Friday, September 30, 2011
- What is a credit score? A credit score is meant to reflect a consumer’s risk of not paying money that is borrowed.
- The chart above shows average (yellow) and median (green) credit scores over time. It also shows the cutoff for the 25% with the highest credit scores (red) and lowest credit scores (blue) based on a sample the New York Fed has of consumer credit data.
- The average and median credit scores among consumers have remained roughly constant over the 12 year history of the data. In 1999 the median was just below 700 compared to just above 700 in the first quarter of 2011.
- How do credit scores affect real estate? Buyers seeking financing are evaluated by lenders based in large part on their credit score.
- Check out the blog for other articles on credit scores that show what has happened to the average credit score of FHA and Fannie/Freddie borrowers.
Credit scores are very important and should be protected just like you house, car or any other personal item you want to protect. Now days everyone is checking your score from home purchasing to job applications. Know you score and protect it.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
InmanNext | Facebook is So Flippin’ Smart: Timeline? Ticker? And What the Heck Happened to My News Feed?
Like many of you, I logged into my Facebook page a couple days ago after the big f8 developer conference, and thought, “what is this?” Even though I knew change was coming, I was still taken aback by the new Home page format, the “missing” Recent News feed and the Ticker.
The highlight of f8 this year was the unveiling of Timeline, which is currently in beta until October 5th. It is available now via a Developer App.
If you are interested in trying out Timeline, read this fantastic post by InmanNext contributor Jimmy Mackin.
I held off on changing my profile over to the new Timeline for a day or two. No particular reason, but generally I prefer to wait a day or two after changes happen on Facebook before I dive in and change anything.
So while preparing for this post, I watched Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote message again, and then I installed Timeline into my profile.Article continues below
Immediately after downloading it, I scrolled through my profile and it was like taking a trip down memory lane.
I have to say, Facebook is so flippin’ smart!
Because they have brought nostalgia and emotion back to Facebook.
Nostalgia and emotion are the bread and butter of what make Facebook work.
Why do you post something on Facebook? Because it means something to you.
Why do you share on Facebook? Because it interests you – perhaps it evokes an emotion for you.
Happy. Mad. Sad. Incredulous. Surprised.
It’s what makes Facebook work and it’s also what makes successful Facebook Pages work well.
Why is The Corcoran’s Group’s Facebook page thriving with comments, likes and shares?
Because they paint the picture of what it is like to live in New York City. They tell the stories of New Yorker’s and you every time you read something on their page, you feel a little bit more connected to New York City – regardless of where you live.
What did I see on my Timeline?
I saw my posts before I had worked for Inman News.
I saw the post the day I announced on Facebook I was pregnant with my second child.
I saw an awesome video Nicole Nicolay had posted for me last year on my birthday.
In one click, my life flashed before me – through the posts I had posted on Facebook, through my interactions, the pages I liked, the friends I added and the photos and videos I uploaded.
It was surprisingly a really emotional experience – to see all of my life’s important moments right there in front of me.
As Chris Smith mentioned yesterday in this post, there are bound to be real estate agents who abuse the Timeline and fill it with self-promotional material – i.e. an oversized obnoxious listing photo.
I’d like to think that won’t happen, but I’ve been around this block a time or two and will not be surprised when I see this. I do advise all agents reading this to embrace this opportunity – to not make your Timeline all about your business – but let it be a tapestry of your life; your family, interests, and yes, a little bit about your real estate business.
For me, the Timeline was a huge visual reminder that at the heart of social media is you and me.
There is a reason why you have to have a personal profile before you can even think about setting up a business page. Why?
Because at the heart of social media is our personal experiences. It’s the day to day likes, interactions, conversations and everything that happens in between as you get to know your Facebook friends better and you reveal more of your authentic self.
In addition to the new Timeline there are a slew of other new features.
Why is there a Ticker?
The Ticker is your lightweight stream of everything going on.
To be honest, at first glance the Ticker was a super annoying feature. It is a live feed that seems to be in constant motion. But then after listening to Zuckerberg. I really got the bigger picture.
The Ticker is for items that are not monumental that used to take up your News Feed – like when you friend comments on a photo or friends someone new. Now, those live in the Ticker. Also, by things living in the Ticker, you can respond or comment to someone in real time by hovering over the Ticker and not losing your place on your News Feed.
Zuckerberg calls this “real-time serendipity.”
“Your friends are doing a lot of cool stuff, but maybe they don’t have a way to share it.”
If you have a wider screen, slide the grey bar between Ticker and chat up or down to adjust how many updates you see at a time. To control who can see your updates anywhere on Facebook, including in Ticker and News Feed, adjust your sharing control or apps settings.
Where did the News Feed go?
The News Feed is still there, but now, when you visit Facebook, you will see the things you’re most interested in, like status updates from your family, closest friends and the pages that are most relevant to you.
