Real-estate agents have been pushing the virtues of homeownership since homes were invented. Or since real-estate agents were invented, anyway. Paying a mortgage, they insist, is a can’t-miss investment (the tax breaks, the appreciation, the thrill of fixing your own roof!). Renting is for simpletons who don’t like keeping their own money.
–USNews story featured on Yahoo! landing page
I Must Have Fallen Asleep… Wait, What?
I’m sorry but I must be missing something here. Isn’t this the same Yahoo! Real Estate that used to be all over Prudential’s jock? The same Yahoo! that was uber Realtor-friendly in hopes of establishing a national MLS (the universal goal of most media companies who see dollar signs when it comes to real estate)? Wasn’t Yahoo! courting major national brokerages so they could leech their IDX feeds? Is this the same Yahoo! that has 8 million reasons on the sidebar to counterintuitively click OFF the site (including those fancy Zestimates)? Perhaps the same Yahoo! Real Estate that could potentially have lowered traffic issues to the point that they need to start disruption against the industry that butters their bread that Yahoo! Real Estate couldn’t possibly exist without? Well sure, it works in bubble blogging- soapbox when you’re down and scream as loudly as you can so people hear you even if they don’t want to (and they vomit a bit at every word they see).
Real Estate Agents Invented Stupidity, Huh?
So are people like Jeff Brown (national investment broker), Barry Cunningham (Florida investor) and Jonathan Dalton (Arizona agent who shifts many many Canadian investment dollars to the US) all ignorant because they’ve sunk time and money into real estate investing? They still own property- for the long term investment (who pays for the roof in this scenario?). Are hard working REALTORS like Vicki Moore, Greg Swann, Russell Shaw, Kevin Boer, Jay Thompson, Chris Shouse and Teresa Boardman all stupid for waking up every day and helping people buy their second, third or twentieth home? Should Realtor Association executives like Ben Martin, Dr. Mark Dotzour, Bill Lublin and Brad Nix all wear protective helmets so they don’t hurt themselves with the simple act of walking around? Are brokerages that aim to change the face of real estate like Redfin, Zip Realty and Buyside all just dumb monkeys because they are a resource for home buyers and sellers? Despite the Zillow affiliation, the implication is that Zillow must be a crayon short of a full box too by providing a platform for people buying, selling and planning for either. Are most major universities moronic because they offer graduate degrees in real estate (which do not focus strictly on rental markets)? Because the national market average isn’t so hot, should all real estate professionals advise that renting is better because buyers won’t have to fix the roof out of pocket?
I’m confused, because the stats here in Austin actually look good, values in general are up and although home sales are down, we are still averaging between 97-98% of asking price from what I understand. So, you’re saying that Realtors should get all those stupid homeowners who pay for their roofs to get fixed out of their homes and abandon them and run away to apartments? Oh wait, you mean that agents are stupid and homeowners should just walk away.
Reckless, Ignorant, Hasty, Dangerous, Shall I Continue?
But for who’s good- the consumer’s or Yahoo! Real Estate’s traffic? Seriously, what is Yahoo! really telegraphing here? Did we just get a glimpse into the future of Yahoo! Real Estate’s portal by their choice of which article to feature on their *landing* page? I’m sure there was a point in the article and it was good, probably even backed up by fact, but it was immersed in a sea of ignorance and I was too busy rolling my eyes to catch it. As a consumer, I am offended as this article calls into question my own judgment along with millions of other Americans with blanket statements about “THE” market. There are not enough adjectives to describe how irresponsible this type of distortion truly is regardless of whose salary increases next year.
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, 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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