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Family in Fear After Home Hit 9 Times by Cars

The Nobles have lived in the house since 1971 and say people seem to be driving faster now

(Newser) - For one Canadian family, enough is enough. The house they've lived in since 1971 has been hit by a car at least nine times—six since the early '90s, though retiree Maureen Noble tells CTV News , "You kind of lose track after awhile." They live close... More »

Accused Squatter Files Restraining Order Against Homeowner

California woman has apparently done this before

(Newser) - A California homeowner says a squatter has not only taken over her Fair Oaks home but has filed a restraining order against her, Fox40 reports. Sandra Forbes says the woman moved in about two months ago without meeting her or getting permission. And while the alleged interloper produced a lease... More »

Cosby Wants Home Insurance to Cover Legal Costs

AIG is fighting him on his 'personal injury' claims for defamation lawsuits

(Newser) - Why anyone other than Bill Cosby should care about Bill Cosby's homeowners insurance may at first seem a mystery. But the beleaguered comedian is apparently taking advantage of the personal injury coverage linked to his AIG policy to deflect his growing legal costs as he fights the defamation suits... More »

Couple Told They Can't Park Truck in Own Driveway

Homeowners' association deems it unseemly

(Newser) - Like parking in your driveway? So do David and Arna Orlando, but their homeowners' association says they can't—and is suing to make the point, the Post-Standard reports. The Kimry Moor Homeowners Association in the town of Manlius, NY, just outside Syracuse, cites its regulations in telling the Orlandos... More »

Americans Are Way Too Eager to Buy Houses

Houses aren't great long-term investments, Catherine Rampell argues.

(Newser) - Last week, Gallup released a poll showing that Americans, in Catherine Rampell's words, "still financially fetishize homeownership." Despite the financial crisis, respondents still considered real estate the best long-term investment—which "baffles" Rampell because, by her calculations, home prices have risen at a compound rate of... More »

White House to Banks: Loan to Those With So-So Credit

Effort to expand recovery sparks debate on risky lending

(Newser) - The White House is fighting to make it easier for people with less-than-stellar credit to get home loans, a move insiders say will spur recovery. They're joined by housing advocates who say the improving housing market hasn't reached lower-income and young people. But the plan "would open... More »

Feds Look to Deep-Six 'Forced' Home Insurance

Banks benefit from practice that has gouged millions

(Newser) - Since 2009, some six million "force-placed" home insurance policies have been written—expensive policies that hit homeowners if their original plans fall through, for instance, because they've fallen behind on payments. But these "forced" policies can cost up to 10 times as much as the original plans,... More »

29% of Homeowners Are Mortgage-Free

Including 34.5% of those homeowners ages 20 to 24

(Newser) - In a country ravaged by the housing crisis, a hefty chunk of homeowners—some 29.3%—have escaped the mortgage burden entirely, a new report by Zillow finds. A great deal of the 20.6 million Americans who own their homes outright are retirees: 77.6% of people 85 and... More »

Did Banks Get Off Easy in $8.5B Mortgage Settlement?

Homeowner: 'What's $1K going to do for me?'

(Newser) - Sure, plenty of people—3.8 million, in fact—will benefit from yesterday's $8.5 billion mortgage settlement with banks. But some consumer advocates say the banks themselves have made out the best on the deal, the AP reports. They argue that the institutions are getting away with a... More »

Homebuyers, Beware of Buying a Former Meth Lab

Toxic residue and patchwork regulations a 'nationwide issue,' says DEA

(Newser) - Those in the market for a home may want to add this question to their checklist: Was this by any chance ever used as a meth lab? The idea may sound far-fetched, but Fox News has a few examples of horror stories in which unsuspecting families move into homes, get... More »

New Neighborly Trend: Shared Backyards

More homeowners are merging outdoor space

(Newser) - Good fences typically make good neighbors, says the old platitude, but a number of homeowners are scrapping their dividing fences in order to build shared backyards and gardens with the folks next door, reports the Wall Street Journal . The communal spaces offer more room to entertain guests and plant an... More »

Homeownership Falls to 15-Year Low

It's at 65.4%, down from a high of 69.2%, but analysts aren't worried—yet

(Newser) - The US homeownership rate fell to 65.4% in the first quarter to hit a 15-year-low, as foreclosures and a strong rental market kept Americans away from homeownership, according to figures released by the Census Bureau today. That's down from 66% last quarter, and from 69.2% at the... More »

Scammer of Homeowners Gets Life in Prison

Three-strikes law takes down white-collar criminal who preyed on elderly

(Newser) - California's three-strikes law has produced an unusual result in Orange County: A non-violent, white-collar criminal has been sentenced to 25 years to life, reports the Los Angeles Times . But Timothy Barnett may not be getting much sympathy, given that he was convicted of swindling the elderly out of their... More »

Banks Ink $26B Deal to Help 2M Homeowners

49 states sign on to deal with nation's top 5 banks

(Newser) - America's five biggest banks have hammered out a $26 billion settlement for their role in causing the mortgage meltdown, reports the Wall Street Journal . The deal—the biggest of its kind since 1998's $206 billion settlement with the tobacco industry—was hammered out during almost a year of... More »

Freddie Mac Bet Billions Against Homeowners

Has financial stake in limiting refinancing for struggling people

(Newser) - Freddie Mac was designed to help homeowners—but in 2010 and 2011 it wagered billions against them. The company invested in security packages that meant more cash for Freddie when homeowners couldn't refinance their mortgages. But Freddie itself regulates refinancing—and in fact has been increasingly denying refinances to... More »

US May Let Millions Refinance at 4%

Proposal could save homeowners $85B annually

(Newser) - Help could be on the way for struggling homeowners with government-backed mortgages: The Obama administration is considering a proposal that would allow such homeowners to refinance their mortgages at today's interest rates, which hover around a low 4%. Many homeowners can’t currently refinance because they owe more than... More »

Makeshift Levees Protect Homes From Flooding

Mississippi residents take matters into their own hands

(Newser) - Some homeowners are putting up a fight against the mighty Mississippi and its tributaries, notes Popular Science . The AP and Getty have remarkable images of homes near Vicksburg shielded by makeshift levees. It's "a testament to the human instinct to protect hearth and home," notes Clay Dillow.... More »

Fla. Homeowners Want Ban on Kids Playing Outside

Supporters tired of parents turning their kids loose

(Newser) - Ahh, childhood: that magical time when you can be slapped with a $100 fine for playing tag on the street outside your house. At least, that’s what will happen if a certain group of Edgewater, Fla., homeowners get their way. The Persimmon Place homeowners association will vote later this... More »

It's Amazing These Homeowners Keep Paying Their Mortgage

May make more sense to stop and live rent-free for a while

(Newser) - As the foreclosure mess gets worse almost literally by the day , Brett Arends poses a question to all those underwater homeowners still making mortgage payments: Are you nuts? He's actually far more diplomatic than that, but to him "the big question" in all this isn't why so many "... More »

Foreclosure System in Chaos—Which Might Be Good

It could eventually help housing prices stabilize

(Newser) - The nation's foreclosure system is coming to a virtual standstill in the wake of news that two big home lenders may have done shoddy work processing them. The New York Times weighs in on the mess and finds a silver lining: This could actually help the housing market in the... More »

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