Zuckerberg talked about how Facebook will be “finding patterns and activity.”
“Your News Feed looks for interesting patterns in activity – and will put it in your News Feed instead of just the Ticker.”
This impacts pages for real estate agents and brokers in a profound way. It is no longer about get tens of thousands of likes. Now, it is about having fantastic content that your members will want to share. The more your page content is shared, the more you will prominently appear in someone’s News Feed.
How often are you on Facebook? How does that affect your feed?
If you haven’t returned in a week, you may want to see a summary of top stories first. If you’ve already visited several times that day, you probably care more about recent news. So now, it is easier to keep up with the people in your life no matter how frequently or infrequently you’re on Facebook.
“Now, News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won’t have to worry about missing important stuff. All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top. If you haven’t visited Facebook for a while, the first things you’ll see are top photos and statuses posted while you’ve been away. They’re marked with an easy-to-spot blue corner.
How will the Open Graph be a game changer?
According to Time Magazine:
“The Open Graph, aims to change the social network even more than the Timeline will. It lets third-party companies connect their apps and services to Facebook far more seamlessly than in the past — and in particular allows them to seek one-time, blanket permission from a user to share stuff with Facebook. Once permission has been granted, the apps can push out the details of everything the user does, no further human intervention required.
Until now, you had to Like a song on the Spotify music service for your friends to know you’d listened to it. Now, all the songs you listen to on Spotify get shown on Facebook automatically — and your friends can listen to those tunes on Facebook if they choose.”
Before, things would only appear on your Facebook page by “liking” it. Now, once you give permission to certain apps you can just “do” something.
“Open Graph is the most significant change we’ve made to our platform since we launched it in 2007.” CTO Bret Taylor at f8.
“You don’t need to LIKE a book, you just need to read a book. You don’t need to like a movie, you can just watch a movie.”
What about apps?
In the past, Facebook had apps around things like communicating and games. The new phase of apps will revolve around media (like Netflix and Spotify) and lifestyle apps.
Zuckerberg talks about having a “frictionless experience” with apps – like not being asked to share something on Facebook right in the middle of a game.
What will this mean for real estate? Already it is becoming more and more apparent that is less about amassing thousands of likes, it is more valuable for people to share your content.
Now more than ever, real estate agents and brokers need to be creating and/or curating not just good content, but great content – content that their fans will share. This is just one more reason I am so excited about our new changes at Inman News with our content.
Now, agents and brokers can clearly and confidently share content they trust with their social networks. We knew this was of the utmost importance!
- If you are concerned with the new changes, check your privacy settings.
- Be cognizant of the apps you allow access to your Facebook account.
- Content has always been king – but now it is more important than ever for real estate professionals. Do you have a content strategy? It is no longer an option to not have a strategy.
I’ll say it again, Facebook is so flippin’ smart.
They are staying one-step ahead, constantly innovating and raising the bar.
I’d love your thoughts and feedback about this post and about the changes.
Please post your comments below and if this post was helpful to you, please share it on Facebook and/or Tweet it out!
Quick Pitch: HotPads is a map-based housing search engine. Housing shoppers can find long term rentals, homes for sale, vacation homes, and hotels on our map-based search.
Genius Idea: If you’re in the market for a new home, vacation property, or rental, you can turn to Craigslist, iList, or dozens of other online classifieds sites to help you in your search. But, most of these options aren’t tailored to the best search experience for your housing-related needs. HotPads, however, keeps it simple with interactive map-based search results for everything from apartments to hotels and even recently foreclosed homes.
If you can get past the off-putting name, you’ll find that HotPads provides an enjoyable search experience for housing and hotels. You can quickly search the map, find centers of housing activity, view listing details without leaving the map, and narrow search results by type, price range, or points of interest. With more than 300,000 rentals, 3,000,000 homes for sale, and a myriad of vacation and hotel listings, HotPads has got the entire residential and commercial landscape covered.
Some great features of the site’s map-based approach to housing include the ability to zoom into precise locations for a better view of nearby venues and hot pads, demographic heat map overlays for info on population density and median rent prices, street, arial, or hybrid views, and advanced search options to find detailed info on mortgage terms and down payments.
We’re sold on the site and think it could prove to be a time-saving resource for finding and researching your next big move or out of town stay.
Check out before you go out!!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Processing delays have taken their toll on first-time homebuyer interest in short sales, according to the latest HousingPulse Tracking Survey released by Campbell Surveys and Inside Mortgage Finance Monday.
First-time homebuyers were a part of 39.7 percent of the short sale transactions completed in August, the HousingPulse survey found. That tally marks a three-month slide in the share of short sales that went to first-time buyers, and is the lowest percentage for this buyer segment ever recorded by the survey.
The first-time homebuyer share of short sales hit a peak of 54.1 percent of all short sale transactions in November 2009, just before the originally-scheduled expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit, according to Campbell Surveys.
