Archive for July, 2013


Today’s New Renters Bridge Generation Gaps

The stereotypes are familiar: unemployed twentysomethings living in their parents’ basements, senior citizens trotting off to retirement communities in sunny states – or occupying rocking chairs on the porch of the family home. But new economic realities and changing social dynamics are putting a new spin on the old pictures. Now, millennials and retirees are […]

Read More...
AMA

Power Companies Challenge Solar Incentives

Who owns the sun? Eco-friendly energy saving upgrades can save money and make properties more saleable – but according to some utility companies around the country, the fledgling solar panel industry also threatens their very existence. And they’re pushing to penalize property owners who opt for renewable energy upgrades and the credits and incentives that […]

Read More...
AMA

The US Housing Market Welcomes Chinese Investors

A changing economic picture brings new perspectives. A few years ago, Japanese investors with big bucks began snapping up US real estate at ferocious rates and raising fears that Asian investors would end up owning the country. Now, though, as Chinese investors take the lead in foreign investment in US real estate, a shaky housing […]

Read More...

Do Short Sales Boost Real Estate’s Recovery?

housing market continues to improve – a trend that signals better health for the economy as a whole. Although that means fewer distressed properties are hitting the market, short sales still pop up in the listings — a process with a bad name that can mean a good property. The number of short sales soared […]

Read More...

What’s Ahead For Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Venerable home loan servicers Fannie Mae end Freddie Mac have been around so long, it’s hared to remember what their real names are. In spite of a troubled past linked to the subprme mortgage meltdown of a few years ago, these two institutions seem like a permanent part of the US housing landscape. But as […]

Read More...

House Republicans Propose a New PATH for Housing

The years after the massive hosing collapse of 2008 saw bill after bill purporting to protect the American home buyer from credit crises, bank abuse and lending policies. Now, as if the Dodd Frank Act and similar, smaller bills weren’t enough, Washington policy makers are once again tackling the sticky issue of reforming government home […]

Read More...

Home Finance Reform and the Future of the Fixed Rate Mortgage

Talk of housing finance reform is in the air. And as members of the House financial Services Committee continue debates about creating a more “holistic” housing policy, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reminded them in recent remarks to start with a clear decision about what the government’s role in home financing should be. At issue: […]

Read More...

The Litecoin: New Digital Currency Challenges the Bitcoin

Bitcoins have only been around for a few years, but they’re already starting to lose their edge and go mainstream. As Bitcoin stock trades first up, then down, along with concerns about porn site links hacked into Bitcoin code, the digital currency pioneer has acquired a rival. Enter the LItecoin, a new digital money with […]

Read More...

Do Pocket Listings Manipulate the Market?

The housing recovery seems to be humming along nicely, by many accounts. But the rebound depends on properties made available for sale. A little known and slightly shady practice known as “pocket listings” can skew access to those potential properties, though, as brokers collect bigger commissions by keeping properties out of public access while they […]

Read More...

Fewer First Time Buyers Affect the Housing Recovery

By many indications, the hosing recovery is still on the upswing. Mortgage rates remain on the low side and homes are available in most markets. So why aren’t first time buyers taking the plunge into homeownership? The answer, according to a new report from RE Insider, is complex, with broader implications for the rebound of […]

Read More...

Green Mortgages for Eco Friendly Upgrades

In the housing world, green is the new black. Energy saving and eco friendly upgrades to residential and investment properties are not only practical and (eventually) economical, they’re e also trendy, upping a house’s value and its appeal by their very presence. But paying for those green upgrades and getting a return on the investment […]

Read More...

New Legislation Promises a Holistic Housing Policy

The government’s heavy involvement in housing affairs may be coming to an end – at least if a new bill promising a more “holistic” approach to housing policies becomes law. Now in draft form, the new legislation promises to whittle down the government’s presence in home financing and refinancing to make way for greater privatization […]

Read More...

Can Better Math Skills Boost the Housing Recovery?

Can something as simple as better arithmetic skills prevent another housing collapse? According to a new study by researchers at Columbia Business School, the answer might be yes. After an extensive survey of mortgage holders both before and after the housing collapse, Columbia’s scholars found that a key predictor of mortgage defaults and foreclosures turned […]

Read More...

New Tax Changes Target the Mortgage Interest Deduction

It’s that time again, as officials on both sides of the political fence tackle revisions to the tax code with an eye to reclaiming lost revenue and capping or eliminating various deductions and credits. This time around they’re eyeing the venerable mortgage interest deduction, a prized benefit that heads the list of deductions related to […]

Read More...

Student Loans: A Broken System?

You don’t have to be a student to worry about student loan debt. With most college students finishing school with thousands of dollars n debt, the problem of student debt is rapidly becoming everybody’s problem. Amid wrangling in Washington about legislation to keep interest rates low and loans accessible, some financial experts are pointing out […]

Read More...

How Does the Federal Reserve Affect You?

Buying a car? Looking for a job? Stocking up at the grocery store? The decisions you make about these things and many more are driven by the actions of the Federal Reserve. Although it seems that shadowy body only matters in the arcane world of high level finance, the Fed is responsible for the ebb […]

Read More...

5 Ways to Protect Your Money Online

Doing business online – even sensitive financial operations – is quick and easy, though far from safe. Cyber crime costs about $100 billion worldwide each year, and ven the most internet-savvy investor can become a victim of internet scammers and hackers. But a few simple strategies can help keep financial information safe. Use a Single […]

Read More...

The Shadow Economy: 2 Trillion Invisible Dollars

The Federal Reserve’s plan to wind down its large-scale buyup pf mortgage backed securities appears to be on track for the end of this year. But, as Fed officials continue to warn, the plan’s future is still tied to economic indicators such as job growth and retail growth But there’s another, shadow economy whose largely […]

Read More...

Scammers Love Social Media

Social media has changed the way money moves in the world. Users can invest, exchange currencies, buy and sell with lightning speed around the clock. Information is at a user’s fingertips at any time. But social media offers much more: a sense of community, sharing –and trust. Social media runs on relationships, so it’s no […]

Read More...