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Apr 13,2007
Here's how you know you're in the middle of a real estate boom: In tiny, picturesque Sayulita, Mexico, about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, the first signs you see when you turn onto the dirt road leading into town are for Century 21 and Prudential Realty.On the main road to the beach, every other storefront boasts photos of land, houses and condos for sale. In fact, there are more real estate shops in town ... [full story]
1927 times read - 2 comments posted

Apr 13,2007
Your property tax bill could be lower this year. With real estate values generally decreasing a bit in value over the past year in most areas, the assessed value of properties also declines, translating to lower property tax for owners. The assessment value of homes and other property is usually linked to fair market values and determined by the county or municipality where the property is found. The assessment is made up of two components ... [full story]
780 times read - No comment posted

Apr 13,2007
Q: I bought a house and the deed I received looks less glamorous than I thought it would. That is, there are no cool stamps, and even the paper looks copied. I trust my lawyer that it is the real deal, but since I now own my home, I had wanted to make a framed collage of the deed, a special landscape map of the property, and use some of our best photographs.While the deed ... [full story]
1838 times read - No comment posted

Apr 06,2007
"Green homes" - those with special features to increase the home's energy and resource efficiency - are becoming more popular with buyers and builders. A survey shows that "green" homeowners are happier now than they were with their previous non-green homes, and most of them recommend "buying green" to others. This was revealed in a recent survey conducted jointly by McGraw-Hill Construction and the National Association of Home Builders. "Though it's still a small number, ... [full story]
1552 times read - No comment posted

Apr 06,2007
Home sales in February are down 8.5% from last year, but are .7% higher than the previous month A forward-looking index based on pending home sales indicates that bad weather, and possibly the loss of some subprime lending, will dampen sales closed in March and April, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index,* based on contracts signed in February, stood at 109.3 -- down 8.5 percent from February 2006 when ... [full story]
1770 times read - No comment posted

Apr 06,2007
Q: A title company insured my home and failed to disclose a slope easement in favor of the city. Eucalyptus trees growing on this back slope are constantly shedding leaves in my swimming pool/yard. An appraiser retained by the title company says that the easement does not diminish the value of my property. But it has a negative impact, as described above. The city has asked me to cease trimming the trees and to remove rocks ... [full story]
1723 times read - No comment posted

Apr 06,2007
Fixed mortgage rates moved higher across the board this week. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 6.25 percent. According to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders, the 30-year fixed rate mortgages had an average of 0.27 discount and origination points.  The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage popular for refinancing increased to 5.97 percent. On larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate grew slightly to 6.52 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages stepped-up with ... [full story]
1350 times read - No comment posted

Apr 06,2007
These days, the international finance community spends a lot of time anticipating what the Federal Reserve Bank is going to do with regard to interest rates. Every six weeks, the watch begins. Pundits make predictions. Financial columnists hang on every word of Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke. And just look what happened when Alan Greenspan uttered the word "recession." That's a lot of power. But how does it play on Main Street? Fortunately, most people who buy ... [full story]
1996 times read - No comment posted

Mar 30,2007
Fixed mortgage rates moved higher following the Fed's stated concerns about inflation. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 6.22 percent. According to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders, the 30-year fixed rate mortgages had an average of 0.28 discount and origination points.  The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage popular for refinancing inched lower to 5.92 percent. On larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate increased to 6.5 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were ... [full story]
2633 times read - No comment posted

Mar 30,2007
Q: My father recently died and has left his California home to us through a living trust. When we transfer the real property out of the trust and into our individual names, will we have to pay capital gains taxes?A: My condolences on the death of your father.Typically, the estate would pay any federal estate taxes or state taxes owed on the property. What your father did by establishing the trust was allow you to ... [full story]
1696 times read - No comment posted

Mar 30,2007
The building of new condominiums is on the rebound. Condo builders and developers are reporting improved market conditions, according to a report from the National Association of Home Builders. "The condo market is coming back toward balance following a period when the pendulum swung from red-hot to seriously cold," said David Seiders, NAHB's chief economist. "What we are looking for, and likely to find this year, is a healthy and sustainable level of condo production ... [full story]
1237 times read - No comment posted

Mar 30,2007
Q: I was in Nashville, Tenn., this last weekend delivering a seminar on FEMA and flood issues for land surveyors. I picked up a copy of "The City Paper" and caught your article regarding flood plain locale.You incorrectly state in the last paragraph that the buyer "may have to purchase flood insurance." According to the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, any federally regulated lender cannot make, increase, extend or renew any loan on ... [full story]
1111 times read - No comment posted

Mar 30,2007
Bankrate Releases National Mortgage Poll Bankrate, Inc. this week released a new poll which found that more than three in ten homeowners (34%) do not know what type of mortgage they own. Furthermore, 28% of those surveyed worry about how they will afford their payments. The national poll reveals the confusion and anxiety that homeowners are experiencing today. Click here to view the complete results.  Another notable finding is that 34% of homeowners with adjustable ... [full story]
1233 times read - No comment posted



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