The President’s latest housing program, creative open houses, and murphy beds ?!
Researchers have found that relocating people out of poor neighborhoods can be as effective as drugs in reducing their chances of becoming overweight and developing diabetes.
The federal government’s expansion of a mortgage refinancing program could reduce the monthly payments of up to one million homeowners, but analysts said the modest scope of the plan means it will probably do little to heal the housing market or help the broader economy.
Competition for qualified buyers is fierce. So agents are staging mini-circuses, serving free drinks, offering massages and raffling off Botox treatments to draw guests to open houses. Are you employing new, creative means to get clients to open houses?
There are apps for everything these days. The latest trend is apps that let you rent out your stuff – bikes, cars, rooms and even (yuck) your toilet.
We here in Information Central we always enjoy a good research report. The New York Times summarizes the Congressional Budget Office’s October 2011 report Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007.
If you thought the much-mocked murphy bed went away sometime around the end of “I Love Lucy”, think again. The Wall Street Journal reports on a resurgence of interest in this space saver.
Did you know that the punctuation mark expressing surprise and shock “?!” has a name? It’s called the Interrobang (what a bad name) and was coined in the early 1960s. For a while it was so popular that Remington typewriters came with it. The New Yorker revisits the interrobang and provides a link to a quiz on other less well-known punctuation marks.
Halloween is just around the corner, which means soon the streets will be filled with costumed kids looking for treats, and teenagers looking to deal out a few tricks. If you’d like to spare your home the wrath of teenage pranksters this Halloween, or just keep your property vandal-free all year long, follow these important to tips.
And finally, a bit of library humor (yes, there is such a thing) from the classic British comedy The Two Ronnies. If the youtube video doesn’t display below, here’s a link.
Housing declines dragging down broader economy, visas for int’l buyers, and why you might suck at twitter
The New York Times had an article that diagnoses our national economic gloom to be a result of falling housing prices. The story cites a 2007 CBO review that calculates that:
people reduce spending by $20 to $70 a year for every $1,000 decline in the value of their home. This “wealth effect” is significantly larger for changes in home equity than in the value of other investments, such as stocks, apparently because people regard changes in housing prices as more likely to endure.
In these belt-tightening times, money from a permit to drill for natural gas on your property would sure be welcomed by most. But before you sign, realize that it could cause you to default on your mortgage. Banks are beginning to scrutinize these leases, wondering if at the end they are going to be stuck with a toxic waste site that they can’t sell.
More on a story from last week’s WWR blog entry: two Senators are preparing to introduce a bill that would give residence visas to foreigners who spend at least $500,000 to buy houses in the U.S. Overseas buyers spent $82 billion buying up U.S. homes in the 12 months ended in March, up 24 percent from a year earlier.
Gmail is getting a new look.
First Class mail goes up by a penny on January 22 to $0.45.
Social Media expert Chris Smith offered a Twitter webinar this week with enlightening and useful take-aways on how to improve one’s Twitter presence. Jeff Turner shares a nice write-up of the event and gives reasons why you might suck at twitter.
New iPhone 4S on sale, some customers notice yellow tint to screen.
2015 House Trends, Retirement visas, iPhone carrier pricing and Household cleaning tips
If you had asked someone in the 1960s what the home of 2015 would look like, chances are they imagined something akin to The Jetsons’ home complete with Rosie the Robot and other space-age appliances that dressed and fed the family. But, rather than space-age technology, the biggest thing that is expected to change in future single-family homes is the size.
Florida’s property professionals believe that passing a retirement visa programme for overseas real estate buyers could generate 300,000 new jobs as well as bring new money into the Sunshine state’s housing market.
A builder in Montana is constructing a home made entirely of American products – nails, wood, bathtub, the works. It’s been challenging, but not as expensive as you might imagine.
Confused about iPhone plans from the various carriers? Who’s cheapest? It’s not as easy as that, of course. CNN Money tries to untangle the options in iPhone carrier pricing.
Cleaning the home is certainly a chore. Yahoo has guidance on how to keep it under control. The take away: incorporate daily cleaning tasks into your routine to make those big every-so-often major sweeps less major. Yahoo has another article this week on simple solutions to modern problems. How do you get stains out of tupperware? remove white rings from tables? clean a smelly coffeemaker?
iPhone 4s, deductions for the self-employed, and Caribbean invaders
Apple launches new phone, world says ho-hum. The most hyped feature is SIRI, the new voice recognition software some have dubbed a virtual assistant. On launch it will understand English, French and German, but not Spanish. Some good news: for those who use (or are willing to switch) to Sprint you can get unlimited data. If you still have a 3GS and want to upgrade, here’s a chart showing what’s different between 4 and 4S. And if you need to free up a bit of cash for that new toy, here’s how to sell your old iPhone from Smart Money. The bad news: you’re not going to get as much now. RIP SJ.
Fox News gives some tips for deducting business trips and expenses for the self-employed.
The Washington Post has an article on how one partial solution to our trade imbalance is to import more tourists. International visitors to the US spent a remarkable $87 billion last year, all of which counts as export once they leave for home. In order to increase that figure, the State Department is trying to hand out tourist visas faster while another group is developing the first ever advertising campaign to woo visitors from overseas. While all this is great, it’s still kind of depressing.
Unemployment isn’t sky high everywhere. North Dakota is going through an oil boom and jobs are relatively plentiful. The result? A housing boom and traffic jams:
If you have a license and no criminal record, you can get a six-figure trucking job almost overnight. Real-estate construction is almost as frenzied as the oil drilling, and there’s a huge business in housing the workers. The business is sometimes referred to as providing “man camps,” although some women stay there, too. It’s a lot like most people would think: trailers in rows, with workers sleeping in simple single rooms or bunking with others.
Yahoo continues its monthly series of what’s on sale in October: winter clothes, sports goods, apples, holiday crap, and Europe.
If you thought fire ants were bad, watch out for Caribbean hairy crazy ants. They’re spreading from Texas to Florida.
Nathaniel Branden is a psychotherapist and world renowned author of several books dealing with the psychology of self-esteem. Written in 1972 The Disowned Self is about self-alienation and how it affects the individual.
“The problem of obliviousness to self, the causes and consequences of such obliviousness, and its treatment psychotherapeutically—is the central theme of this book.” writes Branden.
According to Branden, self-obliviousness, or self-alienation, is a condition of being out of contact with one’s feelings due to repressed childhood issues. Man wishes to avoid his inner experience because it’s too painful to acknowledge. As a result of this repression, the individual becomes oblivious to his actual self, and his life becomes a role he has adopted, rather than his true self. Branden calls this condition “the disowned self”.
In his sessions with patients, one of the techniques Branden employs is a sentence completion exercise. The exercise guides the patients to emotions that they’ve repressed, in order to expose their disowned selves. He takes the reader through several patient sessions using this technique, and discusses the outcomes.
Branden also asserts that there is a distinct tie between mental health and self-esteem. Based on that assertion, one might assume that stronger mental health leads to greater self-esteem and greater successes in life. By releasing buried problems, one also releases unrealized potential for personal achievement and growth.
On a personal note, I found the book to be immensely insightful. Doing the sentence completion exercise was particularly enlightening and gave me a few surprises into my own feelings. Although somewhat densely written, The Disowned Self is definitely worth reading.