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Mortgage rates hit 3.95% – a four-month high

Last week the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.90%. One year ago, it was virtually the same rate as today when it averaged 3.94%. ..

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What to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Fannie and Freddie could drag the U.S. into a depression if the economy slows, so change is needed. But Realtors say their first goal is to ensure that "affordable mortgage capital will always remain available for creditworthy Americans." ..

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School funding could spur property tax fight

The rising value of Fla. property will increase property tax revenue, but where to spend it? Under Gov. Scott's just-released budget, it would go to schools. ..

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Consumer watchdog chief to step down

Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), announced that he would step down by the end of the month. ..

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Facebook making big push into rental listings

It plans to expand the rental real estate listings section in Marketplace and compete strongly against Craigslist, eBay and other e-commerce websites. ..

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Market grows for senior downsizing services

A new type of full-service firm helps baby boomers downsize their lives – a one-stop shop that will sort possessions, hold estate sales and sell their home. ..

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Call for Action: Don't harm Fla.'s vacation-home buyers

If tourists buy a second home now, they qualify for the IRS mortgage-interest deduction. But next year? maybe not. Tell Congress to protect our second-home owners. http://www.floridarealtors.org/callforaction ..

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To avoid taxes, you can't sell your home for five years

What if you couldn't afford to sell a home for at least five years? That rule – part of current tax reform efforts – could change the way homeowners behave. ..

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House passes bill to renew flood insurance program

Flood insurance expires Dec. 15, but the House passed a bill to keep it alive and solvent, though it's unclear what will happen once it gets to the Senate. It would raise costs for Fla. homeowners but it could be worse – and NAR backs the bill. ..

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It doesn't cost much to make a home 'smart'

Are "smart homes" selling better than their unconnected rivals? Savvy sellers can add smart lighting, doorbell, lock, thermostat and security for about $2,100. ..

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