September 2012

Found 55 blog entries for September 2012.

All around the world – in France, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – Facebook users are outraged that the social network has exposed, to all their friends, their private messages from years ago.

Facebook profile pages are now formatted in "timelines" that stretch back to when a user first joined the network. These users say that their friends are able to scroll back to the early parts of these Timelines and see what were once private messages.

One friend of mine, knowing that I'm a journalist who covers Facebook, IM'd me yesterday to say: "Why is there not more uproar about the FB private message thing?"

"They have definitely put private messages on timeline. It's really f----ed. Me and my roommate both found a ton last

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Home prices through July posted their largest year-to-date rise since 2005, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index covering 20 major metropolitan areas.

Prices rose by 5.9% from the end of last year, according to the index, compared with a 0.4% gain for the same period last year and a 2.1% gain in 2010, when tax credits fueled a burst of home sales activity.

Are price gains limited to one segment of the market—say, foreclosed properties?

Not really. Data from real-estate firm CoreLogic show that the increases are being felt across all segments of the market. Overall median home prices in August were up by 12% from one year ago, as are median prices of existing homes that aren’t distressed sales.

Median prices of bank-owned foreclosures

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In another sign of a turnaround in the long-battered real estate market, average home prices rebounded in July to the same level as they were nine years ago.

According to the closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index, which covers more than 80% of the housing market in the United States, the typical home price in July rose 1.6% compared to the previous month.

It marked the third straight month that prices in all 20 major markets followed by the index improved, and it would have been the fourth straight month of improvement across the full spectrum if not for a slight decline in Detroit in April.

The index was up 1.2% compared to a year earlier, an improvement from the year-over-year change

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Freddie Mac’s weekly survey the average 30-year fixed rate broke its all-time record low, landing at 3.4 percent and .6 point. Last week was reported as matching its all-time record low of 3.49 percent and .6 point. For the second week in a row the 15-year fixed rate mortgage broke through its all-time record low landing at 2.73 percent with .6 point, down from last week’s 2.77 percent. The 5-year ARM rose slightly to 2.71 percent from last week’s 2.76 percent.

BOTTOM LINE: In the past year—assuming a well-qualified borrower received the average 30-year conforming fixed rate on $417,000 the savings would be $143 on his new monthly payment of $1,849 compared to one year ago when rates were 4.01 percent. The 15-year monthly payment of $2,825 would be a

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  • Today’s record-low mortgage rates have a lot of homeowners debating whether to refinance into 15- or 30-year mortgages, but few realize lenders offer products with all sorts of repayment periods, from five-year “balloon mortgages” to 29-year loans.
  • Fifteen- and 30-year mortgages do make up the bulk of the market, but the Mortgage Bankers Association says some 15 percent of consumers who refinanced in May chose nonstandard products – generally 10- or 20-year loans.  About 2 percent of home buyers also choose such loans for purchase mortgages.
  • Quicken Loans offers one of the best-known home loans with nonstandard repayment terms, a product called “Yourgage.”
  • Yourgage lets consumers choose anything
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WASHINGTON — Here's some encouraging news for condominium unit owners, sellers and buyers: The biggest source of funding for low-down-payment condo mortgages, the Federal Housing Administration, has revamped controversial rules that caused thousands of buildings across the country to lose their eligibility for FHA financing.

The revised guidelines, which were issued Sept. 13 and took effect immediately, should make it easier for large numbers of homeowner associations to seek certification by the FHA. The certification process is intended to provide the FHA, a government-run mortgage insurance agency, with key information about a development's legal, physical and financial status. Without approval of an entire development — regardless of

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In 1750, Samuel Johnson wrote that “to be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.” And there’s truth to this; for most Americans, our homes are our launch pads for being and doing our best in the world, and the places where we live out our most precious, private moments. So, if you follow our most important dreams to their logical conclusions, they almost all boil down to having a happy home, where we and our families can thrive and enjoy happy, secure lives.

Fortunately, dreams do come true - and dream homes can become reality. Here is a short list of musts for developing the vision, strategy, commitment and effort it will take to make your dream home your actual home.

1. Know what a dream home is - and is not. Like anything else…
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Economists expect home prices to rise by a total 2.3 percent during 2012, and overall have become more bullish on home prices than they were in the second quarter, according to the September 2012 Zillow® Home Price Expectations Survey, compiled from 113 responses from a diverse group of economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists.

The survey, sponsored by leading real estate information marketplace Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC, is based on the projected path of the S&P/Case-Shiller® U.S. National Home Price Index during the coming five years.

Survey respondents expect home prices to increase in full-year 2012 by 2.3 percent, up from their forecast of -0.4 percent in

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Lennar Corp. (LEN), the third-largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, said its quarterly profit more than quadrupled as demand for new houses climbed and a real estate recovery gained traction.

Net income for the third quarter ended Aug. 31 rose to $87.1 million, or 40 cents a share, from $20.7 million, or 11 cents, a year earlier, the Miami-based company said today in a statement. The average estimate (LEN) of 19 analysts in a Bloomberg survey was for earnings of 28 cents a share.

Purchases of new homes in the U.S. have begun to rebound as low mortgage rates help lure buyers amid a tight supply of existing properties. Builders broke ground on new single-family homes at an annual pace of 535,000 in August, the highest rate since April 2010, when buyers

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Homebuying remaining strong in late summer, as 41 Orange County ZIPs — almost half of the 83 tracked — had both sales gains and price gains in the period. (Highlighted in green below!)

For the 22 business days ending Sept. 10 — DataQuick’s freshest stats — the Orange County real estate market had homebuying patterns showing:

  • 59 of O.C.’s 83 ZIP codes with gains in their respective median selling price. Overall, buyers’ prices were +6.9% vs. a year ago.
  • Taking sales volume in consideration, home-sale pricing is up in ZIPs representing 70% of the Orange County market.
  • 5 of 83 O.C. ZIPs with median sales prices above $1 million in the period vs. 11 million-dollar ZIPs when the county median price peaked in June 2007. Since that pricing
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