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News And Mortgage Reports

Sean 'Diddy' Combs Drops Price on Swanky Manhattan Condo

2014-10-18 00:03:00

Filed under: News, Celebrity Homes, Selling ZillowSean 'Diddy' Combs' condo high above Manhattan is in one of New York City's most luxurious buildings. AP{Sean 'Diddy' Combs By Emily Heffter Is no one interested in a see-through piano and amazing views of the park? Sean "Diddy" Combs has dropped the price on his swanky Midtown Manhattan condo. The platinum-selling rapper and music producer is still the King of New York, trying a second time to sell the sky-high apartment. The price is now $7.5 million, down from just under $8 million. Combs, who also has homes in Miami and California, is reportedly looking for a place he can host his famous parties without making too much noise for the neighbors. The condo is on the 66th floor of the Park Imperial, one of New York City's most luxurious buildings (see the slideshow below). It has floor-to-ceiling views of Central Park, and, if you need a break from that, black-out shades. The two-bedroom, two-bath space is built for entertaining, with a piano room, wet bar and a corner living room with a 90-inch flat-screen television. The entry and master bathroom are marble, and the sleek eat-in kitchen offers New York views with breakfast.  Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Ted Turner Lists Private Island for Sale at $23.8 Million

2014-10-17 18:17:00

Filed under: News, Celebrity Homes, Selling Courtesy of Plantation ServicesThe dock on media magnate Ted Turner's private island, St. Phillips, a 4,680-acre property on South Carolina's coast. Ted Turner's private, breathtaking island off the South Carolina coast is creating quite a buzz, now that he's listed it for $23.777 million. "My phone's been ringing off the hook," says Chip Hall, who is co-listing the barrier island with Lee Walters, both of Plantation Services. Some of those calls are actually from buyers eager to grab the whole, or part of, St. Phillips Island -- 4,680 acres of totally private creeks, moss and white-sand beaches. The island also has a five-bedroom/five-bath main house, and separate caretaker's quarters. "My family and I have owned St. Phillips Island along the South Carolina coast for many years now," Turner said in a statement released by Hall. "While we have enjoyed the island and made so many memories there, we, unfortunately, are not able to visit as much as we would like. Therefore we have chosen to sell the property, in an attempt to pass on St. Phillips Island to another family who will enjoy this natural oasis as much as we did." Turner bought the island in 1979 for an undisclosed sum, says the The Wall Street Journal. It is protected under a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy that permits the construction of 10 additional residences. Hall says the value of the island, reachable only by boat, lies in its "natural maritime forest, the long white beaches along the ocean, the location and the total privacy." "It is a perfect place for a modern-day Robinson Crusoe," Hall says -- a Crusoe with $24 million. 

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Reportedly Near Deal to Ease Credit

2014-10-17 16:43:00

Filed under: News, Buying, Financing, Credit The Associated PressMortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reportedly are close to an agreement to loosen lending rules. By Avik Das Government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are close to an agreement with their regulator and lenders that could expand mortgage credit while helping lenders protect themselves from charges of making bad loans, The Wall Street Journal reported. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have recouped tens of billions of dollars in penalties from lenders in recent years over claims that the lenders made underwriting mistakes on loans they sold to the mortgage giants. Lenders have blamed those penalties for tight credit conditions and for prompting them to make loans only to borrowers with near-pristine credit. If the agreement is completed, lenders may be more willing to lend to borrowers with lower credit scores and smaller down payments, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Personnel at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not immediately available for comment.  Permalink | Email this | Comments

John Legend Lists Hollywood Hills House -- Wants More Room

2014-10-17 13:38:00

Filed under: Design, News, Celebrity Homes Sotheby's International RealtyJohn Legend and Chrissy Teigen's home was redesigned to have an Asian-inspired, open living plan. APChrissy Teigen, left, and her husband John Legend What becomes a Legend most? Apparently not the Hollywood Hills home that R&B singer/songwriter John Legend and his supermodel wife, Chrissy Teigen, are selling for almost $2 million. Legend bought the Los Angeles house in 2007 for $1,512,500, says listing agent Sotheby's International Realty. He gutted the 2,200 square-foot-space, built in the 1960s, and replaced it with an Asian-inspired, open living plan that was featured in an Architectural Digest spread. Legend uses one of the home's three bedrooms as a studio where he reportedly recorded several songs for his current album, "Love in the Future." (Take a video tour of the property below.) The young couple, who married last year in Italy, want to move up. Legend told the Wall Street Journal the home feels a bit small. Could that mean another Legend is about to be born? Pregnancy rumors were sparked recently by a suspicious looking photo of Teigen. But the photo was a "bad angle," not a baby bump, Legend reportedly told "Extra" last January. He then added, "We're practicing every day."  Permalink | Email this | Comments

