Home Buying and Selling

U.S. Housing Bulwark: Abroad

Foreign buyers are increasing their purchases of U.S. real estate. That may cause some unease, but it's a good development. While our housing markets are improving, the boost from elsewhere is vital.

Mechanics of 401(k)s (Pt. 3)

Yes, you can tap your 401(k) for a loan even before your legal withdrawal age, although turning elsewhere to borrow is usually a better idea. You should know the rules and pitfalls built into 401(k) lending. They are many.

Assessing Real Estate Agents

Selling or buying a home can come with a lot of confusion. If you’re in the market for a real estate agent, ask these questions to find the best fit.

The Recovery No One Noticed

This is, and will likely continue to be, the recovery that no one noticed. It is a recovery in name only. For most Americans, the recovery doesn’t feel much different than a recession. 

The average recovery since the end of World War II was 58 months.  The current “recovery” has just reached that milestone. So maybe we should be celebrating. But what’s to celebrate?

Housing, Energy and Investing

A roof over your head and gas in your tank cost more than ever. But prices for these essentials color your view of investing.

What do your nest egg, retirement planning and personal finances share with the overall American economy? Plenty, especially when it comes to the bite from energy and home prices.

In recent years rising gasoline and heating or cooling costs gobbled up family income, even as a depressed housing market erased personal wealth and left Americans feeling uncertain about their economic prospects.

Homeowning for the Young

Your time has come to grow beyond renting a home. What now?

Gen Y, those born in the 1980s and early 1990s, look today to build equity and save on rent by researching the benefits of owning versus renting. Whether married or single, when it comes to renting and owning, you must consider these questions:

Do Your Homebuying Math

The biggest purchase you likely ever make comes with many potential pitfalls. Here’s how to dodge some.

Home sales do remain sluggish. The number of contracts Americans signed to buy previously owned homes unexpectedly fell in October for the fifth consecutive month. The gauge of pending home sales decreased 0.6% after a 4.6% drop in September, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Buy Commercial Real Estate?

Want a good way to build wealth? Own commercial real estate. But only if you are willing to undertake due diligence that may not be readily available online, make a big hands-on commitment to mind the investment and exercise enormous patience.

Real estate is one of the largest asset classes in the world. The family home is the largest asset many middle-class Americans own. And real estate makes up a significant portion of the net worth of many wealth accumulators.

Mortgage Rate Outlook: Up

The Federal Reserve’s efforts to ease interest rates also pump up housing, because more people can afford mortgages, are a great plan – but what happens when the Fed stops? Mortgage rates head up.

Reverse Mortgages: Trickier

Would-be homeowners long turned to the Federal Housing Administration for affordable mortgages. That’s also true for older folks and reverse mortgages, which they use to supplement their income by tapping the equity value of their homes. But the agency is tightening the terms on these loans.

Expanded loan volume paired with what some suggest is a decrease in loan quality have led to increased defaults and depleted FHA reserve funds.

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