Foreclosure Rates Fall

Foreclosure rates in the U.S. have fallen, according to current data. Home foreclosures decreased 37% year-over-year, averaging 720,000, down from 1.1 million in early 2013. CoreLogic’s most recent National Foreclosure Report states that there were approximately 48,000 complete foreclosures nationally last month, down 5,000 from this time last year. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic said, “the inventory of homes in foreclosure and serious delinquency status are back to 2008 levels, yet remain elevated from a historical perspective.” More here

Tips To Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score determines many important aspects of your life such as buying a home, a car, or applying for a credit card. Lenders look at your score to decide if your credit is strong enough to qualify for a loan or line of credit. Experts have offered a few tips to help increase your credit score such as opening a bank account, paying all bills on time with no exceptions, applying for your first credit card, having a stable job, and applying for a small loan to establish credit. Experts also suggest checking your credit report regularly. By staying on top of your credit, you will be knowledgeable of the things that can help and hurt your credit score. More here

Home Resales Show Slight Decline

Home sales in the U.S. hit the lowest levels seen in more than 1-1/2 years last month, according to the Nation Association of Realtors. Home sales have fallen 0.2% to an annual rate of approximately 4.9 million units. Although sales have slipped, experts do not expect this trend to continue. It is suggested that as the weather improves, home sales will pick up once again. Gennadiy Goldberg, an economist at TD Securities said, “the negative housing momentum, which was exacerbated by severe weather conditions during the winter months, may be starting to fade.” More here

Experts Reveal Ways To Save Energy In Your Home

Experts have compiled a list of ways that homeowners can lower their electricity bill, save energy, make their homes more comfortable, and reduce climate change impact and pollution. Doing simple things such as using ceiling fans, drawing the curtains during the heat of the day, and turning down the thermostat when you are not at home will save about 2% on your heating/cooling bill. Installing tankless water heaters and using incandescent lights are simple investments that will save money. Also, unplugging electronics not in use will further curb unnecessary energy expenditure. More here

Vacation Home Sales Increase

An increasing number of Americans are feeling financially secure, according to new data. Last year, vacation home sales jumped 13%, the highest level seen since 2006. Overall, annual home sales increased approximately 30%, averaging 717,000. Median home prices increased to $168,700 from 2012. Additionally, the stock market has gained strength, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Associaton of Realtors; the S&P 500 had a 30% return last year. More here

Fitch Ratings Predicts Housing Market Growth This Year

Although the housing market has not yet made significant strides this year toward recovery, Fitch Ratings’ Chalk Line report suggests that, as the year continues, more growth and stability will be apparent. As the economy begins to gain momentum and job growth increases, the housing market will follow suit. Some factors that may negatively affect the housing market may be rising prices, low income levels and investor participation. Experts say it may be a slow start, but the housing market will soon level out and make profitable gains once again. More here

Experts Give House Flipping Tips

According to new data, house flipping is experiencing a resurgence. Flipped homes made up 4.6% of all single-family home sales last year in the United States, a 0.4% increase from 2012. The Vice President of RealtyTrac, Daren Blomquist said, “strong home price appreciation in many markets boosted profits for flippers in 2013, despite a shrinking inventory of lower-priced foreclosure homes. For the year, 21% of all properties flipped were purchased out of foreclosure, but that is down from 27% in 2012 and 32% in 2011.” Experts have given a few tips to help house flippers, such as knowing your market, search for flippable houses in unconventional ways, never buy a house you could not make money on by selling the next day, and pay attention to local and national housing data. More here

Boomers Downsizing With Style

Many baby boomers are making the decision to downsize, according to research. An increased number of people born between 1946 and 1964 are trading in their hefty mortgages and oversized SUVs for smaller, more efficient homes and vehicles. Boomers may be downsizing, but research suggests that they are not sacrificing quality in the transition. Sheryl Connelly, the global consumer trends and a “futurist” for Ford said, “the boomer population has always set the trends,” she adds, “and now they’ve set a course for a more streamlined life that doesn’t sacrifice style and comfort.” More here