Get me out of here! Americans flee crowded cities amid COVID-19, consider permanent moves

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Ben Greenzweig is itching to move his wife and three kids South, a plan that may get accelerated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The CEO and co-founder of conference company Momentum Event Group, says he’s looking to move to either North Carolina or South Carolina from the New York City suburbs in Westchester County, for cheaper costs and bigger living space amid fears that a deep and prolonged economic slump in the state could eventually force residents to pay higher taxes.

“It would be an unbelievable escape,” Greenzweig, 42, says. He typically works from home which gives him flexibility.

“Our children’s involvement in school is the single largest tether keeping us here. If there’s a hint that school won’t resume in the fall for my kids, then the biggest reasons for us staying here, which are friendships and school activities, evaporates.”

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The one percent are fleeing for New Zealand to avoid COVID-19

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“They have all said it looks like the safest place to be is New Zealand right now. That’s been a theory since before COVID-19.”

 As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens across the United States, some of the country’s richest citizens have fled for a remote oasis: New Zealand.

This is not a new phenomenon; New Zealand has long been a destination getaway for those with the time and money to fly there. In fact, so many people consider it ideal for an emergency home that New Zealand passed a law two years ago that bans foreigners from purchasing real estate in the country

The rapid spread of COVID-19 and subsequent economic fallout in the U.S. brought renewed interest to New Zealand as a place to run away from the troubles of the world. Though non-essential travel to and from the U.S. has now been locked down — and New Zealand closed its own borders in mid-March — plenty of people made it out in time.

Now they’re holed up in luxury bunkers waiting for the pandemic to blow over.

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Americans on the move to escape the coronavirus

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Lisa Pezzino brushes her teeth at her retreat in Big Sur, Calif., 140 miles from her city home in Oakland.

The mass migration looks urgent and temporary but might contain the seeds of a wholesale shift in where and how Americans live.

This story and all coronavirus stories are free to the public. Please support us as we do our part to keep the community safe and informed.

Back home in Oakland, California, Lisa Pezzino and Kit Center built a life that revolved around music and the people who make it – the musicians who recorded on Pezzino’s small label and performed in places where Center rigged the lights and sound equipment.

Where they are now, deep in the redwood forest near Big Sur, 140 miles south along the California coast, there is mostly the towering silence of isolation. A tiny cabin, an outdoor kitchen, just one neighbor. This is life in the flight from the virus.

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This company is building backyard homes at no cost to Los Angeles homeowners

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Crews build an ADU in the backyard of the McCauley residence in Gramercy Park.

But homeowners have to be willing to rent out the units.

Davita and Martin McCauley were starting to think about how, in the years to come, they would care for her mother as she aged .

The McCauleys own a classic World War II-era Southern California home: a peach-hued stucco bungalow in Gramercy Park, with a grassy lawn in the front and a detached garage in the back.

They were toying with the idea of eventually moving her into their three-bedroom house, and adding a second story to make more space, when they were introduced at church to a mutual friend working for a new company called United Dwelling.

At no cost to homeowners, the company builds “granny flats” in the backyards of single-family homes, finds a tenant to rent them out to, and splits the lease revenue with the homeowner for up to 25 years, at which point the homeowner owns the unit outright.

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3D-Printed Homes: The concept is now turning into something solid

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Homes of the future, made through 3-D printing

In a Northeast Austin neighborhood, new 3-D-printed homes are taking their distinctive shape on the grounds of the Community First Village, where about 180 formerly homeless people have found shelter and camaraderie in the most expensive city in Texas. (Regan Morton Photography)

AUSTIN — Tim Shea is counting the days until he can move into a new 3-D-printed house. Shea, 69, will be the first to live in one of six such rentals created by what some in the housing industry call a futuristic approach that could revolutionize home construction.

Shea is among a growing number of seniors in America who have struggled to keep affordable housing. He has, at times, been homeless. He has arthritis and manages to get around with the aid of a walker. He said he looks forward to giving up the steep ramp he’s had to negotiate when entering or exiting the RV he’s called home.

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A Modular, 3D printed dog house made of 1000+ tennis balls

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CallisonRTKL + an idea + two 3D printers + 1,019 tennis balls = a clever dog house auctioned off to benefit the SPCA of Texas. The Dallas-based architecture and design office designed Fetch House with a continuous facade made up of over 1000 tennis balls held by a 3D printed modular support structure. The balls stay in place by compression but can easily be pulled out for a game of fetch with your pooch. When play time is over, the balls can be returned to the walls of the dog house.

