WASHINGTON -- Could condos financed with low down payment government-backed mortgages stage a surprise comeback under the Trump administration, which generally seeks to reduce federal involvement in housing? Would this be promising news for millennials and buyers with moderate incomes looking to purchase their first homes?
You bet -- provided ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It's often the biggest pot of gold available to any homeowner, yet its fate remains unclear under the main tax code overhaul plans proposed so far on Capitol Hill.
The capital gains "exclusion" allows eligible owners to pocket up to $250,000 (taxpayers filing singly) or up to $500,000 (joint filers) from the net gains on their ...Read more
WASHINGTON-- It was bound to happen: A home owner has filed suit against online realty giant Zillow, claiming the company's controversial "Zestimate" tool repeatedly undervalued her home, creating a "tremendous road block" to its sale.
The suit, which may be the first of its kind, was filed in Cook County Circuit Court by a Glenview, Illinois, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Here’s some good news for home buyers and owners burdened with costly student loan debts: Mortgage investor Fannie Mae has just made sweeping rule changes that should make it easier for you to purchase a first home or do a “cash-out” refinancing to pay off your student debt.
Fannie’s new policies could be game changers for...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Most home buyers and sellers don’t think much about what might derail their purchase or sale. But here’s a sobering fact: One of every 20 sales contracts blows up along the road to closing. And roughly one of every four runs into an issue that delays the scheduled settlement.
These statistics come from new survey research ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It’s a real estate question that historically has had an easy answer: Do single-family detached homes appreciate in value faster than condominiums?
The standard answer has been: Of course single-family homes appreciate faster. They are what most Americans prefer to live in, so there’s stronger demand. They come with their own ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- They’re either a valuable financial tool for homeowners or a harbinger of trouble on the horizon: Cash-out refinancings, which were wildly popular during the housing boom years and contributed to the severity of the crash, are on the rise again.
National mortgage investor Freddie Mac reports that 45 percent of all home loan ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- With the health care bill back-burnered on Capitol Hill, the focus has shifted to tax reform. Among the key financial matters in play: Homeowners’ prized mortgage interest and property tax deductions.
Though no major version of a reform bill would eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, the House Republicans’ tax ...Read more
You Shall Know Our Names (The Judah Halevi Journals) (Volume 1)Ezekiel Nieto Benzion
When Ezekiel Benzion's grandfather handed him the dusty journals written by Doctor Judah Halevi Nieto, he begged, "Before I die, tell me why our family protected these for two hundred years. Who were these men? And why were they revered?" The search for answers led to ...
WASHINGTON -- When is your “credit score” irrelevant in buying a house or refinancing a mortgage? A new federal legal settlement with a major credit bureau has the answer: The only score that matters is the one your lender uses to evaluate you, not some random score you got on a website.
All the others you might buy or see -- there are ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Are you getting fleeced on appraisal charges when you buy a house or refinance? Could you be paying as much as double what the appraiser is receiving for actually doing the work, with the excess going to an undisclosed third party?
Many appraisers say yes. And they’re eager to let consumers know that when the appraisal charge is...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration may not be fond of FHA-insured mortgages -- the president canceled a cut in fees for new loan applicants as one of his first official actions -- but millennial home buyers apparently are big fans.
A new analysis of loans closed during January found that 35 percent of millennials -- those born between 1980 ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Could getting a home mortgage under today’s post-housing bust regulations and procedures be even remotely comparable to going to the dentist to get drilled? Or anything like having your annual physical, where every body part potentially is subject to inspection and prodding?
Has the process of applying and qualifying at a time ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- If your real estate agent requires you to get a mortgage pre-approval from one specific lender as a condition of submitting an offer to buy a house -- even if another lender already pre-approved you -- would you think something is fishy?
If an agent offered discounts off the price of the house you want to buy -- but only if you ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- How tough is it to get approved for a mortgage? How low can your FICO credit score go before your lender shows you the door? And how much monthly debt can you be shouldering -- credit cards, student loans, auto payments -- but still walk away with the mortgage you’re seeking?
You might be surprised. New data from technology ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The small-scale owners of millions of rental homes, parcels of investment land and income-producing commercial and business real estate might not know it, but one of their key financial planning and tax tools is in danger of disappearing on Capitol Hill.
House Republicans are working on a major tax reform proposal that, as part of...Read more