Technology is growing. It can be difficult to keep up with all of the latest high tech gadgets that are currently available on the market today. There are two major mobile devices that are competing for your business. There are Apple powered devices like the iPhone and the iPad, and there are Android powered smart phones and tablet computers. These little wonders of technology have made it easier to do business in the real estate world, but these devices on their own are practically worthless. They need good programs to help real estate professionals get their jobs done, and these programs are called apps. Here are some of the most popular real estate apps today.
The first App is available for the iPhone, and it is called TourNarrator. This handy little tool will make it easier for real estate agents to manage their clients, properties and contact information all in one easy to access spot.
The iPad has its share of really good apps too. Here is one that real estate professionals will enjoy. Things for the iPad is a very powerful task manager. It manages all sorts of tasks and helps you keep your day on track. It is better than a calendar, and it is also better than a whiteboard.
We can’t leave out the Android. It has quite a market share of mobile users as well, and here is one Android app that real estate professionals seem to love. Suburb Scout. This great little tool tells you what most realtors won’t. It will tell you where all of the bad things are in the neighborhood. It will list things like sewage plants, prisons, landfills and nuclear power plants. These are all things that we could stand to live a few hundred miles from, and this app will tell you if your home to be should not be.
May 1st, 2012
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In today’s real estate market it is always a nice welcome to hear some good news. Everywhere you look or turn there is someone telling us that there are massive problems with this, or a huge problem developing in that industry. Bad news travels really fast, but this post is doing something good. It is highlighting the good news that is currently happening as you read these words. There are some real estate markets that are blooming better than Spring flowers. In these real estate markets property values are seeing a nice steady rise. This is not just good news. This is great news for everyone. Anytime there is growth in a particular market that has seen such massive drops, it is a very good thing.
Pheonix, Arizona – This is one real estate market that has been battered worse than a child surrounded by bullies. There were massive foreclosures filed in Phoenix, and there were also some pretty steep property value drops. It looks like this could be changing. There has been a very slight increase in home values in Phoenix, and this is good news for everyone that is living in this metropolitan area.
Fort Meyers, Fl – That land that some say is nothing but a giant retirement community has also seen some growth. This is more good news for the real estate market in general. Home values in Fort Meyers have increased by as much as 3.7%. This may not seem like much, but when it comes to real estate any improvement is great news.
Morristown, Tn – Folks that are enjoying the southern life in the hills of the wonderful state of Tennessee will be happy to know that home values in their state have also seen a good increase. The was an improvement of as much as 5.5%. This is a pretty big improvement and great news for anyone that owns property in the great state of Tennessee.
That is a small amount of good news, but any amount of good news is better than all of the bad news we have been hearing.
April 29th, 2012
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Is the housing market making a come back? Have we seen the end of the massive amount of foreclosures that have been happening since the housing market took a turn for the worst a few years ago? If the years current foreclosure numbers are any type of indication of the housing market, then yes the market could very well be making a very strong come back.
Foreclosures have hit an all time low since their numbers blossomed like weeds almost four years ago. A recent report that was release by RealtyTrac shows that the amount of foreclosed houses for sale is dropping. In the fourth quarter of the year 2007 527,740 properties filed for foreclosure. The first quarter of the year 2012 shows that their were 572,928 filings. This is the lowest amount of foreclosures since the fourth quarter in 2007. March must have been the month of foreclosures because over 37% of the entire quarters foreclosures were filed in March.
The month of March also had the lowest monthly total of foreclosures since July of 2007. March was also the first month since July of 2007 to have under 200,000 filed foreclosures. Only 198,853 foreclosures were filed in March of 2012.
Real estate professionals are still speculated why the amount of foreclosures has dropped. The nation’s unemployment rate has not decreased all that much, and the current state of the economy has not shown any signs of improvement, but the lower amount of foreclosures could be the stepping stone towards a more stable economy.
There are still a massive amount of homes that have not gone through the foreclosure process yet. They have not simply vanished. March was just not a very productive month for the companies that have been handling all of the foreclosures. Hopefully the numbers will stay down, and the housing market will go up.
April 27th, 2012
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Jim has just made a huge life changing decision. He has decided to move out of his parents house, and he has decided that getting an apartment is the best choice given his current situation. Good for Jim. It is about time that he grew a set of wings and left the nest.
Jim is 19. He knows everything, and he thinks he knows the best way to find an apartment. He has something to prove to everyone. He looks online, and finds an excellent deal on an apartment that has a move in special. He will only be required to pay the first month’s rent. This sounds like a great deal to Jim. He knew that it would not be that difficult to find an excellent apartment.
He immediately goes to the apartments complex and heads for the office. He is greeted by a smiling young woman who runs the office. She tells him that he has to fill out some paperwork before he can move in and he must sign a two year lease.
Jim has no idea what a lease is, but he knows that he has to move into this apartment. He hands over the first month’s rent, and then signs on the dotted line. Jim just made several mistakes that may possibly haunt him for a very long time. Do you know what mistakes Jim just made?
