Market Conditions

Big changes in housing market and financing mean no turnaround in sight yet E-mail
Market Conditions
Written by Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune   

 Housing affordability is the best it's been in eight years, and mortgage rates remain under 4.5 percent, yet hopes have withered that a recovery in the housing market will take shape next year. Instead, there are expectations that the nation's homeownership rate, which at 65.9 percent in June was at its lowest level in 13 years, will continue to fall, and not just because of Wall Street fluctuations, soured consumer confidence and a still-suffering labor market.

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Few Move-Ups Leave Homeowners Stuck E-mail
Market Conditions
Written by Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times   

Back in the frothy days of 2007, Luciano Mor needed only a weekend and a Craigslist ad to find a buyer for his two-bedroom starter home.The split-level house, on a quiet Silver Lake street, sold for $749,000, commanding nearly twice what he paid in 2002 and about $50,000 more than a real estate agent had suggested as a listing price. Mor, who works for Vans' apparel division, had planned on taking the gains and snapping up a place closer to his job in Cypress with enough room to accommodate an expanding family.It was the kind of life progression that traditionally fuels a healthy housing market.

Then prices started to drop. Nearly four years later, Mor is still looking for the right deal."I just feel like the longer I hold off, the better I will be," Mor said, sitting in the living room of the Long Beach home he and his wife rent. "It's almost like getting a new car — you just know it's best to hold on to your old car as long as possible."Potential move-up buyers like the Mors are largely sitting on the sidelines these days, leaving a key part of the housing market stuck in neutral. The promise of rising prices and upward mobility, once a powerful force in the American housing narrative, has been all but shattered by the downturn.

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Little Work, Big Return E-mail
Market Conditions
Written by Alana Kanter, ForSaleByOwner.com   

Why sell your house by owner?  Because of the thousands of dollars you can save by avoiding costly real estate agent commissions.  Let’s say that your home is listed for $300,000 and you paid out a 6% commission once it was sold.  That equals $18,000!  Ask yourself, do real estate agents deliver $18,000 in value?  The simple answer is no.

Want to successfully sell without an agent?  Here is a recap of some of the extra work that you need to do to put that extra money in your pocket:

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The Basics on Lease-Option (Rent to Own) E-mail
Market Conditions
Written by Stephen E. Spira, Esq.   

In today’s real estate market, both buyers and financing are scarce. These market pressures have increased the popularity of alternatives to the purchase and sale of a home, such as lease-options (also known as “rent to own”).

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A short sale's long journey E-mail
Market Conditions
Written by Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune   

With home values falling and a rough economy denting people's wallets, it doesn't take much for a homeowner to get underwater on a mortgage, owing more on the loan than the home is worth. Toss in a personal dilemma or two and the situation can become even more bleak.

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