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Green Mortgages Can Mean Big Returns

Green Mortgages Can Mean Big Returns


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It’s no secret that green is in. Energy efficient and environmentally friendly upgrades and add-ons can boost a home’s selling price and attract good renters. But paying for those green updates and getting a return on the investment can be tricky – especially when solar energy is involved. Tax...

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Is the Government Getting Out of the Housing Business?

Is the Government Getting Out of the Housing Business?


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Government help for housing may be coming to an end, if a new bill floated by House Republicans becomes law. This wide-ranging piece of legislation could virtually eliminate a number of government-backed housing initiatives, privatize federal lending services and make things tougher for struggling homeowners....

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Do the Math, Keep the House?

Do the Math, Keep the House?


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Can better math skills prevent foreclosure? A new study conducted by the Columbia Business School appears to suggest exactly that. All other things being relatively equal, Columbia’s researchers found that the better a homeowner’s math skills, the less likely they were to lose a home to foreclosure...

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The Shadow Econmy Muddies the Recovery Picture

The Shadow Econmy Muddies the Recovery Picture


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Yes, the Federal Reserve is going to scale down the bond buyup. Really, this time. After making a bold statement about its intentions to end  its stimulus buyup of bonds and securities in 2014, the Fed now says it’s on track to taper down the program in the last quarter of 2013. That plan could be...

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Put Down 20 Percent? Not in Today’s Market

Put Down 20 Percent? Not in Today’s Market


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Conventional real estate wisdom has it that most home purchases require a down payment of a least 20 percent of the purchase price. That’s a number that may be keeping some potential homebuyers out of the market while they scrape together the required amount. What’s more, in this period –soon to...

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5 Red Flags for Mortgage Fraud

5 Red Flags for Mortgage Fraud


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Despite the lawsuits and regulation that followed the housing collapse in 2008, some of the nation's biggest mortgage lenders – and even some smaller ones – are still using a variety of fraudulent practices to put more money into their corporate pockets. Now, yet another suit filed against Bank of...

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More Fraudulent Foreclosures From Bank of America

More Fraudulent Foreclosures From Bank of America


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Ever since it was created back in 20078 to help homeowners avoid foreclosures, the government’s Home Affordable Mortgage Program, or HAMP, has fallen far short of its goals. Because that’s so, large numbers of preventable foreclosures have hit the market in some areas, skewing assessments of the...

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Cash Carries in Today's Home Purchases

Cash Carries in Today’s Home Purchases


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Interest rates that continue to run low and rising prices make the housing market pretty hot right now. Banks are offering attractive mortgage packages, too. But, say some market watchers, it’s hotter still for buyers who can pay cash. To compete in the cash wars, what’s an investor to do? Recent...

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Sallie Mae Enters Private Lending:  More Debt to Come?

Sallie Mae Enters Private Lending: More Debt to Come?


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HI5-27-13 For some time we’ve been reporting in this space about the emerging crisis in student loan debt and its impact on various sectors of the economy – including housing. And because the student loan situation in some ways parallels the events of the 2008 housing collapse, what helps or harms...

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Reverse Mortgages: Sounding Good on Paper

Reverse Mortgages: Sounding Good on Paper


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It sounds like a great idea. Take out a “reverse mortgage” that taps into home equity to release cash for daily living and other expenditures. For many, particularly those in retirement and beyond, the plan offers financial relief while leaving the original investment secure for the owner’s lifetime....

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