The 10 most affordable U.S. home markets

The Home Listing Report considers average listing prices of four-bedroom, two-bathroom homes on ColdwellBanker.com. The report looked at 2,300 markets in North America, analyzing properties listed between September 2010 and March 2011.

Some of the most affordable markets in the country are suffering with weak economies, and include Midwestern cities that never experienced very high housing prices during the boom but saw prices fall as their local economies deteriorated, said Jim Gillespie, CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate. Other affordable markets include areas of the country dealing with an overabundance of new housing supply.

Click HERE For More Information | Market Watch

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Courts may reshape mortgage industry

A New York appellate court ruled last week that a Reston-based company that electronically tracks and transfers millions of mortgages did not have the right to foreclosure on a property or assign a mortgage it doesn’t actually own. The decision came only days after an appeals court in California took a different view, ruling that the firm indeed has the power to act on behalf of lenders.
The two cases, like dozens of others already decided or playing out in courtrooms across the country, highlight a protracted legal wrestling match that could determine the validity of foreclosures already in the pipeline and shape the mortgage market for years to come.
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Is it Possible to Take My Foreclosure “Off the Record”

I recently read a blog article about whether or not it is possible to get a foreclosure of one’s record. The blogger gave some great insight to this issue.  Foreclosures can be a tricky item to deal with. It truly depends on where you are at in the process and also remember the foreclosure process differs from state to state. However, it sounds like from the facts of this matter, you should have a decent chance of getting them removed.   When in doubt seeking legal counsel would be a great plan of action.

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Who do you want to control your Estate?

When you use a Will to pass your property, the probate system takes control over all of your assets.  This means that the court system, not your family or heirs, is in charge of your assets until they are distributed (an average of 12 months).  That translates basically into a year of lawyers, bureaucratic paper shuffling, court procedures, court permissions and approvals, etc.– all before the estate is distributed and your assets get to whom you intended. Listing all the requirements, processes, duties, and filings would be overwhelming.  Such a complicated process, of course, generally requires an attorney.

Click HERE For More Information | Lawyers.com

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IRS Scrutinizes Gifts of Real Estate

A court document with the IRS filing described efforts by Josephine Bonaffini, the coordinator of an IRS state and federal gift-and-estate tax program, to find people who haven’t filed Form 709 to report U.S. gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes to the IRS.

The document, dated Dec. 21, said 323 taxpayers in the previous two years had been examined for failing to report possible gifts. Another 217 were being examined and 250 more were being considered for review. So far, Ms. Bonaffini said in the document, 97 had failed to report gifts on Form 709. Twelve cases resulted in taxes or penalties because a gift put the donor over the $1 million lifetime gift credit that applied at the time.

States that have handed over information on gift-like transactions are Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, according to the document. Ms. Bonaffini examined a sampling of data from these states and it showed “an extremely high failure-to-report rate,” the document said.

Click HERE For More Information | Wall Street Journal

 

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Pending Home Sales Reach New Low as a Result of Unpredictable Circumstances

Pending sales of existing homes plummeted in April by 11.6%, reaching a seven month low after two consecutive months of increases. Pending home sales typically led existing home sales by a month or two and appear to be down in part due to bad weather in the South and high gas prices. But economists only expected a 1% decline, so the news was shocking.

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Housing Policy & Data: An Update

Rates for 30-year fixed-rate conventional mortgages dropped another basis point to 4.60% last week, continuing the record lows in 2011

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