Realtors: U.S. recovery has begun
Existing-home sales rose again in September, affirming that a sales recovery has begun, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.
Nationally, the number jumped 10 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.53 million. In the West, the number was 1.05 million, up 5 percent over August. Both numbers, however, remain well off September 2009 totals, 19.1 percent nationally, and 16.7 percent in the West. READ MORE
L.A., South Bay rents edge up despite sluggish
Apartment rents in the Los Angeles region edged upward in the third quarter despite the sluggish economy, according to a report to be released today.
In the third quarter, the average monthly rent for a unit at large apartment complexes in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana region was $1,552, up $11 from the previous quarter, says the report by RealFacts, a Novato-based firm that compiles rental data.
However, the average rent for the July-to-September period was still $19 lower than in the same quarter a year ago.
Occupancy at large apartment complexes rose to 94.2 percent in the third quarter, up from 94.1 percent in the previous quarter and 93.9 percent a year earlier.
The recent regional increase in rents and occupancy resembled nationwide trends.
Gay rights group asking for apology from legislator
RALEIGH – A gay rights group is asking for an apology after a state legislator sent an email making what they call derogatory comments. State Representative Larry Brown (R), of Forsyth County, is catching the heat for the email.
The email said: “I hope all the queers are thrilled to see him. I am sure there will be a couple legislative fruitloops there in the audience.” Rep. Brown was responding to an email that House Minority Leader Paul Stam sent to members of his caucus. He was letting them know that House Speaker Joe Hackney was receiving an award from Equality North Carolina for supporting bills the Republicans did not.
Gay teen suicides create a 'teachable moment'
HADDONFIELD, N.J. — Gay Americans have arrived at a "teachable moment."
Often feeling marginalized in political discourse or grousing that they're used as political pawns, they have the nation's attention — and sympathy — after a recent spate of teenage suicides and two apparent anti-gay attacks in the heart of their community.
Minneapolis Archbishop Withholds Communion from
Archbishop John Nienstedt refused the Eucharist to students wearing rainbow buttons at a Sept. 26 Catholic mass, the Associated Press reported on Oct. 6.
Nienstedt is the Archbishop for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Last month Catholic churches in Minnesota mailed about 400,000 anti-gay DVDs to Catholics in the state as part of a push to amend the Minnesota constitution so as to legally bar gay and lesbian families from accessing marriage rights. Nienstedt reportedly authorized the mailings, which drew criticism even from within the church.
Gay nurse fights sacking
A lesbian nurse discharged under the US government's ''don't ask, don't tell'' policy for gays in the military was an excellent officer whose sexuality never caused a problem in her unit, former colleagues told a federal judge.
Former major Margaret Witt is seeking reinstatement to the Air Force Reserve just days after a federal judge in California declared the law unconstitutional. READ MORE
South Carolina gay community celebrates SC Pride
COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Thousands of folks celebrated SC Pride 2010 in Columbia Saturday afternoon. The event, held by the South Carolina Pride Movement, featured a parade that traveled down Main Street to Gervais Street in the heart of the Vista, to Gadsden Street, ending at Finlay Park, the location for the festival. Many of the state's gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender citizens came out to celebrate gay pride in the state. READ MORE
Making real estate look good in Google's 3D world
In the physical world, people knowing they'll be judged on appearances often prefer to put their best foot forward.
But there's a direct analog of the real world taking shape inside thousands of Google computers, a collection that began with addresses and roads and that's extended to photos and 3D buildings. What do you do when it's time to spruce up for virtual visitors?
You can of course learn how to create 3D models and submit them to Google. But a New Zealand start-up is hoping you'll do the same thing most people do when they need to design an addition or build a Web page: hire someone with the appropriate expertise. READ MORE
Durham deemed among safest real estate markets
Real estate investments in Durham are among the safest real estate risks in the country for buyers of single-family properties, according to a new report from the Local Market Monitor research firm.
Durham, which is home to Duke University and major operations for IBM (NYSE: IBM) and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), was among 25 communities classified in the safest investment category for investors of single family homes based on Local Market Monitor’s newly developed classification system. READ MORE
Trial in Oxnard killing of gay teen will use Santa Barbara
The jurist says intense news coverage in Ventura County could threaten Brandon McInerney's right to a fair trial. But the trial will still be held in Ventura County.
