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Supreme Court Sides With Homeowner: Just Because It Floats Doesn’t Mean It’s A Boat

It’s always fun when judges get a bit creative in how they phrase decisions, and in the case of a fight over whether a floating home counts as a boat, and would therefore be regulated under federal admiralty laws, the U.S. Supreme Court got pretty sassy. The court sided with the owner of a floating home, saying just because it floats, doesn’t make it a boat.  [More]

Texan Refuses To Evacuate Home Close To Wildfire

Texan Refuses To Evacuate Home Close To Wildfire

When authorities advise you to abandon your home to flee an oncoming natural disaster, things tend to not work out so well if you stick around. But a defiant Texas man is taking his chances, standing pat at his house even though a raging wildfire is encroaching on his property. [More]

Man Who Torched Car To Save Home Ends Up In Court

Man Who Torched Car To Save Home Ends Up In Court

A Utah man had a bold plan, which we told you about last year. His house was going into foreclosure unless he could come up with $21,638.02 to pay HSBC. So he announced to the world that he would burn his car and post the video online in exchange for donations. He raised about $15,000 and even sold $1,200 worth of advertising on the side of the car. He tried to work with local fire departments to get them to let him burn the car, to no avail. So he did it on public land and now he’s in court and getting fined, reports KSL. [More]

House Prices Sink To Lowest Level Since 2002

House Prices Sink To Lowest Level Since 2002

House prices are dropping like game-winning Derrick Williams and-ones, reportedly now sinking in February to an average of $156,100, the lowest point since 2002. [More]

Detroit Mayor Offers $1,000 Homes To Cops, Firemen

Detroit Mayor Offers $1,000 Homes To Cops, Firemen

In a bold offer that speaks volumes about Detroit’s housing market as well as its state of public safety, the city’s mayor has offered to provide homes for as little as $1,000 to police and firefighters. [More]

Whopping 11% Of US Homes Are Empty

Whopping 11% Of US Homes Are Empty

The vacancy sign is blazing over house divisions across the US. About 1 in 10 houses in America have no one living inside them, according to new data from the Census, CNBC reports. (Update: while technically correct, this number includes other kinds of properties like abandoned farm house. The more typically used number, the home-vacancy rate, is 2.7%, up from 2.5% the previous quarter). [More]

Developers Spiking Homeowner Contracts With Hidden Resale Fee Covenants

Developers Spiking Homeowner Contracts With Hidden Resale Fee Covenants

Last April, Techdirt pointed out that a financial firm in Texas was trying to attach “private transfer fees” to homes, so that developers would get a little bit of each sale as it passed among owners in the years to come. It sounded crazy then–imagine having to pay royalties on clothes or furniture whenever you resold them–but the firm is aggressively expanding its plan and has signed up more than 5,000 developers across the country, reports the New York Times. If you buy a new house in the next decade, look for a “resale fee” covenant hidden in a separate document that might not be included in your closing papers or even require a signature. [More]

Couple Says Real Estate Agent Used Their Home For Sex

Couple Says Real Estate Agent Used Their Home For Sex

Earlier this month, a couple in Minnesota filed a lawsuit against a local Coldwell Banker franchise and a real estate agent the company employed, alleging that the agent used the home for sexcapades while they were out of town, ruining their furniture, bedding and carpet. Neighbors say he showed up one day with an unidentified man and said they were going to be preparing the home for an open house, but no open house was held. Or at least not one the neighbors could see; maybe he uses that phrase in a different way. [More]

Bank Of America Is Having A Hard Time Accepting This Whole Death Thing

Bank Of America Is Having A Hard Time Accepting This Whole Death Thing

Dave can’t get Bank of America to accept that his parents are gone, even after sending over the death certificates. He keeps telling the bank to take the house, because nobody in his family wants it and the mortgage is underwater. Bank of America keeps threatening his parents with letters about how behind they are on payments. Oh sure, everything about this story is funny on the surface, but not when Bank of America tries to extract money from a closed account you once shared with your dad, forcing it to re-open and siphon funds from your real accounts. [More]

Mr. Rooter Plumbing Job Quoted At $300 But Ends Up Costing $25,000

Mr. Rooter Plumbing Job Quoted At $300 But Ends Up Costing $25,000

Dave and his wife came into some money and decided it was time to get a professional out to solve their slow draining toilet problems once and for all. Mr. Rooter showed up, and in less than a week the company managed to also solve Dave’s “I just came into some money” problem, by taking all of it. The problem is, Dave isn’t sure that any of the expensive extra work was necessary now that he can see the pipes. [More]

Man Offers To Set Car On Fire To Save Home From HSBC Foreclosure

Man Offers To Set Car On Fire To Save Home From HSBC Foreclosure

John admits on his blog that he’s responsible for falling six months behind on his mortgage. But once he got over his divorce and losing his adopted son and started trying to make things right, he ended up in loan modification limbo at HSBC. The bank never moved forward on any modification, and now he has to pay $21,638.02 today if he wants to keep his house. Logically, he’s offering to burn his car and post the video online in return for donations. [More]

Move To These Towns To Earn Big Money, Live The Good Life

Move To These Towns To Earn Big Money, Live The Good Life

Beyond the obvious big cities where the rich and famous drive around in flashy cars and flaunt designer dresses and amazing homes, there are other towns across America where top-earning residents are living the good life. From north to south, sea to shining see, let’s take a look at a few of these little gems and start planning where we’ll move. [More]

Half-A-Dozen Companies Knew About Tainted Drywall, But Stayed Mum And Kept Selling It

Half-A-Dozen Companies Knew About Tainted Drywall, But Stayed Mum And Kept Selling It

Newly released court documents indicate that over a half-dozen companies knew about the rotten egg smells exuding from Chinese drywall since 2006, but they stayed quiet and kept selling the junk. [More]

I Like Smelling Farts, Chinese Drywall Distributor Tells Court

I Like Smelling Farts, Chinese Drywall Distributor Tells Court

Do you like farts? Documents and depositions unearthed by ProPublica and the Sarasota Harold-Tribune show exchanges between homebuilder WCI Communities and drywall distributor Banner that reveal the sulfur-emitting drywall problem was known as far back as 2006, and yet customers and authorities were not notified. In one deposition, a Banner executive refuses to admit that sulfur-stinking drywall might bother others, seeing as he himself, on certain occasions, enjoys the sweet aroma of another man’s butt gas: [More]

Man Seals Self Inside Foreclosed Home

Man Seals Self Inside Foreclosed Home

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]

Is The Guy Who Bulldozed His Home A Folk Hero?

Is The Guy Who Bulldozed His Home A Folk Hero?

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]

Man Bulldozes Home After Foreclosure

Man Bulldozes Home After Foreclosure

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]

Maybe Homeowners Wouldn't Strategically Default If Lenders Cooperated

Maybe Homeowners Wouldn't Strategically Default If Lenders Cooperated

There’s an interesting detail at the end of this New York Times article on borrowers who strategically default–that is, they choose to walk away from the home when its value is significantly less than the mortgage balance. It turns out that the homeowner mentioned at the start of the article applied last fall for a loan modification with Bank of America after his income level had dropped, and this was BofA’s response: “The lender came back a few weeks ago with a plan that added more restrictive terms while keeping the payments about the same. ‘That may have been the last straw,’ Mr. Koellmann said.” [More]