Nudge Turns to Shove
This was the week when federal officials showed just how serious they are about stirring up the housing market. If an $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers wasn't enough to draw buyers off the sidelines, the Federal Reserve announced it would throw another trillion (plus a couple billion) more dollars into the bond markets to drive interest rates even lower. Lenders started quoting 30-year mortgage rates around 4.5 percent almost immediately. If this doesn't shoot some adrenaline into the market, it's hard to imagine what will.
Also this week, the feds unveiled a handy Web site to help consumers find their way toward a government-assisted refinance, a loan modification or a credit counseling session. It's a good clearinghouse of calculators, interactive worksheets and links. (You may also want to try the interactive guide to the homeowners bailout plan put together by my colleague Renae Merle, which has better news for owners wanting to refinance vacation homes or small investments, based on the rules published by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.)
In this Saturday's Real Estate section, watch for a story about the much friendlier reception you can expect when you call a remodeler. Karen Tanner Allen reports not only that will they return your phone call, but also that they won't sneer at your small job they way many did not long ago.
And don't forget, today is chat day. Real estate editor Maryann Haggerty and I will be online at 1 p.m. to talk about whatever is on your mind. You can submit your questions and comments ahead of time if the boss has scheduled a lunchtime meeting.
The Weekend Poll
Posted by: kingstowne_renter | March 20, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse
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