Is This Really Happening?

Some Thoughts About Some Things.

Green Home Conversion July 22, 2008

with energy prices soring, everybody is looking for ways to conserve. if you live in my house, its taking a cold shower in the dark and reading by candle light, however, not everybody has that kind of dedication to lowering the electric bill.

so what happens when youre trying to move your investment property or your primary home that was built in 1998 (in a great “the bigger the better” market) in a down market?

you get the buyer asking you questions about windows and if your house is green? the obvious answer is “i have plants, but its not a green house…”

Green housing conversions are not as scary or costly as they sound. Additionally, green conversions will move your property 30% faster than if you dont convert.

so how’s it done and whats this going to cost?

  • buy energy star appliances. they will cost you or your perspective buyer 50% less on your energy bill.
  • throw in a tank less water heater
  • put a water barrel out back to collect rain water to water your water wise grass
  • put some overhangs in to add shade to your windows so you dont have to crank the AC to 69 degrees on a hot day

theres plenty that you can do to convert your home to a green home without spending a ton of cash and whatever you spend, you will make up on the sale.

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Almost too late to make that investment… July 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — scoccaro @ 4:17 am
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As the second half of the 4th quarter begins, and the tourism season comes to a close, i think we are starting to see some change, but unfortunately, it may be a little off target, at least for those who rely on the tourism industry.

So what does this mean?  Does this mean that the real estate market may being to stabilize toward the the end of the 1st quarter?  when exactly is the bottom going to drop out?  By the bottom dropping out, i am not talking about an absolute recession, but i am talking about the transition back to a  bull market, a period of time that has not been forgotten by most Americans. 

When is the right time to buy?  As many know, the time to buy stock is three weeks into any quarter when prices settle out, but real estate is something that cannot be moved as easily as stocks and funds can thus making it a tricker, but more lucrative move.

in this down economy, there shouldnt even be an issue of unsold properties because smart investors should be snatching up all foreclosed properties as tourism has not seen the effects of the Bush catastrophes.  the fact that tourism has not been touched by the lack of enthusiasm in the economy ties back to the importance of localized search for vacation rental owners, but this, is for another time.

in my personal (and green) opinion, there will be a busy sport season for most tourism sects such as Myrtle Beach due to the anticipated drop in gas prices.

Also, thanks to the biggest bail out in history on the horizon, we will begin to see those interest rates go up on that investment property.  So cash in those bonds and clean out the couch cushions and find a Realtor and invest in something solid and sound today.

 

2008 Real Estate Appreciation Stats and Predictions July 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — scoccaro @ 10:14 pm
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With real estate in the disarray that it is, somebody in my position will spend a significant amount of time in market research trying to find the “hot pockets” where real estate is still a hot commodity. in this research i have found interesting statistics that almost contradict themselves.

for instance, i have seen, through google trends that real estate in North and South Carolina are commonly searched, however, in “expert” predictions and through their research they are stating that these pockets are not in

New Hampshire, North Carolina or South Carolina, and are in fact located along the Gulf Coast and this is attributed to the destruction of Katrina.

In addition, it is notable that with the apparent threat of natural disaster, the Florida market is suffering considerably while we see an influx in the midwest, especially Colorado according to Google Trends. however, Forbes named Denver as one of the riskiest real estate markets in 2008…

 

July 3, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — scoccaro @ 12:33 am
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on Wednesdays, i like to go to starbucks and sit outside and read a book between leaving work at 5 and going to the gym at 6:30 (they added my spin class back and got rid of that wretched step class.  small victories.).  today, being that it is wednesday, was no different.

as i find my table (in the middle, not too close to the door that i will get bumped into and not too close to the street because i cant deal with the car noise) and settle in.  when these two young ladies get out of a white Volvo SUV with west virginia plates.  they looked like they were whoring at starbucks at 5:30pm.

the one had an embarrassingly short green chiffon dress with 4″ metallic heels.  the other in a tight black dress with pantie lines.

as they come back out of starbucks, they sit themselves at the table closest to the door and begin their conversation.  chiffon starts talking about what she learned that day, seeing as how shes probably old enough to still be in grade school, i eavesdrop.

