tagged w/ Housing
Dai Haifei, 24, a newly graduated architect, decided to make his own egg-style home after being unable to afford Beijing’s sky-high rental prices. The two-meter high house with two wheels underneath is made from sack bags on the outside wall, bamboo splints on the inside and wood chippings and grass seeds in between. “The seeds will grow in the natural environment and it’s cold-proof," Dai explained.
http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/bizzareweird/15652-young-beijing-architect-lives-in-mobile-egg-house-on-sidewalk-Dai Haifei, 24, a newly graduated architect, decided to make his own egg-style home... more
No one is paying attention to the perfect storm brewing that will push the housing market down further in 2011.No one is paying attention to the perfect storm brewing that will push the housing... more
Whether a first time home buyer or investor with decades of experience, everyone likes to look before they leap. But with realtors interested in dealing exclusively with those actively buying or selling, it can be hard to pin one down. No problem if you have an internet connection and a few minutes.Whether a first time home buyer or investor with decades of experience, everyone likes... more
Quanititative easy is nothing but the prinitng of funny money, the only option that the Federal Reserve has to prop up the US economy. The influx of printed money deminishes the overal value of the dollar, causing the prices of goods and services to rise.
Notice that neither the Democrats nor the Republics have a say on what the Federal Reserve does printing an additional $600 billion in future debt payments.Quanititative easy is nothing but the prinitng of funny money, the only option that... more
IN Congressional hearings last week, Obama administration officials acknowledged that uncertainty over foreclosures could delay the recovery of the housing market. The implications for the economy are serious. For instance, the International Monetary Fund found that the persistently high unemployment in the United States is largely the result of foreclosures and underwater mortgages, rather than widely cited causes like mismatches between job requirements and worker skills.IN Congressional hearings last week, Obama administration officials acknowledged that... more
— The house that set off the national furor over faulty foreclosures is blue-gray and weathered. The porch is piled with furniture and knickknacks awaiting the next yard sale. In the driveway is a busted pickup truck. No one who lives there is going anywhere anytime soon.
Nicolle Bradbury bought this house seven years ago for $75,000, a major step up from the trailer she had been living in with her family. But she lost her job and the $474 monthly mortgage payment became difficult, then impossible.
It should have been a routine foreclosure, with Mrs. Bradbury joining the anonymous millions quietly dispossessed since the recession began. But she was savvy enough to contact a nonprofit group, Pine Tree Legal Assistance, where for once in her 38 years, she caught a break.
Her file was pulled, more or less at random, by Thomas A. Cox, a retired lawyer who volunteers at Pine Tree. He happened to know something about foreclosures because when he worked for a bank he did them all the time. Twenty years later, he had switched sides and, he says, was trying to make amends.
Suddenly, there is a frenzy over foreclosures. Every attorney general in the country is participating in an investigation into the flawed paperwork and questionable methods behind many of them. A Senate hearing is scheduled, and federal inquiries have begun. The housing market, which runs on foreclosure sales, is in turmoil. Bank stocks fell on Thursday as analysts tried to gauge the impact on lenders' bottom lines.
http://finance.yahoo.com/real-estate/article/111040/from-a-maine-house-a-national-foreclosure-freeze?mod=realestate-buy— The house that set off the national furor over faulty foreclosures is... more
For a while now, we've been covering attempts by some banker-types to get housing developers to add a resale fee(http://bit.ly/cKkiYj) to homes so that if and when you resell your house, you have to pay a percentage of the sale price back to the developer. Of course, the real plans is for the main company behind this plan, Freehold Capital Partners, to securitize and sell off these fees(http://bit.ly/9JbUHl), giving developers a chunk of money upfront. As with any such thing, what this really does is drive down the value of your home and make it more difficult to sell. And, these terms are often slipped in(http://bit.ly/bMwLDf) with little to no notice.
A bunch of states have banned these fees, but now a federal bill has been introduced(http://bit.ly/cPFet6) in the House to ban such things nationwide, as a predatory transfer fee. I'm not sure an overall ban makes sense, but at the very least, these sorts of deals (and their serious implications) should be made clear to home buyers well before they decide to purchase a house.http://stophomeresalefees.org/sites/default/files/wallstreetmainstreet.jpg For a... more
Man Cave is a place where men can be men and do manly things. You may think this is ridiculous but I assure you it is not, there are several reasons why this is a great idea and this article will attempt to address some of those.
Link : http://www.changeofaddress.org/blog/2010/40-resources-for-creating-your-man-cave/Man Cave is a place where men can be men and do manly things. You may think this is... more
Three major U.S. banks have suspend foreclosures in 23 states to "amend" filed paperwork. Ally bank, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase have halted foreclosure proceedings after admitting that there have been some processing problems. Among the problems is the use of “robo-signatures”--employees whose only task is to sign foreclosure documents without reviewing the paperwork.
