Tag: Homes

Kids can make gnome homes from recycled materials following this lesson from the San Antonio Parks & Recreation Departement

Here is a fun way to create a fairy tale world filled with castles and gnome homes built from recyclables. This project is adapted from the San Antonio Parks and Recreation’s “Quick Crafts Cardboard Castles and Gnome Homes” lesson taught by educator David Jimenez in a video on the City of San Antonio YouTube channel.

Ingrid Wilgen

What you need

Hot glue, tape, white glue, scissors, construction paper, cardboard scraps, markers, pencils, cardboard tubes from toilet paper, paper towel or wrapping npaper rolls, recycled disposable cups, bowls and plates.

What to do

First, play around with the recycled materials, stacking bowls on cups or cups on tubes, to discover shapes that will work for your gnome home and castle construction. Let your imagination soar by combining materials to create new shapes.

A small disposable bowl glued to the top of a paper cup, for example, becomes a mushroom-shaped gnome home.

You also can create cones from construction paper to make a pointed roof for a toilet paper tube tower.

Place a a small bowl with the rim facing down onto a piece of construction paper and trace a circle around the bowl with a pencil. Once done, cut the shape out. Try making circles with different diameters, using bowls and cups of various sizes.

Using a ruler, draw a line across the center of the paper circle. Measure the length of the line. Divide the resulting number by two. Using a pencil, mark the halfway point determined by your calculation with a dot. Cut along the line, stopping at the dot.

Next, overlap the cut edges of the circle to form a cone shape. Use glue or tape to secure the shape. Place the cone on top of a disposable cup or cardboard toilet paper tube to create a gnome home.

Now it’s time to create a castle. You’ll need cardboard and cardboard tubes to make the walls — make sure that the tubes are taller than the cardboard you are using to make the walls.

Cut four rectangular walls of equal height out of cardboard (walls opposite each other should be the same length, too.) Castle walls often have a pattern of rectangular notches across the top, where archers can fire their arrows; add those, too, if you want.

You can join the walls using four paper towel tubes. Starting at the bottom, cut two slits in each tube 90 degrees apart that are the same length as the castle walls’ height.

Using four paper towel rolls, cut a single slit from the bottom to the top of each roll up to the castle walls’ height. Slide the tubes onto the castles’ four corners using the slits you cut.

Make as many structures as you want to complete your vision. Using hot glue is the fastest way to see your creation come to life, but if you don’t mind the drying time, white glue also gets the job done. When the glue is dry, use markers to decorate your

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SkyRun Vacation Rentals – Park City & Deer Valley Now Offers Luxury and Premium Rental Properties on Homes & Villas by Marriott International

BOULDER, Colo., Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — SkyRun Vacation Rentals today announced that select rental properties in Park City and Deer Valley, Utah are now available on Homes & Villas by Marriott International. The premium home rental offering provides guests, including more than 140 million members of its travel program Marriott Bonvoy, extraordinary options to choose from when booking travel from among its 30 hotel brands and more than 10,000 home rental properties.

Luck Star at Belle Arbor - SkyRun Deer Valley, Utah

These new homes are situated in former mining town Park City, which is nestled in the Wasatch Range east of Salt Lake City, and luxurious Deer Valley, which is known for its famous corduroy groomed slopes, fine dining restaurants, and shopping at swanky Main Street.  The homes feature luxury living spaces, exceptional views, and sought-after locations for visitors.

Before being added to the Homes & Villas by Marriott International portfolio, SkyRun Vacation Rentals’ properties were audited and reviewed by Marriott International to meet the company’s high standards for regulation, design and amenities.

Barry Cox, Co-Founder and CEO of SkyRun, says “we couldn’t be happier to have our homes selected by Marriott International. We share Marriott’s vision for what guests expect in luxury stays and look forward to adding our homes in our 30 other locations by the end of the year.” Michael LeClerc, Owner of SkyRun’s Park City/Deer Valley location, adds “providing our luxury homes to Marriott’s Bonvoy members is a real differentiator in this area.”

Hallmarks of Homes & Villas by Marriott service, which will be adopted by SkyRun Vacation Rentals include:

  • Professionally designed interior and exterior spaces
  • 24/7 support and check-in
  • High speed Wi-Fi
  • Premium bed linens and towels
  • Premium bath amenities
  • Child-friendly items upon request, such as high chairs and travel cribs

Launched in May 2019, Homes & Villas by Marriott International marks Marriott International’s entrance into the home rental space, now offering travelers access to more than 10,000 premium and luxury homes located in over 200 destinations throughout the United States, Europe, Caribbean and Latin America. This curated selection of homes aims to connect travelers to thousands of rental properties around the world and sets the stage for guests’ most treasured travel moments – home-cooked dinners with extended family, lawn games in the backyard or celebrating a milestone birthday with family and friends.

