What We’re Reading: August 1-5

Silicon Valley, history, fashion, MTV, Netflix, architecture, business, the future, and the Olympics.

Housing inventory and prices in Silicon Valley have been increasingly discussed issues. Facebook has made a proposal to address these. Like?

Vrooom vroom…he’s the leader of the pack! What influence has Elon Musk had this time?

Among 90s fashion, cargo shorts weren’t the worst offenders. The fact that many haven’t left them in the 90s is another issue entirelyMcArthurGlen Designer Outlet 2013 McArthurGlen Designer Outlet/flickr/2013

Video killed the radio star. MTV celebrates 35 years.

Netflix has bestowed us with many binge-worthy gifts: House of Cards, Stranger Things, and Slow TV?

This makes us rethink the times our parents told us the creakings of the house was just it settling.

Is it just us, or does the design of this home alone make you feel more relaxed?

What trend is corporate America following now?

What sorcery is this?!

The Summer Olympics is finally here! In 20 years or so, it might all look like this, but for now find out the ways you can tune incarlbob 2012 carlbob/flickr/2012

Top Field Guides for July 2016

Field Guides are one-stop resource packages on dozens of subjects of interest to REALTORS®. On each page you’ll find links to articles, books, web sites, statistics, and other material on each subject. The list of the most-used field guides from Information Central for the month of July 2016 was released today:

  1. Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics
  2. Field Guide to Being a New REALTOR®
  3. Field Guide to 1031 Exchanges
  4. Field Guide to Opening a Real Estate Brokerage
  5. Field Guide to Preparing & Staging a House for Sale
  6. Field Guide to Farming & Prospecting
  7. Field Guide to Facebook for REALTORS®
  8. Field Guide to the Best Places to Live
  9. Field Guide to Compensation Plans for Real Estate Agents
  10. Field Guide to Marketing Tips for REALTORS®

Have an idea for a new field guide? Let us know!

What We’re Reading: July 18-22

Diet, virtual commute, marketing incentive, gaming, amenities, repurposed spaces, history, digital migration, climate change, and a lost colony.

Healthier eating is on our minds during the summer. Here are some small things we can do to eat smarterOlearys 2012 Olearys/flickr/2012

Thanks to flexible policies and living in the future, some tech employees find themselves living far outside of the expensive Silicon Valley.

Want a pair of every Air Jordans ever made? Buy this house.

Pokemon Go has certainly gotten people out of their houses.

Landlords have been offering upgraded amenities to justify higher rents for many years, but now more are creating extensive outdoor spaces to lure tenants.

One cultural loss is another’s cultural gain.

Everything old is new again.

Prior to child labor laws (and texting), kids did the hard work of delivering messages via bikeGideon Tsang 2011 Gideon Tsang/flickr/2011

If you haven’t already migrated from VHS, now is the time to do it!

Sure, this terrain in Siberia looks like a lot of fun, but the reason for its appearance is no fun at all.

Is it possible that the fabled lost colony of Roanoke has been found?


What We’re Reading: July 11-15

Pokemon, co-working, outdoors, amenities, Netflix, street view, lawns, Brexit, allergies, phones, and emoji.

Pokemon has taken over the internet. Some people have gotta catch ‘em all, and since augmented reality is a reality, it’s up to the rest of us not to run them over when they wander into the streets. Players are advised to take precautions. It’s impacting real estate, too. Who wouldn’t show up to an open house if a PIKACHU is thereMatthew Hadley 2009 Matthew Hadley/flickr/2009

Humans have an innate need to socialize, but do co-working spaces satisfy that need?

We dream of private rooftop decks in Chicago, and it looks like we aren’t alone in our desire for great outdoor spaces!

What is on your dream real estate checklist? Does it include shared farmland? Or perhaps a unique design?

Sharing your Netflix password with someone? Be careful…

What do you do when the Google maps team takes their time getting to your island? You get creative.

Kids charged with lawn mowing duty, rejoice!

There was a big shake up at 10 Downing Street this week, but there will be some stability.

Could a common food additive be causing your food allergies?

Why keeping a landline might be a good call.

Have you ever noticed the gender assignment of emoji? Changes are coming.



Your Peers Have Compiled This List Of Ideas About Real Estate Investing Just For You

The economy is still not great, but investors can rise to the tops in terms of buying real estate. Now is a great time to start your real estate career. By reading the tips here, you have already taken the first step towards success.

