3D Map Shows America’s Most Expensive Housing Markets
9 Amazing Things Disguised as Boring Things
Look twice-these seemingly mundane objects are hiding something.
Narnia hid behind a wardrobe. Doctor Who’s Tardis was disguised as a blue police call box. With no signage and no flags, these out of the ordinary things are hidden away disguised as something utterly banal. In some cases, these things are camouflaged on accident; in others, they are secreted away so that only those in the know can find them.
Either way, the world is full of seemingly mundane places that are more than meets the eye. It reminds us to stay curious-one has to always be on the lookout for wonder. Here are nine places in the Atlas that may seem boring at first glance but are actually amazing once you take a closer look.
Here are a few:
1. Brooklyn Townhouse Secret Subway Exit
3. Mystery Soda Machine – insert 75 cents and see what you get
4. The Lonely Parking Meter
The only parking meter in Winters, CA
My comment: Just For Fun!! We all work in the field and discover strange things. This article will make me look closer at what I see ;>
Disciplinary Process-How It Works, Your Rights & Likely Outcomes
by Robert Weinstock, JD, MBA, CBA, CVA
While the number of licensed real estate appraisers nationwide has decreased, the number of complaints filed against appraisers has increased. For example, in my home state of California, complaints against appraisers have increased by 40% even though the number of appraisers has declined, according to the California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers (BREA)….
The following is an actual 2015 disciplinary action against an appraiser in which the appraiser lost his license and was required to reimburse the state for its investigation and prosecution costs in the amount of $125,828. In addition, if the applicant should care to reapply for a new license, he shall be required to pay an additional $115,828.
Time-lapse video of the International Space Station expandable habitat
Excerpt: On Saturday, May 14, NASA successfully completed the deployment of the first expandable habitat on the International Space Station. With help from the ground, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams began inflating the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) at 9:04AM ET.
He opened the valve 25 times to inject air into the module in short bursts, according to NASA. Time in between allowed the BEAM to expand and stabilize, as the NASA and Bigelow Aerospace teams monitored the module’s internal pressure. The BEAM was expanded to its full size seven hours later, at 4:10PM ET.
My comment: WoW!!!
United States Spy Town Auction
It’s not the first time that an entire American town has gone on the auction block, but it might be the most unusual. Sugar Grove Station, West Virginia was originally a United States Navy military base to support part of the National Security Agency’s surveillance operation. Though the array of giant parabolic dishes that continue to track location and content of international telecommunications activity is still in operation and not part of the sale, they are completely obscured from view behind thick forest on their ridgetop one mile distant. When it became unnecessary to house related analytical staff at the base, it was retired in the fall of 2015 and put up for auction to the highest bidder over $1 million.
Built between 1960 and 2014, the fenced and gated rural town has private full-service utilities to support as many as 500 people on over 120 acres. Included are 80 homes on tree-lined residential streets in like-new condition, a swimming pool, bowling alley, youth daycare center, community center with fireplace which was designed to function as a restaurant with bar, a gym, full-sized indoor basketball court, tennis and racquetball courts, a football field, large playground with kiddie pool, and twelve guest cabins for visitors. There are also several large buildings for multiple use as well as a four-section hobby building for working on cars, woodworking shop and other creative pursuits. For community safety, a police station and fire station are already in place.
8 Extraordinary Pieces of Architecture Grown From Living Trees
We usually use trees as building material in the form of struts and planks. But all over the world, people have found ways to create dwellings, bridges, and sculptures out of trees without even cutting them down. Using trees to create living structures is much slower to build (read: grow) than traditional methods, but it creates some truly fantastical natural creations. Take a look at some of the world’s coolest feats of arbortecture.
My comment: All I can say is WoW!! Great photos plus some text info. Just Click On It!!
Celebrity names not adding to appeal for home buyers?
May. 16, 2016 – 3:00 – Douglas Elliman Broker Chris Leavitt on the challenges celebrities face trying to sell their homes.
Very funny commercial before the short 4 minute video – Fox news.
Another great one from Jonathan Miller. I guess he watches a lot of tv and tweetlings, when not doing lotsa graphs and other stuff ;>
Collateral Underwriter Update from Fannie Mae
Source: Appraisal Buzz
The Buzz staff recently asked Zach Dawson, Director of Collateral Policy and Strategy, Fannie Mae, to provide appraisers with an update on the development of Collateral Underwriter.
