Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Open Houses

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Musician Irene Bressler never imagined she'd live in a split-level home – a type of tract house built by the millions in midcentury housing developments that sprawled across the suburbs.
A look at this weekend's open houses in the Philadelphia region.
Some seniors don't qualify for a reverse mortgage, either because they are not old enough (you must be at least 62), or because their home equity, the difference between the value of their home and the balance of their existing standard mortgage, is too small. Such seniors won't waste much time on the effort. Any loan provider they contact will give them the bad news immediately, since they don't want to waste their time on deals that can't be done.
Mortgage lenders are students of history.
Home-builder confidence inched up this month, but remains shaky as the spring home-buying season gets underway.
Making homes out of clay, sand and straw – a material called "cob" – might raise eyebrows in earthquake country, but California devotees are hoping to gain acceptance for what they say is an inexpensive, environmentally friendly and safe way to build.
First-quarter average home values in Philadelphia declined 4 percent from the last three months of 2013 as the city's real estate market recovery continued to experience "fits and starts," economist Kevin Gillen, who tracks the market, said Monday.
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