If you're heading to your first open house this weekend, arrive with a plan in mind.

By MSN Real Estate partner Fri 9:43 AM

By Marcie Geffner, HSH.com

 

There's more that goes into buying a home for the first time besides shopping online for mortgage rates. To find the perfect home, you have to log off of the computer, get in your car and see homes for yourself. One way to do that is visiting open houses.

 

First-time homebuyers might naturally be reluctant to attend an open house held by a real estate agent. After all, no one likes to be hassled by a pushy salesperson. But in fact, open houses can be a good opportunity.

 

As Ken Pozek, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty in Northville, Mich., says, "It's a cool idea."

 

The suspended MLB star reportedly will receive $2.575 million for the unit, which he purchased for $2.1 million in 2013.

By MSN Real Estate partner Fri 9:10 AM

realtor.comBy Neal J. Leitereg, realtor.com

 

Alex Rodriguez won't be cashing any paychecks from the New York Yankees this year, but the embattled Major League Baseball superstar is still finding ways to get paid.

 

The currently suspended slugger has turned a small profit after flipping a luxury unit at the Mei Condominiums building in Miami Beach, Fla. The Wall Street Journal reports the sale of the condo closed last week for $2.575 million, with Rodriguez's sister, Sotheby’s International Realtor Arlene Susy Dunand, representing him in the deal.

 
Tags: celebrity

The house of Gilbert Arenas includes shark tanks, a hyperbaric chamber and a grotto. It's listed for $2.798 million.

By MSN Real Estate partner Apr 17, 2014 10:56AM

realtor.comBy Neal J. Leitereg, realtor.com

 

Like the player himself, the market for Gilbert Arenas' mansion in Virginia appears to have bottomed out.

 

The NBA free agent’s 9,000-square-foot spread, known for its multiple custom shark tanks and "Entourage"-style swimming pool and grotto, has returned to the market at a discount. Arenas originally asked $3.5 million when he first began shopping the home in 2012, and he then dropped the price to $3 million last year. However, after its latest price cut, the mansion can now be had for just $2.798 million.

 
Tags: celebrity

An uneven recovery has left homeowners in some parts of the country owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

By MSN Real Estate partner Apr 17, 2014 9:17AM

© Creatas, PhotolibraryBy John Schoen, CNBC

 

For millions of Americans still stuck in homes with mortgages bigger that the house is worth, the long slog back to dry land is getting longer.

 

Nationwide, plummeting prices from the housing collapse in 2007 left more than a quarter of all homeowners with a mortgage owing more than their home was worth. Now, the recovery in home prices in many parts of the country has helped lift some underwater homeowners back above water.

 

But as the rebound in home prices has slowed in recent months, so has the recovery process for those still submerged with negative equity, according to the latest data from RealtyTrac.

 

Average rate on 30-year fixed-rate home is now 4.27 percent, after Fed announcement.

By MSN Real Estate partner Apr 17, 2014 8:45AM

© Don Bayley/Getty ImagesBy Prashant Gopal, Bloomberg

 

Mortgage rates in the U.S. fell, sending costs for 30-year loans to the lowest since early February as the Federal Reserve confirmed its commitment to provide support for the economic recovery.

 

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.27 percent this week, down from 4.34 percent, according to a statement on Thursday from Freddie Mac. The average 15-year rate dropped to 3.33 percent from 3.38 percent, the McLean, Va.-based mortgage-finance company said.

 
Tags: loans

The price is right, but good luck turning a profit, house flippers say.

By MSN Partner Apr 16, 2014 8:52AM

Via www.buildingdetroit.orgBy Daniel Goldstein, MarketWatch

 

MarketWatch
For sale: A spacious 1,600-square-foot, three-bedroom Tudor-style home built in 1929, with one-and-a-half baths, glass block windows, hardwood floors, crown molding and custom fireplaces. Within walking distance of restaurants, playgrounds and public schools.

 

And it’s being offered next month for as little as $1,000.

 

Just one catch. The single-family house on 5500 Kensington Ave. has a ZIP code that makes listing agents wake up in cold sweats: 48224.

 

Supply issues continue, though housing starts are up, according to a report released on Wednesday.

By MSN Real Estate partner Apr 16, 2014 8:28AM

© Seth Joel/Photographers Choice RF/Getty ImagesBy Conor Dougherty and Nick Timiraos, The Wall Street Journal

 

A flurry of recent housing data suggests that the market's spring selling season is getting off to a slow start, a worrisome sign after a winter of expectations that warmer weather would rekindle growth.

 

Reports from local real estate agent groups in some of the markets that were the first to rebound, including Las Vegas, Phoenix and San Diego, show year-over-year declines in March home sales. February data for pending home sales nationally — a barometer of early-spring activity — show a decline of 11 percent from a year ago.

 

The government’s seizure of land continues to be a controversial issue, but proponents cite the benefits of economic progress and development.

By MSN Real Estate partner Apr 16, 2014 8:20AM

Image: Yellow excavator at construction site (© Narvikk/Getty Images)By Mark Koba, CNBC

 

CNBCNine years ago, James Dupree bought a rundown warehouse and onetime horse stable in Philadelphia so he could convert it into an art studio. The 64-year-old muralist and painter knew he would have to spend thousands of dollars to fix it up.

 

What he didn't know was that the city was going to use the power of eminent domain to take the property and convert the block where Dupree's studio sits into to a high-end shopping area.

 

"It started right after I purchased the building," explained Dupree, who has been fighting the seizure in court. "They had called this area a blight several years ago, but didn't move on it until 2005."

 
 

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