How the Student Loan Crisis Drags Down Home Prices

Image Source | Getty Images

Pity the college graduate, burdened with shocking levels of student-loan debt and looking for a job in the worst employment market in two decades.

But save a little pity for the rest of us.

The staggering amount of outstanding student debt — nearly $1 trillion owed – is beginning to impede the U.S. economy as a whole, a new report from the New York Federal Reserve suggests, chiefly by robbing the housing market of its richest crop of new buyers: young college graduates.

The statistics in the report are dismaying in themselves. With the number of borrowers approaching 40 million nationally, including more than 40 percent of 25-year-olds, the average balance on their loans has risen to $25,000. About 6.7 million of all student borrowers, or 17 percent, are delinquent on their payments three months or more.

“Delinquent student loan borrowers have a very difficult time accessing credit and the share of those borrowers is greater today than in the past,” said Donghoon Lee, a senior economist for the New York Fed and one of the authors of the report.

(Read MoreStudent Debt Climbs as Credit Gets Tighter)

For the average homeowner, the worst news is that these overleveraged and defaulting young borrowers are no longer qualify for other kinds of loans — particularly home loans. In 2005, nearly nine percent of 25- to 30-year-olds with student debt were granted a mortgage. By late last year, that percentage, as an annual rate, was down to just above four percent.

The most precipitous drop was among those who owe $100,000 or more. New mortgages among these more deeply indebted borrowers have declined 10 percentage points, from above 16 percent in 2005 to a little more than 6 percent today.

“These are the people you’d expect to buy big houses,” said student loan expert Heather Jarvis. “They owe a lot because they have a lot of education. They have been through professional and graduate schools, but their payments are so significant, they have trouble getting a mortgage. They have mortgage-sized loans already.”


For years, economists and student advocates warned that the greater debt load would have an adverse impact on graduates’ borrowing power. Now the statistical evidence is mounting. Last month, a Pew Research Center survey found that the share of millennials who own their homes had fallen from 40 percent to 34 percent during the recession, with a similar decline in residential debt.

Everyone has had a harder time qualifying for a mortgage since credit standards tightened in 2008, of course. And it could be that younger people suddenly prefer renting (or living at home). But by looking at mortgage originations, the New York Fed’s report ties college graduates’ lack of home ownership more directly to borrowing woes.

The implications for the housing market are serious. The number of first-time homebuyers, more than half of whom are aged 25 to 34, has been shrinking since the recession struck, and young buyers now make up their smallest share of the housing market in more than a decade.

(Read MoreFour Ways to Make Your Tax Refund Pay You Back)

In February, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau asked private lenders to suggest options for relief of student loan borrowers. “They are increasingly concerned about the effect of student debt on household formation to see if there’s anything they can do to thaw the marketplace,” said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of the financial aid website

But existing efforts to prevent delinquency on federally backed loans — such as basing the size of borrowers’ payments on their income — have sometimes made getting a mortgage more difficult. “It confuses the mortgage process,” said Jarvis. “Income-driven programs do help them afford a home and ought to make them more creditworthy, but they have not communicated well.”

The best fix for everyone would be a faster growing economy, which would provide jobs and higher incomes to those who have borrowed. Until then, Jarvis sees the average college grads’ situation as a Catch-22. “If you don’t prioritize your student loan debt you won’t be able to get credit in the future,” she said, “and if you do pay it, you won’t be able to afford anything else.”

Courtesy of your Arcadia Real Estate Agent

11 Breakfast In Bed Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is coming and at Coldwell Banker we definitely believe in breakfast in bed.

Whether you love or despise Valentine’s day truth is breakfast is “the most important” meal of the day, so why not make breakfast on February 14th  special for a loved one in your life. Here are 11 super sweet ideas:

Cocoa Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes 

redvelvetpancakes 300x300 11 Breakfast In Bed Ideas for Valentines Day

Egg in the Basket 

eggsinabasket 300x280 11 Breakfast In Bed Ideas for Valentines Day

Chocolate Chip Scones 

scones 300x198 11 Breakfast In Bed Ideas for Valentines Day

Perfect Heart-Shaped Pancakes 

heartshapedpancakes 300x297 11 Breakfast In Bed Ideas for Valentines Day

Healthy Whole Wheat Cranberry Applesauce Muffins 

muffins 199x300 11 Breakfast In Bed Ideas for Valentines Day

Red Velvet Crepes 

crepe 300x199 11 Breakfast In Bed Ideas for Valentines Day

Valentine Smoothie (Strawberry Banana) 

smoothie 300x292 11 Breakfast In Bed Ideas for Valentines Day

Heart Cinnamon Rolls 

cinnamon 200x300 11 Breakfast In Bed Ideas for Valentines Day

Heart Shaped French Toast

frenchtoast 290x300 11 Breakfast In Bed Ideas for Valentines Day

Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Hearts 

hot chocolate 11 Breakfast In Bed Ideas for Valentines Day

…and finally what says I Love You more than Heart Shaped Bacon?!

