Less Floor Space


New York is hoping to make housing more affordable; and it’s going to be a tight fit.

City planners believe apartments that measure no more than 300 feet; could be the answer to the rising number of single and two person households. Called “micro units” the small space has a bathroom, built in kitchenette and a combined sleeping and living area.

Earlier this week mayor Michael Bloomberg gave developers the go ahead to test this plan out on a vacant lot in Manhattan. If successful it could overturn a 1978 law that new apartments had to be at least 400 square feet.  read more »

Steep Rent


Feel like your rent check is higher than average? You could be right.

Bloomberg Businessweek put together a list of the ten U.S. cities with the steepest rent hikes. And if you’re paying rent in one of these cities, chances are you can’t do much about the extravagant cost. According to Bloomberg these ten cities are facing the double whammy of a shrinking inventory of available apartments and a rising number of people who can’t afford to buy a home.

Ronald Johnsey is president of a Dallas based apartment market research firm and says when the economy first took a dive in 2009 people started moving in with friends and family. As it slowly starts to recover, those same people are swooping up one bedroom apartments to rent because they’re still not confident enough to buy.  read more »

Free Rent...Almost


Looking to rent a new vacation home? How does one dollar a week sound?

The Australian community of Trundle, located about 200 northwest of Sydney is looking to up their population of 380. And to encourage families to make the move, the town is renting farm houses for one Australian dollar, or $.95 a week.

Dannielle Ward works at the Trundle Hotel and says they are hoping the cheap rent will bring in new life and help fill up schoolrooms. Ward says after a decade of drought, times have been tough and this might turn that around. But interested families better have an adventurous streak. The area, known as “the bush” is relatively undeveloped. And the website set up to promote the special offer wants families to be handy with tools and keen on rural living.  read more »

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The Cost of Living


Every month you shell out big bucks for your bills, rent or mortgage and anything else to keep your home up and running. While everyone's bank account takes a hit there's a big difference when you start comparing zip codes.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released a report of the most expensive cities for housing costs, gleaned from information gathered by surveying renters and homeowners in metropolitan areas. The bureau then calculated each cities median housing expense based on rent and mortgage payments, utilities and property tax. They found that in cities such as San Francisco and Washington, D.C. where cost of living is high, median incomes also tend to be higher.  read more »