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Put Your Hands Together For Athol & Mariana



No, Benn didn’t offer money, Italian food or fancy cars to get new authors on board, but Mariana Wagner and Athol Kay have both jumped on board despite not being bribed! We are so excited to add these two to the contributor sidebar- you are all in for a treat.

avatar-athol-kay.jpgAthol Kay blogs from Bristol, CT and is best known for his series “Bad MLS Photo Of The Day”where he single-handedly raises the bar for MLS photos. He is also known for his “Feed Bag”that summarizes his favorite blog articles of the day (or week or hour as time permits). Athol is never scared of confrontation, has an amazing sense of humor and first caught our attention with his article “Redfin Consumer Bill of Rights Is McWeaksauce” way back in April.

Athol is like that extra kick of Bailey’s that people sneak into their coffee- makes you feel all warm and giggly but has a serious espresso side to it making it the perfect way to start the day!

avatar-mariana-wagner.jpgMariana Wagner is the Colorado Springs expert who knows the value of keeping her blog focused on local issues. We are very excited to hear Mariana’s take on national issues, especially regarding blogging and technology. Mariana is part of the Wagner i Team (we love this concept) and is a local RE tech/internet trainer and blog coach. Despite her love affair with the Internet, she somehow still has time for snowboarding!

Mariana is like that surprise you get when you see the boring white icing vanilla cake cut for the first time revealing that it’s actually chocolate underneath that icing (hooray- your favorite)!

Thanks for joining us Mariana & Athol- we look forward to seeing you two stir up the pot!

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. Mariana - Springs Realty Scoop

    October 22, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    Thanks Lani for the excellent intro! I am very excited to be a part of the ‘Genius! … and am equally excited to be a part of the awesome line up that you have here. I am honored.

  2. Jonathan Dalton

    October 23, 2007 at 12:21 am

    There goes the neighborhood …

    Kiwi, kiwi, kiwi … oy vey, oy vey, oy vey

  3. ines

    October 23, 2007 at 1:48 am

    I’m glad I passed that math test. I don’t know who to Congratulate, Agent Genius for the genius choices or Athol and Mariana who have the absolute best sense of humor.

    I can’t wait to read their contributions.

  4. Mariana - Springs Realty Scoop

    October 23, 2007 at 2:12 am

    Thanks Jonathan. We love you, too.

  5. Jonathan Dalton

    October 23, 2007 at 2:16 am

    Oh, geez, I didn’t mean you Mariana … I meant old wool face.

  6. Mariana Wagner

    October 23, 2007 at 2:45 am

    Do you 2 need counseling? Just wondering …

  7. Athol Kay

    October 24, 2007 at 4:48 am

    Sorry for the delay, but thanks for the intro Lani. Finally posted something as well.

    Jonathan and I are just fine Mariana. 🙂

  8. Jonathan Dalton

    October 24, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    We’ve actually found a lovely summer cottage in Poinciana with the help of Broker Bryant.

    Just not sure how to tell the misseses … missi? Not sure of the plural there.

  9. Mariana

    October 24, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    That’s great. You can just send me a referral fee once you get settled in. (I know I didn’t earn it, I just want it.)

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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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