Intense news coverage in Ventura County of the shooting death of gay teenager Lawrence "Larry" King prompted a judge Monday to order that the jurors be drawn from neighboring Santa Barbara County.
Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell agreed with the defense's contention that Ventura County residents have been so saturated with press coverage of the sensational classroom slaying that 16-year-old defendant Brandon McInerney's right to a fair trial was threatened. READ MORE
Church court tries minister who performed same-sex
The lesbian is accused of violating the Presbyterian constitution when gay marriage was legal in California.
Reporting from San Francisco —
A lesbian minister, who officiated at more than a dozen same-sex weddings during the brief window gay marriage was legal in California, goes to trial Thursday before a Presbyterian court, charged with violating her denomination's constitution.
The case of the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr has gained national attention because "what is being tested is the definition of marriage" in the Presbyterian faith, said the Rev. Carmen Fowler, president of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, a conservative organization that opposes same-sex marriage. READ MORE
Post Card Strategies And How To Use Them As
Techniques In Real Estate Marketing
Today, the real estate agents have several different creative marketing strategies. Postcards is one of the uses. It really is not as insignificant as it seems. If you choose the best area to concentrate your marketing postcard strategy, you will find this is a very efficient way to generate qualified leads.
Views on Marriage, Gay and Straight
Re “The Marriage Ideal” (column, Aug. 9), Ross Douthat’s defense of heterosexual marriage:
Ideals may be hard to argue with, but they have real-world consequences, and even a beautiful vision of marriage as an abstract ideal becomes ugly when it excludes actual human beings and damages their well-being. Ideas don’t ache, institutions don’t suffer and symbols don’t sob, but real people do. READ MORE
White House to provide $3 billion for housing
California, Florida to get biggest share of new cash
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is providing $3 billion to unemployed homeowners facing foreclosure in the nation's toughest job markets.
The Treasury Department said Wednesday it will send $2 billion to 17 states that have unemployment rates higher than the national average for a year. They will use the money for programs to aid unemployed homeowners. Some of those states have already designed such programs. READ MORE
Target Stores Negotiate with Gay-Lesbian Group over Disputed Political Spending
WASHINGTON -- The bulls eye is still on Target's back.
Last week, faced with waves of protests, the company apologized over its $150,000 donation to an organization backing a Republican candidate with a long record of opposing gay rights.
But the controversy has not gone away. Far from it. The public demonstrations have died down, but the company is locked in closed-door negotiations with largest gay activist organization in the country, the Human Rights Campaign, which is demanding that the giant retailer make an equivalent or greater donation to groups supporting equal rights candidates. READ MORE
A welcome home for all
Hud's fair housing rules are a step forward – but much
remains to be done before LGBT people can enjoy full
On the 41st anniversary of the Stonewall uprising (the touchstone for the gay civil-rights movement), the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (Hud) announced new measures providing increased protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the rental, sale and financing of housing. Hud Secretary Shaun Donovan asserted that gender identity discrimination is a form of gender discrimination, which is banned by the federal Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the 1968 Civil Rights Act). The act also prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability.READ MORE
Editorial: Obama must take a stance on gay marriage
The decision Wednesday by a federal judge overturning California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state, was no surprise. Anyone who followed the trial as it unfolded in Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Wakler’s courtroom pretty much supposed that he would find Proposition 8 unconstitutional.
He did that, in a 136-page ruling, finding that Proposition 8 violated the due-process and equal-protection rights of the state’s gay and lesbian citizens. READ MORE
Fewer U.S. Homeowners Underwater as California Home Prices Rise
Aug. 9 (Bloomberg) -- The percentage of U.S. homeowners who owe more than their properties are worth declined in the second quarter as tax credits boosted prices in California and foreclosures surged, real estate data provider Zillow.com said.
Judge overturns Calif. gay marriage ban
SAN FRANCISCO — In a major victory for gay rights advocates, a federal judge on Wednesday struck down a California ban on same-sex marriage.
