Appraising Wayne Manor, sales tax holidays, and the rise of meadows
If Bruce Wayne decided to sell Wayne Manor, what would it appraise for? According to Movoto via Wired Magazine, a little over $32 million. They base this on the size, land and location (assuming Gotham is really Chicago). Note that this appraisal doesn’t include the Bat Cave and other goodies owned by the Caped Crusader: one would assume that Batman would seal off the Bat Cave in case he decided to ever return. And with the way Hollywood is recycling movies, you know he’ll be back…
“Don’t get sick in July” is a popular refrain in some quarters. The theory goes that July is the month last year’s interns leave and a new batch starts in most hospitals, making it the month with the least-experienced crew on board. But is it true? Time reviews the “July Effect” and comes to the conclusion…maybe. They also give advice on how you can counter any effect, even if there really is none.
Seventeen states will have sales-tax holidays this year — and 12 will fall on the first weekend of August, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators. Georgia returns to the list of states offering tax breaks this year after canceling its sales-tax holiday in 2010 because of a budget deficit. See if your state is on the list here.
Green, manicured lawns are old school. Meadows have taken their place, says the Wall Street Journal. Meadows are a backlash against perfect lawns that use fertilizer, chemicals, lots of water and lots of energy. Landscape artists love them, but homeowners associations, not so much. Meadows can be a sore point with suburban homeowners associations, whose lawn codes often frown upon anything remotely weedy-looking. Meadows generally take about three years to be established, with the first year looking straggly and weedy. After more growth, you will need to mow only once a year.
A wrinkle-free approach to traveling. Hint: knits, wrinkle-resistant fabrics, rolling when packing, and wrapping in dry-cleaning bags can all help.
Lifehacker discusses clever ways Amazon can save you time and money. You can share your Prime Membership with four people and save on shipping costs, have valuable items shipped to a locker instead of waiting in the open on your front porch, and upgrade to a ebook after you have purchased a hardcopy book.
America is the land of the free—and that applies to many of the country’s star attractions as well. Make the most of your summer by visiting these famous spots around the United States; you won’t have to pay a penny to do it.
Foods fit for a president, marketing musings, and more…
With the recent Supreme Court ruling on the health care law and the 2012 election campaigning running in full gear, there are a lot of rumors going around with regards to tax and real estate. Get the facts straight here and on our health insurance reform web page. The Washington Post also published a succinct and informative article on this topic today.
For a marketing class we read Kotler Marketing Group’s Q&A on marketing. “Satisfy the unment needs of target markets” made us wonder: what unfulfilled needs of your prospects can you satisfy? Perhaps connecting them with an energy efficient mortgage or energy efficient tax credits.
Colleagues in our marketing class have also discussed the pros and cons of holding open houses and using print publications. The concensus? It all depends on your location, the readership of print publications in your area, the generation of buyers and sellers in your area, and what is necessary to provide assurance to your clients that you are working hard for them, espeically when much of what you do is behind the scenes; maybe your clients need something tactile to feel at ease with the process? Our readings for this class include Sales and Marketing 101 for Real Estate Professionals and Marketing Real Estate Properties: The Science and the Magic.
Realtor.com helps homebuyers prepare for the zombie apocalypse with their list of stronghold estates.
And for fun, we give you: foods fit for a president (what the presidents ate when not at official functions). The one thing in common for all, regardless of political party? Indulgent and unhealthy!
Tax day moved back (a bit), 3D cameras, and resolutions
The 2012 due date for personal income tax filings will be Tuesday, April 17, the IRS said, delaying the deadline for a weekend and a holiday observed by the District of Columbia.
Books vs eBooks: Does one have to win?
Clever math could enable a high-quality 3-D camera so simple, cheap and power-efficient that it could be incorporated into handheld devices.
All eyes were on Iowa this week (or at least those within the beltway). One thing they might have seen if they’d looked closely is a recovering farmland real estate market. The state’s farmland has reversed a four-year trend in the property market, with prices rising to match levels last seen around the 2007 peak.
Even at its recent sky-high prices, people are still attracted to gold. This WSJ video explores how the metal’s long history, and association with wealth and beauty, plays on our emotions.
Nearly half of us ring in the New Year with visions of a thinner, fitter year ahead. Unfortunately, a recent survey found, 35 percent of Americans break their resolutions by the end of January. The key to success, according to the American Council on Exercise, is to swap grandiose ambitions for a sweeping health overhaul for two or three smart, specific and attainable goals. That means making promises you can keep. Here’s a look at five of the most popular resolutions—plus tips for making them work.
And if your resolutions tend more toward the tech, CNN rolls out its social media resolutions for 2012.
You might have spent part of the holidays in a movie theater (I know I did). Just in case you forgot who was directing what, here’s Time’s humorous look at how to tell you’r watching a Spielberg movie.
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.
The return of flipping, post office for sale, and buying a piece of South Dakota
The Atlantic highlights the growing reality of the emergence of two housing markets: ‘nice’ homes and ‘ugly’ homes. Buyers are finding that homes with everything on their wish lists – airy family room, updated kitchen, bedroom on the first floor – aren’t selling at much of a discount even as overall prices decline. What’s holding down a housing recovery are the ugly homes with bad floor plans, outdated appliances and major problems. Lack of new construction and remodeling is only exacerbating the problem. If a big enough price differential emerges, the author asserts, we may see the return of the flippers.
The US Postal Service is considering closing over 3,600 post office branches (including one in a building Ben Franklin once owned). Check to see if any of your neighborhood branches are on the list here.
We’re always excited to crow about recognition in the family. So we’re happy to report our sister consumer site, houselogic.com recently one an Interactive Media Award for Outstanding Achievement in both the real estate and lifestyle categories. Good job everyone!
It’s back to school season (where did the summer go?!) and time for the annual sales tax holiday. How can states still afford this? Check to see if your state or a neighboring one is participating this year.
Scenic, South Dakota, might not have much — a dance hall, a jail and a handful of out-buildings. But it’s a town. And most of it could be yours for $799,000. CNN reports on how you can buy yourself a town.