bacon 200x300 11 Breakfast In Bed Ideas for Valentines Day


Courtesy of your Arcadia Real Estate Agent






Housing Issues to Watch in 2013

By Nick Timiraos

Home prices finally hit a bottom in 2012, well ahead of many predictions that called for continued price drops this year.

Prices were up 6% from one year ago in October, according to CoreLogic CLGX -0.26%, putting them on track for their best year since 2005. Housing starts, which hit a bottom three years ago, ramped up to their highest level in four years. Sales of new homes are running around 20% of last year’s levels, while existing home sales are up around 10%. Continued declines in homes listed for sale—particularly foreclosures—explain much of the improving price picture.

So will 2013 be the year of recovery or relapse? Evidence points more strongly to a continued rebound, albeit one that still has considerable headwinds and that varies from one market to another. This week, we’ll offer five areas of focus for 2013.

1. Don’t fear the shadow. For years, housing analysts have warned that a glut of delinquent mortgages—a so-called “shadow” inventory of eventual foreclosures—would overwhelm housing markets. That hasn’t happened.

On a national basis, the shadow inventory is still there, but it is slowly getting smaller. The number of homes that were 90 days or more past due or in foreclosure fell to around 3 million in October, down by more than 430,000 this year and nearly 1.3 million from the peak in 2010, according to Barclays Capital. Normally, there’s a “shadow” of around 800,000, which means the excess shadow supply stands at around 2.2 million.

Banks have slowed down their foreclosure processes and while those could ramp up in 2013, they’re unlikely to lead to a deluge of supply. Also, big declines in new construction over the past few years have pushed the current housing demand, however muted, towards absorbing the excess supply of foreclosed homes.

The shadow inventory is often discussed as a national phenomenon, but it isn’t really national anymore. States where banks have struggled to meet court-administered foreclosure processes have a significantly higher share of unresolved bad debt: around 5.9% of mortgages are in foreclosure in those judicial states, compared with fewer than 2% in nonjudicial states, according to Lender Processing Services.

Many housing markets “will swallow what foreclosures come to the market whole because we’re seeing inventory shortages develop, acutely,” says Jeffrey Otteau, president of appraisal firm Otteau Valuation Group in East Brunswick, N.J.


In New Jersey, which has the second highest foreclosure rate in the country, the bigger problem is that many foreclosures are concentrated in certain communities, particularly inner-city and rural areas. “Those markets are going to take it on the chin,” he says.





Courtesy of your Arcadia Real Estate Agent

Is Buying a New Home Like Buying a New Car?


When you drive a new car off the lot, it immediately loses some of its value. Does the same apply to real estate? And if so, should you care?

For years, the new construction and development market has been sluggish. But now, banks are lending again for new construction, and developers are ready to build in full force. In major cities such as New Yorkand San Francisco dozens of new projects are in some phase of planning, construction, development and sale. In the suburbs and country, national home builders with large parcels of land are ready to develop communities of new homes.

Buyers in any market are faced with the decision to buy a “used” home vs. a new one, of course. But it’s becoming a little more likely today that buyers will find brand-new homes from which to choose as well as pre-existing ones. Here are some things to consider when you face that choice.

Real estate generally appreciates

Any chart will show you that real estate values typically rise over a long period of time. So if you’re in it for the long haul and can commit to at least five or 10 years, don’t be overly concerned with your home’s resale value. On the other hand, in today’s highly mobile world, it might be more difficult to realize an increase in your home’s value if you sell too soon. If you’re not sure you can commit to a home, new or used, for at least five years, you might be better off renting.

Does the new car theory ever apply?

If you’re selling a home that’s five to 10 years old, you might think such a property is still “new,” and you shouldn’t have a problem selling. However, a buyer choosing between a brand-new home and a “used” one may go for the newer one if they can afford it. So, given two homes with similar floor plans and locations, the newer one should sell for more. The owner of the older home, then, might believe the new car rule — that the purchase depreciates in value over time — does in fact apply to real estate.

