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These Carolina locales rank among nation's most overlooked housing markets


A national real estate website ranks three cities in the Carolinas among the most overlooked in the country when it comes to purchasing houses. The list by Realtor.com ranks Winston-Salem and Greensboro in North Carolina's Triad region at No. 4 and No. 8 ...


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Published: Oct 2, 2009 8:31 a.mET Share .st0{fill:#FFFFFF;} .st1{fill:#E12828;} .st2{fill:#FAEAEA;enable-background:new ;} .st3{fill:#FAD4D4;enable-background:new ;} What to do about lender sitting on refi application window.videoDomain = 'https://video-api.wsj.com'; By LewSichelman WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Question: I applied with my current lender to refinance my mortgage and was verbally preapprovedIt's been more than four months and still no decisionThey just keep wasting time with stupid demands for more bank statementsEvery time I send them a new batch of statements, they wait a month, then ask for another round Can they keep doing this forever? Isn't there a time limit wherein they have to make a decision? It seems like fraud to me: They don't want to refinance because they'll receive a lot less interestMeanwhile, they are getting interest at the old, much higher rateI already complained to the supervisor and to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, but nothing has happenedCan I get my application/appraisal fee back? They refuse! Answer: In defense of your supposed lender, it could be that the company is so busy helping underwater borrowers that it has no time -- or personnel -- to work with regular old borrowersOf course, that assumes that, you, too, do not owe more than your house is worthIf that's the case, take a number and get in lineCan you spell s-w-a-m-p-e-d? You didn't mention anything about being upside down, so I'll assume that you simply want to refinance to take advantage of today's interest ratesIf that' so, then it's time to hold this lender's feet to the fire by making a personal appearance in front of the loan officer who took your applicationHopefully, you didn't apply online or with some faceless person at the other end of a toll-free phone numberMake an appointment and demand some answers, and make sure to bring all your paperwork with you Your other option is to take your business elsewhereThat means starting over, I know, but surely some lender out there would be more than happy to have your loanYou won't get back the money you laid out for the appraisal, assuming one was made, but I think you might have a legitimate claim to your application fee, especially since the lender seems to be dragging its feetOf course, your lender may see things differentlyI'd take my complaint to the local Better Business Bureau, your local consumer affairs agency and to the state office which regulates mortgage companiesI'd suggest that you carry a picket sign back-and-forth in front of the lender's office, but that would probably only serve to anger the lender, which could simply reject your applicationAnd you'd still be out whatever money you have already advanced Q: I purchased my home in 2000, solely by myselfI married in 2002, never added my wife to the documentsIf we sell and buy another home, will we qualify for the $8,000 tax credit since she has not owned a home in the past three years? We file taxes jointly A: NopeBoth spouses have to be first-time buyers, which is defined as anyone who has not owned a primary residence within the last three yearsHer name may not have been put on the deed, but you have been filing joint federal tax returns and no doubt claiming mortgage interestIf so, the IRS considers her a co-owner Q: I owned a house prior to getting marriedCan my spouse now buy the house and get the tax credit? A: See above Q: Does a the purchase of a mobile home (trailer) qualify for the first-time homebuyer credit? A: Yes, both manufactured and mobile homes qualify for the creditFor a manufactured home that is permanently affixed to the land, the credit is 10% of the combined cost of the house and the landFor a mobile home, more commonly known as a trailer, the credit is 10% of the cost of the home, as long as it is your principal residenceBy the way, even a travel trailer qualifies, as long as it is affixed to the groundBut RV's with built-in motors are viewed as personal propertyAnd since these rolling homes are not affixed to the land, they don't qualify as a personal residenceBut the good news is that anyone who has owned and been living in one of these babies for the last three years may qualify as a first-time buyer Q: I purchased a home in Illinois in 1993 jointly with another personWe are both on the mortgageThis March, I purchased a home in Arizona all by myselfSince this home is in my name only, do I qualify for the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit? A: That depends on where you have been residing over the last three yearsIf you have been living in said Illinois house as your personal residence, then no, you don't qualifyBut if you have been