ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 01/31/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL 01/31/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

I hope you have an awesome day, packed with smiles while searching for your active Birmingham AL Real Estate Dream.

Over the past few months, a spate of good news about the U.S. housing market has led some to think a recovery is finally on the horizon.

The evidence is compelling. It now costs almost as much to rent as buy. Since the housing bubble burst in 2006, home prices have fallen by 33% nationwide. Waves of foreclosures and tighter lending standards have helped drive a surge in rentals.

And during the third quarter, the median monthly mortgage payment totaled $698 compared to the median monthly asking rent of $700, according to Capital Economics, citing data from the National Association of Realtors and the Census Bureau. What’s more, the cost of borrowing has fallen to record lows, with interest rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages hovering around 4%.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

That optimism is well-deserved, right? Not exactly.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Since the housing market imploded, analysts have predicted year after year that prices might at long last bottom out. Will it finally happen this year? Perhaps next? Bottoming out necessarily precedes turning the corner — and until that happens optimists should be cautious. Economists widely cite the short-term obstacles weighing down prices. These factors range from high unemployment and household debt to the so-called “shadow inventory,” or all the properties that have yet to come into the market because of pending foreclosures or skittish homeowners delaying sales until prices improve.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

At some point, interest rates will start rising back toward the long-term median of 8.9% from the current 4%. Depending when and how quickly, the jump would make homes much less affordable for the average American family. Say a family earning $55,000 a year (the U.S. median household income) wants to buy a home. They decide they can afford roughly a $600 a month mortgage payment after taxes and other expenses. At a 4% interest rate they can afford a $125,000 home. However, at a higher rate of 5%, they can’t afford as much and are looking at a $111,000 home. If rates rise higher to 6%, they’re looking at a $100,000 home. And so on.

So while the housing market may eventually overcome the immediate bumps of foreclosures, high unemployment and the like, real optimists should be looking at the direction of interest rates before they get their hopes up.

 

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 01/24/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL 01/24/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Mortgage loan applications surged 23% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, as record-low interest rates convinced many homeowners it was time to refinance into lower-cost loans. Refinancing activity climbed 26.4% during the week ending January 13, to its highest level since early August, the MBA reported. Meanwhile applications for new mortgages climbed 10.3% week-over-week.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The heightened activity comes as mortgage rates test new bottoms. Last week, rates on both the 30-year and 15-year fixed loans fell to new records, at 3.89% and 3.16%, respectively, according to Freddie Mac. The vast majority of the applications — 82.2% — were to refinance existing loans rather than purchase new ones, the MBA said.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The fact that purchase applications significantly lagged those for refinancings underscored a truism about low mortgage rates, said Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae (FNMA, Fortune 500). “[Home] sales are a lot less interest-rate sensitive than people think,” he said.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Even with ultra-low rates, existing homes sales languished in November at an annualized rate of 4.4 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s well below the “normal” rate of between 5 million and 6 million. Duncan pointed out that low and declining interest rates may cause homebuyers to hesitate: They may expect them to fall even further.  On the other hand, rising rates, which often accompany an improving economy, can give potential homebuyers a reason to act — before rates and prices become less affordable.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 01/20/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL 01/20/2012

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U.S. existing-home sales rose for the third straight month in December, finishing 2011 with a modest overall increase in sales from the year before, according to a report released today by the National Association of Realtors.

Sales of   single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops saw a 1.7 percent rise in 2011, to 4.26 million homes, from 4.19 million in 2010, the report said. Last month, NAR released adjusted estimates for home sales between 2007-10. The  4.19 million  cited for sales in 2010 is the “rebenchmarked” figure.   Previously reported median home prices or months’ supply of homes for sale were not affected by NAR’s rebenchmarking.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

In December, existing-home sales rose 3.6 percent year over year and 5 percent month to month, to   a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million. The national median home price fell 2.5 percent last month, to $164,500. On a monthly basis,  unsold inventory fell 9.2 percent in December to 2.38 million, which represents a 6.2-month supply at the current sales pace — the lowest inventory level since March 2005, the report said.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

