240 Arapaho Cir E, Lake Quivira, KSFor sale: $ 499,000 This geometric home is unique enough to have Dorothy wondering if she’s still in Kansas. Perched above the shores of Lake Quivira, the home looks like a spaceship that made its landing outside Kansas City.
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A family who rented a plush $ 6,500-a-week home in the exclusive enclave of East Hampton, N.Y., is suing their landlord for $ 4.6 million, claiming that he spied on them with hidden cameras set up in the house, the New York Post reported.
The landlord, Donald Torr (pictured at left), recorded the family of nine — two grandparents, their adult children and three young kids no older than 7 — “in the nude” and captured “their bedroom activities” on camera, the lawsuit alleges. The family members leveling the charges were not identified in the suit.
“They felt completely violated,” by the landlord’s use of hidden cameras, said attorney Judd Burstein, who is representing the family. “We believe it also violates the child-pornography statutes.”
Court documents say that around Labor Day, one of the guests in the East Hampton rental (pictured below) noticed a camera lens while watching TV, ABC News reported. Then, when the family searched the home, they discovered cameras aimed directly at beds throughout the home, the documents state.
The family called police, who searched the home and found cameras hidden in walls, air conditioning ducts and electrical outlets, the lawsuit claims.
In a video on the Post’s website, Torr explained that he had the cameras installed for security reasons and to fend off squatters and burglars. The landlord said that he was unaware than any children had been filmed.
“We had break-ins and problems,” Torr said. “People have stayed in the house that were unauthorized.
The lawsuit said that when the family confronted Torr about the cameras, the landlord admitted to watching the footage from his home computer.
The family ended up leaving the rental early, and Torr refunded the cost of their stay, ABC reported.
Another recent case involving home security cameras also created a big problem for the person who installed them — though for a different reason. A resident at a New York City public housing complex was served an eviction notice after she installed security cameras on the premises. Though her neighbors said that they felt safer with the cameras, the eviction notice claimed the woman breached her lease agreement.
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WASHINGTON — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes fell in August from a two-year high in July.
The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that its index of sales agreements dropped 2.6 percent last month to 99.2. In July, the index rose to 101.9. That was the highest level since April 2010, when the market benefited from a federal homebuying tax credit.
A reading of 100 is considered healthy. The index is 10.7 percent higher than it was a year ago. The index bottomed at 75.88 in June 2010 after the tax credit expired.
Contract signings typically indicate where the housing market is headed. There’s generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed deal. Last month, completed sales hit a two-year high.
Contract signings fell in every region but the Northeast, where they rose 0.9 percent. The sharpest drop was in the West, where pending home sales declined 7.2 percent. That was partly because of fewer homes available for sale.
Most recent data point to steady improvement in the housing market. Home prices rose nationwide in July compared to a year ago, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index. That was the second straight year-over-year gain.
And sales of new homes remained near a two-year high in August, the government said Wednesday.
More Signs of Confidence
Builder confidence is at a six-year high and construction of single-family homes rose last month to the fastest annual rate in more than two years.
Sales have been boosted by ultra-low mortgage rates. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to a new record low this week of 3.40 percent. The average rate has been below 4 percent all year.
A limited supply of homes for sale has also helped drive prices up. Higher prices could boost more sellers to list their homes.
Even with the gains, home sales and construction remain well below healthy levels. And many homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers, aren’t able to qualify for mortgage loans.
Sales of previously occupied homes in the U.S. were up slightly from a month earlier and were more than 10% above a year ago.
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