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Smart Homes: The Way of the Future or a Risk to Homeowners?

Daily Real Estate News - June 23, 2018 - 12:01am

Glitches of early iterations aside, AI-based technology has come a long way, and has an increasingly active presence in the lives of homeowners who are looking for convenience and savings in a pushed-for-time era. From adaptive thermostats that automatically gauge energy usage and alter temperatures for optimal savings, to smart home speakers that use sophisticated artificial intelligence to provide services and information in real-time, a smart homeowner can now cross off a variety of menial tasks from their daily to-do list without doing more than speaking a phrase out loud or clicking a button on their mobile device.

What is the true cost of this convenience? Some gadget adopters are reporting invasion of privacy, security risks, and more. For those who have not yet invested in smart home technology, these factors are largely holding them back; in fact, it is the second-biggest reason for hesitation for 17 percent of non-users, behind price (42 percent), according to a recently released report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), “Smart Home, Seamless Life: Unlocking a Culture of Convenience.” In addition, 56 percent of surveyed individuals stated they would choose encryption to protect their data when creating their own smart home.

What are these misuses of technology that could lead to privacy or security risks? These are a few of the reported instances thus far:

  1. Gadgets May Be Susceptible to Hacking
    Last August, Wired published a story about a British security researcher for MWR Labs, Mark Barnes, who was able to install malware on an Amazon Echo device, turning it into a surveillance device that silently streamed audio to his own server. While newer models cannot be jailbroken this way, Amazon has not released any software to fix the issue with older units.

For the typical owner, this may not seem like a significant violation; however, this could lead to another type of home theft in which fraudsters break into homes looking to steal identifying information via smart home gadgets, leaving little to no evidence of their break-in behind. While Barnes installed code for the specific purpose of audio streaming, he clarified that the installation of malware could serve other uses, such as stealing access to a homeowner’s Amazon account, installing ransomware or attacking parts of the network.

  1. Smart Technology Could Lead to Location-Based Tracking
    Earlier this month, security investigator Brian Krebs reported on a privacy vulnerability for both Google Home and Chromecast—found by Craig Young, a researcher with security firm Tripwire—that leaks accurate location information about its users.

According to Young, attackers can use these Google devices to send a link (which could be anything from a tweet to an advertisement) to the connected user; if the link is clicked and the page left opened for about a minute, the attacker is able to obtain a location.

“The difference between this and a basic IP geolocation is the level of precision,” Young said in the article. “For example, if I geo-locate my IP address right now, I get a location that is roughly two miles from my current location at work. For my home internet connection, the IP geo-location is only accurate to about three miles. With my attack demo, however, I’ve been consistently getting locations within about 10 meters [32 feet] of the device.”

Google initially told Young they would not be fixing the problem; however, after going to the press about the issue, Young reports that Google will be releasing an update in mid-July to address the privacy leak for both devices.

  1. Glitches Could Lead to Invasion of Privacy
    According to local news stations in Portland, Ore., a resident (reportedly named Danielle) received a disturbing phone call from one of her husband’s employers telling her to shut off her smart home devices. After using Amazon devices throughout her home to control temperature, lighting and security, Danielle was made aware that a private conversation was accidentally recorded by Amazon’s artificial intelligence system, Alexa, and was sent to a number on the family’s contact list.

Amazon has since reported that the Echo speaker picked up words in Danielle’s background conversations that it interpreted as “wake words” for recording and sending audio to a contact; however, an article published by website The Information last July states that Amazon was considering obtaining recorded conversations and sending transcripts to developers so they can build more responsive software, making it unclear if these devices automatically record audio without waiting for “wake words.”

These Vulnerabilities Could Impact Real Estate
Smart homes are increasing across the country. According to Statista, a statistics website, the estimated value of the North American smart home market will be $27 billion by 2021.

Of course, the vulnerabilities that have cropped up for some users could have an impact on the selling process. For example, some sellers have already begun using their security systems as a way to listen in on prospective buyers or watch them as they visit the listed home, regardless of whether local laws prohibit these recording practices.

