Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
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group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
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Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
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These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
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The number of renters who spend more than half their income on housing is at its highest level in half a century, according to a Harvard University report. About 26 percent of renters or 10.1 million people spent more than half their pre-tax household income on rent and utilities in 2009, according to the study. Most experts recommend renters spend no more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Additionally, the cost of renting continues to rise as vacancies remain low. The number of renters increased 8 percent nationally between 2007 and 2009, according to Census Bureau figures, and rents climbed 3 percent nationwide. Many experts blame the shortage of affordable rental housing on rentals failing to keep up with demand. Building mostly came to a standstill in 2009, particularly with a shortage of apartments. "Its a real squeeze for the lower-income and moderate-income families, and were even starting to see it affecting middle-income families too," says Erick Belsky, managing director of Harvards Joint Center for Housing Studies. "The prospects for improvement anytime soon are dim." Rents are expected to continue to climb as developers try to play catch up to meet the demand, analysts say. Source: The Washington Post
More buyers in high-cost areas may be motivated to purchase a home before an Oct. 1 deadline when the government plans to scale back the size of jumbo home loans it guarantees in costly real estate markets. On Oct. 1, the maximum loan amount that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is set to decrease from $729,750 to $625,500. This might make home loans more expensive or more difficult to get for buyers in high-cost areas, MSNBC.com reports. For example, after Oct. 1, a borrower who seeks a government-backed loan for a $1-million property may have to come up with a $370,000 down payment instead of $270,000, Rob Chrisman, a consultant from San Rafael, Calif., told MSNBC. Up until 2008, any loan more than $417,000 was considered a jumbo loan, but that later swelled to $625,500 and then was temporarily set at $729,750 (which expires at the end of September). Once the current jumbo loan limit expires, lenders who want to make loans over $625,500 either will have to hold onto the loan themselves or find a private investor to purchase it. Guy Cecala of Inside Mortgage Finance is confident that private lenders will step in to make up any of the downfall from the GSEs change. Hes already pointing to the signs: In the last quarter of 2010, private lenders originated more loans over $417,000which is considered the traditional jumbo marketthan did government agencies. Source: MSNBC.com
A survey by AARP earlier this year found that 33 percent of adults older than 45 have modified their homes to allow them to age comfortably in place. Aging-in-place modifications can include: Decorative grab bars in showers; Step-free entrances; Levered door handles; Raised electrical outlets; Bathrooms that can accommodate wheelchairs; Widened doorways to accommodate walkers; and Higher toilets Mike Leary, founder of Rochester, N.Y., firm Access Lifts & Ramps, says business is brisk and he expects it to continue to grow. "If my kids stay in the business, theyll be the ones to make out well," Leary says. "Theyll be taking care of me. Im in the middle of the Baby Boomers." Source: USA Today
Builders in suburban areas are having success reviving alleys building new homes with garages accessed from a rear service lane. This plan allows builders to put houses on smaller lots. In Denver, five major contractors are building alley-loaded projects in the suburbs. It allows us to build a little bit smaller homes in higher-density areas," said Rusty Crandall, president of KB Home Colorado. "People seem to be intrigued by the design. The porches are across the whole front of the house instead of the garages lining the streets. Front porches that replace front-access garages also are increasingly popular, says Mike Davidson, marketing manager for Standard Pacific. "It lets people get out in the neighborhood and be friends with the neighbors, he says. Source: Denver Post
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.