Real estate expert Ilyce Glink was interviewed on Good Morning America to discuss whether or not the foreclosure freeze will help homeowners.
Watch the full story from GMA above, look for Ilyce around the 1:15 mark.
Ilyce is also updating her CBS Moneywatch blog with the latest info on the foreclosure freeze, here's the link: http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/blog/home-equity/will-chases-foreclosure-freeze-fix-the-housing-market/2853/?tag=col1;blog-riverThree major U.S. banks have suspend foreclosures in 23 states to "amend"... more
Time to retire Senator John McCain, this Cathy Eden http://www.eden4az.com/ knows her stuff, check out this video?
You can always follow Cathy Eden on http://twitter.com/EdenForAz
Or...see her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/EdenForAzTime to retire Senator John McCain, this Cathy Eden http://www.eden4az.com/ knows her... more
Columnist Don Cayo explains the reasons why to Editorial page editor Fazil Mihlar.
http://www.vancouversun.com/videos/index.html#/Vancouver%20Sun/house-prices-high-Metro-Vancouver?/p_QAzWRgGzfCgE9AB8Z8403P37n_6Sw4Columnist Don Cayo explains the reasons why to Editorial page editor Fazil Mihlar.... more
by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger
Over the past decade, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac transformed themselves into some of the worst-run companies in recent history. But contrary to current talking points, the firms’ failings had almost nothing to do with their programs for low-income borrowers. As policymakers debate what should be done with the mortgage giants, a battle is now beginning in which the very availability of affordable housing for the middle class may be at stake.
A history of affordable housing
As Tim Fernholz emphasizes for The American Prospect, before the U.S. government created Fannie Mae in 1938, mortgages were very pricey 5-year loans, so expensive that only very wealthy Americans could ever hope to own a home. Fannie Mae changed all that by rolling out the 30-year mortgage, which lowered monthly payments for borrowers by providing a government guarantee against losses for banks. It worked.
But as Fernholz notes, without some kind of government involvement in the housing market, home ownership will revert to its pre-Depression status a privilege reserved for elites. Policymakers will have to implement significant changes in the mortgage finance system to ensure stability in the U.S. housing market, but whatever changes may come, a robust role for the government in housing will be essential.
Fannie and Freddie have been justifiably but inaccurately maligned in the aftermath of the mortgage crisis. In recent years, their executives ran the firms like out-of-control hedge funds, lobbied Congress like arrogant Wall Street banks and did nothing beyond the bare minimum required by law to help low-income borrowers. But Fannie and Freddie did not go headlong into subprime mortgages—the primary source of their losses came from loans to relatively high-quality borrowers.
The terrible mortgages that crashed the economy were issued by banking conglomerates and Wall Street megabanks—Fannie and Freddie were almost entirely divorced from that line of business. The problem with Fannie and Freddie was largely structural– investors and managers saw the potential for big profits from taking on loads of risk, but believed (accurately) that the government would eat losses if those risks backfired. So Fannie and Freddie ramped up risk, taking on as many mortgages as they could while keeping as little money as possible on hand to cushion against losses. Eventually the strategy destroyed them.
Fixing the mortgage system
Exactly how the government stays involved in the mortgage market is still open to debate, as Annie Lowrey emphasizes for The Washington Independent. Nearly every member of the private sector who testified at a recent housing forum sponsored by the Treasury Department endorsed some kind of government backing for the housing market. This was a meeting of private-sector bigwigs—no community groups or affordable housing advocates were invited to speak at the meeting. Proposals ranged from scaling back government support for some types of mortgages, to the full nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Fannie was a nationalized entity for the first 30 years of its existence).
In other words, the government is going to have to keep subsidizing housing, but it will have to find new ways to do it. The old Fannie and Freddie model didn’t work, but the private sector will be unable to get the job done by itself. Private-sector banks and mortgage brokers, after all, were the source of all the predatory loans issued during the subprime crisis, and the source of all of the most offensive loans that drove the economy off a cliff.
Inefficient and often predatory players on Wall Street are still causing problems today. As Ellen Brown highlights for Yes! Magazine, the mortgage system is so bizarre that banks are finding themselves unable to document their right to foreclose on properties—and courts are (fortunately) refusing to let them do it.
It’s a rare situation in which borrowers may actually hold the higher legal ground against powerful corporations. About 62 mortgages are registered through an electronic documentation system called the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS), which helps banks with the foreclosure process. But MERS has repeatedly been unable to show proper documentation assigning a mortgage to a specific bank, and courts are now challenging its right to foreclose on behalf of big banks.
That’s good news, Brown notes, because MERS’ shoddy documentation has made it very difficult for borrowers to figure out who actually owns their loan. If you don’t know who owns your mortgage, it’s impossible to modify it if you find yourself unable to pay it off.
