Hazard Insurance Vs. Mortgage Insurance

Hazard Insurance Vs. Mortgage Insurance

Your mortgage payment might include more than just payment on the principal and interest: several mortgage lenders will ask that you put money into an escrow account to pay for mortgage and hazard insurance too. Mortgage insurance pays if you default on your mortgage; hazard insurance covers damage or destruction by vandalism, smoke, fire and storm, among other causes.

Significance of Mortgage Insurance

Lenders usually require mortgage any time they issue a mortgage for more than 80 percent of the house’s value, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco states. It protects your lender against losing their investment, and allows you to buy a house with less than a 20 percent down payment, in return for making the mortgage payments each month.

Significance of Hazard Insurance

Mortgage lenders require you to carry hazard insurance as your house is the security for the loan: If theft or hail damage your house or its contents, the insurance will enable you to rebuild, keeping up the value of your lender’s collateral. Unlike mortgage insurance, hazard insurance benefits you in addition to your lender: If your lender only requires a minimal level of hazard insurance, then you could consider taking more to protect your own investment in your house, the Nolo legal site states.

Characteristics of Mortgage Insurance

The yearly cost of mortgage insurance is usually between .19 and 1 percent of their entire loan value, as stated by the Home Loan Learning Center. You can pay it up front, or incorporate it into the mortgage payment. It’ll be impacted by your credit score, the size of your loan, whether the property is a first or next home and how the size of the loan contrasts to the value of your house.

Characteristics of Hazard Insurance

A year of hazard insurance will cost between.3 and 1 percent of the loan amount, according to the Mortgage QnA site. It’s not influenced by your credit score, but will probably be influenced by the value of your house, the size of your allowance, and whether you decide on market value or replacement value insurance. Market value pays you what it originally cost to buy your property–a television, the garage–less depreciation; replacement value pays what it’d cost to replace the items at today’s costs.


You will probably wish to keep paying hazard insurance as long as you’ve got your house, but there’s no advantage to keeping mortgage insurance no more than you must. Federal law states you can cancel once your equity–the value of your property less the mortgage you owe–is 20%, and cancellation is automatic when equity reaches 22 percent. If your lender doesn’t cancel at that stage, touch and remind them, Nolo recommends.

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Coastal Themed Exterior Decorating Ideas

Coastal Themed Exterior Decorating Ideas

Seaside homes exude a relaxed yet classy decor, including elements in the ocean, natural fibers and mild colors. Living near the water presents challenges, so lots of attributes which compose a coastal design house are necessary for the weather and climate. While some topics are specific to location, several exterior decorating ideas can transform any house into a coastal retreat.


Among the easiest ways to give your house a feel is via paint. The colour palette echoes the colors of the ocean, sky, and shore landscape and include blue, green, gray, beige and white. These colors can differ to softer, more muted tones. Often waterside homes have crisp white trim or brightly colored window and door trim. For a more East coast look, cover the outside walls of the home with either painted or natural wood shingles, based on HGTV.


Commonly seen in shore side communities, shutters are uniquely coastal and functional for homes near the water. Though they add character to homes, shutters provide security while permitting air flow and protection from sunlight or inclement weather, based on Coastal Home Plans. Shutters can either be louvered or Bermuda design, which swing out of the top of the window instead of the sides.

Outdoor Spaces

Inviting porches, patios and decks are standard in coastal homes due to the weather. These spaces are thought to be additional living spaces complete with furniture and are designed to connect the inside of their house with the outdoors. Many of the porches and decks are protected by display enclosures or shutters that allow for air flow, based on Southern Living. Adding stair chairs, wicker and other furniture made of natural materials can give outdoor spaces a coastal fashion.