The reality is, you just can’t compare your home’s value to that of a newer home; it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. Though your home’s value may be less than what a nearby new property sells for, it’s important to consider your original purchase price. At the time you bought your home, that price was based on the fact it was new, as well as the values associated with a new home vs. an older home. The bottom line: Though your home may not be worth as much as a brand-new, comparable home, it has most likely appreciated from the time you bought it, along with the larger market.

Maintenance of a new vs. an existing home

A new home comes with warranties not only on the appliances and systems but often from the developer as well. A good developer will stand by his work for at least one year. That means if there is a leaky window or a broken tile or floorboard, the developer would likely remedy the situation at no cost to you. Though a home warranty is always available through a third party, a buyer of a home that’s five years old likely won’t benefit from the original manufacturer’s warranties in place at the time the home was built.

Many buyers don’t want the headaches associated with a 50- or 100-year-old home. However, there’s some truth to the old saying that “they just don’t make homes like they used to anymore.” For example, it would be nearly impossible, let alone financially unfeasible, for a builder today to construct an Italian Stick Victorian home or a Frank Lloyd Wright-style house. And so, there’s inherent value in owning a historic home. There are fewer of them, and their uniqueness will set them apart. When the buyer goes to sell, she’s likely to find the home is worth more than other comparable, newer properties. Conversely, if you’re selling a 2-bedroom, 2-bath standard floor plan home, you’ll probably be competing with other homes built with similar materials and within the same time period. You’ll need to do something to make your home stand out and be more attractive to buyers.

Home first, investment second

Obviously, the fact that a brand-new car loses some value the moment it’s driven off the lot doesn’t stop people from buying new cars. Nor should it. There’s something to be said for that new-car smell, for the extended warranty it comes with, for being the first to own it. Many people spend a lot of time in their cars. They see it as a necessity, something they should enjoy and be comfortable in.

The same is true for a home. While it’s important to understand its value and your investment over time, don’t obsess over it. If the home is right for you given your situation and your timing, that’s the home you should buy, whether it’s new or old. You’ll be spending a lot of time and making many memories there. It’s where you’ll lay your head at night after a hectic workday or long business trip. It’s your home first and an investment second.

Courtesy of you Pasadena Real Estate Agent

Best Productivity Tool? iPhone or Android? Check Out the Answers to the 3 Quick Question Quiz

by Inman Next →

August 14, 2012  |  EventsNext TV

We were thrilled when Real Estate Connect Ambassador Bill Risser showed us his “Three Quick Question Quiz” and filmed ICSF attendees responses.

Check out the videos and get the inside scoop on everything from how these attendees like to spend their time to the tech tools have won their hearts (and work for the their business).

Peter Brewer

Best productivity tool? You might be surprised…

Monica Monson

Does Pinterest or Twitter get the job done? Check out the video to find out:

Raj Qsar

We all know Raj produces amazing videos but what does he do when he is away from work? Find out here:

Ricardo Bueno

MacBook or PC (or too obvious)?

Check out more “Three Quick Question Quizzes” and perspectives from the conference floor on our Inman News YouTube channel. 



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Only 2% of People Can Multitask Successfully

by 36

Pride yourself on multitasking? You may need to take a closer look at how you tackle your to-do list.

Despite the numerous gadgets and apps that help us get through our days, research suggests that only 2% of people can multitask effectively. As for the remaining 98%? They’re actually lessening their productivity without even realizing it.

This infographic from details how often we confuse multitasking with actual distraction. For example, employees who use a computer for work are, on average, distracted every 10.5 minutes. Students who bring their laptops to class aren’t doing much better, since 62% of the web pages that they open during class are completely unrelated to the lecture. And what about the 67% of people who check their email or use a mobile web browser while on a date?


SEE ALSO: 8 Google Chrome Extensions to Boost Your Productivity

Focusing on more than one thing decreases your productivity by 40% and lowers your IQ by 10 points, according to Harvard Business Review. And it almost goes without saying how dangerous it is to multitask while driving.

Check out the infographic below for more stats on how multitasking affects the average person. Do you think you’re part of the elite 2% that can achieve it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Multitasking Infographic



New iPhone 5 release date, news and rumours

By Dan Grabham 
iPhone 5 news and rumours
New iPhone 5 release date, news and rumours
Is this what the new iPhone will look like?

Although widely expected, there was no iPhone 5 in 2011 after all, though the company did announce the iPhone 4S.

So we’ll surely see a total revision of the iPhone during 2012. We’ve gathered together all the latest rumours on the new iPhone 5 to give us a reasonable picture of what Apple’s latest handset might be like.