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the voter-approved ban, known as Proposition 8, violates due process and equal-protection rights under the U.S. Constitution.READ MORE
Home loan purchase demand up for a third straight week
NEW YORK — The demand for U.S. mortgage applications to purchase homes rose last week for a third straight week as interest rates tumbled, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday. READ MORE
Zillow takes over Yahoo Real Estate listings in ad deal
Zillow.com announced overnight and VentureBeat reported here that they are now working with Yahoo Real Estate and Yahoo search on a strategic venture that is reminiscent of Yahoo’s similar deals in recent days with PriceGrabber.com for Yahoo Shopping and with Match.com for Yahoo personals. READ MORE
International Interest in U.S. Properties Continues to Grow
A recent report released by the National Association of REALTORS® indicates that interest in property in the United States has increased among home buyers around the world. Entitled the 2010 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, the report lists several factors as contributing to this growing interest. Some of these factors include:
* The strength of the U.S. dollar
* The overall value and level of desirability of real estate in the United States
* The apparent emergence of an economic recovery
US commercial property headed for recovery
July 20 (Reuters) - U.S. commercial real estate will recover more quickly than in the 1990s downturn as a lack of financing limits new supply and investors flush with cash compete for properties, according to Prudential Real Estate Investors. READ MORE
Gay ban at campsite before tribunal
A VICTORIAN tribunal will be asked to decide if a Christian group can discriminate against gay people for religious reasons. READ MORE
A Call for Violence Answered in Uganda: Gay Activist Found Beheaded
There's disturbing and sad news out of Uganda today. The severed head of Ugandan LGBT rights activist Pasikali Kashusbe was found in a latrine on a farm in Uganda.
Gay U.S. citizens seek to claim residency for foreign spouses
An immigration reform measure proposed by an Illinois congressman would give the foreign partners of gay U.S. citizens a route to citizenship. READ MORE
Short sales not immune to debt collectors
Experts say it's best to know your risk when considering a short sale.
Obama to host LGBT reception Tuesday
Washington, D.C. — Tuesday is going to be quite a day at the White House, as President Obama welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights activists to a special reception in honor of Pride month. READ MORE
Colorado LGBT Sportsfest
Date: 06/05/2010 - 06/06/2010
Time: 09:00 am - No Info
Location: Cook Park
Denver, Colorado 80204
Cleveland, Ohio, USA to host 2014 Gay Games
Cleveland Chosen to Host 2014 Gay Games IX
Excellent venues, fiscal accountability and widespread community support cited by Federation of Gay Games
The city of Cleveland, Ohio, USA, has been chosen by the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) to host the 2014 Gay Games. READ MORE
May 25, 2010
Four Social Media Strategies that Work
If we know one thing about today’s consumer, it’s that they are communicating online. According to the 2009 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, more than one-third of home buyers looked online for properties as their first step in the home-buying process last year (READ MORE).
May 20, 2010
May 14, 2010
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April 12, 2010
Real estate agent's dream results in a halfway house for expectant moms
Sunny Shuptrine said late one night about 12 years ago, she had a dream about a blue, two-story, historic home with a front porch swing.
But Shuptrine, who is a real estate agent for Keller Williams Realty Inc., said she wasn’t just dreaming up floor plans of homes she could sell to willing buyers. She said she knew the home was a halfway house for pregnant women, and that her dream was a message from God.
“The Lord gave me the dream, and it needed to be done,” Shuptrine said as she sat in an armchair inside the living room of a baby blue, two-story home located downtown that is the materialization of her dream. “It’s amazing how it’s all come together.”
Shuptrine is the president of the nonprofit Christian ministry STAFF House that aims to provide food, housing, education and other services for pregnant women.
STAFF is an acronym that stands for Shepherds That Attend Father’s Flock. The nonprofit is located inside a renovated 1900s-era home downtown that she said is now ready to take in women from Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Jones, Onslow and Pamlico counties to fill its five empty beds upstairs.
New Bern Planning and Inspections granted a certificate of occupancy for the home on Dec. 18, and it was licensed by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services at the end of January. Shuptrine said the sprinkler system still needs to be installed, which she hopes will happen this week.
But the home has already provided shelter for one woman who needed counseling, and another who was four months pregnant, but who had to be referred to Greenville because of substance abuse problems.
Shuptrine said the home was renovated by volunteers and using donations during a six-month period last year.
“It was a community effort from all walks of life, all ages,” she said.
A professional decorator donated her time, as did a general contractor. The furniture and rugs were donated, too. Shuptrine said she had prayed to find the heating and air conditioning system for the home, and when she found what she needed, a local company installed that for free, too.
“I prayed, ‘Lord, we need a 4.5-ton gas pack,’ ” she said. “Let’s get down to what we need here.”
She estimated that the cost of the project would have been about $120,000, but it cost about $48,000 in volunteer work and in donated funds. Half of that went to the construction of an addition that included a bedroom, a bathroom and a fire exit.
