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Bedford Real Estate

Longaberger Basket Building heading to foreclosure | Bedford Real Estate

Longaberger basket building

Cushman & Wakefield

The Longaberger Basket Building, the Newark, OH, office structure built to resemble a giant picnic basket, is heading to foreclosure if the home goods company does not pay more than $600,000 in back property taxes.

Olivia Parkinson, the Licking County treasurer, tells realtor.com® that the county recently sent a letter informing Longaberger that it is referring the property for tax foreclosure. The company, which hasn’t made a tax payment since November 2014, owes $605,219.12.

In order to halt foreclosure proceedings and an eventual property auction, the company must pay the bill in full within two weeks, Parkinson says.

The one-of-a-kind property has lingered on the market for 18 months. Brenton Baker, a spokesman for the Longaberger Company, says serious negotiations are underway with “several entities” who’d like to pack their employees into the basket building.

The basket backstory

It’s been tough to find a buyer for the 180,000-square-foot building in a suburb of Columbus. The basket landed on the market for $7.5 million about a year and a half ago, and the price has since been slashed to $5 million. The current asking price works out to about $27 per square foot, roughly half of what area office space—that doesn’t look like bologna sandwich storage—typically commands.

Inside Longaberger building
Inside the Longaberger building

Cushman & Wakefield

“It’s a very unique property, and I don’t know that there are a lot of basket-related businesses out there,” says Baker. “The inside is a very nice, high-end office space. But the outside does present certain challenges.”

Longaberger, which sells baskets through a national network of Tupperware-style home consultants and is now owned by JRJR Networks, completed the office building in 1997 at a cost of approximately $32 million. It was the brainchild and dream project of the company’s founder, Dave Longaberger, who wanted his headquarters to mimic his best-selling basket.

Initially, the project’s architects thought he was speaking conceptually. But after the third failed design, Longaberger grabbed one of his baskets, slammed it on the table, and said, “Make it look exactly like this.”

And so they did, handles and all.

The exterior consists of stucco-covered framed metal set in a basket weave pattern. Two 75-ton handles heated to prevent ice from forming grace the top of the basket, and two 725-pound gold leaf Longaberger tags adorn the sides. The interior contains a 30,000-square-foot atrium and a 142-seat auditorium, where employees used to gather for movie night.

“It was a great home for us for many, many years,” says Baker, who’s worked for the company for 25 years. The final employees emptied out of the basket in July.

It also was a tourist destination. TripAdvisor, which calls the building “World’s Largest Basket,” ranks it No. 6 out of 19 things to do if you happen to be in Newark. The Dawes Arboretum is No. 1.

“It did bring people to the area when it was new,” says Jennifer McDonald, vice president of Licking County Chamber of Commerce, which includes Newark businesses. “They’d make a stop because of the size of the building and the photo opportunity.”

Unpacking the basket’s fate

But after Dave Longaberger died in 1999, tastes in home décor changed and sales slumped. The company’s revenue shrank from $1 billion in sales in 2000 to about $100 million in 2014. In fall 2014, the company was nipping away at the back taxes it owed, paying $10,000 per week for eight weeks, says Parkinson. But the payments stopped in November 2014.

Those delinquent taxes are “the scary part” for prospective buyers, says McDonald. “Heating and cooling costs must be phenomenal. Plus, it looks like a basket.” A basket in need of a paint job, according to a TripAdvisor comment posted in August.


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Average home price rises | Bedford Real Estate

United States House Price Index MoM Change  1991-2016 

The average prices of single-family houses with mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the United States rose 0.5 percent on the month in July 2016, following an upwardly revised 0.3 percent growth in June and beating market expectations of a 0.3 percent gain. Year-on-year, the FHFA house price index went up 5.8 percent compared to a 5.6 percent increase in June. Housing Index in the United States averaged 0.28 percent from 1991 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 1.20 percent in January of 2000 and a record low of -1.70 percent in November of 2008. Housing Index in the United States is reported by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

United States House Price Index MoM Change
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CoreLogic: Foreclosure inventory plummets in July | Bedford Real Estate

Foreclosure inventory and completed foreclosures decreased significantly in July from last year, according to the July 2016 National Foreclosure Report released by CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider.

