Breaking News
  • Amazon and Realogy gang up on Zillow to entice homebuyers

    You purchase toilet paper, computers and paper towels through the Amazon website. Now, you can buy your next house. The world’s largest retailer is partnering with Realogy, the largest U.S. residential brokerage, to match homebuyers with real estate agents through a program called TurnKey. In return, customers get up to $5,000 of Amazon products and services. And, yes, that includes Alexa-enabled smart home devices.

In the Money

Vacation rental management company Vacasa raises $64 million

Company manages portfolio of more than 10,600 vacation homes
Vacasa, which bills itself as the “largest vacation rental company” in North America, recently raised $64 million to power its future growth. According to the company, despite its size, the company only represents 2% of the total vacation rental market. And it views that as a big opportunity moving forward.
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Former LandCastle Title CEO Nat Hardwick found guilty of embezzling $26 million

Hardwick accused of taking $26 million from now-bankrupt law firm’s accounts
Nathan (Nat) Hardwick, the former chief executive officer of LandCastle Title and former managing partner of Morris Hardwick Schneider, was found guilty late last week of embezzling more than $25 million from his former companies, bringing an end to a massive scandal that destroyed a prominent real estate firm and left hundreds of people without a job.
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Total Expert raises $20 million to expand business

Marketing and CRM platform already works with 8 of top 15 lenders
Total Expert, a growing fintech company that provides marketing and CRM solutions for lenders and financial services firms, is ready to turbocharge its growth thanks to $20 million in new funding. Total Expert, which was selected as a 2018 HousingWire Tech100 winner as one of the housing industry’s top technology companies, already has eight of the top 15 lenders, including U.S. Bank, loanDepot, Guaranteed Rate, and Movement Mortgage, using its platform.
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Rent-to-own innovator Divvy raises $30 million to fund growth

Funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz
Divvy Homes, a real estate startup aiming to revolutionize rent-to-own and fractional ownership, just raised $30 million to help the company continue growing. Divvy officially launched earlier this year with $7 million in funding. But now, the company has $30 million more at its disposal.
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NYSE parent company ICE acquires MERS

ICE buys remaining stake in mortgage registry
Intercontinental Exchange, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, is now also the parent company of MERSCORP Holdings, as the companies announced Friday that ICE has acquired all of MERS.
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Senate Democrats call for federal investigation into money laundering in luxury real estate

Sens. Van Hollen and Whitehouse ask GAO to look into all-cash market
The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has been looking into whether foreign buyers are using shell companies to buy luxury U.S. real estate in order to launder money for almost three years, but two Democratic senators want the government to do more to figure out how much criminal activity is prevalent in these deals.
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Ocwen completes $360 million acquisition of PHH, Glen Messina takes over as CEO

Former PHH CEO assumes leadership of newly combined company
PHH Corp. is now officially part of Ocwen Financial, as Ocwen’s $360 million acquisition of PHH is now complete, the companies announced Thursday morning. But those aren’t the only big changes for Ocwen and PHH. In conjunction with the deal’s closing, former PHH CEO Glen Messina has officially taken over as president and CEO of Ocwen.
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Roofstock offering investors guaranteed rent on single-family rental homes

Company will pay investors rent on vacant properties for 12 months
Roofstock, a platform for buying and selling single-family rental homes, is offering a unique carrot to try to entice investors to use its platform to buy a property: guaranteed rent. Roofstock announced Tuesday that it is rolling out what it calls an “industry-leading” guarantee that provides up to 12 months of rent on a vacant property purchased through the company’s platform.
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SoFi wants to make it easier for borrowers to take out a home improvement loan

Partners with Kukun to provide homeowners with more info about loan benefits
SoFi is preparing to arm borrowers with more information to help them decide whether taking out a home improvement loan is the right decision for them. The growing lender announced this week that it is partnering with Kukun to use Kukun’s technology to provide prospective borrowers with new tools that will help them determine how much a home improvement project would cost and how it could affect the value of their home.
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Taylor Morrison closes AV Homes acquisition

Companies finalize deal worth nearly $1 billion
National homebuilder and developer Taylor Morrison announced Tuesday it has finalized its acquisition of AV Homes. The deal, valued at close to $1 billion, marks a significant new phase in Taylor Morrison's growth strategy and expands its scale in five overlapping markets.
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