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Billions to fund more programs to help homeowners – helpful?

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Additional help for troubled homeowners has been announced by the Obama administration in the form of $3 billion in additional funding toward the existing foreclosure prevention funding being called the “Hardest Hit Fund.”

$1 billion will offer loans through nonprofit agencies and local housing authorities to mortgage borrowers who have lost their jobs. These loans will be made for up to $50,000 at 0% interest for upwards of 24 months.

This portion of the fund has been dubbed by the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as the “Emergency Homeowner Loan Program” with further details to be released later this month.

The additional $2 billion will expand the current funding toward the 10 hardest hit states (and add seven new states to the funding list), each of which have already submitted unique proposals as to how they will use the existing $2.1 billion in funds.

After the continued failure of government reaction to the housing crisis in the form of programs like the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and rumors of homeowner debt forgiveness leaking from the White House, the administration is grappling with how to solve the crisis.

We want to know- do you think the government aid programs and funding from all different angles be it loans, debt forgiveness or otherwise, helps homeowners and the housing sector or hurts?

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Ray

    August 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I’m so glad I get to pay other people’s mortgages… Should I just stop paying mine and wait on a bailout?

  2. Eric Hempler

    August 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I think their time could be better spent figuring out a way to create more permanent jobs. I don’t think housing will truly recover until more people are working.

    • Lani Rosales

      August 12, 2010 at 6:45 pm

      I couldn’t agree more, and I think most people in the industry that are educated on the matter agree as well. Thanks for the attention, White House, but it won’t do any good if no one’s employed. #jobsftw

  3. Al Lorenz

    August 12, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Of course it is not helpful. The markets will not recover until the government gets its nose out of things it should never have been in. Then we’ll see jobs and broad economic recovery that includes housing.

  4. Justin Boland

    August 13, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Great line from the NYT yesterday sums it up perfectly…

    “…one of the paradoxes of the recession: the more money you borrowed, the less likely you will have to pay up.”

    At the same time, though….I don’t think “Fairness” is really the issue to focus on. The real problem here is a systemic collapse of the US economy….and this is barely even a stop-gap measure. It’s a reponse to the news from March-April, driving with the rear-view mirror.

  5. Chris @ Jacksonville Homes

    August 17, 2010 at 6:43 am

    This sounds great, I hope the government will provide more fund to help the home owners to prevent loosing their homes.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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