Intelligent and Hi-Tech Small Apartment With Mind-blowing Features

Intelligent and Hi-Tech Small Apartment With Mind-blowing Features

Get ready for a crib that will blow your mind! Closet House was designed by Portuguese company Consexto and is an intelligent and sophisticated solution for living large in a 44 square meter (474 square foot) apartment. At a first glance, one might think this is just a tasteful contemporary small home with a few unusual decorating ideas. In fact, this unique crib is composed out of five different living areas, two of which can transform at a touch of a button. Because everything in this hi-tech apartment is automated, it is easy to move walls around and change the overall look of a room in no time. How else would a home cinema, a mini bar, a large wardrobe, a fully-equipped kitchen and a comfy dining table fit in such a small place? Check out the video at the end of the post and allow yourselves to be amazed! (Photos: Amândio Neto)

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Design Happens » Archive » Building a Closet (Part One)

Building a Closet (Part One)

Design Inspiration

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    Tiny houses – real estate’s new wave? – The Globe and Mail

    Tiny houses – real estate’s new wave?

    AP Video

    As Americans downsize in the aftermath of a colossal real estate bust, at least one tiny corner of the housing market appears to be thriving. Tiny houses are emerging as a whole new marketplace.


    Home sales hit nine month high | Toronto’s Real Estate Blog | Canadian Real Estate Market

    Home sales hit nine month high

    Vancouver and Toronto lead increase in January as national average reaches $343,675.

    Home sales in Canada increased 4.5 per cent in January over the previous month, their highest seasonally adjusted point since last April. The Canadian Real Estate Association said Tuesday the Vancouver and Toronto markets led the way, but there were gains in more than half of all local markets during the month.

    “We anticipated the recent announcement of tighter mortgage regulations, which will come into effect this March, would pull forward sales activity into the first quarter of 2011, particularly in some of Canada’s more expensive housing markets,” CREA chief economist Gregory Klump said.

    “The sharp rise in sales activity in Toronto following the announcement provides early evidence confirming this.”

    Klump was referring to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s announcement in January that Ottawa will no longer insure mortgages of longer than 30 years.

    National sales activity has improved steadily since last summer, and now stands almost 25 per cent above the low point reached in July 2010, CREA said.

    The national average price for homes sold in January was $343,675. While little changed compared to the previous three months, much like the total sales numbers, the price figure is 4.5 per cent higher than the average price level in January 2010.

    New listings of homes for sale normally post their biggest month-over-month increase in January, and January 2011 was no exception.

    New listings more than doubled in January compared to the previous month, the largest such gain since 2007.


    Higher than expected property sales growth expected for Canada in 2011 | North America | News

    Higher than expected property sales growth expected for Canada in 2011

    Monday, 14 February 2011

    The Canadian Real Estate Association has revised its 2011 forecast for residential property sales activity as the economic recovery and job growth continue, incomes grow, and consumer confidence further improves.

    CREA expects that home sales activity will gain traction after dipping in the second quarter. ‘Even though mortgage interest rates are expected to rise later this year, they will still be within short reach of current levels and remain supportive for housing market activity. Strengthening economic fundamentals will keep the housing market in balance, which will keep home prices stable,’ said Gregory Klump, chief economist at CREA.

    The national average home price is forecast to rise 1.3% in 2011 and 2012, to $343,300 and $347,900 respectively. Average price is expected to rise modestly in most provinces, reflecting the continuation of a healthy balance between supply of, and demand for, homes listed for sale.

    Although the supply of new listings is expected to trend higher, the expected continuation of sellers’ market conditions in Manitoba is forecast to result in a bigger percentage increase in average price in 2011 and 2012 compared to other provinces.

    Much of the optimism is due to the fact that sales in the second half of 2010 rebounded faster than CREA had previously expected. ‘The hand off going into 2011, together with the highs and lows for sales activity posted in 2010, provided guidance for CREA’s revised forecast,’ said Klump.

    ‘Home buyers recognize that low mortgage interest rates represent a once in a lifetime opportunity. At the same time, they expect that rates will rise, so they’re doing their homework in order to understand what it could mean in terms of higher mortgage payments down the road before they make an offer,’ said Georges Pahud, CREA president.

    ‘The housing market and buyer psychology is different now than it was at the beginning of last year, so buyers and sellers would do well to consult their realtor to understand local market trends,’ he added.

    The upward revision to CREA’s forecast for 2011 reflects recent improvements in the consensus economic outlook and a further expected improvement in consumer confidence. National sales activity is now expected to reach 439,900 units in 2011, representing an annual decline of 1.6%

    In 2012, CREA forecasts that national sales activity will rebound by three per cent to 453,300 units, which is roughly on par with the ten year average.

    ‘Recent additional changes to mortgage regulations will further ensure that buyers don’t buy more home than they can afford when interest rates inevitably rise,’ explained Klump.

