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Thinking about taking a crack at new back-to-basics mortgage rules?
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Thinking about taking a crack at new back-to-basics mortgage rules?

Spring real estate season is going to be here in the blink of an eye, and if you haven’t done so yet, you might also kick off residential real estate coverage for 2014 with a personal finance primer about the new Ability to Pay /Qualified Mortgage rules that will affect borrowers and lenders.  The new […]

Brainstorm 2014 story projects before opportunities slip away
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Brainstorm 2014 story projects before opportunities slip away

This week of limbo, as one year flickers out and another is about to dawn, is an annual opportunity to do some long-range planning and thinking about fresh angles for approaching your beat. It’s also a good time to seize ideas for projects or longitudinal stories and set them into motion. Otherwise all too soon, […]

Year-end, big-ticket sales and your local economy
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Year-end, big-ticket sales and your local economy

Retail stories this time of year tend to focus on items that fit under the tree, like electronics, apparel, jewelry, gift cards. But year-end sales of durable goods like cars, furniture and appliances — while not as glitzy as new iPads and cashmere scarves — can show a different side of your region’s economy.  If you’re […]

Size up trends in apartment and condo developments heading into 2014
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Size up trends in apartment and condo developments heading into 2014

The last month of the year traditionally is a slow one for residential housing sales, as weather, holiday activity, travel and school breaks collide to make buying and selling houses a cumbersome task. But if you’re itching to do some sort of real estate story, why not find an angle in the booming multifamily market?   Developers, […]

As larger malls rebound, strip centers still battle double-digit vacancy rates
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As larger malls rebound, strip centers still battle double-digit vacancy rates

With only a couple of days to go before even the most reticent of retailers – those who feel they must restrain the Christmas glee at least until after Halloween – unleash two months of merchant mania, it’s a good time to check in on the health of area shopping malls, strip centers and Main […]

Bloomberg, Indy Star, CNBC track surge in institutional landlords
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Bloomberg, Indy Star, CNBC track surge in institutional landlords

The drumbeat in residential real estate market news this year has largely been that of investors scooping up single-family homes on the cheap and turning them into investment rentals.  It’s an interesting story with a lot of implications for property values, tax base, neighborhood character and other angles of interest to general readers. But this […]

Shutdown snags echo through the residential real estate market
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Shutdown snags echo through the residential real estate market

The federal government shutdown may be over, for the time being, but busineses, workers and consumers still are dealing with the after effects.  And one area that ties together all three is residential real estate, which likely will feel the ripple effects of the interruption for some time to come.  If you’re looking for follow-up […]

5-year recession after Wall Street’s crash and a look at 401(k) trends
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5-year recession after Wall Street’s crash and a look at 401(k) trends

As they say, time flies:  Hard to believe that later this month it will be five years since the mortgage meltdown, Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy filing and the start of Wall Street’s big slide, all of which triggered the recession that still has shrunk job prospects, retirement nest eggs, home-buying dreams and other expectations for a wide […]

As harvest time looms, food and agriculture stories are ripening
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As harvest time looms, food and agriculture stories are ripening

The 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour kicked off this week, and while that may sound something like a golf tournament with a down-home sponsor, it’s really a sign that summer is flashing to a close and harvest time is here.  Which means a lot of good business stories are coming ripe for the picking. […]

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