Headlines: Spooky Halloween edition

Here's a look at what's happening in real estate in the District of Columbia and beyond.

New real estate investors misread signs in the market

The writing is clearly on the wall — this local housing market has definitely leveled off and there’s no saying for sure which direction it’s going from here. It’s by no means doom and gloom but housing prices have stalled almost everywhere in our region and inventories are starting to grow. — Washington Post

Mapping the hidden locations of 10 long-gone burial grounds

What was once a crypt is now a metro station, a mall, or even an apartment complex. Thousands of bodies remain unearthed below developments, and people walk above these plots of land unknowingly, shopping for clothes or commuting to work. — Curbed DC

North of $600: The highest prices per square foot in DC

There are seven DC neighborhoods where the median price per square foot of homes sold this year sits above $600, and two — Georgetown and West End — where that metric is north of $700. — Urban Turf

US home prices rise less than expected in Aug.: S&P/Case-Shiller

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 5.6 percent in August over last year, the slowest year-on-year increase since November 2012, slightly below a Reuters poll of economists that forecast a gain of 5.8 percent. — CNBC

Extreme case of brown recluse spiders drives owners from home

In 2008, the Trosts filed a claim with their insurance company, State Farm, and a civil lawsuit against the home’s previous owners, Tina and David Gault, for allegedly not disclosing the brown recluse and other problems with the home. — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

This listing has been staged ... for Halloween

Click your way through this virtual tour if you dare. But be warned, the basement is not for the faint of heart. — Inman News

Abandoned America - 50 states, 50 abandoned places

Scattered across prairielands, hidden in forests or left to rot in the middle of cities, America is full of ghost towns and abandoned buildings. Some might find these sites creepy, but from mining towns to abandoned farmsteads to forgotten roadside stops, these places stand frozen in time, a reminder of America’s history. — Weather Channel

Close It™ House of the Week: A Tudor for entertaining

This week we're looking at a Tudor style home in Bethesda, Maryland with plenty of space for entertaining guests both inside and out. It's listed at $734,500.

This house has a large living room adjacent to the kitchen, which has a peninsula and granite counters as well as classic white appliances that include a brand new dishwasher and microwave. During warmer months, the deck is ideal for hosting outdoor dinner parties and barbecues. 

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $166,518.81. The monthly payments would then be around $4,087.31 per month. For a complete picture of the cash to close, or for a run-down of the seller's side of the deal, plug the numbers into the Web version of Close It™ or download the free iOS app.

Headlines: Rule change may lower down payment requirement to 3%

Here's a look at what's happening in real estate in the District of Columbia and beyond.

Navigating the wide world of mortgage overlays

The word "overlay" in the context of home loans refers to the mortgage approval standards that lenders and their investors place above the guidelines set by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs. — Washington Post

JBG prices Atlantic Plumbing condos, and they're pushing $2 million

The mixed-use residential and retail project, at 2030 8th Street, N.W., will include 62 one- and two-bedroom condos with public and private rooftop terraces, a fitness center and ground-floor restaurants. — Washington Business Journal

US regulator targeting lower down payments on mortgages

The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said on Monday it was developing rules to let Americans buy homes with down payments as low as 3 percent, part of a push to boost access to credit. — CNBC

Are Seattle's micro-units DC's future?

At least one DC developer, SB-Urban, is focusing exclusively on building micro-units and has 355 high-end units spread across three properties in its pipeline. Other developers are planning similar, albeit smaller, developments around the city. — Urban Turf

City outlines first steps for implementing 25-year transportation plan

The 36 action items described in today's plan tackle a broad array of challenges. There are public transit improvements, like dedicated bus lanes on a stretch of Georgia Avenue NW, traffic-light priority for 16th Street NW buses, and real-time arrival information in bus shelters across the city. — Washington City Paper

Couple posed as real estate agents to rob homes

The county Attorney's Office issued a statement Wednesday that the couple used an online system to find homes in that were for sale in 2012 and then one would pose as a real estate agent to book times at the homes when the couple knew that homeowners would be away, according to the statement. — USA Today

Close It!™ House of the Week: Large deck with spectacular views

This week we're checking out a contemporary, fully renovated detached single family home in the Fairway Hills neighborhood of Bethesda, Maryland. This living room of this home looks out on to a fantastic deck and spectacular views of Virginia. 

Large windows and skylights let in lots of sunshine. This house also has a custom kitchen with stainless steel appliances. It's four bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in all plus a family room, laundry room and separate exercise room. It's listed at $855,000.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $194,712.59. The monthly payments would then be around $4,087.31 per month. For a complete picture of the cash to close, or for a run-down of the seller's side of the deal, plug the numbers into the Web version of Close It™ or download the free iOS app

Headlines: Time to refi is now; 34% cheaper to buy versus rent in DC

Here's a look at what's happening in real estate in the District of Columbia and beyond.

Should you refinance today?

A lot of the first-time homebuyers purchased over the last three to four years, whether using FHA as their vehicle with a lower down payment, or conventional with a lower down payment, but they also had mortgage insurance, so while their interest rate may be 4 percent or 4.25 percent, when you factor in the mortgage insurance that they're paying, it's relatively much higher. — CNBC

Micro-units, not large condos, coming to Dupont Circle

Valor's year-old plan to convert a portion of a Dupont Circle commercial building into eight luxury condominiums was short-lived. The developer has returned to the Board of Zoning Adjustments with a revised pitch: 21 microunits. — Washington Business Journal

Buying 34% cheaper than renting in DC Area

Trulia’s chief economist Jed Kolko provided UrbanTurf more fine-grained data that shows how the payoff from buying over renting can vary depending on where in the DC area you live. — Urban Turf

DC more expensive than New York? It's complicated

In the D.C. region, the study found that households spend an average of $28,416 annually on housing, compared with the national average of $17,030. New Yorkers spend $24,187, and San Franciscans spend $25,366. — Washington Post

No, Washington is not more expensive than New York City

To be sure, D.C. is not cheap. But there’s almost no measure by which it makes sense to consider it more expensive than New York City. — Wall Street Journal

Gallaudet plans "town gown neighborhood" near Union Market

The project is viewed as an opportunity for the nation’s leading university for deaf and hard of hearing students to shape some of the industrial land surrounding its campus into a "town-gown neighborhood" designed to accommodate its student body and better integrate the school with the city around it. — Washington Post 

What's in the residential pipeline on H Street?

In total, more than 1,076 units are slated for the H Street Corridor. Here is a rundown of the 12 residential buildings in the pipeline. — Urban Turf

  • Ways to save at closing

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  • What are closing costs?

    The real estate closing process involves loan steps, legal steps and title steps.

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  • What's title insurance?

    Insure your legal ownership just like you'd insure the building, but for lots cheaper.

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