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If you lose your home, you won’t owe the IRS!

Legislation to relieve homeowners of tax burdens after a foreclosure – passed the House and Senate earlier this week, and President Bush signed it into law on December 20.<br /><br />This important legislation is one more step in helping homeowners through the fallout of the sub-prime lending boom.<br /><br />To see the National Assocaition of REALTORS’s news release on yet another win for homeownership, please visit:<br /><a href=”http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2007/president_bush_signing_mortgage_forgiveness.html”>http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2007/president_bush_signing_mortgage_forgiveness.html</a> Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogleTumblrLinkedInEmailPrintPocketRedditPinterestLike this:Like...

Fed’s rate cuts ignite a rush to refinance

By Alan J. Heavens<br />Inquirer Real Estate Writer<br /><br />A positive note in the chorus of bad economic news sounds loudly, like a call to arms. Or, as happened after the Federal Reserve dropped short-term interest rates three-quarters of a percentage point Tuesday, a race to refinance.<br /><br />The refinancing frenzy began right after the Fed’s announcement, local brokers and bankers reported. The 10-year Treasury bond rates on which fixed mortgages are based also fell, and interest rates for 30-year loans plunged as far as 5.125 percent, the lowest level since spring 2004. On Jan. 1, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 6.07 percent; it has ranged between 6 percent...

Lower Fed rate could help ARMs, subprime mortgages

<p class=”byline lastline”>INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER</p> <div class=”body-content”> <p>The Federal Reserve’s decision to lower its benchmark federal funds rate by one-half of a percentage point, to 3 percent, could have a positive effect on subprime and adjustable-rate mortgages, economists said today. </p><p>Rates for adjustable-rate subprime loans are typically based on other short-term indexes, especially the LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rates) or the 12-month Treasury average (MTA). But those rates also have dropped in the last two months. </p><p>”It will help those whose adjustable loans are about to reset big time,” said Brian Bethune of Global Insight Inc., of Lexington, Mass. “The LIBORs have come down dramatically since December, with...

On the House: Should seller get inspection?

By Al Heavens<br />Inquirer Columnist<br /><br />With today’s wide selection of homes making buyers pickier, some of my readers are again raising questions about the value of pre-inspections by sellers.<br />Here’s a case in point:<br /><br />One reader, Kevin, says his mother recently inherited a home in Springfield, Delaware County, from her late sister. The house is in an attractive neighborhood, and Kevin believes that his mother’s primary goal is to sell the house quickly rather than “maximize what she is paid for it.”<br />The house has some “obvious issues,” he says, including plumbing in disrepair, dog-stained hardwood floors, dated wallpaper, a 55-year-old gas stove, and several stress cracks...

When – and when not – to refinance your mortgage

<a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__b6Y0cLXpyI/R7N91SaHsKI/AAAAAAAAACM/lXTuJJR9sIM/s1600-h/ILYCE_GLINK.jpg”><img style=”margin: 0pt 10px 10px 0pt; float: left; cursor: pointer;” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__b6Y0cLXpyI/R7N91SaHsKI/AAAAAAAAACM/lXTuJJR9sIM/s200/ILYCE_GLINK.jpg” alt=”” id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5166611551952023714″ border=”0″ /></a><br /><table class=”table_top” align=”center” border=”0″ cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”5″ width=”90%”> <tbody> <tr> <td> <div class=”captionTxt”><br /></div><span class=”plainTxtGray”>Feb 08,2008 00:00 </span><span class=”plainTxtGray”>by Ilyce_Glink </span><br /><br /><br /><p><span style=”color: rgb(0, 0, 0);font-size:100%;” ><span style=”font-family:Verdana;”>The economy is going through a rough patch, and the stock market is well below its all-time high. Mortgage rates have been dropping since the end of last year.<br /><br />For homeowners, that can only mean one thing: it’s time to think about refinancing your mortgage.<br /><br /><span style=”font-weight: bold;”>”If you can save on the interest you’re paying, then it’s time...

California Luxury Homes Holding Their Value

<b><i>By Brad Finkelstein</i></b> <p>SAN FRANCISCO-Luxury home prices declined modestly in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the fourth quarter but rose year-over-year, while values in the San Diego area posted small decreases in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago, according to the First Republic Prestige Home Index.</p> <p>This index is compiled by First Republic Bank here, a provider of private banking, private business banking and wealth management services.</p> <p>”Luxury home prices in California weakened in the fourth quarter, but they are holding their own on a year-over-year basis,” said Katherine August-deWilde, president and chief operating officer of First Republic Bank. “At the high end of the luxury...

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