The new owner of a townhome in a landmark district must remove an addition that was installed before he bought the building.
Recent homebuyer Arthur Minerof probably thought he was getting a great deal when the sellers of a New York townhome accepted his offer of $10.6 million, nearly half the $20 million they originally were asking for.
But that bit of euphoria probably didn't last long.
The Wall Street Journal writes that the city's Landmark Preservation Commission has since decided that Minerof must remove the entire top floor of his 19th-century Manhattan townhome, which is in a district that received landmark status in 1990.
The number of people who signed the dotted line in March also is up 21.2% from year-ago levels.
Even though homebuyers had to sign a contract for a new home by last Friday to qualify for the $8,000 tax credit, the results of the incentive will be trickling in for months to come as we wait for deals to close and price indexes to come through.
But if you just can't wait, you can at least catch a glimpse of likely future home sales through the National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index, which tracks the number of homebuyers signing contracts for a home.
So far, it looks like sales will continue their spring surge, with the index showing an increase of 5.3% from February to March, as well as a 21.2% increase over March 2009.
It's still a buyers market, which means sellers have their work cut out for them.
So for all of you sellers out there who haven't yet nabbed a buyer in the spring sales rush, it's still too early to believe that your chance has passed. But you'd better not be slacking off, either.
We've written plenty about the importance of staging your property, especially the outdoors and other areas of the home that need to make a good first impression, such as the front entry or even the front door.
But if you're looking for staging ideas to make your home's interior decor really stand out, House Beautiful's 20 Decorating Secrets has some tips you might not have thought of.
A new townhome development that was touted as 'warm' and family-friendly proved otherwise after many of the properties were sold to flippers, one Florida couple alleges.
Like many Americans who bought a new home during the boom years, Jonathon and Brandy Miller got a lot less than they'd bargained for when, in 2006, they finally moved into the Firenze development in Boynton Beach, Fla.
Instead of the "warm," family-friendly townhome community they said sales agents promised them when they bought preconstruction in 2004, flippers turned it into a neighborhood full of "irreverent transients," loud parties and free-roaming dogs, according to The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post.
Now the Millers want out, and they're asking for their money back in a lawsuit against builder K. Hovnanian, which acquired Firenze's original developer, Town & Country Homes, in 2005.
New research also finds that fewer homeowners fear banks will come after them for the difference.
Looks like the government's efforts to help homeowners who owe more on their homes than they're worth are coming too late for the growing number of borrowers choosing to walk away from their homes.
According to new research from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University for its Financial Trust Index, the number of foreclosures that were the result of homeowners with the ability to pay simply walking away -- officially known as strategic defaults -- reached 33% in March, up from 22% in March 2009.
And not only is that number rising, but fewer homeowners now believe a bank would go after them because of a strategic default: 54% in March compared with 56% in December.
If you can convince the nation that you're the Roomate of the Year, you'll win free rent for 2011 and $10,000 in cash.
Most of us have had roommates we've loved, as well as roommates we were more than happy to part with at the end of the rental contract.
But have you ever thought about how you compare as a roommate? Think you're the best there is?
Apartments.com wants to hear from you for its Roommate of the Year contest, and it'll be worth the effort to enter if you win the grand prize of a year's free rent and $10,000 in cash. And the four runners-up won't do so shabbily either, with $500 each.
An architect in Hong Kong is living like a king in his tiny apartment.
We all could take a lesson in organizing from Hong Kong architect Gary Chang, who's living large after creating 24 rooms in his 344-square-foot apartment.
Using a series of movable walls and clever space savers such as fold-up beds -- not to mention brilliant organizing that Martha Stewart would envy -- Chang has created a series of rooms to suit whatever needs he has at the time.
When he was growing up, Chang lived with his parents, three sisters and a tenant in the typical Hong Kong apartment's three tiny bedrooms, living room, kitchen and dining room. You'd think he'd have been happy enough just to be alone in the place after buying it from his parents 20 years ago.
But his experience growing up in the apartment is what inspired him to make better use of the space. Well, that and his laziness.
14 of the 20 cities with the highest rates of foreclosure activity are seeing fewer homes lost, although the situation continues to worsen in the nation as a whole in the first quarter.
Even as foreclosures rose to new highs across America in the first quarter, some of the cities that have seen the highest rates of defaults, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions in the housing bust also started to see decreases in activity, according to RealtyTrac.
But those same cities also still are making up the bulk of the nation's foreclosures, so it hardly means homeowners there can breathe a sigh of relief.
Once again, of the 20 cities with the highest rates of foreclosures in the first quarter, 10 were in California, seven in Florida, two in Nevada and one in Arizona. However, compared with the first quarter in 2009, 14 of those 20 worst-hit cities also saw decreases in the past year.
Meanwhile, the nationwide rate of foreclosures jumped 16% in the past year. Why the huge disparity?
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.