As Shamus Cooke argues for Truthout, even successful innovations like the 30-year mortgage are beginning to look a little outdated in an era of heavy, chronic unemployment. Many people can no longer expect to be gainfully employed for three decades on end. If the government refuses to repair our damaged jobs infrastructure, even simply maintaining the status quo in housing could become impossible.
Deficit reduction is not a cure-all
That brings us to another favorite conservative bogeyman, the federal budget deficit. The deficit and jobs generally stand in direct opposition. Creating jobs costs money, and spending that money expands the deficit. Cutting the deficit, by contrast, means cutting support for jobs.
As Steve Benen emphasizes for The Washington Monthly, conservative lawmakers are still harping on deficit reduction as a cure for everything that ills the nation, when the real solution to our problems is a serious jobs bill.
Even if the deficit were a huge problem, trying to cut important social services in the middle of a deep recession is not a good way to go about solving it. Drastic cuts to government spending in a recession result in lower tax returns for the government, which can often be self-defeating, especially in the face of expanding joblessness. The resulting push for deficit reduction—known in economic circles as an “austerity policy,” is better understood as the active pursuit of economic decline. As economist Robert Johnson notes in a New Deal 2.0 piece carried by AlterNet:
Deterioration of government services is bad enough, but imposing austerity due to lack of trust in a time of high unemployment and slack resources is tragic. It is a means to accelerate the decline of living standards of those who have taken a beating since 2007. Double dip or stagnation is too subtle a distinction. We are amidst an unfolding collective choice to pursue a downward spiral.
The government has taken several dramatic steps to repair the nation’s financial system, but it has done almost nothing to help troubled borrowers and not nearly enough to create jobs. Some of this is due to misguided policies enacted by President Barack Obama, and much of it is due to cynical obstructionism. But we cannot repair the economy without fixing jobs and housing. Both are still in a full-blown crisis, and policymakers should feel an urgent need to deal with them.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the economy by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Audit for a complete list of articles on economic issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Mulch, The Pulse and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger Over the past decade, Fannie Mae and... more
Squatters and their supporters are determined to stop the eviction of an occupied social centre in Hackney, East London. They have constructed barricades, and say that they will peacefully resist any attempt to remove them.
On the morning of the 17th August High Court bailiffs tried unsuccessfully to remove the squatters.
17-08-10, Hackney, London, UK.
© Fil Kaler 2010Squatters and their supporters are determined to stop the eviction of an occupied... more
Thirty thousand people turned out in East Point on Wednesday seeking applications for government-subsidized housing, and their confusion and frustration, combined with the summer heat, led to a chaotic mob scene that left 62 people injured.
At the Tri-Cities Plaza Shopping Center, emergency vehicles passed each other, transporting 20 people to hospitals. Medical and police command posts were se More..t up on scene. East Point police wore riot gear. Officers from four other agencies supported them. Yet no arrests were made.
All of this resulted from people attempting to obtain Section 8 housing applications and, against long odds, later securing vouchers for affordable residences. Some waited in line for two days for the applications.
Renee Gray, a single mother holding her one-year-old daughter, Marion, came looking for a housing break and nearly got trampled, forcing her to run from the crowd and into the street.
"It could have been better organized," said Gray, a customer service employee. "A lot of adults lost focus.”
Jacquelyn Cuffie, 50, of Duluth, used a walker to cross the parking lot and navigate the huge gathering, determined to improve her living situation. It didn't matter how hot or crowded it got.
“It’s difficult to pay [the rent] with a disability check,” Cuffie said.
Offering applications for the first time since 2002, East Point Housing Authority officials had triple the crowd they anticipated, and one that was three-fourths of the 40,000 population of the south Fulton city. Things got out of hand when people started cutting into lines and authorities attempted to move groups to different areas.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5d7_1281717735Thirty thousand people turned out in East Point on Wednesday seeking applications for... more
After a bit of soul searching and digging in my memory I came up with the following 50 signs that you are a bad neighbor.
Link : http://www.changeofaddress.org/blog/2010/50-signs-you-are-a-bad-neighbor/After a bit of soul searching and digging in my memory I came up with the following 50... more
Houses everywhere are going vacant. People don't say goodbye, they don't leave a number, they just disappear. With their disappearance we add another vacant house to the street. But families living in housing without utilities is a new sight for me to beholdHouses everywhere are going vacant. People don't say goodbye, they don't... more
Whether you're overseeing the construction of your new home or working on repairs around the house, watch these YouTube videos, which will help you work on your floors, walls, windows, and more.
Link : http://constructionmanagementdegree.org/blog/2010/100-best-home-improvement-videos-on-youtube/Whether you're overseeing the construction of your new home or working on... more