These Cities Are Made for Walking

Daily Real Estate News  

Foot experts at the American Podiatric Medical Association have chosen the best and worst walking cities in American.

More than 500 U.S. cities were evaluated and ranked on 14 walking criteria, including the percentage of adults who walk to work and the number of parks per square mile.

Here are the 10 best cities for walking:

Cambridge, Mass.
New York City
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Chicago
Washington, D.C.
San Francisco
Honolulu
Trenton, N.J.
Boston
Cincinnati, Ohio

Here are the 10 worst cities for walking:

Oklahoma City, Okla.
North Las Vegas
Gadsden, Ala.
Davenport, Iowa
Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Enid, Okla.
Laredo, Texas
Springdale, Ark.
Clarksville, Tenn.
Lafayette, La.

Source: The American Podiatric Medical Association and Prevention Magazine (03/04/2008)

Remodeling Becomes Status Symbol

Daily Real Estate News 

At the height of the real estate boom in 2005, Americans spent more than $180 billion on home renovations, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Nationwide, according to the Harvard researchers, renovation expenditures fell an estimated 2.3 percent in 2007 and will continue to decline in 2008.

But in neighborhoods that are relatively untouched by the housing bust, there are still plenty of dumpsters in the driveways.

Cornell economist Robert Frank, author of Luxury Fever, hypothesizes that people renovate homes because they see others doing it. He says that even people who aren’t particularly materialistic look at their neighbors and say, “‘He has something nicer than I do, and I feel bad about it.’ … They decide to renovate not just aiming to impress people, but to feel that they are treating themselves right,” Franks says.

Source: The Boston Globe, Daniel McGinn (02/24/08)

Lenders Find Owners Late on Payments

Daily Real Estate News  |   February 25, 2008
Mortgage lenders are going door-to-door in some parts of the country to track down borrowers who are behind on their payments and help them work out a solution.

The bottom line is the average foreclosure costs more than $50,000. It is cheaper and easier to lower the borrower’s interest rate and put them on a repayment plan or sell the home at less than is owed.

Hard to track down, no-contact borrowers, as the industry calls them, are in the majority. From September 2005 to August 2007, 53 percent of the loans backed by Freddie Mac that went into foreclosure involved borrowers who could not be reached.

Wells Fargo estimated that it had no contact with about 30 percent of delinquent home owners who went into foreclosure in 2006. Last year, it began testing envelopes in bold or unusual colors or resembling wedding invitations as a way to get these customers to open their mail.

Source: The Washington Post, Renae Merle (02/17/08)

Man Robs Bank After Foreclosure

A masked gunman held up an Athens, Ga., bank on Thursday, saying that he was only getting his money back after the lender had foreclosed on his home.

The man entered Regions Bank wearing a black ski mask and pointed a handgun at a teller and said, “You took my house, now I’m going to take your money,” according to Athens-Clarke police.

The man fled carrying the money in a bag. The bank plans to review foreclosure records to try to identify the man.

Source: Athens Banner-Herald, Joe Johnson (02/21/08)

I guess he got away………for now…

Declining Dollar Hurts Expat Renters

Daily Real Estate News  |   February 21, 2008

The declining dollar is making it more expensive for Americans to rent homes in the centers of world commerce.
Rent for a two-bedroom, unfurnished apartment in a neighborhood that residents consider good, but not premium, has escalated about 3 percent to 6 percent in the last year while the dollar has declined a record amount, leaving many renters facing what feels like a 30 percent rental increase.

Here are the top-10 most expensive city housing markets in the world:

Hong Kong, $6,398 a month
Tokyo, Japan, $4,102
Moscow, $4,000
New York City, $4,000
London, $3,889
Seoul, $3,425
Geneva, $2,840
Beijing, $2,840
Paris, $2,634
Osaka, $2,564

Source: Forbes, Matt Woolsey (02/12/2008)

Now, I don’t know where these people live, but when I lived in NY- I did not pay $4000 a month! LOL