How to make buying a home a reality

Are you dreaming of buying a home in 2012? Check out our Homeownership Simplified section and available Financial Assistance Programs for information on buying a home in Washington State!

How to make buying a home a reality

“If you vowed to make your homeownership dream come true in 2012, it’s time to get started. Indeed the timing may be ideal. Housing-market observers say that prices appear to have bottomed out in many markets, and mortgage rates are at their lowest point ever.”

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State’s share of mortgage settlement: $648 million

State’s share of mortgage settlement: $648 million

Washington stands to get $648 million under the $25 billion national settlement with five of the nation’s biggest mortgage servicers announced Thursday.

The biggest chunk, $525 million, is aimed at helping those who are financially underwater on their mortgage because their home’s value plunged: $455 million will go for reducing the loan principal of homeowners who are delinquent on payments, and $70 million for refinancing the loans of homeowners still current and paying higher-than-market interest rates on their mortgage.

Officials said it would take six to nine months for homeowners to find out if they are eligible for the relief, and wouldn’t say how many Washington homeowners might benefit.

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Are you a struggling homeowner? Check out our Avoiding Foreclosure section for resources and tips.

Washington among states not yet signing on to mortgage deal

Washington among states not yet signing on to mortgage deal

The long-sought deal would give relief to homeowners and settle investigations into the foreclosure paperwork practices of the five largest mortgage servicers.

More than 40 states signed on to a proposed $25 billion settlement with major mortgage servicers over faulty foreclosure procedures, but California, New York and other key states were not among them.

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Are you a struggling homeowner? Check out our Avoiding Foreclosure section for resources and tips.

Snapshot of 2011 housing market: More activity, lower prices

Snapshot of 2011 housing market: More activity, lower prices

The state of the region’s residential real-estate market depends upon your perspective. If you bought your home early in the first decade of the new millennium, you may be anxious about the value of your home but chances are you have built up some equity.

If you were unlucky enough to have bought your home in the second half of the decade, you might owe more money than your mortgage balance. The housing bubble that started in 2005 came to a shocking end in 2008 with the credit meltdown.

After more than two years of on-again, off-again federal tax credits, the housing market in 2011 had two things going for it: historic low mortgage rates and lots of inventory. Those two ingredients combined enticed some buyers back into the market.

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Seattle home prices hit post-boom low in November

Seattle home prices hit post-boom low in November

Seattle-area home prices hit a new post-boom low in November, according to one closely watched index, and are now 31 percent below their peak.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index for the Seattle metropolitan area, which includes King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, fell to 132.65 in November, the most recent month for which information is available.

The index peaked at 192.30 in July 2007 and hit its previous low, 132.85, in February 2011 before a small rally last spring and early summer. But it has been falling again since August.

The last time prices were lower? June 2004.

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