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2012 February · WAHomeowners.com

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U.S. pending home sales near a 2-year high in Jan

U.S. pending home sales near a 2-year high in Jan

Signed contracts for U.S. home resales rose to a nearly two-year high in January, an industry group said on Monday, further evidence of a budding recovery in the housing market.

The National Association of Realtors said its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in January, increased 2 percent to 97.0 – the highest reading since April 2010.

Read More on MSNBC.com…

Government moves to convert foreclosures to rentals

Government moves to convert foreclosures to rentals

The government is looking to sell off some of its stock of homes in foreclosure.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has control over roughly 250,000 foreclosed homes owned by Fannie Mae. One percent of those homes, or 2,500, will be available for investors to buy and convert into rentals.

Officials say the foreclosure-to-rental program can help reduce credit losses and stabilize home values. Homes in foreclosure sell at a 20 percent discount on average, which can hurt surrounding home values.

Read More on The Seattle Times…

Seattle home prices at lowest level since start of housing crisis

Seattle home prices at lowest level since start of housing crisis

Home prices fell in December for a fourth straight month in most major U.S. cities, as modest sales gains in the depressed housing market have yet to lift prices.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index shows prices in Seattle dropped to their lowest point since the housing crisis began.

Home prices in Seattle were down 1.3 percent from November to December, and down 5.6 percent from the same period in 2010.

Read More on The Seattle Times…

Are you thinking of buying a home? Now is a great time with prices so low! Check out our Homeownership Simplified section a for information & tips on buying a house and our handy calculators to figure out potential mortgages, closing costs, and more!

My Home For Sale: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Home-Selling Process

My Home For Sale: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Home-Selling Process

Lots of homes are sold in Arlington, Massachusetts – every week. Big homes, small homes, beautiful homes, quaint homes, studios, condos and multi-families. People upgrade, downgrade, start their lives, or start their lives over. This happens to be a story about selling my Arlington home – with a twist…

Most people at some point in their lives will go through the experience of selling a home, so it’s one that many of us can relate to. This is a story about my home for sale, told with an insider’s view on the team’s client service, administration, and expertise throughout the home selling process.

Read Full Story on Realty Times…

Scrimping and saving for a piece of the American dream

Scrimping and saving for a piece of the American dream

Maybe from the ashes of the Great Recession, a new architecture for the middle class can rise for all of us, one that is slimmed down, but also more sustainable, and built to last…

… How many times can you see flashes of happy families in big houses behind white picket fences in the movies, or more recently, paycheck-to-paycheck families in half-million-dollar homes they somehow got loans for and hope to flip for a profit, before starting to believe that that is exactly how life should be? The American dream is so cheerily unrealistic, a film-studio back-lot illusion, one that we dutifully play into and invest years of earnings to make real. Thinking big is at the core of who we are in America. But when misfortune strikes, that illusion can vanish in an instant…

Read Story on The Seattle Times…