"Where can I find information on foreclosure prevention?" The federal agovernment's "Making Home Affordable" plan provides responsible homeowners with support to obtain affordable refinancing or loan modifications to help them stay in their homes. Visit the “Making Home Affordable” Web site for more information.
Housing Market Update According to a statement on October 25 by the Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke: "More than 20 percent of borrowers owe more than their home is worth, and an additional 33 percent have equity cushions of 10 percent or less, putting them at risk should house prices decline much further. With housing markets still weak, high levels of mortgage distress may well persist for some time to come.". . . Continue reading: "Housing Update." Homeowners May Not Recoup for 15 Years According to the highly-respected Case-Shiller Housing Index, home prices may not return to their 2005 peak for roughly 15 years. Some markets will rebound much faster while other, over-built markets will lag behind as prices rise. And within any given metro area there will be differences in price gains from neighborhood to neighborhood.
Of course, 2025 is a long way off and a lot can happen between now and then so these projections are open to question. But one thing is certain: in real estate the three most important things are still location, location, location. How fast do you expect home prices to recover in your own neighborhood? Click on the online poll o the right then compare your answers to those of other homeowners. Home Buying Tips You Haven't Heard By: Steve Gillman
The following are not your usual home buying tips. For example, almost everyone will tell you that you should buy a home, but the first tip below suggests an alternative.
Consider Renting This is all about time and place and your own situation. Are you going to be in one place for long? If you are likely to move within a few years, you may be better off renting. Transaction costs of buying and selling will likely eat up any equity gains you get. It may seem profitable to buy at $200,000 and sell at $220,000 two years later, but commissions, closing costs and loan costs can easily add up to $20,000, so where is the gain? Also, there is no guarantee that prices will rise, and if they don't you suffer a real loss.
Also, it is a matter of the ratio between rental rates and the costs of buying, and what is likely to happen in the market. For example, suppose you are in a slow-growing stable area, and your total monthly cost to buy a home is going to be around $1,200. If rent is anywhere near that for the same size home, you should probably be buying a house . . . Continue reading: "Home Buying Tips"
Blog: Charity Begins at Home, But It Shouldn't End There Bob Larranaga "But if any provideth not for his own, and specially his own household, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Timothy 5: 8) Scripture makes clear that our first charitable obligation is to those we love and live with. Before we leave the hearth and home to engage in volunteer work for the church, before we make a large donation to a deserving charity, we have to make sure that the physical and emotional needs of our family members have been met. We have to make certain that the family home is a safe haven, a sanctuary in which all can retreat from the cares and concerns of the world and find the solitude in which to pray.
But since the 1950s, the size of the average American house has more than doubled and now stands at 2,349 square feet. We have isolated ourselves from our neighbors and have walled out the rest of the world. But scripture reminds us that once we have met the basic needs of our household, we have a duty as faithful stewards to meet the needs of the less fortunate members of society. Read other Recent Posts on stewardship and add a comment.
"I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah for ever." (Psalm 23:6)
Rule of Thumb
Before house-hunting, get pre-aproved for a loan so you know how much home you can afford. Then use sites like www.zillow.com to see what's available in your price range.