Housing & the recovery, tweeting, and real estate advice from Vanilla Ice
The collapse in housing construction was caused by overactive building, right? Only partly. While single-family construction soared during the boom, multi-family construction remained relatively stable before falling even further with the downturn. The Atlantic looks at current household formation statistics, population growth, and construction data and postulates that a housing construction boom may just be around the corner.
NPR posts three interactive maps on foreclosure, unemployment and household income using current data that can be drilled down to the county level. And on Friday, NPR’s Morning Edition ran an interesting piece on shadow inventory, foreclosed properties or properties in the foreclosure pipeline that will further impact the recovery for several years.
Post tweets with hot hash tags and you might find yourself being followed by twitter bots, programs that automatically follow real users based on keywords. Wired discusses what to do if you’re followed by bots (hint: don’t follow back).
The family that tweets together, goes a bit bonkers together. Says the son: “I try to refrain from reading [mom's] blog because then we don’t have anything to talk about.”
Libraries are getting short-changed in the Great Recession. While it’s easy to cut their funding, libraries serve a valuable role in connecting people to jobs, improving schools and helping to build community. Support your local library!
If you can stand all the pop-up ads, Time has an interesting collection of photos from a behind-the-scenes book on the filming of Jaws.
Just in time for the summer music festival season: a shirt that charges your mobile phone based on sound.
International real estate buyers snapped up an estimated $41 billion in real estate in the US last year. With the recent downturn in home prices, the US is becoming a more and more popular location for overseas buyers looking for investment or even just a second home. Trulia recently released a study on their Trulia Insights blog that examined just where international buyers were shopping and the results are interesting. While no one should be surprised that Florida towns make up 10 of the top 24 cities for international searches, individual results by buyer country showed some interesting results (Click on the image at the top of the blog post for a full interactive list of country and city pairs). For example, Detroit was the fifth most popular city for buyers from Australia. People from the UK were most interested in a Los Angeles address, while San Antonio was most searched by visitors from Mexico.
Prefer to focus on where domestic buyers are coming from or where you might get referrals? NAR provides relocation reports based on government data. These multi-page PDF reports are available for free to members (so what have you got to lose?) thru the NAR store and go down the county level. These reports cover domestic buyers by county and represent actual purchasers, not just window shoppers.
Listing mistakes, saying ‘no’ at work, and who moved my alarm clock to the bathroom?!
Today consumers have more information than ever when looking to buy a house. Sites like realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow all provide easy access to listings from all over the country. It’s no wonder than 9 out of 10 home buyers start their search online themselves. However, while people have become accustomed to looking at online dating profiles with a grain of salt, the home shopping experience is infrequent enough that people tend to believe what is presented. As SmartMoney points out, online listings suffer from misinformation too. Only once they take that next step do they find out the elegant house with a white picket fence is actually next to a dump or was sold months ago.
With so much doom and gloom everywhere, US News decided to point out 5 Good News Items for the US Economy.
Say goodbye to most of your incandescent light bulbs. Other than some specialty lights that are exempt, most lights will switch over to other more efficient technologies by 2015 when new rules take effect. Already we’re seeing a switch to compact-fluorescent with new cheaper LEDs expected to replace those eventually. The Wall Street Journal via Yahoo! tells why it should be a smooth transition to more efficient lights.
Saying ‘no’ to a new opportunity at work can be a challenge. We want to appear to be team players and to be willing to take on any task thrown at us. However, taking on too much has its downside too. It just takes a couple of mistakes or missed deadlines for you to be labeled ‘unreliable’. So sometimes the best strategy is to say no. But how do you do that so you come out ahead? Forbes explores how to say no, but still get ahead.
Everyone’s on a tighter schedule these days. Rush here, rush there, how will I ever make time for xyz? Yahoo! has some sneaky time saving tips. Especially good: reroute your commute to avoid left turns and move the alarm clock to the bathroom. You’ll have to get up to turn it off, and hey, the shower’s right there…
Homeownership is still part of the American Dream
A poll to be released next week shows support for homeownership remains across all political lines. Charlie Cook, writing in the National Journal, says the survey, conducted on behalf of the NAHB, found that 75 percent of voters believe “that owning a home is the best long-term investment they can make and is worth the risk of ups and downs in the housing market.”
Fred Mann of the Wichita Eagle give advice about safety procedures during a tornado. Basic guideline include stay away from all windows, move to the lowest level or a center hallway, stay in your car with your seatbelt on if you are on the road and much more.
If you’ve traveled in Europe in the last few years, you might have noticed your credit card doesn’t always work. Europe (and most of the rest of the world) have moved to a ‘chip and PIN‘ system for credit cards while the US still relies on that magnetic strip on the back. NPR reports on how this aging technology is resulting in rising credit card fraud.
Travel + Leisure reveals the best cities for burgers. While I’m happy Chicago made the list (at #6), even mentioning the Billy Goat Tavern in a list of the “ultimate American comfort food” should be a crime.
The list of the most-accessed Field Guides during the month of May was released today:
- Field Guide to Working with FSBOs
- Field Guide to License Reciprocity / License Recognition
- Field Guide to Listing & Selling Luxury Properties
- Field Guide to Business Etiquette When Working with other Cultures
- Field Guide to Vineyards & Wineries
- Field Guide to Marketing Tips for REALTORS®
- Field Guide to Auctions
- Field Guide to Effects of Low-Income Housing on Property Values
- Field Guide to Commercial Broker Lien Laws
- Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics