Tag Archives: South Salem NY

3 proclamations from social media ‘experts’ | South Salem Realtor


Social media “experts” abound these days. Many send conflicting messages every time technology changes, delivering “urgent” signals to hop on the next big thing or be left in the dust.

If someone refers to themselves as a social media expert, your first red flag should go up. The landscape of social media is huge. Someone may be an expert in strategies, tactics or particular channels (for example, Mari Smith is an expert in Facebook), but an expert in all of social media? Nope.

If you hopped on every bandwagon as instructed, you would be in a constant state of disarray. How could you possibly have time to run your business?

The following are directives you may receive as you search the Web, and things to consider as you hear them.

1.  ”Be on every social media channel or be left behind”

Particularly for those just getting started, this will take you down before you begin. If you have a goal of running a marathon, are you going to put “run 26.2 miles” on your calendar tomorrow morning? No. You would map out a plan that takes you from point A to the point of reaching your goal in digestible pieces. This sort of overwhelming statement is what causes people to procrastinate — sometimes for years




– See more at: http://www.inman.com/next/3-proclamations-from-social-media-experts-that-will-kill-your-implementation-strategy/?utm_source=20140127&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyheadlinesam#sthash.qAKuE3yS.dpuf

Refined Casual Style for a Gracious Farmhouse | South Salem Homes

This Georgia couple enjoyed their lakeside country vacation house so much that they decided to live there. While the rustic 1960s prefab cabin was all they needed for relaxed weekend stays, it was not suitable for full-time living, so they remodeled and expanded the house, making it look like a simple, rambling farmhouse that had grown over time. The new house is more refined than the original cabin but still lends itself well to casual living and maintains that familiar beloved feeling.
Houzz at a Glance Who lives here: A couple of empty nesters who love to entertain Location: Harris County, Georgia Architects: Historical Concepts Interior designer: Melanie Davis Landscape designer: Bill Lincicome Size: 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
Photography by Blayne Beacham

The idea was to make the house look and feel like a genuine rambling farmhouse with additions built over decades.
The cabin held many great memories for three generations of the family. Their first idea was to preserve the original cabin as a guesthouse and build a new main house. But the owners and designers realized that the cabin’s location atop the knoll was the most picturesque spot on the property.
AFTER: Creating more ways to enjoy the views of the 100-acre farm and lake was a priority. Each room now leads to a porch or is open to the pastoral views. This new front entry unites the original cabin (left) with the addition (right).
The metal roof of the old house was the right choice for the new farmhouse as well. “It’s about as indigenous to this type of farm as the local fieldstone seen on the old stone walls around the property,” says Historical Concepts principal Terry Pylant.
The shaded portion of the plan shows the footprint of the original house, which was kept intact. The placement of the new entry porch and hallways gives the interiors a comfortable flow.

It’s official: JPMorgan signs $13B RMBS settlement | South Salem Real Estate

Mega bank JPMorgan Chase (JPM) signed an agreement with government agencies to end all existing legacy mortgage-backed securities issues for $13 billion.

New York Attorney General Eric Shneiderman, who co-chairs a working group overseeing legacy mortgage investigations, announced the deal, calling it the largest settlement with a single entity in American history.

Schneiderman chairs the RMBS working group, which has spent the past year investigating RMBS issues on behalf of state and federal regulators. The bank reached the deal with the RMBS Working Group, the Department of Justice, and countless other agencies.

The settlement reportedly resolves federal and civil claims related to the bank’s packaging, marketing, sale and issuance of mortgage-backed securities prior to the housing downturn. It also covers legacy issues left over from Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, two entities JPM took over in the wake of the financial meltdown.

As part of the final agreement, JPMorgan will pay $9 billion, while also providing $4 billion in consumer relief in the form of loan modifications for borrowers at risk of foreclosure.

New York state alone will receive $1 billion from the settlement, including $613 million in cash and another $400 million in consumer relief for struggling borrowers in the state.

Some of the aid will fund families impacted by Superstorm Sandy, with the rest going to legal services and counseling for distressed New York homeowners.

The RMBS Working Group that Schneiderman co-chairs helped usher in the deal. The organization is a joint state and federal effort launched back in 2012 to engage several agencies in the fight against legacy RMBS issues. Those entities include the Department of Justice and various federal and state law enforcement groups.

“Since my first day in office, I have insisted that there must be accountability for the misconduct that led to the crash of the housing market and the collapse of the American economy,” said Attorney General Schneiderman in a statement. “This historic deal, which will bring long-overdue relief to homeowners around the country and across New York, is exactly what our working group was created to do.”





