M. Mariani

M. Mariani's Posts

Sail Away Home

Arizona developer Randall Jackson says that he saw the need for a luxury residential cruise ship while sailing through the Straits of Magellan during a family vacation. Never mind that several already exist. Jackson's ship—appropriately named the Magellan—sets itself apart with fractional ownership and the ability to finance 75 percent of an onboard con-do through Jackson's own mortgage company, says Kevin Miller, director of sales and marketing for Residential Cruise Line. Read more

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Zero Down

Home prices rose ever higher in 2005: The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the median new-home price came in at $237,300, compared with $221,000 a year earlier—but the increases didn't keep first-time buyers out of the market. Read more

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Pick Up The Pace

Acquisition activity sped up after the first of the year. Reston, Va.–based Comstock Homes expanded its reach into the South with its purchase of Parker Chandler Homes, based in Atlanta and with additional operations in Charlotte, N.C., and Myrtle Beach, S.C. Comstock estimates the buy will add $75 million in revenue in 2006. In the Southwest, Weyerhaeuser Real Estate bought Phoenix builder Maracay Homes for an undisclosed amount. Maracay built 650 homes in 2005 and controls more than 8,000 lots in Arizona. Read more

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Struck Down

Last November, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state's local property tax system, which pays for about 60 percent of the bill to operate its public schools, amounts to an unconstitutional statewide property tax. It gave the legislature a deadline of June 1 to agree to a new funding scheme. Read more

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Payment Protector

HUD announced in December that it will pay the mortgages of some of the Gulf Coast hurricanes' victims for up to 12 months, as those homeowners return to repair their homes and find jobs. Read more

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