Houston Real Estate Blogosphere
Houston Real Estate Blogosphere brings together all the blog posts of REALTORS from the Houston area in one place
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Safety & Security

The most recently published posts in the Safety & Security category
Government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been working through the REO inventory load they hold on their books, a move that helped them report a profit yet again in the latest quarter.In the second quarter of this year, Fannie Mae’s REO inventory stood at 96,796 compared to 166,787 properties it held in the third quarter of 2010. Freddie Mac is also reporting a large...
Read Post [Posted on 08/21/2014 By John Askins]
If the bank or government can’t save a person from foreclosure, can a crowd? “Crowdfunding” sites are on the rise as desperate home owners turn to trying to raise money from friends, family, and strangers to try to stay current with their mortgage payments.  “Listings asking donors to ‘Help save my children's home’ and ‘Help avoid foreclosure’ are popping up across dozens of fundrais...
Read Post [Posted on 08/21/2014 By John Askins]
Randall Bell, a California-based damage economics specialist, says stigmatized homes that once were crime scenes can lose 10 percent to 25 percent of their value; but some properties, particularly those in urban areas, retain their value even if violent crimes were committed there. Stigmatized properties in rural areas tend to be most affected by the memories retained by residents of these quiet l...
Read Post [Posted on 08/16/2014 By John Askins]
When Do I Finally Get the Keys to My New House?   It might be the most nerve-wracking, anticipatory, hard-to-find-the-patience question of home buying for first timers: “When do I finally get the keys to my new house?” Usually, a buyer takes possession of a new home after closing. But exactly how that is defined differs transaction to transaction. In some states...
Read Post [Posted on 08/11/2014 By Michelle Cannon]
Reports of mortgage fraud continue to rise: A government agency previously reported a 31 percent jump in mortgage fraud cases, largely attributed to additional reviews from banks of loans issued several years ago that now have gone bad.California cities dominated the rankings for the highest incidences of mortgage fraud in the nation —occupying six of the top 10 spots, according to ...
Read Post [Posted on 08/09/2014 By John Askins]
The entire southwestern United States, including California and Texas could be in the midst of a drought the history books have never seen, meaning water planners need to prepare for worse than what they've seen, says Texas state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon.The current drought could last until 2020, because the region's climate is in the middle of a 20- to 40-year dry phase, Nielsen-Gammon s...
Read Post [Posted on 08/08/2014 By John Askins]
Findings from a Woodstock Institute study of 257,000 purchase loans and refinancings originated in the Chicago area indicate that gender bias may play a role in denials. Based on Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, researchers found that purchase applications with a woman as the primary borrower and a man as the co-borrower were 24 percent less likely to be approved than if a man applied as the pr...
Read Post [Posted on 08/07/2014 By John Askins]
Young people are showing signs of being more interested in conserving resources than previous generations, according to an analysis of a long-term survey of high school students that shows how the recent economic downturn has reshaped youth attitudes.Youth today are less interested in “big-ticket items such as vacation homes and new cars — though they still placed more importance on them than youn...
Read Post [Posted on 08/04/2014 By John Askins]
For anyone thinking about hiring a builder for custom work, here are some points to consider:· Hire a good real estate attorney who has experience with new-construction contracts, knows state law, and is familiar with the issues unique to the area in which the property will be built.· Talk to other customers. Ask how satisfied they are with the builder and how his projects have held up over time.·...
Read Post [Posted on 08/02/2014 By John Askins]
More home owners are considering adding a bunker to their backyard. The 9.0 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis in Japan, as well as the ever present tensions in the Middle East, have prompted doomsday bunker sales to skyrocket, as much as 1,000 percent in some cases.When it comes to bunkers, there are plenty of options to choose from too — from reserving your spot in a giant wa...
Read Post [Posted on 08/02/2014 By John Askins]
Scammers continue targeting home owners, prompting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to issue warnings to underwater borrowers about widespread mortgage-modification scams. Scammers try to dupe home owners by claiming to be affiliated with government agencies or programs. They make promises to obtain a mortgage modification on behalf of the underwater home owner. They will charge up-front f...
Read Post [Posted on 07/31/2014 By John Askins]
A released study lends more support to the idea that where you live can affect your health. In an experiment that started in the 1990s, the federal government offered thousands of low-income women living in public housing in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Chicago, New York, and Boston an opportunity to move to a more affluent neighborhood and see if it improved their health.   Now more than a decad...
Read Post [Posted on 07/26/2014 By John Askins]
Foreclosed homes may have a lot of negative energy lurking, from missing appliances, dirty carpets, cracked walls, and any number of other problems from not being cared for properly from the previous home owner. The foreclosure crisis has sparked an increase in an unusual business: More buyers are asking for ritual house cleansings before they move in to rid the home of it’s bad auras. Witches, ps...
Read Post [Posted on 07/26/2014 By John Askins]
In an odd twist of fate, a suburban home in Silver Spring, Md., where a middle school principal was shot to death had been the previous site of a 2002 murder of a man and his 9-year-old daughter.Real estate professional Ron Phipps, former president of the National Association of REALTORS® says a stigmatized property like that one will often sell at a discount unless the crime was so...
Read Post [Posted on 07/26/2014 By John Askins]
Working professionals tend to use their cars frequently. While staying accident-free may be one of your chief concerns when it comes to safety on the road, there's a new warning about hackers who may want to target your car.  McAfee, a security software provider, earlier this year issued a report that warns of a possible new danger lurking for vehicles coming from hackers who can tap ...
Read Post [Posted on 07/25/2014 By John Askins]
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