The first and most obvious mistake that Jim made was signing the lease without knowing what he was getting in to. Now he has to live in this apartment for at least two years. If he breaks the lease, he will be responsible for the entire remaining amount that is on the lease. This could easily exceed several thousands of dollars. Let’s hope that this does not happen to Jim.
Jim also made another huge mistake. He never even looked at the apartment. He was so eager to move out, that it simply slipped right by him, and unfortunately his apartment is a dump, and to make matters even worse, there is a set of train tracks just ten feet from the window in Jim’s new apartment and every single morning at 6:15 sharp, a train comes barreling down those tracks.
Don’t do what Jim did. If you are thinking about moving into an apartment complex, make sure that you know exactly what you are getting into. You could be making a huge mistake that could have easily been avoided.
April 24th, 2012
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Being successful in the real estate market is all about being able to communicate with your clients as fast as possible. Having information delivered to you is crucial. More and more real estate agents are depending on their mobile devices for all of their communication needs, and they are using apps to get and organize all of their data. Here is a small list of the current most popular real estate apps available for mobile devices.
Google Calendar – Where would a real estate agent be without a quick and easy to use calendar that can be synced to just about any type of device no matter where you go. That is just one of the many things that the Google calendar app can do, and that is just one of the reasons that it is so popular. For many real estate professionals, this app has been a life saver, and it is free.
Evernote – Evernote is like sticky notes on steroids for your mobile device, but it does so much more. It also allows you quick access to these notes across a variety of different platforms. Share files, keep tabs on deadlines, and have all of your contact information synced right at your fingertips. This powerful app is quickly becoming a must have for real estate professionals.
Path – Path is another smart phone app that is quickly becoming more than a social network. Path is also becoming a great way for real estate agents to share information about properties across a wide variety of social networks with just the touch of a screen. Real estate professionals are keeping in touch with Path.
Google Currents – Yet another very popular app from the search engine giant Google. This app allows real estate professionals to keep in touch with content that they read on a daily basis. Instead of having to go to multiple sources for your content, Google Currents brings it all right to your Android powered devices, and your iPad and iPhone. Google Currents allows people in the real estate profession to stay current with information that is important to them.
The mobile app market is changing the way that people in the real estate world do business, and it is changing the way they send and receive information too. Making the most of these apps can help your real estate business no matter how big it is.
April 21st, 2012
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You may be thinking to yourself, “What does Google have to do with real estate web sites?” Google has everything to do with every type of website. They are the number one source of natural traffic for a lot of webmasters. When they decide to make a change in the way they bring people relevant search results every single website that is listed in Google’s search engine is affected by the change, even sites that are solely based on real estate.
Google is trying to make their search results better. They are constantly refining and tweaking the way web sites appear in their search results on a daily basis. These changes can be minor, and they can also be quite significant.
Google is at a constant battle with people that try to manipulate their website in the search engine results. Recently Google made some very significant changes in the way some websites appear in the search engine results, and this huge change has had a huge affect on many web sites that fuel the real estate industry.
If your real estate web site has seemed to slow down a bit, you may need to focus on a few things to help it out.
Creating content is one of the best ways for Realtors to help showcase their properties and the areas that they currently service. The key here is to create high quality content that actually provides a benefit to the buyer. In most cases Realtors should be doing this anyways. It is content like this that will help a real estate web site rise to the top of the search results naturally. Being at the top will help fuel the real estate agent’s sales, which in turn will help fuel the entire real estate market.
Google is not your only source for great traffic. If you are in the real estate profession, and you are not using social networking as part of your marketing plans, then you are missing out on a golden opportunity.
People like to communicate, that much we all know, but people like to communicate good and bad news on an equal level, and most people like to spread the word via various social networking platforms. A well written piece of content that gives the viewer what they want can quickly spread through an entire social network like a wild fire. The end result is a ton of targeted traffic delivered to your website.
April 19th, 2012
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Since the beginning of time people have argued and debated different topics. There is one topic that is argued and debated more than any other in the real estate market. There have been heated debates around the water cooler at real estate offices, and friends have questioned other friends on the touchy subject of renting versus owning. Which is the better choice? It really depends on your current situation, but this article will focus on some of the benefits that only owning a home can bring you.
Owning a home is cheaper than renting.
There is a common myth in the real estate industry. The myth? It is cheaper to rent than it is to buy. This is a myth and it is false. It may be cheaper to get your foot in the door of a rental property because you will not be required to pay as much money up front, but in the long run, it will cost a lot more to rent.
When you are renting, your rent can always increase. If the rental market sees a boom in activity, you can bet that your rent will go up to meet the demand of the market. If you own your home this does not happen. You have a contract that is called a mortgage. The length of this contract can vary, but they are generally around 30 years long. Your monthly mortgage payment will not increase for that entire period. So when the renters start having to pay twice as much, you will be happy that you purchased a home instead of renting. Your monthly payment is fixed! There will be no surprises there!