Short sale transactions have garnered a reputation for being problematic for buyers and sellers alike, with typical approval times of several months after a homebuyer first submits an offer.
Campbell Surveys has found that factors slowing down short sale approvals include lost paperwork, coordination with multiple investors, slow appraisals, and mortgage servicer understaffing.
With average time-on-market for short sales stalled at 16.6 weeks – with the majority of that time spent waiting for approval of the transaction – short sale transactions are becoming less popular with first-time homebuyers, according to the polling firm
Still, for some first-time homebuyers, average short sale prices of 27 percent less than non-distressed properties compensated for the wait time, Campbell Surveys said.
Short sales are just one type of distressed property, with foreclosed REO homes also a significant component of today’s housing market.
In August, the HousingPulse survey found that short sales accounted for 17.1 percent of the home purchase market, with damaged REO and move-in ready REO accounting for 13.2 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively.
Real estate agents responding to the August survey indicated that homebuyers frustrated with short sale delays are resorting to placing offers on multiple properties, with the intention of closing on only one. This practice can further bog down the short sale approval process.
The state of California is a hotbed of short sale activity, with these sales accounting for 31 percent of home purchases in the month of August, according to the HousingPulse survey.
“Short sales buyers/investors were generally looking at several properties and if one already had first and second approval, buyers would move towards the property that had a better chance of closing sooner. They would get tired of waiting on the short sale process,” commented one California agent.
“I feel that selling agents are telling the buyers it’s okay to write multiple offers because they can walk away with no risk, especially on short sales,” reported another agent.
The HousingPulse Tracking Survey from Campbell Surveys and Inside Mortgage Finance polls approximately 2,500 real estate agents nationwide each month to assess market trends surrounding homes sales and mortgage lending.
Monday, September 26, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. Home sales have hit a record low, but Utah Realtors say there is a ray of hope for the local market.
According to the Utah Realtors Association, homes are starting to sell again, and August was a pretty good month.
But it's still a buyers' market, and many sellers are finding they have to put up some bargain prices to get their homes sold.
Like many other homeowners in Utah, Krista Numbers has learned that selling a home right now isn't all easy.Related:Lenders struggle to keep up with refinancing applications
Historic low interest rates are driving would-be borrowers in droves to seek a refinance on their homes. And lenders are struggling to keep up creating both opportunity and potential pitfalls.
"You're competing with a lot of things — like short sales, and bank-owned, and foreclosure — so you have to be aggressive," she said.
And that's what she did. Also a short sale, she put her home up for a bargain price and got a buyer in just a few days.
Numbers has no doubt it's a buyers' market out there, and that brings some hope for the future. "All across the valley we are finding that there are some fantastic homes out there," she said.
Overall, Utah Realtors say that's bringing a positive trend for Utah. While sale prices are still low, the increase in activity means there are signs that our local market is on the gradual road to recovery.
"We're seeing more confidence in the market, and we're seeing people get out there and take advantage of the positives out there — like affordability," said Deanna Devey, with the Utah Association of Realtors.
Realtor Vann Larsen says the good news is homeowners can make that quick sale if they're willing to face the facts.
"The sellers aren't going to get what they thought their home was worth a few years ago, but those values were inflated," he said.
That is the bad news. The median price for homes sold is down about 10 percent from last year.
Still, Numbers says if her family can just stick it out, things may work out better in the long run.
"The thing that I have definitely learned with this market is you have to roll with it. You're buying high and selling high, or you're in a market where you're gonna sell lower and you're gonna buy lower," she said.
There were also fewer homes on the market in August than a year ago. Overall, realtors say since prices didn't get as inflated as they were in other parts of the country, things are improving faster. Still, it's a buyers' market out there, as the conditions very slowly improve for sellers.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
As summer comes to an end and the weather starts to turn cold one my favorite holidays is on its way.
Three little witches
Flying over haystacks,
Soaring over ditches.
One little, two little,
Three little witches --
Happy Halloween! One little, two little,
Three little witches
Flew o'er the fence and
Tore their britches,
Sewed them up with
Sixty stitches --
Halloween has always been one of my favorite holiday I loved when the kids were young and the excitement was all around. With ghost and witches prepared their outfits to scare their grandparents. I remember painting the window with fun Halloween creatures and watching my kids faces as the got off the bus to the surprise.
So for the next 31 days, I am going to share all the fun events I can find in Utah for you and your family to enjoy this Halloween season.
Now I am not into Haunted Houses but I have a daughter who lives for them so I will be getting all my information regarding the quality of this house---cause you wont get me in them
So stay tune and check back for all the excitement you will find around Utah this Halloween Season
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Autumn is invariably a prelude to falling winter temperatures, regardless of where you live. It might rain or snow or, as David Letterman says, "Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees." Did you know there is only one state in the United States where the temperatures have never dipped below zero? Give up?