Health/Food Posts Tagged as 'Real Estate'
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After Smart Lock Allegedly Traps Senior in Apartment, Tenants Sue for Physical Keys and Win
Tenants at a property in New York City just struck a deal in what is both a wildly reasonable ask but also a crucial development at a time of increasing surveillance—their landlord has to give them physical keys to their building.
Five tenants in Hell’s Kitchen sued their landlord in March after the owners installed a Latch smart lock on the building last year. It is unlocked with a smartphone, and reportedly granted tenants access to the lobby, elevator, and mail room. But the group that sued their landlords saw this keyless entry as harassment, an invasion of privacy, and simply inconvenient.
“We are relieved that something as simple as entering our home is not controlled by an internet surveillance system and that because we will now have a mechanical key they will not be tracking our friends and our family,” 67-year-old tenant Charlotte Pfahl, who has lived in the building for 45 years, told the New York Post.
“It’s a form of harassment,” 72-year-old artist and tenant Mary Beth McKenzie told the Post in March. “What happens if your phone dies? I don’t want to be stuck on the street and I don’t want to be surveilled.”
Your House Should Not Be Your Retirement Plan
The average American is more likely to own a home than to have saved enough money for retirement. In fact, for many Americans, their house is their retirement plan: They’re counting on the value of that nest egg to fuel their golden years. But while real estate can be a good investment, it isn’t wise to rely on a house to fund your retirement. To explore why, Barron’s spoke with Teresa Ghilarducci, the Irene and Bernard L. Schwartz Chair in economic policy analysis in the Economics Department at the New School, and the author of How to Retire With Enough Money.
“You can’t eat your house a sandwich at a time,” she says.
YOUNG PEOPLE ARE CHOOSING TO LIVE IN “PODS” INSTEAD OF APARTMENTS
Young people have long chosen to rent coworking spaces and take rideshares instead of buying cars.
Now, some are pushing the sharing economy to its logical conclusion: NPR reports that young people in Los Angeles — and other cities around the country — are choosing to rent small pods instead of an apartment.
Through a service called PodShare, young people are giving up the comfort of a private home for a bunk bed with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities.
The Affluent Homeless: A Sleeping Pod, A Hired Desk And A Handful Of Clothes
Gay Couples 73% More Likely to Be Denied By Mortgage Lenders Than Straight Couples: Study
A new study, looking at mortgage data from 1990 to 2015 finds that gay couples were 73% more likely to be denied in their mortgage applications than heterosexuals. And those who did get approved often faced higher rates.
On average, gay borrowers paid an extra 0.2% in interest and fees, adding up to an extra $86 million per year. Same-sex couples, however, do not present a higher default risk, said study authors Hua Sun and Lei Gao.
Housing's hidden crisis: Rural Americans struggle to pay rent
Housing has been famously unaffordable in expensive cities such as San Francisco for a while. But now in tiny towns and counties across the country, an increasing share of rural residents are struggling to pay their rents and mortgages.
The housing affordability crisis is spreading to rural communities such as Aroostook County, Maine, and Malheur County, Oregon, where the share of residents who are severely burdened by housing costs has surged since the housing crash of 2006 to 2010, according to the County Health Rankings. Other researchers are also calling attention to the issue, with Pew's Stateline finding that one of four of the country's most rural counties have seen a rise in severely cost-burdened households -- those that spend more than half their income on housing.
Fifty years ago, the most urgent issue for rural communities was substandard housing, such as whether residents relied on outhouses rather than indoor plumbing, noted Lance George, director of research and information at the Housing Assistance Council, a nonprofit focusing on rural housing. But affordability now ranks as the top housing concern among rural residents, he said.
Loads of houses are up for sale -- but middle-class buyers are still shut out
Despite an uptick in homes on the market and weakening home sales across the country, home ownership is out of reach for a growing number of middle-class buyers, according to a recent report from real estate brokerage Redfin.
An analysis of U.S. homes on the market in 2017 and 2018 found that the number of affordable homes for sale has decreased in 86 percent of metro areas (of 49 included in the study), even as the number of homes on the market grew. While buyers normally benefit from better availability in competitive housing markets, it doesn’t help if the majority of available homes are priced for the wealthy.
“For the past few years, home prices have gone up faster than wages,” said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin. “That kind of growth really isn’t sustainable. At a certain point, there won’t be enough buyers left for the homes left on the market.”
Boise and Reno Capitalize on the California Real Estate Exodus
For some Californians, the state’s punishing housing costs, high taxes, and constant threat of natural disaster have all become too much. They’re making their escape to areas such as Boise, Phoenix, and Reno, Nev., fueling some of the biggest home-price gains in the country. While the moves are motivated mainly by economics, they’re also highlighting political divides as conservatives from the blue state seek friendlier areas and liberal transplants find themselves in sometimes hostile territory.