There is another reason why owning a home is cheaper than renting. Prices go up over time. I am sure that you have heard of this wonderful thing called inflation. Food prices go up, gas prices go up, automobile prices go up, and home prices go up too. If you buy your home now, just think of how much it will be worth in 30 years. It could very easily be worth twice what you initially paid for it, and if the real estate market is booming, then you may even get three or four times more than you paid for it. Your home could be your retirement and then some. This is just one more reason that owning your own home is cheaper than renting someone else’s home.
April 17th, 2012
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California is known for many things. It has one of the best climates in the United States. It has some of the most popular beaches in the world. It has beautiful mountains, and beautiful valleys. It was the start of the gold rush, and it is an all around great place to live. California has something for everyone regardless of lifestyle and budget.
California is affordable!
For many people, California is just a dream. They think that they will never be able to purchase a home in California, so they never pursue it. This could not be further from the truth. There are plenty of other affordable housing options in California. You don’t have to be a millionaire to live there.
Check out an apartment. Apartments offer a lot of living for very little money, and in most cases, you can move into a nice apartment with very little up front costs. Everything is taken care of for you. If something breaks, all you have to do is pick up the phone and call the office. They will send out a maintenance man to make the repairs for you.
Another great thing about living in an apartment in California is the fact that you have zero yard maintenance. California is the perfect climate for plants and grass to grow like crazy, but who wants the constant chore of landscaping? Not many people do. With an apartment, there is never any need to worry about yard maintenance. It is all taken care of for you. You can enjoy the landscaping of the apartment complex without any of the work. That is the way to live!
Rent a home in California.
If apartments are not your thing, then don’t worry, you can always rent a house. In most cases the cost to rent a house in California is much cheaper than owning, You will not be required to come up with a huge down payment, and just like apartments, everything is taken care of for you. You could rent a house in one of the beautiful valleys, or rent a house that is closer to the beach. Living in California is more affordable than you may think. Now that you know you have some options, what is stopping you from making the move? There is nothing in your way. Take the trip out West, and see why most people never leave the great state of California.
April 15th, 2012
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So you found the perfect house and the price is an absolute steal. Does the lowest price house always equal the best deal? The lowest price house does not always equal the best deal, and here is why.
The first thing to think about is why the house is so cheap? Do you really believe that someone would be giving away something for nothing? Nothing in this world is free. You may be able to find a good deal on something every now and then, but you always have to be careful.
Have you ever heard the saying, “If it is too good to be true, then it probably is?” This saying says a lot about houses for sale. The lowest price is not always the best deal. You could just be buying a whole new set of problems.
If you are not sure, then there is only one way to find out. Get a home inspection. A home inspection will be able to tell you if there is anything structurally wrong with the home. Make sure that you choose a professional home inspection company, and don’t try to save a few bucks on the home inspection. This is the only way that you are going to find out if there is anything wrong with the house.
The next thing that you should do is get a professional pest inspection done. Could you imagine purchasing the house, moving in, and finding out that you are not the only thing living in the house. It could be infested with roaches, termites, or rats. A good pest inspection will be able to tell you if there are any other creatures living in the house.
The cheapest house may end up costing you a whole lot more than the asking price if there are any problems or an infestation of pests so make sure you take the time to do a little bit of research.
April 13th, 2012
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Real estate always involves so many different people. There are those that are looking to buy a house for a number of reasons. There are those that are looking to rent a house, or an apartment, and there are those that want to purchase property as part of an investment. These are just the people that are trying to purchase a house. You still have the entire other side of the real estate market. The side where everyone is trying to sell property. The whole idea is to do some sort of real estate match making and get these two different sides together. Once they are together, things will start to happen, but who is the match maker in the real estate world? Who is in charge of getting a buyer and a seller together so that they can make a deal? Real estate agents are.
In the real estate world there is a practice that is being called “dual agency” or “double ending.”
What are these practices and how do they have an affect on the real estate market?
It is pretty simple to break down this practice on a basic word level. Dual or double would obviously mean two, but what about the agency or ending part? What could that be referring to? Does dual agency mean two agencies?
Dual agency or double ending can mean something different in every state. It could mean that one real estate agent is representing the buyer and the seller, or it could mean that two agents from the very same real estate office are handling the real estate transaction. One agent represents the buyer, and the other represents the seller, but they are both working for the same company.
So what’s the big deal?
Here is where the problem lies. If the same real estate agent is representing both the buyer and seller, then they are getting paid twice for one transaction. This can clearly be seen as “unfair.” Many people think that this could be considered as fraud. It does sit on a fine line, and real estate agents should be really telling the people that they are involved with if they are actively doing any double ending with their transactions.
How would you feel if you found out that two agents from the same exact office where working together to sell a house, and the agency that they work for gets paid twice? Should these types of double ending deals be allowed?
April 11th, 2012
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