• At Home with Marni Jameson: A look back at 2014 lessons learned, part one

    By Marni Jameson | Published: Sat, Dec 20, 2014

    Every year at this time I look in my rearview mirror to check what the heck just happened. I flip through my 50 columns, and extract my favorite nuggets of advice, one lesson from each month, and serve it up in a 12-lessons-for-Christmas kind of way, in two parts. Here is part one of my top takeaways for 2014: IN JANUARY, while researching a column on linen, I interviewed Richard Ostell, a respected fashion and home designer, from Westchester, N.Y. He made me love linen even more, which I thought not possible. Linen in a home is like a sigh of relief. “Linen is honest, simple, humble and durable,” he reminded me in an hour-long linen love fest. What’s more, and here’s where I really fell for the classic

  • Richard Mize: FAA keeps Santa safe from drones

    BY RICHARD MIZE, Real Estate Editor | Published: Sat, Dec 20, 2014

    The Federal Aviation Administration slipped a lump of coal into drone-enthused Realtors’ Christmas stockings — this year’s, next year’s and maybe even into 2016.

  • Oklahoma County land sales for Dec. 20

    Published: Sat, Dec 20, 2014

    Oklahoma County land sales for Dec. 20, 2014

  • Oklahoma City building permits for Dec. 20

    Published: Sat, Dec 20, 2014

    Oklahoma City Flintco Inc., 300 NE 9, parking, erect, $5,817,000. Bob Moore Auto Group, 13010 N Kelley Ave., automotive sales, erect, $5,500,000. J1K LLC, 7400 S Sooner Road, retail sales, erect, $4,215,000. Clark Construction, 9800 Broadway Extension, hospital, erect, $2,000,000. Tectonic Management Group Inc., 6401 S Portland Ave., parking, install, $1,500,000. Renaissance Architects + Engineers, 1515 N Klein Ave., school, erect, $1,330,949. Ancon Development Corp., 925 Cedar Lake Blvd., office, erect, $1,000,000. Nation Wide Permits, 13901 McAuley Blvd., medical clinic-office, remodel, $765,000. Vanhoose Construction, 5005 S Interstate 35 Service Road, office-warehouse, erect,

  • Rodd Moesel: Many great gifts to buy for gardeners

    By Rodd Moesel | Published: Sat, Dec 20, 2014

    Christmas is just days away and gardeners everywhere are looking forward to giving and receiving special gardening gifts with family and friends over the Christmas holidays. Most everybody has been enjoying Christmas trees, wreaths, swags and ropes of evergreens to decorate their home and office. Poinsettias of all colors, cyclamen, Norfolk Island pines and amaryllis have been adding color and atmosphere to the holiday festivities in many homes and businesses. If you get a chance, please visit the Myriad Gardens to enjoy the amazing and spectacular 18-foot-tall poinsettia tree in the Conservatory and the beautiful Christmas lights on so many of the outside trees as well as the giant red shiny ornaments and huge silver pine

  • Oklahoma Realtors offer advice for whether to decorate a home for sale during the holidays

    BY TIM FALL, For The Oklahoman | Published: Sat, Dec 20, 2014

    Okahoma City-area Realtors talk about how how they advise their clients to balance holiday decorations with a sign in the yard. Turns out the most steadfast rules may in fact be unbreakable — but they aren’t unbendable.

  • The Listing of the Week: 3233 NW 188, Oklahoma City

    Published: Sat, Dec 20, 2014

    The 2,503-square-foot home at 3233 NW 188 Terrace has three bedrooms, two baths, one half-bath, three living areas, one dining area and an attached three-car garage.

  • The Nation's Housing Column: Coming up short on home values

    BY KENNETH R. HARNEY | Published: Sat, Dec 20, 2014

    According to new statistical analyses by Quicken Loans, owners on average now underestimate the value of their homes by 1.6 percent compared with appraisers’ valuations.

  • Family of Kimray Inc. founder provides funding for Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity home

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Fri, Dec 19, 2014

    Tom and Kay Hill donated to Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity to honor Kay’s late father, Garman Kimmell, founder of Kimray Inc.

  • China's wealth finds home in Washington state

    Updated: Fri, Dec 19, 2014

    MEDINA, Wash. (AP) — Savvy Seattle-area real estate agents have gained an advantage by paying attention to the growing connections between China and Washington state. "I'm so glad my mother made me study Chinese," laughed property broker Janie Lee, after showing a client from Beijing a $4 million home in the suburb of Medina. "I've been using it a lot." This year, Chinese visitors are on pace to top the list of international travelers to the Evergreen State. More than half of the 7,300 international students at the University of Washington are from the People's Republic. And a recent top-grossing Chinese romantic comedy featured a Beijing woman who finds love in Seattle.

