Living off the Land

A Michigan couple who love modern architecture decide to push the boundaries for their dream home. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204770404577080750737852644.html?mod=rss_Buying_and_Selling

How Do You Measure Square Footage? What is Defined as a Bedroom?

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Do you really know the square footage of your home? Do you really know if that room you use as a den could be considered a bedroom in case you want to sell? You’re not alone. Take a look at this article for instructions on how to measure using the most common technique.

http://www.zillow.com/blog/2011-06-09/how-do-you-measure-square-footage-what-is-defined-as-a-bedroom/

Existing-Home Sales Show Uptrend

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said these are early signs of what may be a sustained recovery. “The pattern of home sales in recent months demonstrates a market in recovery,” he said. “Record low mortgage interest rates, job growth and bargain home prices are giving more consumers the confidence they need to enter the market.”

http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2012/01/ehs_dec

Foreclosures fall to lowest level since 2007 

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Foreclosure filings and repossessions fell to their lowest level since 2007 last year.

Total filings were down 33% for the year to 2.7 million, according to RealtyTrac, the online marketer of foreclosed properties.

http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/12/real_estate/foreclosures/index.htm

Watch this video to get a good idea on the 2012 housing market.  As stated in this video, conditions are still slow but “generating momentum.” Steady but modest improvement is expected through 2012.

Newly-Delinquent Mortgage Loans Fall to Lowest Share in nearly 4 years

A bright spot has appeared - with the lowest reading for loan delinquencies as a share of total loans outstanding in nearly three years.  Take a quick look at this link to read more:

http://eyeonhousing.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/mortgage-bankers-newly-delinquent-mortgage-loans-fall-to-lowest-share-in-nearly-4-years/

Don’t let down-payment gifts delay mortgage loan image

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Coming up with a down payment is often a first-time home buyer’s biggest challenge.

In 2010, 27% of first-time buyers received a gift from a friend or relative to use toward their down payment. That’s up from 22% in 2009 and 23% in 2005, according to statistics from the National Association of Realtors.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dont-let-down-payment-gifts-hold-up-your-mortgage-2011-12-19

Bay Area continues to run counter to national housing market

Those of us that have lived in the Bay Area for years know that this region has always been a little different than the rest of the country. And most of us are glad that’s so! The state of the housing market is one more example of the Bay Area running counter to national norms.  Take a look at this Coldwell Banker article for more insight on the Bay Area housing market.

http://wp.me/pLh4k-7g

6 Tax Breaks Every Homeowner Should Know image

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As mentioned in this link, if you stay organized and focused and keep excellent records, you can take advantage of every tax break, deduction, and credit at your disposal. Just ask me for a top-notch tax consultant if you need answers about taking advantage of these breaks.

http://www.zillow.com/blog/2012-01-19/6-tax-breaks-every-homeowner-should-know/

GOP cribs: Where the candidates live

Here is an interesting article.  Out of all of the candidates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney owns the most real estate, including a townhouse in Boston and a beachfront home in La Jolla, California. 

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/real_estate/1201/gallery.candidate-homes/