To accomplish a garden with a coastal theme, landscape with hardy plants that can thrive in sandy land, salty and wind climate, based on HGTV. Several plants comprise grasses, salvia, thyme, oleander and juniper. Another coastal element is using pea gravel in walkways to mimic sand and adding driftwood, shells or beach glass as accents. By comparison, a white picket fence and arbor covered in climbing flowers, such as roses, can give landscaping another exterior coastal look.

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What Tax Deductions Can Real Estate Agents Take?

What Tax Deductions Can Real Estate Agents Take?

Realtors can deduct any business expense that’s both regular and necessary to create a profit, according to the IRS. Normally, realtors may deduct advertising expenses, professional and licensing fees, educational expenses, a portion of the expenses connected with the business use of the homes and any automobile expenses associated with business use.


Business cards, open house flyers,”for sale” signs, newspaper ads and other types of advertising can usually be deducted as business expenses. Advertising encourages you to be contacted by people for business, which may lead to a profit. Since most real estate brokers must market to generate real estate leads that lead to sales, advertising prices are both regular and necessary, which means for a tax deduction.

Professional and Licensing Fees

Fees charged by attorneys consulted rigorously in regard are tax-deductible, according to the IRS. Prices for attorneys or tax preparers may be tax-deductible on tax returns just. Some realtors decide to combine with the National Association of Realtors or any of its affiliated chapters to elevate their public standing by adhering to a strict code of ethics. Prices of membership may be. The cost of renewing and obtaining a real estate license may be.

Educational Costs

Coursework to renew or obtain a license may be. The IRS requires evidence that any seminars, classes or workshops enhance skills or are required by law to maintain your license in order for those expenses to be tax-deductible.

Home Office

Mortgage interest, homeowner’s insurance, utilities, repairs and depreciation for the portion of the house converted into a house office are eligible for a business expense tax deduction. All expenditures need to reflect the percentage of their home used as a workplace, whether the office is a separate space or a section of a space screened away from the remainder of the house. Another telephone line dedicated to the business may also be deductible.

Automobile stinks

Most real estate brokers use the exact same automobile for business and private use. Automobile expenses should be divided based on mileage. For instance, say a real estate broker’s total annual mileage is 45,000 miles, however, just 25,000 miles were utilized to preview and show properties, hold open houses and attend meetings. The percentage of business use would be 55 percent. If total automobile costs for the year equaled $15,000, just $8,250 would be tax-deductible. Some realtors prefer to choose the standard mileage deduction, which can be 50 cents per mile for 2010. That means $12,500 may be tax-deductible for automobile expenses.

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The Way to Understand a Land Survey

The Way to Understand a Land Survey

Land-survey maps could be confusing, but they are essential for determining property topography and official real estate dividing lines. In accordance with Land Surveyor LLC, every land-surveying job is handled differently, which makes it difficult to comprehend the subtle difference among land-survey results. But should you follow the ideal steps, you can take the mystery from a land-survey report. With just a little prior knowledge, even a novice map reader can comprehend a land-survey map within only a couple of minutes.

Open the whole property survey on a flat surface that is large. It can be tricky to read and comprehend the survey results correctly if you’re not able to view the whole survey as one cohesive document.

Scan the file to get an official state or county seal. If there’s absolutely no seal or logo on the survey, then it is only a preliminary, unofficial mapping of your property. Although this survey might be useful for understanding the property’s basic attributes and estimated bounds, the land lines have never been verified by the county recorder. As a result, the information on the map is still considered tentative and doesn’t establish real property lines or possession.

Locate rsquo & the map;s directional index. It’s very important to orient the map so that north is pointing up. Even in the event that you must turn your head on the side to see slanted or misoriented text, then a typical map will be read with north facing up.

Locate the map key, which is generally located in one of the map’s corners. Each land-surveying company will use slightly different symbols to signify crucial survey items. But, despite distinct labeling, virtually every survey will include symbols for regular items, such as water, altitude, land boundaries, streets, structures and a distance scale.

Use a ruler to correctly comprehend the space scale. This is particularly important considering that lots of survey maps do not have a grid. A ruler can help you accurately measure the space between land boundaries.

