News From Guam
News related to Guam will be posted here. See below for other relevant and useful information about real estate, finance and policy issues for homeowners and prospective homeowners.
In recent years, baby boomers have been active in the housing market, coming in at a close second to millennials as the largest generation of home buyers.
Differences in household composition and financing options incentivize homebuying demand for veteran and active military.
Across the country, states are stepping up to the plate to help future home buyers through programs that help them save the money they need, tax-free, to purchase their first home. It turns out these programs help current homeowners, too.
Despite consistently low inventory levels and faster price growth, existing-home sales bounced back in February after two straight months of declines.
The IRS has recently clarified and confirmed that under the new tax law owners can continue to deduct the interest on a home equity loan, line of credit or second mortgage.
The housing market likely won’t be deeply affected by the sharp decline in stocks in recent days because underlying economic fundamentals remain strong.
The following is an overview of provisions of the new tax reform law affecting current and prospective homeowners. Home Ownership Matters will be providing ongoing updates and guidance on this topic in the coming weeks.
To illustrate how the new law might affect a first-time homebuyer, consider the example of Barbara Buyer.
To illustrate how the new law might affect middle-income family of five, consider the example of Steve and Melinda.
According to a new report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), both millennials and those from the silent, or greatest generation, agree – walkable communities are the preferred way of living.
If there were ever a doubt that mortgage interest and property tax deductions influence future housing decisions, there shouldn’t be any longer.
Experts say there is a clear path to improving the landscape for homeownership.
The states with the greatest increases include New York, New Jersey, California, Virginia, Minnesota, Utah, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.
Homeowners expecting a big tax cut from the tax reform proposals being considered in Washington may be in for an even bigger surprise.
Selling your home is not an easy process. In fact, it’s harder than most people think. But there are ways to making it easier, and one of those ways is staging your home.
Some homeowners have learned the hard way that the remodeling projects they’ve chosen to invest their time and money into don’t always bring the returns they banked on.
A list of remodeling projects that received a perfect “Joy Score” of 10 from homeowners.
Here is all you need to know about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and the proposed legislation to reauthorize the program once it expires at the end of the year.
The National Flood Insurance Program must be reauthorized by Congress every 5 years in order to continue selling flood insurance. That authority is again due to expire at the end of the year unless Congress acts to extend it.
Eighty-four percent of Americans now believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision – the highest number since 2007, According to the National Association of Realtors®’ 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey.
Despite steadily improving local job markets and historically low mortgage rates, the U.S. homeownership rate is stuck near a 50-year low.
The recently released outline of a tax reform plan is well-intentioned, but leaves too much of the tax burden on the shoulders of homeowners.
Major reforms are needed to lower tax rates and simplify the tax code, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of current and prospective homeowners.
Some people are surprised when they learn that a quarter of the home buying market is made up of retirees or those close to retirement age.
Legislatures across the country are considering bills that would create savings accounts for first-time homebuyers.
The number of Generation X home buyers is increasing thanks to an improving economy, strong job growth and an increase in home values.
Affordability is the number one reason non-owners give when asked why they don’t own. A big factor is the on-going confusion about down payment requirements.
For the final three months of 2016, the sales prices in more than half of the markets tracked since 2005 have equaled or surpassed previous peak levels.
The 115th Congress is gearing up for an intense legislative session, and tax reform is set to play a starring role.
For as long as most of us can recall, the American Dream, the ability of every U.S. citizen to achieve success and prosperity through hard work and determination, has involved home ownership.
Millennials are following in the footsteps of gen-Xers and buying single family homes in the suburbs, a far cry from the concept of buying new construction or residing in trendy urban areas.
Purchasing a home is a big investment and you should feel at ease asking questions, and discussing the process with your loved ones and your lender.
A big surge in the Northeast and a smaller gain in the South have pushed existing-home sales up in November for the third consecutive month.
In 2007, Florida REALTOR® Sherri Meadows had a discussion with a waiter that ultimately sparked a nationwide effort among her colleagues to address issues of homelessness.
Video: Homelessness impacts our economy, our communities and our neighborhoods and we need to be sure we do all that we can to resolve it.
“Most of the country last month saw at least a small increase in contract signings and more notably, activity in all major regions is up from a year ago,” says NAR’s chief economist.
Existing-home sales rose in October for the second straight month and eclipsed June’s cyclical sales peak to become the highest annualized pace in nearly a decade.
NAR’s annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows that the share of sales to first-time home buyers in the 2016 survey has ticked up to 35 percent.
Pending home sales shifted higher in September following August’s notable dip and are now at their fifth highest level over the past year.
(This is a two-part story. Click here to read Part 1.) HOUSING FOR ALL At an NAR symposium in 2016, homelessness was identified as a serious issue. REALTORS® from Hawaii talked about how working men were living in tents on the beaches of Maui because t …
Short-term residential rentals are the best thing since sliced bread for folks who use them. But, they may be negatively impacting your own home’s value.
