Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category:
Some relief concerning the economic slowdown came this summer as U.S. consumer confidence edged up in August while prices for U.S. homes gained more than expected in June.
Another report on Tuesday, however, showed business activity in the U.S. Midwest registered a slowdown in August, and was just shy of the pace economists expected.
The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of U.S. consumer attitudes rose to 53.5 in August from an upwardly revised 51.0 in July.
The median of forecasts from analysts polled by Reuters was for a reading of 50.5. Forecasts ranged from 47.5 to 55.0.
The rise came as a relief to investors following a slew of weaker-than-expected economic reports in recent weeks. High unemployment and weak consumer spending are seen among the biggest hurdles for the recovery.
“This small improvement is encouraging. It suggests that even though consumers remain in a glass-half-empty mood, sentiment isn’t getting any worse,” said Zach Pandl, economist at Nomura Securities International in New York.
“We wonder if this level of confidence will sustain if the labor market deteriorates as we suspect,” he said.
U.S. stocks (.SPX) turned positive following the confidence data, while U.S. Treasury debt prices pared some gains and the U.S. dollar trimmed losses against the yen.
The government’s key monthly jobs report is expected on Friday, with a Reuters poll showing economists expect non-farm payrolls declined by 100,000 in August and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 9.6 percent.
HOME PRICE RECOVERY SLOWS
Also among the day’s more upbeat economic news, the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.3 percent in June from May on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The rise was better than the 0.2 percent increase expected by economists polled by Reuters, though slower than the 0.5 percent rise in May.
However, the gain reflected the lingering boost from homebuyer tax credits that ended in April, and economists agree the effects of buyer tax credits have largely filtered through. They say home prices will be hard-pressed to sustain these gains with unemployment still near 10 percent.
Tuesday’s data also showed the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer dropped to 56.7 in August. The reading was 62.3 in July, and economists had forecast an August reading of 57.
The employment component of the index fell to 55.5 from 56.6 in July. New orders fell to 55.0, from 64.6. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the regional economy.
MY TAKE: With housing prices slowly limping upward and consumer confidence on the rise, it’s possible more aging boomers will begin with their plans. Visit any baby boomer site and you’ll quickly learn that the again seniors in our country are busy working to set up their lives so that they can live comfortably. They are meeting senior financial planning companies to try and figure out how they’ll pay for an Ocean County doctor house call and of course whether or not their homes will be worth what they are now when they hit retirement.
Comfortable and Modern Homes
One of the misconceptions about a home that is decorated in a very modern style is that it’s not going to be something that is comfortable and that all of the furniture is going to be something that isn’t nice for visitors to sit in and wouldn’t otherwise be something that would be considered a fun place to hang out. But just because someone has an Eames lounge chair and a whole host of minimalistic styles in their home doesn’t mean that hanging out in the living room won’t otherwise be comfortable because modern furniture can also be very comfortable.
Deciding Upon Resolution and Mediation
With specific issues that seem like they would never be resolved without legal action, it’s important to consider that legal action is not always the only way to resolve disputes. A group of Metro Denver dispute resolution attorneys would likely be able to provide objective third party assistance which could likely reduce the potential for a particular dispute to end up in court. Individuals who already have a lawyer or counsel can still benefit from the assistance of a mediator and will likely be able to figure out a solution before the issue moves into the courts.
Differing in Grade of Property
One of the specific elements of a 1031 exchange of which some individuals involved in the transference of property aren’t aware is the idea that two different properties handled under NYS 1031 exchanges might be of a different value, but because they are the same type of item, they can represent a proper exchange. Certain items handled under like-kind exchanges must possess specific types of characteristics and if those characteristics differ, they cannot be exchanged. In the alternative, it’s important to make sure that when goods are being exchanged that they are properly certified as like-kind exchange eligible.
Getting Great Options for Condos
One of the misconceptions about staying in a condo for a vacation is the fact that people tend to think that staying in a condo doesn’t allow for neat perks such as early or late checkout when most places that offer Waikiki vacation rentals will use all of the same, fun perks that would be offered to people staying in hotels. Most of the time a person is going to be able to obtain many of the same advantages as staying in a luxury hotel would offer with the extra benefits available for staying in a condo.
Fixtures to Consider
There are a number of different fixtures within the bathroom that can be upgrade and it is often a good idea to consider replacing all of them during a refurbishment of the bathroom even if some of the bathroom fixtures are working just fine and aren’t that old. The style of bathroom fixtures does tend to change fairly often and this usually means that matching new fixtures with old fixtures is sometimes difficult because the styles tend to change rather often not only through different colors that become popular but also different materials such as bronze or steel.
Legal Help in Philly
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Cited: Realtor Magazine
One real estate and business writer has conquered her iPhone, Lisa Holton. Now she has written a digital book called “The Essential Real Estate Dictionary” published by Sphinx Publishing/Sourcebooks. It is considered to be the first real estate dictionary published on iTunes App Store. The dictionary features more than 3,300 definitions, abbreviations, and Web sites, serving as a handy, on-the-go guide for buyers, sellers, and professionals alike. In an interview, Holton enlightens the world of iPhone users to various terms like “simple assumption” and “Monterey architecture article. Here is part of that interview:
How did the opportunity to create an iPhone app using your book, The Essential Real Estate Dictionary, come about?
