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Inspirational project turns dilapidated homes into symbols of hope



Post-Katrina homes still abandoned

“Blight” houses still line the streets in many parts of New Orleans, sometimes standing out as a sore thumb, yet in other neighborhoods, blending in with the dozens of other houses that remain boarded up, dilapidated, tagged and overgrown. In the six years since Hurricane Katrina changed the face of New Orleans, these blight houses are the scars left behind that impact health, safety and home values of neighborhoods as they rack up daily fines for not being up to code.

In one case, a single mother wanted to help her city recover by investing in a home after Katrina, but she tells New Orleans artist, Candy Chang that the contractors stole her money and left her high and dry with the house pictured above. She has since abandoned the house. Chang reached out to the property owner to obtain permission to install a public art piece, to which the owner agreed, the city has given approval, and Chang has boarded up one side of the house, painted with chalk board paint, and painted the words “Before I die I want to ____________” eighty times along the side of the structure. Colored chalk was added, and neighbors immediately flocked to share what they wanted to accomplish before they die.

The “Before I Die” interactive art project so beautifully highlights the juxtaposition of disaster and hope in an area still struggling after a natural disaster. The wall was completely filled within 24 hours of installation and this is far from Chang’s first successful project in New Orleans

Where Realtors come in

There is an online project where anyone can share what they want to do before they die, but what we want our readers to know is that Chang will soon be sharing a kit which will help you (with permission, of course) turn a blight in your own area into an interactive art piece to give your own community hope and pride… we’re looking at you, Youngstown, Vegas, Detroit, and others. You don’t have to be an artist or even creative to be involved, and it is such a simple, beautiful way to brighten a dreary situation. We know we have a Utopian view of the world, but who better to bring hope to a community than a Realtor?

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  1. Jason Stoddard

    September 9, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Very cool concept. Exceptional execution. There is a similar project taking shape in Detroit. Check out the Lemonade: Detriot trailer

  2. Liz Benitez

    September 9, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Wow, what a great idea.

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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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