Monday, July 28, 2008

More Proof That Free Handouts Don't Work

The above home was built for a family on ABC's "Extreme Makeover". Now they have let it go into foreclosure because they used their "equity" on a botched business deal. I've heard that roughly 80% of people who win the lottery eventually have to claim bankruptcy. I've also heard that the winners of HGTV's Dream Home giveaway eventually have to sell the home or end up getting foreclosed on. The moral of the story is that people don't appreciate, or have the wherewithall, to use free handouts (bailouts) appropriately and better their lives. People in general are stupid and I've always maintained this stance. And this story is no exception. Our society keep bailing people out, like in the current mortgage crisis, and people will continue to squander the money away and end up in worse situations than where they began.

Bottom line is this, if you don't have blood, sweat or flesh in the game, then you won't appreciate what you're given. Learning lessons the hard way is the only way to prevent future stupid decisions.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How Important Are Online Photos? You be the Judge

I just listed this property after the owner had their home on the market with another Realtor for 6 months. You tell me what a difference a good photo - and a good Realtor - makes.

Other Realtor's Photos

My Photos

See more differences here (other listing agent's photos) and (my photos).

Makes a big difference, don't you think?

Virtual Tours vs. Multiple Photos

Which do online real estate tire kickers prefer? I've posed this question before, and according to a recent poll of 500 adults by Obeo, a residential real estate marketing company, photos are a must. More specifically, it was found that "94 percent of all women surveyed said photos of a home would be very helpful in their search for a home while nearly 70 percent said 360-degree panoramas would be very helpful." I'm not sure what the men had to say about the matter as that information wasn't given, but 94% is a pretty staggering number that speaks volumes.

I post this information because, IMHO, many agents and sellers waste money on virtual tours when people would rather scroll through 10 pictures and be done. So why did the women overwhelmingly want pictures over a virtual tour? Shockingly, I have an opinion on the matter. First, we must ask, "what is the purpose of a virtual tour or multiple photos?" To get your happy a** into the home, of course! I want that person scouring the internets for a home at 11:37pm to see one of my listings and say to themselves, "I want to see this home!" And then send me an email or call their Realtor up and say, "Meet me at this house tomorrow!" Multiple photos can accomplish this without a virtual tour - which may or may not take 30 seconds (about 7 hours in internet time) to load. Whereas, you can click through 10 photos in less than a minute and get a good "feel" for the home. And when you're sifting through 168 homes in East Dallas between $300 and $400K, who is going to wait for a tour to load?

And don't even get me started on bad photos. Or even worse, no photos.

Which do you prefer?

Friday, July 4, 2008

My Triumphant Return to the World of Blogginess

So i'ts been about a hundred years or so since my last post. I went to blog rehab, refocused on my business and things couldn't be busier or better. So what better to post about than the great news that is Dallas real estate.

The PMI Group just released it's Summer 2008 U.S. Market Risk Index that "ranks the nation's 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) according to the likelihood that home prices will be lower in two years." At the top of the list is Riverside, CA which is most likely to experience a (continued) price decline 2 years from now. At the bottom of the list? Drum roll please...well, it's Ft. Worth and Arlington. But right above them is Dallas, Plano and Irving! So we're the 2nd least likely city in the nation to see a price decline in the next 2 years. Not too shabby. Here's the Top 10 "most riskiest cities".

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario; CA
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach; FL
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach; FL
Orlando-Kissimmee; FL
Las Vegas-Paradise; NV
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater; FL
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine; CA
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale; CA
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall; FL
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville; CA

And the Top 10 cities least likely to experience a price decline in 2 years:

Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord; NC-SC
Kansas City; MO-KS
Columbus; OH
Cincinnati-Middletown; OH-KY-IN
Indianapolis-Carmel; IN
San Antonio; TX
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown; TX
Pittsburgh; PA
Dallas-Plano-Irving; TX
Fort Worth-Arlington; TX

So quitcherbitchin'. Glad to be back!