Today’s renters are older and have children, and they want to rent homes, not apartments.
The first quarter of 2013 may see double-digit growth in home improvement spending. Brad Tuttle of Time highlights the market conditions that are contributing to the uptick, identified by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center, says that “low financing costs, stronger consumer confidence, improving home sales, and the perception that home prices have stabilized in most markets across the country are encouraging owners to start working on the list of home improvement projects they have been putting off.” Rather than spend on high-end projects, many households are opting for practical revisions and upgrades
Homeowners who sold their principal residences short or lost them to foreclosure have benefited from the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. But the law expires at the end of 2012, meaning that those households who experience a short sale, foreclosure, or deed in lieu could receive a tax bill the following year. Wisebread explains how it works: Typically, the IRS considers forgiven debt up to $2 million as ordinary, taxable income. The lender issues a 1099-C to the borrower for the balance owed, minus what the home was sold for
Mortgage loan rates have fallen again. CNN Money reports that the 30-year mortgage dropped to 3.53% from 3.56% over one week ago, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly report. One year ago, the 30-year fixed rate was 4.52%.
Has the housing market bottomed out? Most economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal (44 out of 47) agree that it has.
“The Spider and the Fly” is a short film produced by Hans Zimmer Studios to showcase none other than a multi-million dollar mansion in Malibu. DeeAnna Staats, owner of Staats & Co., hired the Hollywood company to shoot the short, had it downloaded onto 100 new iPads, and sent them out into the prospective market.
The Shingle artchitectural style is singularly American and stands in contrast to the nineteenth-century Victorian houses of the same era. The New England school of architecture reacted against the ornamental Victorian revival styles and created a new design that is considered America’s first modern house. Though it began on the East Coast, the style can be seen across America and especially in the Pacific Northwest and Great Lakes states. While towers, gables, and complex rooflines showcase some flourish, the Shingle style sets itself apart from its Victorian cousins with its streamlined appearance.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aims to safeguard borrowers from risky mortgages . Just this Monday, the CFPB, the government’s consumer watchdog, made a proposal that includes, but is not limited to, these provisions: Ban on balloon payments Prohibition of prepayment fees or fees for modifying or deferring loans Cap on late fees Requirement for borrowers to receive homeownership counseling prior to signing mortgage papers Additionally, new versions of two simplified mortgage disclosure forms have been proposed. The CFPB hopes that the revisions will clarify loan terms and costs so that consumers know exactly what they’re buying into
What could you do with one square meter? Berlin-based architect and founder of Hartz IV Mobel, Van Bo Le-Mentzel , proposes the one-square-meter house. Le-Mentzel conceptualized what is likely the world’s smallest house from his personal experience of living some of his earlier years as a refuge who depended on social housing
Photograph by Ellen M. Banner, The Seattle Times Seattle’s newest tourist landmark opened on Friday, June 29, at Pier 57. The Great Wheel towers at 175 feet, weighs 280,300 pounds, and holds 42 climate-controlled gondolas.