Monthly Archives: February 2011

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Virginia Ruffulo, Medford, Oregon

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Southern Oregon Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Virginia been selling Medford real estate for over 12 years, and she is a lifetime member of the million dollar… Read more »

Manhattan Seeing Residential Real Estate Boom

Early last year, Michael Weiss began attending tenant board meetings at the Brooklyner, Avalon Fort Greene and a handful of other luxury residential towers in downtown Brooklyn. In October, Mr. Weiss, director of the MetroTech Business Improvement District, threw the group’s first neighborhood block party on Bridge Street, with live music, rides and food. He… Read more »

High-End Home Sales Surged in Silicon Valley in January

Million-dollar home sales in Silicon Valley rose sharply last month compared to January 2010 as the upper end of the market continued to gain traction in the new year, according Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the South Bay’s leading provider of luxury real estate services. A total of 98 homes sold for more than $1 million… Read more »

What All New Homeowners Should Know

So you’ve decided to buy a house, but you’re not sure if your finances are quite up to speed. Even if you hope to buy six months from now, there are numerous improvements and adjustments to be made in the interim, prior to taking on a mortgage. First-time home buying is well documented as an… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Colleen Murphy, Honolulu

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Location Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Over 90% of Colleen’s business comes from referrals from past clients! She is happy to work with buyers and sellers of… Read more »

North Carolina Sees Big Changes in How Real Estate is Bought and Sold

Periodically, we’ll run guest columns from our member realtors on their areas, and issues that affect gay and lesbian buyers.  Here’s the next in the series – a great column from Wendy Tanson about Chapel Hill & Durham, North Carolina’s gay neighborhoods.  (click here to see Gay Realty Network’s North Carolina real estate page): Big… Read more »

Calgary Commercial Real Estate Market Improving

nvestment in Canadian commercial real estate bounced back last year with the strongest performance in three years, at 11.1 per cent, as measured by the REALpac/IPD Canada Annual Property Index. The annual total return -a marked turnaround from 2009’s negative return of 0.3 per cent, and 3.7 per cent in 2008 -is underpinned by a… Read more »

MN: Foreclosures Improving in State

Jan Schley, a real-estate agent with 1 Stop Realty, of Kasson, has been selling foreclosed houses in Dodge County and surrounding areas for 20 years. “There’s never been as many as in the last two years,” she said. And while the first quarter of 2010 has had fewer cases, “they tell us that there’s a… Read more »

Check Out America’s Most Expensive Homes

Candy Spelling, widow of television giant Aaron, has listed the Manor, Los Angeles’ largest, and arguably most opulent, house up for sale at US$150-million, out-pricing every other listed home in the country. Just down the street the owner of a sprawling classical style marble mansion is asking for US$125-million, making it the second most-expensive home… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Martie Law, Kauai, Hawaii

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Kauai Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Martie was born and raised on Kauai, and her grandfather founded Sleeping Giant Realty back in 1974. He never imagined that… Read more »

MA: Foreclosures Jump on Martha’s Vineyard

As the nation grapples with a foreclosure crisis, Island bank and real estate professionals agree the wave of foreclosures is less severe on Martha’s Vineyard than other places in Massachusetts, and other places across the nation. But the Island is not immune. The number of foreclosures in Dukes County spiked in 2009 and 2010, with… Read more »

NY: Wealthier Areas See Real Estate Price Increases

New York area home prices have held up better than most other major metropolitan areas, with wealthy commuting suburbs providing the bulk of recovery while towns farther from the city have lagged, brokers and analysts said. Those mixed results came after a national survey this week found that December home prices in the New York… Read more »

San Francisco: Mid Market Real Estate Due for a Revival?

Josette Melchor spends much of her time devising ways to lure art lovers into the contemporary exhibition space she runs in downtown San Francisco, halfway between the city’s Civic Center and bustling Union Square. She also spends time making sure other people stay out. “We don’t have open doors, ever. They’re always locked,” said Melchor,… Read more »

FL: Will Everglades Restoration Help Local Economy?

Another big Everglades project broke ground on Friday, a $79 million job in Southwest Florida to plug a drainage canal, install a massive pump to pulse freshwater back into thirsty wetlands and salty estuaries and rip out 100 miles of overgrown roadbed, remnants of a long-dead real estate fiasco. It’s the second phase of work… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Ken Libby, Stowe, Vermont

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Vermont Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Ken has been a Stowe area Realtor(R) since 1979, and he has listed & sold both residential & commercial investment real… Read more »

Has Homeownership Lost Its Luster?

