The Cascade Team Real Estate is pleased to announce the launch of our NEW strategic partnership with Bank of America Home Loans.  As a valued client of The Cascade Team Real Estate, you'll recieve no loan origination fee (usually up to 1% of the loan value) and $1000 off your closing costs with Bank of America Home Loans.  In addition, to our 1/2% buyer rebate program, this can substantially reduce your out of pocket expenses in closing your new home purchase.  In addition, there is an additional $1000 credit if you are purchasing an energy rated home (ask your loan officer for more details). With no origination fees, Bank of America and The Cascade Team Real Estate can save you thousands of dollars on your next home purchase.  Be sure to submit your…

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boa-mortgage_120     More signs that NOW is the time to buy! By JANNA HERRON, AP Real Estate Writer Janna Herron, Ap Real Estate Writer – 19 mins ago

NEW YORK – The average rate on the 30-year mortgage topped 5 percent this week for the first time since April. Higher rates could further hamper the struggling housing market ahead of the spring's prime home-buying season

Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate rose to 5.05 percent from 4.81 percent last week. It hit a 40-year low of 4.17 percent in November. The average rate on the 15-year home loan, a popular refinance option, increased to 4.29 percent from 4.08 percent. It reached 3.57 percent in November, the lowest level on records starting in 1991.

Rates are following the yields on the…

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hands-home_173Now is a good time to buy real estate, according to data from Moody’s Analytics. Home affordability has returned to pre-housing bubble levels or even fallen below the average in many U.S. markets.

In fact, housing affordability by the end of September had returned to or fallen below the average reached between 1989-2003 in 47 of the 74 housing markets that Moody Analytics tracked.

In September 2010, the ratio of home prices to annual household income had fallen to 1.6--below the historical average of 1.9 between 1989 and 2003. The ratio peaked in 2005 at 2.3.

"Based on incomes, this is as affordable as it gets," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "If you can get a loan, these are pretty good times to buy."

Some of the most undervalued…

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house_on_money2_250While renting offers zero tax breaks, buying a home offers several tax benefits that can make homeownership more affordable. Real estate professionals need to be careful in providing detailed tax advice to clients to avoid lawsuits, but you can ensure clients have the information they need to understand the all of the tax benefits of home ownership.

The following is a few of the tax benefits to home ownership, according to Stephen Fishman, an author and lawyer who specializes in small business, tax and intellectual property law.

▪ Home mortgage interest deduction: Home owners can take an itemized deduction on interest paid on a mortgage or mortgages of up to $1 million for a principal residence and/or second home. This deduction could potentially reduce…

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KIRKLAND, Wash. (Feb. 3, 2011) – Dramatic increases in open house activity and shrinking inventory are fueling optimism among members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Commenting on the just-released MLS report on January’s housing activity, one director stated, "There is a strong belief in the industry that the worst is behind us and we can look forward with confidence."

Darin Stenvers, managing broker at John L. Scott in Bellingham, who made that comment, also noted consumers are gaining confidence and buyers may be seeing what they believe is the bottoming of the market. "I’m very optimistic about the housing market for 2011 and the buyers and sellers should be as well," he exclaimed.

Year-over-year pending sales were down…

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At the beginning of the housing crisis, sellers turned to gimmicky tricks like YouTube love letters about their homes and burying St. Christopher's figurines upside down in the front yard to try to move their homes off the market. These days, though, many sellers are getting smarter and more strategic, turning the transaction on its head to get buyers off the fence with a phenomenon called the reverse offer.

Usually, the buyer makes an offer for a certain price and on certain terms. A reverse offer goes in the opposite direction: from seller to buyer. In some cases, a seller whose home has been on the market for ages with lots of viewers, but no offers, may enlist their agent to go back and approach several or even all of the buyers who have come to…

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