These days, college graduates are leaving college with more than a diploma. Many of them are walking out with a mountain of debt from student loans, as well. This will prevent many graduates from being able to buy a home down the road. This article explains how having too much debt can hurt one’s chances of getting a mortgage loan.
Since earlier this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (a newly created government agency) has been investigating the overdraft fees charged on bank accounts. Specifically, they wanted to know if the banks are using unfair or deceptive practices when charging such fees on their customers, in order to maximize their revenues.
Do you have wood floors in your home? Do you know where the wood came from? If you’re like most homeowners, you don’t know the source of the material. But if it’s the byproduct of an illegal logging operation, your home could seized by the government. In theory, anyway. The National Association of Home Builders wants Congress to amend the Lacey Act to offer legal protection in such cases.
The Phoenix real estate market was hit hard by the mortgage and foreclosure crisis. Prices in the metro area plummeted between 2008 and 2009. But now the Phoenix is rising from the ashes (sorry, couldn’t resist). According to a recent report, this city has experienced one of the largest price gains of any major metro area in the United States. And it looks as though the trend could continue for a while.
Washington, D.C. appears to be one of the first local real estate markets to reach a period of recovery. It’s too early to declare that the nation’s capital has rebounded. Additional price fluctuations may lie ahead. But it has certainly become one of the more stable markets over the last year or so. A recent report showed that D.C. was one of only three metro areas where home prices rose from month to month.
The Federal Reserve recently held one of its big powwows called the Open Market Committee. During the meeting, the participants agreed that foreclosure inventory was still a big problem for the housing market. A large ‘overhang’ of foreclosed and soon-to-be-foreclosed homes would likely depress house prices for some time, the members noted.
What does it mean when a real estate market hits bottom? It means that home prices, after a period of declining, have reached their lowest point. That seems to be the case within the Pittsburgh area. House values there seem to have leveled off, and will likely stay that way for the rest of 2012. Homeowners in this metro area could see small but steady appreciation in 2013.
Atlanta is one of the weakest housing markets in the country right now. In November of 2011, house prices fell to their lowest level since 2000 — long before the crisis began. But if you tilt your head just right, you can see a faint glimmer at the end of the tunnel. A nascent recovery in the employment sector, combined with a sharp drop in for-sale inventory, could help to stabilize this ailing market.
Some analysts have stated that Detroit’s housing market is bouncing along the bottom right now, in terms of property values. After a period of free-falling prices, this should come as welcomed news to homeowners in the area. In fact, I would argue that we will see some appreciation by the end of 2012.