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It doesn’t get much publicity compared with other home mortgage issues, but it appears to be a persistent problem: Lenders and mortgage insurers allegedly delay or deny applications when a borrower is pregnant or heading for maternity leave.

With equity surging again, cash-out refinancings are coming back into vogue – this time under much tighter controls by lenders and used for saner purposes by borrowers than they were last decade.

It’s common knowledge verging on holy writ in real estate: Spring is the absolute best time of the year to sell a house.

You may have seen reports about a major tax reform proposal floated recently by Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

If you’re planning to shop for a home in the coming few weeks, here’s an early spring buying season come-on that just might save you some money if you qualify.

The new measure will give buyers the time and ammunition to challenge appraisals they suspect contain errors.

A new federal rule could give millions of homebuyers insights they’ve never had before about a crucial element of their mortgage application: the appraisal, including the electronic cross-checks and reviews now used by lenders to determine the amount of the loan they’ll approve.

A new federal rule could give millions of homebuyers insights they’ve never had before about a crucial element of their mortgage application: the appraisal, including the electronic cross-checks and reviews now used by lenders to determine the amount of the loan they'll approve.

Higher mortgage rates for 2014? Count on it. Could this be the year to check out hybrid mortgages, which haven’t been popular lately? Maybe.

The biggest story in American real estate in 2013 hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves, so let’s shout this out: Homeowners’ net equity holdings soared by $2.2 trillion between the third quarter of 2012 and the third quarter of this year, according to new data collected by the Federal Reserve.

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Kenneth Harney
Kenneth Harney, who lives in Washington, D.C., writes an award-winning column on housing and real estate.
CharlotteObserver.com