Barbados real estate | Bedford Hills Real Estate


Though perhaps best known for luxury resorts and beachfront villas, the Caribbean island of Barbados also has a historic side to its property market.

Across the island’s palm-covered interior are the remains of former plantation estates, relics of the Caribbean’s once-thriving tobacco and sugar industries.

Such properties sell from $500,000, or one million Bajan dollars, to over $10 million, depending on size and condition. (Real estate prices in Barbados are typically listed in United States dollars.) They date from the 17th and 18th centuries and would once have included up to 80 hectares, or 200 acres, of land.

Over time, many estate houses were abandoned because of the cost and effort of maintaining them, and land was sold for agriculture and development. Now, plots average between one and 16 hectares.

Holders House is a high-profile hub for many upscale social events in Barbados.

Traditional external features include wraparound porches and portico entrances with stone stairways and upper-floor verandas giving views across the estate.

Inside, ground-floor rooms are generally arranged on either side of a central hall from which a main staircase ascends to a galleried top-floor landing leading to the bedrooms.

The majority of plantations had sugar mills, often close to the great house and built from stone with canvas sails. Many estates retain the original towers, also called mill walls, which are sometimes converted for further accommodation.

 

Barbados real estate | Bedford Hills Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul.

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Brad Pitt Brings the Tiny Home Trend to New Orleans | Katonah Real Estate


The tiny home trend has taken off in recent years, and is now being championed by of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars: Brad Pitt. The actor-producer’s Make it Right foundation is partnering with FYI’s Tiny House Nation to build the organization’s very first tiny home to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This most recent enterprise will be the organization’s 109th home built in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, the neighborhood hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Pitt founded the Make it Right foundation in 2007 to provide residences for communities in need of affordable and sustainable housing. Make it Right seeks to fulfill its vision of having people all around the world “living in healthy communities and affordable, high-quality, environmentally sustainable homes.” All housing built by Make it Right follows the “Cradle to Cradle” philosophy, which was created by architect William McDonough and chemist Dr. Michael Braungart.

For a quick rundown of what exactly Cradle to Cradle entails, the organization’s website provides this helpful list:

• Materials are defined as biological and/or technical nutrients for safe use and reuse
• Products are designed for disassembly/recovery
• Uses renewable energy
• Maintains and enhances water quality
• Honors social fairness and human dignity
• Improvement is continuous and aspirational

 

Brad Pitt Brings the Tiny Home Trend to New Orleans | Katonah Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul.

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Foreclosure Rates, Inventory Continue to Drop: CoreLogic | South Salem Real Estate


Foreclosure inventory and completed foreclosures declined drastically during June, real estate analytics firm CoreLogic found in its monthly survey.

Foreclosure inventory declined 28.9% on a year-over-year basis in June to 472,000 homes. Completed foreclosures also declined year-over-year, down 14.8% to 43,000. Likewise, the number of homes in “serious delinquency,” which the firm defined as 90 days or more past due on mortgage payments, declined 23.3%.

“The foreclosure rate for the U.S. has dropped to its lowest level since 2007, supported by a continuing decline in loans made before 2009, gains in employment and higher housing prices,” said CoreLogic chief economist Frank Nothaft in a release.

“The decline has not been uniform geographically, as the foreclosure rate varies across metropolitan areas,” he said, adding that Tampa, Fla., and Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York have seen increased foreclosure rates.

“Serious delinquency is at the lowest level in seven and a half years reflecting the benefits of slow but steady improvements in the economy and rising home prices,” said CoreLogic president and chief executive Anand Nallathambi in the release. “We are also seeing the positive impact of more stringent underwriting criteria for loans originated since 2009 which has helped to lower the national seriously delinquent rate.”

 

Foreclosure Rates, Inventory Continue to Drop: CoreLogic | South Salem Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul.