Additionally, if homeowners have devices such as Google Home or Amazon Echo, but do not have security cameras, how can they be sure that visiting buyers are not accessing sensitive information through these speakers? While agents always play a role in adding a measure of security by being present during showings, fraudulent activity that is internet-based only, such as obtaining online data through links, will be difficult to identify.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Categories: Real Estate

Housing Starts Spike to 11-Year High, Permits Stumble

Daily Real Estate News - June 19, 2018 - 4:54pm

Following a dip last month, housing starts rebounded in May, up 5 percent to 1.35 million from the revised April estimate of 1.286 million, according to recent data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Meanwhile, single-family housing starts jumped up 3.9 percent since April to 936,000, the second-highest reading since the Great Recession, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Multifamily starts (five units or more) dropped slightly to 404,000.

Permit approvals fell 4.6 percent since April to 1.3 million; however, they are still 8 percent above the May 2017 rate, according to the data. Approvals for single-family builds were down 2.2 percent to 844,000 permits, and multifamily approvals came in at 421,000.

“Ongoing job creation, positive demographics and tight existing home inventory should spur more single-family production in the months ahead,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz, in a statement. “However, the softening of single-family permits is consistent with our reports showing that builders are concerned over mounting construction costs, including the highly elevated prices of softwood lumber.”

As for completions, rates bumped up 1.9 percent from April to 1.291 million, with single-family completion rates rising dramatically—11 percent from April numbers to 890,000. Multifamily completions came in at 389,000, down 14.1 percent from April rates.

“We should see builders continue to increase production to meet growing consumer demand even as they grapple with stubborn supply-side constraints, particularly rising lumber costs,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel.

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Categories: Real Estate

A Handy Guide to Starting a Home Remodel

Daily Real Estate News - June 18, 2018 - 4:48pm

(Family Features)—Apprehension and inexperience keep many homeowners from pursuing renovation projects that would make their homes more functional, enjoyable and comfortable. Getting your hands dirty on the front end—with some planning and preparation – is the best blueprint for a successful home remodeling project.

To help you start your remodel on the right track, consider these tips from Gary White with JCPenney Home Services.

Start with a plan
Although it may sound obvious, the first step really is to decide what you hope to accomplish with your renovation. At the least, begin to outline rough ideas to discuss with an expert. Reaching out to contractors before you’ve determined a basic idea for your project can waste time and money. Spend time listing the features you must have, as well as some nice-to-haves if budget allows. Also think about overall functionality, design and layout. If you get overwhelmed or need ideas, don’t hesitate to turn to online showrooms or magazines for inspiration.

Set a budget
If the sky is the limit, skip ahead, but if you’re like most homeowners, money matters. Have a clear idea of what you can afford to invest in your renovation before you get started, and if necessary, research the financing options available to you. Look for financing that provides deferred interest or low monthly payments to help manage the project cost. Setting a clear budget can help keep your contractors accountable, and it goes a long way toward ensuring you can enjoy your finished project without regret.

Draw up the plans
To help set your plan in motion, there are numerous online tools you can utilize to simplify each step of the process including design, budgeting and more. If you’re planning a home remodel, it can be helpful to find a comprehensive resource that offers a one-stop-shop for bathroom remodeling, countertops, custom window treatments, flooring, heating and cooling, water heaters and whole-home water treatment.

Involve a professional
Unless you have the time and skills, you’ll want a licensed and insured contractor to lead the project when you’re ready to get your renovation in motion. It can be wise to solicit multiple bids, not only to ensure you get the best value, but also to find someone whose work, style and experience is most in line with the needs of your project. After all, this person will be a big part of your life during a fairly stressful time period. Always check references and verify the contractor’s standing with local associations.

Get ready for work
Remember that you’ll need to create a work environment that is safe for your contractors and protects your valuable possessions. Establish a clear path to the project space for easy access and removal of debris. Furniture, appliances, room furnishings, valuables and breakable items should be removed from both the path to the work site and the work site itself. If your renovation project will involve an essential room, such as the kitchen or a bathroom, make alternate arrangements such as creating a makeshift kitchen with the bare necessities in another part of the house

Countertops 101
Kitchens and bathrooms are among the most common renovation projects, and countertops are often a focal point of these redesigns. However, choosing the right countertop can be overwhelming. Here are two of the most popular choices:

Granite countertops have long been the mainstay of a beautiful kitchen or bathroom. Granite is a natural stone, quarried from large stone deposits around the world. It can have many different variations of patterns and colors, giving each slab a unique appearance that is visually rich and dynamic.

