Daily Archives: January 2, 2013

Putnam County, NY, won’t give gun info to paper | North Salem Realtor

Robert Freeman of the state’s Committee on Open Government says the county outside New York City would be violating state law if it withholds public data.

The Journal News says Putnam County officials have scheduled a news conference Thursday to announce their decision to deny the request.

In December, the Journal News published online maps that allow viewers to see the names and addresses of pistol and revolver permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.

Critics have called that an invasion of privacy. Some say it could endanger permit holders.

The newspaper stands by the project. It sought the information after the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Armonk 2012 Sales up 31% | Median Price down 17% | RobReportBlog

Armonk NY Sales
2012 2011
92 Sales 70 0.31 UP
$862,500.00 Median Price $1,050,000.00 0.17 DOWN
$150,000.00 Low Price $325,000.00
$9,300,000.00 High Price $2,950,000.00
3668 Ave. Size 3809
$328.00 Ave. Price/foot $310.00
207 Ave. DOM 209
0.9372 Ave. Sold/Ask 0.9378
$1,264,648.00 Ave. Sold Price $1,184,917.00

2012 Chappaqua Sales Down 4.7% | Median Sales Price Up 1.6% | RobReportBlog

Chappaqua NY Sales
2012 2011
100 Sales 105 0.047 DOWN
$885,250.00 Median Price $871,250.00 0.016 UP
$225,000.00 Low Price $400,000.00
$2,575,000.00 High Price $2,785,000.00
3606 Ave. Size 3313
$290.00 Ave. Price/foot $298.00
176 Ave. DOM 165
0.9568 Ave. Sold/Ask 0.9489
$1,030,634.00 Ave. Sold Price $975,774.00

South Salem NY Homes | Qualified mortgage rule may come in early January

Mortgage lenders and servicers are preparing for an “unprecedented” period in January when they will be forced to analyze some of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final lending, servicing and appraisal rules scheduled for release next month.

The rules do not take effect immediately, but will set in motion a yearlong frenzy as servicers and lenders analyze the guidelines, revamp their tech and regulatory strategies and, in some cases, change their product offerings to stave off litigation risks.

Richard Andreano Jr., a partner at Ballard Spahr, says the most watched of those rules – the qualified mortgage rule that defines guidelines for determining a borrower’s ability-to-repay a mortgage – could come as early as Jan. 9.

The Jan. 9th date emerged as a possible drop-date for the final QM rule since the CFPB scheduled public hearings to collect feedback on Jan. 10 and Jan. 17, according to Andreano. Nothing has been officially confirmed by the CFPB, but the scheduling of those hearings is a suggestion the rules will be released right before the feedback sessions.

The month of January will bring final CFPB rules on ability-to-repay (qualified mortgage), loan originator compensation, servicing practices, appraisals, high-cost mortgages and escrow issues, Andreano said.

But the ability-to-repay rule is getting the most attention with it having the potential to change the product offerings of some lenders, especially smaller players in the market, Andreano told HousingWire. The effects of the rule hinge on how broadly or narrowly a qualified mortgage is defined.

“Overall, I don’t think there has ever been a period of time where an industry has had to implement so many wide-reaching changes,” Andreano said. “The interesting thing is going to be what is the mortgage marketplace going to look like after this in terms of who is still in the marketplace making mortgage loans.”

Andreano added, “Because of the amount of increased complexities, a lot of small banks were rethinking whether they want to be in the mortgage business.” He says after the final rules are released, the effects on small banks will be watched closely.

Andreano believes the rules may be released as “interim final rules,” leaving the CFPB open to make additional changes. And while the rules will be released in January, the CFPB can allow for lengthy implementation periods, Andreano said.

