South Street Seaport Aims to Revitalize Lower Manhattan

By Marcie Geffner - Urban Land

Lower Manhattan’s South Street Seaport redevelopment is planned to offer New Yorkers an attractive package of benefits they have said they want: a revitalized shopping complex, restoration of historic buildings, repairs to a storm-damaged pier and platform, an extended pedestrian path, and even a marina that could accommodate tall ships.

However, Dallas-based developer Howard Hughes Corp. is planning a component that remains a subject of debate among some New Yorkers: ­a new mixed-use waterfront tower that might contain a hotel and luxury residences.

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All About New Home Stairs and Staircases

By Marcie Geffner -

Home buyers who want the space and spaciousness of a two-story residence need to know a thing or two about stairs and staircases.

That’s because every two-story home naturally needs at least one full staircase to allow access between the floors.

Some 305,000 of the 569,000 new detached houses builders completed in 2013 had two or more stories and 166,000 had a full or partial basement, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That suggests builders constructed something like 471,000 or more staircases during that one-year timeframe.

Like doughnuts, staircases come in two types: fancy and plain.

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Starter homes: How and where to find them

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate

First-time home buyers might well wonder: Where are all the starter houses?

Indeed, such properties can seem scarce in many housing markets.

A few reasons:
- Investors have snapped up a lot of smaller houses and turned them into rental properties.
- Flippers have bought smaller homes and remodeled them so they're no longer within the reach of first-time buyers.
- Many current homeowners don't have enough equity to move or would rather add on to a smaller house than give up a low-rate mortgage.
- Builders have opted to construct pricier trade-up homes instead of affordable starters.

How long will this last?

The slow pace of new home construction suggests that the dearth of starter homes might continue for some time.

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Buying a home with family: How to start

By Marcie Geffner -

Suppose you're buying a home. And suppose, too, that you have an elderly parent or adult child who'd like to live in your home with you. Why not buy a home together as a family?

If that sounds smart to you, you're not alone.

In fact, a recent study by the National Association of Realtors found that 14 percent of U.S. home purchases last year involved a multigenerational household of adult children, plus parents, grandparents or both.

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