Reputation is important when you are stepping into this arena. Abide by what you say, and do not lie to possible clients. This makes your reputation increase.

Devote the time required to manage your business, as well as the time to continue learning everything you can about the field. This may mean cutting some of your work time to learn, but the long-term dividends will be greater. You might have to give up a night of bowling league to spend time improving yourself as an investor.

For those looking towards putting their money into real estate, try to remember that the location is top priority. Property condition must also be considered. Properties that are in terrible areas will always be bad investments. Taking your time to research the area the house is located in can help your investment to be successful.

There are to essential rules to making an investment in an industrial or retail property. First, do not pay too much for the ground. Also, don’t overpay for business. Consider separately the true value of the property on an as-is basis, and then think about the rental prospects for the business. These numbers should both be good enough to support a decision to purchase this property.

Property management companies are often a good investment. You might spend a bit of money on the management company; however, it is money well spent that can increase your profits. The company that does the property management will screen potential renters and deal with costly repairs. This frees up your time to search for more investment options.

One of the most important elements to investing in real estate is location. Other factors, like the condition of the property, can be remedied. Properties that are in areas that are depreciating fast will generally make a bad investment choice. As you evaluate properties, always look at the area and the potential of the properties.

You want to make sure you can recover your investment, plus some profit. If you only recover your investment and don’t turn any profit, then you have wasted the time spent flipping the property in the first place. Make any changes the property needs in renovation and list higher than the total paid in.

If you are buying an investment property, be sure to hire a good handyman. Otherwise, you will spend lots on repair expenses. A dependable handyman will also come in handy for after-hours tenant emergencies.

Consider using a property management company. While it can eat into your profits a bit, it might be worth the cost. The company that does the property management will screen potential renters and deal with costly repairs. This gives you more time to concentrate on finding other properties in which to invest.

Study any neighborhood where you’re thinking about buying property. Location is essential as it pertains to investing, and you also need to know zoning laws. It is a good idea to talk with those around the property to see if the information you have is accurate.

You’ll go through bad and good times in real estate investing. It’s smart that you don’t allow these lows to make you give up. Persistence is key to finding success in the real estate market. Keep learning, keep trying and you will accomplish great things.

Never over-leverage yourself when looking to get the next deal. Make the best possible business decisions to optimize return. If you fly by the seat of your pants with no capital on hand, you will eventually crash and burn.

Never invest in real estate unless you have some reserve cash to back up your investment. The money you put aside is useful paying for expenses pertaining to the rental property such as minor repairs. Another reason having reserve cash is important is to be able to pay the mortgage in case you can’t rent the property quickly. Even though your property may be vacant, you still have expenses to consider.

Avoid over-leveraging yourself when moving on to a new real estate deal. Be sure to make wise decisions that don’t consume all of your investment capital. In this way, you can be prepared for the unexpected. Without the necessary capital, you can get burned.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is by investing in real estate that is out of their means. If you’re renting out your property, you have to be able to pay your mortgage, even if you have a few empty units. You don’t want to expect to be paying your mortgage with the rental income from the property.

Before purchasing a rental property, it pays to get a good understanding of what the local rents are going for in the area. One of the keys to renting your property promptly is not pricing the rent much higher than other comparable rentals in the neighborhood. Renters are not going to want to pay the higher price, and it will cost you dearly in the long run.

Pay attention to price of properties, and never put down money on something you know is unaffordable. If you’re renting out your property, you have to be able to pay your mortgage, even if you have a few empty units. Using your income from a rental just for the mortgage is usually a bad idea.

The last thing you want to buy is one that needs a total rehab. Don’t let the low cost fool you; you’ll probably wind up spending a ton just to fix it. Try finding properties to rent that just need some minor cosmetic fixes. Find a property to rent that already has good tenants in it.

It is important to run a credit and background check on each potential tenant. Tenants who are not trustworthy can damage your property and decrease your property value. Although a background check does not guarantee anything, it can definitely better your odds when trying to find a quality tenant.

If you don’t have the time or expertise to manage a property, hire a professional management company to do it for you. Although you will have to pay the property management company a fee, it will save a tremendous amount of time and frustration dealing with little problems that your tenants come up with.

To sum it up, many folks profit from real estate investing. However, if you want to be successful in real estate investment, you have to understand it thoroughly. This article has offered terrific advice for breaking into the world of real estate investments.

What We’re Reading: July 4-8

Robots, unique homes, libraries, bicycles, resumes, breakfast, bears, leap second, and selfies.

