Federal officials on Monday reversed an earlier decision to allow first-time home buyers to use an $8,000 tax credit to borrow the down payment on a home.

A week earlier, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan had told the National Association of Home Builders that HUD would let banks and local governments offer short-term "bridge loans" to cover the down payment for first-time buyers eligible for the tax credit. The loans would have been available to applicants for federally insured mortgages such as Federal Housing Administration loans.

Lenders, home builders and real estate agents had reacted favorably to the bridge-loan proposal, saying it would open up the housing market to more first-time buyers, however it was…

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Federal Housing Commissioner Brian D. Montgomery has extended the temporary property flipping waiver to May 10, 2010.  Under  the waiver, homes that were foreclosed on and are being sold by the mortgagee or on its behalf may be purchased by FHA borrowers without regard to the 90-day seasoning period. The waiver does not apply to entities that purchase foreclosures either singly or in bulk for resale.  Subsequent sales of such properties will continue to be subject to the standard regulatory requirements.   

The waiver expires for all loans for which the sales agreements were signed by the seller and buyer on or before May 10, 2010.

What all this means is that a person who purchases a home (more than likely a home that is in foreclosure or at a sheriff sale)…

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Here's the latest foreclosure data from RealtyTrac for the U.S., for Madison, WI and for Wisconsin as a whole:


  • April 2009 foreclosures were 342,038 (up
  • One out of every 374 homes in the country received some type of foreclosure filing in April (default notice, auction sale notice, bank repossession), the highest monthly rate ever posted since RealtyTrac started issuing a monthly report in January 2005.
  • April was the second straight month with more than 300,000 U.S. households receiving a foreclosure filing
  • About 63,900 homes were repossessed in April, down 11% from about 71,700 in March 2009
  • The number of repossessions by banks was down on a monthly and annual basis to their lowest level since March 2008
  • Nevada continued to have the…

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Sales of single family homes in Dane County in April 2009 were down almost 23% from April 2008, although surprisingly DOM (Days On Market) only increased by 5 days (from 91 days to 95 days).The median price for a single family home in Dane County declined 5.3% (from $224K to $212K) from April 2008 to April 2009.

Sales of condominiums in Dane County in April 2009 were down almost 22% from April 2008 and DOM decreased a whopping 18.3% (from 147 to 120 dom). The median sales price for condos sold in April 2009 remained unchanged from April 2008 at $162K.

For information about buying or selling a home anywhere in Dane County or to search for homes through Dane County and the South Central Wisconsin MLS, please visit Lake & City Homes online or call…

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Newly released Q1'09 data by state and national Realtors organizations show that sales of existing homes declined 22.6% in Wisconsin compared with the same period a year earlier. At the same time, though, prices of homes sold in Wisconsin were more stable than in many other parts of the country. The median home price fell 9.5% in Wisconsin as opposed to 13.8% nationwide. Wisconsin's less-volatile home prices stem from the fact that the state never became a boom-or-bust real estate market. David Clark, a Marquette University economics professor who analyzed the data for the WRA (Wisconsin Realtors Association), says, "That certainly is one of the benefits of being in a state where the housing market goes up at a steady pace, but not a more explosive pace…

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Yesterday the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, stated that the Federal Housing Administration is going to start permitting FHA lenders to allow home buyers to use the $8K tax credit as a down payment.

Most buyers don't receive the $8K until after they file their tax returns so that has reportedly discouraged some people from utilizing the credit. The NAR (National Association of Realtors) has been asking for this change.

“We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a down payment,” Donovan says. Donovan's remarks were made in an speech to several thousand Realtors gathered at "The Real Estate Summit:…

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Although some housing markets have remained somewhat stable during the world’s current economic downturn, all markets throughout the country have seen changes take place over the past year. Not only have real estate prices gone down, but so has the percentage of real estate sells. In addition to these most-publicized changes, however, some other interesting changes have also taken place in the world of real estate.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), vacation homebuyers appear to be among those who are most actively seeking new real estate opportunities at this time. This is largely due to lower prices, which makes the purchase of a vacation home far more affordable than it was just two years ago.  In fact, the NAR reports that the…

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