These areas' increasing home values make them attractive for investment properties.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 12:35 PM

© Getty ImagesBy Juliette Fairley, MainStreet


The international market that is most prime for investment now is Panama, according to a new report.


"U.S. markets are heady and uncertain," said Lief Simon, an international investor and author of Live and Invest Overseas. "Therefore, the most important agenda for any U.S. investor as we head into 2014 is diversification and real estate overseas is the best possible strategy."


A Live and Invest ranking placed Panama at the top of a list of five due to its property values that have appreciated in key waterfront areas. These districts include Balboa Avenue, Punta Pacifica and Costa del Este.


In these cities, homeowners devote well more of their income on their mortgage than average.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 10:45 AM

 © Mark Lewis/Getty ImagesBy Emily Heffter, Zillow


Boulder real estate agent Tim Goodacre said he sees it on the faces of his clients all the time: sticker shock.


It's going to cost more than they thought to live the idyllic, walkable life they envisioned when they moved to the Colorado city.


"If they're coming from the Midwest or other lower-income places, frankly they can get a little mad and irritated," Goodacre said. "And I say, 'Well, you have to make your sacrifice.'"


Goodacre's clients aren't alone. While median-income buyers are paying a higher percentage of their paychecks than the national average of 15.1 percent for median-price homes in New York, San Francisco and other historically expensive cities, they also have to put a larger portion of their income toward their house payments in college towns and vacation spots.


Tax Day has come and gone, but these tips can help homeowners save money the next time they file.

By MSN Real Estate partner Fri 11:07 AM

© Digital Vision, Getty ImagesBy Anya Martin, The Wall Street Journal


One rueful lesson of tax season: Some deductions require lots of advance planning. Homeowners willing to do the legwork now can find some creative ways to lessen their tax bills next year.


Jumbo-mortgage holders can only deduct annual interest payments on up to $1 million of debt that they take to buy, build or improve a home. They can also deduct interest on up to $100,000 of equity-line or equity-loan debt.


But federal and state income taxes, as well as property taxes, offer a variety of exemptions, deductions and credits that can save money for luxury homeowners, according to certified financial planners.


Deliquencies increased at the end of 2013, and they may grow more this year.

By MSN Real Estate partner Fri 10:13 AM

© Hemera Technologies, JupiterimagesBy Christine DiGangi,


For several quarters, lenders have been reporting low and falling delinquency rates for credit card, mortgage and auto-loan borrowers, and that positive trend has opened credit products to consumers with lower credit scores.


That may be starting to shift.


A greater share of mortgages were 30 to 59 days past due in the fourth quarter of 2013 than at the same time in 2012, and bank risk professionals expect credit card and auto loan delinquencies to follow suit.

Tags: loans

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,


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,


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 Thu 10:56 AM

realtor.comBy Neal J. Leitereg,


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 Thu 9:17 AM

© 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.






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