Monday, August 30, 2010

Around the Block: Down the (Rented) Rabbit Hole Edition

Last week saw a plethora of reports come out on the state of the housing market, here are some of the high and low lights:

1st Time Fears July’s percentage of first-time homebuyers was at its lowest level in at least a year.

Existing Homes Falter Existing home sales took a nose dive in July, due in most part to the expiration of the tax credit.

The Good News, Kind Of The percentage of homes in the foreclosure process dropped for the first time since 2006. Whether this can be attributed to less homeowners filing for foreclosure or less homeowners being able to file for foreclosure is still unclear. But, short-term foreclosures are on the rise which may be an ominous signal for a rise in foreclosures in the future.

Fixed-rate mortgages hit record lows. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to an average of 4.36%, while 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.85%.

Bernanke's Stock Following Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke’s speech on Friday, the Times reported a drop in stock prices.

Is Supersize even an Option Anymore? In a time of high unemployment, when home prices are flat or falling, renting would be the smart way to go recommends a Post article. But if you do get a great deal where the monthly payment doesn’t exceed a comparable rent price, and are planning on staying in the home for an extended period of time, then try to live within your means and think McCottage not McMansion. And if you do end up buying, then stick with the old rule of thumb: focus on a mortgage equal to up to three times your annual gross income.

Image: Alice didn't know what she would encounter when she fell down the rabbit hole and frankly neither do we via,

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