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America’s 60 Most Generous Donors Named- Four From Real Estate Industry



Slate’s 2009 Most Generous list released

kb today released its annual Slate 60 list outlining the top 60 largest philanthropic donations in America in 2009 and compared to previous years, donations are (as everyone would suspect) down considerably and the top donor isn’t Oprah or Bill Gates.

We decided to analyze the list this year to see how generous leaders in the real estate sector despite the crumbling industry and was surprised to see that several people linked to the real estate industry made the list with their philanthropic efforts. Four made the list this year, two of whom gave more money than Oprah! Below is the brief about them, but we encourage you to read their full bios and the extent of their donations.

Number 7: Eli and Edythe L. Broad– Eli was the founding chairman of KB Homes and with his wife, they founded the Broad Foundations which support art, civic programs, education and medical research. They made the list this year by pledging $105.2 million to their foundations.

Number 8: J. Ronald and Frances Terwilliger– Ronald is the chairman of Trammell Crow Residential and they pledged $100 million to Habitat for Humanity.

Number 36: Bernard and Anne Spitzer– Bernard founded real estate development and management company, Spitzer Engineering and pledged $25 million to his alma mater, City College of New York to benefit its school of architecture for scholarships, fellowships and faculty research.

Number 43: M.A. Douglas– founded real estate development company, Income Property Services, left $21 million to the University of California at Irvine Medical Center in his will (he passed in 2008). He was never a patient there but passed it on the way to work every day and the only stipulation was that the money benefit people in Orange County, CA, where most of his business was centered.

Do you think that there should be more real estate leaders on the list or do you think four is quite a few, given the terrible economy? Is there anyone you’re surprised is not on the list?

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Joe Loomer

    February 9, 2010 at 6:39 am


    Did the list also have companies listed by their donations?

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

    • Lani Rosales

      February 9, 2010 at 9:56 am

      If you go to the list and click “Donor Bios” it says where all donations went, but it’s not listed in the reverse. Some donors gave major pledges to more than one cause I believe.

  2. Cindy Marchant

    February 10, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I do think there should be more. I am surprised that my company Keller Williams is not on the list. They are usually huge on donations and giving. I’ll have to look into that!

    It would be interesting to know from every Realtor say who makes more than $250,000 in commissions, what their charity level is. It’s hard sometimes not to be apathetic to the really big problems (i.e. Haiti, cancer, etc) because you might feel your one donation won’t make a difference. But, if you look at your donation as helping just one person, it takes on a different flavor. I hope 2010 finds all Realtors thanking their communities or even bigger causes with a healthy donation!

    • Lani Rosales

      February 10, 2010 at 9:54 am

      Cindy, Slate only looked at personal donations, not corporate donations- I’m sure KW would be on a corporate list, I’ll see if I can find one.

      I would be curious what mega producers donate too- all of the large producers here in Austin that I know personally are ridiculously generous with their money AND volunteer time, but I know not all cities are as philanthropic as Austin, so I don’t know what it’s like in the rest of the country.

  3. japhet zwana

    December 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    How can I contact these individuals with a donation request to our start up non profit?

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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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