Here's the listing in Flushing, New York. As the saying goes, bring your contractor!
I have a weird confession to make. I have highly unorthodox "retirement home" fantasies. Every time I see a castle, a tree HOUSE, a decommissioned missile silo, an abandoned French villa, I start fantasizing about spending my twilight years building an artist colony/goth retirement home with family and friends there.
So, imagine how my neurons were tickled when I saw this video of a guy and his wife who bought a long-abandoned Medieval Italian village and are turning it into a small neighborhood and teaching center for "rural stone architecture." They claim there are dozens of these little ruined stone villages all over Italy and they want to encourage others to follow in their footsteps.
Called “The Village Laboratory”, Ghesc is part-owned by the Canova Association and hosts workshops so college students worldwide can come learn historical stone construction techniques. The public half of the village includes a communal kitchen, pizza oven and concert spaces.
Right now Ghesc (in local dialect; “Ghesio” in Italian) in the commune of Montecrestese near the Swiss border has just 3 inhabitants (Maurizio, Paola and their son Emil), but the four homes that comprise the private side of town are at various stages of being rebuilt.
On Jan 1, 2020, AB1482 comes into effect, capping rents at their rates as of March 15, 2019 plus an above-inflation; in response, the state's greediest landlords are evicting their tenants, either by raising their rents to levels they can't afford to pay between now and Jan 1, forcing them out, or by staging "no cause" evictions in cities that permit them. If those tenants are gone on Jan 1, the landlords can set a new rent floor that ignores the rates as of last March. Read the rest
The verification requirements on the neighborhood app Nextdoor effectively make the app an unwelcome place for homeless people. Read the rest
Cyril Borovsky purchased a 16-foot wide strip of property in Toronto. Then he built a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, four-story house. Borovsky says his design approach could be used to turn parking spaces into homes. You could also buy Borovsky's house for $3 million.
More here: 154 Hamilton Street
And other impressively slender Toronto homes: "Three buyers who found narrow plots of prime real estate and made it work" (Toronto Life)
Good morning Jakarta. Macam mana lah diorang terfikir nak develop taman perumahan atas bangunan? pic.twitter.com/TNQrnEQ8eA— shahrirbahar (@shahrirbahar1) June 24, 2019
Jakarta's Comsmo Park is an entire village built on top of a ten story building containing a shopping mall and parking garage. Built a decade ago, Cosmo Park only recently garnered attention when @shahrirbahar1 posted the above drone photo of the curious community. From The Guardian:
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“It’s a lovely oasis,” says (resident) Fazila Kapasi, as she tails her four-year-old son around on his bike along one of the complex’s neat roads. “I cannot recommend it enough.”
Fazila and her husband moved to Jakarta from Mumbai, and chose Cosmo Park partly because they were concerned about Jakarta’s floods. But after living there for six years Fazila can reel off a string of other advantages, including that it is less isolating than standard apartment living.
In the afternoon Fazila stops to chat to her neighbours, while most days she and her son feed the pigeons that live in a nearby tree. She also has her own garden, where she has a hammock and space to grow aubergines, tomatoes and chillies.
“It is so good. There is so much open space, my son can ride his bike around. It’s so central, it’s really safe, and there is a lovely neighbourhood feel,” she says.
Finding a place home depends on what you can afford, deciding upon what you can live with and coming to understand what you can't live without. Many of us will never have the opportunity to build our own home, much less be able to scrape together enough currency to buy a parcel of land to plop it down upon. Ben Uyeda no longer has this problem: He bought 10 acres of land in Joshua Tree, California and built a lovely, modern home out of shipping containers.
If you've got the money and you're so inclined, Ben's series of videos on how he built his home, explains the whys and the hows of creating a place to call your own out of shipping containers. While I have no particular urge to settle down, I found myself enthralled by what went on behind the scenes to make this build happen. Read the rest
[Editor's note: Xeno Evil is an Oakland artist fighting to save their home; I'm happy to help them with their campaign -Cory]
The historic Vulcan Lofts in Oakland, CA are up for sale and nearly 200 working-class Bay Area artists are at risk of losing our homes. In order to save the Vulcan, we’ve founded a tenant’s union, hired several attorneys, and petitioned the City of Oakland to put the building under rent control. Our hearing with the rent board is coming up very soon and we need to raise $50k in the next month to cover legal costs. Please support us by donating to our cause and sharing our crowdfunding campaign with your network. We love you. Read the rest
There are more houses for sale in San Mateo County, Santa Clara County and San Francisco County than at any time since 2013; inventory in December was up 113% year-on-year, and asking prices have fallen by 12% since their peak. Read the rest
Sam and Simone realized they could build a house for the same amount they would have spent on a year's rent in Australia. So they did, in one of their parents' backyard. It looks great.
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In this video, we discuss how they were able to construct their tiny house for such an affordable price and tips for building tiny houses for less. Especially in a country like Australia, where the material cost of building can be very high!
As students of wildlife and environmental sciences, the couple now have plans to regenerate the property where the tiny house is parked. They are also using the tiny house as a base to launch a new online business. I hope you enjoy this full video tour of this stunning tiny home.
The UK's housing crisis is much like the one in certain American cities — nimbyism, runaway housing prices, political paralysis — but with a British flavor of madness that allows for deeply unpleasant solutions. The local delicacy: car-dependent exurban developments made of uncanny cookie-cutter housing clusters in the middle of nowhere, with no shops, pubs, schools, cafés or public transport, surrounded by highways and austerity.
Jenny Raggett, researcher at Transport for New Homes, said: "We were appalled to find so many new housing developments built around the car with residents driving for almost every journey.
“As those cars head for our towns and cities they clog up existing roads. Commuter times get longer and longer. Car-based living of this kind is not good for our health or quality of life.”
Pictured above is a street view of Prior's Hall Park, near Corby, a new subdivision surrounded by three industrial parks and apparently inspired by childrens' drawings of bricked-up Victorian tenements. Welcome to the center of the venn diagram of J.G. Ballard, Minecraft and $6-a-gallon gasoline. Read the rest
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) filed a complaint [PDF] against Facebook on Friday. HUD accuses the social media company of violating the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in print and online advertisements on the basis of race, religion, physical ability, gender, and other attributes. Read the rest
In Silicon Valley, people with six-figure jobs sometimes live in vans, so how can they scrape together financing for the $2.6 million asking price for this 897-foot bungalow in Palo Alto? Just imagine what it's like for working class people, some of whom have to commute so far from affordable towns that their employers let them sleep in the parking lot. Via San Francisco Chronicle, VTA bus driver Adan Miranda is now getting kicked out of his employer's parking lot to make room for developers: Read the rest
Toronto is one of the many great world cities that has been rendered nearly unlivable by real-estate speculation, both from onshore investors and offshore ones. Read the rest