Tag Archives: north salem estates for sale

3D printed homes for the poor | North Salem Real Estate

Imagine building a stronger, cheaper home in as little as 12 hours. That goal now appears feasible with the help of a 3-D printer. A 3-D-printed home was unveiled in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology conference and music festival this week.

“So I’m standing in front of the first permanent 3-D-printed home in America,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder of Austin-based ICON, a construction company that uses robotics, software and advanced materials to build houses.

The two-bedroom prototype contains space that can be used as a living/dining area, as well as three rooms that can be converted into bedrooms, a study or a bathroom, depending on where the home is located and the resources available. The homes will be anywhere from 56 square meters to 74 square meters in size.

At 35 square meters, the prototype home was successfully printed in a neighborhood near downtown Austin during a rainstorm, as strong winds kicked up dust in the area, according to Ballard.

3-D-printed homes for the poor

The goal is to print homes in developing countries during extreme weather conditions and amid the unpredictability of having electricity and water.

“We work with really the poorest families in the world that don’t have shelters,” said Brett Hagler, founder and chief executive officer with the nonprofit organization New Story. It aims to bring 3-D-printed homes first to Latin America and then expand to other developing countries. Hagler notes that using innovation and new technology will change how homes are manufactured to meet the need for housing around the world.

“The magnitude of the problem that we face is so big, it’s about a billion people that don’t have one of life’s most basic human needs, and that’s safe shelter,” he said.

“What we really need for the size of the issue is exponential growth,” he added, “and that has to come through significantly decreasing cost, increasing speed while doing that without sacrificing quality.”

ICON says the 3-D printer is 4.5-meters tall, 9 meters wide and made of lightweight aluminum. ICON created the device, software and unique mortar material it describes as “proprietary small-aggregate cementitious material” used to print the house. The 3-D printer is transportable because homes are printed on site. Ballard said he can imagine having many 3-D printers scattered around the world making homes.

“It’s actually a lot more simple to build a printer than it is to build a house,” Ballard said.

This rendering shows how a 3-D printer can print homes and create communities. A construction company based in Austin, Texas, and New Story, a nonprofit that aims to end homelessness globally, have teamed up to provide safe, permanent shelters.
This rendering shows how a 3-D printer can print homes and create communities. A construction company based in Austin, Texas, and New Story, a nonprofit that aims to end homelessness globally, have teamed up to provide safe, permanent shelters.

Faster and cheaper

“We ran this printer at about a quarter speed to print this house, and we were able to complete the house in less than 48 hours of print time,” Ballard said.

At full speed it could be as little as 12 hours to print a house. Building a traditional New Story home would take 15 days.

“Instead of it taking about a year to build a community, we could do it in just a few months,” Hagler said.

A 3-D-printed home is also less expensive.

“Traditional style on a New Story home is about $6,500 per home. We believe over time, we can get the new home below $4,000,” Hagler said.

Ballard said the material used to print the home is another highlight to this innovative way of building the property.

“We believe the comfort and the energy dynamics of this building are actually going to be once again better than conventional buildings. These houses should be more comfortable and they should require less energy to stay comfortable.”

Ballard said that a 3-D-printed house, “is a complete paradigm shift that has unbelievable advantages in speed, affordability, resiliency, sustainability, waste reduction, you name it. This isn’t just a slight improvement. This is a revolutionary improvement that I think is going to be quite disruptive in the industry.”

This new building technology will be brought to the world’s poorest and underserved first. New Story is working with local nonprofits, governments and families to help fund these homes. The nonprofit plans to start printing homes in El Salvador this year.

The goal is to create permanent 3-D-printed homes and communities in developing countries and beyond that will last for generations.

read more…

Also learn: Why Use Unify CRM.


Home prices will take a hit | North Salem Real Estate

Congressional Republicans reached a deal on a reconciled version of the House and Senate tax bills, and while experts are still sifting through the fine print to determine its potential impact, one thing seems clear: Home prices will take a hit.

