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The front porch is a vestige of an older, simpler way of life when families sat outside and neighbors visited with one another. Once a place for relaxation, the front porch faded in popularity due to an evolving modern life that brought about air conditioning and backyard decks, according to www.houzz.com. But the architectural feature is making a strong comeback.
There’s no easier way to add square footage to your home than to maximize the transition areas outside your property. Households can utilize the porch for additional entertaining space or for solitude. Need some inspiration? Check out Better Homes and Gardens for style ideas.
Diane Foreman, a design consultant with Neil Kelly Co. notes that the porch is, at minimum, a transitional space between the home’s exterior and interior. But the porch is also a holding place of “intangibles,” sensory experiences and memories about childhood, grandparents, and neighbors.
Seattle Times writer Tyrone Beason sums it up this way:
“The duality of the front porch is intriguing. It is a part of the house and yet it is a part of the streetscape. It is a private space but, then again, there’s nothing private about it. You can watch the world go by there — but the world can also watch you.”
Beason reminds us that a well used and aesthetically appealing front porch adds valuable space to homeowners and curb appeal to the home, which can increase the overall value of the property.
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Sales of existing homes throughout the U.S. rose 2.3 percent in July from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.47 million, reports the Seattle Times . In the Puget Sound area, sales rose 11 percent in July.
Single-family rentals are hot.
Forbes reporter Morgan Brennan shares insight on three ways to grow wealth in the housing market. Real estate investment trusts, turn key investment properties, and renting and managing homes as a traditional landlord are good options now and in the future. Watch the video for details
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
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 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