Distressed homes,  sold at an average 22 percent discount, accounted for 32 percent of sales last month (19 percent were foreclosures, 13 percent were short sales), down from 36 percent in December 2010, the report said. All-cash buyers, most of whom are investors, accounted for 31 percent of purchases last month, up from 29 percent a year ago, according to a separate NAR survey. Investors accounted for 21 percent of sales in December, up from 20 percent a year ago. The share of first-time buyers in the market fell to 31 percent of sales from 33 percent in December 2010.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

In the South, sales rose 3.5 percent year over year and 2.9 percent month to month in December, to 1.76 million. The region’s median sales price dipped 1.1 percent to $146,900.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 01/19/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL 01/19/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

I hope you have an awesome day, packed with smiles while searching for your active Birmingham AL Real Estate Dream.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The growing Internet protest–including a planned blackout by some websites Wednesday– against an online anti-piracy bill moving through Congress is “daunting,” a Senate Democratic aide said Tuesday.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The aide said the protest may be powerful enough to keep senators from voting to even take up the bill that until recently commanded rare bipartisan support.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

“Before it looked like it would pass with 80 votes, and now [the online protest] looks like something that will suck the votes away,” the aide said.  “We’re at a tipping point.  It will either become a huge issue or die down a bit and that will determine the future of this.”

The aide said it was premature to say exactly how it will play out but acknowledged that because of protest from Internet mainstays like Google and Wikipedia “the merits of the bill are getting lost” and “sand is shifting pretty quickly” against it.

Despite signals from House GOP leaders that the bill won’t be scheduled for a vote until some of the controversial provisions are worked out, Smith announced that his committee plans to consider the bill early next month.

Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, is among the industry supporters of the legislation.

Many Real Estate websites will be affected by this bill as many of the sources link back to media giants such as Google, Bing, and Wikipedia for Community Profile Information. Please CLICK HERE to send correspondence to your individual Senators and House of Representatives Delegation For Your State. With a loud voice, let the US Government know that your First Ammendment Rights Infringements will not be tolerated. TELL THEM TO VOTE NO ON THE SOPA BILL!!!

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 01/17/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL 01/17/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

I hope you have an awesome day, packed with smiles while searching for your active Birmingham AL Real Estate Dream.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The growing Internet protest–including a planned blackout by some websites Wednesday– against an online anti-piracy bill moving through Congress is “daunting,” a Senate Democratic aide said Tuesday.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The aide said the protest may be powerful enough to keep senators from voting to even take up the bill that until recently commanded rare bipartisan support.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

“Before it looked like it would pass with 80 votes, and now [the online protest] looks like something that will suck the votes away,” the aide said.  “We’re at a tipping point.  It will either become a huge issue or die down a bit and that will determine the future of this.”

The aide said it was premature to say exactly how it will play out but acknowledged that because of protest from Internet mainstays like Google and Wikipedia “the merits of the bill are getting lost” and “sand is shifting pretty quickly” against it.

Despite signals from House GOP leaders that the bill won’t be scheduled for a vote until some of the controversial provisions are worked out, Smith announced that his committee plans to consider the bill early next month.

Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, is among the industry supporters of the legislation.

Many Real Estate websites will be affected by this bill as many of the sources link back to media giants such as Google, Bing, and Wikipedia for Community Profile Information. Please CLICK HERE to send correspondence to your individual Senators and House of Representatives Delegation For Your State. With a loud voice, let the US Government know that your First Ammendment Rights Infringements will not be tolerated. TELL THEM TO VOTE NO ON THE SOPA BILL!!!

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 01/16/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL 01/16/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

These are Single Family Homes ‘Active’ on the Birmingham MLS. These homes are ripe for the picking. DO NOT LET THEM PASS YOU BY…ACT NOW….BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

I hope you have an awesome day, packed with smiles while searching for your active Birmingham AL Real Estate Dream.

It’s winter, and the temperatures are dropping outside. One  day you’re warming up your home and suddenly you notice something that you  hadn’t seen during the summer. That perfectly clear window suddenly looks foggy. The  next day, it warms up again outside, and to your surprise, the fog disappears  again. So what’s going on?

That intermittent fogging during cold temperatures is an  indication that you have what’s known as a “blown seal” in your  insulated glass window. Insulated glass windows, also known as double-pane windows,  have two panes of glass that are held apart by a metal strip. The strip,  usually somewhere between 1/4 and 3/4 of an inch wide, is adhered to the two  glass panes with a flexible sealant material.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

During the manufacturing process, moisture is evacuated from  between the glass panes as they’re sealed together, forming a dead air space.  It’s the combination of the two glass panes and the dead air that gives the  window panes their additional insulating value, and helps keep the window  warmer than one with a single pane of glass.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

Once you discover a window with a blown seal, your only  option is to replace the insulated glass unit. You need to do that as soon as  you discover the problem, as the window has lost its insulating value, and the  trapped moisture can potentially lead to other problems. Not to mention the  fact that you can’t see through the window!

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The good news is that you must replace only the sealed glass  unit, not the entire window. This is something that you need to leave to the  pros. Contact a glass company in your area and have them make a site visit.  They’ll examine the window, measure the insulated glass unit, including the  size of the air space, and have a new one made up that matches. When the new  one is ready, they’ll come back out, remove the moldings and the old unit, and  install and seal the new unit in place.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 01/13/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL 01/13/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

I hope you have an awesome day, packed with smiles while searching for your active Birmingham AL Real Estate Dream.

 

Mortgage rates continued to plumb new depths this week, but demand for purchase loans remains down from a year ago, lender surveys show. All types of mortgages tracked by Freddie Mac hit new lows during the week ending Jan. 12, the company said in releasing its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, which have been below 4 percent for six weeks in a row, hit a new low this week in records dating to 1971. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.89 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 3.91 percent last week and 4.71 percent a year ago.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, rates averaged 3.16 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from 3.23 percent last week and 4.08 percent a year ago. Rates on 15-year loans, popular for refinancing, have never been lower since Freddie Mac began tracking them in 1991.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

Rates on five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans averaged 2.82 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from 2.86 percent last week and 3.72 percent a year ago. That’s a new low in records dating to 2005. For one-year Treasury-indexed ARM loans, rates averaged 2.76 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 2.8 percent last week and 3.23 percent a year ago.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

Looking back a week, a separate survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that demand for purchase loans during the week ending Jan. 6 was up a seasonally adjusted 8.1 percent from the week before. Purchase loan demand was down 17.9 percent from the same time a year ago. Requests to refinance accounted for 80.8 percent of all mortgage applications. Mortgage rates have been sliding because mortgage-backed securities (MBS) — bonds that fund the vast majority of home loans — have been popular with investors seeking a safe haven.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 01/10/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL 01/10/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

I hope you have an awesome day, packed with smiles while searching for your active Birmingham AL Real Estate Dream.

It wasn’t long ago that some economic forecasters anticipated a turnaround in the home-sale market by 2012. When the economic recovery stalled and the housing market showed no sign of turning around quickly, projections for a housing recovery were pushed out two, three and even seven years.

Some believe that home prices have bottomed and are increasing in areas powered by strong job growth. However, even in places where prices are rising, they are not rebounding. Many anticipate another 5 percent price decline over the next two years.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Research gives a 65 percent probability that the recovery will be choppy. It forecasts a 5 percent chance of a strong recovery and a 30 percent chance of a double-dip recession. Factors holding a recovery back: a general sense of uncertainty that undermines consumer confidence; millions of unsold foreclosure properties; high unemployment; cutbacks in services; and tight credit conditions.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

The same lenders who gave risky mortgages to buyers who couldn’t afford them in 2005 and 2006 are now making it difficult for qualified buyers to get financing. It used to take a credit score of 620 or more to qualify for a conventional mortgage. In those days, loans to buyers with 5 to 10 percent cash down were readily available.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

Today’s buyers need a credit score of 600. Some conventional lenders require a 20 percent cash down payment. If the buyers are self-employed it can be more difficult to qualify. One of the best things that could happen to the housing market at this point would be an easing of credit-qualifying standards — not to the ridiculously low level of several years ago, but to a level that would enable more creditworthy buyers to take advantage of today’s low interest rates and relatively low home prices.

