The famed Modernist architect would have been 100 this month. This small, open home is among many of his creations that have appeared in films.
To kick off our new "Listing of the Week" feature, we are spotlighting a home designed by famed Los Angeles architect John Lautner, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday on July 16.
In honor of the centennial, the John Lautner Foundation is organizing activities through November.
Lautner designed many spectacular homes and a few commercial buildings. We chose to feature one of his more modest creations, the Schaffer Residence in Glendale, Calif. If I were looking for a home in Los Angeles, I'd certainly consider this one — if $1.49 million weren't so far out of my price range.
The home has two bedrooms and 1.5 baths in 1,698 square feet. It was built in 1949 but has been updated, according to the listing, where you can also see more photos.
The state is hoping to lure new residents to less-populated areas with student-loan aid and income-tax forgiveness.
If you ever get tired of traffic, crowds and the other stresses of urban life, you may dream of moving somewhere for a smaller, simpler, quieter life.
Kansas has a deal for you.
In an attempt to draw new residents to rural counties with shrinking populations, Kansas has put together an incentive package for people who agree to move to designated "rural opportunity zones" from another state.
The deals include a five-year vacation from state income taxes and a chance to get up to $15,000 in student loans paid off, if you stay five years. The average Kansas pays $1,800 a year in state income tax.
"This is a risk-free opportunity for us to draw attention to parts of our state that are losing population and offer another incentive to get people to move to Kansas," said Sherriene Jones-Sontag, spokeswoman for Gov. Sam Brownback, in the Kansas City Star.
But is it enough to draw any new residents?
You can build your own 'Home Alone' house or buy a replica of the house from 'Up,' which will not float away.
From time to time, we may see a house in the movies or on TV that speaks to us, a house or apartment in which we'd really like to live.
The real house in Winnetka, Ill., where "Home Alone" was filmed is for sale, its price trimmed from $2.4 million to $2.175 million. But if you can't move to the Chicago area, you can still have that house, with a floor plan revamped for modern living. Brandon Smith of Southgate Residential drew up and is selling the plans for a 4,000-square-foot house he calls the McAllister, the name of the family in the movie.
If you want the house from "Up," you'll have to move to Herriman, Utah, where builder Bangerter Homes painstakingly created the house by watching the animated film. The four-bedroom house, which is listed for $399,000, will be part of the Salt Lake City Parade of Homes, which begins on July 29.
In Spain, protesters surround the homes of people facing foreclosure evictions, in hopes of buying them more time. Spaniards who lose their homes still have to pay the debt.
Spaniards facing foreclosure have come up with a novel remedy: flash mobs.
Using cellphones, Twitter, Facebook and other social media, crowds gather around a property the bank is trying to repossess, keeping the eviction from going forward. According to media reports, the mobs have stopped 50 to 60 evictions since 2009.
"This was something very concrete that I could do," 28-year-old Eloi Morte, a flight attendant who has been active in the protests in Madrid, told The New York Times. "I wanted to see results, not just vague protests against the financial establishment, the banks. I wanted to do something constructive."
While the mobs are unlikely to be able to keep homeowners in their homes indefinitely, they do usually buy them an extra month, which is sometimes enough to negotiate a deal with the banks. In many foreclosure cases, banks agree to rent the homes they take back to the former owners.
The foreclosure crisis in Spain follows a housing boom and bust similar to that in the United States. Problems with the equivalent of subprime mortgages have been exacerbated by high unemployment, more than 20%.
Cancellation of contracts in June brings down numbers, as the bump along the bottom continues. At least we hope it's the bottom.
Remember how we told you not to get too excited about Tuesday's increase in housing starts?
Today's numbers from the National Association of Realtors bring another blip down in this year's bumping along the bottom (we hope) housing statistics. Sales of existing homes declined 0.8% in June, to the lowest level in seven months. Sales were 8.8% below June 2010, when a tax credit was still in effect.
If the current pace of home sales continues for the rest of the year, 2011 may edge out 2010 for the fewest sales of existing homes in 14 years.
The decrease in home sales came as a surprise and was at least partly because would-be buyers who had contracts to buy houses changed their minds.
The NAR monthly report found that the percentage of first-time homebuyers declined, from 36% in May and 43% in June 2010, to 31% in June 2011. The percentage of repeat homebuyers rose to 50% from 45% in May, which the NAR classified as a "normal seasonal gain." The percentage of investors stayed the same as in May, 19%, up from 13% in June 2010.
Celebrity chef Tyler Florence goes all out to design the House Beautiful showcase, but reminds us that you don't need a fancy kitchen to be a good cook.
What kind of kitchen would you design if price were no object?
Food Network chef Tyler Florence put together a 2,600-square-foot kitchen, indoor and outdoor, in his role as designer of House Beautiful's Kitchen of the Year. But, he says, the kitchen doesn't make the cook.
In an interview with The New York Times, Florence points that that you can cook great meals in a kitchen of any size. Size doesn't matter, he says, but organization does.
"Fifty thousand dollars’ worth of cabinets isn’t going to make you a better cook; cooking is going to make you a better cook," Florence told The Times. "At the end of the day, you can slice a mushroom in about three inches of space, and you can carve a chicken in a foot and a half. So it doesn’t matter how big the kitchen is. What matters is how well you organize three spaces that form a triangle."
That triangle, in case you have forgotten your kitchen-design basics, includes the stove, the refrigerator and the sink/prep space.
Kitchen remodels are one of the improvements most often done to a house. But watching home décor shows may make you think every house needs a kitchen the size of Texas, stocked with custom-made cabinets, oversize professional stainless-steel appliances and granite or marble countertops — even if the occupants don't cook.
New construction starts increased 14.6% in June, but the market is far from healthy, and the ingredients for sustained recovery aren't there.
Housing starts increased significantly in June, but analysts caution that it would be a mistake to take that as a sign that the recovery is well under way.
Construction of new homes is at its lowest level in decades. The demand for new homes has been hurt by the large number of distressed homes flooding the market. The price of a new home is more than 30% higher than the price of a used home, about twice the spread you'd see in a normal market. Plus, economic uncertainty and tight credit are keeping many would-be buyers out of the market.
The number of new houses started in June rose to the equivalent of an annual rate of 629,000, the Commerce Department reported. That's still only half the number built during a healthy market but 14.6% above the May rate and 16.7% above the number started in June 2010.
While the number was higher than expected, few analysts saw the increase as more than a seasonal blip.
"It's stronger than expected in starts and housing. But nevertheless, despite this outsized monthly gain, it really does not suggest a return to strong housing market," Lindsey Piegza, an economist with FTN Financial, told Reuters. "We are still very much bouncing along the bottom. We have seen this volatility here and there."
Reuters has analysis from a number of economists.
The neighbors are outraged, but the Texas resident says his takeover is legal and will eventually give him title to the suburban Dallas home.
We all dream of scoring a great deal on a house.
But a $330,000 house for $16?
Kenneth Robinson of the Dallas suburb of Flower Mound, Texas, says he sealed just such a deal, taking over a vacant house by simply moving in and paying $16 to file documents with the court claiming ownership.
"This is not a normal process, but it is not a process that is not known," he told WFAA-TV in Dallas. "It's just not known to everybody."
Robinson said he invested months in research to find the house. The property had been in foreclosure for more than a year, and the owner walked away. In the meantime, the lender that held the mortgage went out of business.
Robinson says he can take legal title to the house after he lives there for three years through a provision in the law called "adverse possession." Exactly how that works varies state to state.