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David Slack: Midnight house removal a beautiful sight

Sunday, November 19, 2017

OPINION: Unless your week included being beamed up to a spacecraft where they were serving whitebait and oysters and crayfish and David Bowie and Mick Ronson were playing Moonage Daydream – unless all that happened to you – your week was not as exciting as mine. 

Homeowners warned: Don't lose your head over council CVs

Sunday, November 19, 2017

New Housing Minister Phil Twyford says it would be unwise for Auckland home owners to assume they've hit the jackpot when new valuations are revealed tomorrow, and take on extra mortgage debt.Provisional data shows housing values...

Liam Dann: Good news, there's a property slump!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

You're always going to upset someone with a property story. It doesn't matter whether the market is up, down, black, white or a muddled grey mess, someone out there is going to think you've got it in for them.I hope this one goes...

Ask Real Estate: What to Do When a Neighbor Is Taking Your Newspaper

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A reader, who lives in a co-op, wonders if management can help.

Homes: industrial unit, school canteen, recording studio, squat… and now?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The many lives of one 1930s city building

Carlo Viscione’s 1930s east London home displays plenty of clues about its previous lives. There’s a strip of floor tiling from when it housed a school canteen; a hand-painted sign saying “pallets” from its days as an art department; two layers of double glazing from when it was a recording studio used by local boys East 17; and scribbles left by former residents from when it was a squat in the early 2000s.

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Gardens: what to do this week

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Plant big blue lilyturf, decide about dahlias, pore over photos

If you need evergreen, flowering groundcover for shade, big blue lilyturf is a godsend. Liriope muscari flowers from midsummer to November, with spikes of deep blue or purple rising from strappy foliage (height and spread 30cm x 30cm). Likes acid or neutral soil in partial or full shade. For particularly fine flowers choose ‘Royal Purple’ or ‘Monroe White’.

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Just add water: how to take cuttings from houseplants

Saturday, November 18, 2017

I love to watch roots grow, particularly in winter

I am the crazy cat lady of the house plant world. I have so many of them. Closing the curtains has become quite the task, as you snake between specimens all vying for light. And yet I continue to take cuttings.

Many house plants are easily rooted in water. I love to watch roots grow, particularly in winter, when there’s something so cheering about a life so willing. Truth be known, it makes most sense to take cuttings in spring and summer. On top of that, cuttings taken in water are somewhat inferior to those taken in soil, in part because water doesn’t offer the most nutritious beginning. But that doesn’t stop me.

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Homes requisitioned during the war are now sought-after

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Armistice Day has been and gone for another year, yet the tales of heroism that took place during the world wars are always with us

The secrets to a Thanksgiving #tablescape that will blow up on Instagram

Sunday, November 19, 2017

For the Thanksgiving that Diana and Josh Perrin host every year, they draw inspiration from tablescapes they feature on their hugely popular Casa de Perrin Instagram feed, which has more than 288,000 followers.

House prices aren’t the issue – land prices are | Patrick Collinson

Saturday, November 18, 2017

There’s a simple solution that will give us cheaper homes – if only the chancellor would listen

While reporting on the recent court case where controversial landlord Fergus Wilson defended (but lost) his right to refuse to let to Indians and Pakistanis, I learned something about how he’s now making money. He is now far from being Britain’s biggest buy-to-let landlord. He’s down to 350 homes, from a peak of 1,000. And what’s he doing with the cash made from sales? Buying agricultural land close to Kent’s biggest towns. One plot he bought for £45,000 is now worth, he boasted, £3m with development permission. And therein lies the reason why we have a housing crisis.

As long ago as 1909, Winston Churchill, then promoting Lloyd George’s “people’s budget” and its controversial measures to tax land, told an audience in Edinburgh that the landowner “sits still and does nothing” while reaping vast gains from land improvements by the municipality, such as roads, railways, power from generators and water from reservoirs far away. “Every one of those improvements is effected by the labour and the cost of other people … To not one of those improvements does the land monopolist contribute, and yet by every one of them the value of his land is sensibly enhanced … he contributes nothing even to the process from which his own enrichment is derived.”

