If the warm summer air is inspiring outdoor renovations, consider a deck, patio or gazebo. Financial news website TheStreet.com claims these upgrades are worth the cost. For example, “a $16,000 composite deck that won’t warp or fade in the rain, snow and sun will recoup 66% of its cost in resale value.” Not bad!
According to 2010 Census figures released this week; more people are renting, rather than owning their homes than in previous years. CNN reports that last year, 66.4% of Americans owned a home, down from a peak of about 69% in 2004. The peak coincides with the housing bubble and the availability of easy mortgages.
Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index data this week showed that home prices fell in the first quarter. It sparked a new round of fears of a “double dip” and grabbed headlines. In a bit of good news, however, experts have said that housing declines are becoming more regional in scope. The AOL Real Estate blog responded to the Case-Shiller numbers by arguing that the recovery is being held back by “unnecessarily” tight credit standards.
From tornadoes to floods to wild fires, many parts of the country have been dealing with very challenging weather these past few months. Homeowners in these hard-hit areas have lost many of their belongings, if not their entire homes. In order to file better insurance claims — accounting for both big and small ticket items — homeowners should consider uploading pictures of rooms and tagging the items with dollar values on sites such as DocuHome.com and knowyourstuff.org. Should we put a link to donations for hard hit areas?
Are we on our way to an LED future? Sales of these super-efficient light bulbs are up around 500%, and with retail prices expected to go down dramatically in the coming years, more consumers will soon be saving on their energy bills. How is that for a bright idea?
This weekend, NAR is hosting its national Open House June 4-5. Here’s hoping for high foot traffic and good weather!
In closing, if this week’s successful completion of the space shuttle Endeavor mission and NASA’s approaching final launch ever for its space shuttle program has you space crazy, you may enjoy looking at these “space-age homes.”