Mar 19 2011
Week in Review: What We Liked From the Week That Was

Week in Review: What We Liked From the Week That Was

This week, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, which allows homeowners to refinance upside down mortgages, was extended another year.  Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to end the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program, an unemployment-assistance measure which technically has not even begun!  The move is part of an effort to cut costs in government.

Realistically, no matter how much we look to cut costs in our household budget, most of us will never be ranked on Forbes’ richest people list.  But, with the help of Curbed, we can see how they live.  The site looks at the “power pads” of the 10 richest people in the world.  From a home with a Mercedes parked in the living room to a 27-story private home, nothing is out of the question for these home owners!  Which is your favorite?

New Urbanism, or the shift to “smaller, urban-style, walkable communities,” may not be happening as fast as some may have hoped.  In Forbes, Joel Kotkin analyzes Census data and concludes growth in America’s cities has slowed because a growing number of jobs located outside of cities has dispersed suburban living.

Generation Recovery… I mean X. According to the National Association of Home Builders, young families and adults ages 31 to 45 are likely to lead the housing recovery as they seek to accommodate growing families.  Do you know how many 31 to 45 year old renters there are in your area?  They could serve as great leads.

Kitchens, usually a major selling point for homes, are upping their trendiness.  As The Wall Street Journal reported this week, kitchens are now being designed to be a living and entertainment space.  Designers are now hiding high-tech appliances behind wood panels to create uncluttered spaces.  One of the most interesting new trends to me is adjacent “keeping rooms” or “cozy parlors.”

Happy Spring everyone!
Happy Spring everyone!

For those who are renting, but are looking to buy soon, consider improvements that can move with you to a new space.  AOL News suggests that light features, area rugs and outdoor enhancements, such as decorative mailboxes, can easily travel with you.

Finally, with the spring allergy season upon us, before rushing out to buy the latest air humidifier, consider a houseplant.  Yes, scientists have determined that plants have air-cleaning abilities as some species reduce dust particles and contaminants.  Breathe a bit easier while enjoying a plant’s aesthetic!

This weekend marks the Vernal equinox!  Happy Spring everyone!

Sherry Chris

President and CEO
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC

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