Identify important landmarks on the map. It can be tricky to ascertain your premises ’s physical boundaries if you do not use landmarks as reference points. If the survey was created recently, little bets or orange flags could still mark the property’s edge, which makes land lines easier to determine. But for an older survey, the landmarks are always crucial for a complete understanding of the border.

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What Are the Pros & Cons of Taking a Mortgage?

What Are the Pros & Cons of Taking a Mortgage?

From the 1970s and 1980s, numerous mortgages were assumable, or able to be assumed or taken on by the person purchasing the property. Throughout that time, interest rates swelled and banks realized they were losing out on profit because borrowers were supposing their mortgages with low rates instead of getting fresh mortgages at elevated rates. Since the late 1980s, many loans have been composed with due-on-sale clauses: complete repayment of this loan is due when the building is sold. Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration loans are assumable so long as the borrower qualifies. Sometimes privately financed loans and mortgages on commercial properties are also assumable.

Terms Might Be Favorable

The obvious benefit of an assumable loan is the fact that it might be at a lower interest rate than a mortgage that you could obtain today. If that is true, an assumable mortgage has been an advantage to both buyer and seller. In case the difference in interest rate is considerable, the seller might even be able to increase the asking price on his house to reflect the economies that go with the loan.

No or Low Loan Prices

Another benefit of an assumable mortgage is that the loan origination fee will be reduced or absent entirely. The bigger the loan, the more advantageous the assumption becomes because the loan origination fee generally reflects the amount of the loan. If the mortgage interest rate and loan origination costs are lower compared to that which could be located on the available, an assumable loan can't be beat.

Conditions Could Be Bad

In times of low interest rates, an assumable fixed rate loan offers only downsides. If the loan has a prepayment penalty associated with it, then the seller may require the purchaser to spend the loan or pay the prepayment penalty as a condition of sale. This can be disadvantageous to the seller, that will most likely have to decrease the purchase price of the construction to reflect the penalty. The purchaser may also be at a disadvantage if he nonetheless buys the construction with the assumable loan then has to market before the penalty period has elapsed.

No Qualification Requirements

Though both FHA and VA assumable loans need that the purchaser to qualify for the loan so as to assume it, occasionally private creditors compose assumable loans without that requirement. If a purchaser has poor credit or is otherwise not able to be eligible for a loan, the assumable mortgage might be the only way he could get his foot in the door.

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Design Workshop: Thinking Differently About Doors

Design Workshop: Thinking Differently About Doors

The huge doors of the excellent cathedrals in Europe were deliberately made as humbling structures. That is because door size and therapy in design are strategies to shift scale with very little effort. By contrast, residential building has historically employed essentially one size door: 3 ft wide and 7 feet tall, drawn in the rough proportions of its own inhabitants.

With average ceiling peaks in the 8 to 9-foot selection, these doors behave as apertures in wall airplanes — framed openings, touching neither the ceiling or adjoining walls. Although this size of door functions nicely, enabling us to bring in our groceries, keep cool and warm atmosphere inside or out, and have both openness and privacy — doorways could be so much more.

Dick Clark + Associates

Subtly shifting our thinking about doorways as just apertures or openings to thinking about them as wall elements that pivot or slide can create myriad layout possibilities. These possibilities can transform the proportions of spaces and much more seamlessly integrate the humble door into the design of a room.

Onyx fills a thick steel frame that spans the whole entryway here, challenging the notion of what a door could be. Pivoting hardware sets the door in the floor and ceiling, which suggests passing through a secret wall. An individual can imagine that when closed, the door acts as an elegant, luminous art item.

Andrew Snow Photography

The door here reaches touch the ceiling. It’s clearly bigger than it must be functionally, and thus is playing with a different set of principles.