About SkyRun
Since 2014, SkyRun Vacation Rentals – Park City & Deer Valley (https://www.parkcity.skyrun.com/), has provided new and better ways for second-home owners to get the most out of their investment properties and for guests to get the most out of their vacation experiences. Please contact the Marketing Department (marketing@skyrun.com) for media support.

Contact: angelea@skyrun.com

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SOURCE SkyRun Park City

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Vacation Homes Help Fuel Existing Sales Surge

Existing home sales rose again in
September and are now blowing the doors off last year’s numbers. The National
Association of Realtors® says sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums,
and co-ops, rose 9.4 percent from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate
of 6.54 million units in September. After four straight months of increasing
sales, the seasonally adjusted rate is now 20.9 percent higher than in
September 2019.

Single-family home sales rose 9.7
percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.87 units and are
now 21.8 percent higher than a year earlier. Existing condominiums and co-ops
sold at annual rate of 670,000 units, increasing 6.3 percent and 13.6 percent
from the two earlier periods.

Analysts had expected sales to
remain on a winning streak but were looking for an annual rate of 6.2 million
sales. Forecasts of those polled by Econoday ranged from 5.8 million to
6.4 million units, all falling short of the actual number.

“Home sales traditionally taper off
toward the end of the year, but in September they surged beyond what we
normally see during this season,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “I
would attribute this jump to record-low interest rates and an abundance of
buyers in the marketplace, including buyers of vacation homes given the greater
flexibility to work from home.”

The median existing-home price for all housing
types in September was $311,800, up 14.8 percent from the September 2019 median
of $271,500, marking 103 straight months of year-over-year gains. The median
existing single-family home price was $316,200, a 15.2 percent annual gain, and
the median existing condo price was $272,700, up 9.9 percent.

There were 1.47 million available homes for sale at the end of September, 1.3
percent fewer than in August and down 19.2 percent from the 1.82 million
stockpile a year ago
.  The unsold
inventory is estimated at a 2.7-month supply at the current sales pace, down
from 3.0 months in August and 4.0-months in September 2019. A six-month supply
has traditionally been cited by NAR as a balanced market.

“There is no shortage of hopeful,
potential buyers, but inventory is historically low,” Yun said. “To their
credit, we have seen some homebuilders move to ramp up supply, but a need for
even more production still exists.”

Sales in vacation
destination counties have seen a strong acceleration since July, with a 34
percent year-over-year gain in September. Yun says, “The uncertainty about when
the pandemic will end coupled with the ability to work from home appears to
have boosted sales in summer resort regions, including Lake Tahoe, mid-Atlantic
beaches (Rehoboth Beach, Myrtle Beach), and the Jersey shore areas. Additionally, a recent NAR study
confirms that many Americans continue to seek new living situations
due to the pandemic.

Properties typically remained on the market for
21 days in September – an all-time low – seasonally down from 22 days in August
and from 32 days in September 2019. Seventy-one percent of homes sold in September 2020 were on the
market

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Hotel stays help dozens experiencing homelessness find more permanent homes

Not too long ago, Marvin Oglesby spent his days searching for life’s essentials, and worrying.

“Worried if I have food, worried about other people living on the street, worried if I will make it to the next day or through the night,” he said.

A man in a checkered shirt takes a selfie.

Marvin Oglesby.

Courtesy of Marvin Oglesby

Oglesby lacked a stable place to live for three years. But last month, he moved into a duplex of his own. He credits this transition to having his own private room in a hotel.

“It gave me a foundation to stand on that and look for something more,” said Oglesby. “From the shelter to the hotel, that was the difference.”

In March, Hennepin County moved people, especially those most vulnerable to the worst effects of COVID-19, from congregate shelters into private rooms in five hotels. The plan was to reduce crowding and protect people most at risk.

There was another benefit.

According to officials working to end homelessness in Hennepin County, 56 people have moved into permanent housing since the start of the hotel efforts.

Housing can help people experiencing homelessness, especially those struggling with mental health issues like depression or anxiety, achieve stability, which is key to their well-being.

Michael Huffman, director of outreach and shelter at St. Stephen’s Human Services in Minneapolis, said hotels help people over shelters in other ways.

“They have 24-hour access to that space so that means that people who maybe were asked to leave during the day under normal circumstances are now able to pick up a third-shift job and work overnight,” Huffman said.

Oglesby said he felt a sense of agency at the hotel. “Staying at the hotel gave me independence so to speak, to see how I would live by myself.”

