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Welcome to my Real Estate Insider blog. I collect & update only the most relevant Real Estate Information that I think would be of interest to you.


Palm Coast lands on national ’50 best cities’ list published on USA Today website

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PALM COAST OBSERVER PALM COAST TUESDAY, OCT. 17, 2017 2 days ago Palm Coast lands on national ’50 best cities’ list published on USA Today website SHARE COMMENTS 1 The city also made it onto a time.com/money list of the ‘7 best places to retire.’ by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor Is Palm Coast one of…


Handshake worthless without signed contract?

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Oct. 12, 2017 – Question: Several weeks ago, we found our dream home and had a handshake deal with the seller, agreeing on price and closing date. Now time has passed, and the seller still has not signed the written contract with the terms we shook on. We really want the…


Foreclosures hit 11-year low in 3Q

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IRVINE, Calif. – Oct. 12, 2017 – ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q3 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report finds a total of 191,824 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions. That’s down 13 percent from the previous quarter and 35 percent from a year ago. It’s the lowest level of foreclosures…


An unusual rental agreement in exchange for a downpayment

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SEATTLE – Sept. 21, 2017 – Entrepreneurs in Seattle have come up with an idea to help aspiring home buyers overcome the downpayment obstacle: They’re offering downpayments to people who are willing to be an Airbnb host for up to three years by renting out a room in their new home. The company, Loftium, provides…


It’s official: Fed will start selling bonds

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WASHINGTON – Sept. 21, 2017 – The U.S. economy is finally sturdy enough for the Federal Reserve to withdraw the extraordinary support it has provided it since the depths of the recession and financial crisis. In a move that that could nudge consumer borrowing costs higher, the Fed agreed Wednesday to begin gradually shedding much…


Average mortgage rates fall again to new 2017 low

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Aug. 31, 2017 – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week. It was the fifth straight weekly decline for the benchmark 30-year rate, which again reached a new low for the year. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.82 percent from 3.86 percent last week….


Favorite renovation projects by generation

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CHICAGO – Aug. 30, 2017 – The average homeowner is spending more money on a greater number of home improvement projects, according to HomeAdvisor’s 2017 True Cost Survey, a study of 14 million service requests received between July 2016–17. However, the projects vary by generation, income, and geography, the study finds. Baby boomers, for example,…


4 times buyers have only themselves to blame

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CHICAGO – Aug. 29, 2017 – Real estate professionals see a lot of dumb reasons why home buyers ultimately end up losing out on a deal. Practitioners recently shared some of the more common mistakes with realtor.com, including ways to correct the situation: 1. Shopping outside their price range “It sounds obvious, but some homebuyers…


U.S. home prices surge in June, led by Seattle

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Aug. 29, 2017 – U.S. home prices climbed higher in June with gains that are eclipsing income growth – creating affordability pressures for would-be buyers. The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.7 percent in June, according to a Tuesday report. The separate national average rose as well,…


Cash no longer king for S. Fla. homebuyers

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Aug. 21, 2017 – Cash deals are by no means dead, but they aren’t dominating the South Florida housing market the way they once did. Sales without mortgages are happening less frequently as investors flee and traditional buyers gain easier access to financing, industry observers say. In the second quarter, 46…


More buyers putting less down on a home

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NEW YORK – Aug. 21, 2017 – A 20 percent downpayment is no longer the norm. In the past year, 1.5 million borrowers purchased their homes with downpayments of less than 10 percent, according to Black Knight Financial Services. That marks a seven-year high. A growing number of home shoppers are financing more than 90…


Homeowners with student debt can roll it into mortgage

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WASHINGTON – Aug. 1, 2017 – Fannie Mae, the large quasi-government agency that sets the guidelines for lenders selling their home loans on the secondary mortgage market, is adopting some new procedures that should make it easier for many borrowers with student debt, and those who cosigned for them, qualify for a home loan. Large…


Mortgage rates fall again – second straight week

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WASHINGTON (AP) – July 27, 2017 – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for the second week in a row, despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to lift borrowing costs. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages slid to 3.92 percent from 3.96 percent the previous week. While historically low, that…


First-timers missing out because appraisals lag values

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DALLAS – July 26, 2017 – After Dallas-area real estate pro Laura Barnett put a listing on the market three weeks ago, it quickly received 22 offers. But Barnett didn’t take the highest bid. Instead, she took a cash offer because she wanted to ensure that there were no hang-ups along the way toward closing….


12M consumers may get July credit-score boost

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WASHINGTON – June 22, 2017 – The three largest credit-reporting agencies will begin cleaning up credit reports in July, which could help lift the credit scores of about 12 million consumers. In a survey by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), one in four people say they spot errors in their credit reports, most commonly concerning…


Guess which homes sold for over asking price

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CHICAGO – June 14, 2017 – Try out your real estate pricing knowledge with a new online listing game. Realtor.com® has launched Property Tycoon, which allows participants to test their market knowledge by selecting homes they think sold over asking price from a given selection of homes. According to realtor.com, players are provided a game…


Next buyers’ market? Two or three years, say some experts

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WASHINGTON – June 14, 2017 – Just last month, a 32-year-old meteorologist was excited by his promotion to a better-paying position with the National Weather Service. At long last, he figured, he could afford to buy a modest single-family house in a middle-income suburb near his office. But so far, his housing search has proved…


How to claim Florida as your state of residence to save on taxes

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NEW YORK – June 13, 2017 – Question: I live in New York. If I buy a second home in Florida, can I count Florida as my residence for state tax purposes? Answer: Maybe, and claiming the Sunshine State as your permanent residence could save you a lot of money. Florida has no state income…


25 tips for first-time home buyers

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GROVE, Okla.– June 9, 2017 – Buying a home can be a nerve-racking experience, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. Not only is it probably the biggest purchase of your life, but the process is complicated and fraught with unfamiliar lingo and surprise expenses. To make the first-time home buying journey a little less…


Fannie to loosen mortgage requirements

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WASHINGTON – June 9, 2017 – Government-sponsored financing giant Fannie Mae will ease its requirements next month, raising its debt-to-income ceiling from 45 percent to 50 percent on July 29. The move could pave the way for a larger number of new buyers to qualify for a mortgage, particularly millennials who may be saddled with…