You’ll find all the rumours below, but why not check out our new iPhone 5 rumours video first?

iPhone 5 release date

Given the pattern of Apple’s iPhone launches, we’re expecting the new iPhone 5 release date to be mid to late 2012.

At Apple’s WWDC 2012 event in early June we learnt a lot more about iOS 6, but there was no hardware (well, apart from new Macs). Check out the launch news as well asiOS 6: everything you need to know.

We reported in February that the new iPhone release date would be in October, falling into line with the same release schedule from last year – something backed up by the Verizon CFO.

According to analyst Shaw Wu, the Cupertino firm has reduced the number of iPhone orders by 20%-25% for this quarter ahead of the release.

It seems that Foxconn will again be manufacturing the handset. It’ll put the Samsung Galaxy S3 “to shame” according to the CEO of Foxconn, Terry Gou – though he didn’t say how.

However, a “Taiwan-based supply chain source” told DigiTimes in early May that Chinese firm Pegatron Technology has the iPhone 5 order ahead of a scheduled September launch.

According to the report Pegatron has also received orders for a 10-inch iPad, which is due to launch at the end of this year – which sounds equally spurious.

This does fit in with a mooted August 7 launch date for the iPhone 5, as is currently being quoted by Know Your Mobile through an ‘industry source’, but we’ll wait to see if that actually comes to pass – and it now seems impossible given that actual manufacturing has yet to begin.

And that seems to be ‘backed up’ by a report from that the iPhone 5 release date will be September 21… although let’s be honest, a Chinese accessory maker with no name to the source being quoted by a previously unknown site when it comes to Apple launches isn’t the most reliable of sources.

Update: The latest rumour in the huge mill of new iPhone 5 release dates comes from another unknown source (*sigh*) – which claims we’ll see Appletake to the stage on September 12 to show off the next handset, alongside the iPad Mini.

Update:Further suggestions that September 12 will be the iPhone 5 launch date have been made, this time via sources for Reuters and AllThingsD.

Update: Networks could be preparing themselves for the arrival of the iPhone 5, as the 32GB model cropped up in a drop down menu in O2′s online accessory store – although the network was quick to stay it had nothing to do with the next iPhone and was purely “human error”, hmmm…

Update: Adding more fuel to the September 12 iPhone 5 release date fire is the rumour which says pre-orders for the new iPhone will start on the same date - something we’ve seen Apple do with other products – with stock expect to ship on September 21.

Update:According to reports, US network AT&T has cleared its schedule in anticipation of the iPhone 5 release date falling in September.

iPhone 5 name

We reckon iPhone 5 is still the favourite for the name of the new iPhone, but it could follow the new iPad and end up being called, simply, the new iPhone. We really hope not. One thing is for sure, Apple has already filed a complaint over the ownership of the URL.

Update: Apparently Apple is testing two versions of the next iPhone, which are known as “iPhone5,1″ and “iPhone5,2″ – so could handset number six for Apple actually be called number five?

iPhone 5 form factor

Unlike the iPhone 4S, the new iPhone will be a completely new design from what has gone before, so that means an entirely new casing as we saw with the iPhone 3G and, later, the iPhone 4.

Interestingly, someone who claimed to have seen a larger iPhone 5 prototype said in November 2011 that Steve Jobs canned the new size and opted for the iPhone 4S.According to Business Insider, it was feared that a new size would create a two-tier iPhone ecosystem.

Beatweek also claimed in November 2011 that the 5-inch was scrapped “because Apple wouldn’t be able to do it properly” this year. However, the Daily Mail (make of that what you will) then suggested that a four-inch version was likely and that Sony has already shipped top secret demo screens to Apple.

A new iPhone 5 backplate leaked in early May – they were acquired by 9to5 Mac, but look like the combination of a lot of the other rumours we’ve heard about the shape and size of the new handset. These feature bigger speaker grills as well as a four inch screen and a two-tone back with brushed aluminum .

And there’s a picture of the front been leaked too, with a lovely side-by-side comparison with the iPhone 4S for good measure, courtesy of KitGuru:


iPhone 5


The two-tone back was also spotted in a video from eTrade Supply, which again showed the relocation of the headphone jack as well as a smaller connector and redesigned speaker grills.

detailed video render of all the iPhone 5 rumoured/leaked images was also uploaded to YouTube in early June.

Update: Rumours surrounding that famous Apple 30-pin connector on the base of the iPhone have flared up again, with Reuters reporting that thedock connector is getting smaller to make room for a 3.5mm headphone jack on the base of the new iPhone 5.