    ‘The announcement of the new changes to mortgage regulations will likely bring forward some sales into the first quarter that would have otherwise occurred later in the year, particularly in some of Canada’s more expensive housing markets. This is expected to produce a milder version of the volatility in sales activity that we saw last year which resulted from additional transitory factors,’ he

    CREA added that three transitory factors contributed to volatility in sales activity last year: changes in mortgage regulations announced last February, the early withdrawal by the Bank of Canada of its conditional commitment to keep interest rates on hold until the second half of 2010, and the introduction of the HST in BC and Ontario during the summer of 2010.


    Looking for a new bungalow? There’s an app for that – The Globe and Mail

    Looking for a new bungalow? There’s an app for that


    From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail


    People shopping for new homes will have more power in their pockets this spring, as banks and real estate companies unroll a host of branded mobile applications intended to help consumers find their dream house.

    Mobile apps have been slow to appear in the Canadian marketplace, as the companies that hold the data have been loath to give up control of the information needed to power them. But a ruling from Canada’s Competition Bureau that encouraged the real estate industry to throw open its multiple listings service has forced the industry to adopt new methods of fostering loyalty among the clients it depends upon for commissions.

    More related to this story

    Canada’s banks are also employing apps to ensure they are able to attract what is expected to be a smaller mortgage market as the country’s real estate market slows down from the record breaking pace of 2010.

    This week, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce introduced a mobile real-estate shopping app for iPhones and BlackBerrys, jumping into that market before its competitors.

    Using real estate data from Toronto company Centract Settlement Services, the app streams price and demographic information on specific neighbourhoods to consumers as they are out home shopping. The data includes average home prices and price trends based on recent sales.

    Such tools are the next generation of mobile banking applications that began to emerge in Canada about a year ago. Apps are the latest front in the battle for retail clients, and the strategy for CIBC is to link a potential home buyer with its mortgage advisers to arrange a loan.

    The push comes as the real estate sector prepares for its spring season, traditionally the busiest of the year. Other organizations, such as the Canadian Real Estate Association, have rolled out mobile real estate apps in a bid to attract and retain customers, many of whom have been tempted to handle more of their real estate transactions on their own using online sites such as Kijiji and Craigslist.

    “Nothing can replace the advice you can get from sitting across from an adviser,” said Christina Kramer, executive vice-president at CIBC. “But this kind of tool can really arm yourself with a lot of the important aspects of the decisions that you’ll need to make.”

    While Centract has its deal with CIBC, it is also shopping the data that powers the app to other banks and financial companies “We have quite a number of conversations under way with organizations across Canada,” said Phil West, Centract’s general manager. “They are all interested in getting something out there in advance of the spring market.”

    By offering the ability to apply for a preapproved mortgage certificate through the mobile app, CIBC hopes to hook consumers with the speed of the buying process. Most banks offer mortgage advice and approvals over the phone for such situations, but such apps put that calculation into the consumer’s hands. A meeting with a mortgage adviser is set up the same day.

    “It helps you also start down the process of looking at the financial side of the equation to ensure that it’s the right kind of home at the right price level for you and that you are comfortable with the financial aspects,” Ms. Kramer said.


    Why Canadians jump into bad real estate investments and how to avoid them

    Why Canadians jump into bad real estate investments and how to avoid them

    Toronto – Renting to Own Investment expert and author Mark Loeffler says that while it’s great that the real estate industry is reporting growth, it’s critical to drill down deeper into the markets that you might be currently investing in, or are considering investing in before jumping into what could be a potential mess.

    “There are a lot of urgent and scary reports out there that sometimes put the pressure on investors, and all too often they react too quickly and invest in something they shouldn’t. The economy and housing markets can be very different even within the same province, let alone from one end of the country to the other. It comes down to the types of housing you are looking for- and you need to do your due diligence before investing,” says Loeffler, who is the author of Investing in Rent-to-Own Property- A Complete Guide for Canadian Real Estate Investors and well respected in the field of Real Estate in Canada.

    “Even with reports of good market upswing, there’s no guarantee that it will continue. Investors need to be looking at targeted reports as part of their research before they decide with markets and housing types to invest in,” says Loeffler.

    Mark recommends doing research into all investment aspects before laying down any money on the table and not letting headlines create urgency when investing.

    What you should do before making a deal:

    1. Don’t just read a generalized Real Estate and Market Survey report. Get specific, find out what the stats are on the specific type of housing you are looking for. There can be a big difference between two and three bedrooms just down the block from each other.

    2. Condominiums and single family homes, depending on where you are looking to invest can be like apples and oranges. Narrow down the type of investment you are looking for and make sure you get up to date information. Make sure it’s exactly what you want.

    3. Educate yourself if you aren’t sure about what you are doing. There are plenty of seminars and courses that can give an investor all the information they need about every option. Stay informed. Subscribe to business blogs and keep up to date with the industry.

    4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There is nothing worse than jumping into a deal without knowing all the facts. Sometimes Canadians are too polite and don’t want to make waves when dealing in business.


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