The Real Deal New York

Posts Tagged ‘kenneth harney’

  • From the May issue: When you’re raking in tens of billions in profit by helping credit-elite borrowers purchase homes, couldn’t you lighten up on fees a little for everyday folks? [more]

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  • From the January issue: The biggest story in American real estate in 2013 hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves, so let’s shout this out: Homeowners’ net equity holdings soared by $2.2 trillion between the third quarter of 2012 and the third quarter of last year, according to new data collected by the Federal Reserve. [more]

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  • Higher mortgage rates for 2014? Count on it. Could this be the year to check out hybrid mortgages, which haven’t been popular lately? Maybe. [more]

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  • Groundhog day for federal housing taxes

    December 18, 2013 10:30AM

    From the December issue: Haven’t we seen this movie before? On Capitol Hill, for the second year in a row, key federal tax assistance for homeowners is heading for expiration within weeks. And there’s no sign that Congress plans — or has the minimal political will — to do anything about it. [more]

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  • For one of the least productive congressional sessions in modern history, the final word about tax reform last week was entirely in character: Nothing’s happening. But is that good news or bad news for homeowners, buyers and small-scale real estate investors? A bit of both. [more]

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  • Debunking the good-school price bump

    October 04, 2013 03:00PM

    It’s a key question for many homebuyers who have or plan to have young children: We want a house in an area with good schools, but what sort of price premium — if any — will we have to pay? [more]

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  • It’s an issue that hasn’t gotten much attention, but should be a red alert for first-time buyers and others who supplement their incomes with part-time work: Though part-time earnings are playing an increasingly important role in the post-recession American economy, the income you earn part time may not count when you go to buy a house. [more]

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  • Pocket listings on the rise

    June 17, 2013 10:30AM

    From the June issue: How hot is hot when it comes to housing markets across the country right now? Crazy hot: Some houses sell within days, sometimes within hours, of listing. Then there are the growing numbers of “pocket” listings that sell even before they formally hit the market. [more]

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  • From the May issue: They’re back after barely a decade: Escalation clauses in real estate contracts, “naked” contingency-free offers and lowball-priced listings designed to pull in dozens of bidders and turn routine sales transactions into auctions. [more]

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  • With full-fledged sellers’ markets underway in dozens of metropolitan areas around the country, new research has found curious statistical patterns emerging: Even in cities where listings get multiple offers within days or hours, significant numbers of homes are sitting on the market for six months, 12 months, or more with no takers. [more]

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  • Using your home as an ATM is no longer a financial option, but the tools that allowed owners to pull out massive amounts of money during the boom years — equity credit lines and second mortgages — are making a comeback. [more]

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  • Got a beef with your mortgage company or loan servicer? Lots of people do, and thousands of them have been turning to a Federal complaint hotline for action — or at least a quick response from the lender. [more]

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  • If you buy or own an energy efficient house, does this make you less likely to default on your mortgage? Is there a connection between the monthly savings on utility costs and the probability that you’ll pay your loan on time? A new study by the University of North Carolina suggests that the answer to both questions is a resounding yes. [more]

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  • When it comes to energy efficiency and “green” features in homes, there’s a chasm-sized disconnect in the marketplace among consumers, real estate appraisers and the nation’s realty sales system. On the one hand, prospective buyers routinely tell researchers that they place a high priority on energy-saving and environmentally friendly components in houses. The presence of high-efficiency systems in a home makes shoppers more interested in buying because they’ll save money in the long run. [more]

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  • Could rental houses owned and managed by deep-pocketed hedge funds and big investors be the post-bust steppingstones to homeownership for huge numbers of renters? Could they also provide a form of safe harbor or sanctuary for thousands of families who were displaced from their previous homes through foreclosures or short sales? A new national study suggests that the answer to both questions is yes. [more]

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  • Jeanette Ogle, a 92-year-old widow with a reverse mortgage on her house, got a huge birthday surprise last week: She did not lose her home at a scheduled foreclosure auction that had drawn scrutiny from federal and state agencies and consumer advocates.

    Because of obscure federal rules that critics say have snared unwitting elderly homeowners across the country, Ogle’s home in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., had been set for foreclosure on Feb. 27, her birthday. But after interventions on her behalf by the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, AARP and the Arizona Attorney General’s office, the auction was canceled. [more]

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  • In the contentious debate over whether to reduce or eliminate the home mortgage-interest tax deduction — or leave it alone — one fact has been virtually unchallenged: The popular write-off used by millions of U.S. homeowners costs the government massive amounts of revenue, somewhere in the range of $100 billion a year. [more]

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  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a birthday gift for 91-year-old widow Jeanette Ogle that should cause any senior to think twice before signing up for a government-insured reverse mortgage. Later this month, on Ogle’s 92nd birthday, her home in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., is scheduled for foreclosure — not because she did something wrong. Instead, she is expected to lose her house because during a refinancing in 2007, only her husband’s name was included on the reverse mortgage documents prepared by a loan broker. [more]

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  • Home office (Source: Home Office Design Blog)

    If you’re one of the millions of homeowners and renters who work or run a business from the place you live, here’s some good news on taxes: The Internal Revenue Service wants to make it easier for you to file for deductions on the business-related use of your home. Rather than the complicated 43-line form you now have to fill out to claim a write-off — the instructions alone take up four pages of text and involve computations ranging from depreciation to utility bill expense allocations — the IRS has come up with a much simpler option: What it calls a “safe harbor” method that allows you to measure the square footage of your business space and apply for a deduction. [more]

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  • Though many home shoppers who assume they are still in a buyer’s market find it hard to believe, one of the sobering fundamentals shaping real estate this summer is shrinking inventory: The supply of houses for sale is down significantly in most areas compared with a year ago, sometimes dramatically so. And that is having important side impacts — raising prices and homeowners’ equity stakes, and reducing total sales. [more]

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