Washington utility wants to return the 150-acre man-made tract back to the public and is giving leaseholders of its condos and trailers until June 2012 to give up their slice of riverfront paradise.
It's one thing to allow residents to live in a pre-existing structure in a national park, such as the former hospital in San Francisco's Presidio being turned into luxury apartments.
But just two states away in Washington, a battle is brewing over a man-made public island that has been turned into what opponents say is more of a private resort including, a 110-unit condo building and 305 trailer homes, according to The Seattle Times.
The original intent of the 50-year lease seems to have been forgotten over the years, but all the while, nearby residents' anger at losing their little spot of paradise only seemed to fester.
So now they're getting back their priceless views of the surrounding cliffsides and riverfront access to the massive Columbia River, while the 415 families that both live and vacation on the island for leases as low as $33 a year could lose their private slice of the island.
The mayor's effort to 'right-size' the city could result in 10,000 fewer abandoned homes in the next few years -- and a lot more empty lots.
This week, Detroit kicked off a new initiative to destroy 450 of its most dangerous vacant properties in 45 days, with plans to demolish at least 3,000 abandoned homes this year.
But with an estimated 33,000 vacant homes, the initiative that could change the face of the 140-square-mile city is still in its infancy. Mayor Dave Bing has pledged to demolish 10,000 blighted buildings in his first term.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Bing describes the initiative as an effort to "right-size" the city, which has seen its population plummet from 2 million to an estimated 800,000:
Minnesota Democrat's amendment aims to help struggling borrowers maneuver through the loan modification process.
At least one politician is looking out for those borrowers who are stuck in loan-mod limbo.
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has introduced an amendment to a financial reform bill that would aid homeowners who need a little help with their mortgage servicers, by creating an Office of the Homeowner Advocate.
The office would be responsible for investigating the complaints of homeowners who believe their mortgage servicers are breaking the law.
The measure already has support from the Obama administration as well as from lawmakers across party lines.
But the number of foreclosure filings falls as fewer homeowners default on their mortgages.
April was a month of foreclosure records, both good and bad.
For the first time more than four years, the number of households that received a foreclosure filing in April actually decreased year-over-year. Compared with April 2009, foreclosure activity fell 2%, according to RealtyTrac, and the number of filings declined 9% from March.
In addition, the number of households that received a default notice took a nose dive in April. But the good news stops there.
Despite both the monthly and annual decreases in foreclosure activity, banks took back a record number of homes from struggling homeowners in April, many of whom have exhausted their efforts for loan modifications or other means to keep their homes.
A former hospital in San Francisco's Presidio will reopen to renters this summer.
Most people can stand to camp for only so long in a national park, but you might not be so inclined to leave if you could be surrounded by lush park life while staying at luxury apartments.
The Presidio in San Francisco will make that dream a reality this summer when it opens the 154-unit Presidio Landmark luxury apartments, in the 1,500-acre national park that once was a military base, according to The New York Times.
The 78-year-old building, the former Public Health Service Hospital, has been vacant for 30 years and largely has been considered an eyesore that attracted trespassers since then.
But now the six-story building is needed to help the Presidio Trust reach its goal of becoming self-sufficient by 2012, when financing to maintain and preserve the park's 800 buildings runs out. More than half of those buildings have the added cost of being historic structures.
Two families facing foreclosure get much more than the financial adviser they were told would help them as guests on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.'
When all else fails, it's time to turn to Oprah.
Two families who were guests on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" this week thought they were getting help from a financial adviser after falling behind on their home mortgages. But instead, they got the gift of a lifetime.
After telling their tear-filled stories to the audience, Winfrey announced that she had a surprise for them in the form of Grammy Award-winning rapper and producer will.i.am. From the show:
"will.i.am is paying off both of your mortgages!" Oprah says. "You will own your homes free and clear."
The 11-bedroom home has been on the market only three times in 70 years.
The 11-bedroom mansion in Brooklyn where author Truman Capote wrote "In Cold Blood" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is up for grabs for only the third time in 70 years, at a record-setting $18 million.
The highest recorded price ever paid for a home in the New York borough was $12 million, naturally sold during the height of the housing boom, according to the New York Daily News.
But this unique opportunity to purchase a five-story, Greek-revival town house just minutes from Manhattan could just beat that price, according to the Daily News:
But the national median price still is down 0.7% in the first quarter.
The national median price for single-family homes might have taken a minor hit in the past year, but on an individual basis, more metropolitan areas saw price increases in the first quarter of 2010 compared with the year-ago quarter.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 91 out of the 152 metropolitan statistical areas included in its quarterly survey saw prices increase in the past year, 29 of them with double-digit increases. Comparatively, in the fourth quarter, 67 metropolitan areas reported gains and 123 were down, while only 30 cities in third quarter of 2009 showed annual price increases.
However, in 58 of the cities, home prices declined from the first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010, while the national median price fell 0.7% to $166,100 from the first-quarter 2009 price of $167,300.
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.