Posts Tagged 'real estate market'

Cemeteries Increase Home Values

Buying any kind of famous haunted house is generally not a very good financial move. Sure you may get a decent deal on the house but the “haunted” status is what is driving down the price. It turns out that people don’t want to live in a house that they’re afraid of and you’ll probably have a very hard time if you want to sell the house yourself. However, in the spirit of Halloween there is something morbid that actually increases home values, cemeteries. According to a recent article by Redfin houses that are within 50 feet of a cemetery have an average home value that is 13 percent higher per square foot than the other houses in the area. Why is this? A well-maintained cemetery can be beautiful in a way but the real reason is that they’re quiet. It turns out that dead people make far less noise than living people and that’s a definite plus to people who want to live in a quiet neighborhood. Also older cemeteries can add a historical value to the surrounding properties. Some people may find it really cool to live by a graveyard with tombstones that date from the 1700s. So remember this on Halloween; while haunted houses may not sell for much, a house right next to a graveyard will sell for a premium.

I love quiet neighbors.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

Why People Are Giving Up Cars

We’ve been experiencing a large-scale transformation in how we get around. Once the ownership of cars became sufficiently widespread in the 1950s we’ve seen explosive growth in urban sprawl and suburbs because car ownership allowed people to live much further away from where they worked. As an example, the town of Wayne, New Jersey is now a big suburb 20-30 minutes outside New York City with a population of about 54,000 people. Between 1940 and 1960 Wayne’s population exploded from 6,868 people to 29,353 people (that’s a growth rate of 427%) and that trend has repeated itself all over the country.

Now we’re seeing evidence that that trend is reversing itself. Right now the percentage of American households that don’t own a car is at 9.3 percent which is up from 8.7 percent where it bottomed out in 2007. Forbes has a fascinating article about what the contributing factors are to this trend.

Lack of a driver’s license – Believe it or not there is much less interest in getting a driver’s license compared to a decade ago. Young people who grow up in cities where car ownership is unnecessary are less likely seek a driver’s license when they’re old enough to get one because they don’t see a need for one. However, the biggest adult demographic of people without a driver’s license are people between the ages of 30 and 55.

Access to other transportation
– Mass transit, especially around urban areas has expanded to the point where it provides a viable alternative to commuters. Commuter bus and rail lines have expanded to much more areas and have allowed young commuters to be able to put off buying a car.

Cars aren’t available – Increasing population density decreases access to cars. Around 30 percent of people who live in areas with 10,000 people or more per square mile report they do not have access to a car. The further out you get into the countryside, the more that number decreases.

It’s easier to walk places – Walkable communities are hot real estate right now and there is great demand to not have to use a car to do routine errands like grocery shopping. Living in a walkable area decreases the need to own a car and some people are able to ditch it entirely as a result. Also there has been a rise in telecommuting and working from home which further decreases the use of cars.

All of that being said, we’re still a culture very much in love with our cars. Over 90 percent of American households own at least one car and 80 percent of commuters use a car at some point in their commute. But that is changing slowly but surely.

I don’t think anyone enjoys going through that every day.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available in New Jersey, New York, and Nationwide. For more information please contact us at 866-255-0593 or

John Lennon’s Childhood Home is For Sale

In October of 1940 when all of England’s major cities were being bombed by the German Air Force, the residents of 9 Newcastle Road in Liverpool had a baby boy named John Lennon. That boy would live at that house for the first few years of his life until the marriage of his parents crumbled and he moved in with his aunt who effectively raised him. By the time the 1960s came along, Lennon would become one of the biggest rock stars the world has ever known until his unfortunate assassination in New York in 1980.

Now the house where John Lennon spent the first few years of his life is going to be sold at an auction later this month. The house’s current owner has kept the house looking much like it did during the 1960s and wants to sell the house because he wants to live in a house with a garden in his retirement. Though the house is badly in need of modernization, it is still expected to sell for a lot of money because well, there are a lot of rich Beatles fans around the world that collect their memorabilia. The guide price for the home is expected to be about £150,000-£250,000 which translates to about $243,000-$405,000 in US Dollars. I’m all for collecting Beatles memorabilia, but I wouldn’t want to buy something that would require a mortgage and property taxes just because it would be cool to have.