In addition to its distinctive beauty and classic elegance, granite is also extremely durable. Granite is highly resistant to heat and scratches and, with proper sealing, offers good water and stain resistance and is easy to clean.

Granite typically needs to be sealed, both prior to installation and at least once per year. If properly maintained, a granite countertop will last for as long as you own your home, making it a potential long-term investment.

Quartz is another popular choice for countertops due to its durability, stain resistance and ease of maintenance.

It’s an engineered product made mostly from up to 93 percent quartz, a non-porous natural stone, combined with a small amount of binder and color. Small particles of glass or reflective metal flakes can also be added to some quartz designs to achieve a more unique look. The result is an attractive slab that can be made in a wide variety of tones and colors, and can be finished to duplicate high gloss polished stone.

Quartz is one of the most durable countertop materials and one of the easiest to maintain. It is highly resistant to heat, water and stains, including stains from coffee, wine, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar and more. Unlike granite, quartz does not need to be sealed, making it easier to maintain over time.

Source: JCPenneyhomeservices.com

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Categories: Real Estate

That Frequent Flyer Seat May Be Easier to Book—Here’s Why

Daily Real Estate News - June 11, 2018 - 4:15pm

(TNS)—Airlines are making it easier for frequent flyers to redeem their travel rewards, as major carriers work harder to keep their most loyal customers happy, according to a seat availability survey released recently.

American Airlines showed the biggest improvement, rising from the bottom of the pack to ninth in the annual survey, with members of its AAdvantage program able to book reward seats on more than 82 percent of flights, up nearly 28 percentage points from last year.

Overall reward availability for the 25 airlines surveyed increased to 73.6 percent, up 1.2 percentage points from last year.

“There is a recognition among the big airlines in the U.S. that there’s got to be a minimum amount of reward seats available, and you’re seeing them all kind of drift towards a band close to each other in the charts,” said Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks, an airline consulting firm near Milwaukee, which conducts the annual survey.

Southwest Airlines repeated as frequent flyer champion, with 100 percent of seats available for booking through its Rapid Rewards program. The MileagePlus loyalty program at United Airlines ranked 12th at nearly 76 percent, up about 11 percentage points from last year.

The survey, sponsored by travel technology firm CarTrawler, was conducted in March and used 7,420 booking inquiries to assess reward availability for two passengers traveling from June through October. The maximum price for domestic travel was capped at 25,000 points or miles, depending on the loyalty program.

Frequent flyer programs have been around for decades, but the advent of credit card miles has increased traveler participation and competition among airlines in recent years. Sorensen said airline-associated credit cards account for more than 60 percent of reward miles accrued and represent an increasingly important revenue source for the airlines.

“When you are a cardholder who uses your charge card for everyday purchases, who buys tickets on the airline, you’re a really good customer because they are getting revenue from you from a variety of different sources,” Sorensen said. “Plus, you’re really engaged in a relationship with the company. You become tied through this net of accrual and flying the airline.”

Discount carriers such as Southwest and JetBlue, whose TrueBlue program ranked fourth at 94.3 percent, tend to make more seats available to frequent flyers than traditional carriers, the survey showed. But the huge gains by American represent the growing importance all airlines are placing on making loyalty rewards easier to access.

Josh Freed, a spokesman for American, said the carrier’s gains were part of a “long-running effort” to improve availability and catch up with its peers at United and Delta Air Lines, whose SkyMiles loyalty program ranked 13th in the latest survey with 72 percent reward seat availability.

“Our long-term goal is to be roughly comparable to the other big network airlines in terms of availability, and this is evidence that we’re making progress” Freed said.

A key change in the AAdvantage rewards program was opening up connecting flight availability, Freed said.

“That enabled people that don’t live in a hub city to have a better chance of getting the reward ticket that they are seeking,” he said.

©2018 Chicago Tribune
Visit the Chicago Tribune at
www.chicagotribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Categories: Real Estate

June Is National Homeownership Month

Daily Real Estate News - June 5, 2018 - 4:28pm

June is National Homeownership Month, and the industry is recognizing the importance of homeownership as a milestone of the American Dream.

This year’s theme, set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is “Find Your Place.” HUD is one of many agencies that provide resources to help consumers obtain and sustain homeownership. Through its network of housing agencies, consumers can seek out counselors for homeowner education, foreclosure prevention and budgeting assistance. With mortgage options through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), consumers with low credit or low-down payment funds can reach their homeownership goals faster—a significant method of aid for millennials and upcoming buyer generations flooded with student loans, making it difficult to amass the funds needed for conventional financing. According to HUD, over 47 million homeowners since 1934 purchased a home with a mortgage insured by FHA, and around 40 percent of all borrowers purchase their first home using an FHA loan.

“Homeownership serves as an enduring symbol of security and prosperity, and it provides many Americans with a legacy they can pass down to their children and grandchildren,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a statement. “During National Homeownership Month, we recognize the abiding value of owning a home, and we rededicate ourselves toward helping hard-working families to find their place in the American dream.”

Although homeownership rates are currently stalled at 64.2 percent, experts say the lack of dramatic increase is a reflection of a market that is withstanding challenges such as low inventory and rising interest rates. While the number has not moved much since the first quarter of 2017, there have been gradual increases since 2016, following a significant drop after the housing crisis.

While the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) celebrates its commitment to homeownership year-round through resources provided on its Homeownership Matters and HouseLogic sites, NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall recognized June as a pivotal time to reaffirm the association’s mission to promote homeownership.

“National Homeownership Month is a time to celebrate and promote the modern American Dream of owning a home,” said Mendenhall in a statement. “Homeownership changes lives and enhances futures, and many Americans see it as one of their greatest hopes. These individuals are counting on the nation’s 1.3 million REALTORS® to champion and protect homeownership and help make it more affordable, attainable and sustainable. REALTORS® pledge to continue to lead efforts to ensure that the dream of homeownership is not only possible, but very real, for any and all who want to achieve it, so they can have a place of their own to make memories, start growing their financial futures, and build strong communities.”

In addition, Freddie Mac’s website for National Homeownership Month provides valuable resources for homeowners, such as educational articles, homeownership program statistics and opportunities consumers can take advantage of in order to make their homeownership dream a reality.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), primary residences are ahead of all other financial assets, business interests and retirement accounts, accounting for nearly one-quarter of all assets held by households in 2016, as reported in the latest edition of the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

“Homeownership is a primary source of net worth for many Americans, and is an important step in accumulating personal financial assets over the long term,” said Randy Noel, chairman of the NAHB, in an interview on NAHBNow.

In recognition of National Homeownership Month, NAHB is making a toolkit available for its members; the toolkit includes a video on the value of homeownership, sample social media posts, radio scripts and other talking points, relevant articles, and even print ads showcasing the benefits of homeownership.

Citing the passing of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act and this past year’s tax reform bill as recent progress, President Donald Trump released a statement pledging the administration’s commitment toward increasing homeownership incentives across the country:

“During National Homeownership Month, we affirm the joy and benefits of homeownership. For millions of Americans, owning a home is an important step toward financial security and achieving the American Dream. My Administration is committed to fostering an economic environment in which every family has the opportunity to enjoy the sense of pride and stability that can come with owning a home.”

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Categories: Real Estate

At Home in Retirement: Boomers Facing a Hard Truth

Daily Real Estate News - June 3, 2018 - 1:03pm

Baby boomers are on the cusp of retirement, but the ability to afford their desired lifestyle is at odds with their preferences, according to a recent report by The NHP Foundation (NHPF), an affordable housing nonprofit.

Of the boomers surveyed for the report, 85 percent want to be in the home they have now in retirement, but, of those, 76 percent have no budget for retirement, or anticipate half of their income will be Social Security—not enough to sustain, according to The NHPF. Despite the disconnect, 83 percent are confident their current home will be their home in retirement; just 17 percent believe they will have to move.

There are boomers who are concerned about housing, however; in fact, housing is one of their three top worries: being unable to afford healthcare (cited by 36 percent), being dependent on their kids (28 percent), and having to live in a home outside their standards (22 percent). For boomers, affordability is the No. 1 factor in their housing in retirement.

One-thousand Americans aged 50 and older (non-retirees) participated in the report.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com. For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Categories: Real Estate

Dodd-Frank Reform Could Make It Easier to Get a Mortgage

Daily Real Estate News - June 2, 2018 - 12:00am

(TNS)—It should be easier for you to get a mortgage now that President Donald Trump has signed legislation that will lift lending restrictions on community banks.

