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Woman returns from vacation to find family of strangers living in her home

Katherine Lang of Beaufort, S.C., returned home after a 10-day vacation to make an unsettling discovery: A new family had moved into her home.She arrived to find two dogs running around, a cat lounging on top of a washing machine, and food cooking on the stove. She heard two people talking inside the house, found them, and confronted them.


Experian: Credit Outlook Bright for 2018

Credit Score, FICO, TransUnion, ExperianConsumer credit reporting agency Experian has released its eighth annual State of Credit report, showing a positive state of affairs that includes average credit scores trending upward and inching closer to pre-Recession totals.


Maine landlord fined $500,000 for bed bugs, other violations

PORTLAND — A Portland landlord is facing hundreds of thousands of dollar in fines after the city says she refused to fix life-safety violations.  It’s the largest fine since the city formed a housing safety office in response to the deadly Noyes St. fire that killed six people.


New York City Foreclosed Homes Hit 8-Year High

According to PropertyShark’s annual foreclosure report released this week, the Big Apple had 3,306 homes scheduled for auction last year, a year-over-year increase of 58 percent. PropertyShark releases quarterly reports on the state of foreclosures in New York City, and Q4 2017 reflected ongoing trends toward rising foreclosures in the city, with year-over-year increases in every borough except Manhattan.


Zombie Homes: The Problem That Just Won’t Die

The issue of so-called “zombie homes” is a problem for any major city. “Zombie homes” is a colorful name for an old problem, and one that continues to be widespread as the nation gains more distance from the housing crisis and the Great Recession. Zombie homes are created when the foreclosure process begins, the homeowner moves out, but then the foreclosure is canceled for one reason or another, leaving the home unoccupied—and often falling into disrepair. The issue—and misunderstandings surrounded it—is highlighted in a new story about how Portland, Oregon, is tackling the problem.


U-Haul Migration Trends: FLORIDA No. 2 Growth State for 2017

Florida was the No. 2 Growth State for 2017, according to U-Haul data analyzing the past year's U.S. migration trends.

Year-over-year arrivals of one-way U-Haul truck rentals rose 8 percent while departures rose 9 percent from Florida's 2016 numbers. Some of the state's considerable increase in overall U-Haul transactions can likely be attributed to an active hurricane season.


FHFA Credit Changes Could Expand Homeownership

With the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) currently considering changing the credit score requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, representatives from both FICO and its potential competition have been weighing in on the potential changes.


Puerto Rico Evacuees Exacerbating Florida Housing Crisis

Over three months after Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island of Puerto Rico, half of the island’s 3.4 million citizens are still without power, and many without access to clean drinking water or adequate health care. While the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers forecasts many more months of work required before the island’s electrical grid is repaired, many Puerto Ricans are choosing to leave their home, at least temporarily—and one of the most popular and logical destinations for evacuation is Florida. Unfortunately, the Orlando Weekly reports that this is exacerbating an already existing affordable housing crisis in the Sunshine State, with no easy answers as to how to resolve it.


Central Florida lawmakers are frustrated over the lack of housing as Puerto Rican evacuees arrive in Orlando daily

More than 100 days after Hurricane Maria's apocalyptic winds tore through Puerto Rico leaving floods, collapsed houses and bodies in its wake, the island remains shrouded in darkness.


Rental Property Management: Beware of Fraud

The issue of data breaches is just one of the challenges the industry is still combating as 2018 has set in motion. In a recent Insights Blog, CoreLogic conducted a survey to discover just how staggering the issue of identity theft-related crimes is among the rental property market.

According to the blog, no large-scale studies exist for the rental property industry. Therefore interviews and surveys of 30 clients who own or manage rental properties were conducted.


Home prices are set to soar in 2018

The temperature may be frigid across much of the nation, yet home prices are sizzling and sellers are in the hot seat.  Sales prices jumped 7 percent annually in November, according to a new report from CoreLogic.

That is the third straight month at that pace, far higher than the price gains in the first half of 2017. Low supply and high demand are fueling the spurt and neither of those is expected to ease up anytime soon.


