housing - Articles

Rate on 30-Year Mortgage Hits 2-Year High at 4.51%

Nam Y. Huh/AP WASHINGTON -- The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week to 4.51 percent, a two-year high. Rates have been rising on expectations that the Federal Reserve will slow its bond purchases this year. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average on the 30-year loan jumped from 4.29 percent... Continue Reading »

Housing Recovery Taking Hold, Government Survey Says

There have been a number of positive developments in the housing market over the last several months, and that trend continued into September, as many areas continued to improve. The housing market has strengthened considerably since the end of last year, and as a result, there is now an additional $860 billion in home... Continue Reading »

How Obama, Romney Really Compare on Housing

By Estately.com With the presidential candidates squaring off to discuss a variety of issues, including housing, we here at Estately thought we'd compare the housing of the two men who long to make the White House home for the next four years. Comparing President Obama's Chicago home with the five homes that Gov.... Continue Reading »

Obama's Housing Scorecard

By Les Christie The housing market is gaining strength thanks in part to government programs aimed at helping struggling homeowners, the latest Obama Administration Housing Scorecard released Thursday found. "The Obama Administration's efforts to speed housing recovery are showing clear signs of traction," said Erika... Continue Reading »

'Housing' Swings Don't Matter as Much as What's Happening in Your Own Neighborhood

By Jeff Brown, BankingMyWay NEW YORK -- New data from Zillow.com shows that the housing market really has hit bottom. Cue the applause. Signal the all clear. Get Warren Buffett to pile on and say something encouraging about the U.S. economy. Then head back to reality, and eye the headlines about the housing market's... Continue Reading »

Development Plan Puts Historic Princeton Battlefield at Risk

The historic site of the Battle of Princeton, a major turning point in the Revolutionary War and, thus, our country's independence, has another form of combat brewing -- this time in real estate. The Institute for Advanced Study, a genius incubator of sorts where the likes of Albert Einstein studied, owns 22 acres... Continue Reading »

VA Loan Improvements Await Returning Troops

President Obama's imminent announcement of a troop withdrawal tonight calls to mind another issue: Thousands of soldiers will soon return home intent on buying houses. But are real estate agents prepared for the influx of veteran homebuyers and their special mortgage needs? Continue Reading »

Distressed Homes: Toll Brothers Invests Instead of Building More

You can't blame them for trying to make lemonade. Toll Brothers, the nation's largest builder of luxury homes, says it has launched an investment firm to take advantage of the housing bust. Gibraltar Capital and Asset Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary, will trade distressed property and loan portfolios, take over... Continue Reading »

Is Queens, N.Y.'s Housing Market Headed for Collapse?

If you feel you got away too easily in the housing collapse, maybe you live in New York's Queens or on the outskirts of another big American city. Keith Jurow at the Real Estate Channel recently posted an interesting piece, teasingly titled "A Housing Price Collapse in Queens New York Is Almost Certain," in which he... Continue Reading »

Homebuilders Lose Confidence After Homebuyer Tax Credit Expires

It was the tax credit, after all. Or so it seems. One of the timeliest leading indicators for real estate prices -- the homebuilder confidence survey published by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo -- dropped five points, or 22 percent, in June to a reading of 17. That's the lowest level since March,... Continue Reading »

Nursing Home for Your Backyard in a Medical Care Cottage

Everyone has concerns about what to do with aging family members, but Ken Dupin created a solution: Build them a pod. The Salem, Virginia-based pastor is the chief innovator of MEDCottage -- a nursing home-like mobile facility that families can place in their backyard as a place to care for the elderly. The... Continue Reading »

Documentary Calls Attention to Renters' Plight

There's a new and compelling documentary that exposes the life of tenants in the Toronto area. The film, "The Thousandth Tower: Stories From Inside a Toronto Suburban Highrise," provides a powerful look at the neglect of the Canadian city's suburbs and those who live there. The web-based film profiles six residents in... Continue Reading »

An Architect's Journey into Haiti

Shortly after the devastating earthquake struck Port-Au-Prince, noted architect pioneer Andres Duany flew to Haiti with plans for building durable, affordable housing in the shattered country. Duany, a celebrated archtitect who has masterplanned whole towns and claims to have written the definitive book on "smart growth"... Continue Reading »

