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65% of Housing Markets Worse Than Four Years Ago

65% of Housing Markets Worse Than Four Years Ago

Sixty-five percent of U.S. housing markets are worse off today than they were four years ago according to the California-based real estate research firm RealtyTrac. The results of the survey arrive the same day as the final presidential debate and just weeks before the general election. Read the rest of 65% of Housing Markets...
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A Stunning Map of How Foreclosures Ate America

A Stunning Map of How Foreclosures Ate America

We’ve all heard that the housing bubble’s pop led to thousands of foreclosures, but its interactive maps like this that really show how prevalent the problem was — and still is. Part of a project on 30 election issues, the map below uses data from RealtyTrac to display foreclosure rates by county. The darker...
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National Economic Outlook (October 2012)

National Economic Outlook (October 2012)

Unemployment in September fell to 7.8% (according to government stats) but otherwise the economic situation was pretty much as it has been for the last six months: improving but at a slow rate.  Employment was up 1.4% over last year, with health care and business services providing the bulk of new jobs, as usual. Some...
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Real Estate Market Report

Real Estate Market Report

After nine consecutive months of appreciation, August was the first month where home values decreased by 0.1% to $152,100, according to Zillow. 2012 has seen a turnaround in the housing market with sustained appreciation that, at times, has been very strong.  As we progress through the latter half of this year, we expect home...
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How to Invest with a Declining US Dollar

How to Invest with a Declining US Dollar

The Federal Reserve was supposed to protect the value of the U.S. dollar – at least that’s how it was originally sold to the public. We still don’t know why the dollar needed “protection”. It was solid for the longest time, except for the time when President Lincoln printed too many of them to...
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Real Estate Cycles: Where Are We Now?

Real Estate Cycles: Where Are We Now?

Real estate prices, as with most financial markets, tend to follow a pattern. For the purpose of this article, we’ll call this pattern “The Real Estate Cycle.” There are many theories out there about The Real Estate Cycle, but the one I like best is called “The Great 18-Year Real Estate Cycle.” Back in...
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Gas Prices and its Effect on Real Estate

Gas Prices and its Effect on Real Estate

Gas prices around the country have been steadily increasing and the probability of $5.00 per gallon is a real possibility. Is it a big deal? Some people think so. According to HUD, people still want to buy homes, particularly the “Y Generation” (those ages 18 to 35). But this group has seen the most...
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Investing in Real Estate Using a Self Directed IRA

Investing in Real Estate Using a Self Directed IRA

A growing number of real estate investors are using a self-directed IRA to finance their property purchases nowadays. That’s because a self-directed IRA can provide them with the opportunity to buy real estate and earn rental income without paying early distribution fees. The Investment Company Institute – the national association of U.S. investment companies,...
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Single-Family Homes and Their Potential

Single-Family Homes and Their Potential

As we continue to go through Morgan Stanley’s “Housing 2.0: The New Rental Paradigm” we’re more confident that 2012 will be a big year for real estate investors.  For one, the financial services company boldly concludes, “…gross rents are historically attractive relative to current distressed prices. Adding to this attractiveness is the fact that...
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The Law of Now

The Law of Now

Optimism can only be rewarding if one takes action. Without it, it’s like driving a car that runs out of fuel; you’ll never arrive at your goal. Your past mistakes or apprehension about the future has nothing to do with what you can do today or what you should act upon. Decision-making may be...
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