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Homes101

Real Estate Outlook: Signs of Recovery
If you've been waiting for rock-solid statistical evidence that the housing market -- and the national economy -- are well along into recovery mode, you definitely got it last week.
30-yr Fixed Mortgages Available at 4.875%, Rates Stable
FreeRateUpdate.com research of wholesale lenders' rate sheets shows conventional 30-yr fixed mortgages available today at 4.875% to well-qualified consumers paying a standard origination fee of .07 to 1 point.
EPA Signs Sustainability Agreement With Major New Jersey Company
Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc., New Jersey's largest real estate development company, has signed an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cut energy and water use and to take other steps to reduce the environmental impacts of its retail and commercial properties across the state. Buildings are responsible for close to half of the nation's greenhouse gas pollution. Under the agreement, signed on March 11, Hartz will take steps to promote sustainability in its operations.
Elect the Select
Homeowner associations are designed to be representative democracies governed by a board of directors elected by the members. Electing directors to the board that can thoughtfully govern is extremely important. To accomplish this, elections must be carefully planned, not hatched at the last minute. Here are important components of a successful election process:
Common Buyer Fears
Whether you are a first time home buyer or someone who is looking to move up or down, getting into the market can be a fearful time.
Keeping Seniors Safe from Falls
It happens to all of us -- as we get older, our eyesight and hearing aren't as good as they once were, and our balance and reflexes start to let us down. We start taking medications to treat what ails us, but that may cause dizziness or lightheadedness. That can often lead to a fall, especially if there are tripping hazards in the home.
Undisclosed Short Sale Payments May Lead to Trouble
A recent memorandum from the legal department of the California Association of Realtors® (CAR) warns CAR members as follows: "Undisclosed payments in short sale transactions, especially those paid outside of escrow, may violate the law, including RESPA, laws against loan fraud, and licensing laws."

News for Homebuyers and Sellers
Inman News

Real estate execs promise they don’t want to steal your data
One of the things that often gets lost when discussing major acquisitions by big companies is the individual agent, who goes from utilizing a startup's service to potentially running a crucial part of a business on a competitor's platform. It happened with Compass' acquisition of the popular customer relationship management tool Contactually, as well as RE/MAX's acquisition of booj. 
Did Realogy just create a new industry standard for closing gifts?
The final 15 minutes of ICLV's CEO Connect was supposed to be a broad discussion about the country's biggest companies — Facebook, Amazon and Google — and whether they would ever substantially enter the real estate business. That was, until this morning, when Amazon and Realogy announced a new lead generation and referral partnership. 
‘New Kids’ pitch the future of real estate
At a session called "New Kids on the Block," company leaders offered their solutions to agent pain points, including ways to boost their reputation, collect more referrals, easily fix poor photos and get more clients.
Zillow’s president: Still room for brokerages in ‘more joyful’ vision
What does it take for a nearly $10 billion company to pivot its business model? Onstage in front of about 300 executives at ICLV’s CEO Connect, Zillow President Greg Schwartz said it takes courage, but spent more time explaining his company’s new business model.
C-suite to real estate agents: We aren’t doing enough to help you
CEO Connect panelists agreed that brokerages and industry associations can do more to help agents learn financial skills that aren’t often taught in the workplace.
HouseCanary CEO: ‘70% of all transactions will be automated’
Douglas Elliman President Scott Durkin pushed back and slammed HouseCanary for 'wanting a piece of our commission' during an Inman Connect panel.
Realogy’s new tech game plan? Chatbots, AI and next-gen search
Glenn Fitzgerald, vice president of Realogy’s tech division, discussed tools and technologies the real estate giant is investing in during an Inman Connect panel Monday.