Interesting Housing News Links (April 04, 2009)

* China Blamed For Homeowners’ Nightmare (Armen Keteyian, CBS News)

China Blamed For Homeowners’ Nightmare 500M Pounds Of Drywall Imported During Housing Boom, Now Homes Are Rotting From The Inside Out

* Falling mortgage rates spur surge in Sacramento refinancing (Jim Wasserman, Sacramento Bee)

Sacramento-area mortgage lenders reported high call volumes this week, as mortgage rates fell to their lowest levels since 1971, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

* Loan modifications rise; many don’t pare payments (Alan Zibel, Arizona Republic)

Though lenders are boosting their attempts to curb record-high home foreclosures, fewer than half of loan modifications made at the end of last year actually reduced borrowers’ payments by more than 10 percent, data released Friday show.

* Anna Tuttle Villegas: Stockton’s melting pot bubbles with vigor (Anna Tuttle Villegas, Sacramento Bee)

have worked in Stockton for 34 years, which makes Stockton more my town than the city where I was born or the city where I sleep.

* How to really help troubled homeowners (Tami Luhby, Money)

( — It may seem obvious: Increasing how much troubled borrowers pay on their mortgage leads to redefaults. But that didn’t stop America’s banks.

* Ivanhoe-Paseo: Rehabbers raise this urban area (Jeffrey Spivak, Kansas City Star)

three-story, stone-trimmed house just sold on the Paseo in Kansas City’s urban core. On the outside, the siding is white. On the inside, the walls are taupe.And on paper, the color of this house is gold.This four-bedroom home in the 2900 block sold late last year in a foreclosure for $26,500. The new owner cleaned it up and remodeled it, adding new windows, new bathrooms, …

* Biz Bits: USPS hopes Simpsons stamp makes some doh (Gatehouse Media, Middletown Transcript)

The U.S. Postal Service announced this week that it will be issuing The Simpsons stamps. The USPS produces about 20 special stamps per year, and its hoping to cash in on the popularity of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie in late March, Postmaster General John Potter testified before Congress about the services financial woes. The Simpsons stamps will be available for viewing April 9 …

* Braircliff: It’s The View’ and can-do, too (Jeffrey Spivak, Kansas City Star)

The burglar thought he was being sly. He pulled quick hit-and-run jobs. But he couldn’t outrun e-mail.This past spring, Kansas City’s North Patrol division received reports of a man in a wine-colored SUV stealing things like golf clubs out of open garages. So police e-mailed out a crime alert.A neighborhood umbrella group for Briarcliff forwarded that e-mail to home as…

* Fannie, Freddie worker bonuses total $210M (Alan Zibel, Arizona Republic)

Mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plan to pay more than $210 million in bonuses through next year to give workers the incentive to stay in their jobs at the government-controlled companies.

* Waterworks Project Still in Play (John Schaffner, The Beacon)

It has been nearly a year since the Puller Group of Indianapolis pulled their proposal for a Hotel/Waterpark Complex off the table. Some members of City Council have become curious as to what the Mayor and her administration has been doing since. They got their answer Tuesday night. Since the Pullers pulled out of negotiations, we have met with several interested parties, said Port Clinton Ma…


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