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Jim Woodard

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Hunting for vacation home loan can be frustrating (access required)

The hottest seasons for vacation home sales are spring and summer. You may now be planning such a purchase, but be aware of the challenge you may face when shopping for a mortgage loan. Many vacation-home buyers are finding tougher underwriting requirements and other obstacles when seeking a financing loan, tougher than loans to finance primary-residence homes.

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Positive signs for the homebuilding industry (access required)

Solid gains in both single-family and multifamily housing production is reported by the National Association of Home Builders. Nationwide, housing starts rose 12.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000 units in December, according to newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department. This is the highest level of new home production since June of 2008.

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For the housing market, signs of recovery (access required)

The housing market is getting healthier. The number of foreclosed and real estate-owned properties on the market is diminishing, thus pushing home prices up to more realistic levels. The foreclosure inventory has been falling as requirements from the national mortgage settlement "influence the pace of first-time foreclosure starts," Lender Processing Services stated in a recent report.

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