Simplified mortgage disclosure a priority at CFPB, trade associations need to keep up with the times, and Disney doesn’t always get its way with copyright
In its first major move, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released two prototypes of shorter and easier-to-understand disclosure forms that lenders must give home buyers when they apply for a mortgage. The LA Times reports that the new federal agency is making simplified mortgage disclosures a priority as it prepares to start operations in July.
RIS Media recently discussed a few apps for the iPad focused on REALTORS® and real estate. They say the iPad delivers on connection and collaboration and gives an ‘enhanced experience’ for both REALTORS® and clients.
Trade associations have been around for several centuries – even further back if you include guilds. They’ve served as an idea exchange, a way for members to share knowledge, discuss trends, lobby congress, and keep up on their fields. But with the internet and social networking, is the age of associations at an end? NPR takes a look at the future of the trade association – and manages to make some frightful puns in the process.
Although social media is still relatively new, more and more studies are emerging on sites like Facebook. And the results sometimes speak more about our own changing society than to anything else. Pete Cashmore of Mashable summarizes 10 fascinating facts about Facebook and what they tell us about ourselves. What I found interesting: 25% of households don’t use the any of Facebook’s privacy controls.
In the world of copyright and trademark, Disney has typically come out on top, rumored to play a hand in the development of more than one federal copyright act. The buck stops with the Navy Seals, who according to the Wall Street Journal, did not take kindly to Disney’s attempt at trademarking the name “Seal Team 6.”
Housing recovery, international buyers, and exploding watermelons
On CBS’ Face the Nation House Speaker John Boehner is “skeptical” there is “anything the government can do” to alleviate America’s housing crisis – arguing that, ultimately, “you’re not gonna have more buyers until the economy improves.”
The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting article this week on the continued growth of international players in world real estate markets:
Some of the biggest residential real-estate buyers in many cities are emerging from halfway around the globe. In London, one report finds that 65% of buyers in the luxury market hail from abroad. According to the Miami Association of Realtors, nearly 60% of all sales last year throughout the city were to buyers from foreign countries.
Have you tapped into this market? Are you prepared to work with clients from around the world? How are you getting your message out?
And you thought you had problems: China is facing a rash of exploding watermelons. Some think it’s from growth chemicals sprayed on the ripening fruit, but others aren’t sure as some non-chemically enhanced melons are blowing up too.
In 1922 REALTOR® A. W. Ross was standing next to a barbed wire fence along a dirt road in Los Angeles. In place of barley fields he saw opportunity. In less than twenty years that road running west from La Brea Avenue would be a segment of Wilshire Boulevard known as the Miracle Mile.
According to an article in the May 1938 issue of the National Real Estate Journal, Ross’ experience in designing and building subdivisions had taught him that people who can afford to move from lowlands to highlands. Looking at undeveloped land on higher ground nearby, he envisioned lovely homes with access to businesses along a boulevard that would replace his dusty road.
Ross first approached wealthy prospects, offering his road through the barley fields at $100 per front foot. He was laughed at, with one man telling him he should have his head examined.
Ross then tried the “common folks,” and sold the land as “the chance of your lifetime.” By 1930 most of the “common folks” had cashed in. “I had the satisfaction of seeing many a family in ordinary circumstances…step out of the picture with more money than such family ever expected to see in the world,” Ross recalled. “Thinking of that fact is today one of my greatest pleasures.”
In 1929 an affluent man who had laughed at Ross six years earlier paid him $600,000 each for properties Ross himself had bought for $6,500.
In the meantime “height limit” skyscrapers were constructed, beginning with the Wilshire Tower Building in 1927. The E. Clemm Wilson and Dominguez buildings would follow, but the trend was for smaller buildings with ample parking behind the businesses. By 1938 Ross’ $100 front foot was valued as high as $3,500.
Dystopias, saving $ in summer, and how unlucky is Friday the 13th?
Those Big Brother posters from 1984 really would work. Researchers show that even the illusion of being observed – even by a poster with eyes on it – makes people more honest. At least in England…
Speaking of dystopia: The rise of e-Readers is impacting more than just the publishing industry. Crain’s Chicago Business reports that built-in bookshelves in homes are passe. More and more owners are ripping them out or dry-walling them over in favor of flat screen TVs.
Rounding out our theme of nightmare realms: Thought all your friends playing Farmville was annoying? Try Gagaville, launching next week. Yes, THAT Gaga.
Appolicious is a directory of free and paid apps on many subjects—health, finance, games, music and travel to name a few. ABC 7 Chicago has highlighted a few of its navigation and driving apps in a recent story.
Summer heat is a mastermind at emptying our wallets. In today’s economy, many families cannot afford large rises in their monthly bills. How can you keep energy costs low this Summer?
Are accidents more likely to happen on Friday the 13th? How about if there’s also a full moon and a lunar eclipse? Slate revisits a classic Atul Gawande Medical Examiner column from 1998.
Be careful out there!
Millennial Bosses, Mother’s Day, and Earning Cents Using Facebook
With a slumping economy, several years of a less-than-stellar stock market, and a desire to be active, Boomers are serving in the workforce longer than previous generations. The result? Greater numbers working for younger bosses. Fortune has an interesting article on how this reversed generational dynamic can work.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition released its annual Out of Reach Report for 2011 on the state of the nation’s rental markets. Where is it most expensive to rent overall? And as compared to income? No real surprises that San Francisco comes out on top with 5 Bay Area counties leading the pack.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 8th. While considering gift options, here’s a list of Mother’s Day gifts to avoid.
The latest scoop on Facebook? Earn cents for viewing ads. And, in case you’re having trouble keeping pace with Facebook’s ever growing list of “enhancements,” we provide a courtesy reminder to check that you’ve updated your security and news feed settings.
If you’re looking to provide relief to the Alabama tornado victims, donations are being accepted through the Alabama Association of REALTORS® Disaster Relief Fund.