Landowners pocketed £9bn in profit from land they sold for new housing in 2014-15

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Autumn budget 2017: a sneak peek inside the chancellor’s red box …

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A cut in stamp duty for first-time buyers? Lower student loan interest rates? Out with the winter fuel allowance? We look at next week’s likely announcements

Don’t expect much in the way of fireworks when the chancellor reveals his second budget on Wednesday lunchtime. Philip Hammond’s hands are manacled by Brexit uncertainty, public finances remain tight, and the outlook is worsening as forecasts for future economic growth are slimmed back. Yet, in a bid to woo younger voters, there is widespread anticipation of a package of giveaways to students and first-time buyers, while conventional taxpayers will be told that they are in line for a £12,500 personal allowance – though quite when remains to be seen.

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House prices aren’t the issue – land prices are | Patrick Collinson

Saturday, November 18, 2017

There’s a simple solution that will give us cheaper homes – if only the chancellor would listen

While reporting on the recent court case where controversial landlord Fergus Wilson defended (but lost) his right to refuse to let to Indians and Pakistanis, I learned something about how he’s now making money. He is now far from being Britain’s biggest buy-to-let landlord. He’s down to 350 homes, from a peak of 1,000. And what’s he doing with the cash made from sales? Buying agricultural land close to Kent’s biggest towns. One plot he bought for £45,000 is now worth, he boasted, £3m with development permission. And therein lies the reason why we have a housing crisis.

As long ago as 1909, Winston Churchill, then promoting Lloyd George’s “people’s budget” and its controversial measures to tax land, told an audience in Edinburgh that the landowner “sits still and does nothing” while reaping vast gains from land improvements by the municipality, such as roads, railways, power from generators and water from reservoirs far away. “Every one of those improvements is effected by the labour and the cost of other people … To not one of those improvements does the land monopolist contribute, and yet by every one of them the value of his land is sensibly enhanced … he contributes nothing even to the process from which his own enrichment is derived.”

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Landlady left with £9,500 rent arrears by tenant on universal credit

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Property owner says she will not rent to recipients again – as fears rise more will follow suit

A Croydon-based landlady has vowed never again to let her property “to anyone on universal credit” after the tenant installed by the council was switched to the new benefit and disappeared owing her around £9,500 in rent.

Amira Khan* says she feels let down, angry and “in debt to everyone” as a result of Croydon council being one of the first to adopt the government’s flagship universal credit scheme, whose rollout is proving controversial.

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Is paying to attend a birthday party now normal?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

My brother has grand plans that don’t stretch to him forking out

Every week a Guardian Money reader submits a question, and it’s up to you to help him or her out – a selection of the best answers will appear in next Saturday’s paper.

This week’s question:

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Older people face paying £34,000 a year to go into a care home

Saturday, November 18, 2017

With the average price of residential care increasing at its fastest rate ever in 2016, we face a ‘prolonged crisis’ in provision

The cost of being in a UK care home rose at its fastest rate last year and is now an average of £33,904 a year – up almost 10% on the 2016 figure.

Ahead of next week’s budget, which may reveal the latest government thinking on the cost of care timebomb, research from Prestige Nursing + Care has revealed the latest costs and a huge disparity in prices around the country.

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Cost of Christmas dinner rises 5% – but there’s good news from Brussels … sprouts

Saturday, November 18, 2017

As food prices rise in the wake of Brexit, we count the cost of your festive feast. But you don’t have to be a Scrooge – £20 can still feed six people

The big supermarkets have raised the cost of Christmas dinner by around 5% this year, according to analysis for Guardian Money, far outstripping the 2.1% rise in average wages in 2017. But while Brexit may be blamed for food price rises, there is good news from Brussels – sprouts are down by as much as a third.

You may, however, have to be parsimonious with the parsnips this year. Our analysis, carried out by price comparison site mysupermarket.com, found that the cost of the vegetable at Sainsbury’s is 67% higher than last year. But the data also reveals sharp deviations between the major groups, with Morrisons charging less compared to last year.

