Friday, March 27, 2015


(Dedicated to R&J)
- Building Permits: 10 Critical Code Requirements for Every Project
- Leased solar panels can complicate — or kill — a home sale
- U.S. Home Prices Are Surging 13 Times Faster Than Wages
- Here's how millennials are funding home purchases
- Why housing has a supply problem
- How the California Dream Became a Nightmare
- 11 Ways to Save Water At Home


Leased solar panels can complicate — or kill — a home sale - Real estate industry experts say that solar lease payments are interfering with sales and closings of homes in the state of California due to complications stemming from solar lease payments, such as disputes about the seller buying out the remaining lease payment stream (which can amount to thousands of dollars). In some instances buyers have backed out of deals to purchase a home when they hear what credit qualifications they'd need to take over the solar lease. Many real estate agents are worried such problems will only increase if more parties can’t agree on how to handle the substantial payments owed on long-term leases.

U.S. Home Prices Are Surging 13 Times Faster Than Wages - In yet another troubling sign regarding the affordability of homeownership, new data shows that the growth in U.S. home prices is beating wage increases 13 to 1. RealtyTrac found that home price appreciation has outpaced wage growth in 76 percent of U.S. housing markets during the past two years.

Here's how millennials are funding home purchases - New research shows the number of parents who expect to help their millennial-age children purchase a home in the future will increase by 31 percent compared to the past five years, from 13 percent to 17 percent. Overall, support from parents could be a significant factor to the success of the housing market’s recovery. A survey shows that 75 percent of millennial-age home-buyers who received financial support from their parents said that assistance made it possible for them to buy a home. Without that financial support, it's likely the pool of millennial first-time home buyers would be even smaller than today.

Why housing has a supply problem - There are just 1.89 million homes for sale, which is down from a year ago and well below current demand. The number of listings from January to February historically rises about 6 percent, but this year it inched up less than 2 percent. Inventory is a major issue for the housing market, as larger builders are catering more to higher-end buyers, which leaves very little for lower-end, first-time buyers to move into. Lack of supply is pushing prices again, up 7.5 percent year over year to a median sale price of $202,600 in February.

How the California Dream Became a Nightmare -  The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) recently called attention to the state’s major housing affordability problem by publishing a report titled, "California's High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences. The report notes that between 1970 and 1980, California home prices went from 30 percent above U.S. levels to more than 80 percent higher. This trend has continued. LAO squarely places the blame on the public policy limits to new housing construction. The economic consequences are as follows: (1) residents spending a greater share of their income on housing, (2) postponing or foregoing homeownership, (3) living in more crowded housing, (4) commuting further to work each day, and (5) in some cases, choosing to work and live elsewhere.

11 Ways to Save Water At Home - Whether you live in a drought-stricken area or just want to help preserve a precious resource, here are things you can do to use less water. Some of my favorites:

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