This could be good news or bad news depending on whether you already own a house or are a prospective buyer, but a Moody’s Analytics report released Monday estimates that by the summer of 2019 home prices will be down nationally by 4 percent compared to where they’d be if no tax bill was passed.

To be clear: This doesn’t mean home prices will fall by 4 percent from where they are right now, but Moody’s estimates they’ll be 4 percent less in the future than they would be if current conditions held.

The drops are projected to hit hardest in markets where home prices are already high. East Coast cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. show heavy drops, as do West Coast cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles. South Florida and a few cities in the Midwest also stand to see substantial drops.

The home-price drops are mostly the result of three key provision changes in the tax bill, which could be signed by President Trump as early as this week: the lowered cap on mortgage-interest deductions (MID), from $1 million to $750,000; the cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions of $10,000; and the doubling of the standard deduction.

Currently, homeowners can deduct interest they pay on their homes and second homes on loans up to $1 million in value. While lowering the cap to $750,000 is a fairly modest measure—the House bill lowered it to $500,000, and the deduction’s many critics would like it repealed outright—it means wealthy homeowners in hot real estate markets are exposed to higher tax bills.

The same goes for SALT deductions. Currently, taxpayers can deduct what they pay in state and local property and income taxes from their federal returns. Under the new law, taxpayers can only claim a maximum of $10,000, although it can be any combination of income or property taxes. This hits high tax states like New York and New Jersey particularly hard.

Because the MID and SALT deductions are baked into the price of homes, eliminating or capping the deductions will inherently lower the value of homes that are particularly exposed to the MID cap or are in high tax areas.

The new standard deduction complicates things further. When taxpayers file federal returns, they have a choice between itemizing their deductions or taking the standard deduction. The new law will double the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,700 to $24,000 couples.

It doesn’t make sense for taxpayers to itemize unless their deductions are greater than the standard deduction, and with the standard deduction doubling, fewer taxpayers will itemize. This will lead to fewer people taking the MID and SALT deductions, further weakening their value and thus home prices.

A recent Zillow report showed that under current law, roughly 44 percent of homes were worth enough to justify itemizing and taking the MID. Under the new law, only 14.4 percent are worth it.


read more…



When Homebuying Is A Waste of Money | North Salem Real Estate

For many Americans, home buying is simply a waste of money.

You could spend years paying thousands of dollars of interest on a mortgage, never reap the full tax benefits and never see enough appreciation to make it worthwhile.

Home ownership is one of the great myths of the American dream. But there’s nothing wrong in having a home. Buying it may not make the most financial sense.

A recent study by Morningstar's MORN +0.39% HelloWallet, the Chicago-based financial research firm, showed that where you’re considering of buying makes the difference in your decision. (Disclosure: I freelance for Morningstar.com)

Much of the decision in homebuying should be dictated by the “rent-to-price” ratio. This comparison shows you when it makes sense to rent instead of buy.

In some cities, for example, renting may be the only option because home prices are stratospheric: Think San Francisco, New York and Boston. Other cities, though, may offer a plethora of bargains such as Memphis, St. Louis and Cleveland, Dayton and Toledo Ohio.

“While there is no question that homes have become the most valuable asset for U.S. households, our research finds that homeownership is often not the best strategy for building wealth,” said Matt Fellowes, founder and CEO of HelloWallet and a former scholar at the Brookings Institution.

He added: “Workers need to take a hard look at other investment choices before deciding to buy a home. Employer-sponsored retirement or health savings programs, 529 college savings plans, or even IRAs may be more effective vehicles for families to build wealth and get ahead.”
When It’s Best to Rent

