An index measuring builder sentiment is at its highest point since October 2005, buoyed by wage gains.

By MSN Real Estate partner Wed 9:29 AM

© Associated PressBy Jeanna Smialek, Bloomberg


Confidence among U.S. home builders rose in September to a nine-year high, showing the industry is gaining ground and will be a source of momentum for the economy.


The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment measure climbed to 59 exceeding the highest estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists, from 55 in August, the Washington-based group reported on Wednesday. Readings above 50 mean more respondents said conditions were good.


The couple rented this Holmby Hills, California, mansion until moving to Paris. It's listed for $45 million after a price cut.

By MSN Real Estate partner Tue 11:14 AM

ZillowBy Emily Heffter, Zillow


Music super-couple Jay Z and Beyonce camped out this summer at this 16,000-square-foot rental, spending about a month in the luxurious spec house before moving on to Paris.


Variety first reported their stay in the Holmby Hills home, which has been on the market since April, originally offered for $48 million and now listed for $45 million.


Variety reported that the rent was somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000 for the month. That’s nothing for Jay and Bey, whose "On the Run" tour packed hundreds of stadiums across the country this summer. The tour was dogged by reports that their marriage was on the rocks.

Tags: celebrity

Christopher Plummer, known for his roles in "The Sound of Music" and other films, lived in the waterfront estate for about seven years.

By MSN Real Estate partner Tue 11:01 AM

ZillowBy Emily Heffter, Zillow


A Connecticut waterfront home that once belonged to actor Christopher Plummer is for sale, and you'd almost expect to see the von Trapp children marching around the property in their lederhosen.


Plummer has famously been critical of "The Sound of Music,' saying people are "unnaturally sentimental" about the film that made him a star.


Still, his former Connecticut home bears some resemblance to Capt. von Trapp's fictional waterfront residence in Austria. Plummer lived here from 1974 until 1981.

Tags: celebrity

A suburban lifestyle has some clear advantages -- often better schools and more space -- but it's not for everyone.

By MSN Real Estate partner Tue 10:39 AM

© Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury/Getty ImagesBy AJ Smith,


Figuring out where you should live can be difficult. If your options include a city, rural area or suburb, it's a good idea to weigh the advantages and disadvantages specific to your family and each living environment. Factors like real estate taxes, property size, property value, schools and space can help you compare the unique benefits of living in the suburbs over living downtown or in the country.


If you are having trouble deciding, check out some of the great aspects of living between an urban center and a rural area.


Find out how you can increase your home's energy efficiency and save up to 10 percent on your annual utility bills by updating just one thing: the insulation.

By MSN Real Estate partner Tue 9:43 AM

PM Images/Getty ImagesBy Jeffrey Anderson, Improvement Center


Utility costs can become a big chunk of your monthly budget -- especially if you happen to live where temperatures in the summer or winter get extreme. But something in the walls is already saving you money, and could be saving you even more. Adding insulation is one of the easiest ways to increase your home's energy efficiency. How much could it save you, you ask? The government's Energy Star website estimates that a typical family in an average-size home could save up to 10 percent on their annual energy costs by sealing off points of air intrusion and installing more insulation. It's just a matter of knowing what type of insulation to use and where it should go.


The actress is trying to sell the home for $4.25 million after a price drop.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 1:44 PM

ZillowBy Emily Heffter, Zillow


Environmentalist-actress Daryl Hannah is selling her sustainable Malibu compound, a hippie hideaway suited for relaxation after an anti-fracking rally.

The "Splash" and "Steel Magnolias" star has been in the news recently because of a reported romance with Neil Young. But that life change isn’t likely the reason she’s selling her Malibu property. She listed it in 2012 for $4.995 million.

Tags: celebrity

The house in northeast Ohio has been on the market for more than two years.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 12:12 PM

ZillowBy Christine DiGangi,


There's a lovely three-bedroom, three-bath home for sale in northeast Ohio listed at a reasonable $295,000 — for its size (2,170 square feet), it's slightly more expensive than the median $120-per-square foot home value in the U.S., at $136 per square foot. The ranch-style home has all sorts of charming touches: It's situated in the woods, has a pond on the property, features wood-burning fireplaces and the rear features large glass windows that let in plenty of natural light and overlook the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The house went on the market more than two years ago and hasn't yet sold.


For all its attractive character, this place has an unfortunate past: It was where notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer committed his first murder. He was living alone in his family’s home in 1978 when he lured his first victim, Steven Hicks, into the house, eventually killing him and dismembering the body in the crawl space.


Tenants should research their rights before signing a lease agreement.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 9:20 AM

 © Getty ImagesBy Geoff Williams, U.S. News & World Report


If you've ever considered becoming a landlord, you've probably wondered if you really want to deal with renters. Whoever rents your property could be a careless slob who sets fire to the home or falls behind on payments. It might be a nightmare experience.


Tenants worry, too. With 43 million Americans renting properties, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, some are finding that not every landlord is responsible and ethical.


So if you're living under the rule of a landlord who seems unhinged, here’s some advice from experts and renters on how to protect yourself.

Tags: rentals


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