Notice it matches exactly the ratio of the glazed opening. I particularly like the strong mass of the island contrasts the glazed opening, while the open walkway contributes to the solid door. These reversals and contrasts are complex and engaging experiences enhanced by the fearless door choice.

Andrew Snow Photography

Large sliding doors span floor to ceiling and move entirely clear of the opening to make a smooth connection between indoors and out. The color and frame size of the doors fit the window system above. It’s difficult to differentiate what’s wall, what’s door and what’s window, as each is treated as part of a compositional whole.

By raising the height of the door to match the ceiling height, the architect has hidden the sliding an eye on the door elegantly within the ground thickness above, effectively trapping the boundary between inside and out. Many types of spaces can benefit from thinking about the elements of buildings as part of a bigger system. Doors specifically tailored to room measurements are strong statements of intent in layout.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

By contrasting the frame of the door with the entrance hall it presides over, the architect has represented this as a significant threshold linking inside and out. The scale denotes “front entrance” and, even more important, sets up the experience of the space beyond. (The job is suitably called Sunset Overlook.)

The entrance door becomes a frame for those perspectives that unfold upon entrance. In a house full of layered axial perspectives and transitions, front door sets the stage with this particular adventure.

Andrew Snow Photography

Relatable size and substance tie these elements together. The designer has handled this passage door similar to the cabinetry as a fine furniture piece. Whether open or closed, this door feels like part of the overall composition of the shelving unit.

Integrating passage doors into walls of cabinetry establishes a frequent terminology between elements. This can be an advantage in areas where lots of disparate elements are tightly positioned.

Moroso Construction

This door becomes a different planar component in the room’s makeup. Notice how everything in this space supports this remedy: The cabinetry crosses wall, floating above the ground; the mirror fills the alcove; the plane of the floor is a contrasting material. Each component is treated as a plane which extends into an adjacent plane. These gestures, while easy, all work to fortify one another.

The floor-to-ceiling pocket doors effortlessly alter the essence of a room. When they’re open, space and light flow freely between chambers. When they’re closed, the large pane of etched glass offers privacy when staying luminous.

AT6 Architecture : Design Build

Straightforward cabinet doors conceal clutter and storage. However, because they’ve been extended from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, and have no trim, they shape clean planes that fit together with the aesthetic of the room. When closed the doors turned into a warm, wood accent wall. Small spaces, where each surface carries more weight, can benefit enormously from this therapy.

Michael Abraham Architecture

Here’s another example of a sliding door working as a wall. The architect created a conscious decision to hide the sliding path in the ceiling to permit the proportions of the room and the adjoining stone wall to dictate the panel size, rather than the opening its meant to hide.

So the wall panel has come to be another tonal component in the architectural substance palette, together with the wood floor and stone wall. It’s left here in wood, but a sliding door like this could be almost any substance — cast glass, perforated metal, etched stone — and be either a sliding art item and a door.

Architecture Workshop PC

A transformer loft illustrates the degree to which a space could be manipulated and altered by the use of doorways as sliding walls which separate room. The door trail, hardly visible in the ceiling, enables this large room-dividing door to make a personal sleeping area inside the larger living quantity.

Architecture Workshop PC

The living room side of the same panel is painted to match the adjoining white walls, whereas the bedroom side receives the warmer wood tone to match the bed alcove.

Charlie Barnett Associates

The arrangement here ordered the scale of the pivoting door. A door sized to the ratio of a individual would’ve meant more branches in the wall and also much more separation between inside and out in this layout, which is based rather on breaking down those barriers. Care has been taken to match the size of the stone threshold into the size and reach of the pivoting door, giving the open board a natural stage of repose.

Glen Irani Architects

The sliding entry door panel here matches the ratio of the outside wall openings, reinforcing the translucent, light-filled toilet. When closed it finishes an all-glass wall which divides the bath in the room, while windows separate it from the outside.