Your tax dollars help support VA loans, an important and well-earned benefit for America’s military, including over 630,000 who bought homes this year alone.
Video: Around 40,000 veterans across the United States are homeless. This video explains what efforts are underway to address the problem.
Over half of active-duty military home buyers are between the ages of 18 and 35. Only a third of non-military buyers are able to buy a home at this young age today.
Video: Did you know that VA Loans offer significant benefits beyond conventional or even FHA loans including zero down payment, lower credit scores, and more?
Pending home sales moved slightly higher as supply and affordability prevented a bigger boost in activity from mortgage rates that lingered near all-time lows through most of the month.
The U.S. Senate has passed H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act,” by unanimous consent.
Saving for a down payment is the number one obstacle preventing First-time home buyers from achieving the dream of homeownership.
The trend of the “ugly home” is a growing one, with many listings actually going so far as to advertise the home as the “worst in the neighborhood.”
After steadily increasing for three straight months, pending home sales let up in May and declined year-over-year for the first time in almost two years.
A recent survey revealed that 4 out of 10 student loan recipients are unable to move out of their family homes after graduating college because of student debt.
It doesn’t matter if you rent or own. People all across across the country have been hurt by invisible dangers like lead and radon.
A new study shows that 71% of non-homeowners repaying their student loans on time believe their debt is stymieing their ability to purchase a home.
If you experience problems or discrimination while going through the home loan process it’s important that you know what recourse you have.
Pending home sales rose for the third consecutive month in April and reached their highest level in over a decade
Anyone who works hard and qualifies for a mortgage should be able to buy a home where they choose. If they don’t qualify, or prefer not to own, having fair access to lease a home is equally important.
Whether you plan on staying in your new home for five years or fifty, it’s important to make sure you are protecting your investment.
It’s tough enough to find an affordable rental in today’s tight market, so when you see that perfect place for an even more perfect price, take a closer look. It could be a scam.
The urban landscape is changing as more millennials are opting to buy their home in the suburbs. In fact, the number of millennials buying in urban or central city areas decreased by 17% this year.
Read about some of the common pitfalls homeowners should avoid during the mortgage process.
According to the 2016 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, millennials are the largest group of home buyers for the third year running.
You’ve joined the growing ranks of those who work from home, and have enjoyed the personal benefits that come with it (no more 45-minute commute!), but are you missing out on the financial benefits?
A new NAR study shows that 35 percent of all recent home buyers are millennials. Despite concern over student loan debt, they are actually not the generation that is struggling with the largest balances.
Once you’ve decided to move forward with a lender based on the Loan Estimate, you are ready to shop for the closing agent who gathers all the legal documents, closes the loan, and handles the money involved in your purchase.
Since the real estate bubble burst, more first-time and low- to moderate-income home buyers are using FHA loans, a trend expected to continue for years to come.
Total existing-home sales increased 14.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in December from 4.76 million in November.
As a consumer, it’s important to enter the mortgage selection process with a firm grasp on which financial arrangement will work best for your household.
Your local REALTOR® associations help raise funds, do volunteer work and support local programs that help hold communities together.
REALTORS raise awareness and educate consumers and members of Congress about critical policy issues that impact state and local communities just like yours.
Hard-working Americans have a tough time today finding a home they can truly afford. REALTORS can help.
A new survey released by the National Association of Realtors® show the share of first-time buyers declining for the third consecutive year.
Pending home sales cooled in September for the second straight month and to their second lowest index reading in 2015.
Existing-home sales have rebounded following August’s decline and have now increased year-over-year for 12 consecutive months.
Americans believe that buying a home is a solid financial decision, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors®. The 2015 National Housing Pulse Survey also found that a preponderance of Americans think that now is a good time …
Across our nation, homeowners are coming together, taking ownership of their communities in order to make things better for everyone.
Pending home sales retreated in August but remained at a healthy level of activity and have now risen year-over-year for 12 consecutive months.
Prospective homeowners and home renters in San Francisco and San Diego continue to find it a challenge to find available properties to purchase.
Home values have been rising faster than wages in over two-thirds of U.S. real estate markets.
Pending home sales were mostly unchanged in July, but rose modestly for the sixth time in seven months.
Depreciation encourages investment in real estate, but that could change if Congress extends the depreciation time periods.
What, Exactly, Is the 1031 Like-Kind Exchange? Even if you never use Section 1031 of the Tax Code, it can impact you — in a positive way. It’s often referred to as the 1031 Like-Kind Exchange.
Building home equity is how many Americans are able to save up money — thanks to a capital gains exclusion on home sales. Without it, many couldn’t even save for retirement.
In the early months of the housing crisis, Congress did something that made a huge difference for millions of homeowners. It passed the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007.
