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Inside Real Estate (Oct 29th, 2019)

1. Real estate investors — especially those making long-term plans — should prepare and plan ahead for the effects of climate change on their investments. The San Francisco Federal Reserve’s Community Development Innovation Review report states that’s it’s imperative “to take a leadership role in preparing vulnerable regions most at risk for a ‘new abnormal.’” Some of the risks to plan for include increased flooding, sea-level rise, storm surges and inevitable financial loss that could result from flood damage to coastal properties. Among the top places at risk for flooding-related losses are Miami Beach; Southhampton, New York; Ocean City, New Jersey; Central Coast, California; and San Jose, California. - CURBED

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2. A real estate agent in Woodland Park, Colorado, said she was the target of an online review scam that took months to resolve. Margie Keener said a phony reviewer left an unfounded negative review on her Google profile — as well as a dozen other agents’ pages — despite never having had business dealings with her. That person then reportedly asked for $5,000 to have the review removed. Keener said it took months of emails — as well as legal assistance — before Google removed the false reviews. Experts warn this is an increasingly common trend. To flag inappropriate Google reviews click here; to file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission click here. - KPAX

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3. Market snapshot: A 540-square-foot piece of land — on which it’s prohibited to build a “tiny home” — in Vancouver is currently listed at $108,000. Century 21 Realtor Renee Pelland said many people are interested in the freehold property since it's zoned RT-5, which means its future owners will have certain residential neighborhood and quality-of-life protections. However, a housing structure cannot be built on the parcel, since it’s used to access a nearby garage. The agent suggests using it for a garden or small, private park. - NARCITY

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4. Despite Manhattan’s currently sluggish ultraluxury market, experts consider a $55.5 million sale at 220 Central Park South to be a good sign for the city's high-end housing sector. That real estate category has been hit hard by the mansion tax, which has discouraged high-end buyers from purchasing pricey properties in Manhattan. This home is a striking, 1,000-foot-tall residential structure designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern. The penthouse in this building was purchased for $238 million by hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin earlier this year. At the time, it set the record for the highest-priced home ever sold in the U.S. - WALL STREET JOURNAL

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5. For the second consecutive month this year, U.S. pending home sales increased in September, aided by a drop in mortgage rates. According to the  National Association of Realtors, pending home sales rose by 1.5 percent, a 3.9 percent year-over increase. Experts say this is a result of the Federal Reserve’s two interest rate cuts, which spiked transactions. According to an economist, "housing is the brightest spot in the economy right now," although he cautions that it's still too small to affect the country's overall "macro picture." - MARKETWATCH

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6. An infamous San Francisco property that once housed an $11 million stolen-art stash is for sale. The seven-bedroom, cliffside mansion is listed at $15 million but requires extensive remodeling work, Sotheby’s Realtor Anne Herrera explained in her listing. The property was previously home to notorious art scammer and real estate mogul Luke Brugnara, known as "Lucky Luke,” who’s famed for having stored his illegal goods in this Sea Cliff neighborhood estate in 2014. - BUSINESS INSIDER

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7. Speaking of $15 million San Francisco home listings, Charles Schwab — yes, that one — is hoping to unload his Pacific Heights property for that exact price. Schwab’s 5,400-square-foot house was built by architect Gardner Dailey in 1941. It features views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. According to Realtor, the Charles Schwab Corp. founder purchased this property for $11 million in 2012. - REALTOR

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8. A tiny home village for homeless military veterans in southeast Calgary debuted Monday. The housing community is comprised of 280-square-foot houses, including some that will accommodate those struggling with chronic physical pain and injuries. Each structure is named after a Canadian soldier who died during the Afghan combat mission. In addition to housing, the residents of the new community, who are expected to move in this weekend, will also have access to PTSD counseling. - CALGARY HERALD

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9. Affordable housing shortages in the U.S. are minor compared to Mexico's current crisis, according to Forbes. Mexico City, which is home to more than 21 million people, is "monocentric" and mostly low-rise, which makes housing inefficient and causes dire traffic woes. Overcrowding and "substandard" home building materials — like metal roofs and laminate — also plague that city's residential landscape, Forbes reports. At the root of the problem is the same underlying issue behind the affordable-housing shortage in this country: poverty and a housing-jobs imbalance. - FORBES 

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10. ICYMI: The final house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was auctioned off for nearly $11.7 million on Oct. 16. Known as the “Norman Lykes House,” it received 20 bids at public auction before an undisclosed out-of-state buyer placed the winning bid. Norman and Aimee Lykes commissioned the 3,095-square-foot house, which Wright designed months before his death in April 1959. - CHICAGO TRIBUNE

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Written and curated by Darla Guillen Gilthorpe. Darla writes for the Houston Chronicle, where she was part of its 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist staff. She was previously an editor at Vox Media site Eater and has had bylines in Elle Decor, SFGate and various other outlets. Follow her on Twitter here.

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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