News - Articles

Fort Lee, NJ: More Than Scandal Puts It on the Map

Zillow By Laura Vecsey For millions of commuters and drivers who cross the George Washington Bridge every year -- or who try and cross it -- Fort Lee, N.J. can appear little more than an exit sign on the world's busiest bridge that links New York City to the rest of the country. Wrong, says Fred Sokolich (left), a... Continue Reading »

8 Home Inspection Red Flags

Getty Images Our gallery of home inspection nightmares (below) is good for a laugh, but a home inspection is serious business. It's the buyer's opportunity to make sure that the house they're about to purchase doesn't hold any expensive surprises. A typical home inspection includes a check of a house's structural and... Continue Reading »

Home Equity Lending's Uptick: Why It's Good News for Homeowners and the Economy

By Jeff Brown Terrific news! Home equity lending is increasing! OK, maybe it's not a world-changing event. But an uptick in home equity loans is more evidence that the housing market is strengthening. And it gives another loan option to homeowners who still do have equity despite the plunge in home prices after the... Continue Reading »

Home With Stripper Poles, Casino and Disco Is Hedonist's Fantasy (House of the Day)

Talk about a fantasy home. This Los Angeles manse might fulfill your every wild desire: It has at least two stripper poles, one in the home's two-story disco -- yes, this place has a disco -- along with an IMAX theater, casino tables and an elaborate lighting system. The other is in a more private locale -- the shower!... Continue Reading »

30-Year Mortgage Rate Again Nears Record Low

WASHINGTON -- The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage dropped near its all-time low this week, making homebuying and refinancing a bargain for those who can qualify. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan fell to 3.88 percent from 3.98 percent. That's just above the rate of 3.87... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure Up Close: 'My Job Is to Watch Dreams Die'

For many Americans, the foreclosure crisis is a distant aberration -- horrible to behold, but completely remote. Thanks to a blog entry highlighted by Business Insider, the visceral experience of succumbing to foreclosure may hit much closer to home. First posted on the social news site, Reddit, "Why My Job Is To Watch... Continue Reading »

Luxury Camping, New York Style

A level spot of ground and a soft pad under your sleeping bag is what most people think of as luxury camping. Well, the bar has been raised -- big time -- by one New York establishment. AKA Central Park recently introduced five-star camping on a terrace in the heart of Manhattan. AKA specializes in "extended-stay housing"... Continue Reading »

Dennis Hopper, Rolling Over in the Grave

Actor Dennis Hopper's Venice, Calif., compound is back on the market -- at a higher price tag, according to Realtor.com. Now listed at $6,495,000, what's being offered is a five-parcel package that includes a 4,800-square-foot main house and three two-story condos designed by Frank Gehry, plus a 100-year-old guest... Continue Reading »

Today's Head-Scratcher: Ellen, Portia Raise Home's Price

Today's head-scratcher is that Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi have raised the asking price of their Beverly Hills home by almost 15 percent -- from $55 million to a cool $63 million. Did the sale of Jennifer Aniston's place in nearby Trousdale Estates get them thinking they should have asked more? Is the Beverly... Continue Reading »

House of the Day: Historic Lodge in the Adirondacks

They had me at the fireplaces. There is something about a massive stone fireplace or nine that just gets my heart going pitter-patter. The Camp Kwenogamac lodge on New York's Long Lake -- listed for sale now at $6,495,000 and built in 1903 for the surgeon who literally wrote the textbook on the use of antiseptics --... Continue Reading »

Require 20% Down on a House? Hong Kong Tried That

As U.S. regulators fool with the idea that homebuyers should put 20 percent down on home purchases, they need only look across the sea to see what happen when a similar plan was put in place in Hong Kong recently: Sales at 10 of the island-nation's largest home developments fell almost 60 percent the week after the... Continue Reading »

Is This the Most Expensive Rental Ever?

Leave it to London. Just six months after telling you about the world's most expensive apartment for sale, we bring you news of what may be the most expensive rental, also in that city: a penthouse in the toniest part of town that's letting for the equivalent of $65,000 a week. The 10,000-square-foot penthouse flat is... Continue Reading »

House of the Day: Converted Military Base Listed at $6.3M

We just love the mystery and intrigue that surrounds this 53,000-square foot (yes, you read that right) Hollywood Hills house that once functioned as a secret research facility for the military. Now a private residence, it is listed for sale at $6.3 million. This is one of those legendary properties where it's hard to... Continue Reading »

Cabins in Aspen, Free for the Taking (Almost)

It's one thing when the city of Detroit gives away homes for just $1,000 down, but chic Aspen? Aspen is apparently struggling to get rid of three historic cabins. The catch: The owner must move them. Estimates are that it will cost about $10,000 to $20,000 to relocate each of the historic cabins that the city of Aspen,... Continue Reading »

Can You Guess Whose House This Is?