Congress on Tuesday voted in favor of rolling back Dodd-Frank banking rules, and Trump signed it Thursday. The reforms will ease some of the mortgage laws from the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, a massive financial law enacted in response to the financial crisis.

Thanks to the new law, more homebuyers are likely to get approval for a mortgage from their local community bank or credit union.

“Any changes to soften the lending aspects will make it easier for borrowers to get loans,” says Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Ten-X, an online real estate marketplace.

Here’s the Problem
Many lenders say the mortgage laws have become too restrictive for them to make mortgages outside of the so-called Qualified Mortgage rule. The rule is based on your ability to repay the mortgage by requiring that your debt does not exceed 43 percent of your income, but there are very specific requirements when proving your income. The task gets trickier if you’re a business owner, for example, and don’t have consistent income flows.

“Lenders, particularly retail banks, have just stopped taking on any risk at all,” Sharga says. “Getting those smaller lenders back into the game could have a material impact on the housing market.”

What the Bill Fixes
The new changes will allow community banks and credit unions to offer mortgages outside the typical Qualified Mortgage rule so long as they don’t sell that mortgage but keep it in-house. By holding that mortgage on the books, it would be deemed a Qualified Mortgage. The carve-out would apply to institutions with less than $10 billion in assets.

Many lenders think this change will allow more community lenders to offer mortgages. It will also be helpful for homebuyers, when mortgage rates are rising but still low.

It’s unclear how much of an impact the change to the mortgage laws will have on the housing market. A large portion of homebuyers already meet the requirements within the Qualified Mortgage rule. The Urban Institute says the Qualified Mortgage rule has had “little impact” on credit availability, though there are fewer mortgages being offered for under $100,000.

Congress’ move received praise from David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“I want to commend the House of Representatives for joining the Senate and passing this bill, which will protect consumers and provide greater access to mortgage credit,” Stevens said in a statement.

©2018 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Categories: Real Estate

$1 Million: What It Buys in the U.S. Housing Market

Daily Real Estate News - May 29, 2018 - 4:17pm

One-million dollars is a lot of money to most of the world’s population, but it’s a drop in the bucket to a billionaire. The housing market in the U.S. seems to have a similar relationship with homes valued between $900,000 and $1.1 million: Some of them are sprawling estates, while others are considered middle-of-the-road homes.

HouseCanary examined homes valued around $1 million in different metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) across the country to determine what an “average” million-dollar home looks like, from San Francisco to Tuscaloosa, Ala. We found that what a million dollars will buy can vary widely from place to place—so if you’ve got $1 million to spend on a home, here’s what you can expect to get in return.

Where $1 Million Is Big Money
In most markets, $1 million will get you a lot of house, but they might not be considered mansion material. We found that in the preponderance of markets (110 out of 375 metro areas), a million-dollar home is somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 square feet. But there are also some markets where you can buy a true mansion or estate if you’re willing to spend between $900,000 and $1.1 million.

Those markets tend to be at least somewhat off the beaten path, so you may be sacrificing some shopping convenience, access to airports, or proximity to cultural, sports, or other local assets. And those markets may not also have relatively high household income, meaning you’ve got to save for a lot longer to make that million-dollar down payment. But the amount of room you’ll get to spread out and do your thing might make that kind of sacrifice well worth it!

Ohio is one state with several big cities, but it’s in unassuming Lima, about 90 minutes northwest of Columbus, where you’ll find the best deals for $1 million. The average million-dollar home in Lima, Ohio, is 9,435 square feet and sits on a four-acre lot. It has five-plus bedrooms, four bathrooms, and 4-5 parking spots. For that million-dollar home, buyers pay about $105.99 per square foot.

In Lima, most homes are very affordable. To pay a mortgage on a median-priced home in Lima, the median-income household would spend 17.30 percent of its income. The median household income in Lima is $45,575, and you can still buy a home there for much less than $100,000. So it’s not surprising that the two million-dollar homes in Lima are much larger than average!

You’ll find similar bang for your million-dollar buck in Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, Ala., about an hour and 20 minutes northeast of Birmingham, where the average million-dollar home is 8,354 square feet and sits on a five-acre lot. It has three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and 4-5 parking spaces. The price-per-square foot in this corner of Alabama for a million-dollar home is about $119.70.

