homeowners - Articles

Americans More Unsure About Homeownership, Survey Suggests

Shutterstock By Christine DiGangi In the wake of the financial crisis and recession, many people's opinions of homeownership have changed. But the majority of Americans (88 percent) consider it a part of the American Dream, according to a survey from NeighborWorks America, a network of affordable housing and... Continue Reading »

Many Hurricane Sandy Victims Getting Shortchanged on Flood Insurance

Alamy By DAVID B. CARUSO NEW YORK -- Many homeowners who got slammed by Superstorm Sandy are finding their flood insurance checks are nowhere near large enough to cover their repairs, and consumer advocates put some of the blame on errors by the multitude of adjusters who were hired in a hurry after the disaster. They... Continue Reading »

Town Finds 'God Bless America' Signs in Violation, Threatens Fines

#fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-498124{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-498124, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-498124{width:570px;height:411px;display:block;} How far is too far when it comes to patriotic displays? Residents of a central Florida town who have... Continue Reading »

New Group Promises to Lobby for Homeowners' Rights

Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock By Christine DiGangi A new homeowner advocacy group started accepting members this month, in an attempt to give a voice to the millions of Americans who own or aspire to own a home. Members of the nonpartisan America's Homeowner Alliance may gain more than an advocate; they will have access... Continue Reading »

10 Best Cities to Own a Home

Though the rate of homeownership in the U.S. has dipped to a 16-year low, owning a home is clearly still very important to most Americans. Even though home prices are on the incline, it's still a market full of deals to be had. If you're thinking now's the time to buy a home, where should you start... Continue Reading »

U.S. Home Sales Dip 1.7% on Tight Inventory

WASHINGTON -- U.S. sales of previously occupied homes fell in September after hitting a two-year high in August, in part because there were fewer homes available for sale. The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales of existing homes in the U.S. dipped 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of... Continue Reading »

Home Sellers and Realtors: Where They Agree and Don't About Marketing a Property

By Samuel Weigley The services of real estate agents can be invaluable, but it seems that most sellers know how to sell their homes. And when it comes to home improvements before putting their houses on the market, agents and sellers mostly agree on what is the best course of action, according to a recent survey conducted... Continue Reading »

Some Lose Homes Over as Little as $400

By Daniel Wagner WASHINGTON -- The elderly and other vulnerable homeowners are losing their homes because they owe as little as a few hundred dollars in back taxes, according to a report from a consumer group. Outdated state laws allow big banks and other investors to reap windfall profits by buying the houses for a... Continue Reading »

Residents in Columbus, Ohio, in Court for Mowing City Land

While one town is threatening to throw homeowners in jail for not mowing their lawns, another is filing charges against those who do -- well, if the land being tended to belongs to the city, that is. The city of Columbus, Ohio, has filed criminal trespassing charges against homeowners who live along three of the city's... Continue Reading »

Homeownership Still a Dream of Most Americans, Survey Says

Despite crumbling home values amid the housing downturn, the majority of Americans still aspire to own their own homes. A new survey by Integra Realty Resources found that 75 percent of non-homeowners ages 22 to 50 would still like to own a home someday. Younger Americans were even more positive: Of those younger than... Continue Reading »

Wealth Gap in America Wider Than Ever, Report Says

WASHINGTON -- The wealth gap between younger and older Americans has stretched to the widest on record, worsened by a prolonged economic downturn that has wiped out job opportunities for young adults and saddled them with housing and college debt. The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net... Continue Reading »

Cities Where Homeowners Are Staying Afloat

President Obama recently announced he would extend the nation's mortgage refinancing program in an effort to provide relief to homeowners whose mortgages are worth more than the value of their homes. With 11 million underwater households no one can claim the housing crisis over. However, some regions have survived the... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Applications Fall to 15-Year Low Despite Enticing Rates

WASHINGTON - Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell last week to a 15-year low, despite the lowest mortgage rates in decades. Many potential buyers are holding off because they are worried about job security and fear the economy could slip back into another recession. The Mortgage Bankers Association said... Continue Reading »

Watch: AOL Real Estate's Interview With a Ghost Hunter

Is there anything scarier than plummeting home value? According to Kris Williams, ghost hunter extraordinaire, there's plenty to give homeowners the willies -- and not just around Halloween either. As a lead investigator on the SyFy Channel's "Ghost Hunters International," Williams has crisscrossed the globe in search of... Continue Reading »

Stricter Down Payment Proposal Could Deter Homebuyers

Among the most hotly contested ideas that bank regulators have proposed to reduce the risk of another financial crisis is a rule making a 20 percent down payment mandatory on some new home loans. Consumer advocates, civil rights groups and lending industry groups alike have said that such a rule would deter many families... Continue Reading »

