66 Cities to Buy a Home In Now

According to MSN, there are 66 cities where it makes sense to buy a home in right now, and 34 cities where it might be better to rent. Of course, it’s all speculation, especially in the local markets I am familiar with, and they don’t take into account some important aspects of home ownership, like the tax breaks and simple pride of ownership.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to rent again, unless I was transient or uncertain of my ability to pay my mortgage.

Four of the top five cities (McAllen, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas) are in Texas.

Texas has (relatively) low home prices and something elase that people need to consider heavily- great sports franchises- these are two of the most important factors when considering where to buy. If you pay less for a great home and have great sports team to watch live- things will work out.

Plus, great sports teams usually means great sports bars, and really, isn’t that the most important factor in making a great city?

Maybe, or maybe not, but I think we can all agree on at least one thing- the Colts will win the Superbowl this year- go Colts!


More Accusations Against Trulia- Now Cloaking?

Trulia has been caught in some allegations recently that question the integrity of the company, and imply that Trulia is involved in some shady practices that help it’s own site at the expensive of the agent/brokers/partners who work with it. Most of the accusactions have to do no-follow links (temporary 302 redirects) that give Trulia links, but prevent links going back to the “partners” it works with, so it can cause it’s own site ranking to go up and hurt the ranking of the partner sites.

Now, accusations of cloaking, or displaying different content to web visitors and search engines to gain one-way inbound links to it’s own site, while looking like it is giving content to partner sites. Obviously, if true, this would further erode the confidence agents and brokers have in the website.

Trulia’s PR machine will most likely be in high gear again, so look for explanations to come from their side soon.

I like Trulia, mostly because they are doing new things and bringing new things into the industry. But I also believe agents/brokers need to build their own online identity and brand themselves, not a third-party listing aggregation website (Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, etc).

Utah Government Workers Move to a Four Day Workweek


Utah Moves to a Four Day Work Week

Utah Moves to a Four Day Work Week

Beginning in August, Utah state employees will begin workweeks of Monday-Thursday 7am-6pm, instead of 8am-5pm, and have Fridays off. The radical new move will result in some frustration for some finding new daycare arangements and such, but will save millions of dollars in energy costs and will reduce traffic congestion.

The order issued by Gov. Jon Huntsman will affect about 17,000 out of 24,000 executive-branch employees. It will not cover state police officers, prison guards or employees of the courts or Utah’s public universities. Also, state-run liquor stores will stay open on Fridays.

Lisa Roskelley, the Governor’s spokesperson, says turning off the lights, heat and air conditioning on Fridays in 1,000 of 3,000 government buildings will save about $3 million a year from a state budget of $11 Million.

That is huge.

The Department of Environmental Quality estimated employees in six buildings alone will save themselves more than $300,000 spent on gas to commute to work.

There are benefits for the environment as well. “We feel like we can reduce the CO2 or the ozone by around over 3,000 metric tons, as well as have an impact on our air pollution,” said Kim Hood, executive director of the Department of Administrative Services.


Salt Lake City Traffic

Salt Lake City Traffic

In addition, having 17,000-24,000 people each day changing their commute times and not commuting on Friday’s will reduce traffic congestion (although Salt lake City is already the second-best commute and has the lowest rate of alcohol-related fatalities in the nation), and, by extension, traffic accidents during commute times.

This is a bold move that shows true leadership from the Governor who already enjoys approval ratings of 88 percent.

See Governor interview transcript from Fox News.