VA Loans: Homebuying Help for Veterans

A VA loan is one of the most desirable mortgage options available to homebuyers: It allows an eligible veteran to buy a home with 100 percent financing, the lowest possible interest rate and minimal fees. Some veteran buyers may even qualify for the holy grail of mortgages, known in real estate parlance as a "VA No-No"... Continue Reading »

Home Builder Turns Trash Into $10,000 Green Homes

Dan Phillips is one of the most unconventional home builders you'll ever find. In fact, he's more an ecological social messiah than a home builder (see video below). For $10,000, he builds affordable homes for low-income people that are attractive, energy-efficient and save landfills. Most builders purchase building... Continue Reading »

Homegrown Infomercials Aid Desperate Seller

Desperate home sellers are resorting to novel real estate marketing strategies these days -- including filming their own infomercials. For example, when Gary O'Neal decided to sell his 19th-century estate on a 30-acre mountaintop in rural New Hampshire, complete with historic chapel and a ton of religious history, clearly... Continue Reading »

Rich People Buying Homes Again -- Should You?

The rich know something you and I get awfully confused about: Now really is the time to buy real estate. Wealthy people are buying homes as quickly as they can in traditionally hot cities, according to Christie's International Real Estate. "The confidence is back in the market," said Christie's CEO Neil Palmer. "This... Continue Reading »

Baby Boomers Launch Remodeling Boom

The first wave of Baby Boomers turned 65 last year, which will have a significant impact on real estate and the nation's housing market. Not only should home sales increase, but hammers and nails will be flying as homes change hands from older to younger owners, while the home remodeling industry strikes it rich. In... Continue Reading »

Undecorating Trend Undoing Home Sales?

Undecorating: It's the design trend of the moment. There's even a new book to prove it. "Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design" lauds the quirky, the personality-driven, the DIY approach to home design. Like the one practiced by the Chicago couple at left, who parked an Airstream trailer smack in... Continue Reading »

H.L. Hunt's Great Grandson Hit With Mortgage Fraud

Al G. Hill III, the first great-grandchild of legendary Texas oilman H.L. Hunt (see photo below) -- once known as the richest man in America and who died in 1974 -- has been indicted in Dallas County on several felony counts of mortgage fraud for a home improvement loan of more than $200,000. Hill, 40, and his wife, Erin... Continue Reading »

Underground Real Estate Boom: Bomb Shelter Sales on the Rise

Home prices may be double-dipping and dripping downward across the U.S., but there's one real estate market that's looking up, way up: luxury underground bunkers and bomb shelters. Frustrated by a crazy world, sales of high tech survival shelters have surged from 20 to 1,000 percent. Much of the anxiety, says... Continue Reading »

Are Men Dumber About Real Estate Values Than Women?

It doesn't take women long to figure out that men exaggerate about, um, almost everything, including real estate values. So it should come as no surprise that men are more bullish about the value of their castles than women are. According to a study conducted by a national polling company, The Rasmussen Report found that... Continue Reading »

What Multimillion Dollar Homes Sales Mean for Us

Happy days are here again, at least for the sellers of multimillion dollar homes. After four solid years of penny-pinching, the rich are opening their pocket-books to buy real estate. Cash sales are on the rise. Sales of multimillion dollar homes and condos are up in all 20 major U.S. metro areas, some of which have seen... Continue Reading »

Freddie Mac Goes Viral With Foreclosure Myths Videos

Freddie Mac is doing its part to educate homeowners about foreclosure in a new video series on YouTube called "Get the Facts." It almost sounds like a sex education campaign, but the informational videos actually smack down foreclosure myths and offers facts about foreclosures. Videos address topics such as what a... Continue Reading »

Texas Real Estate Market Gets a Kick of the Spurs

Texas real estate sales here are blooming right along with the spring bluebonnets. Average homes sales increased over the last six months in five major Texas metropolitan markets -- Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth --- according to the Federal Reserve. Is the sign of life in the Lone Star state a harbinger... Continue Reading »

Divorced Divas Dwell in Dallas Mansion, On Sale for $20M

This Texas home could be a reality show producers' dream script. A 20,000-square-foot Texas mansion built by an oil tycoon and his ex-wife is providing shelter for homeless divorcées. Jacque Evans (no relation) built this 19,337-square-foot palace as her dream home with her husband of 20 some years. No expense was... Continue Reading »

Terrell Owens Shedding Two Dallas Condos

Terrell Owens, whose 15-year professional football career brought him from San Francisco to Philadelphia, down to Dallas, up to Buffalo and back to the Cincinnati Bengals, must like buying real estate as much as he does switching teams. He is selling both of the units he owns in the ultramodern Azure, Dallas' first... Continue Reading »

George W. Bush's Home Targeted by Alleged Terrorist

George W. Bush's home in Dallas may have been a terrorist's target. The FBI has arrested a Saudi student in Texas and charged him with attempting to construct improvised explosives and compiling a list of possible targets, including the home of former President Bush. The home on Daria Place that former President George... Continue Reading »

Hispanic Homeowners Fuel Texas Housing Growth

Texas, as you may have heard, is growing explosively -- and Hispanic homeowners are the main reason why. The latest Census Bureau figures show the Lone Star State grew by 20 percent, to over 25 million people, recording about a quarter of the nation's overall growth. To put it another way, of the nation's 17 million new... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Deduction: The Lobbyists Strike Back

In his mission to lower the deficit, President Obama has proposed snipping high-income earners' tax deduction for mortgage interest payments. And yet, here he is, two years into his presidency, a truly scary unemployment rate not budging, and he has yet to meet with representatives of the nation's major home building... Continue Reading »

Townhouses Trump McMansions As New Hot Property

When it comes to home size, American homebuyers are finally deciding that less really is more. They are cutting back on options and reducing square footage. More incredibly, they're buying townhouses instead of McMansions. I about flipped when I got wind of a new development under construction in tony University Park... Continue Reading »

Energy Efficient New Homes Get a Marketing Boost

If buyers could see from the start how energy efficient new homes save major dollars on energy costs, would they be more likely to open their wallets wider for a new home over old? In a market heavy with competition from distressed properties, Los Angeles-based builder KB Home and other new-home companies are betting they... Continue Reading »

Housing Crisis Hits Previously Healthy Cities

Maybe we are just getting immune to the housing crisis; to the news that homes are underwater in Phoenix and Florida; that all the "sand states" are in real estate hell; and that it costs less to buy than rent in Las Vegas, where 51 percent of the buyers are coming in with cash. But here's a shocker: Seattle, Chicago and... Continue Reading »

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