HOLTON: To a great extent it had to do with the current fortunes of the publishing industry. My publishing company Sourcebooks and I had been weighing the opportunity to do a traditional book-form dictionary. This dictionary had originally been published by Barnes & Noble in 2003. But Sourcebooks suggested that because we’re in a down-publishing economy, why not take the product and put it digitally onto a phone? Agents and other people in the building trades rely on their phones considerably. It would be nice for them to have this kind of information at their fingertips. I added terms over the years and terms that have relevance in today’s lending environment.
How does the application function once downloaded to the iPhone?
HOLTON: When you pull up the app, it gives you the option to look up a word, look up an abbreviation, search word meanings, and something called “random word,” in which any of the words in the book pops up.
What do you think will be the greatest benefits for the real estate pros who use this?
HOLTON: This would be handy if you are trying to explain something to someone, or you’re trying to get the correct definition of a word for an area of the house if you’re getting something repaired or replaced. It’s also a good way for agents and brokers who don’t have a lot of experience to get to know the parts of a home or the parts of a commercial building, as well as standard lending terms.
HOLTON: In addition to the professionals who could use it, I also think people who are property buyers will use it. This is an opportunity for someone who really wants to learn a fair amount about real estate, not only structural terms, but lending terms and definitions of the key agencies involved in both the public and private lending processes. It’s a pretty good way to get to know the real estate business.
What was your process for writing the dictionary?
HOLTON: After getting the gist of what was out there, I went to professionals in various parts of the field and asked them what terms come up most often and what terms are relevant now. I also checked the news to make sure the terms people need to know reflect current headlines. I’m hoping we’ll come back in the next year or two and update the lending terms, because the way the lending world has changed I have a feeling we’re going to be learning a lot of new terms, a lot of new agencies, and a lot of new processes.
What is your favorite word in the book?
HOLTON: Given the present state of the economy and the current minefield brokers and buyers face to get there, I’m going to go with “closing.”
What motivated you to create this dictionary?
HOLTON: Initially, it was fairly unglamorous. The publisher was looking for someone with business writing experience to do a little more extensive dictionary, and there was an obvious need for it. I stuck with it (since the original was published in 2003) and have written other books on real estate, so it made sense for me to stay in this area. Even though the real estate business is in a difficult place, people are still interested in learning.
Do you have any plans to incorporate your dictionary into educational classes or training opportunities?
HOLTON: We have talked about it. The dictionary is obviously something that would be a great help to anyone teaching basic real estate licensing classes. We just got the app up earlier this summer. At this point, Sourcebooks is mainly promoting the product through tech media right now.
Could you share a little about your background? How did you begin writing about real estate?
HOLTON: I was a business editor and reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times, where I also wrote stories for the real estate section. Obviously being a home owner, I already had a built-in interest. Writing about real estate was a natural fit. I also tend to like projects where you’re teaching someone without a lot of knowledge the basics of what they need to go forward.
Lisa Holton also has her own company called “The Lisa Company“, which ‘blends a traditional approach to writing, editing and research with an understanding of what ideas will work in both old and new media’. The company writes articles, reports and web copy for various clients. Holton is an author in addition to being a ghostwriter for various clients. The company also handles various multimedia writing and production as well as organizational blogging and newswriting services.
My Take: This sounds like something that not only real estate agents should have, but first-time buyers as well. If you have never bought a house before, you should have a good working vocabulary of what you are about to do. It might even help those people who are trying to get Kentucky mortgage refinancing for their home. I am sure that the terms used in any Louisville Kentucky mortgage can be just as confusing as those in a sales contract.
I wonder if the app also includes terms for homes that were remodeled like granite slabs. I know, if I were buying a brand-new home or even an older home, I would like to know if it had new granite tile countertops. I am sure that everybody knows what a granite countertop is, but there may be other terminology for it. I am just saying that any dictionary can be very explicit or detail and also be very vague.
Stressed Out, Exercise!
Stressed out about buying a new home or even selling one? Try exercising with a Pilates workout video! If you find a Pilates workout that features Pilates exercise equipment that you do not have yet, just visit a Pilates online store so that you can purchase Pilates equipment to enjoy unlimited access to free online Pilates workouts and Pilates DVDs online.
Websites That Drive Businesses
A SEO service web design company’s mission is to provide you with a web design that will be pleasing to look at and is structured to drive traffic with search engine friendly designs. This SEO company provider is highly skilled at creating websites that are economical, sleek, easily navigated and, from the very beginning, optimized for the vicious world of search engine surfing. They specialize in giving you exactly what you want. They also know it is important to review all core data/metrics on a monthly basis and make changes to improve all active marketing campaigns.
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Cited: Realtor Magazine
According to panelists of REALTOR® Magazine’s Young Professionals Network during the session “Marketing Strategies That Work” at the 2009 REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C. you can turn FaceBook and other social networking sites into money generating leads for your real estate business. One real estate agent, Koki Adasi-Efuya, of Long & Foster Real Estate in Rockville, Md., after connecting with an old high school friend on FaceBook was asked to sell his house. The best thing, this connection led to several other referrals!