A few of the questions:
– Buzz: Can you bring us up to date on CU? What have you learned from this data initiative?
– Buzz: Can you tell us more about AQM and the objectives of that project?
– Buzz: How many appraisers does Fannie Mae refuse to accept appraisals from?
My comment: Definitely hits the Hot Topics!! Nothing much new, but good to directly from Fannie Mae, in writing…
Can Living Near a Starbucks Boost Your Home Value?
It seems that being close to a Starbucks does have a marked effect on home values, particularly in the East, according to a Zillow report.
Between 1997 and 2014, homes within walking distance, or one-quarter mile, of a Starbucks appreciated 96 percent. Compared to the national average for the same time period, 65 percent, it seems having a barista close by is a smart real estate move.
Does a new Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s in Your Neighborhood Increase Your Home Value?
A 2015 study by the real estate information company RealtyTrac analyzed this trend. The study included 4 million homes located in a ZIP code with either a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s location, finding that average property values in a ZIP code with Trader Joe’s appreciated by about 40 percent since they were purchased, while homes with a Whole Foods in the ZIP code appreciated by nearly 34 percent, which matches the national average increase according to the survey.
Poll: Generally speaking, how accurate do you find MLS data in your area?
This week’s poll: “Now that we have been living for some time with all the new rules governing residential appraisal, do you still enjoy doing the actual appraisal work?” Go to www.appraisalport.com and vote!!
My comments: I have no idea why so many people think that MLS data is correct!! Of course, it does vary a lot among MLSs. In my area it is “reasonably accurate”, except public records data is often used (and the source disclosed). For example, on the weekly open house tour last week, an agent had 2 bedrooms in the listing, because “that is what public records says”. The second bedroom was tandem with another bedroom and very small. We all know how (inaccurate) public records are. Somehow, everyone, including some appraisers, think it is accurate. Or, worse, try to make their appraisals match public records to avoid callbacks.
To make a comment, scroll down to the post below and read other appraisers’ comments and post your own!!
10 homes that changed America (PBS – April, 2015)
Excerpt: In its 10 Homes That Changed America, a three-part series, PBS discusses the many ways that America has been shaped by its iconic and important architecture. According to series host Geoffrey Baer, narrowing the millions of houses across America down to ten examples was a challenge. The tv show tours the ten homes that have not only passed the test of time but also paved the way for those that followed.
Here are a few, with photos and brief descriptions at the link below:
– Taos Pueblo, New Mexico (circa 15th century)
– Glidehouse, Novato, California (2004)
– Mid-19th Century Tenement, New York City
My comment: Fascinating!! The first one of the 3-part series has already aired. Be sure not to miss the rest. I will let you know when the first one is available for viewing online.
20 worst street names
I’m sure the folks on Cannibal Road are lovely people, I just won’t be attending any of their dinner parties. These are the streets that you don’t want to find yourself driving down – trust us, no good can come from a stroll on Buckets of Blood Street. Proceed with caution..
Thanks (again) to Jonathan Miller for this great link!!
What are the strangest street names you have seen?
POST YOUR STRANGE STREET NAMES BELOW AND READ OTHER COMMENTS!!
My comment: Yes, there is an O’Rourke Street in a nearby city!!
How many appraisers are doing FHA appraisals now?
My comment: I suspected that most appraisers will do them even with all the additional work required. Only 13% have given up FHA appraisals.
Toronto’s Half House
Willy Wonka would love this weird half-a-home
No, this isn’t a trick of Photoshop. Nor is it the world’s nastiest spite house; rather, this bonafide half-home shares more with its nail house brethren after witnessing a history of blight and zoning changes.
The lone row home at 54 1/2 Saint Patrick Street dates back to Toronto’s slums in the late 19th century. Built somewhere between 1890 and 1893, this bay-and-gable relic from a bygone era once was a one of six identical, structurally intertwined homes on what was then known as Dummer Street
This begs the question: how does half a building cleave away so cleanly only to leave the rest of it standing?
Read more at: Be sure to click on photo full screen to see it better
More photos and info at: Click here Link was too long to post…