Julie Brasil joined the staff at Action Realty of Brainerd as a real estate agent and design specialist.
Before joining Action Realty, Brasil worked in interior design, marketing and the legal industries.
Meeting set on Self Help Housing program
An information meeting on the Region 5 Development Commission's Self Help Housing program will be at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 10 in the conference room at TCC in Brainerd.
Those in attendence may meet a few of the families participating in the current construction phase of the program.
The Self Help Housing program, a Rural Development program, is a home construction program where low-income families help build their home, as well as help others build their homes, and pay for it through a low-interest rural development loan.
Mortgage rates up this week but near record lows for all of 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mortgage rates around the country moved up this week, but rates on 30-year mortgages for all of 2004 registered their second-lowest year on record.
Freddie Mac's weekly survey, released Wednesday, showed that rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.81 percent this week, compared with 5.75 percent last week.
For all of 2004, rates on benchmark 30-year mortgages averaged 5.84 percent, second only to last year's 5.83 percent, the lowest annual rate in Freddie Mac's record keeping, a Freddie Mac spokeswoman said. The rate came in under 6 percent for the last 22 weeks of this year.
Long-term mortgage rates remained well behaved even as the Federal Reserve boosted short-term interest rates five times this year. That's because inflation, while creeping higher, is not viewed as a danger to the economy, analysts said.
Many workers priced out of metro areas Washington Post
WASHINGTON -- Plenty of people talk about the growing shortage of housing that essential workers such as teachers, nurses and police officers can afford.
But the National Association of Home Builders has done more than talk. Actually, it has drawn a series of stark pictures for the top 25 metropolitan areas in the nation.
The conclusion, from a survey released last week at an affordable housing conference in Washington: In most metro areas, "people holding three of the important community infrastructure jobs -- police officers, teachers, nurses -- can afford homes in less than one-half the census tracts."
Retail clerks, whose pay is even lower, are priced out of 97 percent of the tracts.
(A caveat: The study assumed only a single income in the family rather than two wage earners. But single parents and young families with a stay-at-home parent are key first-time buyers.)
Bobby Rayburn, president of the home builders group, and other national and local builders at the conference warned that the situation is likely to worsen. They called on federal and local officials to remove regulatory and land-use barriers to high-density development and to support homeownership tax and down-payment incentives.
The group's focus is on building for-sale houses, but Rayburn said rents also are becoming too high. Low-income housing advocates, such as the National Low Income Housing Coalition, are concentrating their efforts on defending and resurrecting federal and local rental assistance help for the most at-risk families, which increasingly includes working families.
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