Improve Your Quality of Life in Minnesota

Want to take better care of your heart and keep it healthy? Consider moving to Albert Lea, Minn. Residents decided that the best way to prevent heart disease was to pursue public policies to prevent it. People living in this city 90 miles south of Minneapolis, became the first in the nation to sign on to the AARP/Blue... Continue Reading »

Vancouver's Olympic-Sized Billion Dollar Burden

In Vancouver, as in other Pacific Northwest cities like Seattle and Portland, sustainability is an overriding principal for architecture and urban planning. So it was with pride that the city's Olympic organizing officials crafted a public-private partnership in which an inner-city, former industrial zone became not only... Continue Reading »

Download Your Next House For Free

Stock house plans are as American as apple pie. Andrew Jackson Downing and Alexander Jackson Davis's publication of the pattern book "Cottage Residences" in the mid-19th century, for example, fueled the first nationwide romance for suburban living. And now, approximately 30 percent of all American homes are built from... Continue Reading »

Chicago Housing Recovery: Not Until 2013

What do the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago housing market have in common? They'll both have to wait at least another year for redemption. But bad news for Chicago's housing market - it may have to wait even longer than the Super Bowl losers. According to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, an Irvine, Calif.-based... Continue Reading »

The Fabulously Updated Prefab Home

The movement dedicated to prefabricated contemporary houses didn't have a banner year in 2009, what with the May closure of mini-industry leader Michelle Kaufmann Designs. But the setbacks haven't kept architects from fantasizing about new solutions for prefab, and the remaining adventurous manufacturers from turning those... Continue Reading »

Super Bowl No Touchdown for Miami Realtors

Super Bowl week is a boon for South Florida businesses, but a bust for its real estate market. But that's not necessarily a sign of bad times. "Other than weekly rentals, the Super Bowl is not big for us," said Miami Real Estate broker and blogger Riley Smith. "But it doesn't matter because this is our biggest time of... Continue Reading »

Home Addition Made Simple

It's a shed. It's a work studio. It's a bedroom for your mother-in-law. Yes! We're talking about pre-fabricated home additions by the Seattle-based Modern Shed. These structures are unattached to the primary home and can range from uninsulated traditional storage sheds to the more finished 'modern shed' complete with... Continue Reading »

Is It Farewell for Fannie and Freddie?

You won't have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to kick around anymore, at least if Rep. Barney Frank has anything to say about it. As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank is certainly in a position to influence the decision about what will happen to these two mortgage companies now under conservatorship... Continue Reading »

The Perils of Living on the Green

So you want to live in a home on a golf course? You may want think twice about that. The cachet that comes from that beautiful expanse of green outside your window and country club living, also comes with...golf balls. Hundreds and hundreds of golf balls. Ask Willam and Dorothy Abbott in North Naples, Fla. For more... Continue Reading »

The Incredible Shrinking Home: The Trend is Small

The Great Recession continues to sap so much of what we Americans hold dear -- our jobs, homes, retirement savings, and optimism. Now comes another low blow: if you do manage to buy a home nowadays, it's likely to be smaller than your neighbor's. Homes being built now are actually shrinking in size, suggesting that the... Continue Reading »

2009 Was Home Builders'

If you're looking for a sunny outlook on the economy, skip the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. The outlook for home builders is poor with only a slight chance of recovery in 2010. Ongoing joblessness and steady foreclosures are keeping U.S. builders from feeling confident about a quick recovery for the housing... Continue Reading »

Dome Sweet Dome

In 1954, Buckminster Fuller received the U.S. patent for the geodesic dome, a hemi-spherical structure built on a frame of interlocking polygons. (Picture living inside of a giant soccer ball, and you're not far off.) Fuller hoped that geodesic dome structures would catch on big as a solution to the postwar housing crisis.... Continue Reading »

Stalled Construction Sites Are Here to Stay

When you live above a construction site, the promise of waking up to birds, instead of bulldozers, and sunshine, instead of tarp-covered scaffolding, is what gets you through. 'One day,' you think to yourself. 'I'll walk down my block without worrying about being crushed by a 25-story crane.' Dream on. Construction has... Continue Reading »

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