Open-house signs a nuisance | Inside Real Estate - December, 9th 2019

Inside Real Estate (Dec 9th, 2019)

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1. Los Angeles could become a strong market for house flippers, thanks — in part — to iBuyers like Zillow, OpenDoor and Redfin’s platforms, that buy and sell homes directly from owners. Some sellers prefer this service because it can be faster and less complicated than the traditional home-selling process. And there’s a wide budget range for these platforms: Redfin can afford to pay up to $900,000 per dwelling. The tricky part of flipping in LA is the variability of home prices and their ages: values can shift from one block to another, and some older properties can come with surprises that new-builds don’t include. - WALL STREET JOURNAL

2. A congressional bill with bipartisan support aims to ensure that children who are aging out of the foster-care system will have housing after embarking on their own. Currently, to obtain housing, these youths must “live in the jurisdiction of a public housing agency that already has been awarded vouchers under the Family Unification Program.” Only about 300 of the nation’s 4,000 agencies receive these now. The proposed law would expand to allow all agencies to request vouchers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It would also extend support beyond three years if aid recipients are pursuing workforce training or higher education. Democrat Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley are collaborating on the bill. -COLUMBUS DISPATCH

3. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s office announced Saturday that the Boston Housing Authority would be receiving $1.8 million in federal funding. That will pay for nearly 140 vouchers that will benefit “homeless families, homeless individuals, and people with disabilities.” These tickets are intended to cover rent. The Boston Housing Authority oversees approximately 13,500 vouchers. They are valid wherever landlords accept them. — BOSTON GLOBE

4. More than 100 residents at a southeast Colorado Springs apartment development have been asked to leave the premises due to a potential asbestos contamination, according to Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that exposure to asbestos has been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma. Owned by Slipstream Properties, this complex recently underwent renovations, which is what allegedly “disturbed” the asbestos in the building or its insulation. Another problem for residents who recently departed their apartment homes: looting has been reported at numerous units. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

5. In better news for Colorado Springs, the city’s soccer team — the Switchbacks — just broke ground on a $35 million multi-use stadium downtown. This comes after years of searching for the perfect location, as well as similar stadium-proposal drafts that started as early as 2013. The team will partner with the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority and Weidner Apartment homes to bankroll the project. The 8,000-seat outdoor venue at Cimarron and Sahwatch streets is expected to debut in March 2020. - THE GAZETTE

6. Part of the reason San Francisco is such an expensive place to live is the ultra-high cost of building in the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Construction has not yet started on more than 30,000 approved home sites because developers are still seeking financing and workers, the Chronicle reports. In addition to an employee shortage and high fees, there are also extended waits for permitting and constricting zoning regulations. While San Francisco topped the San Francisco Chronicle's list of priciest cities in which to build, New York, London, Zurich and Hong Kong also followed in a ranking, respectively. - SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

7. A new Mercury News interactive map comprised of Zillow data shows Bay Area-locals where they can afford to rent or buy based on their incomes. For example, in the San Jose ZIP code of 95134, an annual income of $122,700 would be required to afford a median-rent home of $3,068 per month. To determine affordability, data journalists looked at residents spending “30 percent or less of their gross monthly income on housing costs.” - THE MERCURY NEWS

8. In response to residents' complaints, city officials in Fremont, California, are cracking down on real estate agents who overwhelm neighborhoods with “open house” signs at major intersections. To declutter streets, the city is expected to enforce a limit on the amount of signage erected in Fremont. Now some agents are outing each other when competitors violate the new rule, since it can offer a marketing edge. - EAST BAY TIMES

9. While some recent reports anticipate a national housing-inventory shortage in 2020, Maui County in Hawaii is already facing the issue head on. New data from the Realtors Association of Maui said that the supply of single-family homes plummeted to a new low of just 442 properties up for sale at the end of November. That's a year-over-year decrease of 15 percent. Additionally, condos fell by nearly 9 percent from November 2018 and their prices dipped by 5.9 percent to just under $500,000 per home. - MAUI NEWS

10. Jon Bon Jovi tops a New Jersey ranking of what celebrities in that state pay in property taxes. The rock star reportedly pays a whopping $218,477 for the $10.4 million, Middletown mansion he's owned since 1999. For comparison’s sake, the average property tax bill for that city is $9,232.  Another rocker on the list is Bruce Springsteen at No. 3, who pays $188,855 for his Colt’s Neck, New Jersey, home. The average for that place is $15,121 annually. - NJ.COM

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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