The “high-risk” hotels in Hennepin County each day housed 540 seniors and people especially vulnerable to COVID-19 who might otherwise depend on shelters or sleep outside.

There also are “isolation” hotels for people who may have the coronavirus or have tested positive. In total, there have been more than 1,400 occupants in what the county calls “protective and isolation” housing since March, according to data released earlier this month.

The hotels have also made it easier for social workers to connect with their clients.

Mohamed Sheikh was Oglesby’s social worker. He said social workers are able to provide consistent care because they know exactly where their clients are.

“The hotel presented an opportunity because they were able to stabilize their mental health, meet their physical health needs, and meet their social needs,” Sheikh said.

This week the Hennepin County Board approved spending $13.3 million in federal CARES Act funds to buy a hotel to provide more than 100 rooms for those at high risk of serious side effects from COVID-19. The aim is to have it open by the end of the year, and continue to offer support services. The board already had designated $3.6 million to purchase other facilities with around 160 units to house people with underlying health

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Vacation homes being used to throw huge parties, deputies say

Vacation homes are being used to throw massive parties in Osceola County with hundreds of people in attendance.Investigators say it’s an ongoing problem in the county. There have been 15 people arrested, two guns seized and 180 traffic stops made. It is all part of an ongoing promise from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. “The last few weeks we’ve seen an increase in parties,” Maj. Jacob Ruiz said.For months, Osceola sheriff’s deputies have been conducting what they call saturation patrols. The goal has been to stop massive house parties which have been thrown in short-term rental homes that would in any other time be used by families visiting Central Florida theme parks. Investigators say not only do these pose a threat for the spread of COVID-19 but they’ve also become violent.Deputies say they’ve investigated multiple shootings and one murder after previous parties got out of control. This past weekend, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office’s Intelligence Unit identified two large parties and several other smaller ones which deputies then stopped. “We try to intercept it. They have chat groups or media groups on social media where they share this information and they try to restrict law enforcement from them, but we try to be as proactive as possible,” Ruiz said.The charges among the arrested range from DUI to drug sales. Sheriff’s investigators say these parties are a public safety threat and they will keep working to stop them for however long the people behind them keep trying to put them on.

Vacation homes are being used to throw massive parties in Osceola County with hundreds of people in attendance.

Investigators say it’s an ongoing problem in the county.

There have been 15 people arrested, two guns seized and 180 traffic stops made.

It is all part of an ongoing promise from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

“The last few weeks we’ve seen an increase in parties,” Maj. Jacob Ruiz said.

For months, Osceola sheriff’s deputies have been conducting what they call saturation patrols.

The goal has been to stop massive house parties which have been thrown in short-term rental homes that would in any other time be used by families visiting Central Florida theme parks.

Investigators say not only do these pose a threat for the spread of COVID-19 but they’ve also become violent.

Deputies say they’ve investigated multiple shootings and one murder after previous parties got out of control.

This past weekend, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office’s Intelligence Unit identified two large parties and several other smaller ones which deputies then stopped.

“We try to intercept it. They have chat groups or media groups on social media where they share this information and they try to restrict law enforcement from them, but we try to be as proactive as possible,” Ruiz said.

The charges among the arrested range from DUI to drug sales.

Sheriff’s investigators say these parties are a public safety threat and they will keep working to stop them for however long the people

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Shuttered hotel gives way to luxury homes in Alexandria, Va.

As a renter in Crystal City, Oparka had been worrying about the effect of Seattle-based Amazon’s opening a second headquarters in that Arlington, Va., neighborhood. (Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post). He later recalled thinking, “Those changes will be exciting, but in 10 years’ time, what will it be like to live here?” He had already started looking around at new residential construction.

So he followed the couple’s advice, and then he purchased a one-bedroom corner unit on the ninth floor of the 13-story building.

Carr Cos. bought the property and has been redeveloping it, replacing the hotel with 119 condominium units, flanked on two sides by a total of 41 townhouses. The 13-story condominium project is exempted from a height limit for new construction because it is replacing the hotel.

Nearly half of the condo units and townhouses have been sold. Base prices for the remaining condos range from $500,000 to $3 million; for the remaining townhouses, from $1.5 million to $2.6 million. Buyers are expected to begin moving in next fall.

Floor-to-ceiling windows: A furnished two-bedroom, two-bathroom model unit is on view at the sales office across the street from the property. For prospective buyers, a tour is like walking through a real condo.

The entry door opens into the kitchen, which adjoins a living and dining space with a balcony outside. Flanking the open-plan living area are two bedrooms, one on each side. One bedroom has an en suite bathroom; the other has a bathroom steps away. A washer and dryer are in a closet between the bathroom and the second bedroom. The unit has floor-to-ceiling windows.

