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  • Market Watch Blog

    Wednesday, December 07, 2016   /   by Trenner Tompkins

    Exactly which credit score should you check?

    NEW YORK – Dec. 6, 2016 – Let's keep it real, OK? When it comes to credit scores, numbers – namely, your three-digit score and the amount you have to pay to access it – are all that really matter.
    In simpler terms, it doesn't matter what type of credit score you get – whether FICO or Vantage, for instance – or where you get it, as long as the source is reputable and you receive maximum access for minimal cost. And if you don't buy into that notion, here are four fundamental reasons why seeking out a certain type of score – or ever paying for one – is a fool's errand.
    1. You're looking for a needle in a haystack.There are more than 1,000 different types of credit scores currently in use, according to Experian, and each model produces a unique result depending on which of the three major credit bureaus is supplying the underlying information. In other words, you're going to have a very hard time trying to ide ...

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    Monday, November 28, 2016   /   by Trenner Tompkins

    Sales of new homes slipped in October

      Sales of new homes slipped in October




     


    WASHINGTON (AP) – Nov. 23, 2016 – Fewer Americans purchased new homes in October, but sales are still much stronger this year than in 2015 – a positive sign for the housing market.


    The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales fell 1.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000 units. Still, sales through the first 10 months of this year are 12.7 percent higher than during the same period in 2015.


    Demand for new homes has surged because of a stable job market and low mortgage rates. That has strained supplies as builders have failed to keep pace with homebuyers. Yet new-home sales are running below their historic averages as housing continues to heal from the foreclosures and disruptions that led to the Great Recession at the end of 2007.


    Sales fell last month in the Northeast, Midwest and South, while improving in the West. Just 5.2 mont ...

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    Monday, November 28, 2016   /   by Trenner Tompkins

    More tiny neighborhoods are coming

      More tiny neighborhoods are coming!
     
    SPUR, Texas – Nov. 23, 2016 – Tiny homes are still mostly illegal in the majority of the country since they don't tend to meet municipalities' zoning and building standards. But more cities are looking to change ordinances to pave the way for entire tiny home neighborhoods.
    Tiny homes are usually between 200 to 600 square feet. They can be on wheels or on a foundation. They tend to be more affordable than traditional homes. However, the growing movement of tiny homes is often centered more on the idea of simplifying your life and even sustainability.
    Tiny home neighborhoods are springing up in areas like Texas, Florida, and Colorado. For example, in Spur, Texas, town officials changed ordinances in 2014 in order to make claims to "America's first tiny house friendly town."
    "Most of America is struggling with affordability," Alexis Stephens of Tiny House Expedition told CNNMoney. "We can activate existing land ...

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    Friday, November 18, 2016   /   by Trenner Tompkins

    Buyers: Does the marble test really work?

    Buyers: Does the marble test really work?


    CHICAGO – Nov. 17, 2016 – A recent viral video shows a marble rolling across an uneven floor inside the Millennial Tower, a luxury apartment building in San Francisco after residents learned that the structure, which had been constructed on bay mud, sunk 16 inches and leans at least 2 inches.
    But can rolling a marble test really reveal if other listings have this kind of a problem?
    "The marble is a good way to demonstrate the floor is not level but not to tell if this means there is a problem," says Bill Neal, a structural engineer in Vernon, Conn.
    Instead, there's a different tool you'll need.
    "Put a 4-foot-long level on the floor. Ideally, when the level is level, the end should not be more than an eighth of an inch off the floor. If it's a quarter inch or more, the house definitely should be checked," Neal says.
    An uneven floor could indicate a structural problem or possibly poor workmanship, Neal says.
    But don't let ...

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    Thursday, November 17, 2016   /   by Trenner Tompkins

    Mortgage Rates Today, Wednesday, Nov. 9: Rates Jump on Heels of Election

    Thirty- and 15-year fixed rates rose considerably on the heels of the U.S. election, but 5/1 ARM loans remained unchanged on Wednesday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.



    Mortgage Rates Today,
    Wednesday, Nov. 9
    (Change from 11/8)
    30-year fixed: 3.79% APR (+0.04)
    15-year fixed: 3.17% APR (+0.03)
    5/1 ARM: 3.59% APR (NC)



    Homeowners’ perception of home values close gap with appraisal values
    Many sellers tend to think their home is worth more than the market dictates because they’ve invested so much — both financially and emotionally — over the years.
    But new research from Quicken Loans shows that owners’ expectations of their home’s value is moving closer in line with actual appraisal values.
    The average home appraisal was 1.15% lower than a homeowner expected, which narrows the gap from September, when the index was 1.26%, according to the Quicken Loa ...

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