Monthly Archives: September 2010

Tech Thursday: Using Foursquare to Stand Out from the Appraiser Crowd

Last week’s Tech Thursday discussion with Ryan Lundquist (@SacAppraiser) led me to another tech-loving appraiser, Tom Millie (@AssetAppraiser).

Tom Millie, of Efficient Appraisals in Omaha, has worked as a real estate appraiser for 10 years and uses social media to stand out from the valuation crowd. “I find that I’m one of the few in my industry who use social media regularly,” he says. In the field… Continue reading

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Reflections on the Mortgage Market

In the past couple of weeks, the New York Times, Bloomberg, and The Washington Post have published articles on the slide of home prices in the United States. Each has posed a similar question regarding this issue: Should the housing market be allowed to fall or should the government continue to try to support the market with tax credits and proposed initiatives? Proposed initiatives are “$3 billion to keep the… Continue reading

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If BP Rejects Your Claim, There is an Alternative Fund

Check out’s article on the Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center. In order to get money from the Coast Guard, an applicant must be rejected or have waited at least 90 days after applying without a decision from the BP fund. The Coast Guard fund has narrower eligibility guidelines and cannot issue settlements as large as the BP fund’s settlements.

This PDF flowchart explains the Coast Guard… Continue reading

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Tech Thursday: Happy Social Good Day

Happy Social Good Day! Today, Mashable and (RED) ask: “Can social media make the world a better place?” To participate, share your thoughts on Twitter by using the hashtag #socialgood.

How has social media made our industry a better place? I presented this question to my Twitter followers and, just as expected, received some insightful feedback within minutes.

Ryan Lundquist — a Sacramento appraiser, social media expert… Continue reading

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Kevin Costner Tells Congress About His Oil Spill Response Plan

Actor Kevin Costner invested $24 million in Ocean Therapy Solutions, a fleet of barges equipped with devices that use centrifuge to separate oil from ocean water. The ships act as first responders during a spill, cleaning water that skimmer ships have harvested. The biggest device can process about 210,000 gallons a day, according to Ocean Therapy.

BP bought such ships after its well exploded in April. If you want… Continue reading

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Thousands of Foreclosures May Be Illegal Due to One Processor

The Washington Post reports:
“As head of Ally Financial’s foreclosure document processing team, 41-year-old Jeffrey Stephan was required to review cases to make sure the proceedings were legally justified and the information was accurate. He was also required to sign the documents in the presence of a notary.

In a sworn deposition, he testified that he did neither. He approved thousands of foreclosures from the nation’s biggest mortgage companies… Continue reading

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MIT Real Estate Prof’s Idea for “How to Fix the Mortgage Mess”

The prestigious MIT Center for Real Estate has a website that is always brimming over with great articles, including one about how to build a $1,000 house. Currently, MIT’s William C. Wheaton, a Department of Economics professor, has posted an article that offers his blueprint for saving the U.S. housing market. Here is a little taste:

“To fix the underwater loan problem, existing mortgages could be restructured into two… Continue reading

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Nobel-Winning Economist Urges Banks to Write Down Mortgages

With one out of four US mortgages underwater, Columbia University economist and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz offered banks some urgent advice. “Evictions merely create more homeless people and more vacant homes,” Stiglitz said in a recent podcast (which you can hear by following this link).

“What is needed is a quick write-down of the value of the mortgages. Banks will have to recognize the losses and, if… Continue reading

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Tech Thursday

Introducing: Collateral Vision Tech Thursday

Each Thursday, FNC marketing manager and social media moderator Nora Brown will blog about technology and how it affects the real estate industry.

Until then, check out some of our current favorite tech and industry blogs (and the Twitter users behind them):

Mashable- the largest and best Web 2.0/social media blog. Founder Pete Cashmore (@mashable) boasts more than 2 million… Continue reading

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Federal Reserve Sees Recovery Rolling From St. Louis to San Francisco

If you join FNC’s free webinar this Tuesday at 1 p.m. (CDT), you will learn how to use our new free online Residential Price Index—and how to pinpoint zip codes that are recovering economically and ripe for investment as well as those buffeted and battered. (Those of you in Florida and Texas will find this particularly interesting).

You can register by clicking here.

In the meantime, here are the… Continue reading

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