living elsewhere -- say in an apartment -- then you might make it, as long as you weren't a joint owner of the original house during that time Q: My brother is in the process of buying his first purchased homeThe catch is that the house he is now living in was inherited three years ago after the death of our motherWill he be eligible for the credit? A: It makes no difference how he acquired his current residenceBy hook or by crook, if he owns the joint he is currently living in, he does not qualifyNationally syndicated columnist Lew Sichelman has been covering the housing market for more than 35 yearsBecause of the volume of mail he receives, he cannot answer individual questions, nor can all questions be answered in this spaceEmail lsichelman@aol.com More from MarketWatch More Coverage S&P 500 logs longest losing streak of the year as trade-war jitters weigh Stephen Hawking’s final Reddit post is going viral over its ominous warning about robots 2 sexy ways to get paid to save var SA = SA || []; SA.push({ container: "#sa_calc_108984", version: 1.1, data: { key: "npqzoaaw8ttdneqrelpmx2gdnehdyiog" } }); var smscript = document.createElement('script'); smscript.type = 'text/javascript'; smscript.async = true; smscript.src = 'https://smartasset.com/snippet.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(smscript, s); MarketWatch Partner Center Most Popular Stocks end lower but eke out weekly gains Why do underwater homeowners keep paying the mortgage? Apple's stock drop contributes 40 points to Dow's 230-point fall in late-morning trade Here’s what Wells Fargo did to trigger a $1 billion fine Meet the tech founders building the anti-smartphone Mortgage Rates Powered by This advertisement is provided by Bankrate, which compiles rate data from more than 4,800 financial institutionsBankrate is paid by financial institutions whenever users click on display advertisements or on rate table listings enhanced with features like logos, navigation links, and toll free numbersDow Jones receives a share of these revenues when users click on a paid placement. Other NewsFrom Our Partners (!) Found: Financial Advisors in Your Neighborhood SmartAsset.com Don't Settle for 0.01% on Your Savings Interest - Earn up to 1.50% SmartAsset.com This Site Finds the Top 3 Financial Advisors Near You SmartAsset.com This Free Mortgage Calculator Makes Home Buying a Breeze SmartAsset.com These Banks Offer Over 140x what the Big Banks Offer on Your Savings SmartAsset.com Data Provided By Today's Interest Rates Mortgage Equity Savings Auto Credit Cards 30 yr fixed Jumbo 4.59% 30 yr fixed 4.41% 15 yr fixed 3.81% 10 yr fixed 3.72% 30 yr fixed refi 4.38% 15 yr fixed refi 3.79% 5/1 ARM 4.2% 5/1 ARM refi 4.17% National averages from Bankrate.com $30K HELOC 3.46% $50K HELOC 3.57% $75K HELOC 3.46% $100K HELOC 3.57% $30K Home Equity Loan 5.22% $50K Home Equity Loan 4.92% $75K Home Equity Loan 4.92% $100K Home Equity Loan 4.78% National averages from Bankrate.com 5 yr CD 1.68% 2 yr CD 1.06% 1 yr CD 0.93% MMA $10K+ 0.3% MMA $50K+ 0.46% MMA Savings 0.36% MMA Savings Jumbo 0.53% National averages from Bankrate.com 60 Mo Used Car 4.23% 48 Mo Used Car 4.25% 36 Mo Used Car 4.24% 72 Mo New Car 3.78% 60 Mo New Car 3.95% 48 Mo New Car 3.82% 60 Mo Auto Refi 2.98% 36 Mo Auto Refi 2.58% National averages from Bankrate.com AvgAPR Last Week 6 Months Low Interest 13.48% 13.42% 12.89% Business 14.32% 14.30% 13.68% Balance Transfer 15.87% 15.84% 15.38% Student 16.14% 16.14% 15.70% Airline 16.59% 16.59% 16.07% Reward 16.75% 16.72% 16.24% Cash Back 16.90% 16.90% 16.40% Instant Approval 18.97% 18.97% 18.60% Bad Credit 23.74% 23.74% 23.46% Source: CreditCards.com $(function () { if (typeof dianomiUnitCallback !== 'undefined') { var dianomiCallback = new dianomiUnitCallback('articlerightrail', 2583, 'dianomiRightRail', ', '); dianomiCallback.initialize('dianomiRightRail'); } }); $(function() { if (window.MutationObserver) { // arrive breaks if MutationObserver not supported by browser $("#dianomiRightRail").arrive(".dianomiContent", function () { $("#dianomiRightRail").unbindArrive(); $("#dianomiRightRail").trigger("rendered"); }); } else { // TODO ~ remove; listening to this event causes performance problems $("#dianomiRightRail").on('DOMNodeInserted', function () { $("#dianomiRightRail").off('DOMNodeInserted'); $("#dianomiRightRail").trigger('rendered'); }); } }); We Want to Hear from You Join the conversation Comment (function () { var isSSL = 'https:' == document.location.protocol; window.nativeAdsContext = { appId: "CFEAB5E0AC88686BA597A26FB4B54555349E3478", apikey: "ARAPgnyc0MRHNRr40%2b9oSrfSwlZG5%2bAfMeBkG2%2fh9AatBHngxiuMRHpQ%2bFJ%2fxfgc2iE%3d", publisherId: "204461", publisherName: "MarketWatch", tracingtag: "mw-tracingtag", msNativeAdsScriptLoc: "//h6.msn.com/nativeads/ms-nativeads.min.js", pageCategory: "money", pageType: "articles", bingTrafficPercent: "100" }; window.bingNACallBackToLoadOtherScript = function() { window.medianet_width = "600"; window.medianet_height = "250"; window.medianet_crid = "305312222"; window.medianet_versionId = "111299"; var mnSrc = (isSSL ? 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