Category: Housing

The Lives of the Next 100 Million

It’s regrettable that Joel Kotkin’s vision of America in 2050 is not more imaginative.  His rejection of the entire new urbanism agenda as a tool to accommodate the next hundred million U.S. residents ties his “cities of aspiration” to the automobile, to fossil fuels, to the large single family dwelling and to an expectation that

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Back to school for immigrant parents

Schools can provide strong footholds for immigrant children in their new communities. Aside from access to critical learning opportunities, such as English as Second Language classes, they are able to become involved in sports teams, clubs, and other community activities that help ease the transition to life in a new place. Immigrant parents, however, do

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FOR RENT: Cozy Cottage, Serene Backyard Setting, Landlord Close-by

The City of Seattle recently amended a restricting and outdated zoning regulation.  This change encourages homeowners to reject—to an extent—the separation of housing types and the segregation of people of different income levels.  The zoning change allows homeowners in single-family residential neighborhoods to construct small, free-standing cottages on their properties for rental purposes.  USA Today

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Forget Everything You Knew About Housing

In the wake of the home mortgage bust there needs to be a reevaluation of every assumption about residential housing. Is ownership always better than renting? Is appreciation always better than equity as a tool for wealth creation? Is bigger in the suburbs always better than smaller in town? The composition of families is different.

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Locals are Effective as Home Mortgages Collapse

Just-released figures from Treasury and HUD report that the number of homeowners who defaulted on their mortgages, even after securing lower payments through loan modification, nearly doubled in March. Relief efforts are diminishing rather than growing. The Federal Reserve has ended its $1.25 trillion program to buy mortgage backed securities. The first-time homebuyer tax credit

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Head-Turning Appeal for the Modular Home

There is a lot to love in a 7,200 square-foot French Country-style house. At a price of $2.5 million one would expect the symmetrical beauty of roof dormers and expansive patio doors, plus the latest in energy efficiency gadgets like geothermal heat pumps. But the extra bonus in this lovely home in Bethesda, Maryland is

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The Housing Market Will Stand on its Own

The U.S. government is moving to cease its deep intervention in the housing markets.  The Treasury Department already has stopped buying up mortgage-related securities and the Federal Reserve will taper off its purchases gradually, ending them by March 31. Then in June, the homebuyer tax credit program ends. As with “cash for clunkers,” the federal

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The Local Role in Housing

Local governments don’t control the interest rates on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage nor the regulations that determine who qualifies for a mortgage loan. However, municipal leaders can impact whether or not their community offers a myriad of housing choices to meet the needs of a diverse mix of individuals and families. Using the power to decide land

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Housing at Square One

Over 4 million homes were lost to foreclosure in the three years from 2007-2009. Before 2006, the worst record of the decade was just under 500,000 foreclosures in 2002. Assistance has come in many forms: An army of counselors work on loan modifications for homeowners who are “underwater” on their mortgage; HUD launches Making Home

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