Update: We’ve now seen a Chinese site claim to have a fully assembled iPhone 5 chassis - bringing together all the design aspects mentioned in previous leaks, including a smaller dock, relocated headphone jack, centralised front facing camera and two-tone back.

Update: More dock connector rumours, this time claiming Apple will opt for an even smaller 8-pin option over the current 30-pin port or rumoured 19-pin version.


iPhone 5 LEAK


Credit: iLab Factory

Update:According to a video which claims to show off the front panel of the new iPhone, the handset will be the same width as the iPhone 4S, but will be taller and thinner.

Update: Apparently the new SIM trays for the iPhone 5 have leaked online, showing that they will be smaller and the ones found in the iPhone 4/4S – pointing towards the use of nano-SIMs in the new iPhone.

Update: The smaller dock connector rumour is refusing to die, and now we’ve been told that the new iPhone won’t feature a 19-, 16- or 8-pin port, but instead a 9-pin offering will appear on the base of the device.

Update: The new iPhone may touch down at a svelte 7.6mm in thichness, making it one of the slimmest smartphones on the market, and 1.7mm thinner than the iPhone 4S.

iPhone 5 specs

Based on the roadmap of mobile chip design specialist ARM (of which Apple is a licensee), we’ll see a quad-core processor debut in the new iPhone 5 – probably called the Apple A6. We’ve seen other quad core handsets debut in 2012, so it’s not too much of a stretch to say that the new iPhone 5 will be the same.

We had expected some kind of help in terms of predicting the iPhone 5 CPU from the launch of the new iPad, but the announcement of a slightly tweaked A5X processor really didn’t help things there.

According to a tip to 9to5Mac, the CPU will be the S5L8950X. Again this could be a derivative of the A5, but as 9to5Mac points out, Apple is probably working on a low-power 32nm version of the processor. As we could well have guessed, that processor will be manufactured by Samsung but designed by Apple itself.

The same report suggests 1GB of RAM, which seems right to us.

In terms of other specs aside from the screen (more on that below), rumours are persisting that the new iPhone 5 may have a new dock connector. The leaked 9to5Mac iPhone 5 backplate has this smaller dock connector.


iPhone 5 backplate


[Image credit: 9to5Mac]

TechCrunch reported in June that the sixth generation of iPhone will come with a 19-pin connector on its base, with Apple ditching the iconic 30-pin port which has graced previous iPhones, iPads and iPods.

Well, it had to happen sometime didn’t it?

Update: According to a report from the Financial Times, mobile operators are stockpiling nanoSIMs, as they expect the iPhone 5 to support the latest, and smallest, SIM technology.

Update: Images of a range of internal gubbins, all claiming to be parts of the iPhone 5, have made their way onto the internet – revealing more about Apple’s sixth generation handset.

iPhone 5 will have 4G/LTE support

After the new iPad’s launch brought 4G to an Apple device, it’s widely expected that 4G will come to iPhone 5. And with many 4G handsets already announced in the US, it can’t be long before the iPhone supports 4G technologies – even if we won’t even have a UK spectrum auction until late this year or maybe early next.

Because of the 4G fuss over the new iPad in the UK, we’d expect this to be played down in any UK handset – or the UK might get a different version entirely of course.

Steve Jobs’ iPhone 5 legacy

Many sites have reported that Steve Jobs was working hard on the iPhone 5 project, which will apparently be a “radical redesign”. We shall see… but the fact the iPhone 4S was so similar to the iPhone 4 suggests that Steve was working on something pretty special before

Check out this handy iPhone 5 video detailing the latest rumours on release date, spec and more – so check if out for a quick fix of next-gen Apple fun:

The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that: “Apple is also developing a new iPhone model, said people briefed on the phone. One person familiar said the fifth-generation iPhone would be a different form factor than those that are currently available… it was unclear how soon that version would be available to Verizon or other carriers.”

According to Bloomberg, sources familiar with Apple’s plans, Jobs “had worked closely on the redesigned phone before his death”.

iPhone 5 screen

Various sources claim the iPhone 5 will feature a larger, 4-inch screen. Digitimes quotes the source as saying that Apple is expanding the screen size “to support the tablet PC market as the vendor only has a 9.7-inch iPad in the market.”

On 23 May 2011, we reported on rumours that the iPhone 5 could feature a curved glass screen. These rumours also came from Digitimes, which said that Apple has purchased between 200 and 300 special glass cutting machines because they’re too costly for the manufacturers to invest in.

