The economic recovery is underway, and the real estate market is on the rebound. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes have risen 9.3 percent just in the past year. These home sales increased another 7.8 percent from July to August of this year.
The Small Business Administration's 504 refinancing program will expire on Sept. 27 if Congress does not act quickly. Advocates for the program have little hope that the measure will get any attention before the November election, though they are cautiously optimistic that the lame duck session will see the program renewed. As one proponent said, "The need is still there."
A homeowner who built a playhouse in her backyard for her granddaughter is now facing a lawsuit. Her homeowners association objects not to the playhouse, but to the color of the playhouse. The tiny backyard retreat for her 4-year-old granddaughter is painted pink.
The Anne Arundel County Council passed a law in May that made small changes to the county's zoning rules. The law allows recreational uses in open spaces, paving the way for ball fields and similar projects. Critics, including the councilman from Annapolis, said the law did not go far enough in strengthening protections of environmentally sensitive open spaces.