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March 2011

There are 5 blog entries for March 2011.

Real Estate - It's Time To Buy Again

  Is it true? Is it a good time to buy a home in Philadelphia? Philadelphia Real Estaterom his wide-rimmed cowboy hat to his roper boots, Mike Castleman fits moviedom's image of the lanky Texas rancher. On a recent March evening, Castleman is feeding cattle biscuits to his two pet longhorn steers, Big Buddy and Little Buddy, on his 460-acre Bar Ten Creek Ranch in Dripping Springs, a hamlet outside Austin in the Texas Hill Country. The spread is a medley of meandering streams, craggy cliffs, and centuries-old oaks. But even in this pastoral setting, his mind keeps returning to a subject he knows as well as any expert around: the housing market. "I'm a dirt-road economist who sees what's happening on the ground, and in 35 years I've never…
1,573 Views, 68 Comments.

Life After Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

  How might home buying change if the federal government shuts down the housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Philadelphia Real Estate/aThe 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan, the steady favorite of American borrowers since the 1950s, could become a luxury product, housing experts on both sides of the political aisle say. Interest rates would rise for most borrowers, but urban and rural residents could see sharper increases than the coveted customers in the suburbs. Lenders could charge fees for popular features now taken for granted, like the ability to “lock in” an interest rate weeks or months before taking out a loan. Life without Fannie and Freddie is the rare goal shared by the Obama administration and House…
15,722 Views, 222 Comments.

To Buy or To Rent? That is the Question.

  Philadelphia Real Estate/aDespite the rising number of renters across the country, it is cheaper to buy a home rather than rent one in 72 percent of the 50 largest cities in the U.S., according to an index released by real estate search and marketing site Trulia. "Since the start of the 'Great Recession,' many former homeowners have flooded the rental market. Following the principles of supply and demand, renting has become relatively more expensive than buying in most markets," said Pete Flint, CEO and co-founder of Trulia, in a statement. "Though necessary for achieving true economic recovery, stricter bank lending practices have also further aggravated the struggling housing market in the short term. Even highly qualified…
1,780 Views, 174 Comments.

FHA Financing vs. Conventional Loans

  If you want to know the difference between conventional mortgages and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) financing, the first item up for discussion is typically the cost of each loan. Philadelphia Real Estate/aFor instance, the Wall Street Journal tells us that “conforming mortgages, or those that can be bought by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, commonly require higher down payments than FHA loans require. The catch to an FHA-insured loan is that you’ll pay more in fees.” Later the Journal explains that “borrowers don’t face those costs on a conforming mortgage with 20% down.” (See: FHA Powers What’s Left of the Home Market, March 6, 2011) Well, sure, but how realistic is this comparison for most borrowers? Apples & apples Let’s begin…
24,204 Views, 232 Comments.

Philadelphia Real Estate - Philadelphia Housing Market Continues Downward Trend

  The Philadelphia housing market continued its downward trend this past quarter, as both home sales and prices hit new lows. This makes it a good time to buy a home in Philly. Not such a great time to sell unless you are selling and buying another home, you’ll sell low but also buy low. The Philadelphia housing market continued its downward trend this past quarter, as both home sales and prices hit new lows. The typical Philadelphia home fell in value by an average of 4.2% on a quality and seasonally adjusted basis this past fall, according to the latest data from the City’s Recorder of Deeds. With this most recent decrease, the average Philadelphia home has now fallen…
2,351 Views, 30 Comments.