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75 percent of Realtors do not have benefits through their brokerage



No benefits

It’s no surprise that most Realtors do not receive benefits through their real estate firm, but one in four Realtors actually do, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Although some are outraged at this statistic, it should be noted that many Realtors receive benefits through their spouse or partner’s benefit package from their non-Realtor employer.

When people hear the word “benefits,” what often comes to mind is retirement funds or 401k accounts, but today we’d like to focus on health insurance in the era of Obama health care, legislation that the NAR ended up neither supporting or opposing.

The lack of an official position by NAR dates back some time, but in 2009, they outlined how the health care bill could be improved including making sure the guidelines for coverage were less subjective, and allowing for insurance to be carried across state lines which would make insurance rates affordable for the self employed (aka Realtors). But NAR’s suggestions didn’t exactly catch the President’s attention.

How can Realtors get insurance?

Insurance is costly. Extremely costly, especially when going it alone. Some brokerages don’t offer full benefits but do offer health insurance, but most do not. NAR has offered Realtor Core Health Insurance for a while and has recently added Realtors Dental Insurance.

Many Realtors have health afflictions ranging from cancer to cardiovascular problems and the self pay program can drain finances. Most doctors in this down economy will make payment arrangements and if asked will honor Medicare prices, but we are hearing more and more that Realtors simply aren’t treating their health issues. Some are waiting for Obama care to kick in, but others don’t believe that it ever will and are being proactive.

How do YOU receive benefits?

With 75% of Realtors receiving no benefits, some are taking advantage of NAR plans/discounts, others rely on a spouse, while others are paying for their health care out of pocket.

Some believe opening state lines would make private insurance competitive and affordable and that tort reform would lower costs for medical practitioners thus consumers, while others maintain that government health care is the best option. Tell us in comments which path you have chosen and what options you wish you had.

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  1. Ben Fisher

    June 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Or marry a girl who works at Starbucks 🙂

  2. Arn Cenedella

    June 2, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    I am surprised even 25% receive benefits. I pay 100% of my health insurance cost, about $4500 a year high deductible plan just for me. Let's not forget 13.4% for self employment tax – both sides of social security payment – employer share and employee share.

  3. Linda Iwaiw

    June 3, 2011 at 7:11 am

    I've checked into this. It is very expensive and it covers very little. $300 a month for a MAXIMUM of $1500. Your are better off NOT having insurance and saving the $3600 a year. Another 'Let's make the INSURANCE company RICHER' program. We need MEDICARE for all. Everyone has to pay into it based on their income. All employers have to pay in for each employee. When you hit 70 don't have to pay anymore. If all the hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars of insurance company profits went directly into paying doctors, hospitals, etc. we would have a better system.

  4. Foreclosures

    June 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    and everyone thinks real estate agent got everything and want discounts when they buy a home thru one LOL

  5. Short Sale Queen

    June 9, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I have been watching the Insurance programs for years-comparing my Insurance, (Anthem Blue Cross) with anything and everything the NAR can offer me as an Independent Contractor. No dice. They charge too much for too little. Why not have an umbrella Insurance program that works for Agents? It is already so costly to be a about a little help?

  6. stephanie crawford

    June 10, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I have good insurance that I pay for myself through Farm Bureau & Blue Cross. I've had the plan in place since I was 25 years old and that is the only reason it remains affordable at 33. I can never leave it. If I ever left and tried to come back, the fees would likely triple… I am hopeful to see a national plan in my lifetime.

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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, 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.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

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.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

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.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

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.



zillow move

zillow move

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,, 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’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

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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