Ready for some BAM good news?

Real estate can be pretty fickle, and constant negative news about mortgage rates, home prices, and layoffs can get people down. 

Each week, we’re giving you the most uplifting and positive news in real estate. This industry can be tough, so here’s a little sunshine to start your week!

Builder Confidence Is On The Rise

Builder confidence has declined for 12 straight months, but a slight drop in interest rates helped end the streak! 

According to the National Association of Home Builders, builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes in January rose four points to 35.

While builders will continue to struggle with increased material costs, an unpredictable supply chain, and changing affordability, the low point for builder sentiment appears to have passed.

90-Year-Old Woodcutter Built A Hobbit House

(Image: Stuart Grant Hobbit house – SWNS)

Stuart Grant, a 90-year-old woodcutter, built his own Hobbit house in Scotland and lives there off the grid.

If the picture above is giving you Lord of the Rings vibes, you’re not alone. But as someone who lives off the grid with no mobile phone or internet, Stuart has never seen it. 

The great-grandfather bought the old shoemaker’s cottage in 1984 when it was quite the fixer-upper. Grant was delighted with the opportunity to DIY the unconventional building with no roof, windows, or doors—so much so that he ended up making it his forever home. He has worked on the home for years, cutting wood from fallen trees and collecting stones from the river for the stonework.

His creativity and love of working on the home may have something to do with his youthful mindset—along with the droves of visitors that his quirky home attracts. He told the Good News Network:

You get a real buzz out of doing interesting stuff. I’ll be 90 in less than two weeks, but I feel like a teenager.

Stuart Grant

Encouraging Stats for Home Buyers

Buyers have been waiting for some good news. And last week, it started to trickle in. 

Housing Wire reported that the “peak growth rate of inflation is behind us.” This means that mortgage rates have also likely hit their heights as well. This week, rates have been hovering in the low 6’s—with some buyers even locking in the high 5’s.

In addition to encouraging news surrounding mortgage rates, inventory is starting to rise. Weekly housing inventory data showed an increase of 1,339 homes the week of January 6-January 13, 2023. While this was a small increase, and we’re nowhere near ‘normal levels,’ it’s definitely welcomed news.

Widower wins a $3 million Scottish countryside home

 (Image: Omaze / SWNS)

A Scottish widower who dedicated his life to serving others has finally gotten his karma. 

Grant Carson, a 58-year-old man who has worked with disabled people to get jobs and affordable housing for 27 years, just won the Omaze raffle. 

The prize?  A $3 million country house and about $100,000 in cash.

Carson lost his wife and childhood sweetheart 12 years ago and didn’t have high hopes for winning the million-to-one odds of the Omaze raffle. But, he figured entering was worth it anyways, as each donation contributed meant a gift to the animal charity Dogs Trust. 

Carson looks forward to enjoying the stunning, five-bedroom farmhouse in the Scottish countryside for many reasons, our favorite being that he will finally be able to get a dog! 

Grant has had arthritis since he was a child and has never been able to commit to a dog and the regular walks one requires. However, with his newfound wealth, he will finally be able to hire a dog walker and adopt a four-legged friend.

Fannie Mae Selects Five Proposals to Advance Equity in Housing

(Image: Johnny Greig)

Fannie Mae announced five organizations that will receive deliverable-based contracts as part of a nationwide competition to help advance racial equity in housing.  

The Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge sought out innovative and scalable proposals that specifically address the insufficient supply of quality affordable housing options, insufficient funds for upfront and unexpected housing costs, and consumer credit challenges. The competition’s goal was to remove barriers that currently prevent many consumers, particularly Black families, from purchasing or renting a home.

The 2022 Awardees are:

  • ReBUILD Metro 
  • Southside Community Development & Housing Corporation
  • Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
  • The Community Builders
  • Module 

Fannie Mae has been at the forefront of developing and implementing products and programs that facilitate equitable and sustainable access to homeownership, and they are just getting started.

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