Housing

City of Raleigh

Raleigh city officials have plans for several new residential developments in the middle of the capital city.  They say it's part of their master plan to entice not only new residents but new business downtown.

It is also an indication that Raleigh is doing well economically.  City Planning Director Mitchell Silver says residences that are on the drawing board or under construction are geared toward not just urban professionals, but families.

Coastal Properties via Flickr, Creative Commons

Blacks and Hispanics are paying significantly more in home prices than whites. That's according to new research out of Duke University that tracked more than two million home sales in Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and L.A.

Sales of homes in the Triangle jumped 33-percent last month, when compared to January, 2012. The average length of time a house is sitting on the market is down to 115 days, from 130 a year ago. Stacey Anfindsen is a local residential real estate appraiser, and market analyst. He’s says improved sales are tied to a growing workforce in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill region.

Franklin Street in Chapel Hill
Dave DeWitt

A developer has approval from the Chapel Hill Town Council to rebuild a key block of the downtown area.  The council voted unanimously Monday night to approve the 123 West Franklin project, which would replace University Square.

The current development is separated from the front of Franklin Street by a parking lot.  123 West Franklin would include buildings on the front of Franklin Street with apartments as well as retail and office space.  Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt says it will revitalize the area.

Leoneda Inge

There are neighborhoods in many urban areas across the country with empty, dilapidated houses. Chances are the down economy got the best of the owner resulting in foreclosure.  But in thousands of cases foreclosures have gone wrong like at a house on East Geer (gear) Street in Durham.   For years no one took responsibility for the defaulted mortgage.  That means, the foreclosure was not completed, the structure could not be sold, resulting in blight.  It’s called a “bank walk away.”

City inspectors in Greensboro lost track of more than 300 cases of housing and nuisance violations.

The violations ranged from overgrown lots to structures that should have been condemned. In some instances city inspectors found housing code violations, but didn’t follow up and were not held accountable by supervisors. The lost violations effect between 50 and 75 properties. Councilwoman Nancy Vaughn says a new computer system didn’t cross-check with old cases.

Lavinia "Big Boss" Hensley
Leoneda Inge

The current state of the economy has shaken up countless careers, especially if you were in the housing construction business. But in a neighborhood outside High Point, one woman who used to build homes now uses her own home as a bakery. She said it was time to do the one thing she knew best and Big Boss Baking Company was born. Leoneda Inge has this report for our series, “Breaking into the Food Biz.”

Lavinia Hensley:  Hey come on in, how are you. You found us. See you weren’t too far.
Leoneda Inge: I know. I found it.

Rosemary Thornton may have driven by your house a few times. She may have even slowed down, whipped out her camera and snapped a few pictures. But, she’s not casing the place. Thornton is documenting history. If she’s interested in your dwelling, it’s likely you live in a kit home, a mail-order house that could be purchased out of a catalog in the early 20th century.

Durham will soon be home to some of North Carolina's first housing for homeless veterans with disabilities. The 10-unit complex near Northgate Mall will have affordable rents and will connect tenants with support services.

Jess Brandes is projects coordinator for CASA, the nonprofit developing the site. She says Durham has a lot of services for veterans because of the VA medical center there.

The Obama administration says thousands of North Carolina families could benefit from a proposed home-refinancing program. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan came to Raleigh to tout the proposal. He told WUNC that ten percent of North Carolina homeowners owe more on their home than the home is worth and the national average is twice that.

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