Living with the ‘rents, sustainable design, and the economy joins us for lunch
Though the economy is showing signs of recovery, and housing inventory is down, many of us are still working with a tight budget. A Times economist offers some budgeting guidance on dining out. Speaking of recovery, we’ve noticed a lot of new construction in our downtown Chicago neighborhood, including this 1970s office building converted to green hotel. A $600/month eletricity bill for a 63 room hotel ain’t too shabby.
So you’ve moved back home since you can’t afford to buy a house. Are you killing the housing market? The Washington Post says “Yes.” What does this mean for the economy? “It has trimmed demand for housing.” However, looking at home ownership from a historical perspective, home ownerships rates appear to return to their historical norm.
Are you looking at confidential client information on your train or plane commutes? According to the New York Times, you may be inadvertently exposing sensitive client information–such as business deals, personnel issues, and clients list–to the general public. Data thieves target conferences, work commutes, and other public spaces to steal valuable competitive intelligence data.
We close out with a bow to Air Quality Week, a joint effort of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Though we all have our own opinions on the environment, we all breathe the same air and thus each have a stake in the need for high quality, clean air.
Foreclosure to rental, a new PC virus, and how dogs shaped humans
The burgeoning foreclosures-to-rental business could become a $100 billion industry as increasingly sizable investors infiltrate hard-hit markets from Florida to California to Arizona to the Midwest.
Internet access via a PC will cease for many due to a new Windows virus. Hackers recently discovered a Windows vulnerability, and seized the opportunity to infect over half a million PCs with their new virus. The FBI, in conjunction with a partner, set up a site to check your machine for infection and get a fix.
In these tough times a little bit of business etiquette can go a long way in making you stand out from the rabble. Time shares 5 rules to help refine your sense of propriety and decorum.
Before you pull out the mop and bottles of cleaning solution for your annual Spring cleaning, you might want to check the labels. Time reports that several popular brands contain toxic ingredients.
Man has domesticated and mutated dogs for centuries to suit our needs and whims, but an article in American Scientist reveals some scientists belief that dogs cause humans to evolve too. Humans are the only ape species to have a white part of the eye around the pupil as a default–perhaps a competitive advantage for early dog owning humans by allowing dogs to more quickly follow an owner’s gaze to help hunt prey.
Short sales on the rise, urbanization as the answer, and Samoa skips a day
The robo-signing scandal that slowed the foreclosure process to a crawl appears to have increased lender interest in short sales.
More than 50 percent of the world’s population now live in cities – and there is no end of urbanization in sight. As opposed to the conventional wisdom, Harvard economist Edward Glaeser believes urbanization to be a solution to many unanswered problems, such as pollution, depression and a lack of creativity.
Brazilians are becoming more and more important in the South Florida economy. The Brazilians’ money has helped resuscitate the real estate market in Miami. Foreigners account for more than half of all property sales in Miami, and condominium towers that once sat empty are quickly selling out.
Felix Salmon writes on his Reuters blog about the comparison between Sears and Apple stores. One is a glorious success, the other a slow dying dinosaur. The difference? Beyond having products that people crave, you can look at how the two companies invest in their retail spaces. It’s a stark contrast.
You haven’t even thrown the box away from your new iPad 2 yet, but the 3rd generation might be on its way sooner than expected. Inc. unwraps the details.
Perhaps not on-the-job, but after hours… an iPhone app helps Manhattan sip on spirits whilst charging the phone. We’re ready for such technology to grace the pubs of Chicago.
If you were planning to celebrate your Dec. 30th birthday in Samoa, forget it. The island nation is moving to the other side of the international date line this week and will go directly from thursday to saturday.
We have received a few inquiries in Information Central about foreclosure data. While the NAR does not collect or publish such data, we have a few resources to recommend. Let us know if you have any to add to this list!
This August 2011, the HUD launched a mapping tool that displays the geographic location of foreclosure properties owned by the FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.
Though this tool offers only an approximation based off data published by the Mortgage Bankers Association in 2007 and 2008, and from several federal agencies, it allows granular analysis of small areas and communities across the United States. Read the methodology paper to understand how the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) developed the data.
The MBA’s data is known to be reliable and allows granular research of mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures. The MBA offers a free map of delinquency rates by state. Other data, such as quarterly state foreclosure trends and totals, are available for purchase. Some public libraries may include MBA resources in their collections.
National Public Radio (NPR) has put together a visual representation of foreclosure, unemployment, and median household income rates by county, based off data from Realty Trac, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Nielsen Claritas.
Published as a part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 Statistical Abstract.
We offer field guides on a diversity of real estate topics in our Virtual Library. They provide an easy way to “get smart quick” on a topic, and are an excellent starting point for real estate research.
States Negotiate $26 Billion Agreement for Homeowners, (New York Times, Feb. 8, 2012).
Underwater homeowners become reluctant landlords, (Detroit Free Press, Jan. 1, 2012)
FHFA begins development of new REO pilot programs (HousingWire, Dec. 1, 2011)
Foreclosure Findings by State (Realty Trends, May 2011)
When Will REO Sales Finally Reach the Peak? (REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 18, 2011)
Foreclosures News from the New York Times (updated regularly)
Homeowner Associations in Need of Cash Sue to Force Foreclosures, (Bloomberg, Aug. 23, 2011)
Delinquencies Rise, Foreclosures Fall in the Second Quarter, (Mortgage Bankers Association, Aug. 22, 2011)
The Home Affordable Refinance Program: What You Need to Know, (Washington Post, Oct. 24, 2011)
If you came across this post looking for mortgage assistance, check out these government programs: