If Congress shuts down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, borrowers likely will end up paying slightly higher mortgage rates.  Proposed House and Senate bills would wind down the two firms over five years and scale back the government intervention in guaranteeing mortgage securities. 

The House GOP bill would virtually privatize the mortgage

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Many key indicators in housing are showing signs of strengthening, from home prices to purchases of new homes and sales of existing homes, according to the Obama Administration’s July Housing Scorecard. The Department of Housing and Urban Development cited the positive news as a good place to start to scale down the government's involvement

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High-end and luxury house flipping is on the rise nationwide. According to RealtyTrac, the number of flipped homes valued at $1 million or more has risen nearly 40 percent across the country since 2011. RealtyTrac defines a home that has been both purchased and sold within six months as a flip.

In some markets, high-end flipping is becoming

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PNC Financial Services is reportedly being investigated by federal regulators on its mortgage business, including how it priced mortgages for customers. 

The investigations by the Justice Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau center around how mortgages were priced by National City and PNC and whether pricing “had disparate

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Google’s Android software is taking an even bigger bite out of the smartphone market share in recent months, overtaking rivals such as Apple and Blackberry. 

In the second quarter, Google’s Android software was on nearly 80 percent of devices shipped, according to the research firm IDC. In that same reporting period, Apple’s share of the glo

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Google’s Android software is taking an even bigger bite out of the smartphone market share in recent months, overtaking rivals such as Apple and Blackberry. 

In the second quarter, Google’s Android software was on nearly 80 percent of devices shipped, according to the research firm IDC. In that same reporting period, Apple’s share of the glo

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By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

Use Color Pops in Your Listings to Enhance, Not Distract

Photo Credit: Lowe's

Is your listing suffering from the neutral blahs? It’s good to go neutral when selling a home so that you offer up potential buyers a blank canvas to imagine their own decorating, but too neutral can also make your listing look dull and forgettable.

Using pops of color throughout

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What if homes weren’t just energy efficient, but had virtually no carbon footprint? Well, that goal has become a reality in a cutting-edge Habitat for Humanity home outside of Washington, D.C.

The first super energy-efficient “passive house” was constructed using ultra-thick insulation – it’s practically airtight.

Dubbed the “Empowerhouse,” the 1,0

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More Americans are opting to renovate their homes and are hiring contractors instead of doing the project themselves, Bloomberg News reports. 

It’s a “strong year” for home improvement spending, says Mike Englund, chief economist at Action Economics LLC in Boulder, Colo. He says that seasonally-adjusted annualized expenditures have risen from

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Fixed-rate mortgages held mostly steady this week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage staying below its recent high of 4.51 percent set in mid-July, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. 

Mortgage rates have been on their way up since early May — spiking more than a full percentage point increase — after the Federal Res

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Many buyers are still seeing plenty of opportunities with buying a vacation home,  says Tom Gilmore, chief executive and founder of VacationHomeRentals.com. The home can even turn into a money-maker for those who choose to rent them out. 

Twenty-three percent of buyers said they plan to rent out their recently purchased second home, according to a N

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Need to bring positive attention to something in your business? A new study is showing the power of the “like” button on social networks. The study found that if you “like” an article on a site such as Facebook, one of your followers will be likely approve it as well, even if the article isn’t really all that great. 

Indeed, one “like” can se

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Fears over a large overhang of potential foreclosures that could threaten the housing recovery have failed to materialize — and aren’t likely to do so — according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

More housing data is supporting that statement: The number of home owners behind on their mortgage payments or facing foreclosure dropped to a

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President Barack Obama assured Americans on Wednesday that keeping the housing recovery on track is a top priority for his administration.

"The real economy is directly related to the housing market," he said in an online forum where he answered consumers' housing questions. "Keeping the overall economy moving in the right direction means

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The victims of convicted kidnapper Ariel Castro celebrated Wednesday as his Cleveland home was reduced to rubble. The home — known as the “house of horrors” — is where Castro held three women captive for 11 years. He was convicted Aug. 1 on charges of kidnapping, raping and assaulting the three women. 

One of the victims, Michelle Knight,

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Americans are increasingly optimistic about the housing market, despite the threat of a continued rise in mortgage rates, a new survey shows. Fifty-three percent of Americans expect home prices to increase by an average of 3.9 percent over the next 12 months, according to Fannie Mae’s July National Housing Survey of 1,000 home owners. Only 6

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Entrance into the publishing business isn't the only thing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is getting out of his planned $250 million purchase of The Washington Post. As part of the acquisition, he'll also get a slew of offices, warehouses, and development land in the Washington, D.C., area. 

The Post also sold more than 700,000 square feet of

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Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported a $5 billion net income for the second quarter of this year — the second-largest profit in its history — and says it will pay a dividend of $4.4 billion to the U.S. Treasury. So far, Freddie Mac has paid back $41 billion of what it owes to taxpayers. It still owes $30 billion more, and company officials sa

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Mortgage giant Freddie Mac is threatening legal action against the city of Richmond, Calif., which is planning to use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages.

Officials in Richmond, a San Francisco suburb, reportedly have been offering to buy troubled loans from mortgage companies at prices below the properties' market value. The city's

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Mortgage applications for home purchases climbed last week, even as rates continued to rise, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. 

Loan applications for home purchases, viewed as a key indicator of future home sales, grew 0.7 percent for the week ending Aug. 2. Mortgage applications for home

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A housing index that tracks improving housing markets showed signs of cooling this month, following consistent climbs in recent months. The National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index for August had 247 metros across 49 states and the District of Columbia reflected -- adding three newcomers but dropping 11 cities

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Six of the top 10 consumer complaints revolve around the housing sector, from home improvement issues to mortgage and landlord/tenant issues, according to the recently released 2012 Consumer Complaint Survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of America  and the North American Consumer Protection Investigator.

The annual survey collects

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During the first six months of this year, home prices jumped 10 percent, the fastest pace in 36 years, CoreLogic reports. Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic, called the 10 percent jump "remarkable."

In June, the latest data available, home prices were up 11.6 percent year over year, according to CoreLogic’s home price index, which r

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