Big city revival, new Gmail, Millennial housing preferences, and man’s best friend
Big cities could be making a growth comeback after a rocky decade. Their growth rates are rising and, for the second year in a row, they are growing faster than their surrounding suburbs.
Is the smartphone the all-purpose Swiss Army knife of the future? Software developers offer August, adding one more utility to the smartphone: house key. Thanks to @paulmacko for sharing this article with us.
Google is ‘improving’ Gmail once again. You can now sort your inbox by tabbed category – personal, social, updates, etc. – so that you only see the type of email you want to deal with now. The rollout is supposed to be gradual, so if you don’t see anything different now, wait a bit. And for now, you can opt out of the upgrade if you don’t like it.
This week Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate released national survey findings of 18-35 year-old Americans that reveal the next generation of homeowners are rewriting the rules to homeownership and reinterpreting traditional norms to fit their values.
The process of home buying and selling invariably entails a move. BuzzFeed offers 33 great moving tips to smooth the transition.
Seems like the whole Midwest has had a week of storms, thunder and lightning. To keep up to speed on the go, check out these apps for coping with severe weather.
The passage of time as seen through photographs can sometimes feel haunting or sad, yet photographer Wilma Hurskainen captures this passage in a stunning, provocative, and mostly happy presentation. Take a look at the four sisters, side-by-side, as children and adults.
Man’s best friend? Last year dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all dollars paid out in homeowners insurance liability claims.
On a lighter dog-related note, if you’re still traumatized by Old Yeller and you didn’t even see the ending of I Am Legend because you ran out of the theater holding your ears. At this cool website, learn the fate of canine cast members BEFORE watching the film!
Winning friends in a digital age, green olympics, and learning to focus
Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” has been a popular title since it debuted in 1936. Millions of copies have been sold all around the world. We even have an audio version in our ebook collection for members that has proven very popular over the years, with downloads putting the title in the top 15% of checkouts. CBS News had a story recently on Carnegie’s enduring message of following the Golden Rule and how it has translated into the digital age.
The Olympic Opening Ceremonies are tonight in London. Don’t expect the over-the-top spectacle of Beijing, but it should still be a good show. And more sustainable to boot. The stadium has been designed to be partly dismantled at the end of the games to more easily be repurposed. So too the aquatic center by famed architect Zaha Hadid. Now if only the mascots weren’t quite so creepy.
America’s fastest growing city is…no surprise if you think about it.
Focusing on the job can sometimes be difficult. You have to remember to pick up the dry cleaning after work, drop off the kids at practice, oh, you need to book that restaurant reservation before you forget, didn’t Tom say he was going to post some pictures from your vacation together on Facebook? The list goes on and on. Distractions come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few tricks to minimize their impact, allowing you to get through your work in a reasonable amount of time.
China Daily reports on the latest automated advance in China – Beijing’s automatic library vending machines. You have to register your card for a $16 to get access. That seems kind of steep to me, but you can’t doubt the ease of checking out and returning might outweigh the cost.
What’s my password? How much is this condo worth? Where are my Thin Mints?!
By far the most frequently asked question asked by members is the ubiquitous ‘What’s my username and password?’ We cringe whenever we see that the answer is ‘password’ or ‘letmein’. Even if you have a little more complicated login, it’s not very hard for today’s powerful computers to worm their way into your system. Take a moment to review your passwords. Are all of them basically the same? If people got your realtor.org password would they have access to your bank account?
Warren Buffett says along with equities, single-family homes are a very attractive investment right now.
As an agent or broker, you know it’s important to ‘know your market’. Be up to speed on deals in the area, what places are selling for, what buyers are looking for, etc. But not only is it important to know all this, it’s important to let clients and potential clients know that you know. The New York Times has an interesting article on an amateur appraiser who turned his passion for pre-war apartments on the Upper West Side into a part time career as an agent. His social media posts, which started out as a hobby, have brought him business.
Would you prefer to live in a community where you had to drive everywhere for everything, or would you prefer to live in a community where you could walk, ride a bicycle, take public transportation, or drive to get to where you want to go? While you may prefer the latter, Congress is only funding the former. The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted on February 2 to eliminate funding for nonmotorized transportation (e.g., bike paths and sidewalks) from the federal transportation bill working its way through Congress.
Is ivy on your house a menace or a protector? According to Oxford University, ivy does not crack bricks and mortar, but does protect the building against airborne pollution, and creates a microclimate that shelters the building from freeze-thaw damage.
For a long stretch of the 20th century, Bell Labs was the most innovative scientific organization in the world. The New York Times has an interesting article highlighting their remarkable achievements. The accompanying timeline graph visually it out.
Companies are always trying to get employees to eat better and exercise. They know that healthy employees are happy employees and more productive employees. But how do you get those holdouts? ‘Gamification‘ – the process of using game thinking and game mechanics to engage audiences and solve problems - is the answer for some.
Are you desperate for a Thin Mint or a Tagalong but haven’t seen any Girl Scouts selling cookies in your neighborhood? Fortunately, the Girl Scouts have created a free Cookie Locator App to quench those cookie cravings and support a worthy organization at the same time. Thank god mine arrived today!
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.
Although we are still bouncing off the bottom of the residential real estate cycle, there will be a recovery at some point. Where will it come from and what will drive it? The Brookings Institute released a report recently exploring what might drive the next boom in real estate. Their answer: walkable cities.
While the decline in far flung suburban living has been on the decline at least since the spike in gas prices in the mid-2000s, they see that trend accelerating during the next real estate cycle due to Boomer demand for smaller, easier to manage living and the Millennial’s penchant for city living:
Their aspirations have been informed by Friends and Sex in the City, shows set in walkable urban places, as opposed to their parents’ mid-century imagery of Leave It to Beaver and Brady Bunch, set in the drivable suburbs. Not surprisingly, fully 77 percent of millennials plan to live in America’s urban cores. The largest group of millennials began graduating from college in 2009, and if this group rents for the typical three years, from 2013 to 2018 there will be more aspiring first-time homebuyers in the American marketplace than ever before—and only half say they will be looking for drivable suburban homes.
The report recommends a re-evaluation of both local and federal rules that drive traditional suburban sprawl development in favor of compact, mass-transit focused smart growth.
Looking for more information on Smart Growth and what it might mean to you? Check out NAR’s Government Affairs’ Smarth Growth webpage.