Real Estate Investing Links for November 3, 2009

Home Buyer Tax Credit Set for Extension

The Real Estate Economy Watch reports that senate debate has officially ended on the extension of the home buyer tax credit. With only two senators in opposition, the legislation is expected to receive President Obama’s signature this week. In addition to the extension, the new tax credit will include a “move up” option and will be made available to couples with combined incomes of up to $225,000. Dissidents cite fraud as their main trouble with the bill, so the IRS will be granted expanded oversight of the process.

What is Your Retirement Risk Index?

Tough Money Love blogs about the scariest retirement statistics out there. Nationwide Insurance conducted a study that showed 51% of Americans would be unable to maintain their standard of living if they retired at age 65, without accounting for medical expenses. This percentage is up from 2007’s 44%, despite declines in home equity and the government’s raising of the required age to receive social security benefits.

Facts about Homeowner Loans

This article allows you to brush up on changes to the terms of homeowner or secured loans, which can be used to purchase a number of things including cars and property. The Daily Press provides interesting insight to how the fall in home prices altered the standard terms of the loans. Lenders will now match only 80% of the property’s value and generally have a limit of $50,000-$100,000 versus the pre-recession $250,000 allowance.

The “Housing Bust’s” Impact on Different Regions

Les Christie of Norada Real Estate argues against the idea of a nationwide “housing bust,” stating that only certain areas were severely impacted. Among them “bubble states” like Florida and California have been experiencing skyrocketing foreclosures as a result of previous explosions of home prices. Contrarily, states in the “heartland,” like Texas, did not experience the same phenomena because land was readily available. Avoid generalizations, Read this article to learn the affects recent trends in the housing market have had on different parts of the country.

New Advantages for Home Buyers

Phoebe Chongchua of Realty Times says that the abundance of housing options is advantaging buyers and resulting in new expectations for investors to focus on amenities that will give their property a leg up on the competition. One of Lifestyles’ central principles is the concept of “best product best price.” By employing this tactic investors can match their property to the expectations of the neighborhood, ensuring choice buyers.

Worst Hit Cities by Foreclosure

CNN Money reports that metropolitan areas are increasingly affected by the foreclosure crisis. Cities in California, Florida, and Nevada have consistently made the list for the highest foreclosure rates in the nation and there are mixed views on what the future has in store. While half of the cities in the top 10 have experienced yearly declines, a number of other cities have seen dramatic increases. Despite stabilizing home prices, a full recovery of the housing market is not yet in sight.

The Real Estate Downturn of the Early 90’s and Today

The National Real Estate Investor compares two downturns in the commercial real estate market. While attributing the slump in the early 90’s to overbuilding and the deregulation of the lending industry, they note the dramatic declines in construction that today’s market is experiencing. Although financing is available, investors are weary of commercial investment due to the increase in land and construction costs. Further, unemployment and historic declines in consumer spending is leading to a decrease in demand. Refer to this article to learn how past experience should shape your investing approach today.

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