Monthly Archives: February 2014

Guest Picks: Diamonds Are a Home’s Best Friend (20 photos)

Im loving all things diamond lately. In addition to the jewel, I love the geometric shape that has been popping up in modern design. I particularly love the more graphic varieties, like the print of the diamonds outline in gold and that perfect duvet for diamond-inspired dreams at night. Maybe…


Free Home Search @

Mortgage Delinquency & Foreclosure Rates Fall to Lowest Level Since 2008

The delinquency rate for mortgages on 1-to-4 unit residences has decreased to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2008, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Banker’s Association’s National Survey.

The latest data represent activity in the 4th quarter of 2013.

The latest mortgage delinquency rate fell to 6.39% of all loans outstanding, down from 6.41% in the 3rd quarter of 2013, and 7.09% in the 4th quarter of 2012.

The mortgage delinquency rate covers loans that are at least one payment past due, but does not cover loans that are in foreclosure.

Loans in foreclosure fell to 2.68% of all loans in Q4 2013, down from 3.08% in Q3 2013, and 3.74% a year ago.

The current foreclosure rate is also now at the lowest level since 2008.

Latest Data Show 89 Housing Markets Reach Full Value Recovery

The Local Markets Index is a housing indicator compiled by
Utilizing home pricing data, the Index shows year-over-year price changes for
single-family housing markets in all 300 top U.S. markets.

The most recent data available for this index shows significant improvement.

On a broad scale, the index shows that 60 of the top 200 midsize markets have
fully recovered their decline in value in the recent recession. That brings
the total number of fully recovered markets to 89, which is 30% of all markets

All of the 200 midsize markets continue to show gains year-over-year.

The number of top 100 markets achieving full price recovery increased to 29.

Other highlights of the latest report:

Year-over-year increases in all top 300 markets
Monthly increases in 82 of the top 100 markets and in 167 of the 200 midsize markets.


15 Ways to Wake Up Your Kitchen With Accessories (12 photos)

With spring arriving soon, it feels like a good time to give the kitchen a little wake-up call. Even if you dont want to repaint and have no plans for a remodel, swapping out a few accessories is a satisfying (and wallet-friendly) way to revive your kitchen. Check out these 15 creative,


Free Home Search @

Rural Communities Protected Through 2020

Source: National Association of Realtors : Megan BoothSarah C. YoungDan Blair


More than 900 communities that were at risk for losing access to federal rural housing programs are now protected through 2020.  For the last three years, NAR has worked with Congress extend the eligibility of communities under a 40-year old definition of rural. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had been required to revise the list of communities eligible for rural housing loans based on the 2010 census data – and apply them to the 1974 definition. But last week the President signed H.R. 2642, the Agricultural Act of 2014 (aka the Farm Bill), that will protect these communities through the release of the 2020 census.

Rural families face unique difficulties in finding access to safe, affordable mortgage financing and rental housing. Programs such as Sections 502, 515, and 538 provide direct and guaranteed loans for both single and multifamily housing. This legislative language did not expand any program or authorize any additional funding.  It simply retains the current pool of eligible communities (including those that have populations up to 35,000). NAR will continue to work to revise the outdated definition to conform to current demographic data and needs.

America Experiences Net Influx of International Movers

Recent data show that the United States experienced a net infow of people
from international locations in 2013.

The data, recently released by Unigroup Relocation, indicate that the
United Kingdom is the top country of origin for people moving into
the U.S.. This has been the case for 7 out of the past 8 years.

Top destinations for U.S. citizens moving abroad are:
Germany, the U.K., France, and Switzerland, according to the study.

Of note: for the first time in 4 years, there were more people moving
from China to the U.S. than those moving from the U.S. to China.

“The U.S. only saw a moving deficit to two of the countries on the top
destination and origin lists, demonstrating the U.S. economy’s international
strength,” according to Michael Stoll, chairman of the UCLA Department of
Public Policy.


10 Low-Cost Tweaks to Help Your Home Sell (11 photos)

Many homeowners wont even consider listing their home, because they cant afford extensive remodeling to get it ready for sale. But sometimes its not the major renovations that buyers notice. Consider this checklist of cheaper to-dos before hanging that for-sale sign.


Free Home Search @