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Why Manhattan’s skyscrapers are empty

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Approximately half of the luxury-condo units that have come onto the market in the past five years are still unsold.

In Manhattan, the homeless shelters are full, and the luxury skyscrapers are vacant.

Such is the tale of two cities within America’s largest metro. Even as 80,000 people sleep in New York City’s shelters or on its streets, Manhattan residents have watched skinny condominium skyscrapers rise across the island. These colossal stalagmites initially transformed not only the city’s skyline but also the real-estate market for new homes. From 2011 to 2019, the average price of a newly listed condo in New York soared from $1.15 million to $3.77 million.

But the bust is upon us. Today, nearly half of the Manhattan luxury-condo units that have come onto the market in the past five years are still unsold, according to The New York Times.

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Scientists bring concrete to life & it might be the future of construction

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Today in weird news we didn’t expect to read: Researchers in Colorado have produced Franken-concrete. It’s alive, and it may be the future of green buildings.

 Concrete is, quite literally, all around us. It, or versions of it, has been used since 1300 B.C., meaning even a trip to Roman ruins is surrounded by concrete. In the last century, the technology of concrete hasn’t changed, but this new breakthrough has changed that.

The second most consumed material on earth, the production and use of concrete is responsible for 6% of global CO2 emissions—no small thing. Using bacteria, sand, and a hydrogel, the researchers found a way to produce a material that mimics the strength of concrete-based mortar.

How does it work? The power of the bacteria helps to “biomineralize the scaffold, so it actually is really green. It looks like a Frankenstein-type material,” said study senior author Wil Srubar, Ph.D. “That’s exactly what we’re trying to create–something that stays alive.”

And if you thought the idea of living concrete was weird enough, hold on tight: It’s about to get weirder. The material can reproduce, with a little help. If researchers split a brick of the material in half, the bacteria grows the pieces into two complete bricks. They found that this works to end up with eight bricks from the original one in three “generations.”

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Americans are flocking to these 10 cities where salaries have risen 25% or more in the last 5 years

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In a world of stagnant wages and rising costs of living, moving to a place where you can grow your income feels like a solid bet. And many American cities offer just that.

Financial advice website SmartAsset analyzed data for the 500 largest U.S. cities to determine the top “boomtowns” in the country. These areas are not only attracting new residents but feature thriving economies and ample housing. The site considered seven metrics in its ranking, including change in household income over a five-year period. It also looked at population change, unemployment rate, number of jobs created, GDP growth rate, business growth rate and housing growth.

To compile the list, SmartAsset used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 and 2018 1-year American Community Surveys, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns Survey.

Here’s a look at 10 of the top boomtowns where household income rose more than 25% in five years.

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This is the world’s largest 3D-printed house

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Largest ‘permitted 3D-printed home’ was built at an incredible pace

SQ4D has just 3D-printed an impressively large home, and indeed is claiming that the 1,900 square foot abode is the ‘largest permitted 3D-printed home in the world’, no less.

While larger buildings have been constructed with 3D printing – including this two-storey affair in Dubai, which at almost 7,000 square feet holds the official world record – this is certainly one of the biggest houses we’ve heard about, and it was created at an impressive lick of speed.

SQ4D printed the house in 48 hours, albeit spread across eight days, and it was created right there on-site. That’s quick when you compare it to previous projects such as the 3D-printed houses in Mexico which were 500 square feet and took 24 hours to make.

Furthermore, SQ4D pegs the cost of the construction materials at less than $6,000 (around £4,600). The building work was carried out by the company’s Autonomous Robotic Construction System (ARCS).

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How AI is really going to change real estate in 2020 and beyond

 

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By 2030, AI is predicted to add +$15 trillion to the global GDP thanks largely to solving data issues according to PwC. Lending money used to be a tricky business but time consumers and technology is changing. Banks and other industries are struggling to cope with the changing consumer demand, but a few are getting it right.

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The Cube One Prefab is a space-age dream – and it starts at $30k

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With dazzling lighting, a curvilinear design, and a fortified shell, the Cube One is a prefab for the future.

Want a peek at the future of prefab design? Meet the Cube One—a 156-square-foot dwelling with built-in furnishings, voice-controlled tech, and a galvanized steel shell that can withstand extreme heat and natural disasters. Singapore-based Nestron will ship the Cube One anywhere in the world, and it’ll be ready for move-in the day it arrives.

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