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Showing posts from January, 2009

Home sellers count 'days on market'

Some locations boast short DOM, beating national trend

By Marcie Geffner,

Homeowners typically have two questions top of mind when they decide to sell their home. The first concerns how much their home is worth. The second involves how long it will take to find a buyer. It’s the answer to that second question that real estate brokers refer to as “days on the market,” or “DOM,” in broker shorthand.

While sellers generally experienced significantly longer DOM in 2008, there were some counties where homes were sold comparatively quite briskly in November.

Chittenden County, pop. 150,000, in northwestern Vermont took tops honors for the shortest DOM among 470 counties across the nation. Homes in Chittenden were snapped up after being on the market for just 36 days, or a little longer than one month, on average, according to Cyberhomes.

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Borrowers benefit as Fed lowers rates

Zero bank interest rate could make home loans more affordable.

By Marcie Geffner – December 19, 2008

Homeowners jumped at the opportunity to refinance their existing mortgages this week after the Federal Reserve lowered two key interest rates, one to a new record low of zero.

The Fed lowered the federal funds rate to a target range of 0 to 0.25 percent, the lowest level on record for at least the last 40 years, and the discount rate 0.75 percent to just 0.50 percent. The federal funds rate is the rate banks charge one another for overnight loans. The discount rate is the rate the Fed charges banks for short-term loans.

Rates may stay low

Mortgage interest rates had already fallen to extremely low levels, yet managed to slip even a bit more after the Fed's action.

The interest rates set by the Fed aren't the same rates that borrowers pay for home, auto or consumer loans. But the Fed's actions indirectly affect how affordable those loans are for borrowers. The late…

Flee, or stay the financial course?

By Marcie Geffner •

If you're worried about the dramatic ups and downs in the U.S. stock market, you can still count on one thing for sure: You're not alone. Plenty of people have panicked and sold off their mutual funds, raided their bank accounts or taken other ill-considered steps they may well regret later on -- or at least that's the perspective of financial planners, who unanimously advise against hasty decisions and instead advocate calm.

"You can't make good decisions when you are emotional. You have to calm down," says Frank Boucher, principal of Boucher Financial Planning Services in Reston, Va. "Sit back, take a deep breath, relax and when you are ready to deal with it without emotion, you are ready."

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