housing

2010 Predictions from Wall Street and Main Street: Who's Smarter?

Every December for the last five years Money Talks News has hooked up with David Wyss, the chief economist for giant research firm Standard & Poors. We sit him down in a studio and

$8000 housing tax credit can now be turned into cash at closing according to FHA

As part of the Obama stimulus plan passed in January, first time home buyers in 2009 are entitled to a tax credit of up to $8000 that they do not have to repay. This tax credit was

Should you try to reduce your rent?

Lately it seems that rent prices have been dropping in many areas of the country. Here in San Mateo some residential apartments are dropping prices as much as 20%. This seemed a

Need cheap or free construction materials? Go to a demolished housing development.

Amidst the financial crisis, many home builders around the country have run out of financing. Last week a bank decided to completely level 16 completed and partially built homes i

Don't worry about missing the bottom in houses

I've recently heard from several people who want to buy a house and are thinking that now may be the time. In particular, they're worried that waiting might cause them to "miss th

Will Obama's new mortgage plan really reward responsibility?

Today President Obama announced a new $75 billion Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan to the world. It is touted as a plan that helps responsible homeowners who have not

How to create a speculative bubble and profit

Recently I read an enlightening story in the New York Times about the Pu'er tea bubble in Yunan, China. The burgundy fermented teas fetched prices of $150 a pound at the peak, but

How does the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout affect you?

Yesterday Henry Paulson decided to use the power given to him by the housing bailout bill to officially take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is a decision that has a huge im

Real Estate Appraisals - Ten things most people just don't understand about them

The homeowner wants to make the sale. The broker wants to make the commission. The lender wants to make the loan. It'd be nice to see all these folks made happy, but first... th

Seller Funded Down Payment Assistance Charities - Scammers or Saints?

The United States House of Representatives just passed a massive mortgage bailout bill that includes many changes to the Federal Housing Administration and the Government Sponsored

Is It the End of 6% Real Estate Commissions?

This week the Justice Department reached an antitrust settlement with the National Association of Realtors that is meant to spur competition and bring down the standard 6% commissi

Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings

At any port you can probably see hundreds to thousands of empty shipping containers just sitting around waiting to be loaded. In recent times these containers have not only transp

Do not buy something just because you can afford it

Since I got married people have been constantly asking me two questions. One is, "are you pregnant yet?", and the other is "are you going to buy a house?" One

Prefab Fab - This ain't yer grandma's double-wide

Are prefabbed homes the wave of the future? Judging from some of the magazines that I receive (Sunset, Metropolitan Home), it sure looks like things are heading in that direction. [more]