The Super Rich of Silicon Valley Have a Doomsday Escape Plan
Years of doomsday talk at Silicon Valley dinner parties has turned to action.
In recent months, two 150-ton survival bunkers journeyed by land and sea from a Texas warehouse to the shores of New Zealand, where they’re buried 11 feet underground.
Seven Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have purchased bunkers from Rising S Co. and planted them in New Zealand in the past two years, said Gary Lynch, the manufacturer’s general manager. At the first sign of an apocalypse — nuclear war, a killer germ, a French Revolution-style uprising targeting the 1 percent — the Californians plan to hop on a private jet and hunker down, he said.
Scammers are tricking people out of enormous payments as they're about to close on a house
It's a nightmare scenario for any homebuyer: the day before closing, a scammer manages to trick you into wiring your down payment to an offshore account. You lose your hard-earned money and you lose the house, and there's no way you can get either one back.
That's how some criminals have adapted the common "business email compromise" scam – so-named because it used to almost exclusively target businesses – to focus on individuals, especially people who are involved in a pending real estate transaction.
This is how much money you need to make to afford rent in every state
The rule of thumb on how much a person should budget for rent is 25% to 30% of monthly income. But due to inflation in property values and surging demand, affordable housing is increasingly becoming a pipe dream in some states.
Among the most expensive rental markets is the nation’s capital, where a person must make an average of $8,487 a month to rent, according to cost estimating site HowMuch.net.
In California, the richest state in the U.S. based on gross domestic product, the monthly income to afford renting a house is $8,313, followed by Hawaii at $7,806 and New York at $7,223.
As millennials, especially Latinos and blacks, own fewer homes, wealth gap will grow
Angely Mercado, 26, who has a master's degree in journalism, makes a living as a freelance writer; she hopes to land a full-time job at some point.
The Queens, New York, resident was clear when she was asked where home ownership stood on her list of priorities. “I wish it could be higher, but it's not financially possible,” said Mercado, who describes herself as very budget conscious and someone who obtained scholarships so she wouldn't have student loans like so many young people her age.
Still, Mercado has to live with her parents in the home they own. She's part of a generation of millennials who are less likely than previous generations to buy homes, according to a new report from Better Mortgage, a digital lender focused on improving access to home finance, and the Urban Institute, a nonprofit organization with a focus on social and economic policy.
America’s 10 worst states to live in
Far be it for us to dent your home state pride, but the fact is that there are ways to objectively measure quality of life, and some states do not measure up as well as others. Our Quality of Life category in America's Top States for Business, worth 300 out 2,500 total points, looks at factors such as violent crime rates, area attractions, health care, and environmental quality, based on our Top States methodology and sources. These are the 10 worst states to live in this year.
Trump plan would raise rents on poor people by 26% on average
The Trump administration’s latest attack on housing assistance would boost rents by an average 26 percent for millions of financially vulnerable Americans and increase the risk of homelessness, a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis found.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson claimed the “Make Affordable Housing Work Act,” which he announced on April 25, would create a path towards self-sufficiency for low-income Americans receiving housing assistance.
Under the plan, which still needs Congressional approval, people receiving housing assistance would see the percentage of their total income they are required to pay towards housing increase from 30 to 35 percent. It would also raise the minimum monthly rent on the 712,000 most financially vulnerable families from $50 to $150 per month, eliminate deductions for medical care and child care, and allow housing authorities to impose work requirements.
Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines broke EPA’s lead paint rules. They were fined $40,000.
The popular HGTV reality TV show Fixer Upper just got its wrist slapped by the Environmental Protection Agency for breaking lead paint rules.
It turns out that renovations Fixer Upper hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines did on older homes in several seasons of the show “did not depict the lead-safe work practices” and violated rules on toxic substances and lead paint, the agency said. The parent company of Fixer Upper, Magnolia Waco Properties LLC, reached a settlement with the EPA on Tuesday.
The company will pay a civil penalty of $40,000 and spend $160,000 to clean up lead contamination in the Waco, Texas, community.
The most and least expensive places to live in America
America's big coastal cities are really expensive.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released data on personal income and the cost of living in 2016 for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan parts of states, including the relative cost of living in different parts of the country.
Regional price parity is an index that sets the national average cost of goods and services at 100, with a particular region's RPP showing how the cost of living in that region compares with that average.
For example, the New York metropolitan area had an RPP of 122 in 2016, meaning the city and its suburbs are about 22% more expensive than the national average.