. It quickly and prudently filled in the void left by the private investor when the housing sector¬†dramatically … (14 comments)

southern highlands: Las Vegas mortgage borrowers get federal attention - 02/19/10 03:18 PM
The current mortgage and housing meltdown has been particularly brutal to property owners here in Southern Nevada, home to communities like Henderson, Silverstone Ranch, Anthem, Summerlin, Southern Highlands and Mountains Edge. Nevada has held the lead in most foreclosures by any state for months and that statistic is heavily influenced by Las Vegas valley, the most populous area in the state. Many of those who are still in their homes are often in some stage of the foreclosures process, trying to do a loan modification or have started a short sale campaign. Scores of others are hanging in there, but are … (4 comments)

southern highlands: Las Vegas real estate statistics weaker in January - 02/09/10 01:54 PM
Southern Nevada - including Summerlin, Rhodes Ranch, Anthem, Southern Highlands, Mountains Edge and Spanish Trail - housing market has shown some stability over the last several months, essentially all through last fall and in December. The important numbers cautiously moved in the right direction, or at least didn't get much worse. Appealing mortgage rates continue to excite buyers, as do enticing prices especially in the lower half of the Las Vegas real estate spectrum. The new year started a little bit on an iffy note, though.
There were 2,608 existing single-family homes sold in January, 864 less than in December, adding … (6 comments)

southern highlands: Las Vegas new home prices slide more - 01/01/10 09:11 AM
Southern Nevada resale housing market - covering subdivisions in Summerlin, Henderson, Southern Highlands, Anthem, Silverstone Ranch, Rhodes Ranch and Green Valley - has proved in the past several months that it does have a pulse. Motivated by affordable mortgage money, shamelessly low prices and eye-catching tax incentives people - mostly first-time buyers and real estate investors that is - have waltzed into the market to stir the pot. Homes are moving rather well specifically in the lower end of it, pricewise from roughly the $200,000 mark on down.
Las Vegas new home segment, however, has been nonchalantly elbowed to the sideline … (8 comments)

southern highlands: Real estate jam helps cure marital troubles - 12/21/09 03:06 PM
The housing market is a mess. The home loan industry is limping along. The economy is on an IV drip. Bernanke makes Time magazine's Man of the Year. Tiger, well, nuff said.
But there are also some goods news sprinkled in somewhere there. Here's one.
The real estate meltdown is now credited with bringing down the U.S. divorce rate. That's right. The National Marriage Project just reported that last year this important statistic dropped 4%. See, couples on the ropes in the past used to quarrel over who gets to stay in the house and how to split the accumulated equity. … (13 comments)

southern highlands: Las Vegas mortgages over $1 million now in default wringer - 12/19/09 03:16 PM
Early on after the real estate bubble burst the home loans that went bad were largely subprime and the general feeling then was that the defaults would pretty much stay in this particular segment. Lo and behold, slowly the Alt-A type of mortgage, once thought to be on really solid footing, started feeling the heat, too. The avalanche didn't stop there either. Defaults are now hitting the luxury homes that were supposed to somehow bypass the wrath of the mortgage gods, at least that's what many industry observers believed.
Mortgage payments on roughly 12% of loans over $1 million nationwide were … (8 comments)

southern highlands: Home loan defaults caused largely by negative equity - mortgages in Las Vegas in the forefront - 12/14/09 03:04 PM
Mortgage and real estate market aficionados continue to debate how to fix this bone-chilling mess. While the back and forth is going on the government has taken a leading role in actually doing something. It had to act because the private sector - let's call it Wall Street - ran itself to ground, effectively scuttling the chance it could be of any help. Despite plenty of initiatives to stem mortgage foreclosures Washington has had limited success, however, in turning things around.
It seems that identifying the real problem has been botched, to put it bluntly.
So argues a seasoned MBS, or … (5 comments)

southern highlands: Home loan payment obligation losing clout - Las Vegas mortgage borrowers change priorities - 12/12/09 02:45 PM
A new twist is emerging in the ongoing real estate overload. There have been a few of them already as mortgage borrowers wrestle with all sorts of challenges that can put their home ownership in jeopardy. This probably won't be the last one, either. Times are rather unusual and fragile not only in the housing market, but also in the beat-up financial industry and the entire economy.
Historically mortgage payment has ranked as the number one priority for consumers, to be made before any other financial obligation. It assures that the roof over the head of one's family stays there, an … (14 comments)

southern highlands: Southern Highlands, Las Vegas, mortgage borrowers could get a break via FDIC proposal - 12/05/09 02:18 PM
The agonizing mortgage and housing downturn has brought FDIC to the forefront of efforts to keep the financial system from being sucked into a dark, unpleasant place. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. takes over failed banks and then allows other healthier financial institutions to acquire the wrecks. So far this year it has shuttered 124 banks, absorbing losses in the billions.
Mortgage portfolios have played a large role in the total assets FDIC then offers up for acquisition. Typically when a bank purchases assets it also signs a loss-sharing contract with FDIC. In this current recession they generally have agreed to … (6 comments)

southern highlands: Las Vegas real estate appeals to investors - 12/03/09 03:46 PM
Southern Nevada - including communities like Anthem, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Mountains Edge, Summerlin, Southern Highlands, Green Valley and Rhodes Ranch - housing market has become one of the favorite playing grounds for scores of investors. And for a good reason. Las Vegas property values have nose-dived to roughly the levels seen here about ten years ago, a time when they were deservedly called affordable. Now, as was the case then, a nice single-family, 3-bedroom house in a solid neighborhood can be bought for under $150,000.
This Las Vegas housing drift has definitely drawn the attention of real estate investors from … (6 comments)