Foreclosure inventory decreased 29.1% annually in July from, and completed foreclosures decreased 16.5% from 41,000 last year to 34,000. This decrease represents a drop of 71.2% from the peak of 118,009 in September 2010.

Foreclosure inventory includes the number of homes at some stage of the foreclosure process whereas completed foreclosures includes the total number of homes lost to foreclosure.

In July, the national foreclosure inventory included about 355,000 or 0.9% of total homes with a mortgage. This is compared to 501,000 homes, or 1.3%, last year. The foreclosure inventory rate was the lowest in July for any month since August 2007.

“Loan modifications, foreclosures and stronger housing and labor markets have each played a role in bringing the foreclosure rate to the lowest level in nine years,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said.

“The U.S. Treasury’s Making Home Affordable program has contributed to the decline through permanent modifications, forbearance and foreclosure alternatives which have assisted 2.5 million homeowners with first mortgages at risk of foreclosure since 2009,” Nothaft said.

Click to Enlarge


(Source: CoreLogic)

Last month, CoreLogic’s June 2016 National Foreclosure Report showed the inventorydeclined 25.9% from last year, and completed foreclosures declined 4.9%.

The number of mortgage in serious delinquency, mortgages 90 days or more past due including loans in foreclosure or real estate owned, declined 17.3% from last year to 1.1 million, or 2.9% of total loans. A decline was seen in 47 states and the District of Columbia.

A recent report from MGIC Investment Corporation, a provider of primary insurance covering approximately one million mortgages, showed a decrease of over 20% in residential mortgage delinquent inventory.

“Foreclosure rates declined year over year in all states except North Dakota, which experienced a 6% increase in its foreclosure inventory related to the drop in energy-related jobs,” CoreLogic President and CEO Anand Nallathambi said.

“Importantly, judicial states like New Jersey and New York have continued to work through their large inventory of homes in foreclosure proceedings,” Nallathambi said.

Click to Enlarge


(Source: CoreLogic)

A new study from Fannie Mae shows that the jobs market correlates closely to the number of homes in foreclosures.


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Existing homes sales fall | Bedford Real Estate

Existing home sales, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased 3.2% in July and were down 1.6% from the same month a year ago, the first year-over-year decline since November 2015. Total existing home sales in July decreased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.39 million units combined for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, down from 5.57 million units in June.

Existing Home Sales July 2016

July existing sales increased in the West by 2.5%, reflecting the June increase in the Pending Home Sales Index for that region. July existing sales fell from the previous month by 1.8% in the South, 5.2% in the Midwest and 13.2% in the Northeast. Year-over-year, the Midwest remained unchanged, while the West declined a slightly. The South and Northeast declined by 1.8% and 5.7% year-over-year.

Total housing inventory increased by 0.9% in July, but remains 5.8% lower than its level a year ago. At the current sales rate, the July unsold inventory represents a 4.7-month supply, compared to a 4.5-month supply in June.

The July all-cash sales share was 21%, the lowest share since November 2009. Individual investors purchased an 11% share in July, unchanged from June, and down from 13% a year ago. The first-time home buyer share was 32% in July, down from 33% in June.

The July median sales price of $244,100 was 5.3% above the same month a year ago, and represents the 53rd consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The median condominium/co-op price of $228,400 in July was up 4.1% from the same month a year ago.


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California home sales tumble | Bedford Real Estate

Just one month after posting a nearly four-year high, home sales in California took a step backwards in the month of July, with year-to-date sales falling from previous year for first time in 18 months, according to a new report from the California Association of Realtors.

The CAR report for June showed that closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 450,960 units in June, the highest level in almost four years.

But July’s lackluster sales data undid much of June’s growth, according to the latest CAR report.

CAR’s newest report showed that home sales in California stumbled in July thanks to low inventories and “eroding” affordability.

According to CAR’s report, closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 415,840 units in July, which is down 4.1% from the revised 433,600 level in June and down 5.1% compared with home sales in July 2015 of a revised 438,230.

While home sales remained above the 400,000 pace for the fourth straight month, sales also declined year-over-year for the fifth consecutive month, CAR’s report showed.

“Despite the tight housing supply conditions that have persisted over the past few years, home sales have stayed relatively solid,” CAR President Pat Zicarelli said.