You may not reap the full benefits of tax write-offs for taxes and mortgage interest. That’s a signal that renting is wise. Median income homeowners realize no federal tax benefit in 75 percent of major cities.
You have to look at the local price cycle. Many homebuyers purchase at the top of the market and won’t reap appreciation from the past. More than half of current homeowners, or more than 40 million households, purchased their homes during time periods when average homebuyers would have been better off renting and investing.
Don’t overstate the benefits of buying. Many popular, free, online “buy-or-rent” calculators inflate the benefits of home buying. The study shows that calculators provide inaccurate guidance to more than 90 percent of renters considering whether to buy a home by overestimating tax benefits and underestimating the returns an individual can earn by investing.
Do the math. Prospective home buyers should calculate their “rent-to-price” ratio, or the ratio of the annual rental costs of a home compared with its purchase price, to determine whether to by a home or rent and invest.
What’s Your Bottom Line? If the rent-to-price ratio is 5% or less, people may be better off renting and investing any savings. If the rent-to-price ratio is greater than that, they may be better off buying a house.
If you have a yen to own a home, just keep in mind that ownership also entails property tax and maintenance. In growing areas, taxes are likely to rise to build schools, fire stations, libraries, etc.


read more…



Auf Wiedersehen German real estate? Not so fast | North Salem Real Estate


As soon as someone mutters the words London property, the word “bubble” is never far away.

London house prices displayed a jaw-dropping 20 percent growth year-on-year in July– even though last week’s RICS indicator showed that the housing market is pausing for breath. Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mark Carney has sounded a warning on tougher mortgage rates and the expectation of higher rates.

But London isn’t the only place which is seeing a dizzying increase in property prices. Look no further than across the channel – to the euro zone’s economic powerhouse – Germany.

Major cities like Frankfurt, the financial capital, Munich with its famous beer gardens and proximity to the Alps and Stuttgart, the home of Mercedes and Porsche, are becoming increasingly attractive as a place to live and work. Germans from rural settings and immigrants are flocking to the cities.

But like in London, an equally potent driver of the property market in Germany is the good old “search for yield”.



read more….




Drab to Fab: Unearthing Your Home’s Hidden Diamonds | North Salem Real Estate



Every home has “that room” – the one space that’s desperately dated, in disrepair, or otherwise in need of serious help. Of course, that room usually is the one space that everyone can see (we’re looking at you orange kitchen, carpeted bathroom, and boring backyard). So, how do you transform the embarrassing into the astonishing? We’ll show you how to find your diamond in the rough.

Fixin’ the KitchenFixin' the Kitchen

Not surprisingly, 33% of HomeAdvisor users reported that the kitchen was the room that could benefit the most from a refresh. And while many of us dream of gutting our kitchens, it’s possible to get a kitchen you can be proud by making a few key updates to your cabinets and countertops.

You probably don’t need to take a look at your cabinets to tell us whether you hate them or not. If you’re like many homeowners, you’re not too fond of them. Perhaps they’re broken and worn out. Or maybe they’re just plain ugly. Whatever the case, updating them will have a huge impact on your kitchen’s look. The question is: do you need to replace them, reface them, or simply paint them? In many cases, the answer depends on your budget. To help you decide, we recommend taking a look at our Cost Guide to see how much others in your area are paying for similar projects.

Let’s talk about your counters. If you aren’t happy with your kitchen there’s a good chance your countertops are partially to blame. While the reasons for your disdain are probably many, there are a couple of things you can do to rid yourself of your ugly counters. Your first option is to replace them. While this is the spendiest option, it’s the option that will have the biggest impact on the look and value of the room. Your other option (if you have laminate counters) is to resurface them. Far less expensive than replacing your countertops, resurfacing your counters is a labor-intensive, yet affordable option that can change the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank. To learn what option is best for you, we recommend talking to a counter pro.

Bathroom BreakthroughBathroom Breakthrough

Don’t like your bathroom? You’re not alone. You could open the checkbook and remodel your bathroom. Or you could make a few strategic updates that are guaranteed to have an impact.

When it comes to a bathroom update, one of the biggest areas of opportunity is to replace your shower or bathtub. Like most fixtures, bathtubs and showers start to show their age after a number of years. Sometimes the fix is as easy as having the tub refinished. This is a great option if you have a period tub that will be costly to replace. If refinishing is out, spending the money on a high-quality replacement will get you a tub or shower that will improve the look of the room and the value of your home.

