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House Names Making a Comeback. I’ll Call Mine ‘Shirley’

Published July 09, 2020

A house with a name intrigues buyers or renters since it often suggests luxury, and the concept is reappearing again on vacation-rental websites, such as Airbnb.


Is Now a Good Time to Refinance?

Published July 09, 2020

COVID-19 shook up many Americans’ financial picture, but a mortgage refinance could help – providing they still qualify. Here are seven questions to consider.


Mortgage Rates Hit Record Low for Third Consecutive Week

Published July 09, 2020

Inflation remains muted in a weakened U.S. economy as buyer demand remains strong. This week’s average of 3.03% for a 30-year loan is down from last week’s 3.07%.


Flood Preparations: What Realtors and Homeowners Need to Know

Published July 09, 2020

FEMA prepared a list of flood preparation tools – webpages, fact sheets, infographics and publications – with input from NAR. The “Real Estate Professional’s Guide to Discussing Flood Insurance” covers almost everything Realtors should understand.


2 Out of 3 Americans Say It’s a Good Time to Buy

Published July 09, 2020

The share of renters (61%) who think it’s currently a good time to become a homeowner has hit a five-year high, according to Fannie Mae’s latest study.


FHA Changes Should Help Most Owners Keep Their Home

Published July 09, 2020

Lenders can offer borrowers with an FHA mortgage four types of forbearance, including one for those “not eligible for any other home retention solution.”


Condo Q&A: Must I Sign My Name on a Noise Complaint?

Published July 08, 2020

A common condo complaint focuses on noisy neighbors, but an HOA has limited options. It depends on the governing docs – and sometimes it’s a police matter.


Court: Condo Must Stop ‘Unreasonable’ Financial Screenings

Published July 08, 2020

A condo buyer cancelled a transaction because the board required two years’ worth of tax returns. A Fla. judge called that blanket requirement “patently unreasonable.”


Many Believe They Can’t Get a Mortgage – and They’re Wrong

Published July 08, 2020

A credit score doesn’t need to be perfect, and a new job isn’t always a deal breaker. Still, too many renters with a credit glitch think it bans them from homeownership.


Make a Good Impression When Meeting New Clients Virtually

Published July 08, 2020

Virtual meetings are here to stay, and if clients like remote meetings, even post-pandemic, Realtors must do the same. But it’s different than face-to-face meetings.


Study: Black, Hispanic Homeowners Pay Higher Property Taxes

Published July 08, 2020

A study by Indiana University and the University of California-Berkley found black and Hispanic homeowners pay 10%-13% more than white ones in the same tax jurisdiction.


Should Employers Test for COVID-19?

Published July 08, 2020

Businesses want to reopen safely, but is COVID-19 testing for all team members a wise move? The tests can be expensive, especially if done multiple times. In addition, they only measure infection at a single point in time, and many people balk at the idea of mandatory testing.


Federal Reserve: U.S. Economy Faces Heightened Uncertainty

Published July 07, 2020

The Fed’s predictions rely on data, so Powell admits what’s coming next is unknown. It depends on COVID-19’s spread and people’s willingness to re-engage in activities.


U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Cellphone Robocalls

Published July 07, 2020

All automatically dialed calls to cellphones are illegal under the ruling, including a category expanded by the court – robocalls to collect money owed to governments.


New FICO Index May Help Expand Mortgage Lending

Published July 07, 2020

A supplemental score, the FICO Resilience Index, focuses on future recessions and gauges whether a buyer is likely to default even if they have a low credit score.


Q&A: The Nuts and Bolts of the Paycheck Protection Program

Published July 07, 2020

Small businesses can still get help using a PPP loan if they apply before Aug. 8 – but more now wonder if it’s a good idea. In some cases it is; in some cases it’s not. Every small business is unique, and PPP’s benefits and rules must be compared to a specific business’ needs.


What Should Brokerage Leaders Focus On?

Published July 07, 2020

Brokers need to adapt as the pandemic changes. The desire to own a home is as strong as ever, and most buyers want to work with agents. What should brokers be doing now?


‘Bed Tax’ Fight Might Go to Fla. Supreme Court

Published July 07, 2020

Should Airbnb and other vacation-rental firms collect applicable taxes from renters? An appeals court ruled no; Palm Beach County wants the highest court to weigh in.


DeSantis Appoints New Condominium Ombudsman

Published July 06, 2020

Spencer Hennings will head the Office of the Condominium Ombudsman, a state-run agency that serves as a “neutral, informative and accessible resource.”


Climate Change and Homes: Army Corps Offers Plan for the Keys

Published July 06, 2020

When it comes to rising seas, the Keys are Fla.’s ground zero. The Army of Corps of Engineers announced a $5.5B plan – but eminent domain issues could be a deal breaker.

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