Housing

The Federal Reserve is expected to start raising interest rates later this week, and anyone who's ever bought a house — or thought about it — knows that if mortgage rates rise by much that will make it tougher to afford a home.

Homebuilders are watching the interest rate decision closely too. That's because this 100-year flood of a housing crash has been especially tough on them.

De Desharnais, a homebuilder in Nashua, N.H., says she's one of the lucky ones — her company survived the crash. But it didn't come without pain.

The last time the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, it was summer of 2006 — back when Shakira was topping the music charts, Barry Bonds was breaking home run records and the housing bubble was still inflating.

That's quite a while ago.

In fact, the Fed has been depressing interest rates for so long that, in their adult lifetimes, millennials have never seen anything other than cheap loans for homes and cars.

Flickr Commons-Jonathan Greenwald

  With one of the highest rates of homeless veterans in Kentucky, Christian County is working to make it easier for those vets to find housing. 

construcasa.org

Badgett Playhouse's Bill Minihan visits Sounds Good with Caroline van Heerde. She's the founder and director of Constru Casa, an organization that builds housing for families living in extreme poverty in Guatemala. Minihan's involvement with Constru Casa has led to more than $100,000 raised in our region to support its work. 

How Much House You Can Buy, In 385 U.S. Cities

Jun 24, 2014

Are home prices cheap in your city right now?

It's common to answer this question by talking about how prices today compare with prices last year, or to look at how prices in your city compare with prices in other cities.

But there's another way to frame the question: Compare home prices with income. You would expect that the ratio would be similar in different places. In cities where incomes are higher, home prices should also be higher. In cities where incomes are lower, home prices should also be lower.

conwayforcongress.com

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway joined an effort to urge Congress to extend tax relief to homeowners who have had mortgage debt canceled or forgiven because of a decline in housing values. Since 2007 mortgage debt that is forgiven after a foreclosure or short sale can be excluded from a taxpayer’s taxable income. But that exclusion will expire at the end of this year.

http://www.iconfinder.com

Illinois' home foreclosure rate rose 6 percent in October compared to the previous month, and was 19 percent higher than in October of last year. A RealtyTrac report released Thursday shows Illinois with almost 15 thousand foreclosure filings last month, the third-highest rate in the nation. Filings include default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions. Nationally, October's foreclosure activity rose 3 percent from the previous month but fell 19 percent from October of 2011.

hopkinscountyhabitat.com

Habitat of Hopkins County has built 57 homes since 1990, involving families, many volunteers, and robust fundraising. Hopkins County Habitat for Humanity aims to build 4 new homes this year.  Its executive director Heath Duncan is with us on Sounds Good to talk about how they get this done with local volunteers and “caravaners.”