 

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 01/09/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL 01/09/2012

Your FREE ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 01/09/2012 list has been posted.

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

These are Single Family Homes ‘Active’ on the Birmingham MLS. These homes are ripe for the picking. DO NOT LET THEM PASS YOU BY…ACT NOW….BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

I hope you have an awesome day, packed with smiles while searching for your active Birmingham AL Real Estate Dream.

It wasn’t long ago that some economic forecasters anticipated a  turnaround in the home-sale market by 2012. When the economic recovery stalled  and the housing market showed no sign of turning around quickly, projections  for a housing recovery were pushed out two, three and even seven years.

 

Some believe that home prices  have bottomed and are increasing in areas powered by strong job growth.  However, even in places where prices are rising, they are not rebounding. Many  anticipate another 5 percent price decline over the next two years.

 

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

Research gives a 65 percent probability that the recovery will be choppy.  It forecasts a 5 percent chance of a strong recovery and a 30 percent chance of  a double-dip recession. Factors holding a recovery back: a general sense of  uncertainty that undermines consumer confidence; millions of unsold foreclosure  properties; high unemployment; cutbacks in services; and tight credit  conditions.

 

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

The same lenders who gave risky mortgages to buyers who couldn’t afford  them in 2005 and 2006 are now making it difficult for qualified buyers to get  financing. It used to take a credit score of 620 or more to qualify for a  conventional mortgage. In those days, loans to buyers with 5 to 10 percent cash  down were readily available.

 

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

Today’s buyers need a credit score of 600. Some conventional lenders  require a 20 percent cash down payment. If the buyers are self-employed it can  be more difficult to qualify.  One of the best things that could happen to the housing market at this  point would be an easing of credit-qualifying standards — not to the  ridiculously low level of several years ago, but to a level that would enable  more creditworthy buyers to take advantage of today’s low interest rates and  relatively low home prices.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 01/06/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL 01/06/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

These are Single Family Homes ‘Active’ on the Birmingham MLS. These homes are ripe for the picking. DO NOT LET THEM PASS YOU BY…ACT NOW….BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

I hope you have an awesome day, packed with smiles while searching for your active Birmingham AL Real Estate Dream.

It’s been a mild winter throughout most of the country so far. That means we still have time to run through a foul-weather checklist. Here are 10 “must do’s” to have a warm, cozy and safe winter.

1. Check attic insulation. A foot of blown-in or batt insulation (R-38) in the attic reduces heat transfer from heated interior space to the great outdoors. This is a do-it-yourself job.

 

2. Install or replace weatherstripping, if necessary. Check the rubber threshold gasket at the bottom of exterior doors and replace if worn or torn.

3. Check exterior doors and windows for gaps. Modern windows are probably OK, but older windows may need some help.

 

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

4. Check the outside of doors and windows for voids, and caulk any gaps you see.

5. Change the filter in the heater. In older furnaces, filters should be changed monthly. Change or service newer, more efficient filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

6. Replace your old thermostat with a new programmable model.

7. Have your heater inspected by a licensed heating and air conditioning contractor. An inspection ensures that the heater is operating safely and efficiently.

8. Check the carbon monoxide (CO) detector. If you don’t have one, get one. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that kills.

 

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL

 

9. Clean gutters and downspouts so fallen leaves won’t clog them.

10. Clean the fireplace of ashes; visually check the chimney for loose or missing mortar.