In March 2012, new reports suggested that the new iPhone 5 would come sporting a larger 4.6-inch retina display, while April rumours even suggested the next iPhone will use new touch technology.

During May, The Wall Street Journal cited sources as saying the device will definitely sport a 4-inch display – which seems to be the broader consensus as well - other prototypes are similar in size. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook seemed to dampen the ‘larger screen’ speculationat the recent D:10 conference, saying the company has “one phone with one screen size, one resolution”.

Those of you who are keen Apple watchers will, however, know that he is wrong – the currently-available 3GS does not have the same resolution as the iPhone 4 and 4S.

Whatever, it seems Sony is involved with the display and it has been making the screen since February, ramping up production from May. A larger screen will also be welcomed by developers, as Mobilebloom points out.

Update:The Wall Street Journal reports that the iPhone 5 will use new in-cell technology to produce a thinner, lighter screen – which looks set to be 4-inches in size.

Update: Sharp has confirmed it will start shipping displays for the next-gen iPhone in August – although it didn’t reveal what size, blast.

Update: Apparently the front panel of the new iPhone has made its way online in the form of a video, and reveals that the iPhone 5 will indeed sport a larger screen, 4.06-inches in size and with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Update: After some digging around in the beta version of iOS 6 a scalable option to increase the OS to fit a 640×1136 resolution version has added more fuel to the larger screen fire.

Which retina is the best? We compare the high-res displays on Apple’s new iPad, iPhone 4S and 2012 MacBook Pro up-close:

iPhone 5 digital wallet – NFC

There’s been some speculation that Apple might include Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in the iPhone 5, turning it into a kind of credit/debit card.

However, with the tech being inside the Google Nexus Sand Samsung Galaxy Nexus, as well as a host of other top smartphones, the time for NFC may finally be here.

On 24 June 2011 it was reported that the Google Wallet mobile payment platform could feature on the new iPhone. Eric Schmidt admitted that Google is looking to port the software to other manufacturers.

However, on 31 January 2012 9to5Mac claimed to have spoken with a well-connected developer who disclosed information received from Apple iOS engineers saying they are “heavily into NFC”.

The developer in question has not been named, but is working on a dedicated iOS app which includes NFC reading for mobile transactions. When questioned how confident he was on the information he had received his reply was “Enough to bet the app development on”.

On April 30 2012 an Apple patent filing reinforced the idea NFC in iPhone 5 – and leaked code from something purporting to be the new iPhone alsocontains a lot of information on NFC in the new iPhone.

iPhone 5 camera

Sony makes the camera for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Speaking at a liveWall Street Journal event, Sony’s Sir Howard Stringer was talking about the company’s camera image sensor facility in Sendai, a town that was recently ravaged by the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

According to 9to5Mac, he said something along the lines of, “Our best sensor technology is built in one of the [tsunami] affected factories. Those go to Apple for their iPhones… or iPads. Isn’t that something? They buy our best sensors from us.”

Sources have also suggested the new iPhone could have an 8MP camera. Indeed, Sony announced in January 2012 that it had developed new back-illuminated stacked CMOS image sensors which are smaller in size. It’s also been reported that the new iPhone will have an HD front-facing camera as well.

An interesting titbit via MirrorlessRumors is around a removable iPhone back panel that would include the camera lens has been spotted in a patent document. It seems to show that the device would work either by swapping the panel, or rotating the panel to change lenses.

iPhone 5 price

If the iPhone 5 is an evolutionary step like the move from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S then we’d expect the price to stay more or less the same, although in the UK higher VAT rates may well mean a higher price tag.

It’s pretty much nailed on that the new iPhone will cost around £500 for a 16GB / 32GB model (depending on the capacity Apple whacks in there) and unless the iPhone 5 comes with some truly next generation technology that pricing model should hold firm.

Will the iPhone 5 be Liquidmetal?

Apple has added a further two years onto its exclusivity deal for the Liquidmetal technology, which also includes future updates to the tech.

Liquidmetal is a metal alloy which is super strong and boasts a range of unique properties, apparently making it perfect for consumer products.

Apple has only used the technology once so far, and that was for the small SIM card tray ejector tool for the iPhone 3GThere are rumblings that iPhone 5 could sport a Liquidmetal chassis.

iPhone 5 review

TechRadar is renowned for its detailed phone reviews where we look at every aspect of a handset, and we’ll be bringing you a full, in-depth iPhone 5 review when we get our hands on one.