We wonder if these robots will be in place in time for the 2016 International REALTOR® Conference in Incheon later this summer.

Got milk? photographerpandora 2008 photographerpandora/flickr/2008

This flies in the face of modern library rules such as no eating, drinking, or sleeping in the library!

The invention of the wheel was obviously a game changer, but the pairing of two wheels on a frame impacted history in ways you probably don’t know.

Thinking of updating your resume? Try to think outside the box this time.

For those of you underwhelmed by Micky D’s all-day breakfast menu, the bar is being raised.

It’s back! Take a break from your day and watch the livestream of bears at Brook Falls, AKMax Goldberg 2015 Max Goldberg/flickr/2015

For all those procrastinators out there, you have an extra second this year to complete COE training.

If you suffer from this ailment, you brought it on yourself. #sorrynotsorry


What We’re Reading: June 27-July 1

Savings, soccer, upgrades, fireworks, pigment, goats, famous houses, Seattle, lunch breaks, slides, and AOL.

You’re probably not thinking about buying next year’s winter coat right now, but maybe you should.

Euro 2016 results have gone off-script, and when Iceland beat England, people lost their minds!

Those of you who have felt bullied by your computer’s upgrade messages might enjoy this story. Microsoft will make it easier to decline updates going forward.

With the Fourth of July approaching, we would like to take this opportunity to remind people to be safe when setting off fireworks, and to read about the carnage of celebrations only 100 years agoAndreaYori 2008 Andrea Yori/flickr/2008

This new pigment is so much more than meets the eye!

Who could object to this particular pageant?

Don’t forget we’re having dinner with the Rizchecks. The Sixteen Candles house is up for sale!

Seattle is known for the Space Needle, but now Amazon is adding new features to the city.

This photo series inspires us to step away from our desks to eat lunch.

Nope. Hard pass.

You’ve got mail! We know you heard that statement in a specific voice — it’s time to put a name and face to itmonkerino hill 2006 monkerino hill/flickr/2006

This is too good not to share, and you’ll never look at this classic children’s book the same way again!

What We’re Reading: June 20-24

Distracted or Tired at work?, drone legislation, IKEA museum, Instagram and public libraries.

Distracted at work? The open-plan office setup might be part of the problem. Tired at work? Chances are, you’re probably taking a break on Facebook.




Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier/flickr/2006

When it comes to what dads want in a home, the answer seems clear: their own space.

This house costs just $20,000, but, it’s probably nicer than yours.

The Napster name is coming back from the grave. Rhapsody is changing its name to Napster after purchasing the remains of Napster in 2011.

Gum is meant to be chewed, but sometimes accidents happen.

After years of struggling to write rules to protect public safety it looks like the Obama administration is on the verge of approving routine commercial use of small drones.

IKEA, the Swedish flatpack goliath has launched a permanent exhibition celebrating its history. What does it say about the evolution of our homes?

Ahhh, the majesty of America’s public libraries. Photographs of nearly 700 libraries across 48 states show that we have more in common than not.

Instagram now has half a billion users. How did the photo-sharing app outpace Twitter and keep us so addicted?

Does Mark Zuckerberg know something about online spying operations that we don’t?

A creative way to produce photographs without using a camera.

What We’re Reading: June 13-17

Orlando, Apple, stress, risk, memory, energy, net neutrality, Twitter, Tiny Houses, trifecta, and technology.

Cities show their solidarity with Orlando and the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub by lighting up their buildings.

What does the newest Apple software update mean for your gadgets? Sorry to tell you that some of them may become obsolete! iMessage is about to get fancy, though.

How do you de-stress? If given the choice, we’d pick puppies, but we will settle for moving! Bernard Goldbach 2011 Bernard Goldbach/flickr/2011

CoreLogic released its 2016 Storm Surge Report revealing more than 6.8 million homes are at risk of damage this year alone. Find out which states will take the brunt of it.

For those of us who can’t remember why we entered a room, these tricks might improve our memories.

We are only 11 years away from wind and solar power being cheaper than coal and gas, according to a new report.

Keeping the little guy in the game…a win for Net Neutrality!

Narcissists will now enjoy Twitter even more now that users can retweet their own tweets!

When it comes to the Tiny House Movement, it seems that zoning and housing laws are the biggest hurdle — just ask these college students. So much for our plan to move to this town and build a yurt.

If a good job, affordability, and quality of life are things that matter to you, your options appear to be limited.

If using 13th century building techniques matters to you, your options are limited, but surprisingly exist.






