- How to Add a Backyard Shed for Storage or Living
- Consumer Information: Beware Rental Listing Scams
- The Urban Housing Crunch Costs the U.S. Economy About $1.6 Trillion a Year
- Drought: The psychology of why some people aren't saving water
- Minimum Wage in U.S. Cities Not Enough to Afford Rent, Report Says
- Freddie Mac: Rising rents aren’t pushing residents to homeownership
- Design Workshop: Is an In-Law Unit Right for Your Property?
Consumer Information: Beware Rental Listing Scams - Moving to a new city? Planning a vacation? As you consider issues like size, cost, and location of a place to rent, it’s important to consider whether that rental listing could be a scam. Scammers often advertise rentals that don’t exist or aren’t available in order to trick people into sending money before they find out the truth. For instance, some scammers hijack a real rental or real estate listing by changing the email address or other contact information, and placing the modified ad on another site. The surest sign of a scam is if you are asked to wire money.
The Urban Housing Crunch Costs the U.S. Economy About $1.6 Trillion a Year - According to new analysis from economists, a lack of affordable housing options in major cities like New York, San Francisco, and San Jose (home of Silicon Valley) costs the U.S. economy about $1.6 trillion a year in lost wages and productivity. To reach their conclusion, the economists evaluated what might happen if workers were free to move to the cities and metros with the most robust economies, where they could be most productive, thus fueling even greater productivity and growth for the U.S. economy as a whole. Their estimates provide a stark reminder of the very real hit the U.S. economy takes every year because of its inefficient and suboptimal spatial structure.
Drought: The psychology of why some people aren't saving water - The vast majority of Californians think the state’s current drought is a serious problem, but many say they can't do more to save water, according to the results of a new Field Poll. While nearly two-thirds of those polled agreed that water agencies should be forced to cut back consumption, 44 percent said it would be hard for them personally to make more of a sacrifice. This reflects research from social scientists, which shows that when humans are faced with massive challenges, they often feel their individual actions won’t make a difference.
Minimum Wage in U.S. Cities Not Enough to Afford Rent, Report Says - There is a wide gap between stagnant incomes and rising rents in many parts of the country, according to the report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Around the country, renter households would need to make $19.35 an hour working full time to afford a two-bedroom unit, which is $4 more than the estimated average wage of U.S. workers. A San Francisco household would need to make $39.65 an hour to afford the market rent for a two-bedroom apartment. There is no state in the country where someone earning either the state or federal minimum wage can afford a market-rate one-bedroom apartment.
Freddie Mac: Rising rents aren’t pushing residents to homeownership - A new survey from Freddie Mac and Harris Poll found that rising rents do not appear to be playing a significant role in motivating renters to buy a home. Of those who experienced a rent increase, 70 percent agreed they would like to buy a home but cannot afford to at this point. Despite increases to their rent, 53 percent say they are making no changes to their spending plans and 46 percent say they like where they live and will stay in their current place. According to Freddie Mac, rising rents are primarily a sign of increased demand rather than a signal that home purchases will be increasing. An estimated 440,000 new apartment units are needed each year to keep up with demand.
Design Workshop: Is an In-Law Unit Right for Your Property? - ADUs can alleviate suburban sprawl, add rental income for homeowners, create affordable housing and much more. Some of my favorites: