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Housing Weekly Review

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We bring you the best and most informative housing news every week. Whether we found new home purchase programs,  home improvement tips,  market trends, great mortgage advice or useful stories, you can find them all here. We update our housing round up every week so come back regularly.

Top Housing News – Week of January 9, 2012


Fannie Mae Chief Executive Michael Williams will resign from his post.

Congress scrutinized the executive-compensation packages of the GSE heads in a November hearing, during which Williams and Haldeman testified. Haldeman said salaries must remain competitive with the private sector, and Williams said he lost five senior vice presidents in three years to higher paying jobs.

Time running out for homeowners to do short sales without tax penalty.

But on Jan. 1, 2013, the rules change, if a house sold $50,000 short of what is owed on the mortgage, the selling homeowners will owe federal income taxes on that $50,000. Homeowners would owe $12,500 if they’re in the 25 percent bracket; $7,500 if in the 15 percent tax section.

Short sale fits the bill for first-time homebuyer with patience.

Short sales are complicated because the final price must be approved by the both the home seller and the seller’s lender. So short sales require extra time to move from an offer to a settlement — sometimes as long as six to nine months.

Allstate plans to raise Illinois homeowners’ insurance rates by 4 percent to 10 percent.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, 2011 insured catastrophe losses in the United States totaled $35.9 billion — above the 2000 to 2010 average loss of $23.8 billion (in 2011 dollars). Events included an active thunderstorm season, with insured losses exceeding $25 billion.

Big Banks Steer Homeowners Into More Expensive Insurance.

Let’s say you’re a homeowner facing tough times. You’re starting to fall behind on your home insurance payments, but then, your bank steps in and buys an insurance policy on your behalf. Good news, right? Not if your bank steers you into a policy that’s 10 times more expensive than your previous one.

Could Leaving one partner off the mortgage be devastating?

In some cases leaving one person off the mortgage make sense, but still dangerous, particularly if you’re not married. Laws about property ownership and debt responsibility vary by state. In many cases, both can be on the deed even if only one is on the (mortgage) note. However, the one on the note is responsible.

Major insurance firms dumping NC homeowners if they don’t bundle coverage!!!

Allstate, which insures 400,000 households in North Carolina, recently decided to drop 46,000 homeowner insurance plans. the decision is about money. Homeowners insurance has become less profitable to sell. In North Carolina, floods, hail, hurricanes, and tornadoes have hit the insurance industry hard.

2012: For banks, the year of fear and litigation, and a chance for peace.

While recent employment figures are encouraging, no true economic recovery can occur until the housing market improves; yet such a rebound is intertwined with the financial health of the banks and the strength of the housing market in profound ways.

Can a foreclosure judge force a bank to give a homeowner a loan modification?”

Most courts will order the lender to go to mediation and make a good-faith effort to resolve their differences. However, the results of the mediation are voluntary and confidential, the judge can force a party to participate in the mediation, but they can’t force the parties to agree to anything.

Tips to show buyers the true potential of your home.

Have you noticed how brown it is out there? Winter can be a very depressing time. The bloom has left gardens and yards and we can only wait for Spring. How can you make your home appealing even during this dull and dreary season?

Top Housing News – Week of January 2, 2012


In a hurting market, first-time homebuyers depend on parents to secure a home.

With New Jersey tops in the nation for the highest average home down payment, the expiration of last year’s homebuyer tax credits, tighter lending standards and low employment, it’s no wonder why approximately one in five baby boomers have gifted money or co-signed a loan for their child under the age of 34 or grandchild’s down payment on a home.

NAR reported pending home sales rose to highest level in more than a year and a half.

Pent-up demand appeared to be a factor in the increase. Buyers who recommitted to a purchase after running into problems on their initial purchase offer also played a role. Also the sustained rise in contract activity suggests that closed existing-home sales should continue to improve in the months ahead.

Advocates say it’s a mix bag for homeowners & message won’t reach wide audience

“If you faced foreclosure in 2009 or 2010, the government may have good news for you,” reads new advertisements, but is still excluding a huge number of borrowers who don’t speak english or spanish and the original list of where the ads are being placed is very narrow.

Homebuyer Survey Contains Valuable Information for Real Estate Agents and Sellers

One of the most useful research projects of the NAR is the annual survey of homebuyers and sellers. The information is based on answers to a questionnaire mailed to 80,099 consumers who purchased a home between July 2010 and June 2011.

Changes to be implemented in the Affordable Housing Industry for the up coming year.

Funds currently held in project residual receipts accounts will be used to reduce assistance payments; HUD will limit all Option 4 contract renewals and annual rent adjustments to operating cost adjustment factor (OCAF) increases if proposed rents exceed market rents; and HUD will require all rent comparability studies to justify proposed rents that exceed 110 percent of small area fair market rents (SAFMR)

6 New Year’s goals and objectives that every homeowner should set-out to do!

Find out why these 6 reasons can benefit you; make extra mortgage payments, pay off a second mortgage, refinance your mortgage, fight your property tax assessment, Score homeowners insurance discounts and make your mortgage payments on time.

David J. Stern country’s best-known foreclosure lawyer is being sued for fraud.

He inflated revenue by systematically “cutting corners” in the foreclosure process, including letting workers sign foreclosure documents without reading them, known as “robo-signing,” submitting false or backdated documents to courts and “extravagant gifts” to those could churn out foreclosures quickly.

Put these 4 season Home Improvements on your 2012 calendar

A few examples of what you can do, winter, install foam gaskets behind electrical outlets and switches to reduce air leakage. Summer, check your hot water tank. If it’s warm to the touch, it might need some extra insulation. Fall, insulate your hot water pipes to reduce heat loss.

Why is the home construction index up despite negativity surrounding housing market?

Foreclosures means no upkeep of the home. There is theft and vandalism and reports of appliances missing, cables and fixtures taken when evicted person leaves, and carpets destroyed. When people purchase these homes the first thing they do is fix them up, either to live in or rent out.

Good or bad? USA Today reports donations of homes have increased greatly in last year

“We’d rather see the land banks of the country and the Habitats given the properties than to see them lie fallow, but we can’t help but wonder what kinds of tax breaks are going to the donating banks?”

Thanks for reading, hope we are helping!