The mortgage interest deduction has been cited recently as an easy candidate for elimination in tax reform proposals. But the Joint Committee on Taxation – Congress’ top technical resource on all tax law matters – says MID’s impact on the budget is less than previously thought due to lower interest rates and lower home prices.
Everybody loves a bargain, but when do you know you’re getting the best price? Obviously you can time season items (lawn furniture in September, for example), but what about TVs and laptops? Do they have a season? According to Lifehacker they do. The website put together a timeline of the best time to buy anything in 2011. So now you know to buy your boat in March and your jeans in October. Here’s the list for March:
- Luggage: Halfway between buying seasons, stores eager to move.
- Frozen foods: Goofy, but it’s “National Frozen Food Month.” And you can buy and freeze.
- Winter coats & sports gear: Winter fun season is coming to an end. Where to find end-of-season goods? Try commenters’ suggestions.
- Boats: It’s the end of boat show season; you’ve got the upper hand.
Epicurious came out with something similar last year to help you figure out seasonal fruits and vegetables by state and month.
Gmail launched its Priority Email service last summer to the delight of power users and the sorrow of e-marketeers. Having trouble reaching your gmail clients since then? Looking for some guidance on getting better results? Check out Mashable‘s Optimize E-mail Marketing for Gmail’s Priority Inbox.
Roughly two thirds of American teenagers are comfortable enough with their parents to have them as Facebook friends, according to a new study.
Already popular in Europe and elsewhere, CNN Money recently reported on the rising trend of using your mobile phone as a credit card replacement. Starbucks recently launched a program nationwide that allows baristas to scan your phone to pay for your latte with it’s app. Right now PayPal is the dominant player in the US, but mobile pay competitors are gearing up. It’s already a $69 billion market worldwide and is expected to grow 10-fold in just 5 years.
No one says The Journal of Real Estate Literature is a light read, but a paper in the most recent volume examined the relationship between the willingness of real estate agents to embrace technology and success [links to ProQuest version, available for free to NAR members]. Cutting to the chase:
Although a real estate agent’s ability to maintain a ‘personal touch’ with customers and connect his/her services with the customer’s specific needs remains as one of the important factors determining his/her performance, adoption of innovative technologies such as podcasts, live open houses, webcasts, and electronic mail that enhance communication and improve an agent’s effectiveness will be essential for their continued success. The findings of this study indicate that early adopters of emerging technologies, such as the use of email marketing, tend to perform better than non adopters. Therefore, real estate agents should be encouraged to retool themselves to adopt new and emerging technologies that are likely to enhance their communication abilities.
In the wake of the shooting in Arizona, people are once again looking at balancing rights of gun owners with the need for safety and control. In the most recent Pew Research Center Poll, the country was pretty evenly split. Is that headed for a change?
The Social Security program will be tweaked in several important ways in 2011. Workers will get a temporary tax break on the amount they pay into the entitlement program, and several claiming options for retirees will be eliminated. USNews takes a look at 4 Social Security Changes Coming in 2011.