Real Investing Tips That Can Make A Big Difference

It can seem glamorous to get into real estate investment. There are many stories of people purchasing homes for very little and making a hefty profit on them. There are TV programs devoted to home improvement to boost property value. Even so, real estate isn’t as simple as the media would have you believe. You must know what you need to do; that is where this article comes in.

Before you begin your investment program, decide on exactly the type of real estate you want to work with. Maybe you want to flip real estate. You may even prefer to start rehab projects when choosing real estate. Each area of real estate offers something different, so its best to know where your talents lie.

You want to be educated concerning real estate investments before you begin. You must learn the different strategies that are involved in this business. Get a lot of videos about this and check your local library so you can find books to read about real estate to get into a good position.

Always try to find out what the local values are like. Mortgages and rent in your local neighborhood could give you a better feel for the house’s value as opposed to its financial statements. When you can see how things are going from the street, you can be smarter about your choices.

As an investor, you have to think realistically about how you are going to divide up your available time. Tenant issues can eat up your time. If you do not think you have the personal time free to manage tenants directly, consider hiring a property management firm to do it for you.

Stick with what you’re comfortable doing. If you specialize in one area, it will be easier to be successful. Going with what you know will increase your odds for success.

Look over the entire neighborhood before buying a property. Good neighborhoods will get you a better return than rundown ones. Buyers look closely at location, and you should too.

If you buy a rental property, it is vital that you wisely choose your tenants. The person should have first and last month’s rent ahead of time, as well as a deposit. If they can’t get that kind of money together at the start, then odds are good that they are not going to stay current on rent. Pass them up for somebody else instead.

When you purchase a property as an investment, it is a smart idea to look for a good handyman. If not, you may find you cash going to unnecessary repair expenses. A great handyman will always be available for you, even during an emergency.

Once you have a property and it needs improvements, do not dig unless you have called the proper authorities about what lines are buried within. In some places, it is illegal to do any kind of digging and you also don’t want to damage the property.

Do not get involved with real estate investments without sufficient capital. These funds are great for covering expenses incurred as a result of owning the rental. Another good reason to set aside some money is if you can’t immediately rent the property. You still need to think about costs even when the property is sitting empty.

Ensure that you get your investment back, plus a little profit, too. It’ll be a waste of time if you don’t make a profit. Always ask more than you spent so that you recoup the money you spent fixing it up.

One of the biggest mistakes real estate investors make is believing they should buy a bunch of property to build their personal assets. This is a habit among novice investors in real estate, but you’ll learn that having more isn’t exactly better. You have a better chance at investment success when you focus on making the most out of fewer investment properties. This will help you to succeed in the long run.

When calculating profits, always factor in the costs of repairs that the inspection dictated as necessary. These repairs will need to be done beforehand. When you want to pursue renting out any property, you must think about what is required for maintenance. Regardless of the situation, be sure to leave yourself a comfortable financial margin for error.

Begin with purchasing a single property. Though you may be tempted to purchase multiple listings at once, this can be extremely risky for a newcomer. Instead, begin with a single property and allow yourself to learn an investment strategy over time. You will benefit in the end.

Research the economic forecast within a county that you are interested in. High unemployment and a shortage of decent jobs keep property prices down. This does translate to a small return. A robust city will have higher property values.

Stay away from beginner realtors. When it comes to investing in real estate, you really need someone experienced to provide you with the best opportunities. The only way you find exactly what you desire is by using one with experience. At the very least, hire an experienced firm.

Remember that making an investment in real estate will be a big responsibility. Though you should make investments when you are younger, it is important that you are stable, as well. Put down roots within your community, save money and form relationships. There simply is not a better way to make the most of your real estate venture.

If you have an investment property with a vacancy, be sure you have money set aside so you can pay the mortgage monthly until you find a renter. Reserving money for this will assure you that your mortgage will be covered while you wait for someone to rent.

Be confident in your decision. Try ignoring it and learning all you can to make better decisions on what to spend your money on. An exception to this is an experienced investor who is rich.

If you don’t have the time or expertise to manage a property, hire a professional management company to do it for you. Although you will have to pay the property management company a fee, it will save a tremendous amount of time and frustration dealing with little problems that your tenants come up with.

In conclusion, lots of folks have been investing in real estate in order to gain some extra income. In order for an investment to succeed, it is important to understand the basics pertaining to it. Apply the knowledge you learned from this article when starting your real estate adventure.