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Inside Real Estate (Apr 12th, 2017)

Multnomah County in Oregon is piloting a tiny house initiative to ease homelessness in the Portland area. The county will build a tiny house in the yard of a homeowner who agrees to let a homeless family live there for five years. After the five years are up, the home is the homeowner’s to keep and can be rented to anyone. The county plans to build four of the tiny houses by June 30. Since the program was announced last month, around 1,000 homeowners have signed up to request more information. – FAST COMPANY

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The 2016 second-home report from the National Association of Realtors saw that vacation home purchases dropped 21.6 percent from the year before. The estimated total of 721,000 homes was the lowest number since 2013. The study also showed that activity from individual investors increased by 4.5 percent to 1.14 million. Vacation sales accounted for 12 percent of all transactions in 2016 and the median vacation home price rose 4.2 percent to $200,000. “With fewer bargain-priced properties to choose from and a growing number of traditional buyers, finding a home for vacation purposes became more difficult and less affordable last year,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. – INMAN

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A design for a modular skyscraper for rural areas is the winner of the 2017 eVolo skyscraper competition. The Mashambas Skyscraper by Pawel Lipiński and Mateusz Frankowski was created for sub-Saharan Africa and takes its name from the Swahili word for cultivated land. The multipurpose structure is made of arched modules that can be stacked to form a scalable high-rise. Drones would bring supplies to the skyscraper and deliver food from the building to needy areas. An open market would be established at the base. The building can be enlarged as the local community becomes self-sufficient and could also be transported to other places, serving as a moveable education center. – INHABITAT

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The newest survey from Freddie Mac shows that renters are less interested in buying a home. When asked if their next move would be to buy or rent, 59 percent said they would continue to rent, up from 55 percent in the last survey in September 2016. Seven in 10 renters are at least somewhat willing to sacrifice space to live in an urban area. The percentage of those who expect that they will become homeowners fell from 45 to 41 percent since the September survey and the number of those who say they are working toward homeownership dropped from 21 percent to 15 percent. – HOUSING WIRE

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Approved, a startup that promises to digitize mortgage documentation, has announced a $1 million pre-seed round of funding led by Social Capital and Precursor Ventures. The service was founded by Andy Taylor and Navtej Sadhal who worked together at Redfin. The company provides small lenders with a platform to gather bank statements, pay stubs, and other information from potential borrowers. – GEEKWIRE

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Alderman Brendan Reilly has rejected plans for The Carillon, a 60-story building proposed for the River North area of Chicago. Reilly said the project would create too much traffic in the area. The 725-foot-tall tower designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill called for 246 condos, 216 hotel rooms, 120 timeshare units, and retail space and would have been the largest skyscraper built in the area since 2009. A smaller project could be built in the space under the site's existing zoning rights. – DNA INFO

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HOT PROPERTIES OF THE WEEK

Billionaire Larry Ellison has bought another property along Malibu’s Carbon Beach. Ellison, who owns at least nine properties in the area, is said to have purchased a five-bedroom home for $48 million. An entity tied to Ellison’s businesses is behind the purchase from seller Lisette Ackerberg. The area, also known as “Billionaires’ Beach” is home to approximately 70 properties belonging to David Geffen, Les Moonves, and Eli Broad among others. – THE REAL DEAL LA

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Jared Leto has put one of his Los Angeles homes back on the market for $1.999 million. The Hollywood Hills home was built in 1955 and rumored to have also been the home of comedian Jimmy Durante. Leto bought the home in 2006 for $1.65 million. The four-bedroom property has a lagoon-style pool, patio, fire pit and outdoor living room. Leto listed the home in November of 2016 for the same price but took it off the market at the end of the year. He is also the owner of Lookout Mountain Laboratory, a former military compound in Laurel Canyon. – CURBED LA

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Former NFL quarterback Vinny Testaverde is selling a seven-bedroom mansion in Odessa, Florida for $4.9 million. Testaverde bought the 3.67-acre property in 2004. In 2013, the quarterback and his family filed a lawsuit against the builders claiming leaks, mold, mildew, and other defects. The home on Lake Keystone has over 12,000 square feet of space and features a gym, wine room, putting green, virtual golf room, and more. – REALTOR

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