Life is filled with tough choices and Americans are facing a big one: should we continue to support the dream of home ownership or not? Because of what Congress is doing, that dream is at risk.
Fast Fact: Home ownership isn’t just an American dream. It’s a global one that’s unattainable to millions outside our borders, serving as a reminder we shouldn’t take it for granted. The country a person calls ‘home’ can be a game changer when it comes …
We all know how much our home values dropped when the real estate bubble burst, but did you know the value of commercial real estate also plummeted?
Fast Fact: Over 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, the largest number in history. Because they have the highest home ownership rate of any age group, their home ownership decisions could impact U.S. housing. Home ownership has long been a cornerstone …
Fast Fact: A 1% increase can cut home buying power by over 10%. Our Economy Impacts Rates… And Vice Versa One of the ways our government keeps the economy on track is by influencing interest rates. Think of interest as the cost to borrow and use money. …
Fast Fact: Local governments count on real estate for almost 75% of all tax revenues. Is your state or local government trying to raise the amount of taxes you pay on your home? Think nothing can can be done about it? You’re wrong. Across America, stat …
Fast Fact: Before 1934, not even 10% of Americans could afford to buy a home. FHA changed that, raising the rate to more than 60%. Now it’s under duress. Before the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was created in 1934, only folks with lot of cash — …
Fast Fact: Every new home built in the U.S. generates 3 new jobs and over $100,000 in spending and tax revenue. But America’s home construction has stalled, which threatens full recovery. Did you know that for every new home built, three new jobs are c …
Fast Fact: More than 5 million households lost their homes to foreclosures and short sales. Today, almost 80% say they’re wiser and ready to own again. And now they can. It’s interesting when you think about it. The housing victims of the Great Recessi …
Fast Fact: Since 2005, the number of renter households has grown 10 times faster than owner households. WHY IT MATTERS Big changes are happening in the home rental market that have the potential to affect your own home’s value and your ability to buy a …
Fast Fact: Your home’s value and a healthy housing market depend on availability of home loans. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back most loans today. But that’s changing — and it could affect you. SEE WHY THE FUTURE OF FANNIE AND FREDDIE MATTERS TO YOU AND …
Fast Fact: By some estimates, these stricter rules are already preventing about 15% of home buyers from being approved for a mortgage. WHY IT MATTERS We all remember the “liar loans” and fraud uncovered in the mortgage business when the real estate bub …
Meet Bill and Mary. A married couple, they sold their primary residence last year and made a profit. The profit they made on their home sale is subject to a federal capital gains tax. However, the profits Bill and Mary earned on the sale of their home …
The home mortgage interest deduction is vital to the housing market. The MID saves the average home owner thousands of dollars every year. It also makes the dream of home ownership a reality for America’s middle class. How does the MID work? In general …
The home mortgage interest deduction saves the average home owner thousands of dollars at tax time, supports home values at the community level, and helps American home buyers get into their first house. Having a tax deduction for mortgage interest mak …
Fast Fact: Student debt is now growing at a rate of $3,000 per second. If we do not slow this rate down, our home values and our wallets could take some tough hits. STUDENT DEBT IS NOW GROWING AT A RATE OF $3,000 PER SECOND. IF WE DO NOT SLOW THIS RATE …
Fast Fact: 58% of all home buyers say low inventory has been their biggest obstacle, with one-third spending more than a year shopping for a home. But that may be about to change. Does it seem like you’re never going to find a home to buy? You’re not a …
Fast Fact: Two of the most highly publicized bank investigations recently culminated in the BIGGEST settlements. But there’s no such thing as easy solutions…even the settlements are fraught with challenges. WHY IT MATTERS Millions were allegedly wronge …
Fast Fact: Natural disasters are occurring in more places and causing more damage than ever before. As a result insurance costs have risen almost 40% and companies are finding ways to limit your coverage. We are constantly reminded that disasters can s …
Almost 70% of voters surveyed recently believe the home mortgage interest tax deduction shouldn’t be repealed as a way to cut the massive federal deficit, according to a national voter survey sponsored by the American Institute of Architects. The surve …
Fast Fact: A new report reveals that whopping 1 in 5 credit reports contain mistakes. Fortunately new laws require credit companies to promptly fix them and make it super easy for you to make sure they do! WHY IT MATTERS “These are eye opening numbers …
WHAT IS A ZOMBIE FORECLOSURE? Zombie Foreclosures happen when a bank files foreclosure, the homeowners move out, and the bank never completes the foreclosure. Years later, the homeowners find out that they are still liable for costs such as taxes and r …
Becoming a home owner is a significant event in most peoples’ lives. Despite this, many are unfamiliar with government programs that can help them become home owners. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a division of the U.S. Department of Hous …
Living next door to a foreclosure is hard enough. But what happens to your home’s value when a squatter move in and claims the home as his own? “Squatters” are using Adverse Possession laws to move into vacant homes and live for free – often impacting …