Inside Real Estate - November 1st, 2019

Inside Real Estate (Nov 1st, 2019)

President Trump changes primary residence / African Americans & homeownership / Down-payment home loans for teachers


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1. President Trump has changed his primary residence to Palm Beach, Florida, from Manhattan. His “declaration of domicile” names the president's resort Mar-a-Lago Club as the new primary home for him and his wife, Melania Trump. Long associated with New York, President Trump on Twitter cited taxes and being "treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state" as the reasons for changing his residency. As the New York Times points out, there’s no way of fact checking that statement, since President Trump has never disclosed his tax returns. It's unclear if he will keep his Trump Tower triplex, but if he spends more than 184 days annually there, he will be required to pay state income taxes. Florida does not have a state income tax. - NEW YORK TIMES

2. Google is breaking ground on its upcoming $600 million New Albany, Ohio, campus on Friday. Google officials are expected to announce a grant at the groundbreaking ceremony in New Albany’s International Business Park, which is roughly 19 miles from Columbus, Ohio. This is part of Google’s previously announced $13 billion U.S. investments. According to the Associated Press, this is the latest in a series of data centers to open recently in Ohio. - ASSOCIATED PRESS 

3. Seattle is closing one of the city-funded tiny home villages built for homeless people. Northlake Village — home to approximately 19 residents —  is expected to permanently cease operations as of Dec. 31, 2019, when its contract with the city ends. This comes after an ongoing dispute between Seattle officials and the encampment’s operator, Nickelsville, which was accused of barring some residents from the premises for breaking community rules. A city service provider which was contracted to operate most of the city's nine villages, the Low Income Housing Institute, is feuding with Nickelsville over who should lead Northlake Village. At least one resident claims he doesn’t want the LIHI running the operation. Seattle's Human Services Department and LIHI are reportedly working to find housing options for displaced residents. - KOMO

4. A tiny home community in the Dallas area has welcomed its first new residents. People moved into five Lake Dallas Tiny Home Village houses, nearly half of its 13-lot enclave, in early October. This is the first project of its kind in Dallas, which is better known for its sprawling Highland Park mega-mansions. This new settlement operates similarly to mobile-home parks: each tiny house — which is priced anywhere from $20,000 to the median price of $60,000 — has to be on wheels. Lots are leased out for $500 to $550 a month and each has hookups for water and sewer. Plots are leased out annually and include access to a community laundry facility. - CULTUREMAP

5. A privately funded program vows to loan Washington D.C. teachers half of their down payments on houses or condos, up to $120,000. San Francisco-based financial services business Landed co-founder Alex Lofton said while public school teachers “may make enough to afford rent on a month to month basis,” they often don’t have the funds for a 20-percent down payment. But there’s a catch: if a teacher sells the house in the future, Landed — which already operates in Denver, Seattle and San Francisco — is entitled to recoup its share of the down payment in addition to 25 percent of a home's appreciation. Lofton said it goes both ways: if the home depreciates in a down market, the company takes the hit. - WAMU

6. HGTV star Leanne Ford is listing her Sewickley Heights, Pennsylvania, home for $1.3 million. The Pittsburgh native, known for her work on "Restored by the Fords" and "Very Brady Renovation," is readying for her next renovation project but said she will miss this house: “I’ve absolutely loved working on this home, and have poured so much soul into it.” The 2,042-square-foot modern residence sits on more than five acres of land northwest of Pittsburgh and features a minimalist interior: stark white walls and sleek architectural lines form the dwelling. - PEOPLE

7. Rising student-loan debt is the biggest hurdle when it comes to home buying among black millennials, as well as a lack of affordable housing. According to advocacy group Center for Responsible Lending, nearly 85 percent of African American graduates in 2016 are burdened by student debt, compared to 69 percent of Caucasians with bachelor's degrees. The organization said that the average African American borrower owes $34,000. Young buyers of color are also affected by a lack of “intergenerational wealth,” since a greater percentage of minority parents can’t offer their children financial assistance for housing. - WASHINGTON POST

8. Race also plays a role in African-American homeownership according to a new study by the Cleveland State Maxine Goodman College of Urban Affairs. The report said that home loans in Northeast Ohio are more frequently rejected for African Americans than white applicants. The rate of denials for whites is roughly 23 percent compared to nearly 50 percent for African Americans. The study's author, Mark Salling Ph.D., said that these discriminatory conditions ultimately hurt communities as a whole: "here’s a lack of investment, there’s a lack of home improvements, the housing declines.” - WEWS

9. Market snapshot: The most expensive Connecticut homes sold in September were lined up along Connecticut’s Gold Coast, including two $10.1 million properties that tied at the top of the list. Another notable property to sell that month is fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger’s $4.6 million Greenwich, Connecticut, home. Built in 1999, it features a custom dog shower, recording studio and theater. At the bottom of the top 10 list is a $3.8 million Colonial-style house set on two acres. Despite these big sales, the median home sales price along Connecticut’s Gold Coast plummeted by 7 percent in September. The median sales price for a single-family home in Connecticut is $260,000. - HARTFORD COURANT

10. Fantasy-home Friday: A nearly $12 million beachfront mansion with an 11-car garage in Laguna Beach, California, is going to auction this month. Dubbed “Maison De Cap,” which translates to “Cape House” in French, the 7,212-square-foot, car-collector's-dream estate features a rooftop bar that overlooks the Pacific. It boasts a 900-bottle wine room, billiard, and media room. Outside there is 3,238 square feet of recreational space, including gardens, a summer kitchen and balcony with a hot tub and fireplace. - BUSINESS INSIDER

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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