Another discount broker pushes in to Florida real estate market

Bernard Polselli has sold more than a few houses during his life, and when it came time to list his place in Palm Beach Gardens, he decided not to use a traditional agent. Instead, he sold the house through Home Bay, a new entrant to Florida’s real estate market that’s drumming up business by charging sellers a flat fee of $2,500.  Reflecting ongoing pressure on real estate commissions, Polselli says he often has used traditional brokers in the past – only to wonder what value they provided.


Americans Migrated West and South in 2017

States in the Mountain West, Pacific West, and the South saw strong inbound migration for 2017, according to United Van Lines' 41st Annual National Movers Study. The Study tracks state-to-state migration patterns during a given year. For 2017, Vermont, Oregon, and Idaho topped the list of predominantly inbound states. Meanwhile, states in the Northeast and Midwest saw more people moving out than moving in during the year.


Cities Where 50 Percent of Households Can’t Afford a Home

Homeownership is likely to be out of reach for more than half of the households in many large cities, according to a study published by the personal finance resource GoBankingRates on Tuesday.


Identity Fraud in Mortgage: The Threat is Real . . . and Growing

Fraud is not a new topic for the mortgage industry. But our familiarity with it has, perhaps, dulled our vigilance when it comes to a massive new threat. Wire fraud—perhaps more accurately called identity fraud—has exploded recently, both in frequency and complexity. It is no understatement to say that we, as an industry, are woefully unprepared for it. Worst of all, many of us don’t even acknowledge wire fraud as a top concern. If this describes you or your business, please consider the following a wake-up call to a trend that may already be an epidemic.


Cities have a new target for ending homelessness: Landlords

Rental vouchers are only helpful if landlords are willing to take them. All too often, they’re not. But what if the government made it less risky?

Families wait years to get on the government’s waiting list for a rental voucher, sometimes while living in a homeless shelter. When they finally get that housing aid, they often struggle to find landlords willing to rent to them.

Most landlords screen out people who have a criminal background, poor credit or a history of evictions, making it difficult for voucher holders to find somewhere to live, even when they can afford rent. In fact, it’s common for people to lose their vouchers — which have expiration dates — after months of unsuccessful searching for a home.


San Francisco tenants win $3.5M in wrongful eviction case

SAN FRANCISCO –  A landlord has been ordered to pay $3.5 million to a San Francisco couple after a jury ruled they were wrongfully evicted from their home of 21 years.

Dale Duncan and Marta Mendoza sued sisters Anne Kihagi, Christina Mwangi, and their company Zoriall LLC, after they and their 6-year-old daughter were evicted in 2015.


Housing Market Squeezing First-Time Buyers

Tight housing markets across the country squeezed out more first-time buyers over the past year. A new survey by the National Association of Realtors shows that the share of first-time buyers in the market is at its fourth-lowest point since 1981.

According to the report, first-timers made up 34 percent of the buying market this year, compared to 35 percent a year ago. Even last year was notably below the generally considered normal figure of 39 percent.


Landlord evicts disabled Orange Park man, throws away medicine

An Orange Park man says he came home to find the locks on his front door changed and all of his property gone.

Joseph Atkins, 29, was able to get back into his apartment, but says he shouldn't have been locked out in the first place.

Atkins rummaged through trash bags of his possessions inside of his apartment at Park Village Apartments in Orange Park Thursday afternoon.


Springfield landlord fined $43,500 after losing housing discrimination lawsuit

U.S. District Court in SpringfieldSPRINGFIELD -- A Springfield landlord who refused to rent apartments to pregnant women or families with minor children must pay more than $40,000 in fines under a federal jury verdict.

Following a five-day trial in U.S. District Court in Springfield, a jury found that John DeRaffele, of New Rochelle, New York, had violated the U.S. Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent an apartment to a Springfield family with a pregnant wife and a child under 6 years old, according to a press release from the U.S. Justice Department.


More housing markets are overvalued, and consumers feel the pain

168199409JM009_New_Housing_The steady rise in home prices is so far showing no boundaries, and that is turning up the heat on some already overheated housing markets.

Home prices rose 7 percent nationally in September, compared with September 2016, a higher annual increase than was seen in August, according to CoreLogic, a real estate data firm.