“In talking with some of the supervisory folks over there (CFPB), they were well aware of the fact that it’s going to be typically burdensome on the industry, and they are not going to flip the switch and implement everything.”

via housingwire.com

California Foreclosure laws go into effect | Katonah Real Estate

Hundreds of new laws take effect Tuesday

•  From high-speed rail to pipeline safety to foreclosure protections

•  “Will give Californians a fair opportunity to stay in their homes”

The fruits of a year of work by legislators are harvested by constituents beginning Tuesday with some 800 new laws kicking in as the New Year rings in.

Among the new laws that could have immediate impact on the Central Valley, epicenter of the nation’s foreclosure crisis, is the package of legislation that extends key mortgage and foreclosure protections to California homeowners and borrowers.

Dubbed the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, the new laws restrict dual-track foreclosures, guarantee struggling homeowners a reliable point of contact at their lender and impose civil penalties on fraudulently signed mortgage documents. In addition, homeowners may require loan servicers to document their right to foreclose.

“For too long, struggling homeowners in California have been denied fairness and transparency when dealing with their lending institutions,” says Attorney General Kamala Harris, who pushed for the new laws. “These laws give homeowners new rights as they work through the foreclosure process and will give Californians a fair opportunity to stay in their homes.”

Other new laws include:

• Another new law impacts the California High-Speed Rail project, due to start construction first in the Central Valley.

It requires the High-Speed Rail Authority to encourage purchasing high-speed train rolling stock and equipment made in California consistent with federal and state law and continued investment in California businesses.

• Natural-gas pipeline safety upgrades are required by several new laws. One requires disclosure of gas transmission lines when a home is sold, another forces the Public Utilities Commission to finally answer the recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation of the San Bruno pipeline blast that killed eight people and leveled a residential neighborhood.

• Women who breast-feed their children will be protected from harassment by their employers. A new law puts breast-feeding under the scope of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

• Another business-related law says that employees and former employees have the right to obtain copies of their personnel records. Businesses will have to provide them within 30 days.

• Employers and higher-education officials will now be banned from asking for applicants’ social-media user names and passwords.

• Another law lurches California into step with much of the rest of the world by allowing juveniles who have been sentenced to life without parole the opportunity to petition for a new sentence of 25 years to life. The United States is the only country in the world that sentences children to life in prison without the possibility of parole. According to state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, the author of the new law, California has over 300 youth serving this sentence and who without SB 9 would have died in prison without any chance to earn release.

• SB 1001 increases fees required of registered lobbyists, ballot measure committees, and independent expenditure committees, in order to finance the maintenance of the state campaign and lobbying database known as Cal-Access, which keeps the public informed as to who is influencing their elected officials.

Bedford NY Real Estate | YouTube Videos That Missed The Top 10 Cut In 2012

When YouTube released their Top 10 Viewed Videos of 2012, that meant a lot of videos that reached a very high level of engagement were left out of the party.  Last year, I found a handful of videos that also deserved to be mentioned.  YouTube is still hard to navigate when you are trying to narrow down a search properly for this type of list, as I complained about in that very post.  YouTube very much doesn’t want you to know this stuff.  But hey, it’s our secret.  The following videos either didn’t make the cut because they didn’t meet certain criteria or they didn’t collect enough views in time for the Top 10 list.

The Videos That Didn’t Make It: Other Top YouTube Smashes From 2012

I had to weed through 40 pages of a vague search to come up with these.  Some of these videos probably should have made the list.  Some of these would have made the list if they had been released earlier.  We’ve seen some absolutely amazing hits just in the past month alone.  Oh, by the way, “Gangnam Style” got another 90 million views since it hit a billion.  You ever get scared something is too popular?  Anyway, let’s go through the videos that didn’t make the cut:

Dragon Baby (Patrick Bolvin.  24 million views)

Look, if you put a baby in a YouTube video, the chances of it doing well rise exponentially.  If you make that baby fight a baby stuffed dragon with wicked awesome special effects, well, love is guaranteed:

0 YouTube Videos That Missed The Top 10 Cut In 2012

‘My First Hardcore Song’ by 8 yr old Juliet OFFICIAL (thetinaxo.  24 million views)