Robert Nebolon Architects

Commercial and industrial door systems are great devices for altering perception of scale. Inside this shower wall, small mullion divisions stack to make this space seem taller than it is. Bringing an exterior door and window system inside has produced an interesting people counterpoint to a very personal space. The door this is one part in a bigger ordering system, and also the system itself brings a refined industrial flair into the space.

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Community Building Just About Anyone Can Do

Community Building Just About Anyone Can Do

Whether you live in a diverse metropolitan area or a calm, tree-lined suburb, connecting with your neighbors to construct a feeling of community can be difficult. It’s easy to blame the men and women who live around you — or even yourself but the reason is often bigger than that. At times it’s the area itself and its absence of public space that prevent you and others from connecting.

Here we’ll explain to you how to modify your area to create a feeling of community.

Ben Herzog

The value of Public Spaces

Public areas allow neighbors to socialize and connect, whether they are playing with their dogs at a shore, watching children’s football games at a field or playing chess at tables at the park. “You discuss your streets, your parks, your sidewalks with your neighbors,” states Brendan Crain, communications director at Project for Public Spaces. “You are bumping up against one another and interacting. That builds community.”

A scarcity of usable public space limits opportunities to meet other people locally. But if that is true in your area, the good thing is that there is a very simple solution: defining or building public spaces based on your area’s needs.

Union Studio, Architecture & Community Design


The more valuable, important public spaces that exist, the more likely it is that people will use them together. That contributes to shared minutes and relationships.

Urban planners often refer to the process as placemaking. It’s based on locating and creating a neighborhood’s collective vision for a public space. Placemaking reexamines everyday spaces — streets, sidewalks, and empty parking lots — through the eyes of the men and women using them every single day. But does it work?


Many businesses across the United States have brought the concept of placemaking to areas. In Portland, Oregon, City Repair gathers groups of residents to construct decorate or around dilapidated intersections. Occasionally they paint the road, turn an empty lot into a garden or establish a free library. The colorfully painted intersection here in Portland’s St. Johns area, has beautified the road and encourages motorists to slow down.

Before Photo

Matthew Mazzotta

Without a public gathering space, the citizens of York, Alabama, felt disconnected from one another. Artist Matthew Mazzotta worked with the town to turn a dilapidated old house to a brand new unfolding outdoor theater where the entire community can congregate.

See more about this job

Schwartz and Architecture

Temporary Placemaking

naturally, there is a difference between seeing the demand for a public space and having the ability to make it. Raising money and going through local government stations can appear intimidating, so many residents implement temporary placemaking ideas.


Park(ing) Day is 1 example. It started in San Francisco but has spread to cities across the nation. Every year on September 19, people around the U.S. place quarters in local parking yards, reserving spaces all day and creating little parks for people to enjoy. The concept shows what can be accomplished with existing road spaces and other ways people can use them.

In San Francisco the program has resulted in the development of parklets Throughout the city throughout the Pavement to Parks program.

See more parklets in our Design Lover’s guide to San Francisco


The Better Block, based in Texas, reinvents public streets into an occasion or gathering space for one weekend, highlighting its potential for residents and local lawmakers. Here an empty stretch of road in Wichita, Kansas, turned into a contemporary parklet using a bike path.

Calling attention to a public space reveals the need to improve it. This doesn’t need to involve a lot of work, possibly: Placemaking can mean things such as having a knitting club meet in an amazing park, throwing a concert at the road or hosting a small craft fair at a quiet street. “This is particularly helpful in areas that are underutilized,” states Brendan Crain of Project for Public Spaces. “Even if it’s an awkward match, you are calling the community’s attention to it.”


