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March 2012 Archives

30 Year Mortgage Rate Is Below 4 Percent

There's some good news in the housing market. The 30-year mortgage rate is back below four percent, which is a historic low, reports CBS.

The actual rate is 3.99 now; down from 4.08. There was even a brief moment last week when it touched 3.87 percent. Long term mortgages have been tracked since the 1950's, and that number is the lowest ever.

As for a 15-year fixed mortgage rate, that is down as well, to 3.23 percent.

Michael David Scott Still Licensed Despite Mortgage Scam Charges

The real estate developer, Michael David Scott, has continued working as a licensed broker even while awaiting trial for conducting a series of mortgage scams, reports The Boston Globe. He pleaded not guilty to the allegations leveled against him. The total number of charges against him is a whopping 68.

The allegations against him arise from projects in Dorchester and Roxbury between 2006 and 2008. At that point he, along with out of state recruiters, found the money to finance deals that purported to convert multiple-family homes into condos.

Bad Contractors in Mass. Are Number Three Complaint

The consumers have spoken and bad contractors in Massachusetts garner the third highest complaints, reports The Boston Globe.

In a study conducted by the state Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, home improvement contractors in the state were only behind auto insurance and health insurance complaints.

Lynn Szymoniak Goes From Foreclosure Victim to Millionaire

A Florida attorney and homeowner, Lynn Szymoniak, just went from being a foreclosure victim to millionaire, reports The Huffington Post.

How did she do it? Well, she became a bit of foreclosure investigator and got paid as part a settlement by the big banks to the tune of $25 billion, previously reported by FindLaw's Boston Real Estate News.

Federal Foreclosure Investigation Fingers Supervisors

A federal foreclosure investigation led by the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that bank supervisors often knew about fake documents, forged signatures and other improprieties that led to the mortgage crisis, reports The Washington Post.

The foreclosure investigation looked at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Ally Financial, issuing subpoenas, conducting interviews, and evaluating whether the banks tried to stop the improper practices, reports The Post. They found that everything from robo-signing to hurried processing and concealing information all occurred at what was termed “foreclosure factories.”

Information On Boston Noise Ordinances For St. Patty's Day

St. Patrick's Day is fun, and fun can get loud. And loudness that annoys your neighbors might get you in trouble, so it's best to have information on Boston noise ordinances for St. Patty's Day.

Under Boston Municipal Code's Chapter 16, subsection 26, "unreasonable or excessive noise" means noise measured in excess of 50 decibels between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., or in excess of 70 decibels at all other hours; or it can mean noise that can be plainly heard at a distance of 300 feet.

Can You Get Evicted For Smoking Marijuana?

Boston renters may be asking the question: can get evicted for smoking marijuana?

Well, the short answer is yes. And there is a long answer, according to the researchers at FindLaw.

There are, in general, three different types of eviction notices that you may receive if you have violated some part of your lease agreement or rental contract.

What Is The Discrimination That Tenants Face?

Applying for and getting an apartment — especially if it is a good deal or in a popular area — seems to be something completely out of a potential tenant’s control.

You file the application and then cross your fingers …

While being patient is swell, you should also be on the look out for the kind of discrimination that tenants often face. This is especially important if your application to rent is rejected, because you have a right to know why.

Steve Wynn's Foxborough Casino Designs Are Presented

Las Vegas casino magnate, Steve Wynn, has a plan for a gambling resort in Foxborough which will keep with the New England character. The proposed designs are quite something, reports The Boston Globe.

Wynn’s Foxborough casino plans come out as he is trying to get community support for the project. The design resembles a ski lodge, with wood and stone interiors. Drawings and flyers about Wynn’s Foxborough casino were sent to local residents.

The whole project will be worth about $1 billion.

Sales of Foreclosure Homes Up

Sales of foreclosure homes were up in the fourth quarter of 2011 to account for nearly one in four as opposed to one out of five in the quarter before, reports CNBC Real Estate.

In fact, in all of 2011, about one million homes in the foreclosure process were sold. That number stands to increase as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac launch a pilot program to sell foreclosure homes.

Lenders have been helped by increased short sales of homes. Short selling a home in Boston may not be a bad idea.

Google in Cambridge Runs Into Trouble

Google in Cambridge, which was seeking to expand its offices in Kendall Square, found itself unable to persuade the Cambridge City Council to let it expand, reports The Boston Globe.

Currently, Google in Cambridge has office space at Four and Five Cambridge Center, and wants a 25,000 square foot building to connect them. The Boston Properties Limited’s project also includes leasing 300,000 square feet to Google at Three, Four, and Five Cambridge Center. The aim of the Boston Properties Limited is to create an urban campus.

But while the plans are considered exciting, there were concerns about a rooftop park that would be lost. This caused the plans to be tabled for some time.