Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

very-merry-christmas

“The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C.  This wasn’t for any religious reasons.  They couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin.”

Jay Leno

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The Most Digital Cities in the Country

most-digital-cities-technology-real-estate

Government Technology released this month its annual Digital Cities report naming the cities in the nation that are the most “connected” to the populace. Some familiar cities made the list again this year (Aurora, Colorado and Lincoln, Nebraska both topped their categories last year as well.)

The first-place winners in each of the four population categories are:
• Aurora, Colo. (250,000 or more population)
• Lincoln, Neb. (125,000 – 249,999 population)
• Roanoke, Va. (75,000 – 124,999 population)
• Lynchburg, Va. (30,000 – 74,999 population)

Tuscan and Mesa, Arizona both made the top ten in the 250,000+ category and Salt lake City, Utah came in second in the 125,000-249,999 category.

The states with the most cities making the list are Virginia (nine), Florida (eight) and Colorado (seven).

According to the survey, “Cities are incorporating newer technologies such as Webcasting, podcasts and blogs while continuing to use IT to enhance delivery options for citizens and businesses.”

Top Ten Suburbs to Sell A Home

best-markets-to-sell-a-home

MSN today posted an article about a Forbes.com article that lists the Top Ten Suburbs to Sell a Home right now. To make the determination of which cities were the top, they took data from Altos Research. They took suburbs in the country’s 75 largest Census-defined metro areas based on the last 90 days of sales activity, then narrowed it to those cities with an inventory of at least 75 homes on the market.

They then eliminated suburbs where it currently takes more than 125 days to sell the average home and eliminated any suburb where year-over-year price declines were steeper than 10% or where more than 50% of sellers had reduced their asking price to sell their home.

Cities that make the cut include;

10. Montclair, N.J.

Location: 13 miles west of New York City

9. Waltham, Mass.

Location: 26 miles west of Boston

8. Encinitas, Calif.

Location: 28 miles north of San Diego

7. Matthews, N.C.

Location: 12 miles southeast of Charlotte

6. Midvale, Utah

Location: 13 miles south of Salt Lake City

5. Sugar Land, Texas

Location: 20 miles southwest of Houston

4. Kennesaw, Ga.

Location: 28 miles northwest of Atlanta

3. Venice, Calif.

Location: 16 miles west of Los Angeles

2. Bedford, Texas

Location: 22 miles west of Dallas

1. Berkeley, Calif.

Location: 14 miles northeast of San Francisco

The article says what was left wasn’t a set of awe-inspiring hidden gems where sellers are awash in bidding wars. Nationwide, low-interest rates and low prices caused existing home sales to rise 5.5% in September, but in many areas of the country, sellers are finding relatively few buyers. But, “If you have to sell a house, sell in these places,” says Michael Simonsen, chief executive of Altos Research.

Top Ten Healthiest States

Healthiest States in the Nation

Vermont is the healthiest state in the nation for the second straight year, according to MSN. According to the report, Vermont scores high with these stats;

 

Prevalence of Obesity (percent of population): 6

Air Pollution (micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter): 10

Lack of Health Insurance (percent without health insurance): 10

Immunization Coverage (percent of children ages 19 to 35 months): 29

Primary Care Physicians (number per 100,000 population): 5

Poor Mental Health Days (days in previous 30 days): 14

Cardiovascular Deaths (deaths per 100,000 population): 10

Cancer Deaths (deaths per 100,000 population): 13

 

The rest of the top ten are;

2- Hawaii

3- New Hampshire

4- Minnesota

5- Utah

6- Massachusetts

7- Connecticut

8- Idaho

9- Maine

10- Washington 

The unhealthiest state honor goes to Louisiana– Georgia, Nevada, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Mississippi didn’t look so good either, being at the bottom of the list.

How the Real Estate Industry Could Destroy the World

real-estate-industry-destroying-the-world

I’ve done some thinking research into what happened to the dinosaurs. How did such a powerful and broad range of species become extinct? Was it a crater slamming into the Earth? Or a volcano eruption that blacked out the skies?

No, it was neither- but something far worse and much, much more dramatic…

And today we are facing the beginning of a similar fate and it is being brought on by the real estate industry!

I attended a couple of closings this week at title companies different from the one I am used to using and I noticed, well, actually remembered, how thick every file is when we are done closing a transaction. The title company has a file of paper about an inch and a half thick, the client gets a copy of all of that so theirs is the same, the agent has a file that might be a half inch thick and the broker has a file that is the same. Then the mortgage company has their file, and the inspection company prints a freaking book report for the buyer, and the appraiser does their report.

Now factor in the “Just Listed” cards and “Just Sold” cards, the home warranty postcards and all the print marketing that it took to get and sell the listing.

Now, figure the gas it took to drive buyers around, the oil and other lubricants, liquids and air conditioning “goo” from every car.

There are millions of homes sold every year- Think of the carbon footprint we, as an industry, are leaving because of our work.

real-estate-recycle

We all need to do our part to pressure title companies to give copies of the transaction via email, lenders to allow digital signatures on everything, and encourage buyers to do as much home searching online as possible.

If we continue, we will kill all of our trees and all of the atmosphere resulting in extreme weather and lack of oxygen which will kill us all dead. Completely, all the way dead. And not a quick, painless death, but our skin will melt away slowly and we will become ill with disease and vomit and bleed from our eyes and it will be horribly painful.

Sure, someone could make a documentary about it all and probably make a lot of money but they would be dead too so they won’t be able to enjoy it.

And now you know- that is how the dinosaurs died. The plant-eaters ate all the trees and had no more to eat so they died and then the carnivores had to eat each other and their cars were putting out exhaust and burning the gas and it killed the atmosphere and they all died.

I know because I was there…

but-seriously-now

Let’s all do our part to print a little less, give copies of documents in emails, and drive less by providing good virtual tours and just encourage each other to think about our carbon footprint as an industry.