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Will Smith shows his dream house of Malibu

The Smith clan show their luxurious home in Malibu. Jada is currently starring in HawthoRNe on TNT; Will’s next film, due in May 2012, is Men in Black III.

Stephen Samuelson designed an adobe-style residence full of intimate spaces, organic forms and hadcrafted details.

architecturaldigest.com

Spain has announced plans to try to tackle the severe problems facing its housing market

The Spanish Government has decided to try to create more demand for new properties by cutting IVA (VAT) from 8 to 4 per cent thus saving a property purchaser a sizeable €8,000 on a €200,000 purchase.

Spain's economy was plunged into recession following the collapse of its once-buoyant property sector.

The government is also hoping that building projects will help create jobs and cut the unemployment rate, which is one of the highest in the eurozone.

A reduction in tax paid on new properties and incredibly low prices are set to boost the Spanish property market, according to real estate professionals.

The 50 per cent reduction in VAT is applicable until 31st December 2011 and has been widely welcomed by the property industry.

bbc.co.uk

Greek real estate agents think Greece should emulate Spain 

Spanish government has announced plans to temporarily reduce the rate of VAT on newly built housing. It is an attempt to encourage sales and boost property market.

The announcement came at a recent press conference where the Spanish Finance Minister, Elena Salgado, announced that rate of VAT on newly built housing will be reduced from 8 to 4 per cent until the end of the year.

Cyprus is in a similar position to that of Spain with thousands of newly built properties remaining unsold and littering the once popular seaside areas. Prices too have fallen and unemployment in the industry has risen sharply since the market peaked in 2007.

news.cyprus-property-buyers.com

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Changing housing policy benefits economy at a local level

The housing market predicts local economic conditions. There is a correlation between the percentage of underwater mortgages in a state (i.e., mortgages on which the homeowner owes more than his property is worth) and the unemployment rate.

“There’s no environmental review to conduct or long-delay in actually getting this into motion; underwater consumers who want to knock a few hundred dollars off their mortgages are well-incentivized to initiate, carry out and make sure this gets completed themselves. It outsources much of the bureaucratic requirements to those consumers who stand to benefit” - Mike Konczal.

washingtonpost.com

A 15 or 30-year mortgage loan is a tough decision 

Mortgage Advice

When financing a house, it is essential to analyze what sort of mortgage adjusts to your necessities.

"Fifteen-year mortgage rates certainly look enticing these days, and the idea of owning a home, debt-free, in less time than it takes to raise a child, sounds grand. So what’s the catch?" asks Vickie Elmer in The New York Times.

Before choosing a 15 or 30-year loan, calculate how much money there will be left aside your monthly mortgage fee. Is it enough for you to live on?

Let's have a look at the example from The New York Times:

"On a $300,000 loan, for example, you would pay about $1,475 a month for principal and interest over 30 years, versus $2,145 over 15 years. That assumes a 4.25 percent rate on the longer loan and 3.5 percent on the shorter one.

You would save about $145,000 in interest payments over the life of a 15-year mortgage and build up equity in the home faster [...]. In the first year, principal would be reduced by $15,000, versus about $5,000 on a 30-year loan".

The more you can reduce years in a mortgage the better. But, nonetheless, if you are worried about job security you should opt for a 30-year mortgage. Keep in mind that spreading out the loan length increases the final price of a house.

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