The Beverly Hills estate of Armand Marciano, the co-founder of Guess? Inc., just came on the market at $63 million, which is a lot of jeans, no matter who's doing the zipping. The 30,000-square-foot Mediterranean estate has a total of 10 bedrooms and 22 bathrooms, according to the MLS. It sits on nearly 20 acres. This... Continue Reading »

Lookie, It's National Open House Weekend

Stopping in on open houses is a great weekend pastime, especially if there is no Sunday football to watch on TV. And the National Association of Realtors says that nearly half of all homebuyers visit open houses during their home search. So in the spirit of getting the other half out there, NAR has declared this weekend... Continue Reading »

Actor Dennis Quaid Cuts Price on L.A. Home

Count actor Dennis Quaid among those reducing the asking price on their home. In Quaid's case, the property just took a $3 million shave to $13.9 million, down from the March list price of $16.9 million. Quaid is eager to sell the 8,400-square-foot French-style equestrian estate in the Pacific Palisades area of Los... Continue Reading »

Tag Your Home Photos for Better Insurance Claims

On the morning of Nov. 24, 2007, Brad Stanley and his wife Anita watched as their home in Malibu, Calif., burned to the ground. They were not alone. More than 50 other homes were destroyed in the wildfire. With everything they owned now gone, the family had to start to process of documenting their losses to file for an... Continue Reading »

Liz Taylor's Bel-Air Home Hits Market at $8.6 Million

Elizabeth Taylor's long-time Bel-Air home just came on the market at $8.6 million. The iconic actress, who died at age 79 in March, bought the ranch-style home in 1981. The 7,000-square-foot house sits on 1.27 acres behind a guard gate. A long driveway leads to the brick-lined motor court. The main floor living room... Continue Reading »

Housing Market Hamstrung by Low Appraisals

The housing market stumbled again in April, as tight lending practices continue to hamstring buyers. Existing-home sales fell 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million in April, down from 5.09 million in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. Compared to last April, when buying... Continue Reading »

Home Values: What's in a Neighborhood Name?

Want to boost the price on your house? Go country. Commonly held wisdom is that a prestigious-sounding name can add value to a neighborhood or subdivision. Now the research proves it. Buyers are willing to pay a premium of 4.2 percent for a property with "country" in the name and an additional 5.1 percent for the phrase... Continue Reading »

Zsa Zsa Gabor's House Listing for $15 Million

When Candy Spelling decided to finally list her house -- the most expensive in America at $150 million -- she put agents through a sniff test. Literally. She invited them in and picked the team that her dog Madison, a soft-coated Wheaten terrier, showed the greatest affection for. Coldwell Banker North agent Christophe... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Fraud Hits New High

While homeowners suffer in a depressed housing market, one group is doing very well: mortgage fraudsters. According to a new report from the Lexis Nexis Mortgage Asset Research Institute, fraud and misrepresentation in the mortgage market reached record proportions in 2010, costing an estimated $1.5 billion. All told, the... Continue Reading »

House of the Day: Montana Cabin Lists at $2.9 Million

It may seem a bit pricey to pay $2.9 million for a 1,300-square-foot cabin that goes by the name Twisted Stick, but the charming residence sits amid 379 acres and under the big blue McLeod, Mt., sky. The ranch was named after a gnarled tree stump that sits on a point overlooking the homesite. Twisted Stick was designed... Continue Reading »

Choosing a Real Estate Agent: Beware These Little White Lies

Real estate agents are our friends and business partners, right? Actually, maybe not. While on a personal level, many agents are lovely people, buyers and sellers frequently mistake the relationship for a friendship -- and that's not a good thing. An agent may be representing you in the largest money transaction of your... Continue Reading »

Checking for Bedbugs: New Law Could Help NYC Residents

If you live in New York City and have never encountered bedbugs, well, consider yourself lucky. The situation has become so dire that a bill has been passed by both houses of the New York State legislature that, if signed by Gov. Paterson, will require New York City landlords to reveal "a building's recent bedbug history"... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Fraud Suspects Indicted in California: How Could They Get Away With It?

"Operation Stolen Dreams" lands another alleged mortgage fraud conspirator this week. Nationwide, the feds have stepped up prosecution of mortgage and bank loan fraud. This time, it's a builder in Chico, Calif., who has been indicted for allegedly selling unsold new homes to non-existent or straw buyers, thereby scamming... Continue Reading »

Fannie Mae Offers Foreclosure Alternative

Homeowners facing foreclosure will be allowed to rent their homes at market rates for up to a year. The program, called "Deed for Lease" was announced by government-controlled mortgage backer Fannie Mae on Thursday. Homeowners voluntarily exchange the deed to their house back to the lender for the right to rent their... Continue Reading »

L.A. Couple Tortures Loan-Mod Agents

Last Wednesday, after losing their home to foreclosure, two desperate homeowners got medieval on the loan officers they felt were responsible - now they're facing up to life in prison for it. The Los Angeles County district attorney reports that the couple, Daniel Weston, 51, and Mary Ann Parmelee, 52, and three others... Continue Reading »

Avoid Chinese-Drywall Torture

Chinese drywall is causing more than just sickness, toxic smells and corroding pipes (like the ones in this photo). Now, some unlucky homeowners are getting stuck with canceled insurance policies and looming foreclosure. According to the Associated Press, thousands of homeowners are turning to their insurance companies... Continue Reading »

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