Survey shows most brokers don’t fear Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com, but they get most leads elsewhere | South Salem Real Estate

A survey of real estate brokers’ attitudes toward national listing portals like Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com shows that while most don’t feel threatend by them, they’re not depending all that heavily on them for new business, either.

The survey, by Bellevue, Wash.-based Imprev Inc., a provider of integrated marketing tools, also found that while brokers are generally satisfied with the quality of “leads” they get from national sites, they’re less thrilled with the job their agents do following up on them.

The bottom line was that brokers still see traditional methods of drumming up business like open houses, yard signs, walk-in business and getting in touch with past clients as a better value than national portals.

The online survey of more than 260 brokers and franchise executives, conducted in October,  found that among the top three national listing portals — Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com — realtor.com was seen in the most positive light.

That’s perhaps not surprising, given the site’s formal ties to the National Association of Realtors. Zillow, Trulia and other property search portals not operated by a real estate broker are often referred to by industry insiders as “third-party” websites.

While 24 percent of those surveyed had a “negative” (8 percent) or “somewhat negative” (16 percent) view of realtor.com in terms of how the site impacts or could impact their business, Zillow and Trulia tallied higher “fear factor” scores.




– See more at: http://www.inman.com/2013/11/06/survey-shows-most-brokers-dont-fear-zillow-trulia-and-realtor-com-but-they-get-most-leads-elsewhere/#sthash.uMBIrVjF.dpuf

Why Home Sales Fell Last Month | South Salem NY Real Estate

Home sales fell significantly from August to September, and real estate industry experts are pointing to higher interest rates and skittish consumer sentiment for the decline.

The National Association of Realtors is out with data this week showing its benchmark Pending Home Sales Index fell from 107.6 in August to 101.6 in September.

The NAR says that “higher mortgage rate and higher mortgage prices curbed buying power” in September, and the lead-up to the federal government debt standoff Oct. 1 didn’t help matters, either.

“Declining housing affordability conditions are likely responsible for the bulk of reduced contract activity,” says Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist. “In addition, government and contract workers were on the sidelines with growing insecurity over lawmakers’ inability to agree on a budget. A broader hit on consumer confidence from general uncertainty also curbs major expenditures such as home purchases.”

Yun is fairly bearish on sales of existing homes, although residential home prices should weather the storm – at least for the next 60 to 90 days or so.

Overall, he says, pending home sales are at a 2.5 year low on a year-to-year basis. And that’s a troubling sign for the near-term future on home sales.

“This tells us to expect lower home sales for the fourth quarter, with a flat trend going into 2014,” Yun says. “Even so, ongoing inventory shortages will continue to lift home prices, though at a slower single-digit growth rate next year.”

One factor that could derail that prediction are U.S. mortgage rates, which fell last week. According to the BankingMyWay Weekly Mortgage Rate Tracker, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell from 4.37% to 4.26%. Those numbers are roughly supported by Freddie Mac, which has 30-year rates falling from 4.57% in early September to 4.13% in late October.

Historically, lower mortgage rates lead to stronger home sales, not weaker home sales.

But in a residential home sales market with myriad moving parts, lower interest rates alone — if they remain low, which is no guarantee — may not be enough to propel the housing market forward. A stronger jobs picture, more robust consumer sentiment and some stabilization among warring political factions in Washington, D.C., would all also have to round into form to keep home sales churning.

That may still happen, but after some solid numbers coming out of the real estate market (see here and here), the NAR report is a sobering one for the real estate market.




Westchester County Executive Candidate Debate Moved To Larger Venue | South Salem Real Estate

The county executive debate between incumbent Rob Astorino (R) and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson (D) is set to attract a large crowd and officials are changing the venue to accommodate.

The debate, hosted by the Westchester County Association, is being moved to the Atrium at 1133 Westchester Avenue in White Plains, officials said. The debate is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16 and will feature Astorino and Bramson as well as moderator Steve Scott, host of WCBS 880’s “Eye on Politics.”

“Due to overwhelming demand, we’ve moved the Candidate Debate hosted by the Westchester County Association to a larger venue,” representatives said in the release. “The results of this hotly contested race will have far-reaching implications for Westchester, New York and beyond; this is an opportunity for the business community and general public to get up to speed on the candidates’ positions and initiatives that will drive economic development in the region.”

The Astorino-Bramson debate is also sponsored by the Building Contractors Association of Westchester and Mid-Hudson Valley, the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valley and the RPW Group, according to the release.


