Michael Reynolds is the pioneer of an off-grid, passive solar architecture style known as the Earthship home. To give you the picture, above is a photo of the south-facing, double-greenhouse wall of one of these extraordinary structures.
Reynolds’s company, Earthship Biotecture, displays various models which it helps people build for themselves. So…
They say good fences make good neighbors. Perhaps we could add shrubs or trees, too. Fences and trees can helpfully separate one residential property from the next. Their presence can make boundaries obvious and clear-cut.
Then again, their helpfulness depends on how homeowners personally experience them. Hedges or fencing can be poorly placed, making property lines questionable. And they occasionally raise questions about who is responsible for what maintenance, and when.
And these are not the only features that create boundary issues for homeowners. Plus, boundaries don’t stop air quality issues caused by your neighbor’s habits.
Let’s take a look at some frequently cited causes of…neighbor troubles.
Putting aside the politics of the matter, noncitizens living in the United States without a formal immigration status may buy real estate. Many undocumented workers do own their homes. And they all pay property taxes. That’s billions of dollars, supporting local schools and services.
That doesn’t mean it’s easily done. It takes time to achieve homeownership — at least for anyone who can’t pay completely in cash. The absence of an immigration status makes things even more complicated.
If you’re buying a home, your real estate agent can help you locate the setback requirements. These requirements control the distance any structure on the property must be from the road, or from a natural feature, or from the boundaries between owners’ properties. Setbacks can also restrict the height of structures on a given property.
One thing a buyer would like to avoid is a home with setback violations. And who wants to buy a home with setback restrictions that would rule out the buyer’s own future plans to build, say, a cottage or toolshed?
If a structure on the property does turn out to violate a setback restriction, you might ask, then what? Will the restriction be enforced?
Caught in a housing crunch, Duluth, Minnesota recently changed its rules to encourage the construction of tiny homes. Until 2020, developers in Minnesota couldn’t even build houses smaller than 400 square feet. This has changed.
In multiple New England cities, too, policy makers are warming up to smaller houses. Indeed, this is happening all across the country.
The time is ripe. Tiny homes could meet housing needs for people who’ve been struggling financially, and people who just want to simplify their lives.
In this pricey housing market, people are finding creative pathways to homeownership. Co-owning isn’t always a buyer’s first choice, but it’s one way to help buyers get homes that would otherwise be out of reach.
If you’re thinking of co-owning, how will you handle the mortgage? And how will you define the status of the co-borrowers on a deed? Consider these situations:
Pat can’t qualify for a mortgage alone, given the prices these days. Nancy and Pat want to get Pat a first home. They’d like to be co-borrowers.
Juan and Jeremy are ready to buy a house together, and want to make unequal payments. They both want to be owners. Neither wants to rent from the other. Because won’t own the home 50-50, they will be tenants in common.
Dian and Ignacio want to co-own, ‘til death do us part. They are spouses. Can they co-own as tenants by the entireties?
Each home’s deed will have multiple names — and a set of rights specific to each pair of owners. Let’s break this down.
“When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.”
― Rodney Dangerfield
Need to move? You’re not alone. Going interstate? Many people (and their kids) are doing that, too.
Of all people on the move this year, nearly a fifth will move out of state. And today’s interstate buyers have a great set of resources available to them online. Good, because pulling off interstate real estate deals means having a plan, and using the necessary resources to follow it.
What do interstate home buyers need to ask when preparing? Let’s take a look.