The New York city's program may have a few strings attached, however.

By MSN Real Estate partner 14 hours ago

© Tetra Images, Getty ImagesBy Megan Friedman, Country Living


You can be a homeowner for as little as one dollar. Sound too good to be true? Well it is, kind of.


The city of Buffalo, New York is putting old, abandoned homes on the market for just a buck — but the cost of repairs could equal the price of a typical home.


The city’s Urban Homestead Program will give you the great deal as long as you promise to fix the place up and live there for at least three years. You’ll have to cover closing fees as well. But by doing so, you’re saving a historic home from being demolished. Cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, and Gary, Indiana, also have similar programs in place.


Deal with Justice Department could be announced as early as Thursday.

By MSN Partner 14 hours ago

Bank of America branch in Atlanta, Ga. © David Goldman/APBy Devlin Barrett and Christina Rexrode, The Wall Street Journal

WSJBank of America Corp. is expected to pay nearly $17 billion to settle U.S. Department of Justice accusations it packaged shoddy mortgages into securities and sold them to investors in the run-up to the financial crisis, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.


The agreement, which could come as early as Thursday, would mark the biggest settlement between the U.S. government and a single company. The roughly $17 billion will be a combination of cash and consumer aid – an amount approximately equal to the bank's profit for the past three years.

Tags: loans

From pinpointing a magic number to wowing the seller, making an offer can be like walking a tightrope.

By MSN Real Estate partner 17 hours ago

© Alex Raths/Getty ImagesBy Geoff Williams, U.S. News & World Report


Buying a house is a little like asking someone to marry you. In both cases, you make your offer believing there's a good chance you'll get a yes, but you know you could get a no. If the answer is yes in either situation, your fates will be linked for many years to come – possibly until death do you part. But if you don't get an immediate answer, the wait can be excruciating. We may not be able to help you with your love life, but if you want your house offer to be greeted with a yes – and a quick one – here are four rules to follow.


Be likable. Money talks, but so do you. And you don't want to say anything that could turn off a seller.


Here's how to know it's time to stop renting.

By MSN Real Estate partner 18 hours ago

Hero Images/Getty ImagesBy Kathryn Tuggle, MainStreet


Although renting has become a popular option for everyone from millennials to retirees, buying a home is still an important financial milestone for many Americans. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, renters make up about 33 percent of U.S. households, but the majority — 67 percent — own their homes.


Although renting has its perks, many homeowners say there's nothing quite like owning something you can truly call your own. Experts weigh in on five tipping points that often inspire renters to take on a mortgage and sign on the dotted line.


The volume of home-loan applications was up 1.4 percent this week, led by refis.

By MSN Real Estate partner 19 hours ago

© Alex Stojanov/AlamyBy Diana Olick, CNBC


More trouble in the Ukraine led to more applications for U.S. mortgage refinances last week; it is all about interest rates.


As investors poured into the bond market and interest rates fell, mortgage rates followed suit. Total mortgage application volume increased 1.4 percent on-week last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Refinance applications were behind the surge, rising 3 percent on-week, on a seasonally adjusted basis. They are still off 31 percent from a year ago, despite the fact that rates are lower today than they were a year ago.

Tags: loans

More multi-unit buildings in big areas means the 'recovery is now creating more new renters than first-time homebuyers,' Trulia says.

By MSN Real Estate partner Tue 2:29 PM

© fotog/Getty ImagesBy Marine Cole, The Fiscal Times


New-home construction is recovering slowly on a national level, but in some real estate markets – particularly in large metro areas across the country – residential buildings are going up at a much faster pace than the historical norm.


The local construction boom this year is happening in large, dense real estate markets such as Boston, New York City and San Francisco, where the majority of new homes being built are multi-unit buildings. These are aimed mainly at renters, according to a new study by real estate website Trulia.


When this Monaco penthouse is completed in 2015, it's expected to be listed for about $400 million.

By MSN Real Estate partner Tue 9:13 AM

BloombergBy Alice Tidey, CNBC


Fancy a waterslide that takes you straight from your dance floor to your swimming-pool? What about an unobstructed view of the crystal clear Mediterranean Sea? Believe it or not, this property exists … and it could be yours for a reported $400 million.


The tiny principality of Monaco, nestled on the French Riviera, is best known as a playground of the rich and famous – with nearly one in every three residents a millionaire, according to WeathInsight research. But it could soon garner a reputation for more than its glamourous Grand Prix and numerous casinos – as it is now home to what could become the world's most expensive apartment.

Tags: celebrity

Renewed strength in housing market could boost economy.

By MSN Partner Tue 6:22 AM

Pgiam/Getty ImagesBy Josh Mitchell, The Wall Street Journal


The Wall Street JournalHome construction surged in July, a sign that renewed strength in the housing market could boost the economy in coming months.


Housing starts climbed almost 16% last month to an annual rate of 1.093 million units, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That marked the highest level of construction since November, driven by a pronounced rise in new apartments.


Home construction rose 22% in the year through July, and a rise in applications for building permits last month suggests further gains this year. That could ease concerns at the Federal Reserve of a weak housing sector weighing on economic growth this year.



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