“Even with a shortage of homes on the market, low rates and strong demand have been the norm,” Zicarelli continued. “Some regions, such as the Bay Area, are seeing an uptick in inventory as high prices are motivating sellers to list their properties for sale. While this could ease the inventory somewhat, supply remains tight, and low affordability is expected to be an issue in the short term.”

Additionally, CAR’s report also showed that the statewide median price remained above the $500,000 mark for the fourth straight month, but noted that there are signs of an expected slowing in price growth.

CAR’s report showed that the median price of an existing, single-family detached California home fell by 1.8% in July to $509,830 from $519,410 in June.

Additionally, July’s median price increased 3.9% from the revised $490,780 recorded during the same time period last year.

According to CAR’s report, more homes being sold at the high end of the market (over $1 million) and slightly fewer sales at the lower end (under $300,000) contributed to the year-over-year gain in the median price.

“California’s median home price rose again in July from last year, but the pace of increase has clearly slowed down in recent months,” said CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “While fundamentals such as increasing household formation and strong job creation continue to fuel housing demand and support price growth, low housing affordability and reduced buying power of home buyers has put a cap on how fast the statewide median price can grow.”


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New home sales up | #Bedford Real Estate

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States jumped 3.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 in June of 2016. It is the highest figure since February of 2008 and better than market expectations of 560,000 boosted by sales in the West and the Midwest. New Home Sales in the United States averaged 652.45 Thousand from 1963 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 1389 Thousand in July of 2005 and a record low of 270 Thousand in February of 2011. New Home Sales in the United States is reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

United States New Home Sales


Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
592.00 572.00 1389.00 270.00 1963 – 2016 Thousand Monthly
Volume, SA
A sale of the new house occurs with the signing of a sales contract or the acceptance of a deposit. The house can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction, or already completed. New home sales account for about 10 percent of the US housing market. New single-family home sales are extremely volatile month-to-month and preliminary figures are subject to large revisions because they are mostly drawn from building permits data. This page provides the latest reported value for – United States New Home Sales – plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United States New Home Sales – actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases – was last updated on July of 2016.
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May home prices rise | Bedford Real Estate

National Home Prices Increased 5.9 Percent Year Over Year in May


HPI Blog

  • Home prices including distressed sales increased 5.9 percent year over year in May 2016 and are forecast to increase by 5.4 percent over the next year.
  • The highest appreciation was in the West, with Oregon and Washington growing by double-digits in May.
  • Prices fell in one of the Texas oil markets in May: Midland logged a 4.1 percent year-over-year decrease.

National home prices increased 5.9 percent year over year in May 2016, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI®) Report. While the HPI has increased on a year-over-year basis every month since February 2012, prices are still 7.2 percent below the April 2006 peak. Home prices have risen 39.8 percent since bottoming out in March 2011. Home prices are expected to increase by 5.4 percent from May 2016 to May 2017, and are projected to return to the April 2006 peak in mid-2017. Adjusting for inflation, U.S. home prices increased 5.9 percent year over year in May 2016, and are 20.5 percent below their peak[1].


Figure 1 shows the year-over-year HPI growth for the 25 highest-appreciating states in May 2016 along with their highest and lowest historical price changes. Oregon showed the largest HPI gain of all states in May 2016 with an 11 percent year-over-year increase, followed closely by Washington (+10.1 percent) and Colorado (+9.4 percent). Three states had a year-over-year decrease in home prices: Connecticut (-0.9 percent), New Jersey (-0.2 percent), and Pennsylvania (-0.1 percent). Nevada home prices were the farthest below their all-time HPI high, still 32.7 percent below the March 2006 peak.


Figure 2 shows the year-over-year HPI change in select oil-patch areas for May 2016 compared with May 2015. While state-level prices continued to increase, prices fell 4.1 percent year over year in Midland, Texas, in May 2016. Midland has the highest concentration of oil employment of all metropolitan areas in the U.S.


1 The Consumer Price Index (CPI) Less Shelter was used to create the inflation-adjusted HPI.

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Rent rose at the fastest monthly pace since 2007 | Bedford Real Estate

Rent rose at the fastest monthly pace since 2007 last month, a reminder that one of the biggest expenses for most Americans isn’t easing up.

