Archives for July 2012

Where Home Ownership Rates Are Highest

monopoly-houseThe national home ownership rate has held mostly steady this year, standing at 65.5 percent for the second quarter, according to recent U.S. Census Bureau data. The rate is 0.4 percentage points lower than the second quarter of 2011, but 0.1 percentage point higher than the first quarter of this year.

The home ownership rate has steadily fallen over the last few years since last peaking in the first quarter of 2005 at 69.1 percent.

Home ownership rates are highest in the Midwest at 69.6 percent whereas home ownership rates are the lowest in the West, at 59.7 percent, according to the Census data.

Here’s a closer look at the home ownership rate among different demographics, according to the second quarter U.S. Census Bureau housing data:

  • The home ownership rate is highest at 81.6 percent for those ages 65 years and over.
  • The home ownership rate is lowest at 36.5 percent for those who are under 35 years of age.
  • Non-Hispanic whites have the highest home ownership rates among the races at 73.5 percent, while the Hispanic home ownership rate was 46.5 percent and 43.8 percent for African Americans in the second quarter.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Kitchen of the Week: Streamlined and Smart in Montreal

The 10 Home Remodeling Projects You Should Not DIY

TyvekThere are easy and affordable ways to upgrade and decorate your home. Small upgrades can go a long way to create more space. However, not all upgrades and remodeling projects are safe for you to do on your own. Stylist Home created a great top 10 list for remodeling projects that are better left to a professional.

1) Paving Your Driveway
Paving stones can turn a boring driveway into a focal point. And while they look relatively simple to install, the reality is that the measuring and positioning of paving stones can be tremendously time-consuming. (Think of it as a game of Tetris on steroids.) But a team of professionals can cut installation down to a day, depending on your driveway size.

2) Tree Removal
Cutting down trees, or even removing branches requires climbing and working with dangerous tools from a high distance off the ground. This is disaster waiting to happen, and definitely something better left to professionals who are trained and paid to do this!

3) Electrical Work
It’s one thing to flip a fuse switch to the power in your home on or off, but another to attempt to repair faulty wiring or any other electrical issues without professional help. Working with electrical wires can be deadly and the proper precautions and knowledge are crucial.

4) Home Additions Or Structural Changes
Knocking down walls might seem like a simple task, but behind those walls could be electrical wiring, gas pipes and plumbing that can cause huge problems in your home. Rather than taking a chance, consult a contractor first!

5) Plumbing Repair
Unless it’s something simple like unclogging a toilet or fixing a drain, messing with plumbing can cause major dilemmas (Just think about an overflowing toilet or unstoppable burst in a pipe…not fun). It’s always better to ask a plumber before trying to tackle any plumbing issues on your own.

For the full list check out The 10 Home Remodeling Projects You Should Not DIY by Stylist Home.

Image via Stylist Home

How to Design a Kitchen Island

How to Pick a Mailbox That Really Delivers

The Continued Rise of Mobile [Infographic]

email-mobile-phoneAccording to Online Media Daily, this year the mobile payment transactions will exceed $171.5 billion which is a 62% increase from last year. As of Feb. 2012, 74% of smartphone users have used their mobiles for location related services. 50% of people who shop on smartphone use a GPS/mapping app to locate the address of a retail store.

By this year end, approximately 116 million people in America will use a smartphone at least once in a month, an actual increase from last year’s 93.1 million. It is a fact that 47% of smartphone owners will rather rely on their smartphones to find more information about a product. 36% read product reviews on their mobile devices about retail websites.


VIA: [Source]

Olympics: Then vs. Now [infographic]


Where Homes Are Selling the Fastest – Seattle # 4!


Since the Olympics start today, and we’ll be hearing about and watching very fast people, this seems appropriate.

The average number of days homes are spending on the market has dropped by nearly 10 percent nationwide in the last year, according to June housing data from The average U.S. home now spends 84 days on the market.

But in some housing markets, homes are selling even faster, spending an average of 45 days or less on the market before they sell. What’s more, many of these housing markets are having not only some of the speediest home sales but also some of the largest increases in median home prices compared to a year ago.

Here are seven metro areas that saw homes on the market for the fewest number of days in June, according to data:

  • Oakland, Calif.

Median days on the market: 24

  • Denver

Median days on the market: 33

  • Anchorage, Alaska

Median days on the market: 43

  • Fresno, Calif.

Median days on the market: 43

  • Bakersfield, Calif.

Median days on the market: 44

  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.

Median days on the market: 45

  • San Francisco, Calif.

Median days on the market: 45

Find out what other markets are seeing speedy sales at 24/7 Wall St.

Source: “American Cities Where Homes Sell Fastest,” 24/7 Wall St. (July 25, 2012

How Banks Make Money From Home Loans


How Banks Make Money From Home Loans is explained right here in this infographic from Tomorrow Finance. We are even given the outstanding figure of $13.4 trillion of outstanding mortgage debt.

Fractional Reserve Banking refers to a banking system which requires the commercial banks to keep only a portion of the money deposited with them as reserves. The bank pays interest on all deposits made by its customers and uses the deposited money to make new loans.

This design does a good job of showing the audience the scale of the amount of money involved.  Each $100 stack of bills is carefully used to visualize the amount of money being used in the explanation, and it makes a bigger impact by making it visual.

The designer here did a really good job of telling a simple, focused story in the the infographic that is quick and easy for readers to understand.