If I’ve learned anything from this site over the years, it’s that homeowners’ associations are evil and to be avoided. Sometimes you don’t have a choice, though: the home of your dreams or basic neighborhood amenities require it. And sometimes, as one Kentucky woman discovered, not joining the HOA means you can lose your house. [More]
File this one under “H” in the How Can This Possibly Have Happened files: For about the same price you’d pay for a value meal at a fast food joint, a Pennsylvania widow lost her house. This, because she failed to pay $6.30 in interest on that $280,000 home. She’s getting another chance to argue that she should keep her home, however. [More]
There’s no doubt that millions of homeowners were the victims of shady foreclosure practices at the country’s biggest banks when the recession hit. So many of those people were likely hoping for a positive resolution to their woes when the government said it was going to figure out how to compensate homeowners with its Independent Foreclosure Review, an investigation into banks’ mistakes in servicing mortgages. But after waiting years for an answer, about three million eligible borrowers will only be seeing checks for between $300 and $500. [More]
Another day, another business hit over the head with a multi-million settlement over faulty foreclosure practices. We’ve already seen big retail banks and heavy-hitting investment banks pay the price for robo-signing foreclosures and engaging in other suspect loan servicing activities and now Florida-based business Lender Processing Services will be paying $120 million to 46 states to settle similar allegations. [More]
While one major problem facing many homeowners is dealing with insurance claims in the aftermath of Superstorm/Hurricane Sandy, there’s another long-term issue causing trouble for people whose homes have been damaged by the natural disaster — simply paying the mortgage. Relief is in sight for some borrowers as government agencies and other major lenders begin implementing programs to offer breaks on mortgage payments, among other forms of assistance. [More]
By the time it becomes obvious that a tree in your yard is dying, it may be too late to save it. In order to avoid a costly, time-consuming removal project, it’s helpful to monitor your trees for signs that they’re embarking on a death spiral. [More]
Some homeowners are convinced that they need more space, and glance through their walls with visions of new rooms dancing in their heads. The trigger-happy subset of these folks jumps into these projects with abandon, certain that the addition will “pay for itself” by upping the value of the home. But in a housing market like this, such assumptions can be faulty. [More]
Unless you’re in the habit of strolling through your basement hourly, you probably wouldn’t be able to catch a water leak until it’s already significantly damaged your flooring. A way to stay on top of any problems is to install a water sensor. [More]
Reader S finally got his homeowner’s insurance company to pay up for the rebuilding of the glass railings around his condo, thanks to a well-crafted and scary letter he wrote them. Here is his story, and his ass-kicking letter. [More]
An Iowa homeowner was surprised when he looked at his house and half the siding on it was gone, leaving an exposed underbelly of bare white plastic. No other nearby houses were affected. Had a highly localized tornado swept through and targeted just the side of his house? Nope. A local contractor got the address wrong and taken the siding off the wrong abode. The timing was pretty poor, too, as the homeowner had just put it up for sale. And because of insurance bureaucracy, it may be a while before the siding goes back up. [More]
Now we finally understand the secrets of the pharoahs: a bunch of angry people in Stony Ridge, Ohio have sealed up a home with the homeowner inside, with his permission, leaving only a golf ball-sized hole in the front door. The man, Keith Sadler, says he fell behind last year after paying on his mortgage for 12 years, and that his bank promised to work with him but instead proceeded with foreclosure. [More]
Terry Hoskins, the guy in Ohio who bulldozed his home earlier this month to prevent it from being taken back and auctioned off by his bank, is now the subject of a song. Someone else made t-shirts and caps–they feature a bright yellow bulldozer and the words, “Take ‘Er Down”–that are being sold to raise money for him. WLWT says Hoskins didn’t break any laws by dozing the home, but as he puts it, “I still have a mortgage of ($160,000). I still (have) to pay that.” [More]
A man in Ohio grew so angry at his bank for refusing to work with him to keep his home that he bulldozed it. He told WLWT News, “As far as what the bank is going to get, I plan on giving them back what was on this hill exactly (as) it was. I brought it out of the ground and I plan on putting it back in the ground.” [More]
Are you hitting that stage in life where you’re thinking of becoming a homeowner? Morningstar has published two home buying articles that together offer some good, concise advice to the prospective buyer, especially if you’re a first-timer.
Here’s an interesting discovery about mortgage defaults from the LA Times:
A city in Florida has just warned its residents of a weird scam: someone’s been hanging pink notices on doors around town that say, “Due to the water quality in this area, we will be installing whole-house water treatment systems.” You’re supposed to fill out the back of the notice and leave it out for further contact. Remember, don’t let anyone remodel your home on behalf of the city. It probably goes without saying, but still.
The New York Times says a white roof on your house “can cost as little as 15 percent more than its dark counterpart” yet “reduce air-conditioning costs by 20 percent or more in hot, sunny weather.” This is because, scientifically speaking, the color white hates the stupid sun and won’t have anything to do with it.