Archive for homes

Quickie- Building starts increase dramatically as housing recovery continues



Imagine how good things would be if the R's worked with us instead of against us.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders started more houses and apartments in February and obtained permits for future construction at the fastest pace in 4 ½ years. The increases point to a housing recovery that is gaining strength.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders broke ground on homes last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000. That's up from 910,000 in January. And it's the second-fastest pace since June 2008, behind December's rate of 982,000.

Single-family home construction increased to an annual rate of 618,000, the most in 4 ½ years. Apartment construction also ticked up, to 285,000.

The gains are likely to grow even faster in the coming months. Building permits, a sign of future construction, increased 4.6 percent to 946,000. That was also the most since June 2008, just a few months into the Great Recession.

And the figures for January and December were also revised higher. Overall housing starts have risen 28 percent higher over the past 12 months.


Good news: Energy use falls even though homes have gotten larger


good news happy hand

Whaddya know, a good news story! They're rare these days, so consider this an early New Year's gift. Or loan. Or momentary indulgence.

The L.A. Times is reporting that even though homes are getting larger and larger, household energy use is getting smaller and smaller. At least that's what government stats are showing, and that's good enough for me:

The reason: energy features built into newer homes. New houses are better insulated, so they use less energy to heat and cool. The appliances are more efficient, and people living in even the biggest houses tend to be more aware of the environment and energy waste.

Improvements in the efficiency of the building envelope, space heating, air conditioning, refrigerators and other appliances have all led to decreased consumption per household, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Specifically, double- or triple-pane energy-efficient windows have been a factor, as have have Energy Star refrigerators and Energy Star clothes washers. So have caulking and weatherstripping to seal cracks and air leaks, better insulation, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent or light-emitting diode lights.

Keep up the good work, America, conservation works... no matter what the GOP tries to sell/tell you.



Tommy Thompson Forgets How Many Homes He Owns


A gift for Tammy Baldwin!! Call John McCain and see how well this went over with the public there Tommy. h/t Taegan.

Simply ask the U.S. Senate candidate exactly how many residences he owns. Just like U.S. Sen. John McCain, Thompson has a hard time keeping track.

"Three," the veteran Republican responded last week at a campaign event.

Thompson has three houses? Isn't there another one?

"No," he answered without hesitation.


Only later did a correction come from his campaign staff:

He actually has one more place he calls home.

Thompson - who is running against Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin - had forgotten his condo off Lake Wisconsin in Sauk County. The property is currently assessed at more than $1.3 million.


PhotOH! Romney’s mansions vs Pres. Obama’s humble beginnings: Candidates’ homes revealed


Romney’s Mansions v Obama’s Humble Beginnings on Movoto Real Estate

 Via an old friend of TPC.

I keep trying (no idea why), but I have yet to find anything I can relate to when it comes to the Romneys.


US builder confidence ticks up to 5-year high


Any bit of good news and I'm on it.

WASHINGTON -- Confidence among U.S. builders ticked up this month to a five-year high, an indication that the housing market is slowly improving.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index rose in June to 29, the highest reading since May 2007. It increased from a reading of 28 last month, which was revised down one point.

The index has risen in seven of the past nine months. Still, any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. The index hasn't reached that level since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.

In June, builders reported seeing the best sales level since April 2007, according to a separate measure in the survey. Their outlook for sales in the next six months, however, hasn't changed from May.


New home sales up


Jobs, jobs and more jobs needed. I'm with Atrios, get the unemployed out there painting peoples roofs white for energy conservation.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sales of new homes jumped last month, but it was the second-weakest month on record. The lackluster economy has made potential buyers skittish about shopping for homes.

New home sales rose nearly 24 percent in June from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 330,000. May's number was revised downward to a rate of 267,000, the slowest pace on records dating back to 1963. Sales for April and March were also revised downward.

High unemployment, low job growth, and tight credit have kept people from buying homes. The industry received a boost this spring when the government offered tax credits to homebuyers. But since they expired in April, the number of people looking to buy has dropped, even with the lowest mortgage rates in decades available.

"There's no question that this is a weak number, but it seems to be more stable," said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group. "The bottom line to all of this is that we need more jobs."


Sarah Palin: Stories about her demands, income are "bogus, goofy"


Half-Gov Mc$$$$ denies that she's made a bundle since quitting her day job.

In fact, she continues to insist that she's just like us, just a gal from Wasilly who wears hand-me-downs and sucks on straight straws (whatever that might mean).

I beg to differ, based on the visuals alone (see below). And don't get me started on reports to the contrary.

Oh, and those crazy, wacky demands for bendy straws? Goofy! Bogus! Annoying!

"These stories were kind of annoying about what I asked for - bendable straws and goofy things like that," she said. "It's also bogus how much money I supposedly make."

Pointing to her black lace dress, she said, "This is a consignment shop piece. You can ask [my husband] Todd. He'll say, 'Really, where is all that money?' We live in Wasilla, Alaska. You can't get more grounded than that."

Hey Todd. You're grounded.

The Palin house is on the left, their new house is in the middle, unidentified house on the right.
H/t: Taegan