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A boom of new urban homes, one tiny, trendy lot at a time

By ANDREW KHOURI — Los Angeles Times

Just north of downtown Los Angeles, skinny homes on tiny lots are sprouting from the hillsides – a building boom of miniature proportions.

The rectangular structures come in clusters of six or 15, or even 70, and developers are racing to build them in trendy neighborhoods. They’re eyeing younger home buyers who crave hip cafes and proximity to work but don’t want a sky-high condo or a Craftsman bungalow.

The so-called small-lot homes speak to a growing desire for a more compact and walkable Los Angeles, while still clinging to the single-family ideal… Continue reading

5 ways home loans are becoming easier to get

By MARILYN KALFUS — The Orange County Register

The easy credit that crashed the housing market led to lending standards so strict that Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke blamed them for hurting the recovery.

In recent months, however, lenders have relaxed their grip somewhat as the market has rebounded and home prices have soared.

More ways to get a mortgage are in the offing, mostly for borrowers with solid incomes and strong track records. Real estate analysts also say rising rates could spur renewed competition among lenders.

“They are considerably more flexible than they were two years ago. It’s… Continue reading

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