“did you know that iran isnt actually part of Africa?  its actually part of Asia, like Asians live there.  I never knew that, thats what i learned today”.

this is how the conversation went.

i wept for a moment at how the public school system has let us all down yet again.  but then i said a little prayer thanking god for granting this young lady the ability to wear shoes like that because that is the only skill that will get her anywhere in life in her bright exotic dancing future.

 

nekkid cowboys and m&m’s June 25, 2008

Filed under: general ranting. — scoccaro @ 2:44 am
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so, being the information junkie that i am, i always have cnn.com open in a tab on every machine i touch as well as the cnn.com application for my blackberry.  so tonite, not unlike any other night, i am replying to emails and checking weather and bootlegging music, when i open my cnn.com tab.  and on the homepage under latest news there is a headline about the naked cowboy and his lawsuit against Mars’s Candynaked cowboy Inc or M&M’s.  this story isnt something new and breaking, but the development has been.

so i naturally roll my eyes and keep scanning, and just above this story about a naked cowboy is a story about a pregnant soldier being found dead in a motel room.

my question is, since when is a person who would sacrifice not only their life but the life of their unborn child for our country (a seemingly uncaring and frivolous one at that) as important as a man who plays the guitar in his skivvies in new york even in the same realm of importance?

what is the human race coming to where we are so desensitized to violence that we can casually read the news and potentially be effected in the same way to a pregnant woman being killed as we can be by a guy suing a candy giant because they created an m&m who might resemble him if he too was a blue peanut m&m.

so my question is, does he at least wear pants to court?  i think he might loose cred if he does.  i mean, come on, how can you not take this guy seriously?

what the hell is going on?

 

seo and real estate June 19, 2008

so, lets talk a little bit about the real estate market. it seems to be a hot topic these days, with the economy in the shitter and the stock market loosing our hard earned dollars.

here in lovely Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, we can’t give houses away, which is a pretty sad turn since 3 years ago, our real estate agents had people calling them begging to pay top dollar for a 1 bedroom slum.

so with this information, one would image that real estate agents would insist on changing their marketing plan, unfortunately, that is not the case. many are pulling their budgets back, which means that is their marketing budget, they wouldnt dare trade in that land rover.

often times, when i talk with a Realtor about their marketing budget or their website which is a template provided by remax that has no chance in hell of being ranked even in the most non-judgmental search engines, the answer is “we are broke”.

so, how can we turn this around? how can we make real estate agents, who are notorious for not knowing how to operate their email let alone design and market a website, believe in the internet?

i have a friend who is in real estate, she has decided to kick ass on the internet will a full on ppc and seo program and she has closed 9 deals in the last 3 months, all internet leads.

of course, my friend is in her 20’s and is more literate than most.

in addition, there are plenty of specialized web design companies out there that all they do is push out templated designs with the promise of seo. their idea of seo is putting the same 5 keywords in the meta data on all pages and throwing a few alt tags in.

i feel that it is important to educate our realtor’s so they can stop being ripped off and start selling some f-ing houses!

 

Social Shopping? June 18, 2008

Filed under: marketing — scoccaro @ 4:18 am
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so again, like the twitter incident, i am the last to know about everything.  yesterday, i was sent a link to http://www.iliketotallyloveit.com.  this website is the product (imho) of somebody over reaching.

the idea of social networking is still very new to some who do not work with the internet intimately everyday.  the idea of posting an idea and having hundreds of strangers read it and then make comments on it is absurd to some.  however, the rest of us, paticularly in the blogging arena are completely ok with sharing, whether it be a link to youtube which illustrates our water birth (see below) or just our own thoughts about things.

however, the idea of social shopping is something that i do not wish to explore.  the reason that i shop online is to avoid other people, especially those with opinions.  additionally, if i need to post a t-shirt that i have found [sidebar] as you will notice this website is full of expensive brand new vintage looking t-shirts that are going to be worn onlly by the hipsters that use this website on their mac laptops on a park bench in which they rode their fixed gear bike to.  [end sidebar] for a bunch of strangers to critisize, then i probably shouldnt be buying it anyway.  if i am that concerned with what other people think of the crap that i buy, i have much bigger problems.

However, from a merchant point of vision, social shopping could be a blessing, if your product doesnt suck that is.