Friday Five: Home Ownership Dream Alive, Creative Borrowing, and More

In our last Friday Five of the year: Consumer optimism about housing market; tips on how to take advantage of low home prices; and Congress tries to pass another NFIP extension.

If Congress doesn’t extend the National Flood Insurance Program, members of Congress may find a lump of coal in their stocking on Christmas morning. Check out HouseLogic’s latest policy post to find out why it’s taking Washington so long to act. Plus: Good news about housing, and pros and cons of financing a mortgage without a bank.

Yahoo Real Estate: Study: American Dream Homes Turn Green

A Yahoo study finds that optimism about home ownership is widespread despite the massive downturn that has so far claimed six million homes in foreclosure and threatens to sink even more in the future. Yet, given the record inventory and dropping housing prices, buyers realize that their dream home is more attainable. In the study, 72% of home owners and renters believe they live in their dream home, or it will be their next home, or they will own it someday.

CNBC: Residential Housing Ready to Awaken?

After half a decade of withering sales and slumping prices, there are strong and diverse signs that the single-family housing market is poised for a rebound.

RIS Media: Mortgage Rates Stay Low Helping to Keep Housing Affordability High

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged and near their record lows helping to keep housing affordability high for those borrowers who are in the market. The 30-year fixed dipped to 3.99%, and at 3.27%, the 15-year fixed averaged just slightly above its all-time low of 3.26% on Oct. 6, 2011.

Wall Street Journal: Home Bargains Abound, But Willing Lenders Are Rare Breed

Pros and cons of borrowing from mom and dad, and peer-to-peer lending sites.

HouseLogic: Stop-and-Go on Flood Insurance Leaves Home Owners, Buyers in Limbo

With another short-term National Flood Insurance Program extension on the horizon, it looks like Washington will continue to play politics with the housing market.