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Real estate round-up: November 3

November 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

4 million homeowners eligible for foreclosure review
Washington Post

On Tuesday, servicers began mailing letters to the estimated 4 million borrowers whose loans were in the process of foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010, detailing how to request a review of an individual case.

Resale of the Week: 6-bedroom Craftsman house in Arlington
Washington Times

Arlington's Lee Heights neighborhood offers some of the best aspects of suburban living, including quiet streets with cul-de-sacs to slow traffic and enable children to play safely.

Walter Street: The friendliest block on the Hill
DC Urban Turf

Physically, the street lends itself to interaction. The modestly sized row houses squeeze next to each other and the front porches line up.�

Sneak peak at the Foundry Lofts
JD Land

A first look inside the Foundry Lofts at the Yards, a 1918 industrial building on its way to becoming a 170-unit apartment building. First move-ins are expected at the end of November.

National real estate news stories:

What will the House decide on federal mortgage caps?
Wall Street Journal

Back in February, the Obama administration called for a decline in the maximum size of government-backed home loans as a way to start drawing back federal support for the nation's mortgage market. They dropped on schedule on Oct. 1 but now a movement is afoot to revive the higher limits to support the ailing housing market.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: November 1

November 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

Creative refinancing doubly good
Washington Times

With interest rates remaining so low and the housing market still anemic, refinance customers abound. Most homeowners refinance to lower their interest rate, but there are many other objectives that can be accomplished through refinancing, depending upon the homeowner's particular situation.

Lenders could take home's energy costs into consideration
Washington Post

A bill introduced Oct. 20 would force the big three mortgage agencies to take account of energy costs in every loan they insure, guarantee or buy. It would also require them to instruct appraisers to adjust their property valuations upward when accurate data on energy efficiency savings are available.

National real estate news stories:

Making sense of home price data
Smart Money

Because real estate is so local and home prices can change every few miles, homeowners and potential buyers should focus on trends in their specific neighborhoods. That means consulting a realtor who can pull up prices of similar homes that sold over the past few months.

Handling high closing costs
The New York Times

Those who are cash-poor can ask relatives for help. But some lenders advertise another option: If borrowers agree to accept a mortgage interest rate from a quarter to a full percentage point higher than they would ordinarily qualify for, they can receive credit toward their closing costs.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Planning to refinance? Don't forget about title insurance

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment

The government took action last week to help more homeowners with their mortgage payments. A revamped Home Affordable Refinance Program aims to remove some of the restrictions that have made it difficult for many to qualify assistance.

Historic lows on interest rates, changes coming to government programs such as HARP, it's no wonder so many Q&A and advice columns are dedicating space to homeowners' questions about refinancing, from knowing when to refinance to tips on how to avoid a mortgage refinance misstep.

One common question about refinancing relates to the settlement process, particularly title insurance.

Some homeowners are surprised when they hear they have to purchase a new title insurance policy when they refinance their mortgage. They bought a lender's and owner's policy when they purchased the home, and they want to know why they have to purchase a new title insurance policy.

To the lender, a refinance loan is no different than any other home loan. Your lender wants to insure that the new loan is protected by title insurance, just like the original lender required on your previous loan.� Lenders are protecting their investment against title related defects.

When you refinance, you are only buying a new title for the lender (a lender's policy), so your closing costs should still be less than when you purchased your home. And, while you're shopping around for the best refinance rates, be sure to shop around among title companies.

This will ensure you get the best pricing for your refinance.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: October 31

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

One million new jobs means DC needs more housing
DC Urban Turf

A report, which can be found here, estimates that the region as a whole will need to build as many as 731,000 new units to house the workers � 211,000 units in suburban Maryland, 392,000 in Northern Virginia and 122,000 in the District.

A map of architecturally impressive DC homes
Curbed DC

Your guide to fifteen of the best looking houses we could find in a handy map so you can drive/walk/bike around to see them yourself.

Keep your feelings out of contracts
Washington Post

When a contract comes up, many homeowners have a hard time saying that they want to have a lawyer look at it first.