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Mortgage Rates average 3.94% | Cross River Realtor


Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey®(PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates reversing course and nudging higher for the first time in four weeks.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.94 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending August 13, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.91 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.12 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.17 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.13 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.24 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.93 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.95 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.97 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.62 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.54 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.36 percent.

 

Mortgage Rates average 3.94% | Cross River Realtor | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul.

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Why housing isn’t back in a bubble | Waccabuc Real Estate


This is the third of three articles about the U.S. housing market. Ex-housing, the U.S. is in deflation currently at -1% YoY. So the only current “inflation risk” that might justify the Fed raising rates is the appreciation in house prices. In my previous two posts, I explained that both housing and apartment demand are supported by increased demographic demand, as the Millennial generation creates about the same affect on single and multi-unit housing as their Boomer parents and grandparents did 50 years ago. Further, there has been a marked increase in foreign buying of homes, skewed towards the upper end and disproportionately all-cash purchases. As a big part of this increase has come from Chinese nationals, the current problems hitting that county may ease demand, and therefore ease upward pressure, on U.S. house prices.

But some have argued that housing has entered a 2nd bubble. Some of this comes from the usual Doomer chorus Seriously, one guy actually claimed a couple of weeks ago that there was a bubble in rents! It must be the Underpants Gnomes theory of bubbles:
1. rent lots of vacant units
2. ???
3. Profit!

What’s the missing step 2? Sublet everything, because everyone knows that rents only go up?!?

But some is more serious analysis. The website Political Calculations, for example, believesthere is a bubble based on the movement in prices vs. median household income. Here’s their relevant graph:

The point of view does have merit, since after all it is households buying houses! But I believe that misses the bigger picture.

 

Why housing isn’t back in a bubble | Waccabuc Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul.

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Americans still reluctant to ramp up mortgage borrowing | Mt Kisco Real Estate


Americans are buying more homes and at higher prices, yet new data shows that mortgage debt is little changed.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Thursday that outstanding U.S. mortgage debt slipped 0.7 percent in the April-June quarter to $8.12 trillion. That is up slightly from a year ago and about the same level as three years ago when the housing market bottomed.

The second quarter’s decline occurred even as Americans took out more new mortgages, either to refinance old loans or purchase homes. New mortgages totaled $466 billion in the second quarter, the most in almost two years.

Those trends suggest Americans are paying down mortgage debt at roughly the same pace as new loans are made, evidence that homeowners remain wary of housing-related debt. Total mortgage debt peaked at $9.29 trillion in the third quarter of 2008.

Overall, the New York Fed’s report indicates that there is little sign of a return to bubble-era excesses in mortgage financing, even as the housing market rebounds. Would-be buyers are bidding up prices on a scarce supply of available homes. Sales of existing houses climbed to an eight-year high in June.

And home prices rose nearly 5 percent in May from a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index. They jumped 10 percent in Denver, 9.7 percent in San Francisco and 8.4 percent in Dallas — big increases that are making homeownership increasingly unaffordable for the typical family.

Yet there are many signs in the New York Fed’s report that housing finance is much healthier than before the recession. Just 95,000 people received new foreclosure notices in the second quarter, the fewest in the 16-year history of the data. And total

And in another sign of caution, total borrowing on home-equity lines of credit fell $11 billion in the second quarter, to $499 billion. That’s far below the peak of $714 billion six years ago.

The amount of new mortgages has risen for four straight quarters, the New York Fed said, after falling to a 14-year low of $286 billion in last year’s second quarter.

 

Americans still reluctant to ramp up mortgage borrowing | Mt Kisco Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul.

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Build a second home on this family’s property | Armonk Real Estate


A young Melourne, Australia, couple needed more living space for their growing family and found the solution in their dilapidated and underutilized backyard. Instead of renovating their home and redeveloping the entire property, they refurbished the house slightly, subdivided their lot and built a contemporary townhouse for their family in the old backyard. The family then rented out the original house. Because the lot is on a corner, the new townhouse has its own street access and parking.
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