Home Improvement: Dos and Don'ts From a Pro

If you're a new homeowner, chances are you have a wish list of home improvements you'd like to make as soon as you move in. If you own a home and are trying to sell, you're scrambling to make upgrades before you can put your place on the market. Either way, it's easy to make renovation mistakes--especially at this time of... Continue Reading »

Home Builders Spending Half of Healthy Level

Home builders are sitting on their hands, as are apartment and government project builders, with building activity at around half the $1.5 trillion that would constitute a robust construction environment. Construction spending declined for the third month in a row in February, falling 1.4 percent, according to the... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Broker Reform Could Limit Consumer Options

Starting April 1, a federal law will change the way mortgage brokers earn their pay. Advocates say the rule prevents needless mark-ups on loans that pad brokers' incomes. However, critics argue the law hurts consumers by narrowing the marketplace and funnels more customers to fewer lenders. Don Hagan, vice president of... Continue Reading »

Could New Mortgage Broker Rules Hurt Homebuyers?

Could new mortgage regulations created to protect homebuyers under the Truth in Lending Act actually hurt more than it helps? The debate rages on, as mortgage brokers brace for what some argue will lead to less competition in the market, and therefore less credit for consumers. Charles Hugh Smith at our sister site,... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure Cases Give Homeowners Second Chance

The robo-signing foreclosure saga continues for homeowners in New York, who claim to have been wrongly foreclosed on due to shoddy paperwork. But this time around, judges are throwing out foreclosure cases where lenders won't swear up and down that their foreclosure procedures were accurate. Effectively, homeowners in... Continue Reading »

Get Mortgage Online? Many Homebuyers Are Sold

Buying a home is the biggest transaction in most consumers' lives. So why are an increasing number of homebuyers trusting their life savings to online mortgage processing sites? A recent survey by LendingTree.com shows that 21 percent of potential homebuyers use the internet to shop for their mortgage online. Could online... Continue Reading »

Homeowners Check List for 2011

Homeowners have different needs than buyers and sellers: Mainly, they already own homes, and therefore are less affected by day-to-day market issues. Still, 2011 promises to bring some new twists to this large group of consumers. Tara-Nicholle Nelson of our sister site, WalletPop.com, gives a glimpse at some of the housing... Continue Reading »

New Year's Resolutions for Homebuyers

Like many homebuyers, you sat on the sidelines for the past few years -- watching the real estate market go from boom to bust -- and now you're just about ready to jump in. What renter wouldn't be at least toying with the idea of homeownership, with interest rates well below 5 percent and home prices having dropped more... Continue Reading »

New Home Sales Tumble -- Again

New home sales dropped precipitously in October, very nearly tying for the worst month of sales in 2010. Home sales fell 8.1 percent to 283,000 units in October, down from 308,000 the previous month, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday. The worst month in 2010 was August, when new home sales plummeted to 275,000... Continue Reading »

Home Listings Slide: Good News, Sellers?

For the first time in nine months, several U.S. housing markets saw a drop in home listings -– but what does that mean for hard-luck homesellers? The number of homes listed for sale in 26 major metropolitan areas dropped an average 3.3 percent in October, the first month-over-month drop since January, according to... Continue Reading »

Home Insurance: Tips for Choosing an Insurer

When Suzanne Patt went shopping for a home insurance policy, she ran into a problem: her daughter's trampoline. Some carriers refused to issue her a policy as long as the trampoline was in place; others were willing to include it, but at substantially higher rates. "That really limited my choices," says the Cranford, N.J.,... Continue Reading »

Homeowners Worth More Than Renters

Homeowners may finally have something to smile about. A report by the National Association of Realtors reveals that homeowners' net worth is roughly 41 times that of the average renter. In dollars and cents, the group estimates that the average homeowner's net worth ranges from $150,000 to $200,000, thanks primarily to... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Rates Lowest Since 1951

It's back to the future for homeowners, as Freddie Mac announces that mortgage interest rates are now at their lowest point since 1951. Americans' bread and butter, the 30-year fixed rate loan, dropped to an average of 4.19 percent this week, down from 4.27 percent a week prior. Fifteen-year loans slid from 3.72 percent... Continue Reading »

Fewer Sellers Forced to Cut Home Prices

Will sellers ever wrest control of the housing market from buyers? We may still be a far cry from tipping the scales in sellers' favor, but a recent survey shows that the number of sellers forced to lower their asking price fell in September. Real estate site Zillow found that 28 percent of its home listings saw a price... Continue Reading »

Home Sold Twice to Two Different Buyers

Douglas Garhartt and Brandon Lively would like to finish laying down new carpet in the four-story ocean-view townhouse they purchased as a short sale in March, as well as re-do the kitchen and the master bath, but they are afraid it could be money down the drain." We had to stop because we don't know if it is our house or... Continue Reading »


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