That paint job certainly looks like it’s from the sixties.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

Gannon’s Castle is on the Market

Have you ever played a video game and come across a piece of real estate that you wondered how much it would cost in the real world? It turns out that a market exists for real estate that only exists as virtual data on your monitor. In MMOs like Second Life people actually spend real-life money on virtual real estate. But what about those of us that aren’t into MMOs and hearken back to a time when every last game wasn’t connected to the internet? What about something like property values in Princess Zelda’s kingdom of Hyrule inside a Nintendo 64 cartridge? Well it turns out we know that too.

Randy Nelson of Moveto recently calculated what the value of Zelda villain Gannondorf’s castle from Ocarina of Time. To do this he first measured out the dimensions of the castle using adult Link as a measuring stick. He then researched the real estate values of castles in the Italian province of Tuscany, which is the land that Hyrule is based off of. He then found a similar looking castle that was valued at $1372 per square foot, and applied that price to the square footage of Gannon’s castle. The final price ended up being $57,752,968. It’s also important to consider that that price was probably much higher six years ago since Italy had a real estate bubble that popped around the same time America’s did. I just wonder how many Hyrulian rupees that translates to.

Buy Ganon's Castle

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

$1 Houses Are For Sale in Indiana… With a Catch

The city of Gary, Indiana currently has some of the best deals in real estate. The city recently bought several properties at a tax auction and they have recently announced that all 12 of those houses will be sold for one dollar. While the too-good-to-be-true price tag has drawn a great deal of attention, the city has turned away the vast majority of it’s roughly 400 suitors. That is because the city will only sell the properties to buyers who meet these qualifications:

-Must have lived in Gary for at least 6 months;
-Must have $1,000 in savings;
-Must earn at least 80% of the area’s median annual income of $35,250;
-Must demonstrate that they have the financial ability to rehabilitate the home;
-Must not currently own a home.

It also comes with the requirement that the owner must reside in the house for at least five years before they get full ownership of house and forfeit everything if they leave early. They may be offering perhaps the greatest house flipping opportunity ever but you’ll have to wait a while before you can cash in. In all, only 25 of the 400 interested buyers met those qualifications and the people who eventually get the houses will be selected through a random drawing held next month.

So why is Gary even doing this in the first place? All of these houses are serious fixer-upers and Gary’s mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson wants the potential buyers to be the ones to fix them and be more invested in the city as a whole. By selling a home for pocket change, the new homeowners will be able to afford the thousands of dollars worth of repairs all of the houses will need and it is hoped that their continued residence will stabilize the long economic decline the rust belt city has experienced for decades. Freeman-Wilson has said that if this pilot program is successful, she intends to sell about 50 homes per year under these conditions. It’s certainly an interesting idea and it’s fun to know that it is possible to become a first-time homeowner for just a dollar.

I could go for a $1 house

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

America’s most expensive ZIP codes

Forbes has compiled a list of America’s most expensive ZIP codes based on several factors including median asking price and number of homes on the market. If you are in the market for a wonderfully expensive estate with a swanky zip code to match, take a look at this list and find your new luxurious address. Or perhaps you just enjoy perusing pictures of magnificent homes and wishing you could live there. Either way you will enjoy this list, use it for reference, or day-dream material. Our zip code of choice is 10075, New York, where for $90 million (surely you could negotiate the asking price?) you can purchase the historic Woolworth Mansion. Not ready to commit? No worries… the home comes with an option to rent for a mere $150,000 per month!

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

Photo courtesy of: Brown, Harris, Stevens; inset: 2012 Microsoft Corp.

5 Housing Markets on the Way Up features a new list analyzed and compiled by Housing Predictor of 5 housing markets on the way up. With home prices continuing to fall, now could be the best time for you to snatch a great deal and make a profitable investment in one of these desirable markets. Projected to provide double-digit gains in the next 5 years, these areas are known to have growing job prospects and a stronger economic environment than other areas looked at in comparison. This list is certainly worth taking a look at if you are in the market to invest in a new home.

Here is a  look at the 5 that made the list:

  1. Miami, Florida
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. Los Altos, California
  4. Seattle, Washington
  5. Medford, Oregon

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or for more information.

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