After the sale, the friend’s sister called and asked him to sell her house. They communicated via Facebook during the selling process, since she lived an hour away. Soon after, the friend’s father contacted Adasi-Efuya—also through Facebook. He wanted to sell his house, too.
Adasi-Efuya said that reaching out to his friend wasn’t a strategy to build business; he was just sending a message to say happy birthday. But now he knows that just like in real life, expanding his sphere of contacts on Facebook can lead to new clients. Panelist Adasi-Efuya is a member of the 2008 REALTOR® Magazine “30 Under 30” class.
Blogging for Credibility
Darrin Friedman, the branch vice president of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office in Chevy Chase, Md., says blogging turned out to be his social networking silver-bullet. It has helped him recruit sales associates, build regional and national credibility, and ultimately make his company more profitable.
He attributes his blog to helping his brokerage receive more than $5 million in referrals in 2008. Plus, he says his blog (www.Cbblogestate.com) had a part in recruiting and luring half of the 70 agents he has recruited to the company since January 2007.
Make Your Own Path to Success
Tapping social networking—such as FaceBook, Twitter, and blogs—can particularly be good tools in reaching the largest segment of future home buyers on the market today—Gen Y and Gen X, panelists said.
Panelists offered the following tips on how you can get similar results in your marketing:
Advertise on Facebook. Spread the word by purchasing ads along the side of Facebook pages. You can set an age, gender, and location target market and have your ads appear on Facebook pages that match your criteria. You can also track your ad’s progress in real time to see who has been clicking on it.
Make information available electronically and virtually. Gen Y and Gen X buyers love to see rich data, charts, graphs, and electronic forms, but provide all of the information you have for them on a CD, flash drive, or online so that they can take it with them to analyze themselves later, said Amanda DiVito, ABR®, CRS, of RE/MAX Alliance in Arvada, Colo. Gen Xers (she pegged those born between 1961 and 1981) tend to be skeptics and question everything and are fact-seekers, she said. She called Gen Y (those born between 1982 and 2000) intellectually curious and tech-savvy.
Create group or business pages on Facebook. Create a Facebook group page to connect with prospects, such as a group geared to “first-time home buyers” where you provide helpful information. Or create a business page for your company, and ask others to become “fans” of your page. Whether on FaceBook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, the idea of social networking is to communicate within online communities of people who share interests and activities, said Adasi-Efuya.
Use status updates to stay in front of your network. On FaceBook, you can use status updates and the Wall—the public viewing area on your network’s pages—to stay top of mind among your sphere. The simple “Happy Birthday” on a friend’s Wall that led to three listings for Adasi-Efuya also went to all his FaceBook contacts. Likewise, you can use Twitter—a micro-blogging site based on the question “What are you doing now?”—to keep people alerted to what you are doing in your business.
Be professional. Make your status as a real estate professional clear by posting a professional photo and creating a complete profile at social networking sites you frequent. Remember also that your duties under the REALTORS® Code of Ethics extend to your online communications.
Show your personality but not your sale pitch. Friedman said blogging is an opportunity to engage in dialog with customers and employees, to challenge assumptions, meet like-minded people, a way to get skeptical clients to know you, and an avenue to let clients know more about who you are. However, he warns, blogging should not be self-indulgent, and you should not attempt to control the message or make it product-driven. Instead, blogging should be transparent, inclusive, authentic, vibrant, and consumer-driven, Friedman said.
Friedman told his new sales associates to follow blogging’s best practices and you will become an authority source on this business. This is why he required those new associates to create an Active Rain profile within 10 days of beginning their job. They were then required to send a link to everyone in their sphere.
Friedman requires his new sales associates to create an Active Rain profile within 10 days of starting at the company and then to send a link to everyone in their sphere. Follow blogging best practices, he said, and you’ll become an authoritative source on this business.
My Take: The principle in this article can be utilized for just about any business. It can generate leads or bring customers to your website or store front for that matter. Anytime you can give a potential client or customer information on what you can provide for them is a good thing.
A good example of this is if your real estate office also acts as a property management company, you would let people know that you are one of the suburban St. Paul property management companies and you have rentals available. If you handle property in other areas, you would let them know that you are an Edina MN property management company as well. In this way you cover all areas of the community that you have rental property available.
You would be able to do the same thing if your office handled more than one area of property sales. For example, if you had Palisades real estate, you would let everybody know that this is not the only area where you have property for sale. You would also let them know that you had Nyack riverfront homes at reasonable prices. It really is not as hard as you may think.
Choosing Window Treatments
When choosing window treatments, one of the first considerations is how the window treatment will function beyond its decorative intent. Once the measurements have been taken and the price range has been decided, considerations like interior privacy and protection from weather elements should come into play. After the purpose of the treatments and level of privacy have been chosen, things like color, material and shape will be decided upon. While the process of choosing window treatments is not something where an instant decision can usually be made, the design process is nevertheless an easy and enjoyable one.