If replacing your tub isn’t in the cards, replacing your cabinet hardware and light fixtures are affordable updates that can have freshen up your dated bathroom. While both jobs are doable DIY-projects, replacing your light fixtures can be tricky, especially if you’re not comfortable working with electricity. If you’d rather contract the job out to a pro, we can help you find a pro you can trust. (NOTE: When working with electricity, always make sure to turn the power off at your service panel.)

Luxe LandscapingLuxe Landscaping

When it comes to remodeling, the yard is often one of the last spaces to be addressed. Though this makes perfect sense from a budget standpoint, it makes less sense when you consider how visible your yard is and how much curb appeal can affect your home’s value. So, what can you do to transform landscaping your loathe in a yard you can be proud of? Here are a few options.

Perhaps the project that will have the most immediate impact is clearing out or trimming overgrown shrubs, bushes, and trees. While it can be very labor intensive, cleaning up your landscaping is a project that can be tackled in as little as a few hours or as long as a weekend. Or you can clear your calendar and hire a landscaping pro to do the job for you. Think you look good after a haircut? Just imagine how your yard will look.

read more….


The 10 greenest places to live | North Salem Real Estate


Regardless of what side of the fence you are on for celebrating Earth Day (although the grass is greener on the other side), there are select cities across the country that take the extra initiative to ensure we are taking care of the planet.

NerdWallet took a closer look at the cities with the highest level of green living, measuring environmental quality and green transportation.

Environmental quality factors in the median air quality for each city, with the lower the AQI, the better. Additionally, it looked at the number of parks per 10,000 residents.

Green transportation calculates the percentage of the population that walks, bikes, carpools, takes public transportation or works from home from each city. It also assessed the excess fuel consumed per commuter, which is wasted due to congested conditions in the city.

Of the 95 largest cities in the U.S. considered in the analysis, here are the top 10 greenest cities.

10. Minneapolis, Minn.

Minneapolis is home to 92 miles of on-street bikeways and 85 miles of off-street paths, making it one of the best biking cities in the nation. The city is also home to several green groups, including Minnesota Renewable Energy Society, a nonprofit organization that has promoted the use of renewable energy since 1978.

Overall the city posted a final score of 52.62, with a median air quality of 45, 4.7 parks per 10,000 residents and 12 gallons of excess fuel consumed per commuter.

9. New Orleans, La.

New Orleans has taken new action to rebuild a green environment since Hurricane Katrina passed. The city now offers 200 parks sprawling over 2,000 acres. Overall the city posted a final score of 52.66, with a median air quality of 45, 6.7 parks per 10,000 residents and 13 gallons of excess fuel consumed per commuter.

8. St. Paul, Minn.

Now to the other half of the Twin Cities, St. Paul hosts more than 20 buildings that are certified by Leadership in Energy and Environment Design, which identifies the world’s greenest and most energy-efficient buildings. Plus, the city is overflowing with more than 170 parks and open spaces and 100 miles of trails. As a result, the city posted a final score of 52.92. a median air quality of 45, 6.5 parks per 10,000 residents and 12 gallons of excess fuel consumed per commuter.



read more….


Princess Firyal’s Pierre duplex hits the market for $70M | North Salem NY Homes


A sprawling Upper East Side home believed to belong to HRH Princess Firyal of Jordan is once again on the market — this time, with an asking price of $70 million.

The duplex apartment, which spans the 30th and 31st floors of the Pierre at 795 Fifth Avenue, was owned by the late financier Lionel Pincus and later handed over to the Jordanian princess, Pincus’ longtime companion. The luxurious 7,000-square-foot, five-bedroom home boasts 360-degree views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline, a 42-foot library along Fifth Avenue and two master bedroom suites with custom wood-paneled dressing rooms and marble baths, according to the listing. Sotheby’s International Realty broker Serena Boardman has the listing.

Boardman declined to comment for this story, and a spokesperson for Sotheby’s declined to confirm the seller’s identity. Calls and emails to Firyal’s publicist were not immediately returned.

Pincus, who co-founded private equity firm Warburg Pincus, was incapacitated in 2003. His sons listed the apartment in 2007 for $50 million, claiming the upkeep was too expensive. They listed it again In March 2008 for $35 million.