The Oct. 16 debate between incumbent County Executive Rob Astorino and New Rochelle mayor Noam Bramson has been moved to a larger venue. Photo Credit: Suzanne Samin, File Photo




The Bay Window Goes Modern | South Salem NY Real Estate

When modern and contemporary architecture “abandon” traditional architectural elements in favor of new forms, one of the elements left behind is the bay window. Yet if we think of these elements as reinterpretations of traditions in architecture rather than abandonments (columns, for example, are turned into skinny pilotis without details like capitals), then the idea of the bay window is alive and well, if less used than it should be.
Here you’ll find six examples that show the benefits of modern answers to bay windows — increased area, light and seating capacity — and the various means of expressing the idea in modern houses and in modern renovations of old houses.

However, we got our window blinds & shades at Affordable Blinds and we could not be more impressed.

This addition to a ranch house looks like the end of a square tube that runs from front to back, with large windows on each side. The front picture window is partially frosted to maintain privacy. In case that you need tile chip repair this company is the best reviewed one online.
Here we are looking toward the front window from the kitchen before it was furnished. Only one thin strip of glass is clear; the adjacent pieces are translucent. Adding cushions to the bay would make it a great window seat; one could peek outside through the vertical strip or just enjoy the light coming in through the painting-like panes of color.
Like the front window, the back window projects from the house, cantilevered a foot or two above the ground. But unlike on the the front, all the glass here is clear, and the area inside is an extension of the floor, giving more space for seating near the kitchen.
This house on New York’s Long Island has a fair amount of ins and outs on its exterior. I’m drawn to the tall portion facing right.
A view from the side reveals a tall bay window adjacent to a section of curtain wall set back from the stone facade. A stair can be seen below the large bay window.
It turns out the bay window is actually an extension of the stair landing. The Eames Lounge Chair in the previous photo indicates that this space is ideal for sitting, relaxing and enjoying the view.

10 Brands with Great Google Plus Pages | South Salem NY Real Estate

Google+ has risen astronomically since it was launched in 2011. It overtook  social media giant Twitter in January 2013, and is now second only to Facebook  in popularity. With over 700 million registered users, companies have a lot to gain  by maintaining a page on the service. However, some Google+ pages are more  popular than others.

Take a look at this list of 10 brands with great Google plus pages, and get  some tips, ideas and insights for your own business.

#1. Toyota

Toyota has an excellent Google+ page. They share industry news, inspirational  photos and innovative concepts with their followers, and update their page  regularly. However, it’s the ‘Toyota Collaborator’ feature which really  stands out. Using Google+ Hangouts,

  • Users can invite friends to help them design and customise their new  Toyota
  • Up to five people can collaborate on the project, changing paint colours and  wheel rims, discussing the options, and rotating the car to view it from  different angles
  • The interior of the car can be viewed through eye-tracking
  • The finished car can be taken for a virtual test drive on Google Maps

Toyota Google+ page


#2. Cadbury

The layout of a Google+ page – wide and open – lends itself particularly well  to visual content. Pages which recognise this tend to do better than those which  rely solely on text. Cadbury has capitalised on this, ensuring that their page  is full of large, bright, attractive images. Scrolling down the page reveals  striking pictures of their various products, delicious-looking cakes and  biscuits, and lashings of the distinctive Cadbury purple.

Cadbury Google+ page


#3. Hugo Boss

As a high-end fashion retailer, Hugo Boss are experts in visual design.  They’ve carried the clean lines and defined colours of their clothing to their  Google+ page, which reads like the pages of a glossy magazine. The page isn’t an  advert for the brand so much as an aspirational luxury lifestyle guide – and as  a result has gained a large number of followers.

Hugo Boss Google+ page


#4. H&M

H&M, another fashion brand, take a slightly different approach to their  Google+ page. They operate in a different market to Hugo Boss, targeting a  younger generation in search of affordable, throwaway fashion. Along with  product pictures and photography, there are also ‘behind the scenes’ posts about  recent photo shoots, video interviews with famous designers, and guides to  upcoming fashion trends.

H and M Google+ page


#5. Virgin

The ‘80/20’ rule dictates that only 20% of a company’s posts on social media  should actually be about the products it sells. Virgin has embraced this advice  fully, as it fits in with the brand’s lifestyle image. Building on Richard  Branson’s charismatic brand of entrepreneurialism, Virgin’s Google+ page offers  followers a mix of inspirational posts, interviews and debates. Part of the  page’s popularity inevitably lies with having Richard Branson as a CEO, but the  80/20 rule also plays a large role.




Read more at http://www.jeffbullas.com/2013/10/18/10-brands-with-great-google-plus-pages/#cGwk67ZjJMyqbpCk.99