The house itself was deeded to the nonprofit by Tabernacle Baptist Church. Church leaders had considered demolishing that house and another on Metcalf Street in order to build a parking lot for a new family life center, said Annette Stone, city planner.
Saving the two historic homes was a compromise between the church and city and historic preservation officials. The church agreed to save the buildings in exchange for the ability to demolish a sanctuary on its property instead.
Shuptrine said she believes the whole project is a miracle, starting with the dream, then to her finding the house, and down to the smallest details, such as choosing what colors to paint the rooms. She said God even spoke to her about painting the downstairs in warm colors and in cool colors upstairs.
“It’s just like a still, small voice that you hear in your spirit,” she said.
And now that the home is nearly complete, the nonprofit is looking for more volunteers and donors, and also looking for girls to live in the home, Shuptrine said.
“We need more workers, and we need girls,” she said.
Laura Oleniacz can be reached at 252-635-5675 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 8, 2010
March 31, 2010
March 30, 2010
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March 19, 2010
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March 15, 2010
March 9, 2010
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March 8, 2010
Important dates to remember
April 5 - A few years back, most people would get what's called a conventional loan when financing a house. At that time, you could arrange for financing with no money down. Well, those days are long gone, and most conventional loans now require a 20% down payment. As a result, many homebuyers are now turning to FHA backed mortgages. These loans only require a 3.5% down payment. But an FHA loan also requires that you purchase mortgage insurance. On April 5, FHA is going to increase the cost of that insurance from 1.75% to 2.25%. An increase of one half percent might not sound like a lot, but it comes to $2,500 on a $500,000 house. The April 5 deadline is defined as the date by which FHA assigns a case number to the loan. In reality, what that means for Joe Homebuyer is that you should have a ratified contract to your mortgage broker by something like March 25. That will give your lender enough time to obtain the FHA case number by the April 5 cutoff date.
April 15 - Here's a date most of us would rather forget than remember. Nevertheless, if you bought a home or did some refinancing in 2009, there might be some expenses you could deduct from your taxes. So make sure you let your tax preparer know about any real estate transactions you completed in the previous year. Usually, all the information you might need could be found on your settlement statement, known as the HUD-1. If you can't find a copy of your settlement statement, call your real estate agent, or the title company who conducted the settlement and they should be able to get you a copy.
April 22 - Last week, we did a column on rehabbing a home. For those of you considering renovations to an older home, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has some new rules that will take effect on April 22. These new regulations pertain to lead paint. On any home built prior to 1978, there is a potential for the presence of lead-based paints. On April 22, the EPA will now require that any remodeling done on a home built prior to 1978 be completed by a contractor who is certified by the EPA in lead-safe practices. This only applies to renovations where the paint will be disturbed, but there aren't many remodeling jobs where that isn't the case. The EPA has a fine of $32,500 for contractors who don't comply, and many contractors have yet to receive the necessary training. So if you're getting ready to do a renovation on an older home, make sure your contractor is qualified, or the project may be delayed.
April 30 - If you're a first-time homebuyer, Uncle Sam will give you an $8,000 tax credit if you get under contract on a house by April 30 and then get to settlement on that house by June 30. A first-time homebuyer is defined as someone who hasn't owned a principal residence during the past three years. There's also a $6,500 tax credit available for repeat home buyers. For repeat buyers, you can qualify for the credit if you have owned and resided in the same home for at least five consecutive years of the eight years prior to the purchase of a new home. The same deadlines of April 30 and June 30 that are in effect for first-time buyers also apply to the credit for repeat buyers. There are additional qualifications and rules regarding the tax credits.