Oparka described some of the choices involved in buying his one-bedroom unit. “I traded a water view for space and price,” he said. “If I want to look at the river I can go to the rooftop.” The rooftop is where there’ll be grill stations, fire pits, outdoor TVs and a lounge that residents can reserve for parties.

Oparka also snagged storage space for some of his bikes and assorted gear. “The two I ride the most I’ll keep inside my home,” he said. “The other three I’ll put into either my storage spot area or the building’s bike storage area.”

Other amenities include front-desk concierge service, a pet spa and a fitness center.

WCS Construction is the general contractor. Lessard Design provided the architects and designers. McWilliams Ballard is handling sales.

Nearby: The Potomac River is one block from Venue. Old Town Alexandria has an abundance of shops, galleries, dining options and historical sites. Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter are a couple of blocks away. Montgomery Park is a two-acre retreat with picnic tables, a playground, a dog park, tennis courts and grass fields. Mount Vernon Trail runs by the development. From Venue, it’s a short drive to Crystal City, Pentagon City, Reagan National Airport and Potomac Yard, all in Virginia, and, across the Potomac, to downtown Washington, Georgetown, the Mall

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Report: Poconos a top spot to buy vacation homes

The economy may be uncertain, but vacation home sales seem to be skyrocketing in the Poconos. As Newswatch 16’s Sarah Buynovsky reports, that means more jobs, too.

BLAKESLEE, Pa. — The economy may be uncertain, but vacation home sales seem to be skyrocketing in the Poconos.

A recent report listed the Poconos as a top spot to buy one.

Vacasa is a vacation rental company which it puts out an annual report of top spots to buy.

“We’ve been doing this report for three years now, and this is the first time the Poconos has shown up on the list, but I think it’s really due to the changing demand in consumer behavior, Poconos being a couple hours away from New York City in Pennsylvania. With the health pandemic, people really want drive-to markets where they can get outdoors,” said Shaun Greer of Vacasa.

The Poconos ranked third in the country for best vacation home sale spot.

Big Sky, Montana ranked number one.

Corolla, North Carolina was second on the list.

Vacasa officials said it may seem surprising that people are buying vacation homes given the economy right now, but they explained a reason for that.

“Right now, interest rates are the lowest they’ve ever been, so people can afford more,” said Greer.

Because there has been this boom, Vacasa is now looking to expand and hire people living in the Poconos.

“There’s always an economic factor that goes into play when somebody purchase a home, and a company like us manages, and we employ and invest in the professionals there to help manage the homes so it can definitely be a boost for that local economy.”

Vacasa officials said they are investing in the Poconos and expect to see demand there for years to come.

Head here to check out the report from Vacasa.

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Vacation Spots Trending as Interest in Second Homes Surges

Affordable Beach TownsAs interest rates have dropped to record-breaking lows and many Americans now find themselves being able to work remotely, there has been a sudden peak in demand for second homes and vacation homes. 

According to research conducted by Point2Homes, second home buyers are looking into purchasing vacation homes at increasingly high levels this year. Demand for vacation homes has now reached a five-year high. 

Point2Homes discovered Google search trends revealing that terms such as “buying a 2nd/second home” and “buying a vacation home” have become more popular over the past few months. The report shows that interest in second homes and vacation properties grew by 235% above July 2019 and 103% over August of last year. 

Home prices had been on the rise just before the pandemic spread across the country, causing less interest in purchasing second homes. Since the pandemic, lockdown measures and working from home became the new norm, causing many Americans to search for an escape. Hunting for a new vacation home seems to be a popular way to do just that. 

Some vacation hot spots have been especially trendy on Google searches. The location that has seen the greatest increase in interest is Big Sky, Montana. The popularity of keywords “big sky house” on Google had a 177% year-over-year increase. 

The second top-trending location is Fort Bragg, California, which had a 143% increase in consumer interest since 2019. The other top three vacation spots with the most increase in interest were Harbor Springs, Michigan had a 70% increase, Gulf Shores, Alabama, which saw a 47% rise in searches, and Waikoloa, Hawaii, which had a 38% growth in popularity since last year.

Point2Homes also found that some vacation spots, such as “southeastern destinations of Key West, Myrtle Beach, Destin, Blue Ridge and Kissimmee,” which had waning interest before this year, have either bounced back to the same level of popularity they had five years ago or have developed even more interest among potential second home buyers.

The top five luxury destinations which “returned to their pre-pandemic levels by mid-summer” include Aspen, Colorado; Park City, Utah; Palm Springs, California and Newport Beach, California.

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Luxury Vacation Rentals & Villa Homes for Rent

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