Curious Cat Investing Library: Real Estate Investing

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Your Home

  • Home Buying Primer, Smart Money.
  • Through the floor - "The latest S&P/Case-Shiller national house-price index, published this week, showed a slump of 14.1% in the year to the first quarter, the worst since the index began 20 years ago. Now Robert Shiller, an economist at Yale University and co-inventor of the index, has compiled a version that stretches back over a century. This shows that the latest fall in nominal prices is already much bigger than the 10.5% drop in 1932, the worst point of the Depression."
  • Where Is the Housing Market Headed? Talk of the Nation, NPR (includes links to many other online resources), 2006.
  • Home prices in record decline, CNN, 2008 - "The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price national index recorded a 16.6% decline in the third quarter compared with the same period a year ago. That eclipsed the previous record of 15.1% set during the second quarter."
  • Finance Your Home a wide variety of information from the Motley Fool.
  • Real Estate Radio - online archive of discussions on various real estate topics.
  • CSW - Real Estate Research. The site includes some free articles and forecasts for real estate prices.

Interest Rates and Mortgages

  • Curious Cat article: 30 year fixed Mortgage rates are not correlated with federal funds rates by John Hunter.
  • Mortgages Falling to 4% Become Bernanke Housing Focus by Brian Louis and Kathleen M. Howley, 2009 - "Conventional mortgages averaged 4.61 percent in 1951, 4 percent when backed by the Veterans Administration, and 4.25 percent by the Federal Housing Administration... Rates during the 1930s were as high as 7 percent...
    Mortgages were cheaper through most of the 1940s, ranging from about 4 percent to 5.7 percent... [and 14 years was the normal mortgage length... The difference between 30-year mortgage rates and 10-year Treasury yields has narrowed to about 2.2 percent from 3.1 percent in December, which was the widest since 1986. The spread remains almost 0.7 percentage point above the average of the past decade"
  • The Mortgage-Rate Conundrum by June Kim, 2001, SmartMoney. Explores the fact that short term and long term rates do not always move in the same direction.
  • Nightmare Mortgages on deceptive mortgage practices (2006). A basic rule of investing is to understand the choices you make. If you can't explain the details of how a specific mortgage works it is very risky to choose something other than a standard 30 year mortgage. For sophisticated investors other options can have benefits but as news stories show year after year, many people get in trouble because they don't understand the terms of their loan (mortgages or other).

Investment Real Estate

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