30% of U.S. Homeowners Are Mortgage-Free, Zillow Says

Media coverage of the real estate market has focused so much on the mortgage woes of homeowners over the past five years, you might be excused for believing that only a small minority of homeowners actually, well, own their homes -- mortgage-free. But you'd be mistaken, a report released by listing service Zillow suggests.... Continue Reading »

Home Affordability Likely Hit Record High in 2012

2012 will probably go down as the most affordable year on record for homebuyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. A combination of depressed home prices and rock-bottom interest rates created perfect-storm home buying conditions that Americans may not see again for decades, experts say. NAR's Housing... Continue Reading »

Billy Bob Thornton, Angelina Jolie's Former Home in Beverly Hills Sells for $8 Million

Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie's former home in Beverly Hills, Calif., sold on New Year's Eve, ringing in 2013 by shutting the door on the ex-power couple's burned-out romance. The home sold for $8 million -- nearly $2 million less than Thornton listed it for in October -- listing service Zillow reported. ... Continue Reading »

Luxurious Kauai Cottage Gets You in the Club (House of the Day)

Nestled into Kukuiula, a private beach club on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, this luxury cottage offers sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean that stretch beyond its palm-tree-dotted lawn. Listed at $3.995 million, it's this week's #housepornthurs champ, submitted by @discovercrc. (A tip of the hat to @PartnersTrust for... Continue Reading »

13 Ways to Sell Your Home in 2013

As the housing recovery that began last year continues to gain steam into 2013, selling your home may become less of a headache. But you can be sure of one thing: You're always likely to make the process easier if you use smart marketing tactics. Some of them are givens: De-clutter your home for open houses,... Continue Reading »

'The New Subprime' Mortgage: Risky Loans Emerge in Twist on Seller Financing

Mortgages resembling the kind of subprime loans that were blamed for the foreclosure crisis are creeping back into the market, leaving some experts and regulators alarmed. The loans give a relatively new twist to seller financing, putting homeownership within reach of borrowers who can't qualify for a conventional mortgage.... Continue Reading »

Hurricane Sandy and 2012's Other Natural Disasters Could Cost Homeowners for Years to Come

Mother Nature certainly made herself known in 2012, unleashing unusually destructive wildfires and storms across the U.S. Hurricane Sandy alone caused up to $50 billion in damage. While the spate of disasters weighs on homeowners in the near-term in the form of reconstruction costs, it may have significant long-term effects... Continue Reading »

Redditor Beth Robinson Posts Security Camera Video of Robbery at Her Home

Security cameras installed by a Raleigh, N.C., "Redditor" and her husband recently caught a gang of robbers plundering their home just before New Year's Eve, they say. The security video (see below) apparently shows three thieves entering the home's living room after kicking in a door. The homeowner, Beth Robinson,... Continue Reading »

Renters Looking to Own Are Ready to Buy, PulteGroup Survey Says

Among renters who one day hope to own a home, a poll finds a dramatic increase in the number who now say that they intend to buy in the near future. Offering more evidence of a swing toward homeownership as the housing market continues to recover, the survey by PulteGroup reports that about 6 in 10 of those renters plan on... Continue Reading »

'Shadow Inventory' Threat Continues to Recede, CoreLogic Says

The number of homes in the "shadow inventory," once considered a serious threat to a real estate recovery, continues to drop as the housing market absorbs foreclosures, analytics firm CoreLogic said in a report it released today. The shadow inventory refers to the pent-up supply of homes that are either in foreclosure or... Continue Reading »

How to Find Out Who Owns a Gun Permit: Learn If Your Neighbors Are Packing Heat

A controversial map recently published by The Journal News newspaper in New York marked one of the latest reactions to the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The map disclosed the identities of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. While the move rankled many, it also highlighted a... Continue Reading »

Real Estate 2012: The Year the Housing Market Turned the Corner

2012 will probably be considered the year that a sinking housing market finally hit bottom and began to rise again. Home prices, home sales and new home construction all substantially increased amid shrinking inventory and record-low mortgage rates. Adding to the drama (and perhaps aiding the recovery): Lenders finally... Continue Reading »

Process Servers Say Foreclosure Crisis Puts Them in Greater Danger

Process server Michael Root says that he knows how angry foreclosure notices can make homeowners -- because one property owner almost killed him and members of his family. As it turned out, Root wasn't even bringing a foreclosure notice when, he said, he was attacked in June by a homeowner in Wingdale, N.Y.; it was a... Continue Reading »

Bel-Air Mansion Asks for a 'Discriminating Buyer' -- That Has $45 Million (House of the Day)

Our pal @Ryan_Estately (of listing service Estately) finally pulled through this week, clinching a much-deserved #housepornthurs win by submitting this mind-blowing listing. Nestled into a neighborhood of luxury, this Bel-Air, Calif., mansion is slated for completion in 2014. But even though that's more than a year... Continue Reading »

HUD Mortgage Sale Could Help Thousands of FHA-Insured Borrowers but Unfairly Exclude Others

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has begun selling off thousands of seriously delinquent mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a move that could save many distressed borrowers from losing their homes. But it also leaves thousands more who are saddled with equally distressed FHA... Continue Reading »

Hurricane Sandy Batters Home Sales in Storm-Affected Areas

Hurricane Sandy destroyed thousands of homes in the Northeast, reportedly inflicting as much as $50 billion worth of damage and sparking a slew of relief efforts aimed at providing housing aid for storm-affected victims. But along with putting many homeowners' lives on hold, Hurricane Sandy also brought housing sales... Continue Reading »

Manhattan Penthouse in Excelsior Co-Op Has 'Floating Staircase' (House of the Day)

This Manhattan penthouse in the ritzy Excelsior co-op knocks guests on their heels as soon as they arrive with a "floating staircase" in its entry. The steps ascend beneath an arched skylight to a second floor that opens into the 5,000-square-foot home's living room. That room (pictured above) is a stunner in itself.... Continue Reading »

Hurricane Sandy Housing Aid Eludes Storm Victims in Hard-Hit Staten Island Neighborhood

Many homes in the Staten Island neighborhood of New Dorp Beach were shattered by Hurricane Sandy. But even in a New York City community as hard hit by the superstorm as this one, Rudy Mienert's house stops passersby dead in their tracks. Slabs of its clapboard exterior litter the ground, the front fence is mangled and a... Continue Reading »

'Villa Della Pace' Boasts Picturesque Pool and Panoramas in Kentfield, Calif. (House of the Day)

A second #housepornthurs victory goes to @PacUnion (Pacific Union International) for tweeting this mind-blowing California villa. The runner-up was a listing submitted by @Ryan_Estately (of the Estately blog). Perched over Phoenix Lake and Mt. Tamalpais, "Villa Della Pace," listed for $11.495 million, boasts... Continue Reading »

Occupy Our Homes, Occupy Wall Street Offshoot, Builds a Reputation in Battling Foreclosures

Though Occupy Wall Street is fading from the public eye, one of its offshoots continues to garner attention, carrying the torch as perhaps the most potent legacy of a movement that's largely cooled. Ten months ago, Occupy Our Homes officially launched in more than 20 cities, staging sit-ins at properties in danger of... Continue Reading »

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