Meredith Carr and Vince Melamed of Brentwood are just the sort of couple real estate agents have always counted on to buy a home. Melamed is a successful keyboardist and songwriter who wrote hits including Trisha Yearwood’s “Walkaway Joe,” and Carr is a freelance editor. They owned a home in Nashville, but when they moved… Read more »

FL: Investors Buying Up Fort Lauderdale Condos

Investment groups completed two more Broward County bulk condo deals in the past week. Last Friday, Miami-based Sonata Grand LLC, headed by Pierre Heafey, spent $9.7 million, or $173 a square foot, for 22 units at Sonata Beach Club in Pompano Beach, according to, a real estate consulting firm. This week, Village East Investment… Read more »

Canadian Real Estate Market Will Likely See Steady But Not Stellar Growth

The Canadian housing market remains strong, but the days of double-digit gains in real estate are largely over, according to the president of Coldwell Banker Canada. And that’s all the more reason to view your home purchase primarily as a lifestyle decision rather than an investment in the hopes of a “quick return,” John Geha… Read more »

How to Pursue a Home Loan Modification

Home owners all across the world wait with baited breath of any news regarding a change in the home loan structure, mortgage loan structure, any reductions accompanying these type of loans etc. The loan modification process introduced by the Obama administration is a benchmark in the history of American real estate market as the mortgage… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Millynn James, Portland, Oregon

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Portland, Oregon Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Top-producing broker serving the LGBT community’s real estate needs for 15 years, 34 years an out lesbian activist. About Gay/Lesbian… Read more »

New Loft Apartments Planned for Buffalo, New York

More loft style apartments are planned for Buffalo – this time in North Buffalo. Ciminelli Real Estate has inked a deal to puchase Bethune Hall and renovate the four-story structure into loft apartments. The building is located on Main Street near Bennett High School. At one time it housed the Buffalo Meter Company but recently… Read more »

Minnesota: Farmland Real Estate Sales Booming

The bidders drove over snow- and ice-covered highways for a chance to own one of the most lucrative properties in the U.S. Midwest: 120 acres of farmland in Greene County, Iowa. The winner of last month’s auction at St. Joseph’s Parish Center in Jefferson offered $8,200 an acre — almost $1 million — for the… Read more »

Five Tips for Gay & Lesbian Homeowners

LGBT home sellers should understand that it is still a buyer’s market and that the average time it takes to sell a home is more indicative of a bear market than it is of a bullish one. With that in mind, LGBT homeowners who hope to sell in 2011 are encouraged to be proactive about… Read more »

CA: Luxury Home Sales Up 21%

Even the rich love a deal. California homes priced at $1 million or more experienced a sales boom in 2010, the first increase in five years, even as overall home sales in the state declined, a real estate information service reported. The reason: High-end home shoppers went bargain hunting as certain parts of the economy… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Gregg Klar, Austin, Texas

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Location Realtors and Real Estate Professionals in Austin, Texas Gregg is always available to give you personal, one-on-one help with the biggest decision you’ll make in your… Read more »

OR: Ashland Area Realtors Hopeful for 2011

Perhaps the bright blue sky outside Thursday foretold better things to come. But with home prices continuing their five-year downward spiral, those in the know made no effort to sugarcoat the local real estate forecast for 2011. Reviewing 2010 and giving their hazy best guesses for the new year, Rogue Valley Association of Realtors representatives… Read more »

San Diego Real Estate Affordability at All-Time High

Home affordability for first-time buyers in the San Diego region reached a record-high last quarter, made possible by historically low lending rates and slight drops in median home price, according to an index from the California Association of Realtors late this week. Sixty-two percent of first-timers in the region can afford starter homes, rising from… Read more »

Dallas-Fort Worth Sees Home Price Dip

Dallas-Fort Worth home prices fell a negligible 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter. The decline was the first such drop since mid-2009 for the D-FW area in the National Association of Realtors’ quarterly U.S. home-price report. Nationwide, home prices inched up 0.2 percent from a year earlier during the same period, according to the Realtors’… Read more »

DC: Home Sales in January Up 31% Over Last Year

Home sales in the Washintgon, D.C., metro region got a bump last month, according to one index. Pending sales were up 31 percent from a year earlier, according to RealEstate Business Intelligence, a subsidiary of Metropolitan Regional Information Systems of Rockville. The index is a two-year moving window that uses pending sales and median sales… Read more »

“Boom” Gay Planned Community Coming to Palm Springs

Boom, a planned community slated for 100+ acres in Rancho Mirage, was originally conceived with gay people in mind, but straight people can come too–everyone’s invited to the multi-generational, pedestrian-oriented, culture-driven, hyphenation-mad little burg, for which plans include 300 residences in eight neighborhoods, an entertainment complex, a boutique hotel, a gym, and “state-of-the-art wellness facilities”… Read more »

Is Seattle Real Estate Market Bouncing Back?

