As the share of home owners in the United States keeps sliding down, marching right upward is the amount of us who are now renting our residences. Makes sense — if you can’t afford to own a home, you’ve got to find somewhere to live in the meantime. And not everyone has access to their parents’ basement.
When real estate agents take you through houses, they often like to dazzle you with frivolous, eye-catching aspects. Unless you ask tough questions and pay for a professional inspection, you won’t get much insight about whether or not the home is livable and truly worth its asking price.
The value of their homes is a major point of pride for many owners, who use the figure to prop up their net worth and justify the money they’ve poured into their dwellings. When the price declines, as it has been doing for most homeowners for years, they tend to overlook the positive side of the drop — one that affects them more immediately.
Banks typically make homeowners with less than 20 percent equity add private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums to their mortgage payments. The insurance helps the lender guard against the borrower defaulting on the loan. Owners who want to lower their payments can work toward getting rid of the insurance, but doing so can be tricky.
Atrophying home prices may not be the only thing eating away the value of your home. For all you know, termites may be steadily munching on every corner of your home, weakening its structure and forcing you into major repairs.
If you put your house on the market, there’s a great chance it will stay there for months, leaving you twisting in the wind as you decide what your next move will be. No matter how often you badger your real estate agent, the depressed housing market means buyers can be choosy, leaving otherwise attractive deals hang in the balance.
According to a government report, Fannie Mae knew in 2003 that law firms it hired to foreclose on homes were abusing their authority. That’s seven years before knowledge about the problems became widespread. The Federal Housing Finance Agency inspector general released a report that leveled the allegations, also blaming the agency he works for, which is tasked to oversee government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
A Sacramento man nearly lost a house he paid for in cash when Bank Of America tried to sell it in a foreclosure auction. The mistake prevented the owner from renting out the house, but luckily the bank caught the error, caused by a data entry mistake, and called off the sale the day the house was scheduled to go up for auction.
The grease fire that is the home mortgage business is reportedly set to claim a Wisconsin homeowner who paid his mortgage on time.
If you’ve signed your life away on a mortgage, you’ve probably dreamed of tossing that paperwork into the shredder after you’ve made the final payment. But outright ownership isn’t all positive.
Houses continue to become more affordable, but since nobody has any money or can get approved for loans, ownership has taken a nosedive.
Do you suspect you may be eligible for tax credits for to purchasing a new home or remodeling an existing one, but would like a sleek, simple infographic to guide you? Fixr is here to help, with a simple guide to this year’s tax credits.
The mortgage crisis isn’t just about homeowners with underwater subprime mortgages on unsellable houses. Folks with million-dollar homes are also finding it difficult to get out from under their hefty mortgages, and are defaulting at rates that are double those for homeowners with mortgages under $250,000. The difference? They’re often willing to sell at a loss, and their lenders are willing to let them do so, instead of foreclosing and destroying their credit ratings.
Prospective home buyers may need to pony up more cash up front to secure a mortgage if they are looking to buy in one of hundreds of zip codes that lenders now consider “soft markets.” Countrywide and GMAC recently ranked over 1,000 zip codes on a risk scale of 1-5. Lenders to moderate risk zip codes, ranked 1-3, may require borrowers to pay an additional 5% down payment. Unlucky buyers in high risk zip codes, ranked 4 or 5, are now automatically required to put down the extra 5%.