Consumer confidence strong CNBC’s Rick Santelli discusses consumer confidence remaining at high levels.

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Will Modular Homes Make You Rethink Your Housing Options? After years of high expectations but low numbers, these factory-built homes may be primed for breakout.

When you buy a modular home, you need to hire someone to assemble the prefabricated parts and take care of plumbing and electricity.

It seems that everywhere you turn online, you see another picture of a fabulous modular home, built in a factory but looking every bit as good as any home built on-site.

But looks can be deceiving. Decades after modular home building was touted as the wave of the future in real estate, the actual number of modular homes built in the U.S. is still small – about 14,000 last year. While growth is slow, proponents see several factors that could boost modular construction’s popularity.

“The concept of modular is huge,” says Marianne Cusato, designer of the Katrina Cottages, which started as a plan for housing that could be built quickly after a hurricane. “The idea that you can figure out online what you want, order it up and have it appear – it’s the holy grail of housing.” More here. 

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More Millennials Turn to Mom and Dad to Help With Homebuying. About 17 percent of parents with millennial-aged children say they expect to help, or have already helped, their kids buy a home.

Millennials are turning to their parents to help finance home purchases, according to a study released Tuesday by loanDepot.

A growing number of homebuyers are expected to turn to the big bank of mom and dad to help finance housing purchases.

About 17 percent of parents with millennial-aged children – which loanDepot defines as individuals between 18 and 38 years old – expect to help their kids at some point in the future finance a home purchase. And a reported 13 percent of parents have done so in the last five years.

But only 19 percent of millennials aren’t expecting to receive any financial help from their parents, according to the report. More here.

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Monthly Foreclosure Activity Is Near Lowest Point Since Pre-Crisis

Nationwide foreclosure activity in February approached its lowest point since the financial crisis, mortgage analytics firm Black Knight Financial Services concluded in its monthly “first look” report.

Foreclosures totaled 79,700 for the month, a 15% decline from January and 13% drop from February 2014. According to the company, foreclosure inventory hit its lowest point since December 2007, dipping under 800,000 for the first time since before the “Great Recession”.

The delinquency also dropped to its lowest point since 2007 at 5.36%. Prepayments jumped 31% from Januaryand75%from February2014.. http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/distressed/monthly-foreclosure-activity-is-near-lowest-point-since-pre-crisis-1047083-1.html

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Five reasons to beware of auto-paying bills

(Reuters) – Autopaying bills is a no-brainer. You are never late with a payment, and you do not have to spend all that time going through stacks of bills, filling out checks, and then stuffing and stamping envelopes.

But Brent Cumberford learned the hard way that automatic bill paying is not as simple as setting it up and walking away.

Last year, his natural gas was turned off because expected automated payments were not made, a canceled subscription kept getting paid and another canceled service automatically renewed itself.

Cumberford, 32, who runs the personal finance site Vosa.com and splits his time between San Diego and Calgary, resolved the natural gas situation without figuring out what exactly went wrong (the bank and the utility blamed each other) and got the automatic renewal credited back. But he is still dealing with the subscription.

“The lesson I learned was that it’s important to still track automated payments,” Cumberford says. More here.

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41 Creative DIY Hacks To Improve Your Home

Some really cool ways to “hack” your home, helping you to enjoy your new, or old space even more! Click here to view.

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Downpayments Become Easier, Affordable Rentals Become More Elusive

The owning-versus-renting argument took a turn in favor of homeownership this week, with new data supporting the increased affordability of buying a house and a new report finding a growing shortage in affordable rental units.

According to new statistics released by RealtyTrac, the 1.5 million purchase loans originated in 2014 saw buyers putting down an average of 14 percent down, which the company calculated as $32,141. RealtyTrac broke down the numbers further, separating counties by their media home sales prices. In the 25 counties with the highest median home sales prices at the end of 2014, the average downpayment percentage was 24 percent, or $138,547. In comparison, the 25 counties with the lowest median home sales prices at the end of 2014 recorded an average downpayment percentage of 12 percent or $8,239. More here.

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