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Inside Real Estate (Dec 2nd, 2019)

1. The tech giants that may have contributed to California's housing crisis are now pledging aid for those affected by the downturn, but these corporate donations might not be enough, experts claim. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have each either offered billions in monetary donations or have provided charitable centers — like Amazon's homeless shelter, which sits on its campus. However, Bay Area residents say they’re currently "being displaced," because their rents are rising too quickly, and some of the recently announced housing solutions are “too little, too late.” Others argue that tech companies disproportionately hire Caucasian and Asian men,  which has negatively affected diversity and job opportunities for many in the area. - CNBC

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2. Nine homeowners' associations (HOA) in Mississippi are suing a real estate company that allegedly stole more than $1.6 million from HOA bank accounts. Ridgway Lane & Associates is accused of pocketing funds from the HOAs, which filed suit Nov. 6. The company’s vice president David. W. Lane — who is the son of president David L. Lane — has inexplicably left the company. The Lanes listed their homes within days of the suit’s filing, according to the AP. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

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3. The Texas “triangle" — formed by Austin, Houston and Dallas — is attracting affluent transplants who seek big lots and city amenities. Californians and Chicagoans tend to favor Austin, while Dallas’ concentration of opulent mansions attracts corporate executives. Brenham, a small town near Houston, is drawing “weekend ranchers” — people who want 50 to 200 acres, which is manageable but still offers the feeling of a rural expanse. Another lure for these people is that Texas doesn’t have a state income tax, which one California man said was the equivalent of a 36-percent raise. How ZIP codes compare: Dallas' 75225 has a median sales price of $1.22 million; Houston's 77005 is $1.1 million and Austin's 78746 stands at $830,000. - MANSION GLOBAL

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4. A pair of couples has just created a $10 million custom, two-family house — which they share with in-laws — in Paradise Valley, Arizona. They make the curious living arrangement work by keeping in constant contact about issues regarding the house, scheduling all house maintenance through a shared email address, and by sharing expenses — like grocery shopping. Just one couple, the Folzes, covers big, expensive repairs. It’s also the small family that has its name on the house’s deed. - WALL STREET JOURNAL

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5. Some investors are buying properties in European capitals outside of the UK, in anticipation of a potential post-Brexit market. British investor Robert Drake — who just bought a luxury flat in Paris — said low borrowing costs, good prices and "a belief in the growing allure of continental Europe for financiers post-Brexit" prompted his purchase. He said whether or not Brexit happens, it's likely to see a "transfer from the financial sector in the UK" into other European cities in the future. According to some experts, Paris could benefit from Brexit concerns to the tune of 5- to 7-percent gains in 2020. - NEW YORK TIMES

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6. Upon its debut in a few months, residents of a new NoHo condominium — 40 Bleecker in New York — will be offered some of the luxury market’s newest building perks: room service for IV therapy and cryotherapy. IV therapy — known to help cure a hangover — reportedly boosts the metabolism, helps relieve pain, lower inflammation and restore collagen. Cryotherapy uses extreme cold — near-freezing temperatures — to treat a slate of ailments. Clean Market occupies 2,600 square feet in the new condo and delivers specialty services to residents. The cost for those treatments? IV drips start at $99 and cryo sessions range from $45 to $75 each. Luxury complexes offering “wellness amenities” have grown in popularity since late last year. - FORBES

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7. Home-improvement network HGTV is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The hugely popular outlet beat CNN as a “most-watched network” in 2016.  Among some of the factors that may have contributed to its success could be the housing boom of 1999, when “millions of Americans start buying homes on cheap credit,” New York Times contributor Ronda Kaysen says. That spurred the idea of houses as income-generating investments, not just homes, she says: "Your house sort of becomes a piggy bank.” Shows like "House Hunters" both entertained and helped to inform potential (even aspirational) real estate investors. - NPR

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8. While warehouses are a hot commodity in some cities — since they’re are used as online retailer distribution centers — South Florida’s warehouse sales prices decreased in 2019. Industrial spaces in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach decreased from $1.9 million to $1.6 million in 2019. However, experts say this isn’t a reason for concern, since the market’s “price per square foot and total sales volumes” are strong. - MIAMI HERALD

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9. Supermodel Karlie Kloss has sold her New York City apartment for $2.75 million. The West Village home went on the market in September and is now selling at the full-ask price. Kloss, who’s married to Joshua Kushner — brother of  POTUS’ senior advisor Jared Kushner — bought the unit for $1.98 million in 2012. - OBSERVER

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10. California property Wildlife Waystation, a unique 160-acre parcel, is on the market as a residential unit. The Los Angeles institution, which is roughly 20 miles from Hollywood, was once home to hundreds of exotic animals. It features a quirky main house and its own private movie set. It's listed at $2.2 million. - REALTOR (video)

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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.

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