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17 December 2010

Week in Review: What We Liked From the Week That Was

Joy to the American Dream!  According to a survey from Fannie Mae, 51 percent of people surveyed said the housing bust did not change their willingness to buy a home, and an additional 27 percent said it actually made them more likely to do so.  Topping the list of motivations is the ability to remodel to their tastes and better schools.  Eighty-six percent of those surveyed cite income-tax benefits as another motivator.  Meanwhile, in Washington DC, lawmakers re-examine some of the perks of homeownership, including tax deductions.

Test driving is not just for cars anymore.  For those individuals who are unsure about buying a home, renting-to-own is becoming an attractive option that is gaining ground, especially in areas hard hit with foreclosures.

Home repossessions fell two straight months in October and November over last year, after banks stopped issuing foreclosures in the midst of the “robo signing” scandal.  Unlike the weather across the Midwest and East, the banks freeze on foreclosures has thawed.  The silver lining here is that the effect of the mess on home sales has not been as severe as feared.

Homeowners looking to spruce up their homes on a limited budget may want to focus on curb-appeal projects as they return the most value.  A little paint and a few plants can go a long way.

What will be trendy in housing next year?  According to MSN, it is not going to be an egg home.  Rather, smaller, single-story, energy-efficient homes with a front or side porch and smaller kitchen and bathrooms will be the Lady Gaga of the New Year. (Elevators are in the minority, who would have guessed?)

What about the premier areas? According to Local Market Monitor, the central United States — namely cities in Ohio, Kentucky and Oklahoma — has four of the top five best prospects for buyers. Are you surprised?

Did you catch the meteor shower this week?  Speaking of stars, did your favorites get a nod for the Golden Globes?

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