If you can’t laugh and have fun with this, you are completely empty inside.  This little girl rocks the house and lets out her inner L7 about her dog, fishes, and toys:

0 YouTube Videos That Missed The Top 10 Cut In 2012

Golden Eagle Snatches Kid (MrNuclearCat.  40 million views)

This is a video that would have for certain made the top 10 had it been released earlier.  Released a scant 2 weeks ago, this special effects video blew up and is being credited to three students from Canada’s National Animation and Design Centre:

0 YouTube Videos That Missed The Top 10 Cut In 2012

I CAN SWING MY SWORD! (Minecraft Song) (Tobuscus.  25 million views)

It’s about guaranteed that if you can do something creative with Minecraft you can leverage its popularity to swing a huge hit, as Tobuscus did with this song:

0 YouTube Videos That Missed The Top 10 Cut In 2012

“Minecraft Style” – A Parody of PSY’s Gangnam Style (Music Video) (Captain Sparklez.  40 million views)

Captain Sparklez did double-whammy leveraging with a combination of “Gangnam Style” and Minecraft. We talked about this one a couple of months ago, and it has since blasted off to over 40 million views:

0 YouTube Videos That Missed The Top 10 Cut In 2012


We wrote about this amazing Ken Block ad for DC Shoes, which has become an annual tradition and gives us awesome footage of things we wish we could do if only we had the skills and a closed course:

0 YouTube Videos That Missed The Top 10 Cut In 2012

Tomorrowland 2012 | official aftermovie (TomorrowlandChannel.  37 million views).

There’s a huge electronic dance music festival in Boom, Belgium and this 20 minute video takes in all the highlights.  I had no idea something like this was so popular:

0 YouTube Videos That Missed The Top 10 Cut In 2012

Extremely Scary Ghost Elevator Prank in Brazil (dogproduction.  55 million views)

Released just over a month ago is this fantastic elevator scare prank, which would have definitely been in the top 10 had it been released earlier.  Unsuspecting passengers have to deal with a creepy girl and her creepy doll…both of which were not on the elevator when they got on:

0 YouTube Videos That Missed The Top 10 Cut In 2012

Extremely Scary Corpse Elevator Prank in Brazil (dogproduction.  12 million views)

Just a week later we got to see the new prank, which raked in a bunch of views on its own:

0 YouTube Videos That Missed The Top 10 Cut In 2012

So Real It’s Scary (LGBlogUK.  17 million views)

While we’re at it, we might as well continue this Halloween elevator madness with this ad from LG (which we talked about here), which made their new TV stand in as the floor of an elevator and got some passengers’ heart racing:

0 YouTube Videos That Missed The Top 10 Cut In 2012

PEOPLE GETTING SCARED!!! (Thomas J. Tom.  25 million views).

Pranksters continue scaring the living daylights out of people with this hodgepodge of tomfoolery:

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The Ultimate Girls Fail Compilation 2 (failarmy.  37 million views).

We men sometimes think of women as infallible when it comes to grace and intelligence and basically staying out of dangerous situations.  Oh, how this video proves that thought wrong:

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Master Chief vs. Leonidas.  Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2 (ERB.  45 million views)

Either this genuinely didn’t make the cut, or YouTube wanted to make sure they “spread the wealth” because ERB’s “Obama Vs. Romney” was already there and they didn’t want to use three ERB videos.  That’s kind of like not wanting to give someone the Oscar because they’ve won too many, but anyway, Epic Rap Battles had two other videos that could have made the top 10.  Here’s one, pitting Master Chief from Halo and Leonidas from 300:

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Mario Bros vs Wright Bros. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2 (ERB.  40 million views).

ERB combined with Internet sensations Rhett and Link to create this battle between the video game plumbers and the forefathers of flight.  We took a look at this one earlier in the year as well:

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The Key of Awesome! : Call Me Maybe PARODY! The Key Of Awesome #58 (barelypolitical.  21 million views).

