Throughout most of 2017 the real estate market has been dominated by news of a shortage of affordable houses. In light of that, Fannie Mae, the government agency that typically helps buyers purchase homes, might get into the business of assisting in the building of them as well. In other news, a celebrated and beloved chef chose Newark as home to his newest restaurant. Meanwhile Garden State homeowners and home cooks completed a renovation that will whet your appetite for pizza — and redecorating.
Let’s take a look at some of the interesting real estate stories we read this month:
Fannie Mae May Step in to Help Buyers Build Homes
In order to address the issue of lack of affordable homes, Fannie Mae is considering a series of pilot programs, which haven’t been finalized but would potentially make it cheaper and easier for would-be homebuyers to get loans to construct new residences.
Interior Designers Put Medical Needs at the Forefront
New masters programs are popping up around the country and they’re focused on the area of Health Design. This course of study trains interior designers to use lighting, acoustics, and fabric to attempt to make day-to-day living easier for people with an array of medical conditions. These designers will join what has become a thriving niche of those who specialize in hospitals, rehab facilities, and nursing homes.
Bill Gates Eyes Building ‘Smart City’
You’ve heard of smart homes, but how about a smart city? That’s what Microsoft mogul Bill Gates may have in mind. Belmont Partners, a real estate investment firm owned by the billionaire recently bought a large plot of land in Arizona for $80 million with the intent to develop it into a “smart city.” This yet-to-be-fully-explained community was described in a Belmont Partners’ press release as creating “a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs.”
Chef March Samuelsson Opens Eatery in Newark
Chef Marcus Samuelsson, founder of Harlem’s Red Rooster restaurant, brings his culinary talents to Newark. Marcus B&P, a 60-seat restaurant located at 56 Halsey Street, opened in mid-November in the recently-renovated Hahne & Co. Building. Flavorful fare includes “riffs on American and Mediterranean classics utilizing local ingredients.”
Garden State Housing Prices Continue to Soar — Especially in These 15 Towns
With housing prices rising at the same time inventory is at a 20-year low, the real estate market in New Jersey is ripe for a housing boom. Using the Zillow home value index — based on recent home sales — NJ.com complied a list of the hottest real estate markets in the Garden State and narrowed it down to 15 towns that have seen peak home values in the last two quarters. Summit and New Providence’s neighbors — Madison, Chatham Township and Borough — all made the top 15.
New Jersey Couple Transforms Fireplace Into Pizza Kitchen
This is one delicious makeover! A Colts Neck family converted their traditional fireplace into a stunning pizza oven in a drool-worthy renovation. This photo gallery could inspire you to call your contractor and start a similarly mouth-watering remodel soon.
Watching Reservation Trails Become Easier to Navigate
The new Watchung Reservation Trails website features an interactive map designed to help visitors navigate the almost-2,000 acre Watchung Reservation, the largest of Union County’s 36 parks. If you’re looking for a way to work off those holiday treats, why not hit the trails?