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November 11, 2006 | Dave McKibben, Times Staff Writer
On the observance of Veterans Day, Habitat for Humanity announced it will sell homes in southern Orange County to wounded service members and families of those who have been killed in action. The nonprofit organization has built 120 homes in the county for low-income families since 1988, but has never targeted veterans with combat-related injuries and their families. "This is a segment of the community that sometimes gets overlooked," said Sharon Ellis, Habitat's Orange County director.
August 6, 2006 | Susan Gallagher, Associated Press Writer
Frank Baril works two jobs in this vibrant college town north of Yellowstone National Park but still can't afford to buy a house. "It's hard to afford anything here," said Baril, a Salvation Army family services administrator who also puts in about 40 hours a week giving music lessons. Even that much work leaves Baril, 50 and single, hard-pressed to buy in a town where the median home price shot to $268,500 last year, surpassing Portland, Ore., Denver and Minneapolis, among others.
June 11, 2006 | Gayle Pollard-Terry, Times Staff Writer
DIMITRY ROSHKOVAN, a Woodland Hills contractor, believed he had a big job lined up last fall. But in the six months it took the client to hire an architect and have blueprints drawn for a large addition, Roshkovan's estimate went from $170,000 to $250,000 and the Northridge homeowner abandoned the project. The contractor blames at least part of the increase on the soaring prices of building materials, which generally account for about 30% of the cost of a major home-improvement project.
December 11, 2005
"Redos and Don'ts" (Dec. 4) quotes a real estate agent saying that if your building costs are $250 to $350 a square foot, it's worth it to add on, "especially on the Westside, where space is selling for $750 a square foot." What the agent fails to calculate is that the $750 per square foot includes both the dwelling and the land value. One must separate the land value prior to making the calculation to determine whether it would be financially advantageous to enlarge the home. PHIL KANTOROVICH Brentwood
July 14, 2005 | Deborah Schoch, Times Staff Writer
A proposed charter school must reimburse the Port of Los Angeles thousands of dollars for building renovations made by the port despite the state's warnings that the work was illegal. The charter high school intends to lease a port building in San Pedro and begin classes this fall.
May 18, 2005 | Gregory W. Griggs, Times Staff Writer
Like any property owner who has built a home from the ground up, Ventura County Community College District administrators are realizing costs always seem to climb. International steel shortages, higher raw material prices and inflation have pushed up construction and renovation costs at the campuses in Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura.
February 20, 2005 | From Times wire reports
Burdensome state and local regulations hurt efforts to build housing that is affordable for low- and middle-income people, and the problem has only worsened during the last decade, according to a study from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department. "Why Not in Our Community?" reports that regulatory barriers -- from fees levied on developers to environmental regulations used to oppose development -- can boost building costs by as much as 35%.
December 23, 2004 | From Associated Press
The California Department of Transportation failed to adequately manage the ballooning costs of building a new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, according to a state auditor's report released Wednesday. The report by State Auditor Elaine M. Howle found that the estimated cost for Caltrans' Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program, which covers seven state-owned bridges, has risen by $3.2 billion to $8.3 billion since its budget was set in April 2001. Much of the increase, $2.
May 9, 2004 | Diane Wedner, Times Staff Writer
First the run-up in gasoline and milk prices. Now lumber and steel. Homeowners planning to add a second story or a deck or, heaven forbid, build a new house are in for some serious sticker shock, experts say, as soaring prices of construction materials -- from plywood to plumbing products -- force contractors to raise prices along with the roofs. Record demand for construction supplies amid shortages is creating a pricing nightmare, just as home building approaches peak season.
Ernie Chapman, though just a lad in 1925, vividly recalls the grand opening of the Fox Theatre in downtown Fullerton that year. Instead of a silent movie, his brother, Stanley, who built it, had managed to book members of Broadway's Ziegfeld Follies. "How splendid it was," recalled Chapman, now 90. In those days, the place was called Alicia Court, named after Stanley Chapman's wife, Alice Ellen. Soon after, it became Mission Court.
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