National real estate news stories:

Loan limit battle looms for house Republicans
Wall Street Journal

The issue puts House Republicans in a tough spot: Lawmakers campaigned last year to end federal bailouts, including the rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But many lawmakers, particularly Republicans in California and New York, face pressure from real estate agents and mortgage lenders in their districts, who have been hit hard by the real estate downturn.

Pending home sales index rises from one year ago
Inman News

Third-quarter data showed a 2.5 percent rise in GDP, compared with 1.3 percent in the second quarter. NAR expects U.S. GDP growth of 1.8 percent for the full year in 2011, with 2.3 percent GDP growth in 2012.

http://twlv.net/ewcw6M

Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: October 28

October 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

How to buy a short sale property
Washington Post

From the short sale home buyer's perspective, this third-party (lender) approval process is the major difference between a short sale and a regular sale. The short-sale home-buying process begins in the same manner as any other purchase: locating a home, determining a proposed offer price and preparing a written purchase offer.

Winterizing helps wallet, even sales appeal
Washington Times

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, most homeowners nationwide can expect a rise in costs associated with home heating this winter

New park in Southwest is in the works
The Dirt

A 4.2-acre park is slowly taking shape where a huge parking lot now exists on the southwest waterfront in Washington, D.C. The new redevelopment along the waterfront will use a denser development strategy for the buildings and wharfs, with some 50 percent open space,

National real estate news stories:

Freddie Mac CEO to step down
Wall Street Journal

The chief executive of Freddie Mac said he would step down next year, becoming the second CEO to resign from the mortgage-finance giant since it was taken over by the U.S. government in 2008.

Economic growth in U.S., though modest, speeds up
The New York Times

Economic growth in the United States picked up in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday, in an encouraging sign that the recovery, while still painfully slow, has not stalled.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: October 27

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

10 things to know about buying, selling your home
Washington Post

After staying put during the economic recession, you might be tempted by stabilizing real estate prices and low mortgage interest rates to sell your house and buy your next place. What you may not realize is how long and complicated the process of buying and selling a home has become.

Queen Anne-style home in Rockville gets national attention
Curbed DC

This 1900s-era 4 bed/2bath has been in the same family for the past forty years. It started out on the market at $500,000 (too high!, says Goldilocks), but has come down to $399,999 (just right!).

Home prices up in half of major U.S. cities
Washington Times

The biggest price increases were in Washington, Chicago and Detroit. The greatest declines were in Atlanta and Los Angeles. The August data provides a “modest glimmer of hope” that some areas may have bottomed out and could be turning around.

National real estate news stories:

Home prices tread water
Wall Street Journal

Here are four questions that borrowers should consider carefully before proceeding with a refinancing, according to experts.

Be neighbors with Vice President Joe Biden for $6.9M
Inman News

his Hacienda-style house might look like something out of the Spanish countryside, but it actually sits next to the vice president's mansion on the grounds of the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Real estate round-up: October 26

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Check in every business day for the latest edition of Real Estate Round-up, where we post a list of our favorite real estate news stories from DC and beyond.

Headlines from the DC Metro Area:

Home Affordable Refinance Program: What you need to know
Washington Post

The HARP program, which was rolled out in 2009, is designed to help. Those who are “underwater” on their homes and owe more than the homes are worth.

Policy fixes may boost refinancing
Washington Times

If the Federal Housing Finance Agency is moderately successful in making these changes, the current refinance wave could turn into a tsunami.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's DC home hits the market
DC Urban Turf

The three-bedroom home at 2613 Dumbarton Street NW in Georgetown was listed on Monday for the tidy sum of $5.2 million. Washingtonian reported back in early September that the home was poised to hit the market soon.�

National real estate news stories:

Knowing when to refinance
The New York Times

Here are four questions that borrowers should consider carefully before proceeding with a refinancing, according to experts.

Restringing the housing HARP
Wall Street Journal

The latest iteration came Monday, when the Federal Housing Finance Agency unveiled changes to a program meant to make it easier for underwater homeowners who are current on payments to refinance into a lower-rate mortgage.

Is gentrification always bad for revitalizing neighborhoods?
The Atlantic

The truth is that what some badly disinvested cities, districts, and neighborhoods desperately need is some form and degree of 'gentrification.' The challenge is to have enough without having too much.

http://twlv.net/U5qTrU

Categories: Uncategorized