Sheryl Crow Finds Buyer for Her Hollywood Hills Compound

2014-10-17 09:06:00

Filed under: News, Celebrity Homes TruliaHelping to tie Sheryl Crow's three-house compound together is a resort-style infinity pool. Finally something to sing about! Songstress Sheryl Crow was singing a sad little tune after chopping $4 million off the asking price of her prized compound in Los Angeles earlier this year. Now, there's a "sale pending" sign hanging out front! After listing for the first time in 2012 and trying to (unsuccessfully) sell her Hollywood Hills home for $15,950,000, Crow's compound was delisted in December 2013 and came back on the market in April 2014 with a more down-to-earth ask of $11,950,000. At that new, lower price, a buyer finally emerged. Set behind private gates, Crow's Spanish-style compound sits atop a hill and is comprised of three houses that total more than 10,000 square feet on 10-plus acres. She purchased each home individually in and around 1998, and meticulously combined the properties over the next few years. The main home is a remodeled and restored "Spanish Revival" with four bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a two-story entryway, chef's kitchen, library, wine cellar and music room. A second home is a Craftsman built in 1909, and has four bedrooms, three baths and views of the vistas of Hollywood. The third home on the 10 acre property is a cottage that dates back to 1885, complete with a oak-floored kitchen, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The entire compound is tied together with canyon pathways, trails, a teepee, campsite, playground, palapas and a resort-style infinity pool. A true treasure in the heart of Hollywood. Crow's had a hard time in the real estate game in recent years. This home sat on the market for months and months, and her equestrian property in College Grove, Tennessee has also had a hard time finding a buyer, even after more than 2 years and nearly $2 million in price reductions. She just recently took that house off that market. The rest of her portfolio includes two off-market properties. One is a $3.6 Million estate in Nashville, Tennessee, and the other is a beachfront escape in Florida. The listing agent for her Los Angeles estate is Myra Nourmand of Nourmand & Associates. Permalink | Email this | Comments

Housing Market Recovery Rolls On as Groundbreaking Rises

2014-10-17 08:35:00

Filed under: News, Buying, Economy Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images By Jason Lange WASHINGTON -- U.S. housing starts and permits rose in September, a signal the market's modest recovery is supporting what appears to be growing strength in the broader economy. Groundbreaking rose 6.3 percent to an annual 1.02 million unit pace, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a slightly smaller gain. Housing is clawing back after it imploded during the 2007-2009 financial crisis and recession. It suffered a setback last year when interest rates spiked, but rates have been falling lately. The average 30-year mortgage rate dropped last week to its lowest level since June 2013, and the level of housing starts is not far from a seven-year high. "If you look at the trend, you are still seeing an upward trajectory," said Michelle Meyers, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York. U.S. stock futures jumped following a batch of solid corporate earnings reports and on hopes the Federal Reserve might slow the winding down of its stimulus in light of recent weakness in the global economy. Yields on U.S. government debt, however, extended gains after the release of the housing data. New housing starts for single-family homes, the largest part of the market, rose 1.1 percent in September, while the more volatile multifamily homes segment jumped 16.7 percent. Permits advanced 1.5 percent to a 1.02 million unit pace last month. -With additional reporting by Richard Leong in New York.  Permalink | Email this | Comments

Whoops! Florida House With Ocean Views Built on Wrong Lot

2014-10-16 16:43:00

Filed under: News, Buying#fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-198092{display:none;} .cke_show_borders #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-198092, #postcontentcontainer #fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-198092{width:570px;height:411px;display:block;} try{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-198092").style.display="none";}catch(e){}Here's a whoopsie for the survey books. A Florida builder constructed a $680,000, ocean-view house on the wrong lot in an exclusive Palm Coast community. The mistake wasn't detected until six months after construction when a surveyor of a nearby lot discovered the foul-up. Keystone Homes, the builder based in Ormond Beach, Florida, reportedly is trying to straighten this mess out -- without lawyers. The Daytona Beach News-JournalThis house in Ormond Beach, Florida, was built on the wrong lot. "The buck stops with the builder. We know that," said Keystone vice president Robbie Richmond in a Daytona Beach News-Journal article. "We are in the process of trying to schedule a conference call and find a fair resolution without the lawyers. I have built about 600 homes in Flagler County and this has never happened to me before." A whole lot of folks had to drop the ball for a mistake like this to happen -- surveyors, the builder, Flagler County building inspectors, utility installers, even the Missouri lot owners who reportedly visited the construction site several times and didn't notice their five-bedroom vacation home, with home theater, game room and screened-in pool -- was going up in the wrong place. They own No. 23 Ocean Ridge Blvd. North in the gated community of Ocean Hammock, but the house was built on No. 21. "We are in total disbelief, just amazed that this could happen," Mark Voss, from central Missouri, told the News-Journal. Voss reportedly owns 18 other lots in the gated Hammock Dunes resort community on Florida's east coast -- unfortunately, just not the one his house was built on. The ground zero mistake reportedly was made by an Ormond Beach company that completed the first survey in 2013 and placed the stakes on the wrong lot. Anthony Sanzone, president of East Coast Land Surveying, told AOL that learning of the mistake was one of the worst moments in his life. "My heart dropped out of my body," Sanzone says. "I went into shivers and cold sweats. We could not believe this could happen." With any luck, the next-door neighbors will just switch lots, Sanzone says. But luck is the one thing this real estate debacle has so far lacked. [CORRECTION, 10/17/14: An earlier version of this article identified the lot mixup as having taken place in Palm County; it should have said Palm Coast.] Permalink | Email this | Comments