In May, rent was 3.8% higher than a year ago, the strongest 12-month rate of increase since 2008, the Labor Department said in its consumer price index report Thursday. The monthly rise was 0.4%.
It’s not only the strongest pace of growth in many years, it’s also much higher than pay increases. Inflation-adjusted hourly wages were up 1.4% in the twelve months ending in May.

Many factors are keeping the pressure on rents. The housing market is suffering from a lack of inventory. Home builders pulled back when the bubble burst, and many homeowners are reluctant to try to sell. More people of all ages and income levels are going to rent their home rather than buy, analysts believe.


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Bedford Memorial Day parades | Bedford Real Estate

Town of Bedford
Parades and Ceremonies
Parade Starts        9:00 am @ Bedford Hills Elementary School
Parade Route        Babbitt Rd. to Church Street Bedford Hills Community House,
                                Main Street to the Bedford Hills Fire Department
Ceremonies          At BHCH – WW I
                                And at End of Parade – WW II, Korean and Vietnam Wars
Sponsored by       Bedford Hills Fire Dept. and Bedford Hills Lions Club
Parade Starts        10:00 am @ Katonah Fire Department
Parade Route        KFD down Katonah Ave., up Parkway to Lawrence Circle
                                Lawrence Circle, down Bedford Road, to KFD
Ceremonies          At Lawrence Circle – WW I, WW II & Civil War Memorial
                                At KFD – honoring all veterans who were volunteer firefighters
Sponsored by       Katonah American Legion Post 1575 & Katonah Fire Dept
Parade Starts        11:15 am @ Seminary Rd. and Pound Ridge Road
Parade Route        Pound Ridge Road to Village Green
Ceremonies          Village Green – WW I, WW II, Korean, Vietnam & Gulf War
                                Light refreshments at the fire house after ceremony
Sponsored by       Bedford Fire Department and Bedford Village Lions Club
Memorial Day Town Picnic
Hosted by the American Legion Post 1575
American Legion Hall @ 136 Jay Street in Katonah
All town residents are invited 
Picnic will be held 11:00 am – 2:00 pm 
We respect your right to privacy. The Town of Bedford will not contact any person who submits an email address for any purpose other than the original intended communication. E-mail addresses will not be disclosed to a third party, unless required by law.

I wish all remodelers and the industry would change, but won’t | Bedford Real Estate

The majority of remodeling contractors who participate in the remodeling industry are holding the industry back from becoming much more professional and successful. Remodelers continuously complain about what they perceive the government and even what their consumers do to them to make running a business and earning a profit difficult. However in many ways remodelers are their own worst enemies, creating problems for themselves and the industry by both their actions as well as their lack of action. Below are just five things I wish all remodelers and those in the industry would change, but won’t.

Before you check out my list keep this in mind. If you’re a remodeler and you eliminate and or address most of these things in your business you will stand out as different. You will also be more successful, be at much less risk and can also make much more money.

#1: Stop calling them estimates; they are not estimates

Home owners ask for estimates. This doesn’t mean they want your best guess, they instead want a fixed price. Next time a consumer asks for an estimate give them one right away; “That will cost somewhere between an arm and a leg depending on your final product selections.” Then help them discover what it will really take to help them assemble a fixed price for a fixed scope of work that meets their needs. Then let them know how your professional services can help them do so, and what you charge for those services. One way to explain it is your estimates are free; you charge to help develop solutions… (Check out this Design/Build Agreement)

#2: Calling employees Lead Carpenters when they are not

Although most remodelers really don’t know what a true lead carpenter is, many claim they have several on staff. If you don’t believe me, read this job description first, then ask a few to define the difference between a carpenter and a lead carpenter. Giving the title to an employee who is not a true lead carpenter does a disservice to the employee and misleads consumers. It’s like passing off roof cement as a flashing. It’s just not right to do so if you are really a roofer. Becoming a lead carpenter is an accomplishment; let’s reserve the title for those who have earned it.

#3: Claiming to be Design/Builders when they are not

Like Yoda said; “Do or do not, there is no try.” You either are a Design/Builder or you are not. If you allow others to bid on and or build from your plans you are not a Design/Builder; that is something else. Decide what you are or will be. There is a big difference between Design/Build and design-bid. (Design/Build definition) Remember, in a bid situation it’s often the biggest loser who wins! If you hate bidding, become a real Design/Builder. That’s what motivated me to become a Design/Builder when I had my business.


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