What You Can Do

Take some ownership of your own neighborhood. Placemaking helps residents understand they have the ability to produce and shape the place where they live. “There’s something powerful about caring for the public realm,” states Maria Rosario-Jackson, an expert in urban planning and a senior research associate at the Urban Institute. “There’s the duty of caring for something larger than yourself.”
Start small. Maybe your dream of a brand new park is not possible yet, but you can assist your neighbors see how great it would be by hosting a neighborhood children’ play in your front yard. Do something temporary. Experiment before making any permanent changes. You do not have to bring out the bulldozers just yet — determine if your concept captures on first. Mow that meadow and host a couple of impromptu football matches, put a couple of Ping-Pong tables in an alley or establish a few food tables near that particular street. If it works, you will have a motivated group of people to help to make your dream a permanent reality. Bring out your life to the streets. Placemaking doesn’t need to involve anything out of this box. Just bring one of your daily passions or habits out. This could be something such as cooking, playing games, playing music (quietly) or perhaps working on a Wi-Fi hotspot. Find a leader. “An significant part creating a community is leadership,” states Rosario-Jackson. “Find a community leader to help create a culture of participation.” Communicate. Don’t let connections or motivation fade. Share ideas and keep in contact using a Google Group or your neighborhood-based social network Nextdoor.Learn more about placemaking at the Project for Public Spaces

Inform us : Can you see a way it to make your area a stronger community?

More: Novel It: Bring a Mini Library For Your Front Yard

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Roots of Style: The Indelible Charm of American Tudors

Roots of Style: The Indelible Charm of American Tudors

They may be found across the country. You might have seen them in older neighborhoods close to the city centre, or you might have seen them in semirural areas on large plots of land. They maintain a distinct identity. You may be fortunate enough to have grown up in a single or own one now.

These will be the Tudors. Not the popular television show set in the 16th century, but those wonderful American houses inspired by late-medieval English architecture that exude as much personality and produce an unforgettable feeling.

These American antiques of the first Tudor homes started appearing in the U.S. from the late 1880s and peaked in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Many have been lovingly cared for or revived, and also the detail contained in them may be marvelously implemented. Key features include steep gable roofs, tall and narrow casement or double-hung multipane windows, leaded or stained glass, fictitious thatched roofs, parapet gables, notable brick chimneys and elaborately patterned brick veneer. The design faithfully reproduces, and even tracts occasionally mimic it.

Steven Corley Randel, Architect

Though the style attracts less focus now, its freely formed masses and mixtures of materials enchant; American Tudor homes are warm, inviting and charming. Infinite versions of those forms and materials allow an unusually intricate mixture of components under a single fashion umbrella, as you’ll see in this particular tour of examples from across the U.S.

Los Angeles. This superbly scaled and comfy Los Angeles area house exhibits several key attributes common to American Tudors. The redbrick lower flooring combines with a visually milder second level half coated in fictitious timber; stucco fills the voids.

Notice that the complexity of the roofline. Steep gables unite in varying eave heights with a shed roof shape within the centered entrance. A shed roof dormer contrasts using the lower-level window set on the left. More attention occurs in the small overhang above the entry and also the use of herringbone brickwork across the two stained glass windows.

Peabody Architects

Washington, D.C. Several distinctive Tudor characteristics combine in this new D.C.-area home. Though it’s branded English cabin, the impressive stone and brick chimney illustrates a touch of several ancient grand Tudor examples.

Notice the way the stucco can help to highlight the richness and complexity of the chimney and beautiful slate roof. A curved gable extending to make an entry porch and a notable forward-facing gable that is a story and a half indicate that the recognizable Tudor form.


Minneapolis. This handsome Minneapolis house feels balanced and snug on its narrow lot. False half timber wraps the house, while the stone-detailed entry provides an intimate welcome. Notice the small overhang of the second floor and the oriel window to the right. These well-executed details validate its style. A hip roof, another variation on the theme, covers the primary body of the house.

CARNEMARK design + build

Washington, D.C. Variations of Tudor details differentiate this comfy D.C.-area example. Lacking the typical forward-facing gable, the stylish roof helps to highlight the splendid brick patterns put in half timber on the primary second-level elevation.

