Real Estate News

Real Estate News

The Mortgage Professor: Preventing mortgages from going underwater

One weakness of the standard mortgage in the U.S., discussed last week, is the extreme rigidity of the payment obligation, which makes it very difficult to manage the repayment process efficiently. In last week's article, I suggested that this problem could best be fixed by defining the borrower's contractual obligation in terms of a maximum loan balance that would decline month by month, rather than a minimum payment. The second weakness, discussed below, is that the borrower must assume a risk that her equity in the property will decline due to circumstances beyond her control. This happened to most homeowners during the 2006-2011 recession.

Real Estate News

Real estate Q&A: HOA can't ban solar panels

Q: I live in a community with a homeowner's association and want to put some solar panels on my roof to be more energy-efficient. Our board members aren't letting me because they say it would violate the rules about how our community is supposed to look. Can they stop me from doing this?

Real Estate News

Reasons not to fall for those bargain prices at Ikea

Founded in 1951 by Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea - the name is his initials combined with the first letters of the farm and village where he grew up: Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd - is now a worldwide franchise where consumers can find stylish furniture at bargain prices. And don't forget about the delicious Swedish meatballs.

Real Estate News

Real estate Q&A: Can HOA ban campaigning or campaign signs?

Q: Our homeowner's association has a rule prohibiting soliciting. When candidates tried to campaign in our community for the recent elections, they were told they were not allowed to do so. Doesn't free speech trump (pardon the pun) this HOA rule, or is it also considered soliciting? On the same subject, can our association ban me from placing a sign for my candidate on my lawn?