March 6, 2010
March 3, 2010
Saturday February 27, 2010
Supreme Court Scrutinizes State, Local Gun Control ( see pertinent excerpt below )
"The court also has relied on that same clause -- "no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law" -- in cases that established a woman's right to an abortion and knocked down state laws against interracial marriage and gay sex. " to read the rest of the article from the AP visit this link: http://www.wmur.com/politics/22691385/detail.html
Friday February 26, 2010
Thursday February 25, 2010
Monday February 22, 2010
Saturday February 20, 2010
Friday February 12, 2010
Wednesday - February 10, 2010
Sunday February 7, 2010
Monday February 1, 2010
Real Estate - Tips to Real Estate Web 2.0 “ Discover How To Unlock Real Estate Marketing In Your Deals Today: http://bit.ly/aZ7hQB
Friday, January 29, 2010
Tuesday December 1, 2009
Movement under way in California to ban divorce
Thursday November 19, 2009
U.S. Census Bureau Convening With Sac LGBT
Tuesday November 17, 2009
Lesbian Candidate for Houston Mayor Faces Anti-Gay Opposition
Thursday November 12, 2009
Salt Lake City OKs gay rights laws with Mormon backing
Salt Lake joins with Austin, Texas and Tallahassee, Florida in
extending or enhancing their Cities policies for GLBT employees and
residence, since the November 2009 elections
By JENNIFER DOBNER (AP) - 36 minutes ago
SALT LAKE CITY - The Mormon church for the first time has announced
its support of gay rights legislation, an endorsement that helped gain
unanimous approval for Salt Lake city laws banning discrimination
against GLBT people in housing and employment.
The Utah-based church's support ahead of Tuesday night's vote came
despite its steadfast opposition to gay marriage reflected in the
high-profile role it played last year in California's Proposition 8
ballot measure that barred such unions.
"The church supports these ordinances because they are fair and
reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage,"
Michael Otterson, the director of public affairs for The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said.
Passage made Salt Lake City the first Utah community to prohibit bias
based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Under the two new
ordinances, it is illegal to fire someone from their job or evict
someone from their residence because they are lesbian, bisexual, gay
"I thought this conversation would never come to be while I was here
in Salt Lake City," said Larabee, adding that the discussions have
"shifted her perspective of what's possible" and could foreshadow a
different relationship between the two sides.
Wednesday November 11, 2009
Orlando Ranks 9th in Gay Residents
Tuesday November 10, 2009
Real Estate Outlook: Pending Sales Rise
Tuesday November 10, 2009
Washington Referendum Ensures Domestic Partners Rights
Monday November 9, 2009
Question 1 Funded Mostly by Churches
Friday November 6, 2009
President Obama and Gay Rights: Forgetting the Lessons of the Campaign
Thursday November 5, 2009
Congress giving homebuyers a $6,500 tax break
Monday November 2, 2009
"What the Puck?" - Dallas' new Arts District
Thursday October 29, 2009
Check out America's Strongest Housing Markets
Thursday October 29, 2009
Saturday October 24, 2009
‘Racist, homophobic’ campaign fliers distributed in Maplewood ( Minnesota )
Read more great articles from The Minnesota Independent
Friday Oct 23, 2009
Friday Oct 23, 2009
Dan Savage Interviews Frank Rich - Read the story here:
Wednesday Oct 21, 2009
Wednesday Oct 21, 2009
Vote to approve R-71 ( Washington State )
Our founding fathers stated in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Those asking us to reject Referendum 71, would exclude the pursuit of happiness to a segment of our society by not allowing them to have the same financial security, support, protections and benefits guaranteed when two people make a lifetime commitment to each other with state recognition of their partnership. Domestic partnerships are not marriage. Domestic partnerships are not a stepping-stone for gay marriage. Our Supreme Court has already ruled against gay marriage, so these claims are pure nonsense.
Vote “Approve” on Referendum 71 and demonstrate that Washington state is the home of reasoned people who respect our rights, freedoms, the rule of law and the separation of church and state.
Michael T. Barr
Taken from the www.Sammamishreview.com
Thursday Oct 15, 2009
Evangelicals step up for marriage equality
Thursday Oct 15, 2009
Obama picks MN woman as 1st openly gay US marshal
Tuesday Oct 13, 2009
Schwarzenegger signs gay rights bills -
Tuesday Oct 13, 2009
How Iago Explains the World
Monday Oct 12, 2009
Obama vows to end military gay ban
Monday Oct 12, 2009
Gay rights advocates march on DC, divided on Obama
Thursday Oct 8, 2009
Obama nominates gay ambassador
David Huebner has strong ties to GLAAD
Monday Oct 5, 2009
America's Smartest Cities - First to Worst
Monday Oct 5, 2009
Gay married couples fork over $467,000 more than straight married couples in the US
Friday Sept 25, 2009
Have a Great weekend everyone - It's Rainy here in the Southeast but the real estate market is booming!
Wednesday Sept 23, 2009 - Posted by Brad Hudson
Just added a Twitter page to the site. To Access it just click on the Menu to the left. It's easy to follow us from there and we ALWAYS follow back. Have a great evening.