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In ritzy Beverly Park, a modern castle seeks its new king

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Juliet balconies and conical roof features lend a castle-like vibe to this contemporary mansion in Beverly Park, a gated neighborhood known for its large-lot homes and affluent homeowners.

Designed by architect Richard Landry, the lavish and ornately detailed estate has more than 22,900 square...

I miss her every Thanksgiving, and try not to wonder 'What if...?'

Sunday, November 19, 2017

I remember her every year at this time — and when I see the Missed Connections on Craigslist, where strangers who were too shy to connect when they first crossed paths hope to unite.

These personal ads imply that lost opportunities can be found. That’s why I gave a blanket to a woman I didn’t know....

It's end scene for Johnny Depp in downtown L.A.'s Historic Core

Sunday, November 19, 2017

“Pirates of the Caribbean” star Johnny Depp has officially pulled up anchor from L.A.’s Historic Core district, selling the last piece of his five-unit penthouse collection atop the Eastern Columbia Building for $1.425 million.

Depp originally listed the five multi-floor penthouses within the Art...

How to furnish your first home on a shoestring - without resorting to Ikea

Saturday, November 18, 2017

My Favorite Room: Molly Sims finds the key to 'happy mess' in her kitchen

Sunday, November 19, 2017

You might think a supermodel who stashed cashmere sweaters in the oven of her Paris pied-à-terre when she ran out of storage space would choose the closet in her West Los Angeles home as her favorite room.

But Molly Sims said the 400-square-foot kitchen is her top pick for places to hang in the...

Invest in a fragrant spring by planting sweet peas — now

Sunday, November 19, 2017

There's nothing quite as fragrant as sweet peas. You can make this lovely English garden-type scene a reality in your yard, but you need to act now, because fall is prime time for planting this cool-weather flower in Southern California.

New portfolio reflects an upbeat market

Saturday, November 18, 2017

NAI Harcourts has released its third and final Key Assets commercial property portfolio for 2017, including a positive market commentary from around the country.The Auckland commercial property market is in good health as it heads...

Donna Fleming: Edgy elegance selling fast

Saturday, November 18, 2017

It was one of those light-bulb moments. Greg Reidy was in the middle of negotiating a new lease for the top floor of a commercial building his development company owned when it dawned on him that it was wasted as office space."I...

Graham Hepburn: A house after your heart

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Sentiment plays a big part in buying houses and it was certainly a factor for Craig and Rachel Spillane.The couple say the staircase sold them on the house. "One of the things we loved was the big, grand staircase because we wanted...

Louise Richardson: Versatile layout on all levels

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Years of teaching young school children in London, which she enjoyed, inspired Nichole Stratton to bring her British husband Jeremy, a landscaper, and their three boys: Ike, 11, Eli, 9, and Raphy, 6, back to her home country for...

Sandra Goodwin: Refreshingly different

Saturday, November 18, 2017

After a few years living in the Saudi Arabian desert, finding this large lush Epsom property felt like discovering an oasis. Petra Foote says: "We came across this place 37 years ago and it was magic - the land, the trees, the garden,...

Hot Property: Out of our orbit

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Sometimes, stellar deals seem to put the cart before the horse. Must be nice to have enough funds on hand to buy a new place in Beverly Crest for $13.5 million without having yet sold your old Hollywood Hills compound — listed at $14 million. Now that’s a flush bank account.

In our more down-to-earth...

Halle Berry’s onetime home in Hollywood Hills lists for $3.8 million

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A onetime home of actress Halle Berry is for sale in Hollywood Hills West for $3.795 million.

Berry bought the Mediterranean villa in 1994 with her husband at the time, baseball player David Justice, for $1.585 million. She sold it more than a decade later for $4.15 million, records show.

Built...

NBA's Trevor Ariza puts his Tarzana home in play at $3.5 million

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza, who won an NBA title with the Lakers in 2009, is selling his Tarzana home. The asking price is $3.5 million.

The approximately one-acre contemporary Mediterranean estate, built in 1990, includes a main house, a guest casita, a swimming pool and a basketball...