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Federal Government Buys In



Says Nancy Pelosi

A draft of the final bill just announced is available online here.

This is the first time anyone outside of the House’s closed doors has had a chance to read it.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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  1. Teresa Boardman

    September 28, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Nice short and to the point a quick read for sure.

  2. Matthew Rathbun

    September 28, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I’ll flip through this while in the rest room. Least I’ll have a use for the printout, when I’m done.

    Look, I know I suck and everyone will think poorly of me, but I just don’t think that elected officials will do the “right” thing with this issue and only history will let us know if this is the correct answer to the problem.

    I still feel that that just giving money without direct federal oversight as to how each lender will use each dime is foolish.

    Unfortunately this plan isn’t going to be based on good business planning as much as gaining much needed political points in an election season. It’d be good if someone like Jeffx or our other resident experts could tell us why this couldn’t wait till after the general elections? What’s the rush to fix a problem that’s been around for over two years?

  3. Jim Duncan

    September 28, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    One of the main issues I have with this is the sense of urgency about the whole thing, and its being voted on by people who 1) are not qualified to vote on this, 2) will likely be ignoring their constituencies guidance to not vote for it 3) the speed with which this thing is going down. Nobody can read and comprehend this bailout in 24, 26, 72, 1,280 hours.

    For God’s sake, at least put on a show that you’re going to try to read the damn thing.

  4. Jeff Royce

    September 28, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    I started reading this because @tboard said it was a quick read…apparently I don’t recognize sarcasm when I hear it.

    Has anybody seen any analysis of how this will effect the housing market from somebody who knows what they are talking about. Please point us in the right direction if you do.

  5. Missy Caulk

    September 29, 2008 at 6:16 am

    Benn, I agree this problem has been brewing for years, now the rush is on. The TARP is giving free rain to the Secretary, for what? They only have so many days left in office, unless they are invited to stay. Too much power to the ones who helped facilitate this mess. IMHO the chicken guarding the hen house, a story we all learned in kindergarten .

  6. Steve Simon

    September 29, 2008 at 7:59 am

    You will find the real power (the power to aquire) will be in the Credit Review Committee…
    The Sec. will take terrible levels of “Heat” as this is overly ambitous ans is destined to fail, in my opinion. The head will simply wring their hands as the the sections below them bring things to them with a choice, “Sign off or it all goes!” They will sign off.
    The plan involves section for coordiantion between foreign governments and our officials,can you imagine how smoothly this will go?
    The Se. can and must hire employess to administer the program (that just raised the ante to 2 trillion, because the government spends $6 to give away $3).
    I have been there on a smaller scale.This is not good…
    It would have been better to take the pains, stinging as they might be, than to pump this insane amount of money at a problem using a distribution system (including it’s proposed checks and balances) tha was designed in a few weeks!
    More as I read more….

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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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