southern highlands: FHA seeks operational change - Las Vegas mortgage applicants could benefit - 12/01/09 08:43 AM
The current housing market turmoil has delivered the conventional home loan sector a hard uppercut on the chin, sending it reeling, which left a huge void in its wake. This gave FHA, rather dormant home loan insurer in recent years, an opening to regain some its past luster and it has steadily gained market share ever since. Its low down payment requirement and more lenient underwriting criteria have allowed many of today's mortgage borrowers achieve home ownership. Many well-meaning industry observers have also dubbed FHA the new subprime lender.
FHA has run into trouble of late, though, like who hasn't, due … (2 comments)

southern highlands: Las Vegas mortgage borrowers in distress to gain from Operation Stolen Hope - 11/27/09 05:26 AM
When the Southern Nevada - including Southern Highlands, Summerlin, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Anthem, Mountains Edge and Green Valley - housing market tripped into a free fall it was a foregone conclusion on many lips that scam artists would soon surface to try take advantage of the situation. And have they ever. What the local media has reported on the magnitude of the issue is undoubtedly only a tip of the iceberg. This, of course, isn't only a Las Vegas problem either, it covers the whole nation.
The scam artists generally employ a few basic practices that have all too often … (4 comments)

southern highlands: Las Vegas luxury condo market warming up for new day - mortgage money still scarce - 11/22/09 09:38 AM
Southern Nevada - with communities of Mountains Edge, Summerlin, Henderson, Southern Highlands, North Las Vegas, Anthem and Green Valley - condominium segment bubbled up a little later than the single-family side, but its slide became equally devastating once it hit the slope down. Mortgage financing dried suddenly up, oversupply was horrendous and the mauled global economy forced many would-be buyers to the sidelines. The usual menu that real estate disasters are made of.
Now, though, things are cautiously looking up for the Las Vegas high-rise condo market. Sales in the third quarter climbed a decent 7%, as was reported by SalesTraq, … (6 comments)

southern highlands: Expanded tax credit enticing - Henderson mortgage applicants be advised - 11/19/09 04:05 PM
The drama is over for Las Vegas valley's - including Summerlin, Southern Highlands, Green Valley, North Las Vegas, Anthem and Mountain's Edge - residents. The first-time home buyer tax credit has been extended because many considered it a strong demand booster for the ailing housing market and more of the same is needed at least for the time being. In fact, it was expanded to include the move-up buyer as well, a factor that should further power the demand side. Let's look at a few of the more appealing aspects a move-up buyer can enjoy with the up to $6,500 tax … (2 comments)

southern highlands: Mortgage lenders rated lower by loan applicants - 11/17/09 09:45 AM
The housing debacle in Las Vegas and throughout the country is testing consumers' patience in a major way. Real estate values have eroded without mercy in many areas, to the tune of double digit percentages. Some Southern Nevada - featuring Summerlin, Mountains Edge, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Pahrump, Southern Highlands and Anthem - communities have seen drops in the 50 to 60% range. Many homeowners here and elsewhere, as a result of that, find themselves underwater, meaning the underlying mortgage is higher than the property's value. The foreclosure epidemic hasn't let up yet, either. There really isn't much to write home … (4 comments)

southern highlands: Mortgage lender "walkaways" the latest scheme - Las Vegas mortgage borrowers take note - 11/12/09 02:59 PM
The real estate meltdown that continues to churn on has already seen some vein-popping scenarios concocted by many mortgage banks seeking to take advantage of homeowners facing foreclosure. And new ones keep surfacing. One of the latest creations could be called a home loan provider "walkaway", because that's what it really looks like.
When a mortgage lender executes a foreclosure the normal route is to take possession of the property in question and then decide what to do next. Now many of them have begun leaving the property in the former homeowner's name after the foreclosure, basically the exact opposite of … (6 comments)

southern highlands: Southern Highlands - Las Vegas NV - mortgage recipients have new foreclosure defense weapon - 11/07/09 02:25 PM
Southern Nevada - with communities of Henderson, Anthem, Summerlin, Green Valley, Silverado Ranch and Mountains Edge - is in the very eye of the tornado when it comes to real estate markets sucked into its furious spin. Home loan foreclosures here are now as commonly talked about as the weather. Many homeowners have given up on trying to hang on to their properties while some are tenaciously seeking solutions to stay on. The latter have several avenues to explore, either directly through their mortgage lenders or then with assistance from a legal counsel.
Now they have a new weapon to deploy. … (4 comments)

southern highlands: Home loan modifications turn creative - Las Vegas mortgage borrowers could benefit - 11/05/09 12:22 PM
Mortgage lenders and servicers have generally been going at a snail's pace, or slower, in modifying homeowners' loans. Many applications to do so have been actually declined for a variety of reasons. Some borrowers have just plain given up on the process due to all the hoops they have to jump through and still not get anything meaningful done. And all the well-meaning government programs introduced so far have produced at best mixed results.
A major mortgage provider, Wells Fargo, is doing something different now. It is taking the lead in home loan mods by taking in the so called Pick-A-Pay … (10 comments)

southern highlands: Las Vegas mortgage defaults increasingly strategic - mortgage walkaways rise among wealthy - 11/03/09 09:12 AM
The real estate market has been cruel, to be perfectly honest, to homeowners across the country. Housing values in many cities and regions have dropped so far and fast that it's sometimes hard to keep track of it all. Much less understand how the utter devastation is possible. But that is the cold reality every homeowner is faced with today.
Southern Nevada - with communities like Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson, Southern Highlands, Anthem, Green Valley and Mountains Edge - has absorbed some of the most severe blows of them all to its real estate prices. In the same boat are at … (8 comments)

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