Mel Gibson Still Trying to Sell Costa Rica Slice of Heaven

2014-10-16 12:37:00

Filed under: News, Celebrity Homes Plantacion Properties/Christie's International Real EstateMel Gibson's 500-acre estate in Costa Rica -- priced at $29.75 million -- includes three villas in a remote rainforest area. APMel Gibson You'd think actor Mel Gibson could use a little solitude, like the Costa Rica rainforest, to collect his thoughts, renew his spirit, and forget about his infamous personal problems. You'd think wrong. For the last two years, the actor has been trying to sell his Costa Rica compound -- Playa Barrigona -- complete with three villas and 500 acres of private jungle on the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. Playa Barrigona is so remote, it's not shown on most maps of that northwestern part of Costa Rica, near the famous Arenal volcano. Maybe the estate is a little too out-of-the-way. Or maybe it's too expensive -- $29.75 million. Or maybe the property has bad juju -- perhaps the result of Gibson's highly publicized slurs against minorities and battles with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. The Costa Rican Star says the hilltop estate was the infamous scene where Gibson was taped in 2012 "ranting and screaming at his house guests" -- including screenwriter Joe Eszterhas -- "and was heard making disparaging remarks about his baby mama Oksana Grigorieva." Whatever the reason, something sure as hell is keeping buyers away from this little slice of heaven, where "olive ridley sea turtles travel thousands of miles across the Pacific each year to lay their eggs on this beach," the Christie's International Real Estate listing says. "It's for a unique buyer," says Danielle Austin, a Christie's spokeswoman. "It's incredibly large and remote. We're looking for that specific buyer." Austin says the property has had "some offers, but not what we're looking for." This is the second time that Gibson has tried to sell the property. He put it on the market in 2010 for $35 million, The Costa Rica Star reports, and then again in 2012 for the current $29.75 million price tag. Playa Barrigona features: three homes, each nestled on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean. a villa with seven bedrooms and eight baths. two smaller villas with two bedrooms each. secluded white-sand beach about a 10-minute golf cart ride away. pool.  Permalink | Email this | Comments


Average Rate for 30-Year Mortgages Falls Below 4%

2014-10-16 11:35:00

Filed under: News, Buying, Financing, Refinancing Chuck Nacke/Alamy WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. mortgage rates tumbled this week. The 30-year loan hit its lowest level since June 2013 as Treasury bond yields marked new lows amid concern over global economic weakness. It was the fourth straight week of declines for mortgage rates, making it more affordable to borrow to buy a home. Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday that the nationwide average for a 30-year loan fell to 3.97 percent from 4.12 percent last week. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, fell to 3.18 percent from 3.30 percent. Mortgage rates often follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. The 10-year note traded at 2.13 percent Wednesday, down from 2.34 percent a week earlier. It traded at 2.11 percent Thursday morning. Bond yields rise when bond prices fall. Treasury yields have dropped sharply on expectations that the world's economic sluggishness could force the Federal Reserve to delay interest rate increases. The deepening concern over the health of the world economy, and worries that global weakness could slow the U.S. economy and hurt corporate profits, played into the dizzying swoon Wednesday on Wall Street. Investors fled stocks and poured money into bonds. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 460 points in afternoon trading, all three U.S. stock indexes were in negative territory for the year, and the so-called fear index spiked. Mortgage rates have fallen even though the Federal Reserve appears set at the end of this month to end its monthly bond purchases, which are intended to keep long-term borrowing rates low. Yet Fed officials have indicated that they will continue to hold shorter-term rates at near-zero levels until there are signs of rising inflation. At 3.97 percent, the 30-year rate is down from 4.53 percent at the start of the year and at its lowest point since the week of June 20, 2013, when it was 3.93 percent. To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount. The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee for a 15-year mortgage also remained at 0.5 point. The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage dropped to 2.92 percent from 3.05 percent. The fee was steady at 0.5 point. For a one-year ARM, the average rate fell to 2.38 percent from 2.42 percent. The fee held at 0.4 point.  Permalink | Email this | Comments


Foreclosure Activity Falls to 8-Year Low

2014-10-16 09:11:00

Filed under: News, Foreclosures Joe Raedle/Getty Images By Elvina Nawaguna WASHINGTON -- Foreclosure activity across the United States declined last month to the lowest level since July 2006, as banks reclaimed fewer homes, according to a report released Thursday. RealtyTrac, which tracks housing market data, reported foreclosure filings for 106,866 properties across the country, an 8.6 percent decrease from August and a 18.6 percent drop from a year earlier. September was the 48th consecutive month of year-on-year declines in overall foreclosure activity, which includes foreclosure notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. "September foreclosure activity was back to pre-housing bubble levels nationwide, in large part thanks to a continued slide in bank repossessions," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. Lenders repossessed 22,930 homes in September, a 13 percent decline from the month before, while 48,399 properties were set for foreclosure auctions, a 5.5 percent decrease. Default notices dropped 9.8 percent to 8,840.  Permalink | Email this | Comments

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Last updated on Oct 19, 2014.