Homes are also very affordable in Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, with the median household spending just shy of 17 percent of total household income ($41,954 annually) on a median-priced house.

Texas is another state with several big cities—Houston and Dallas are two of the biggest cities in the country. In Wichita Falls, Texas, about two hours and change northeast of Dallas, your average million-dollar home comes on a whopping 60-acre lot and is 7,852 square feet. The price-per-square foot is about $127.36—still very reasonable. It has five bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and four parking spots, and the median household in Wichita Falls spends just 13.94 percent of its annual $46,043 income on a median-priced home.

$1 Million in the Middle
Even though there are more homes between 3,000 and 4,000 square feet than between 4,000 and 5,000, the average square footage for a million-dollar home across all metros studied is 4,305 square feet—which is quite a bit of room to stretch out, but still only about half the size of the biggest million-dollar homes in the country.

In the Nashville MSA (which also includes Davidson, Murfreesboro and Franklin, all in Tennessee), an average million-dollar home is 4,302 square feet, with 3-4 bedrooms, four bathrooms, and three parking spots nestled on a 0.96-acre lot. The price-per-square foot is $232.45—more than double the price per square foot in Lima, Ohio.

Affordability in Nashville is also middle-of-the-road: Most economists suggest that households spend no more than 30 percent of their total income on housing, and in Nashville, a median-priced house costs 30.5 percent of the median household income, which is $56,152 annually.

Richmond, Va., and St. Louis (spanning both Missouri and Illinois) are also relatively average markets. In Richmond, an average million-dollar house is 4,312 square feet on an 0.85-acre lot, with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and two parking spots. The price-per-square foot is $231.91, slightly lower than in Nashville. A median home for a median household in Richmond uses 29.17 percent of its $61,124 annual household income.

And in St. Louis, the average million-dollar home is 4,330 square feet on a 0.93-acre lot. It also has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and two parking spots. The price-per-square foot is very close to both Richmond and Nashville at $230.95. In St. Louis, the median household (which makes $56,726 per year) spends 21.83 percent of its income on a median-priced home.

Million-Dollar Babies
It makes sense that in areas where housing is more affordable, million-dollar homes are larger. But what happens when affordability starts to creep up (and up…and up)?

As you might guess, when affording a home captures more and more of a median household’s income, the million-dollar homes get smaller. The smallest average million-dollar home in the country is in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., at 1,576 square feet, on a 0.13-acre lot. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two parking spots, and in this MSA, the median household spends 76.33 percent of its income ($100,469 annually) on a median-priced home. The price-per-square foot is an eye-popping $634.52, almost six times what you’d pay in Lima, Ohio, for a home.

In San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., you’ll find a slightly bigger average million-dollar home at 1,600 square feet, on a 0.13-acre lot, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two parking spots. The price-per-square foot is $625, just $9.52 lower than in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara. A median household in the Bay Area makes $85,947 per year and typically spends 80.20 percent of its total income on a median-priced home.

Honolulu is another market with small average million-dollar properties. In Honolulu, the average million-dollar home is 1,846 square feet on a 0.15-acre lot, with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two parking spots. The price-per-square foot for a Honolulu million-dollar home is $541.71—definitely more reasonable than its San Francisco counterparts, but still almost double what you’d pay in Nashville, Richmond or St. Louis. The median household in Honolulu (which makes $77,161 per year) spends 61.62 percent of its income on a median home—still more than double the recommended amount, but much more reasonable than San Jose or San Francisco.

In Boulder, Colo., you can get slightly more square footage for a million dollars than in San Francisco. The average Boulder million-dollar home is 2,270 square feet on a 0.24-acre lot, costing $440.53 per square foot. It has four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, with two parking spots, and the median household spends just over half (51.39 percent) of its $72,282 annual income on a median home.

If I Had a Million Dollars…
Would you rather have a vast estate in Lima, Ohio, or Wichita Falls, Texas, or a cozy family home in San Francisco or Honolulu? Maybe opting for something middle-of-the-road in St. Louis or Nashville makes more sense…and it’s less square footage to clean!

This was originally published on HouseCanary. For more information, please visit www.housecanary.com.

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Categories: Real Estate