Since the great decline in real estate values and sales began in 2006 and 2007, real estate experts and commentators have been trying to predict just what a full recovery might look like. There is general agreement that the number of sales and the values of all types of real estate are not headed back to the peak levels of 2005 at any time in the near future, even after the economy improves and the unemployment rate declines. Forecasting what “The New Normal” will look like has become a popular activity in real estate circles.
Many cities and towns across the U.S. have rules in place today that mandate that their teachers, police officers and other personnel performing core functions actually live in the communities they serve. But homeownership within city limits can be out of reach for many of the people in these positions, especially if they’re at entry level.
Some of those very same towns also have homes that were once filled with families but now sit vacant due to back taxes or other payment problems.
Thirty-two firefighters, police officers and U.S. Coast Guard members tapped into a placemaking program offered by the Michigan Association of REALTORS® (MAR) and the Traverse Area Association of REALTORS® (TAAR) that allows emergency medical providers and other first responders to live where they work.
A retrospective on the last four decades
To say that today’s housing market is marked by turbulence and uncertainty would be one of the great understatements of the past several years. Almost weekly, news about home prices, home sales or foreclosures add to the angst and uncertainty that many homeowners feel about their investment in real estate.
Green-built affordable housing is not an oxymoron. Rather, backers say, it’s a common-sense way of constructing single family homes, duplexes, apartment buildings, other dwellings and even whole neighborhoods that conserves energy, water and provides a healthy environment in which to live.
And while it may cost a little bit more up front to build, it saves on utility bills over the long-run. According to a New Ecology study of 16 green affordable housing developments, the average increase in costs over conventional building was only 2.4 percent.
Shared equity and trusts provide a path to affordable homeownership
A lot of people who bought their first home about the same time as Colin and Sarah Robinson in 2008 — or maybe a little before — have already lost it. Others won’t own theirs much longer.