FEATURED POST

Need help figuring out what steps to take first to get started buying a home? The Department of Housing and Urban Development hopes to help.

By Mai Ling at MSN Real Estate Nov 5, 2010 10:29AM

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is hoping to help explain the homebuying process with a series of new videos. (© Jupiterimages/Getty Images)When I bought my first home, I had the benefit of having numerous friends who recently had gone through the process, not to mention others who worked in the industry and were full of tips and helpful information.

 

But many people who would like to buy a home may not have those kinds of resources so readily available, and for them the homebuying experience can be full of confusion and disappointment, especially in today's tight lending market and uncertainty about the future of home prices.

We at MSN Real Estate hope that you can find all of the information you need on our First-Time Homebuyers site, but another valuable resource are the homebuying how-to videos that the Department of Housing and Urban Development unveiled this week.

 

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 15 hours ago

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 16 hours ago

© 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 17 hours ago

© 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 Wed 8:52 AM

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 Wed 8:28 AM

© 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 Wed 8:20 AM

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."

 

Follow these 5 tips to get the most out of your remodeling project.

By MSN Real Estate partner Tue 10:41 AM

© Paul Burns/Photodisc/Getty ImagesBy Josh Gorskoff, Money magazine

 

When the real estate market was in the dumps, snagging a great contractor was a simple task. With few people remodeling, no project was too small for hungry pros, many of whom were bidding at 10 percent to 40 percent below their boom-time rates.

 

Those days are gone. Remodeling spending is now up 30 percent from its low point, and single-family construction spending has doubled. Depending on where you live, a project that cost $50,000 in 2010 might now come in at $60,000 to $70,000.

 

You can keep your grass healthy without breaking your budget by following these tips.

By MSN Real Estate partner Tue 9:37 AM

© Tetra images /Tetra images/Getty ImagesBy Susan Johnston, U.S. News & World Report

 

As the weather warms up and flowers begin to blossom, Americans with grassy yards will soon be thinking about mowing and lawn care. The National Gardening Association estimates that U.S. households spent roughly $29.5 billion on their lawns and gardens in 2013, an average of about $347 per household.

 

Lawn and garden costs can vary depending on factors such as the size of your yard and how much rain it receives. But as Mark Clement, host of the MyFixitUpLife radio show and blog of the same name, points out, "The easiest and [least expensive] lawn to take care of is a healthy one. It may take some work to get there, but healthy lawns – those that are fed regularly, watered properly and seeded at the best times of the year – fight off weeds better and look great doing it."

 
 

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