Back in 1960, this New Jersey house was considered one of the top homes in America. It cost about $30,000 and today is listed for $1.25 million.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Mar 30, 2012 11:04AM

Courtesy Realtor.comBack in 1960, this unusual house was deemed "one of the top homes in America" by Architectural Record. You certainly wouldn't find another one like it.


Built by Princeton, N.J., architect Jules Gregory for himself, the four-bedroom, two-bath house sits on 10 acres in Lambertville, N.J., about half an hour from Princeton. Its distinguishing feature is the unusual undulating roof, which is described as "double conoid."


The home has been on the market at least part of the time since October 2010, when it was listed for $1.299 million and The New York Times wrote a short article. Asking price now is $1.25 million.


The Getty Conservation Institute has embarked upon a project to help preserve the iconic Eames House near Los Angeles. The lessons learned will be used to save other buildings of the same era.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Mar 29, 2012 12:12PM

© Time & Life Pictures/Getty ImagesTime is seldom kind of any of us. And that goes double for buildings.


The Getty Conservation Institute has launched an initiative to preserve modern architecture, and the first project is the Ray and Charles Eames House in Pacific Palisades, Calif., near Los Angeles. The challenge is to find a way to preserve modernist buildings, many created with experimental materials.


The Eames house, also known as Case Study House No. 8, was built in 1949 by Ray and Charles Eames, industrial designers famous for their chairs. They constructed the home in 1949, using lots of glass and prefabricated-steel parts made for industrial construction.


The two largest groups of Americans, Gen Y and the baby boomers, both favor urban living. That, plus new economic realities, will change the future of real estate, a report says.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Mar 28, 2012 1:05PM

People walking down a city street in Florida (© Ilene MacDonald/Alamy)A conference last week in Dallas provided yet another piece of evidence that the real-estate market of the future is not going to be like the market of the past.


Putting another nail in the coffin of far-flung suburbs, the Urban Land Institute, drawing from a recent report, provided yet more evidence that future homebuyers will want something different.


The new homebuyer wants a smaller home in an urban area, as well as a shorter commute to work and smaller payments.


Faced with the prospect of vacant, abandoned houses bringing down their property values, neighbors are buying and fixing the homes themselves.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Mar 28, 2012 10:05AM

© David Keith Jones / AlamyIn South Bend, Ind., neighbors are taking the foreclosure crisis into their own hands.


Faced with the prospect of vacant and abandoned homes ruining their neighborhoods, they have embarked upon their own personal urban renewal projects: buying vacant homes and fixing them up themselves.


This is easier to do in South Bend than it would be in some other cities because the vacant properties are being sold for such low prices, as little as $750.


Pilot foreclosure-alternative program offers some homeowners a chance to rent for three years in exchange for signing over their homes. Is it a good deal? It depends.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Mar 27, 2012 12:00PM

Rental agreement and keys (© fStop/SuperStock)Underwater homeowners who are struggling to make hefty mortgage payments often think longingly of leaving the home and renting the place across the street for a lot less money. Some have probably done that.


Now Bank of America is trying a pilot program in which it will let homeowners facing foreclosure give their homes to the bank and then rent for up to three years at a lower monthly cost.


The bank has offered its new "Mortgage to Lease" program to about 1,000 borrowers in Nevada, Arizona and New York. If the program is successful, it may be rolled out in other areas.


The new Case-Shiller report finds that prices are still falling, but not quite as fast. But eight of 19 cities hit new lows in January, and prices nationwide are at 2003 levels.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Mar 27, 2012 10:20AM

House made of wooden bricks on computerized graph(© Gregor Schuster/Corbis)We have good news and bad news in the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Housing Market Index: Prices are still falling, but they're not falling quite as fast.


That may mean the market is approaching bottom.


The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for January found that prices dropped in 16 of 19 cities from December, with Miami, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., the notable exceptions (there were no data for Charlotte, N.C., this month). Year over year, prices dropped in all the cities except Detroit, Phoenix and Denver.


A New Hampshire woman has racked up $13,800 in penalties for refusing to remove her daisies and irises. The board argues that all the grounds are common areas.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Mar 26, 2012 12:12PM

A New Hampshire homeowner is facing a penalty of more than $13,800 because her condo association doesn't like her flowers.


Kimberly Bois planted a garden at her Portsmouth, N.H., condominium in 2008 with the permission of the developer. Her blooms include daisies, bearded irises, lavender, hydrangeas and tulips, some of which came from heirloom plants in her late mother's garden.


Last fall, her condo association demanded that she remove the flowers and now is asking her to pay for contractors approved by the association to rip them out. She has received 13 registered letters demanding that she cease and desist in growing her garden. A fine of $25 a day grew to $50 a day. So far, the association says she owes $5,800 in fines and $8,000 in attorney fees and has placed a lien on her unit.


Pending sales fell slightly in February, though they are up from last year. Analysts disagree over what that means for the spring selling season.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Mar 26, 2012 11:04AM

Woman in front of sale sign with fingers crossed (© SuperStock)The number of contracts to buy homes signed in February was 0.5 points lower than in the previous month but 9.2% above the level of a year ago.


The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index stood at 96.5 in February, down from 97 in January but up from 88.4 in February 2011. Analysts disagreed over what the number means for the spring selling season.


Usually, the number of contracts is an indication of the number of sales we'll see a few months down the road, but the last year has seen a large number of contract cancellations.



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