As for the name, well it looks like it will be called iPhone 5. Apple has certainly been trying to protect the name iPhone 5 – and has even launched a claim over the domain name.

There’s a lot of ‘information’ out there on what the new iPhone 5 will look like – be it larger screens, coloured backs or a whole glut of new technology tagged on the back.

However, while there’s (unsurprisingly) nothing in the way of a genuine leak from Apple when it comes to the iPhone 5, there’s a wealth of content from fans trying to guess/hint what the new iPhone will look like.

We’ve sifted through the wheat and dropped the chaff – here’s our gallery of images we think show the most likely design of the iPhone 5 (or just things that would clearly never happen, but come on… it’s cool).

TechRadar has now got on board with the 3D render gang and produced its own video of what the iPhone 5 may look like, taking inspiration from the most talked about rumours.

And here’s what everyone else came up with…


iPhone 5


Credit:Martin Utrecht (Flickr)

This is the pick of the bunch – a very impressive render based on all the iPhone 5 rumours collated so far. The two tone back and sleek design fromMartin Utrecht are so on message that a number of sites were fooled into thinking this was THE new iPhone. It’s not though. Don’t get excited.


iPhone 5


Credit:Ciccarese Design

We’re fans of this design not because it’s likely to happen, but more because it will appeal to the Apple fanboys of the world. It’s basically the unholy fusion of a Magic Mouse and an iPhone (with more than a nod to the much-fabled iPhone HD) from Ciccarese Design.

Although if it did double as a mouse, you’d have to pray that’s going to be the next generation of Gorilla Glass protecting the screen.


iPhone 5


Credit:NAK Phone Design

This is the most ‘normal’ of all the renders we’ve chosen here, and for that very reason we’re happy to state that if Apple goes in a new direction with the iPhone 5 design, this could very well be close to the mark with a more rounded-yet-industrial design.

However, it does look a bit like a Sony Ericsson Satio, which is a BAD THING. Although we do like the smorgasbord of colours here from NAK.


iPhone 5



What’s this?A phone with a smart cover? That makes a lot of sense. The rest of the concept is a little on the bland side (although you should check out the full range over on Concept-Phones) with a more angular design, but we love this cover notion.


iPhone 5


Credit:ADR Studios

We love this concept for one reason: the idea of incorporating the home button into a dock at the bottom of the screen. Would it work in practice? Probably not, as it would only be relevant for the home screen and engineering that into an LCD panel would be a pain in the posterior.

But we’re in concept land here – there are no limitations, so kudos to ADR Studios for a decent range of ideas on the next iPhone.

And to that end, here’s the ultimate in concepts for the iPhone – a video from Aatma that comes up with the idea of projecting a keyboard from the iPhone using a laser.

Make. This. Happen.




6 Kitchens, 6 DIY Updates

Get inspired to give your own kitchen a fresh look with ideas from these affordable, do-it-yourself fixes

