Atlanta: Porches With Style

July 7, 2014

in Lennar,Markets

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There are few elements of architecture as infused with Southern style as the porch. And not just a little covered entranceway: A true Southern porch has room for more than a few rockers, a table or two, potted plants and maybe a swing. It’s the ideal spot for catching a summer night’s breeze while waving to the neighbors going by. And it serves a practical purpose as well. Buyers and homeowners alike are drawn not just to front porches, but ones that are in the back of the house, screened-in, wrapping around or spanning two stories. With the South’s long stretches of mild weather, these outdoor areas easily become living spaces that are usable most of the year. Ginny Bryant, director of sales and marketing for Lennar Homes, says the company’s new-home buyers in farther-out regions of Cherokee, west Cobb and Forsyth are crazy for porches. “I think a lot of it has to do with the larger home sites,” said Bryant. “For instance, the west Cobb market is a bit more rural with larger sites than east Cobb, and buyers there prefer a nice front porch that is truly functional, not just a few feet of covered space to give an architectural look.” [Read this article]

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10 Best Places For Families To Live

June 30, 2014

in Markets

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To help families find affordable homes in great school districts, ZipRealty has released its second annual ranking of the Best Places for Families to Live. The rankings take into account the availability of highly ranked schools, based on ZipRealty’s School Score, and the affordability of local real estate, which factors the median price per square foot within the school district. School Score ratings measure the performance of each school district, including elementary, middle and high schools on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. Also considered are areas where 10 home sales closed within the school district during 2013. The list of the Top 10 Best Places for Families to Live is topped by Minneapolis, and also includes Charlotte, Dallas, Portland, Austin, Seattle and Orange County, California. [Read this article]

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A City’s ‘Walkability’ Drives Real Estate Values

June 21, 2014

in Markets,News

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Car shares, bike shares, improved rapid transit and teleworking. All are the product of a new generation that is more environmentally conscious than any before it and more willing to use its own energy to get around town, rather than tapping expensive energy sources. Millennials prefer urban cores, even ones outside of major metropolitan areas, because they want to be able to walk or bike to work and stores. In turn, areas that offer so-called walkability should see more home buyers and renters than those that don’t. “Cities that want to thrive in our new economic and demographic realities will need to find ways to create and support more of these dynamic, productive walkable districts that are in high demand,” said Geoff Anderson, CEO of Smart Growth America, which, in conjunction with George Washington University School of Business, released a new report ranking the walkability of the nation’s 30 largest metropolitan areas. There is, in fact, already a distinct correlation between walkability and real estate values, both commercial and residential. [Read this article]

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Top 10 U.S. Cities For New Grads

May 28, 2014

in Markets

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A fresh group of college graduates eagerly seek to begin a new phase in life – trading student status for professional titles. Setting their sights on jobs across the country, recent grads must weigh whether to stay in their current college town versus moving to a new city to begin planting roots. In a still-recovering economy, where the job market remains uncertain and the repayment of student loans is a daunting reality for many recent grads, the ideal place for many may be wherever that first job is landed. Nonetheless, some cities are more promising than others, providing college grads exceptional opportunities for growing careers and affordable housing. Homes.com teamed up with sister site, ForRentUniversity.com, to make a list of the 10 most favorable cities for new college graduates. Cities at the top of the list include Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Raleigh, Denver and Seattle. [Read this article]

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California Booms With FivePoint New Schools

May 17, 2014

in Lennar,Markets

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FivePoint Communities Management Inc. is already constructing a school at its Great Park Neighborhoods project in Irvine, California, for 1,000 elementary and middle school students even as it’s still building the first 700 homes. “We build the schools ahead of time,” said Emile Haddad, chief executive officer of Aliso Viejo, California-based FivePoint, which has permits for about 10,000 homes at Great Park. “That way we always have them ready.” Local schools, along with parks and recreation facilities, have long been draws for buyers in new communities. Now, as school districts face tight construction budgets and homebuilders compete to attract families able to qualify for mortgages, developers are taking the lead on school construction instead of waiting for local governments to do the job. For many parents, the premium for a house near high-quality public schools seems reasonable compared with the cost of a private education, said FivePoint’s Haddad. “If you ask people today why they’re buying a home in Irvine, the No. 1 answer is the school district,” said Haddad. [Read this article]

