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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The biggest regrets people have after buying a home

Spring is here, which means some people are gearing up to make what could be the largest purchase of their lifetime: a home. In many parts of the country, would-be buyers are finding that there aren’t enough homes on the market. That could lead them to move more quickly than they would like to increase their chances of getting the home they like, says Tim Manni, a mortgage expert for NerdWallet, a personal-finance site. The home-buying process can have many moving parts, and even people who aren’t rushing the process can make mistakes.

Smaller could be the future for over-50 builders

While a majority of homebuyers age 55 and over is seeking homes about the same size as their present home, builders catering to the age group can no longer afford to ignore the cash-strapped population demanding a smaller alternative to the 2,400-square-foot new home.

What a Fed rate hike means for your personal finances

Maybe this time higher interest rates actually mean higher interest rates. A year ago, the Federal Reserve lifted the key U.S. interest rate for the first time in more than nine years. Counterintuitively, mortgage rates then fell, and homebuyers had one more chance to refinance at historically low rates.

No decision on Medicaid funds

An appeal to Congress this week from more than a dozen governors, including Washington’s Chris Gregoire, to approve more money for Medicaid patients appears to have fallen on deaf ears, at least for now. Gregoire and other governors gathered in Washington, D.C., Wednesday hoping to put pressure on the Senate to raise the federal medical assistance percentages, or FMAP. But the senators headed home for their July Fourth recess without taking another vote on the measure.

House OKs homebuyer tax credit extension

WASHINGTON — Homebuyers would get an extra three months to complete their purchases and qualify for a generous tax credit under a bill overwhelmingly passed by the House on Tuesday. Under current law, homebuyers who signed purchase agreements by April 30 have until today to close on the sale to qualify for tax credits of up to $8,000. The bill would give buyers until Sept. 30 to complete their purchases.

End of tax credit vexes already struggling market

WASHINGTON – The housing market may be on the verge of taking another plunge that could weaken the broader economic recovery. Sales of previously occupied homes dipped in May, even though buyers could receive government tax credits. And nearly a third of sales in May were from foreclosures or other distressed properties. That means home prices could soon be heading down after stabilizing over the past year.

Home prices up; last time was ’06

Home prices in February posted their first annual increase since the end of 2006, lifted by temporary tax credits for homebuyers.

Rules for government-backed loans grow stiffer

WASHINGTON – Millions of homebuyers in the United States will have to come up with more cash and reach higher minimum credit scores to get a government-backed mortgage under changes announced by the Federal Housing Administration. Some loans might require more than the current 3.5 percent minimum down payment, but the Obama administration is resisting calls for an across-the-board hike. Instead, it is looking at other ways to increase the amount of cash at closing, such as requiring borrowers to pay more of their mortgage insurance premiums upfront.

Senate likely to extend homebuyer credit

WASHINGTON – Senators agreed Wednesday to extend a popular tax credit for first-time homebuyers and to offer a reduced credit to some repeat buyers. The tax credit provides up to $8,000 to first-time homebuyers but is set to expire at the end of November. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new home sales fell 3.6 percent in September, and some industry representatives blamed uncertainty about the tax credit.