Fourth quarter real estate numbers are dismal, but the picture changes when you look at what happened in January. A new report from shows a drop in home values and an increase in people who owe the bank more than their home is worth. According the Zillow’s data, nearly three out of 10 local… Read more »

MN: Twin Cities Real Estate Values Still Dropping

With each passing month, woes continue for the Twin Cities housing market. A steady stream of reports show the housing market still faces a mighty struggle, as home values continue to fall and the number of homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth continues to rise. The latest data, from… Read more »

GA: Atlanta Home Values Dropped to 1999 Levels in 2010

Home values in metro Atlanta fell 15 percent in the final three months of 2010. That’s according to real estate company Zillow, which tracks home prices nationwide. By comparison, homes values only fell 6 percent nationally. More than 54 percent of single-family homes in Atlanta are worth less than their owners owe on them. What’s… Read more »

AZ: Phoenix Foreclosures Account for 43% of Home Sales

Foreclosures accounted for 43 percent of January’s home sales in the Phoenix area, bouncing up from about 30 percent of single-family resales in the last few months of 2010. The latest report from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business also reports that more than 3,600 single-family homes were impacted by foreclosure proceedings in… Read more »

Planned Boston Gay Retirement Community Files for Bankruptcy

The entity formed to build what was to be Boston’s first retirement community catering specifically to gay men and lesbians filed Tuesday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Stonewall Miner LLC listed assets and liabilities both in the range of $1 million to $10 million. The company’s Fenway project never broke ground, according to media reports… Read more »

CO: Vail Real Estate Market Picked Up in 2010

With final numbers for the year in hand, 2010 looks like a good news/bad news year for local real estate. First, the good news: * Transactions were up by one-third over 2009. * Total sales volume increased by two-thirds over 2009. * Whether or not prices have hit bottom, buyers are coming back, if not… Read more »

MN: Minneapolis Real Estate Market Showing Signs of Life

Employment, hospitality, entertainment and mass transit usage were up last year in downtown Minneapolis. The commercial real estate market absorbed the equivalent of nearly four Target stores full of space, and vacancy rates started to decline. Crime and homelessness also were down as business rebounded and the arts-and-entertainment industries surged. Those are the headlines from… Read more »

SC: Lowcountry Real Estate Market Improving

The real estate business chugged toward recovery last year in both the Hilton Head Island and Beaufort areas, according to statistics and Realtors. Home, condo and villa sales increased 16.1 percent to 2,486 in the Hilton Head area and by 21.7 percent to 963 in the Beaufort area compared to 2009, the South Carolina Realtors… Read more »

BofA Getting Out of Reverse Mortgage Business

Due to “competing demands and priorities that require investments and resources be focused on other key areas of…business,” Bank of America has announced that it will be pulling out the reverse mortgage origination business[1]. The decision follows in the wake of much bad press from around the country as BofA finds itself under attack in… Read more »

AB: Edmonton Real Estate Sales Start Slow in January

Edmonton-area home sales started 2011 at a considerably slower pace than 2010, show MLS figures released Wednesday by the Realtors Association of Edmonton. Residential sales for the Edmonton region in January were 735, down 11.9 per cent from December and off by 21 per cent from January 2010. Buyers began entering the market in January… Read more »

NY: Manhattan Condo Prices Dropped in November

In November, prices fell by 2.9% to $1,037.63 per square foot from October, according to real-estate data company Radar Logic’s monthly RPX index. The decline marks a reversal from the upward trajectory Manhattan condo prices have been on since hitting a four-year low of $932.42 per square foot in May 2009. Since then, the city’s… Read more »

BC: Vancouver Housing Market Hanging in the Balance

Metro Vancouver’s housing market remained in balanced market conditions in January, although there were signs of a sellers’ market returning with higher levels of demand in larger communities. “There was a healthy balance between the number of home buyers and sellers in our market in January, but there’s always variation in activity from region to… Read more »

Will US Housing Prices Stabilize in 2011?

Are better times ahead in real estate? And are declining home prices likely in the coming year? Can both happen at the same time? That might be the case, according to a new analysis from Fiserv, Inc., an information management provider for the financial services industry. It says both that prices will stabilize — but… Read more »

Five Hidden Costs for Homeowners

The decision to rent or buy can be complicated. There are a lot of factors to consider–market statistics, home prices, how long you plan to stay in your home, how fast rents rise, and so on. There are online calculators that can give you a rough idea of whether it would be better for you… Read more »

Dubai: Three Manmade Islands in The World Project For Sale

Three islands on The World project here in Dubai ­Finland, Sapporo and Kathmandu – are up for sale in the secondary market, Emirates 24|7 can reveal. Two Dubai-based real estate agencies have put online adverts for sale of the islands, with Finland and Sapporo, the high-density islands, offered at a discount. The 350,226.00-square feet Finland… Read more »

Is Sustainable Living the Wave of the Future?

TURNING green is becoming more and more popular among homeowners as rising household costs, government legislation and greater environmental awareness combine in favour of making a change. Real Estate Institute of Queensland managing director Dan Molloy said sustainable housing was no longer a fringe issue and was increasingly seen as a smart investment decision undertaken… Read more »