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Productive use of the 99 percent movement – support local businesses

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What is a cash mob?

The Occupy Wall Street Movement and 99 Percent Movement have spun off a productive movement called “Cash Mob” wherein organizers play on the flash mob concept of gathering groups of people through the web, but rather than hold up protest signs or dance, the mob pledges to spend at least $20 at a locally owned business that gives back to the community.

They’ve launched in L.A., San Diego, Milwaukee and even Vancouver so far, with more on the way. The Cash Mob website outlines how to set up a Cash Mob and what rules it entails.

Organizing a Cash Mob

How to organize according to the site:

  1. Get a Cash Mob twitter handle. We recommend something like “CM_____” where “_____” is the name of your city. This makes it easier for people to find you. For example, if they want to mob in, say, San Diego, they look for @cmsandiego.
  2. Figure out the business you want to mob according to these handy dandy rules.
  3. Talk to the business owner and set that mob up.
  4. Talk to a bar or restaurant owner nearby and get them to sign on for the aftermob.
  5. Set up a Facebook invitation. Trust us. Even if you hate Facebook, this is a great way to get information out to people.
  6. Contact the local media and tell them what you’re doing, then see if they’ll run a piece on your mob.

The rules for a Cash Mob:

  1. The mob date must be announced a week in advance via Twitter.
  2. The location at which to meet will be announced, but not the specific business to support.
  3. The amount to spend will not be above $20, although people can spend more if they wish.
  4. The business must have products for both men and women.
  5. The business must be locally owned.
  6. The business owner must give back to the community in some way.
  7. The business owner must approve the CashMob before the mob is announced.
  8. The business must be within one block of a watering hole.
  9. Cash Mobbers must join us for celebratory drinks after the successful mob.
  10. The cash mob will occur during the evening on a weekday or on a weekend.
  11. Pictures will be posted to the blog after the CashMob.
  12. Parking must be available.

The Cash Mob movement is a productive use of the energy behind the 99 percent movement and whether you support the parent movement or not, a Cash Mob would be a great event to be organized by a professional marketer, a local Realtor, an insurance agent, or a local non profit that has benefited from a specific local business. It’s a good way to give back, organize people around local business and raise awareness for local businesses.

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Austin

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?

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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.”

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.

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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.

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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, 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

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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