Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Housing News Digest, October 25

Mortgage program likely to have little impact in Colorado
A bolstered program allowing more homeowners who are "under water" on their mortgages to qualify for refinancing is a step in the right direction but may have limited impact in Colorado, area brokers and financial experts said.

President Barack Obama on Monday announced the broadening of the Home Affordable Refinance Program. Before, the program was limited to homeowners who owed no more than 25 percent above the chttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifurrent value of their homes. That limitation was eliminated and the process streamlined to make it less cumbersome and costly.

Business travelers opt for homier digs on the road
There are many luxurious amenities a business traveler enjoys while sleeping on the road: fluffy beds, room service, decked-out fitness centers and concierges.

These amenities make traveling more comfortable. But when it comes down to it, take it from Dorothy: There's no place like home.

Some business travelers say they prefer staying in furnished vacation rentals, corporate housing and inns versus hotels, particularly for lengthier stays.

Volunteer architects design worker housing projects
VAIL, Colorado— It is midnight when Rob Rydel looks around the room and wonders if he and the other volunteer architects can keep working for another hour.

They can, and do. As long as the band is together, they're gonna play.

A few dozen architects locked themselves in rooms and volunteered tens of thousands of dollars worth of time and talent to help design three public housing projects. It's called a Charrette and it's as much fun as architects can have with pens in their hands.

Drilling in Fast-Growing Areas Ushers in New Era of Tension
DENVER — The pattern is clear in the oil and gas business: drilling fields are going into new places. North Dakota, better known for growing wheat, is now booming with rigs. Fort Worth has upward of 2,000 gas wells right in the city itself, with most of that growth within just the last five years. Pittsburgh, facing the prospect of urban drilling, forbade it last year by a vote of the City Council.

'Underwater' homeowners on the rise
DENVER - Nearly one out of every five, or 21 percent of Colorado mortgages are currently 'under water,' or worth less than the amount owed.

These homeowners are the prime targets of President Obama's new mortgage financing plan. Along with potentially preventing foreclosures, the program aims at saving homeowners hundreds of dollars every month on payments.