 While an incredible kitchen remodel is impressive, sometimes a quick fix is all a kitchen needs — or all you can afford. These Houzz users got creative with their spaces, sticking to the basics but still creating a fresh new look. From new paint colors to clever countertop solutions to a smart layout fix, these six Houzzers managed to update their kitchens on tight budgets.
tsemdkel before
1. Cabinetry refresh in New HampshireBEFORE: Although the existing cabinets in tsemdkel‘s 1975 ranch were well built, they darkened the already poorly lit space. With a quick coat of paint and a new hardwood floor, the style changed dramatically.
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
AFTER: The owner kept the original backsplash for its classic look and installed new countertops. By taking down a wall that separated the kitchen from the den, she was also able to let more light into the space. “I now have a wonderful, sunny great room where there were two small, dark spaces before,” she says.New kitchen size: 13 by 12 feet
Budget: $10,000. The owner designed the space with the help of her mother, who’s an interior designer.
Location: Durham, New Hampshire
sarah gayle carter before
2. Bachelor’s barn in MaineWhen designer Sarah Carter moved to Maine to live in a converted barn with a new boyfriend, she found herself having to cook in a chaotic kitchen.”My South-African, ex-Rugby-playing guy was cute, but clearly oblivious to his surroundings,” she says.
kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
AFTER: Most of her budget went toward infrastructure changes — rewiring, putting in new outlets and track lighting, and installing on-demand hot water were musts. The flooring is simple DIY self-stick vinyl tiles, and the countertop was updated with a simple, stainless steel substrate. Ikea cabinetry and shelves and salvaged furniture provided the final — and affordable — touches.New kitchen size: 20 by 15 feet
Budget: $12,000, work done entirely on her own
Location: Bristol, Maine
capucine28 before
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
3. New paint and counter finishes in QuebecAFTER: The bones of capucine28‘s kitchen were pretty good, so she knew that she could do the cosmetic work on her own. Sanding and varnishing the cabinets and painting the knobs refreshed the space, as did a fresh coat of soft yellow paint. Scrubbing the floor tiles and cleaning the grout revealed a decent kitchen floor. But the biggest change was on the countertop, which she refinished using the Encore Countertop system for a natural cement look.New kitchen size: 11 1/2 by 14 1/2 feet
Budget: $600 CAN, work done entirely on her own
Location: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
malena before
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
4. Simple floorplan fix in MassachusettsAFTER: Houzz user malena933 knew her kitchen needed an upgrade but she was on a tight budget. Instead of knocking everything out, she had her father carefully remove some of the cabinetry so she could turn the floorplan from a C to a more of a U shape. She repurposed almost all her cabinetry and hired a college student to help her install it in the new configuration.New paint and trim to match the original house gave the kitchen consistency.New kitchen size: 9 by 9 feet
Budget: about $10,000. The owner did all the work except electrical and plumbing.
Location: Monument Beach, Massachusetts
mizzyc before
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
5. Empty nest revamp in TexasAFTER: As the mother of three boys and the manager of a miniature donkey ranch, Houzz usermizzyc didn’t have the time to update her kitchen until her boys were out of the house. Although she had built it in 1994 with materials meant to withstand three sons, it now felt outdated and inefficient. She got creative with materials and installation to cut down on costs. Granite was the major splurge, but tile from Home Depot and Lowe’s and a sink and faucet found online saved some serious cash.New kitchen size: 14 by 20 feet
Budget: $4,000, owner made the changes herself
Location: Lufkin, Texas
pfmorgan1416 before
traditional kitchen Small Kitchen Before/Afters
6. Countertop Changes in AlabamaAFTER: Houzz user pfmorgan1416 set out to redo her kitchen on her own. A DIY subway backsplash, minor carpentry changes and new hardware dressed up the space dramatically — but she was still plagued with a dark green, ’80s style laminate countertop. In the end, she decided to splurge and contract out for a new granite countertop that made a world of difference. Next up: A new, dark hardwood floor.New kitchen size: 12 by 12 feet
Budget: Done on her own over many years. The $1,500 granite countertop was biggest splurge.
Location: Alabama 


15 Ways To Keep Cool When it’s Hot

Keeping cool when temperatures reach record highs isn’t just about comfort. Dangerously high temperatures can result in heat-related illnesses ranging from heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The following tips can help you keep cool all summer long.

  1. Alter your pattern of outdoor exercise to take advantage of cooler times (early morning or late evening). If you can’t change the time of your workout, scale it down by doing fewer minutes, walking instead orrunning, or decreasing your level of exertion.
  2. Wear loose-fitting clothing, preferably of a light color.
  3. Cotton clothing will keep you cooler than many synthetics.
  4. Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors.
  5. Fans can help circulate air and make you feel cooler even in an air-conditioned house.
  6. Try storing lotions or cosmetic toners in the refrigerator to use on hot, overtired feet.
  7. Keep plastic bottles of water in the freezer; grab one when you’re ready to go outside. As the ice melts, you’ll have a supply of cold water with you.
  8. Take frequent baths or showers with cool or tepid water.
  9. Combat dehydration by drinking plenty of water along with sports drinks or other sources of electrolytes.
  10. Some people swear by small, portable, battery-powered fans. At an outdoor event I even saw a version that attaches to a water bottle that sprays a cooling mist.
  11. I learned this trick from a tennis pro: if you’re wearing a cap or hat, remove it and pour a bit of ice cold water into the hat, then quickly invert it and place on your head.
  12. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these will promote dehydration.
  13. Instead of hot foods, try lighter summer fare including frequent small meals or snacks containing cold fruit or low fat dairy products. As an added benefit, you won’t have to cook next to a hot stove.
  14. If you don’t have air-conditioning, arrange to spend at least parts of the day in a shopping mall, public library, movie theater, or other public space that is cool. Many cities have cooling centers that are open to the public on sweltering days.
  15. Finally, use common sense. If the heat is intolerable, stay indoors when you can and avoid activities in direct sunlight or on hot asphalt surfaces. Pay special attention to the elderly, infants, and anyone with a chronic illness, as they may dehydrate easily and be more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Don’t forget that pets also need protection from dehydration and heat-related illnesses too.