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15 Year Mortgage rate at record low

The 15-year fixed rate fell to 2.61% this week from 2.64%, The previous record low of 2.63% was set the week of Nov. 21, 2012.

An adjustable-rate mortgage, the 5/1 ARM, also bottomed out at 2.58%. The most popular mortgage, the 30-year fixed-rate, came in at 3.4%, 0.09 percentage point above its record low.

New Homes Cost Less to Maintain

NAHB examined data from the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2011 American Housing Survey to determine how utility, maintenance, property tax, and insurance costs vary depending on the age of a home.

Houses built prior to 1960 have average maintenance costs of $564 per year. On the other hand, homes built after 2008 have average maintenance costs less than half that — $241, according to the study.

Faster Home Sales

Homes sold faster last month than in any February since 2007 as eager buyers met a tight supply of homes for sale, industry figures show.

Homes were on the market for a median of 98 days last month, down from 123 days in February 2011, according to Realtor.com. That means half the homes listed for sale in February were on the market for less than 98 days and half for more than that.

Home sales increase 2% in October

The pace of sales for previously owned homes rose in October, despite the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, in the latest sign of improvement for the long-battered housing market.

What Appraisers Think Your Home is Worth (It’s not pretty!)

NEW YORK (Money Magazine) — When it comes to assessing a home’s value, real estate agents and homeowners tend to be an optimistic bunch.

In the post-bust world, appraisers are a different story. They have to predict a realistic value for your home that the bank can use to extend credit to a borrower — and that number can make or break your sale or refinance.

Six Errors HomeBuyers Make

Buying a home is not an everyday activity. There’s a learning curve, which explains why real estate experts see the same blunders again and again.

From confusing the seller’s agent for your new best bud to putting all your available cash on the table at closing, here are six common — and costly — mistakes home buyers make.

4 Reasons to Buy a Home Now

1. The price is right. The median single-family home price hit its lowest in more than a decade when it reached $154,600 in January, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. That was the lowest since October 2001. During the height of the housing market in July 2006, the median home price for a single-family home was $230,900.

2. It’s cheaper to buy than rent. In nearly every major metro market, it is cheaper to buy a home than rent. Rents have been on the rise the last few years and are predicted to continue to rise. Meanwhile, home affordability is at record highs, which means that buying a home is more within reach to the median income family.

Not Every Distressed Property Is a Bargain

Foreclosures can offer some home buyers big bargains, with the typical discount on a foreclosure about 19 percent, according to National Association of REALTORS® data from May. But buyers should be careful not to be guided by price alone, housing experts warn.