What We’re Reading: May 5 – May 11

White House value, goodbye yard signs, and summer travel

A couple of firms have estimated the value of the White House as if it were for sale. A local DC firm has put the asking price of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave at $110 million, though it estimates it would probably close for around $80 million. That figure doesn’t take into account the historic one-of-a-kind nature of the deal. Zillow is more generous, estimating the value at over $220 million, though like much of the country the price has declined over the last year.

Inman’s recent review of The Seven Pearls of Financial Wisdom (on financial guidance for women), piqued our interest. We have a substantial personal finance collection of our own in our library—in both electronic and print.

Are yard signs going the way of the buggy whip in Aspen, Colorado? The Aspen Board of REALTORS® is seeking a voluntary ban on yard signs, in order to eliminate visual pollution.  Some approve of the measure, others are in opposition.  “The issue of real estate signs in Aspen is not a simple ‘for or against’ question. It’s multi-faceted,” said Will Herndon, President, Coldwell Banker Mason Morse. He defended a firm’s right “to serve our clients’ interests in marketing their properties to the best of our ability within governing codes and regulations of Aspen, Pitkin County and ABOR.”

Fannie Mae, the largest source of U.S. housing funds, said it would not need to request more taxpayer aid this quarter after posting a $2.7 billion profit in the first three months of the year.

Austria’s ‘upside down house’ becomes tourist attraction.

Summer travel season is just around the corner. If your holiday plans include overseas excursions, you might consider getting a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. These bank fees can add up quickly if you’re not careful. Luckily several companies offer cards without these pesky charges.

And credit cards are not the only ones with fees on the rise. Watch out for the airlines, as they nickel and dime their way back to profitability.

Peek behind the scenes at Paramount Pictures as the studio celebrates 100 years with a look at pictures from Life Magazine’s coverage of a massive ‘housecleaning’ that took place in 1970 at the iconic studio.


Senior Information Specialist

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