People do strange things, and open houses seem to encourage a whole bag of crazy. Over the past few months, I have gathered a few choice stories from my beleaguered colleagues – incidents which are too funny not to share. Yes, truth is stranger than fiction, so after every tale, I have added my martini-inspired suggestions for book titles. (I’m holding out for more money before I offer up any film titles. Everyone please call Benn and Lani and tell them to wire big bucks into my account in the Caymans. Operators are standing by for your calls.)
Is There a Bouncer in the House?
The gnarly guy who sat down in a chair at an open house, removed his sock, and cleaned the toe jam and lint from between his hairy toes. (Eee-yew and Pee-yew.)
The lady with the designer dog in her designer bag who bent over and dropped the critter into the designer bidet then ran through the house screaming, “Buddy almost went into the light – someone’s going to get sued!” (Flash, Splash and Dash for Cash)
The guy who told his two bratty, precocious kids to go sit in the car while he previewed a house in the Valley, and “don’t try to hot wire the engine this time.” (The Case For Ignition Prohibition – Part II)
The unkempt young couple that was thrown out of an open house for warming their feet in the hot tub while swapping copious amounts of spit. (Bubble Trouble Besets Uncouth Youth.)
The aging “dancer” in an outfit smaller than a kleenex who was trying to pick up men at a Hollywood open house buffet…while repeatedly sneezing all over the food. (Tease, Sleeze, Sneeze and Disease)
The two agents who ran into each other at an open house in Manhattan Beach, and then proceded to get into a loud fight over a sour deal while their current clients watched in horror. (The Case of Procuring Claws.)
Cue the Circus Music!
The man who backed up too far and fell down a hillside in Encino while his loving children doubled over with laughter. (Papa Was a Rolling Stone…)
The old man seen filling a bag with Open House hors d’oeuvres and then shoving the bag through a window to his companion – a blue-haired lady who was shorter than a table lamp. (Guess Who’s Copping Yo’ Dinner.)
The embarrassed seller who was caught flipping pancakes – in the nude – when the young female agent arrived to deliver disclosures docs. (Gidget and The Scarlet Flippernel)
The prospective buyer who was found asleep at a desk in the seller’s home, with his shoes kicked off and his head slumped over the keyboard. (Memoirs of a Slacker Hacker.)
The woman with a flying saucer hat who carried on an belligerent conversation – with herself – while touring a home in Sherman Oaks (The Tales of an Uncivil Sybil.)
Class, my A_ _!
The well-dressed woman caught stealing Marc Jacobs perfume from a bathroom in Los Feliz. (The Ritz Ditz Who Spritzed.)
The inebriated agent who bent over to retrieve her deviled egg and tumbled into the bushes at a home near CBS Studios. (The Ripped Dip Who Slipped.)
The agent and her young “escort” who were guilty of some PDA at an open house in Beverly Hills. (An Aging Honey with Money and a Hot Sonny.)
Two prospective buyers at a open house who got into a row when one accused the other of having an affair with his wife. The cuckholded cry baby coldcocked the cad on the front lawn. (The Adventures of David Clobberfield)
This One Is Really For the Books
The old woman in coat and a night gown who was caught tucking silverware into her support stockings while munching on pretzels.
(Poor Grammers Went to the Slammers in her Jammers.)
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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