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Mortgage Rates Start the Year Lower

Borrowing costs moved lower this week. But most economists aren’t predicting the trajectory to continue.This marked the first time in 10 weeks that mortgage rates moved lower, Freddie Mac reports."The 30-year mortgage rate fell this week for the first time since the presidential election, dropping 12 basis points to 4.20 percent,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “This marks the first time since 2014 that mortgage rates

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SUBDIVISION'S SELLING POINT: Doomsday-Proof

Selling extreme security features is becoming a common high-end amenity among luxury developments. But a new development popping up an hour outside of north Dallas is taking that to new levels.Trident Lakes is a 700-acre planned community that is being touted as unlike any other high-end suburban development. The subdivision is being promoted as an “ultimate safe haven” that provides “luxury life assistance.” Plus, the neighborhood is bei

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Builders to Press Entry-Level Market in 2017

The call for a greater number of entry-level homes may finally get answered in 2017. Inventories for entry-level homes has remained stubbornly low, greatly limiting the number of affordable homes to first-time home buyer.The number of available homes with less than 1,800 square feet has continued to decrease, reaching a new low of 16 percent, according to a recent report by Drew Reading, U.S. homebuilding analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.More bu

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REALTORS: 4 Ways to Ramp Up Your Online Cred

You can build your business online on a shoestring budget, if you’re savvy enough, a recent article at Forbes.com notes. Columnist R.L. Adams offers some of the following tips on cost-effective ways to market your business better online:1. Blogging.“It does require passion, persistence, along with an inherent understanding of the subject matter and the ability to connect with your audience,” Adams notes. To be successful at it, you need to

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REALTORS: 6 Tips for Hosting an Open House in Winter

When the days get darker and colder, an open house may not be as inviting to those living in colder climates. But there are some things you can do to warm potential buyers’ up to your open house.Broker-owner Joe Moshe with Charles Rutenberg Realty offers the following tips:Keep driveways and walkways clear. On snow days, make sure to shovel the walkway and driveway so the path to the home is clear. Apply rock salt or ice melt on pathways to hel

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Builders Return to Once-Abandoned Projects

The supply of buildable lots is shrinking. That has prompted home builders to return to the abandoned lots left behind during the housing crisis in efforts to revive dwindling inventories of homes for-sale, The Wall Street Journal reports. A surplus of vacant lots and half-built subdivisions still remains across the country, serving as reminders of when the housing boom took an abrupt halt.Nearly two-thirds of builders reporting low to very low s

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The Best Window Treatments for Sellers

Window treatments offer many benefits to sellers: They can bolster the look of a home's interior, making a positive first impression on buyers, allowing them to envision themselves in the home. They also offer the added value of privacy and potential energy cost savings, an aspect many savvy buyers will appreciate.Furthermore, choosing the right window treatments may enable a seller to enhance a house's curb appeal and could help a residence attr

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LATEST MORTGAGE SCAM: Owners Pose as Renters

A new mortgage fraud scheme is taking a reverse approach to traditional occupancy scams. In the past, prospective investors have claimed they intend to take owner occupancy. Then, they are able to qualify for a better interest rate, lower fees, a smaller down payment, or higher loan amount than if they applied for a mortgage as an investor.But CoreLogic analyst Willa Wei is sounding the alarm on the growing incidence of a “reverse occupancy sch

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Where It’s Easier to Keep Financial Resolutions

Here’s a sobering stat: 80 percent of us fail to achieve our New Year’s goals by week two of February, according to clinical psychologist Joseph J. Luciani.Unless you can back your resolutions up with the “capacity to either sustain motivation or handle the inevitable stress and discomfort involved in change,” you’re doomed to fail, Luciani says.That also may mean being in the right place to effect change. WalletHub researchers crunched

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More Equity Likely Coming to Owners

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, rose year over year by 7.1 percent in November 2016 compared to November 2015, CoreLogic’s Home Price Index shows.Expect more price jumps ahead too, although at a more modest pace. Home prices likely will increase by 4.7 percent on a year-over-year basis from November 2016 to November 2017, according to CoreLogic’s forecasts.“Last summer’s very low mortgage rates sparked demand, and with

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