Mortgage Applications Continue to Slide

By Luciana Lopez – Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell in the latest week as both purchase and refinancing applications slipped, an industry group said on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 2 percent to 397.2 in the week…

Real Estate 2014: The New Wisdom

By Beth Pinsker – When the housing bubble burst, a damage-control mentality replaced decades of conventional real estate wisdom. With the housing market now rebounding, there is still uncertainty. The old rules — such as getting a fixed-rate mortgage and refinancing when you can — don’t apply. But the post-bust rules don’t work either. “There’s a…

Wintry Blast Crimps December Pending Homes Sales

  By Margaret Chadbourn –  Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes fell sharply in December to a more than two-year low due in part to unusually cold weather across the country, pointing to signs of a slowdown in the housing market. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday its Pending Home Sales Index, based…

New Home Sales Not So Merry in December

  By Lucia Mutikani – WASHINGTON — Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell more than expected in December, but lean inventories and steady price gains suggested sufficient strength in the housing market to support the economy. Other data released Monday showed that the private sector maintained its growth pace in January. The Commerce Department said…

Rent-to-Own: New Mortgage Rules Can Make This More Appealing

  By Susan Johnston – New mortgage underwriting criteria went into effect Jan. 10 requiring a debt-to-income ratio of less than 43 percent for most qualified mortgages. Even if you don’t qualify for a mortgage under the current lending regulations, renting may not be your only option. Alternatives such as rent-to-own and contract-for-deed transactions make homeownership possible…