If you haven't checked out Homestore (NASDAQ:HOMS) lately, you might think you've walked into an episode of "While You Were Out." Just one year ago, shares of the outfit behind the popular Realtor.com real estate site traded for pennies. Now it's trading for dollars -- OK, about $2.50.

Last year, pennies sounded about right. Homestore was haunted -- from allegations of round-tripping with partner AOL Time Warner (NYSE:AOL) to suspicions surrounding its acquisition of Move.com from Cendant (NYSE:CD). Homestore was a real fixer-upper.

As a result, while the market was starting to cuddle up again to dot-coms -- those making a dent in the real world -- Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) and Lending Tree (NASDAQ:TREE), poor Homestore, to quote punksmiths Sum-41, "trashed" its "own house party because nobody came."

Last night, Homestore took the final step in exorcising its demons when it settled with Cendant over the Move.com flap. We say final step, because the executive ranks had already been replenished.

With a market cap closing in on $400 million and rising (well, maybe not today), is Homestore finally ready to enjoy the fruits of its real-estate labors? If so, it's about time: Low interest rates have the housing market booming.

But, what's this? The refinancing market has cooled? Home sales are expected to feel the pinch? Hidden Gems have investors moving out of real estate and back into equities? Pity that Homestore. Before long, it may be down to trashing its own house party because everybody left.

Have you put off your moving plans with the recent spike in mortgage rates? Are you rushing over to our Home Center to see if there's hope for a new abode? Have you turned your attention towards improving where you live now instead? All this and more -- in the Building/Maintaining a Home discussion board. Only on Fool.com.