Women Pay Higher Mortgage Rates Than Men

21 01 2007

Women are 32 percent more likely to carry mortgages with high interest rates than men with similar incomes, even though women generally have better credit scores, according to a study released recently by the Consumer Federation of America. The study also found that wealthier women were 50 percent more likely to carry expensive loans than their male counterparts. In 2005, 10 percent of women who took out mortgages received the highest-cost sub-prime loans, compared with about 7.5 percent of men. Why do women pay more? Allen Fishbein, the federation’s director of housing and credit policy, speculates that the most likely reason for the disparity was that women were less familiar with the mortgage market than men and didn’t shop around.
“There is some research indicating that women are, on the whole, less likely than men to bargain for major consumer purchases and credit transactions,” he says.

Source: The New York Times

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Women Pay Higher Mortgage Rates Than Men

21 01 2007

Women are 32 percent more likely to carry mortgages with high interest rates than men with similar incomes, even though women generally have better credit scores, according to a study released recently by the Consumer Federation of America. The study also found that wealthier women were 50 percent more likely to carry expensive loans than their male counterparts. In 2005, 10 percent of women who took out mortgages received the highest-cost sub-prime loans, compared with about 7.5 percent of men. Why do women pay more? Allen Fishbein, the federation’s director of housing and credit policy, speculates that the most likely reason for the disparity was that women were less familiar with the mortgage market than men and didn’t shop around.
“There is some research indicating that women are, on the whole, less likely than men to bargain for major consumer purchases and credit transactions,” he says.

Source: The New York Times





KB Home Charges Off $343M

20 01 2007

One of Northeast Florida’s largest home builders will take a nearly $350 million charge against fourth-quarter earnings.

Los Angeles-based KB Home said the value of its housing stock dropped $255 million. In addition, the company will record $88 million in penalties as the result of canceling land purchases.

In the Jacksonville area, the company built 800 homes during 2005 for a total value of $170 million, making it the fifth-largest home builder in the area.

The non-cash charges will affect earnings for the company’s fiscal quarter ended Nov. 30.

The charge-offs come as the U.S. housing marking continues to slip. KB Home (NYSE: KBH) reports that home sales were down 4.1 percent for the three-month period ending Aug. 31.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Court Orders Jerry Seinfeld to Pay $100K Commission

20 01 2007

Jerry Seinfeld’s high-priced Manhattan home is going to cost him more than he thought, about $100,000 more.

A Manhattan judge has ruled the 52-year-old comedian owes about that much as a commission to the broker who helped him find a town house on the Upper West Side that he and wife Jessica bought for $3.95 million in February 2005.

Seinfeld had argued that the broker, Tamara Cohen, didn’t deserve the commission because she failed to show the West 82nd Street brownstone on the Jewish Sabbath, the day the Seinfelds wanted to see it.

The Seinfelds looked at the house and made a deal to buy it without Cohen after they were unable to reach her and she failed to return their calls.

Cohen said she had told the Seinfelds she observed the Jewish Sabbath and couldn’t work between Friday evening and sundown Saturday. But the Seinfelds told the court they didn’t know why Cohen didn’t return their calls.

State Supreme Court Justice Rolando Accosta said “the evidence clearly indicates she served as the Seinfelds’ real estate broker” and that she had shown them a number of residences before finding the town house.

The judge also noted that Cohen had agreed with Maximillan Sanchez, the broker who listed the house for its owners, to split evenly a 5 percent or 6 percent fee, her half paid by the Seinfelds and his half paid by the owners of the house.

“The only real issue here, as far as the court is concerned,” Accosta said in his decision earlier this month, “is whether the broker’s fee was 5 or 6 percent.”

The judge ordered a trial to determine how much Cohen should get. At 5 percent, the total fee would be $197,500 and Seinfeld would owe Cohen $98,750; at 6 percent, the fee would be $237,000 and Cohen’s cut would be $118,500.

Seinfeld’s lawyer, Richard Menaker, wasn’t immediately available, his office said.

Cohen’s lawyer, Steven Landy, said he was “gratified and happy with the decision, and we believe it was the correct one.”

Source: Associated Press





KB Home Charges Off $343M

20 01 2007

One of Northeast Florida’s largest home builders will take a nearly $350 million charge against fourth-quarter earnings.

Los Angeles-based KB Home said the value of its housing stock dropped $255 million. In addition, the company will record $88 million in penalties as the result of canceling land purchases.

In the Jacksonville area, the company built 800 homes during 2005 for a total value of $170 million, making it the fifth-largest home builder in the area.

The non-cash charges will affect earnings for the company’s fiscal quarter ended Nov. 30.

The charge-offs come as the U.S. housing marking continues to slip. KB Home (NYSE: KBH) reports that home sales were down 4.1 percent for the three-month period ending Aug. 31.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Court Orders Jerry Seinfeld to Pay $100K Commission

19 01 2007

Jerry Seinfeld’s high-priced Manhattan home is going to cost him more than he thought, about $100,000 more.

A Manhattan judge has ruled the 52-year-old comedian owes about that much as a commission to the broker who helped him find a town house on the Upper West Side that he and wife Jessica bought for $3.95 million in February 2005.

Seinfeld had argued that the broker, Tamara Cohen, didn’t deserve the commission because she failed to show the West 82nd Street brownstone on the Jewish Sabbath, the day the Seinfelds wanted to see it.

The Seinfelds looked at the house and made a deal to buy it without Cohen after they were unable to reach her and she failed to return their calls.

Cohen said she had told the Seinfelds she observed the Jewish Sabbath and couldn’t work between Friday evening and sundown Saturday. But the Seinfelds told the court they didn’t know why Cohen didn’t return their calls.

State Supreme Court Justice Rolando Accosta said “the evidence clearly indicates she served as the Seinfelds’ real estate broker” and that she had shown them a number of residences before finding the town house.

The judge also noted that Cohen had agreed with Maximillan Sanchez, the broker who listed the house for its owners, to split evenly a 5 percent or 6 percent fee, her half paid by the Seinfelds and his half paid by the owners of the house.

“The only real issue here, as far as the court is concerned,” Accosta said in his decision earlier this month, “is whether the broker’s fee was 5 or 6 percent.”

The judge ordered a trial to determine how much Cohen should get. At 5 percent, the total fee would be $197,500 and Seinfeld would owe Cohen $98,750; at 6 percent, the fee would be $237,000 and Cohen’s cut would be $118,500.

Seinfeld’s lawyer, Richard Menaker, wasn’t immediately available, his office said.

Cohen’s lawyer, Steven Landy, said he was “gratified and happy with the decision, and we believe it was the correct one.”

Source: Associated Press





FSBO Down 12% in 2006

19 01 2007

NAR reports a drop in the number of for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) transactions to 12 percent of all sales today from 18 percent in 1997.

NAR spokesman Walter Molony says property owners believe agents are better equipped to achieve fast sales at top dollar in a slow market, adding that the median price for agent-assisted transactions was about 16 percent higher than FSBO sales last year. Molony notes that agents orchestrate showings, handle paperwork and identify serious buyers for sellers – who often lack the time or experience necessary to complete such tasks. NAR’s 2006 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows that 5 percent of sales from mid-2005 to mid-2006 involved FSBO sellers turning to an agent, with only 1 percent of sales involving sellers who abandoned their agents to go it alone.

Source: Investor’s Business Daily








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