  • Average US 30-year loan rate falls to 3.80 percent

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan rate reaching a new low for the year. The rates' historically low levels could be a boon to potential homebuyers. Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage dropped to 3.80 percent this week from 3.93 percent last week. It is now at its lowest level since May 2013. At the beginning of the year, the 30-year rate stood at 4.53 percent. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, declined to 3.09 percent from 3.20 percent last week. Mortgage rates often follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which also has fallen to its lowest l

  • Redevelopment company agrees to buy ex-GM sites

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Former General Motors facilities in Oakland County are being sold to a company that plans to renovate them for manufacturing and office use. The Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust announced the agreement Wednesday with Industrial Realty Group. It's buying the Pontiac Centerpoint Campus West and the adjacent Pontiac Centerpoint Campus Central properties. The RACER Trust says other companies have expressed interest in new development on the properties, which encompass more than 1.7 million square feet of building space and more than 150 acres. Industrial Realty Group also bought a former GM assembly plant in Moraine, Ohio, and serves as the primary lessee of a former plant i

  • Edmond neighbors speak up against 366 new homes

    By Diana Baldwin, Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    A proposed development with houses costing $300,000 to $350,000 on small lots didn’t get an approval recommendation from the Edmond Planning Commission this week. Neighbors opposed the new development.

  • Michigan divides up $75 million in blight funding

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    DETROIT (AP) — Michigan has divided more than $75 million in federal funding to fight blight among 12 cities, with Detroit getting about two-thirds of the money, as part of efforts to deal with vacant and dilapidated buildings across the state, officials announced Tuesday. Detroit is getting $50 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury's "Hardest Hit" fund program, including $2.6 million in reserves from an earlier round of funding. Funding includes $6 million for Lansing, $5.5 million for Jackson, $5 million for Highland Park, $2.25 million for Inkster and $2.19 million for Ecorse.

  • California home prices cool their rise in November

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — California home prices cooled in November as lack of affordability and low inventories kept potential buyers on the sidelines, a research firm said Tuesday. The median sales price for new and existing houses and condominiums was $381,000, barely changed from $382,000 in October and up 5.8 percent from $360,000 a year earlier, CoreLogic DataQuick said. It was the lowest annual percentage increase since March 2012. Sales tumbled to an estimated 29,459 homes, down 20 percent from 36,830 sales in October and down 11.9 percent from 33,429 a year earlier. It was the smallest November sales tally in seven years. The San Francisco Bay Area's median sales price was $601,000, unchanged from October but up

  • Mortgage deal monitor: Ocwen review may be flawed

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The monitor overseeing a national mortgage settlement said Tuesday that Ocwen Financial Corp., one of the biggest U.S. servicers of home loans, has produced unreliable information about its business practices. Joseph Smith, who is monitoring banks' and mortgage servicers' compliance with the $25 billion settlement over foreclosure abuses, said Tuesday he has hired an independent accounting firm to re-evaluate Ocwen's progress in the first half of the year. Smith's investigation began in May after an Ocwen employee alleged there were "serious deficiencies" in the company's internal review. The employee's complaint raised questions about the review's independence from Ocwen management, Smith said in a report.

  • US home construction drops 1.6 percent in November

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction of new homes fell slightly in November, reflecting weakness in construction of single-family homes. Builders started construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.03 million homes and apartments last month, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. That was a decline of 1.6 percent from October when construction activity had posted a 1.7 percent gain. The weakness last month came from a 5.4 percent fall in construction of single-family homes, which offset a 6.7 percent rise in the more volatile apartment sector. Applications for building permits were also down in November, falling 5.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.04 million.

  • Memories of financial crisis fading as risks rise

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Six years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the lessons of the financial crisis may already be fading from collective memory. Just last week: — Congress acted to loosen the regulation of the high-risk investments that ignited the 2008 crisis. — Housing regulators cut minimum down payments on home loans. — The Institute of International Finance declared it "worrisome" that global indebtedness, as a share of world economic output, has reached record levels. All this comes as subprime auto loans for financially stretched buyers are surging.

  • US homebuilder sentiment slips in December

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident in their sales prospects heading into next year, even as their overall sales outlook remains favorable. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday slipped this month to 57, down one point from 58 in November. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. Builders' view of current sales conditions and their outlook for sales over the next six months also declined slightly. A measure of traffic by prospective buyers held steady. The index also found sentiment had improved in the West and Northeast, but took a step back in the Midwest and South, which accounts for half o

  • Florida continues to lead the nation in foreclosures

    Updated: Mon, Dec 15, 2014

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Even though foreclosure activity is down substantially for the year in the Sunshine State, Florida still leads the nation in foreclosures. New figures released last week by the research firm RealtyTrac show that Florida once again had the nation's highest foreclosure rate in November. Florida has been at the top of the list for 13 of the past 14 consecutive months. One out of 462 housing units had a foreclosure filing in Florida in November. But Florida's foreclosure rate is trending in the right direction: downward. In November, Florida had a 15 percent annual decrease in foreclosure activity and a 4 percent monthly drop.