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Thinking About Housing In The Northwest

May 17, 2014

in Markets

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With one of the most successful economies in the nation, the real estate news in the Pacific Northwest is positive and gives hope for a housing sector recovery, albeit at different rates in different markets. From the third quarter in 2012 to the third quarter in 2013, the median home price in the Seattle-Bellevue and Everett area increased by 13.7%. The forecast for changes from the third quarter in 2013 to the third quarter in 2014 is another 5.2%. Tacoma’s (Pierce County) housing prices did not grow as quickly, with an increase of 9.3% from 2012 to 2013, but it is expected to witness a sharper increase in 2014, with a healthy 8.6% change from the third quarter of 2013 to 2014. Without a major change in its employment structure that might lead to higher incomes for current and future residents of Tacoma, the differential in home prices could make Tacoma a residential destination for Seattle employees finding this city comparatively more affordable. [Read this article]

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Homes For Extended Families Are A New Trend In The Charlotte Area

May 11, 2014

in Lennar,Markets,News

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When Alenoosh Kohl travels to her mother’s home, she doesn’t have to get into her car and take the interstate. She’s just one door down the hall. Living in a home designed specifically for multigenerational families, Kohl, 44, and her mother Anna, 67, each have private residences under one roof: separate living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and even laundry rooms. “We have the convenience of her being with us, because she wants to be part of our lives, and it makes me feel at ease that if she ever needs help we’re here to help her,” said Kohl, who lives on her side with sons Colin, 13, and Yuriy, 11. Called granny flats throughout much of Europe, where multigenerational living is already part of a large trend, the home-within-a-home concept is starting to become a popular housing design in the United States as well. Kohl chose a house design that would allow her mother the privacy of her own space. “We thought it was the perfect fit,” said Kohl, who moved into a Next Gen home by Lennar in the Lawson community of Waxhaw last August. “It makes her feel like she has her own home.” [Read this article]

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What Slowdown? Eight Housing Markets That Are Speeding Up

April 11, 2014

in Markets

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While the housing market has cooled in many major cities since last year, other cities have only gotten hotter. In certain areas of Texas, North Carolina, Colorado and the Pacific Northwest, homes are selling like hotcakes thanks to strong job and population growth, worsening inventory shortages and, as Redfin’s CEO pointed out in December, relative affordability. Austin, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Portland, Raleigh, San Antonio and Seattle are among Redfin’s fastest markets. In February, a total of 37.9 percent of homes went off the market in less than two weeks in these eight markets, compared with 30.7 percent last year, and 22.5 percent across 27 markets. Speed isn’t the only thing that’s impressive. While the overall housing market has seen home sales drop since last year, sales in these eight markets are surprisingly steady given the limited number of homes available for sale. [Read this article]

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U-Haul Names Houston As The Number One Top 2013 U.S. Destination City

April 11, 2014

in Markets

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The U-Haul 2013 Top 50 U.S. Destination Cities Report is in. According to U-Haul moving data reflective of nationwide statistics for calendar year 2013, families moving to Houston took the No. 1 spot again, for the fifth year in a row. For the fourth year in a row, Orlando, Fla., took the No. 2 spot. Las Vegas and Chicago ranked No. 3 and 4 respectively, while San Antonio held at No. 5 for the third year in a row. The ranking reflects destinations for movers renting a truck one way and considers every city in the country, regardless of size. Other cities in the top 20 include Austin, San Diego, Dallas, Sacramento, Charlotte, Phoenix, Tampa, Jacksonville and Tucson. [Read this article]

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Top 10 Markets For First-Time Home Buyers In 2014

March 29, 2014

in Markets,News

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The study examined five key factors that make particular markets ideal for first-time buyers: market popularity, prices, inventory, time on market and unemployment rates. Florida had the most market of any state, with the metropolitan areas of Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater, Orlando and Jacksonville all making the list. “As we head into home-buying season, these markets show favorable conditions for first-time buyers, which is encouraging because these buyers are crucial to the housing market,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move Inc. “First-time buyers have a widespread impact on the local housing markets. In transitioning from renters to owners, new buyers pay property taxes and other fees and taxes associated with homeownership that benefit local schools and services.” Other markets on the list include Fort Worth, Dallas, Raleigh-Durham and Phoenix. [Read this article]

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