Inside Real Estate - January 8th, 2020

Inside Real Estate (Jan 8th, 2020)

Mortgage broker fined $120K / Housing bill in CA / 'King of the megamansion' lists his home /

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1. A new version of a housing bill may make it easier for homes to be built near transit and job hubs in California, which could alleviate the housing shortage in that state. State Senator Scott Wiener reworked a previously failed bill to allow municipalities to control how to observe laws that determine where residential properties can be erected. The legislation, S.B. 50, is intended to increase housing inventory and denser development, the latter of which could aid in fighting climate change. Governmental policies have been blamed for the slow rate of construction and supply in California, where the median home price is now nearly $600,000. - BLOOMBERG

2. Online real estate company Perch has changed its name to Orchard. The New York City-based entity announced that — in addition to the moniker revamp — it just raised $36 million in a new round of funding led by Navitas. This company aims to helps home shoppers avoid double mortgages during the home-selling and buying process by “making an offer on buyers’ old houses that is guaranteed for 90 days.” According to co-founder Court Cunningham, nearly 90 percent of those properties sell before the 90-day period, allowing sellers to confidently make a new house purchase sooner. With the money, Orchard said it plans to double the size of its 150-person team by the end of the year. - TECHCRUNCH

3. A mortgage broker in California is accused of publicizing personal financial information about clients after they left bad reviews on his professional Yelp page. Mortgage Solutions owner Ramon Walker reportedly exposed the credit histories, "debt, income, tax, family relationships and other personal information" of people who negatively assessed his services, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Walker would reply — in some cases — by sharing a person’s missed payments and delinquencies, identifying them by first and last name. Because those actions violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Walker will now have to pay $120,000 to settle the allegations. - CBS NEWS

4. The Dallas-Fort Worth area's historically low new commercial construction is aligning well with the retail-pocalypse’s effects. While it's long been known for being "one of the most overbuilt retail markets in the nation," the north Texas region is now self-regulating and reaching impressive occupancy rates above 90 percent. Among those encouraging this market adjustment are restaurants, which are increasingly signing leases at all sorts of new commercial spaces in and around Dallas. One expert explained that newly launched establishments help their surrounding retailers by driving “traffic, cross-shopping and sales.” - DALLAS MORNING NEWS

5. A $36.5 million Beverly Hills mansion designed by Richard Landry hit the market on Tuesday. Landry is known as the "king of the megamansion" for the custom estates he's designed for celebrity clients. The famed high-end home visionary's 12,434-square-foot glass-wall modern residence features a wine room, gym and an infinity-edge pool. Its centerpiece includes many art pieces by the late Zaha Hadid. - MANSION GLOBAL

6. Rising homeownership expenses and more have made leasing more attractive to Baby Boomers. An AARP spokesperson said that since 2005, "Americans in their 50s and 60s have accounted for the largest portion of the country's increase in renters." This is a change from the years when retirees sought to pay off mortgages and stay put. One of the reasons for this shift is that those retirement-aged people are moving to cities with a high cost of living where taxes and monthly maintenance are more expensive. - BUSINESS INSIDER

7. Actress Ellen Pompeo just sold her custom Hamptons mansion for nearly $3 million. The custom modern-farmhouse-style abode sits on eight acres of land in Sag Harbor, New York. Pompeo originally bought an old cabin on this parcel for $925,000 in 2011 that was later razed to create this estate. Pompeo recently gave birth to her third child, which may have led to the decision to sell this five-bedroom summer getaway. - REALTOR

8. Recent commercial real estate transactions in New York range from $6.6 to 54 million. The $54 million oneis a 140,000-square-foot, two-story warehouse, at 511 Barry Street in The Bronx. Built in 1961, it was purchased by Innovo Property Group and was formerly owned by Baldor Specialty Foods. The building is fully refrigerated and includes a loading dock. At the other end of the spectrum is the $6.6 million three-story building at 698 Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn. This 1931, 4-unit structure is fully occupied and has two top floors of office space. - NEW YORK TIMES

9. Forbes contributor Heather Senison offers five common buyer questions that brokers could be penalized for answering, due to some state and federal fair-housing laws. “How are the schools here?” is just one of the questions a real estate agent can’t legally answer. "Is this a good place to raise a family?" and "Is this a safe neighborhood?" are also questions you should avoid asking your realtor. When marketing properties, Senison explains, it’s important to plan ahead for tricky questions and know how to respond without violating laws that are put in place to protect home shoppers. - FORBES

10. Famed Washington, D.C. philanthropist Adrienne Arsht just added another expansive mansion to her portfolio of properties. Arsht — a major supporter of some organizations, including the Kennedy Center — bought the bold-hued 1840 Georgian-style, 11000-square-foot estate for $8.75 million. Arsht has an abundant collection of high-priced properties. - WASHINGTONIAN

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.

Edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

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