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An older man sitting in his home

97-Year-Olds Can Still Get a 30-Year Mortgage

Older Americans may not realize that they can still qualify for a mortgage, even though the Equal Credit Opportunity Act forbids discrimination in the mortgage market on the basis of age. Yet, Mary Babinski, a senior loan officer with Motto Mortgage Champions in Trinity, Fla., told The Wall Street Journal that when a 97-year-old applicant came to inquire about a mortgage, he was even surprised he could...

Graph representing the latest real estate bidding wars

Bidding Wars Hit a 10-Year Low

Good news for home buyers: Bidding wars are at the lowest point in a decade. But that could be short-lived. In one closely watched industry index measuring bidding wars, just 10% of offers written by real estate professionals with the brokerage Redfin faced competition from other buyers in October, down from 39% a year earlier. However, economists point to low mortgage rates and a shortage of homes...

Image depicting home improvement

This Dreaded $8,000 Home Renovation Offers the Highest Return on Investment, According to Realtors

There’s one less reason to dread replacing your roof: It’s one of the few home renovation projects that can actually pay for itself, according to real estate professionals. The finding, from the National Association of Realtors’ annual Remodeling Impact Report, pegs the median cost of installing new roofing at $7,500, while the “estimated cost recovered” at sale is $8,000. That represents a...

Workers install roof trusses onto a new house in Arvada, Colorado July 10, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Don’t Be Fooled by New-Home Sales Plunge

Sales of newly built single-family homes dipped 12.8% in July, but homebuilders aren’t looking at the nosedive as bad news. So far this year, new-home sales are up 4.3% over last year, and builders say that’s progress. “Builder confidence continues to trend upward as lower interest rates provide for more favorable buying conditions,” says Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home...

Typical neighborhood from above

Federal Regulators Propose Expanding Digital Appraisals

Some lenders are turning to drones or a computer algorithm to appraise properties, and the practice may grow more common under a new federal proposal. Regulators want to allow the majority of U.S. homes valued under $400,000 to be exempt from current requirements for human-conducted appraisals. The proposal, which makes way for more appraisals to be performed by computer models, has been approved by the...

More Millennials Paying Mortgages Themselves: ‘We’ve Got This’

Over the past year, millennials have become less likely to need to ask their parents for financial help, get a roommate, or work a second job in order to pay for a mortgage to buy their first home, according to a new survey conducted by Redfin of 1,000 respondents born between 1981 and 1996. Comparing the survey’s results to those of a year ago, millennial home buyers feel more confident of their...

Mortgage rate averages as of July 19, 2019

Mortgage Rates Inch Up, But Buyers Are Still Getting Deals

After three weeks of mostly staying steady, average mortgage rates rose this week. However, rates still remain at multiyear lows, keeping borrowing costs low for those shopping for homes this summer. “The rise in rates was driven by continued improvement in consumer spending and partly due to optimism around a forthcoming cut in short-term interest rates, which should provide support for business and...

Open living room

Are Open Floor Plans Just Too Open?

The open floor plan has been a highly sought after layout among today’s home buyers, but homeowners who already live in open-concept homes say they’re starting to miss the walls. With an open floor plan, a kitchen, living room, and dining room are often one large open space. “Buyers are moving away from uninterrupted views,” Loren Larsen, a real estate professional with Compass in Boston, told...

New-Home Construction Slows, But Builders Call the Numbers ‘Deceiving’

Builders added fewer homes to the pipeline in February, but the National Association of Home Builders says the numbers may be misleading about the extent of the actual shortfall. Total housing starts plunged 8.7 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million units, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday. (The annual rate is the number of housing units builders would...

A man completing an application

Higher Hurdle Set for Riskier FHA Applications

Tighter underwriting that the Federal Housing Administration announced March 14 for higher-risk loans doesn’t mean applications for those loans won’t get approved, just that they’ll be subject to more intensive manual review, and that’s an understandable move for the agency, NAR says. “We recognize it’s something the agency has to do to protect its insurance fund,” says Megan Booth,...

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