It probably surprises no one that some folks are still making money on the troubled U.S. housing market. In some cases, a LOT of money. Despite the gloom and doom, there are still a lot of opportunities.
While many families are facing foreclosure, one of America's most gilded moguls has inked what is allegedly the largest real estate deal in memory. Donald "You're Fired" Trump has reportedly unloaded his well-known Palm Beach estate for $100 million. (Trump is also in the news for reportedly offering to give away some Smart electric cars to buyers in his London development.
The lucky home buyer was Russian fertilizer billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. The Donald reportedly made a fat profit, having picked up the sprawling, 60,000 square-foot oceanfront home for $41 million in 2004. (Although he had listed it in the heady days of 2006 for $125 million).
The property is well-known as the project assigned to "The Apprentice" winner Kendra Todd, who renovated it with eco-unfriendly 24-karat gold fixtures, marble and more. It appears she didn't read our articles about gorgeous green renovations for kitchens or bathrooms -- even though Trump has gotten his feet wet in green building.
More promising is the fact that the EPA reports that that green homes are showing resistance to the housing slump. The agency points to a recent McGraw-Hill Construction study predicting that green home building will generate between $12 billion and $20 billion in sales in 2008. These numbers represent a 6 to 10 percent market share, which is expected to double over the next five years.
The EPA points out that demand for water-conserving fixtures is surging, particularly given wider publicity of the agency's WaterSense labeling program. Some 81 percent of builders have reported that water-efficient toilets and faucets are the most important water-saving options.
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