Notice also that it slightly overhangs the lower level, detailed with wood mounts. A neutral paint color and grey slate roof unify the variants in window shapes and dimensions and dormer configurations.

Cramer Kreski Designs

Omaha, Nebraska. The low-descending gable roof shape on this Omaha residence is another uncommon and one of a kind feature of the design. This play in roofline conveys familiarity in an otherwise overwhelming and tall form. Many Tudors were created like this, with a second level tucked beneath the primary side.

Steven Corley Randel, Architect

Los Angeles. This Los Angeles area house has a faux thatch roof variation; it’s found in just a couple of American Tudor examples. Appearing complicated, the shingles are just rolled around to the fascia boards in the eaves, leading to a softened profile.

This exquisitely detailed house includes many of the previously mentioned characteristics, and is distinguished further by aluminum finish details in the chimney and bay window. These kinds of houses are sometimes referred to as storybook, for their resemblance to examples found in early-20th-century kids’s books. Notice that the clipped gable at the highest ridge ends.

JB Architecture Group, Inc..

Chicago. With a different thatched roof interpretation, this Chicago house rambles and is layered upon itself in an asymmetrical and whimsical fashion. Charming characteristics combine to present a intricate elevation in a mixture of half timber, stucco, brick and stone. The gable and hip roof kinds are accented with curved and shed dormers, and smaller retractable entry roofs.

Steven Corley Randel, Architect

Long Beach, California. Notice the absence of half timber details. Elegant layering of stone, brick, stucco and clapboard siding specify specific portions of the facade. Even the brick of the chimney contrasts with the brick of this lower degree. Substantial and significant cases of the late 1800s were often masonry structures. Advances in building techniques allowed the building of brick veneer over a wood frame that is so typical of several 20th-century houses.

Fusch Architects, Inc..

Dallas. This significant late-20th-century Dallas example alludes more specifically into the English Elizabethan and Jacobean periods that established English Tudor architecture. Several notable forward-facing parapet gables (the roof finish abuts the higher-reaching gable wall) extend out of the bigger side gable sort of the house. Renaissance-inspired details accentuate the doors and windows across the entire front elevation. Stone veneer covers the walls from base to peak, contrasting with comprehensive redbrick chimneys. Also observe the oriel window above the entry and the division of windows by the cast stone, which are characteristics of higher-style examples past and present.

Dennis Mayer – Photographer

San Francisco Bay Area. Dominant half timbering defines this Northern California house. The nearly symmetrical front is odd, although closer inspection reveals that the symmetry lies in the middle section. Inset gable dormers align with lower doors and windows and supply personality. Notice the overhanging second levels, which provide cover to your bay windows on the 2 sides. Leaded glass details provide even more personality.

Rice Residential Design

Houston. This newer Texas house clearly draws inspiration from first American Tudor style. A mixture of stone, brick and brick designs exuberantly adorns the front of this house. Notice the absence of half timber or other wooden details, which generally lighten the general appearance.

Tudor remains an indelible American design, although its current popularity primarily resides with people wishing to restore early cases, or people with the capacity to custom build within an high-style fashion. Its appeal lies in the flexibility innate to the design and the romantic scale it accomplishes. Whether or not a modest cabin or a billionaire’s mansion, the distinguished American Tudor makes a strong impression.

More photos: Browse more photos of Tudor-style homes

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Kitchen of the Week: Modern Summer Camp Style at Maine

Kitchen of the Week: Modern Summer Camp Style at Maine

Despite their love of fresh and modern design, this East Coast family of five understood that style was not quite right for their lakefront holiday home. Aiming for a more relaxed style, they hired designer Kristina Crestin to present their home a summer-camp feel that would not conflict with their architectural instincts. “It was a total material palette conundrum,” Crestin says.

She embraced the idea of a modern summer camp with a fresh color palette and rustic barn wood accents. Sturdy concrete countertops, plenty of storage and extra-wide walkways make it comfy and enjoyable to cook and entertain.

