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“With this real estate situation, the first thing to go is the garden, since the mortgage crisis is putting people in apartments. Look at the pictures of houses in foreclosure; none of them have gardens. Americans don’t like to go outside anyway. Even my clients who have beautiful gardens are afraid there might be a bug, or it’s too hot or too cold. People will certainly downsize to afford the mortgage. They won’t build these lavish kitchens they never cook in. They don’t even make coffee in their kitchens. I’ve had many clients who, when I visited them in the mornings, were on their way to Starbucks.”

— James van Sweden, FASLA, Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, Washington, D.C.