January 2009

There are 9 blog entries for January 2009.


The City of St. Louis and Gateway Foundation have partnered to develop the City Garden - a unique 2.9 acre sculpture and landscape public garden on the Gateway Mall. The City Garden is being built on the two blocks between Eighth and Tenth and Chestnut and Market Streets. Construction is coming along nicely.   Gateway Foundation has paid more than $20 million for the design and construction of the garden, including state-of-the art lighting, ongoing maintenance, security, and insurance expenses. The City will own the garden improvements, providing water and electricity, and will continue to own the land. Features of the garden will include three impressive water features, a café overlooking the garden, an eight-foot limestone wall, a…
2,669 Views, 0 Comments.

In its latest expansion, Lindenwood University opened its new campus in downtown St. Louis this month. The university expects an annual enrollment at the downtown campus of 500 students, said Joanna Schlotman, a spokeswoman. Lindenwood leased a floor, totaling 6,300 square feet of space, at a five-story building at 1409 Washington Avenue. The downtown St. Louis campus is Lindenwood’s 10th satellite location. In addition to its 500-acre main campus in St. Charles, Lindenwood operates off-site campuses in Defiance; Lincoln County; Florissant; O'Fallon, Mo.; south St. Louis County; Weldon Spring; Wentzville; Westport; and Belleville, Ill.  President James Evans leads the liberal arts school, which has more than 14,000 students and more than 120…
3,657 Views, 0 Comments.

It wasn't too long ago that home buyers made offers without financing contingencies and closed the deal in as short as 14 days following acceptance. Quick closes are virtually impossible today if you're buying a home with the aid of a mortgage. And, it's highly recommended to include loan and appraisal contingencies in your offer.

Following the credit crisis of August 2007, many mortgage lenders closed down. Those that are left have cut their staff due to low demand for mortgages. Also, it's now necessary to actually qualify financially for a home mortgage. This adds time to the loan approval and funding process.

For most mortgages, home buyers are now required to have good credit. They need to provide verification of employment (W-2s or tax returns),…
1,841 Views, 0 Comments.

The carbon economy is about to boom in the United States, particularly in California where state law will soon be forcing companies to track and pay for their carbon emissions. Pinpointing exactly what carbon credits and offsets are is difficult even for scientists on the frontlines of the emergent carbon economy, never mind lay people who are just beginning to hear about them.

A Definition
In a nutshell, carbon offsets represent the carbon removed from the atmosphere by a particular activity. Offset projects can range from simply planting trees to funding biodiesel plants, and can be purchased through a variety of brokers such as TerraPass, Native Energy, or Climate Trust, which work to connect consumers and companies with these projects. Such companies…
1,841 Views, 0 Comments.

There are many condo listings in Cleveland, and I will admit, sometimes they start to all blend together.  When a deal comes around that stands out to me, I take notice and try to let everyone around me know about it.  2222 Detroit #919 priced at $129,900 is that deal!  First of all, this condo is practically new, from the shiny floors to the beautiful appliances, to the shimmering granite counters.  It was built only a few years ago from the ground up.
Second of all, and probably most important, these condos were selling in the $150,000s just a few years ago and now similar units in the building are priced $20,000 more than this unit.  I have lived at Stonebridge and I had a blast.  Its well taken care of, in the perfect location, the views are unmatched…
2,142 Views, 1 Comments.

Condo developers in S.F. hurting for buyers James Temple, Chronicle Staff Writer Thursday, January 22, 2009 (01-22) 17:49 PST -- Most developers unlucky enough to be marketing San Francisco condominiums today are scrambling for customers, dropping prices, boosting concessions or putting up "for rent" signs in an effort to fill their buildings. Condos in the city have outperformed the real estate market as a whole throughout the downturn, especially on the luxury end, but tight lending and relentless economic gloom have spread the pain across the region and price spectrum. -- The company behind Millennium Tower, the 60-story luxury project in SoMa set to open in April, will soon announce it is slicing all prices by 15 percent to entice buyers. In a…
1,749 Views, 0 Comments.

This Week in Mortgage Sports

Embrace FHA

Embrace FHAWe in the Mortgage Industry are rediscovering an old friend who has been out of vogue for many years. If your buyers loan amount is $271,050 or less there is a great possibility FHA may be a great solution. 

Conventional loans are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but the NEW pricing module gives such tremendous hits (charges higher rates) as the FICO score steps down from 740 that it makes this loan much less savory the closer we get to a 620 score (ie. On Today’s pricing that would take the rate from 4.75% to 6.25% and we would have to charge 1.5% discount fee on top of the 1% origination).   

FHA loans do NOT tier their pricing based on credit scores.  In the scenario above someone with a 740 score and their
2,273 Views, 0 Comments.

Home office by day, comfy guest bedroom by night. Murphy beds are making a comeback as home owners seek to maximize their space. By Mary Beth Klatt | January 2009

A charming, retro space-saver is back in style. The Murphy bed, which can be flipped up inside a closet or cabinet when not in use, provides versatility in dwellings ranging from studios to country homes.

Once a favorite prop for comedians in early 20th century silent film era, the Murphy bed is now seeing its real heyday—especially in upscale urban lofts—some real estate practitioners and interior designers say.  

 "There's a demand for it," says William Robbins, a Columbus, Ohio real estate practitioner. "But at the same time, it's not widely available."

 Robbins is surprised by

1,873 Views, 0 Comments.
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