housing

Refinancing Tips: How to Snag Today's Low Rates

With the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage down to 4.09%, -- another record low -- it's a great time to refinance. But before you go running off to your lender to catch the best rates since 1951, get yourself straight. According to LendingTree, many people are making major refinancing mistakes that can cost them dearly.

Homeowners Shelve Remodeling Plans Over Economic Fears

Too scared to spend amid today's economic uncertainty, homeowners are just saying no to remodeling. The number of homeowners who say the economy has them shying away from renovations jumped from 69% in the spring to 80% now, and remodeling contractors report their business is down 3.81% over the last 12 months.

Are You Photoshopping Your Finances?

It's one thing to use Photoshop to make your waistline look slimmer in your snapshots. Many people also take a distorted view of their finances, fooling themselves about the health of their balance sheets. Here are some common self-deceptions.

Homeowners Move Away From 30-Year Mortgages

With the historically low interest rates, many homeowners with 30-year mortgages have been leaving their loans for younger models. According to a new report from Freddie Mac, more homeowners are refinancing into 15- and 20-year mortgages than ever before.

Top 5 U.S. Housing Markets in 2012

With the Standard & Poor's downgrades, the declining stock market, the flat employment figures and Europe's fiscal woes, you might not expect much optimism in the housing market just now. But a few major metropolitan areas should see price increases in the next year, according to Fiserv.

Unemployed and Seeking Shelter from the Storm

The housing crisis continues unabated, and millions of unemployed Americans remain at risk of ending up homeless. But additional government help is arriving from the Obama administration, and nonprofit agencies are making a difference in the efforts of some families to get help from their lenders.

Housing Numbers Show Promise -- But Is It Real?

In a surprising twist, some of the best housing numbers in eight months surfaced Tuesday. We get a lot of real estate related questions from DailyFinance readers, so we checked in with AOL Real Estate Editor in Chief Laura Goldstein for some insight about what the latest data really means.

Is It the 'Best Time' Ever to Buy a Home?

If you're on the fence about whether or not it's the right time to buy a piece of real estate, one expert says there is no doubt about it. According to best-selling author Adam Leitman Bailey, "this is the best time in modern real estate history to be buying a home."

What Would the Rapture Do to Real Estate Prices?

Christian broadcaster Harold Camping miscalculated in his prediction that the world was going to end on Saturday. But he's not the only one who thinks the Rapture could be nigh in the not-so-distant future. Which begs the question: Where will those who are left behind hang their hats?

Is Home Ownership Overrated?

For generations of Americans, home ownership has been extolled as a sound investment and source of moral virtue, stability and community. Renting was seen as anathema, a distinct second choice. But in the wake of the real estate collapse, those long-held assumptions have been called into question.

Three Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

Today's sluggish housing market has little margin for error: Make an ill-conceived or poorly researched home purchase now, and you'll almost certainly pay the price later. To avoid that, make sure you have the right answers to these three questions before you buy your next home.

The Tell-Tale Stat: In Housing Market, Inventory Is Key

If you're trying to decide whether it's time to consider buying a house, the best clues can be found in the new and existing home inventory numbers. And despite all the other positive indicators, those figures are still much too high for comfort.

Home Prices Fall in Most Major U.S. Areas

According to the latest Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index, home prices declined in 19 cities from December to January. And 11 of them are at their lowest level since the housing bust. The only market where prices rose was Washington, where homes prices gained 0.1%.

New Mortgage Regulations Could Bruise Housing Market

New regulations limiting mortgage brokers' compensation go into effect on April 1. While they're meant to protect mortgage borrowers from unscrupulous brokers, they could have an adverse impact on the nation's struggling housing market.

Week in Preview: Discover, Oracle and Tiffany Earnings

Oracle, Discover and Tiffany are all expected to report year-over-year growth for their most recent quarters this week. Meanwhile, many will be looking for an updated snapshot of the housing market, with three sets of real-estate data coming out.

Three Key Rules for Today's Housing Market

Some recent reports on the real estate market show home prices starting to stabilize in many areas. Other data suggests the housing market has further to fall. But whichever direction the national numbers are heading, there are few tenets that smart buyers and sellers should always follow.

What the Housing Market Is Signaling Now

Home sales have started to rebound, with half the nation's markets experiencing price gains in the last quarter of 2010. They weren't great gains, but they were progress. What does this mean for the average consumer?

Recession Lingers On in Silicon Valley

Much has been made recently of the huge valuations of Internet players like Facebook, Twitter and Zynga, but while Web 2.0 is doing well, the Silicon Valley region itself is not. A new report shows compensation and unemployment in the region haven't improved since the downturn.

In Construction, a Year of Flat Growth Would Be Welcome

If you want to see how the construction industry will do in 2011, look at how the architects did in 2010. By that gauge, last year's thin uptick in spending on building design and engineering services foretells a similar small gain ahead for builders -- and after two years of steep declines, any growth at all is welcome news.

Home Prices Fall to Pre-Bubble Levels

The drop in home values caused by the mortgage crisis has resulted in one positive outcome: Prices have fallen so far that home affordability is back to pre-housing boom levels, reports Moody's Analytics. But a quarter of households with a mortgage are underwater on their loan.

Housing's Long and Winding Road to Recovery

Home prices are falling again nearly nationwide, but the pace of sales is starting to pick up in recent months. Overall, it seems clear that the worst of the housing debacle has passed. It's just that the U.S. remains on a slow, grinding track back to housing health.