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The Top New Home Features For 2014

March 31st, 2014 | Written by | Leave A Comment

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This year's home buyer is putting practicality before style when searching for a new home, according to a recent survey of builders from the National Association of Home Builders. Builders say the top features they're likely to include in a new single-family home are walk-in closets, low-e windows, laundry rooms, and great rooms. Energy efficiency is a common theme, important to buyers due to the money it can save over the long term. Energy-Star rated appliances, programmable thermostats, and Energy-Star... Continue Reading »

Pending Home Sales Flat But Stabilizin​g

March 28th, 2014 | Written by | Leave A Comment

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Pending home sales are a forward-looking indicator of future existing-home sales based on the number of contracts to buy homes that are signed during the month. In February, contract signings slipped 0.8 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said pending home sales have been little changed over the past three months, which indicates the market is stabilizing. Buyer traffic has increased modestly as the spring selling season begins and there is an expectation... Continue Reading »

Demand For Loans To Buy Homes Increases

March 27th, 2014 | Written by | Leave A Comment

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The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey measures both purchase and refinance demand based on the number of people applying for home loans. The Purchase Index, which tracks the number of requests for loans to buy homes, is a good indicator of future home sales. Last week, the Purchase Index rose 3 percent from the week before, due to a 4 percent spike in conventional purchase applications. Government loan applications were virtually unchanged. Despite the rising demand to buy homes,... Continue Reading »

Job Growth To Help Boost Home Sales

March 24th, 2014 | Written by | Leave A Comment

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According to Freddie Mac's U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for March, home sales will continue to increase this year, despite higher mortgage rates and home prices. The forecast – which projects a 3 percent rise in sales for 2014 – is based on a belief that the job market and wage growth will both continue to improve. Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist, said with more jobs, wage growth should continue to accelerate, giving Americans the... Continue Reading »

Home Sales Expected To Pick Up In Spring

March 21st, 2014 | Written by | Leave A Comment

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The number of previously owned homes sold in February was virtually unchanged from the month before, according to data recently released by the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales dropped just 0.4 percent from January and are now 7.1 percent below year-before levels. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said there were unusual weather disruptions across much of the country in February and that, along with constrained inventory and less favorable affordability conditions, led to a largely unchanged sales rate.... Continue Reading »

Builder Confidence Edges Up In March

March 18th, 2014 | Written by | Leave A Comment

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The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index measures builder confidence in the market for newly-built, single-family homes. The index gauges builders' perceptions of current sales, buyer traffic, and expectations for the next six months on a scale where any number above 50 indicates more builders view the market as good than poor. In March, the index rose a point to 47 after a 10-point drop in February resulted in the first monthly reading below 50 since May of... Continue Reading »

Foreclosur​e Filings Drop To 7-Year Low

March 17th, 2014 | Written by | 1 Comment »

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Foreclosure filings – including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions – dropped 10 percent in February and were down 27 percent from one year earlier, according to RealtyTrac's most recent U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. The decline brought foreclosure activity to its lowest level since December 2006. Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, said cold weather and a short month contributed to the drop in foreclosure activity in February but the reality is that new activity is no longer the... Continue Reading »

Younger Buyers More Confident In Market

March 14th, 2014 | Written by | Leave A Comment

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The Millennial generation, which includes people born between 1980 and 1995, are now reaching the age of the typical first-time home buyer. And, according to the 2014 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, younger buyers are now purchasing the most homes and are the most optimistic about their home's value as an investment. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said Millennials aspire to own their own home and, since they are the largest generation in history... Continue Reading »

Tax Time: 3 Tips for Keeping More of Your Own Money

March 13th, 2014 | Written by | Leave A Comment

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Nearly 150 million Americans will file federal income tax returns this year and, unfortunately, many will be shelling out much more of their hard-earned money than necessary, says veteran financial expert Jeff Gorton. “With the ridiculous complexity of our tax code, I can understand how the average person might want to put off doing their homework, but that’ll cost you,” says Gorton, a veteran Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner™, and head of Gorton Financial Group (www.gortonfinancialgroup.com). “When you think about... Continue Reading »

Get Back to Basics with Your Business Technology

March 11th, 2014 | Written by | Leave A Comment

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(BPT)—Technology can do a lot for businesses, but choosing and investing in the appropriate level of   technology  can sometimes feel overwhelming and time-consuming. Business owners and consumers alike sometimes overspend on technology rather than selecting the right tools to help them improve their productivity while keeping their costs at a minimum. "As business owners, we face the challenge of accounting for everything that keeps our businesses running," says Michael Spadaro, owner of Profound Cloud, a New York based IT consulting firm,... Continue Reading »

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