ActiveRain has been sold
The backstory is ActiveRain has officially been sold. Jonathan Washburn, co-founder and former (ousted according to sources) CEO of ActiveRain wrote on his blog on ActiveRain “Six amazing years after creating ActiveRain I’ve stepped down as ActiveRain CEO and I’m now focusing 100% of my business efforts on revolutionizing the daily deals industry through the DailyTicket community.” Control is now back in the hands of Market Leader, Inc. where former consultant, now CEO Nikesh Parekh has taken over the community, all of which has been happening in what seems slow motion for quite some time.
Latest development: AG was tipped early this morning to a blog post where Jorgen Hahn, former CTO, VP, Product Development opines:
A $60,000 Eulogy for ActiveRain
“Welcome dearly beloved, friends, and family. We are gathered here today to honor the memory of ActiveRain, taken from us before her time.
I haven’t known ActiveRain as long as many of you. We were introduced through a mutual friend early in 2008. Full of laughter and grace, I couldn’t help but fall in love, and committed myself fully to her free spirit during that perfect Washington summer.
Some are born to do great things. ActiveRain didn’t just provide a forum for real estate professionals and consumers; she fostered friendships and forged enduring connections that will last long after we’ve left this burial plot and her name is little more than a faded memory.
She didn’t talk much about the cancer. Jon cared for her tirelessly and believed, even until the bitter end, that he could save her. But ducem mercatum is an insidious disease and knows no cure.
Her grace under pressure should serve as an inspiration to all. After learning that Matt and James, once counted among her dearest friends, had sold her out to ducem mercatum for 30 pieces of silver, she simply smiled. No complaints or bitter recriminations accompanied the news of her now-certain death. When Jon was stripped of his power of attorney (née chairman of the board seat), leaving her adrift and under the care of “new management”, she offered no protest. And when death finally arrived, she passed secure in the knowledge that she had made a difference in the world.
A wealth of journals filled with wonderful memories still line her shelves. I know that she would want you to keep your writing alive, and encourage you to collect your belongings before the house is sold or razed.
Why the $60,000 eulogy? That’s the blood money her new caretakers offered me to reanimate her lifeless cadaver. I choose instead to remember her as she was on that summer day when we first met, full of life and ready to set the world on fire.
We will always love you, ActiveRain. Rest in peace.
Jorgen Hahn, former CTO, VP, Product Development, ActiveRain”
From Ian Morris, Market Leader, Inc.
“All of us at Market Leader are very excited to be broadening our already strong relationship with ActiveRain. As a company that is 100% dedicated to the success of real estate professionals, we share a common bond with ActiveRain, and are big supporters of the company and its community. As such, when two of ActiveRain’s early employees decided that it was time for them to cash out their stake in the business, we were happy strengthen our relationship and investment in the company.”
This quiet transition is now out of the bag and users are looking for reassurances and questioning why the warning from the former ActiveRain CTO, and what now, and in the future.
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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