Barely Political scored another parody hit of a popular song, this time casting the girl as one of those “Fatal Attraction” types:

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The Cinnamon Challenge … by GloZell and her Big Behind Earrings (glozell1.  24 million views).

This is YouTube’s bread and butter: people doing things that they shouldn’t and then reacting to it in a hilarious way:

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We hope you had a great time in 2012 watching videos…now it’s on to 2013 and hopefully even more fantastic content!

Fiscal cliff compromise leaves few satisfied | Pound Ridge Real Estate

President Obama praised lawmakers and Vice President Joe Biden after the House of Representatives voted to pass a Senate measure to avert the most serious impacts of the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

By Daniel Strieff, NBC News

The last-minute deal-making on Capitol Hill may have helped avert the fiscal cliff for now, but many commentators expressed pessimism over the agreement and the distressing sight of lawmakers allowing the world’s largest economy to teeter near economic disaster.

“This is a bad bill that made a bad situation worse,” Richard Haas, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said Wednesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“The only thing it did was avoiding sending the signal (to the rest of the world) that we’re reckless and out of control,” he added.

Consumers, businesses and financial markets have been rattled by the months of budget brinkmanship. The crisis ended when dozens of Republicans in the House of Representatives buckled and backed tax hikes approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

But even with the agreement, more budget drama is expected on the way. In February, Congress will have to decide what to do about a slew of other spending cuts. Then, in March, lawmakers will decide on whether to increase the federal borrowing limit.

“We could see an early lift in the markets because of relief the deal went through,” Gary Thayer, the chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors, told The New York Times. “The response may be muted because the deal left out many long-term issues.”

‘A missed opportunity’
Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, who headed a deficit commission for Obama, said lawmakers missed a “magic moment to do something big” for the American economy.

“The deal approved today is truly a missed opportunity to do something big to reduce our long term fiscal problems, but it is a small step forward in our efforts to reduce the federal deficit,” they said in a joint statement released Tuesday.

In a scathing editorial, the Wall Street Journal called for the parties to go their own ways in Congress and tried to rally Republicans against Obama.

“Having been cornered into letting Democrats carry this special-interest slag heap through the House, Speaker John Boehner should from now on cease all backdoor negotiations and pursue regular legislative order. House Republicans should pursue their own agenda and let Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats pursue theirs. Mr. Obama has his tax triumph. Let it be his last,” it wrote on the editorial page.

Economists had been warning that the tax increases and spending cuts could take a chunk out of the U.S. economy.

But early Wednesday, world markets registered relief over the deal.

Benchmarks in Australia and Hong Kong boomeranged on the first trading day of the year. Asian markets had slipped on Monday, fearing that negotiations over the measure might collapse.

Many analysts were gloomy about long-term prospects.

“The process was so chaotic and the outcome so unsatisfactory that we are likely to see a further U.S. downgrade at some point,” Steven Englander, fixed-income strategist at Citi, wrote in a research note.

The House voted Monday to approve the Senate’s fiscal cliff bill by a vote of 257-167. Richard Lui, Luke Russert and Mike Viqueira report on MSNBC.

But China’s state news agency Xinhua took a more severe view, warning the United States must get to grips with a budget deficit that threatened not a “fiscal cliff” but a “fiscal abyss.” Most of China’s $3.3 trillion foreign exchange reserves are held in dollars.

For the Washington Post, the entire episode was depressing.

The newspaper expressed discouragement for what the episode suggests for political compromise going forward.

“The United States will have to wait longer yet for its inevitable budget reckoning,” it wrote in an editorial.

“We hope the nation’s leaders will be able to accomplish in stages what they have been unable to do in a series of self-imposed crises: raise more revenue and significantly reduce future entitlement spending. But the fiscal cliff episode offers little encouragement,” the newspaper concluded.