The Future of Urban Housing | Urban Apartment Design | HouseLogic

The Future of Urban Housing | Urban Apartment Design | HouseLogic.

We’ve seen the future of urban housing, and it gives new meaning to living in a shoebox. Cities around the globe, including Boston, New York, and San Francisco have announced pint-sized housing plans that address the need for more one- and two-person households.

Here’s a peek at five urban spaces that hint at the future. Let us know if these are great ideas or if they leave you feeling claustrophobic.

Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/blog/home-improvement/future-urban-housing/#ixzz2OlRIwlUn

Luxury Garages: Where the Car Is King—WSJ Mansion – WSJ.com

 

Luxury Garages: Where the Car Is King—WSJ Mansion - WSJ.com

Tim Wellborn’s two-story garage in Alexander City, Ala., spans 14,400 square feet and can fit 12 cars upstairs and six below. The walls are made of New Orleans brick, and the concrete floors are stained to look like stone. For entertaining, there’s a Cuban mahogany bar with granite countertops and an eight-seat theater.

Pricey Parking

Wes Frazer for The Wall Street Journal

A million-dollar parking spot: This garage in Alexander City, Ala., can hold 18 cars. It also has a bar and home theater.

The total cost: over $1 million. “It’s more than our house,” says Mr. Wellborn, co-founder of Wellborn Forest Products, a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company that he sold in 2006.

Once seen as a catchall space to store bicycles, trash cans and lawn tools, garages are being rediscovered as the ideal place—who knew?—to park cars. Increasingly, many of these spaces are also becoming more lavish—loaded with high-end finishes and man toys, such as flat-screen TVs, underground car lifts and welding equipment.

“People are beginning to see that garages can be as cool as the rest of the rooms in the house,” says Lou DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Architects in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., who has seen a 15% to 20% uptick in garage projects in the past five years.

 

Luxury Garages: Where the Car Is King—WSJ Mansion – WSJ.com.

Mortgage Interest Rates Continue to Fall

Mortgage Interest Rates Continue to Fall.

 

Fixed mortgage rates fell after a disappointing jobs report, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate retreating to 3.64%, according to Bankrate. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.35 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate pulled back to 2.89%, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage is at the lowest point of the year, 4.03%.

Adjustable-rate mortgages were lower across the board, albeit more modestly. The 5-year ARM and 7-year ARM are at the lowest levels in the past month, at 2.7% and 2.9%, respectively.

Mortgage rates have now fallen for four consecutive weeks. The pullback started with the banking crisis in Cyprus, continued with a run of uninspiring U.S. economic data, and picked up speed with the weak jobs report. But as the sting of the lousy jobs report slowly wears off, we’ll likely see mortgage rates crawling back over the coming week.

The last time mortgage rates were above 5% was April 2011. At the time, the average 30-year fixed rate was 5.07%, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,082.22. With the average rate currently at 3.64%, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $913.79, a difference of $168 per month for anyone refinancing now.

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Examples Of Tiny Homes | 3 Tiny Homes That Are Living Large

 

Examples Of Tiny Homes | 3 Tiny Homes That Are Living Large

Examples Of Tiny Homes | 3 Tiny Homes That Are Living Large.

 

Small is the new big when it comes to micro-living.

If you think a tiny home would crimp your way of life, check this out. We found three weensy abodes that feel like much larger homes. The trick is that each place maximizes space to compliment the resident’s lifestyle.

1. A home that doesn’t skimp on traditional elements

This 500-sq.-ft. home was built in Vancouver by SmallWorks Studios. Despite its diminutive size, this mini-mansion was designed with plenty of traditional elements that make it feel like a much larger home. It packs a sleek small kitchen, a bedroom balcony, and a one-car garage.

Plus, its tiny footprint helps it be energy efficient.

Spring Home Buying Season Off To Early Start – Real Estate News – REALTOR.com

 

for sale

Spring Home Buying Season Off To Early Start – Real Estate News – REALTOR.com.

Realtor.com’s February 2013 national housing data indicates that listing inventories increased 1.15 percent month-over-month; median age of inventory was at 98 days, a 9.26 percent decrease month-over-month; and median list prices were slightly higher month-over-month at $189,900. These numbers show that home buyers are getting an early start on the spring season despite the fact that inventories recently hit record lows.

The median age of inventory was down by 9.26 percent month over month and total listings are up 1.15 percent month over month, suggesting that many reluctant home sellers are starting to take an early advantage of the recent improvements in housing prices. Annual inventory decreases of -15.97 percent are consistent with a gradual, yet persistent downward trend that has been occurring over the last two years. From January 2013 to February 2013, the median age of inventory decreased in 145 of the 146 markets tracked by realtor.com. The national median list price also reversed its downward trend, rising by 1.55 percent over the month of February and 1.01 percent on an annual basis. In addition, the number of markets experiencing a decline in home prices is shrinking, implying more good news for the housing market and U.S. economy at large.

There continue to be pronounced regional differences in the strength of the housing market. Several areas in California are experiencing the highest increases in list prices coupled with the largest inventory declines. Phoenix, Seattle and Denver are also among the top performers across the U.S. However, many smaller industrialized markets in the Midwest and the Northeast registered year-over-year price declines, as did Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City. While the number of markets experiencing year-over-year list price declines had been increasing, this pattern appears to be turning around as home list prices increased in 78 markets last month on a year-over-year basis and declined in 39.

Existing-Home Sales and Prices Continue to Rise in February | realtor.org

 

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WASHINGTON (March 21, 2013) – February existing-home sales and prices affirm a healthy recovery is underway in the housing sector, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Sales have been above year-ago levels for 20 consecutive months, while prices show 12 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases.

Existing-Home Sales and Prices Continue to Rise in February | realtor.org.

Light, views in midcentury Kensington home – SFGate and OPEN HOUSES in the area

 

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Light, views in midcentury Kensington home – SFGate.

View the OPEN HOMES in the area, updated daily

 

Address: 250 Stanford Ave., Kensington

Asking price: $748,000

Description: Clear heart redwood finishes, walls of glass and scenic views define this midcentury modern two-bedroom home in Kensington. Both bedrooms are on the upper level, as is the mezzanine foyer, above the living room. The black marble fireplace is one of many distinctive finishes in the home that dates to the mid-1950s. The home has 1 1/2 bathrooms. A garden with several sitting areas and mature trees enhance the 0.14-acre lot.



Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/walkthrough/article/Light-views-in-midcentury-Kensington-home-4386264.php#ixzz2Or9Od5Ed

Dirty Secrets In Your Home | Tips On Cleaning House Dirt | HouseLogic

dirty hands

Dirty Secrets In Your Home | Tips On Cleaning House Dirt | HouseLogic.

 

In denial about the crud that’s festering in the nooks and crannies of your home? The maintenance and cleaning pros we talked to say these eight jobs are among the grossest — and among the most important. One job could even save your life.

Deep breath …

1. Cruddy undersides of rugs
2. Disgusting disposal
3. Greasy kitchen vent hood
4. Crumby kitchen crevices
5. Grimy fans and ceilings
6. Grungy toilets
7. Debris-filled crawlspace
8. Linty dryer vents