Mortgage interest rates fell for the first time in four weeks, with Freddie Mac's survey showing lenders offering conventional 30-year fixed-rate loans at an average of 3.75 percent, down from 3.8 percent a week ago.
Perhaps the most important decision a mortgage borrower makes is the type of mortgage: whether fixed-rate, FRM, or adjustable-rate, ARM, if the mortgage is fixed, the borrower decides the term, if it is adjustable, they decide the initial period until the rate adjusts. The available terms on FRMs today are 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years. The available fixed-rate periods on ARMs are 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 years. All ARMs have terms of 30 years.
The Silicon Valley economy may be booming, but its self-professed capital, the city of San Jose, is hardly paving the streets with gold. The home of eBay, Cisco and Adobe can't keep libraries open full time, plug most potholes or staff a police force that can investigate many burglaries.
Tech giants and developers have submitted plans for millions of square feet of office parks, retail, hotel rooms and a new movie theater on the north side of Mountain View, an aggregate set of proposals that would dramatically transform the city as a new hub for the technology industry and create space for potentially tens of thousands of new jobs.
Home owners buy their second or third homes for a variety of reasons. They may be trading up to get more space and amenities; they may be downsizing, because they don't need as much space and want to cut expenses; they may want to relocate to get closer to their place of employment or their children, or to enjoy a more attractive climate.
Boarded-up windows in the wake of street demonstrations have become a familiar sight in downtown Oakland, but business and civic leaders can tout a new set of images to define the city's urban heart: a growing crop of tech company offices, crowds for lunch and an emerging art and dining hub.
It was at a similar moment more than three decades ago - with a new mayor just settling into City Hall - that a grand plan was devised for reanimating the decaying corpse of the city's once bustling downtown. A river of redevelopment money that would swell to nearly $2 billion flooded into projects that would be pillars of a glittering new downtown.
Q: I've read recently that it's getting harder to find rentals. I'm thinking about buying a home after our lease expires. I already have seen all the advice online about cleaning up my credit and saving up for a down payment. Do you have any other words of wisdom about finding a home?
Home prices climbed 4.6 percent nationwide in the 12 months ending in December, down slightly from the previous month and the slowest pace since 2011, according to the Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices. Its measure of 20 major cities was up 4.3 percent, also the slowest rate since 2011.