Tuesday, March 27, 2012 / by Justin Hoffmann
From young, qualified first-time home buyers to 50-and-olders, moving, up, over or down, a new breed of buyer is descending upon the Silicon Valley Housing market.
They've worked hard to save, they have solid jobs and they are qualified to buy big.
But offer them what they can really afford and they'll give you the thumbs down.
They are the new financial conservatives.
They'd rather not be house poor.
They can afford much more, but they want less -- less square footage, a smaller energy bill, fewer cleaning and maintenance headaches, but most importantly, less to pay out on the monthly mortgage.
They want a simpler, smaller American Dream.
It's all about the "more" that comes with the "less."
A smaller, less expensive home means more financial freedom in terms of more cash to save, more discretionary income to spend on nights out or travels away. A smaller home also means a smaller maintenance noose around your neck.
"Since new home prices peaked in 2007, new single-family sal ...
Monday, March 26, 2012 / by Justin Hoffmann
Bank of America has announced a program that will let homeowners facing foreclosures stay in their homes as renters.
The "Mortgage to Lease" program will start as a limited pilot program for up to 1,000 homeowners in Arizona, Nevada and New York selected by the bank.
The bank said if the effort succeeds, it could be expanded to the broader group of at-risk homeowners with BofA mortgages. Homeowners can not apply to be part of the program at this time. (Buying is cheaper than renting)
Those selected for this initial pilot program will be more than 60 days delinquent on their home loans, have high loan balances in relation to their current property value, have no other liens on their property, and have an income level high enough to afford the rent.
The homeowner will transfer title to their properties to the bank and have their outstanding mortgage debt forgiven. In exchange, they may lease their home for up to three years at or below the current market rental rate.
While Bank of A ...
Saturday, March 24, 2012 / by Justin Hoffmann
Maybe you've been eyeing the real estate market and you think that you're finally ready to purchase your first home...if so, read on to be sure you're in the best position.
The rules have drastically changed in the real estate market. At one time, getting a mortgage seemed to require little more than just simply stating your income on paper. Today, the credit tightening continues. Banks want extra documentation that you can truly afford the home you want to buy.
But don't let that scare you. Your dream of becoming a homeowner is still a viable option. Here are a few tips to help you achieve your dream.
First take a good look at your credit. It's sad, but true, many people have no idea how their credit reports look. They can't remember if they've ever seen their report and they don't know their credit score.
Unfortunately, that puts buyers in a poor position. If there are errors on their credit reports, those must be handled before you try to purchase a home. Sometimes there are mar ...
Thursday, March 22, 2012 / by Justin Hoffmann
Michael Jackson is dead and buried — but the home he died in is still very much available.
The Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, house where the pop singer died in 2009 has been placed back on the market — and for a mere $23.9 million it could be yours.
Yes, that's a lot of dough — but consider the amenities that the three-story, 17,000 square foot home offers. Described by the real-estate agency that's selling it as an "elegant and sophisticated French Chateau estate," the house boasts seven bedrooms, 13 baths, a movie theater, wine cellar, tasting room, gym, an elevator and 12 working fireplaces.
The latter of which will surely be useful, because the property also includes a whole lot of chilling memories.
The home, which was listed in 2010 with a sale price of $23.5 million, sits on a "lush and mature landscape" of approximately 1.26 acres.
Jackson died at the home at the age of 50 on June 25, 2009, of acute propofol intoxication. Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was f ...
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 / by Justin Hoffmann
Sales of existing homes fell 0.9 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million homes according to data released this morning by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). The increase was over January sales that were adjusted from an original estimate of 4.57 million to 4.63 million sales. Despite the slight month-over-month decrease, February sales were up 8.8 percent over the 4.22 million pace during the same period in 2011. Existing home sales are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said underlying factors are much better compared to one year ago. "The market is trending up unevenly, with record high consumer buying power and sustained job gains giving buyers the confidence they need to get into the market," he said. "Although relatively unusual, there will be rising demand for both rental space and homeownership this year. The great suppression in household ...