Kitchen at a Glance
Who resides: This kitchen is in a holiday home for a family of 5.
Location: On a lake in Maine
Size: 260 square feet

The family wanted a kitchen that could do the job for only them or 20 friends without having to change something. Crestin designed it with huge paths so people may work at the countertop, lean against the cabinetry, chat and bite all at one time. The broad space created a significant work triangle, but the different zones prevent people from running into one another.

Range, hood: Viking, Mint Julep; interior millwork: Dunn Builders; cabinetry: Dunn Builders, Dagtone Woodworks

The kitchen opens to the living room, perfect for a holiday home. The window seat at the end is just 20 feet from the waterline. Thanks to both window walls, the area gets a very clear view of the sunrise and sunset on the lake.

Reclaimed stuff, such as locally salvaged barn boards onto the ceiling, help create a camp texture.

Window light: Boston Functional Library wall lighting, Visual Comfort; bar stools: Crate & Barrel; faucet: Rohl

The window partitions eliminated the prospect of upper cabinetry, however, the large footprint allowed for plenty of storage, such as 36-inch-deep drawers in all the cabinets. A pantry behind the stove area holds large pots, serving meals and smallish appliances not used every day.

Counters: concrete, Stonecraft; paint: La Fonda Olive, Valspar

Pine wood grain is visible through the whitewashed walls. The white helps balance out the rustic barn plank accents. “You can’t have everything,” says Crestin. “I enjoy for a single material to function as sparkly thing in a room.”

Kristina Crestin Design

Despite the large island, the center of the kitchen felt empty, so Crestin encouraged the consumer to decide on a large, architectural lighting fixture. These huge bronze fittings were motivated by the customer’s love of the kitchen fittings in the Nancy Meyers movie It is Complicated.

Island light: Goodman pendants, Visual Comfort

Architect: Art Dioli, Olson Lewis
Contractor: Ron Dunn, Dunn Builders
Photographer: Jamie Salomon

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What House Cases Help You Feel Like a Kid Again?

What House Cases Help You Feel Like a Kid Again?

About once a year, I just take down a tattered cardboard box in the top shelf in my closet and sift through my little collection of comic books and baseball cards. Ironically, the first thing I do is check online to see if any of those items have exponentially appreciated in value. They never have. If I sold everything today, I’ve somewhere in the ballpark of $13.

This disappointment is always fleeting. When the fiscal consciousness falls off, I am left with the genuine value of Wolverine #4 and Barry Bonds (back when he was skinny). All these small mementos take me back to blissful moments when I was a kid, when life was simple and all that mattered was baseball and comics.

Many homeowners feel exactly the exact same way. A collection may not be superheroes and retired sports stars, but maybe it’s a complete pair of Ty Beanie Babies, which my spouse proudly owns, or a stunning variety of Matchbox cars. Whatever the items, their meaning and worth are priceless.

We’d love to see what makes you feel like a kid again. Listed below are a couple of special collections. Please show us in the Comments, and we’ll follow up with an ideabook showcasing your screen.

Sarah Greenman

Terry Minshull served together with the Paso Robles fire department in 1962 to 2005, starting at age 21 as a volunteer, then finishing his career as the town’s fire marshal. His vast collection of classic fire trucks, gear and firefighting gear fills his and his spouse’s den.

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Sarah Greenman

Benedict August

This homeowner proudly displays an astonishing G. I. Joe set in his man cave.

Lindsay von Hagel

Brian Gibb and Misty Keasler exhibit their set of limited-edition designer toys in a kitchen wall.

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Flea Market Sunday

Dan Benedict shows his train set in his office.

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Susan Jay Design

Not going to lie. I love Pez and have always been fascinated by the dispensers. This homeowner’s set that spans numerous shelves near the ceiling is additional, er, sweet.

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Your turn: Show us your collection!

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