Parents create secret passageways, a karaoke lounge, 'offices' for homework and other custom spaces to make their homes into the ideal hangout place.
When I was a kid, my idea of a luxury bedroom was one that I did not have to share with my sisters, though I did do a little experimentation with changing the furniture placement and bedspreads. When I was a teenager, I even got my family's original black-and-white TV working again and dragged it into my room.
No one in my circle even dreamed of having his or her own DJ station, though some families did have "rumpus rooms" in the basement that were essentially hangouts for children and teens.
Even today, the $750,000 teen suite chronicled in a recent Wall Street Journal article is unusual. But, the WSJ says, more families are creating kid and teen hangouts to keep their progeny happy at home. Those custom kid spaces include everything from secret passageways to karaoke lounges to "offices" for doing homework.
Virginia couple discovered their townhouse was riddled with black mold, which probably had been growing for decades. Problems with contractors made the solution more expensive.
Living in Florida, I've seen a little mold in my time. But I am thankful never to have experienced the ordeal detailed by one Washington, D.C.-area couple that resulted in a $478,500 cleanup.
That hefty bill includes the cost of renting during the nearly five years their townhouse was undergoing renovation, according to The Wall Street Journal. But by the time the work was over, the couple had spent essentially what they spent to buy the home, which was $479,000.
Not all mold problems are as dire, and you can clean up small mold infestations yourself. But the story is a reminder of how important it is to make sure there are no water leaks in your home.
Boxy 1970s home was turned into a unique Modernist retreat in the 1990s by prominent architect Tom Kundig. Now it's for sale for $1.8 million.
Back in 1998, a couple of retired high-tech executives presented Seattle architect Tom Kundig with a challenge: Turn their boxy 1970s home into something beautiful.
The result was a Modernist home with an industrial vibe, open to the elements and the view of Lake Washington. It is known as the Leschi Residence for its neighborhood. That home is now for sale, at an asking price of $1.8 million.
A 1999 news story about the renovation described the home as having 1,800 square feet, but the listing says it has 3,190 square feet with three bedrooms and four baths, suggesting that there may have been an addition at some point.
Nearly half the experts polled by Zillow see the possibility of a new housing bubble. Individual predictions for the next three years range from a 43.3% increase to a 5.1% decrease.
A panel of experts polled by the real-estate portal Zillow expects home prices to rise 5.4% this year, but their individual predictions are all over the map, with some fearing we are heading for another bubble.
The predictions of the 105 experts who participated in the Zillow Home Price Expectation Survey predicted an average 3.5% to 3.7% annual growth from 2015 through 2017, for a cumulative increase in home values of 22.3% by the end of 2017.
More are facing a 'severe housing burden' because of rising rents and falling incomes. Homeowners saw housing costs fall, but so did incomes.
More than 25% of working renters are spending half their income on housing, according to a new report.
This is the third year the numbers have increased, to a total of 26.4%. That's an increase of 3.6 percentage points from 2008 to 2011. About 20% of working homeowners spent more than half their income on housing in 2011, about the same amount as did in 2008. The rate of "severe housing burden" among both renting and homeowner households rose in 24 states and fell in only one during that three-year period.
The National Center for Housing Policy looked at how much people who are working at least 20 hours a week and who make no more than 120% of the median income for their area are paying for housing. The answer, in short, is a lot.
Analysts predict the percentage of Americans who own their home will continue to drop this year. The rate hit a peak of 69.2% in 2004.
The homeownership rate fell to its lowest level in 18 years in the first quarter of 2013, according to new census data.
Sixty-five percent of Americans owned their own home, down from 65.4% in the previous quarter and in the first quarter of 2012.
Homeownership reached a high of 69.2% in 2004 and has been falling since then.
A few lenders are offering loans to borrowers with damaged credit. But, unlike during the boom, they are asking for big down payments and lots of documentation.
We don't mean ghosts. But some may see the ghosts of the real-estate crash past in the reappearance of subprime loans.
According to the Los Angeles Times, more lenders are beginning to offer mortgages to customers with lower credit scores.
The country-music star was trying to sell his 78-acre equestrian property outside Nashville for 2 years when he died. The price has been cut from $15 million to $8 million.
Country-music star George Jones' life was celebrated Thursday with a public funeral at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn. Among those who spoke were former first lady Laura Bush, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and a "who's who" of country-music legends.
The singer, known for such ballads as "He Stopped Loving Her Today," "Color of the Blues" and "The One I Loved Back Then," was in the middle of a national farewell tour when he died last week at 81.
His Franklin, Tenn., country estate remains for sale, offered at $8 million.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.