Continued good news in the housing market.

Home prices are up for the 2nd straight quarter, the biggest year-over-year increase in more than two years.


Hi there, I just finished reading this article from CNNMoney, and it looks like homeowners can feel good about continued gains in their home prices. Here is the article:


Home prices: Biggest rise in more than 2 years. 


I have been demonstrating to a friend of mine that there are continued positive signs in Real Estate, and he thinks I am full of it. Instead of arguing with him, because it is possible he subscribes to, “The Daily Pessimist”, (Yes, I made up that magazine name) I try to present him with facts, and articles from prestigious sources like this one.


At some point, I hope this friend of mine admits that he overpaid, and should have gone with a real estate agent to negotiate on his behalf in the first place. Some people think they can do it all, and don’t need to work with others… he made a mistake, and I probably won’t hear him admit to it in the 70+ years that I will know him. Yup, that is right, we are both going to live into our 100’s.

I am interested to see how this plays out.

I just read a very interesting article through yahoo news. The article comes from, “The Atlantic Wire” and it had a really interesting story about what will be the new tallest building in the world. Here is the article for your enjoyment.

How to Build the World’s tallest Skyscraper in 90 Days


The closing remarks really fascinated me. “In theory, if a grocery store moves into one the retail spaces, you could be born in Sky City and never have to leave.” Can you imagine living your whole life in one building? I am also curious to see how they will act regarding their carbon foot print? Will they have renewable energy sources anywhere? Will they go with the best energy and use Geothermal, as well as supplement it with some wind or solar?

What will they think of next…?

More great news in the housing market.

In my market research I came across this article and I am pretty sure it hits home:

Article on Housing Construction Starts

As I read this article, I thought to myself about the construction sites that I have seen popping up around Amherst and the Pioneer Valley. Sometimes I think that we live in a unique area and when I see that the trends are on a national level it brings me great confidence that we are heading in the right direction. It is great to see positive news about housing, and another interesting bit that stood out to me in the article was the fact that each new home built, adds 3 jobs annually.

Take a chance to read the article, and let me know what you think.

Before and after pictures of a total team effort.

It is amazing what can be done when you surround yourself with the right group of people.

Thanks to all the hard work done by:

  • Randall Roberts General Contractor, Window Works
  • Steve Doolittle, Doolittle Construction, and
  • Paul Palmgren, Paul’s Fine Painters

Thank you guys for all of your hard work, you produced a great product!

All things considered, America is making a comeback, in housing.

Just finished reading this great article from the Associated Press, these numbers continue to please me. Not because I am in the business of Real Estate, but I view this as an overall recovery for everyone in our country. Take a look for yourself, and let me know what you think.

US home sales jump!

Some of the elements that I consider when reading this include:

  • Comparing numbers to May of 2010 when there was a very beneficial tax break in place
  • We are approaching an annual rate of 5.5million sales which is considered a healthy market, we are currently at an annual rate of 4.82 million
  • Home-builders broke ground on more new homes in August than July, normally things cool off in August
  • At this pace, the 2.47million homes for sale would be sold in around 6 months time, another sign of a healthy market
  • Rates remain at record lows to entice new buyers or encourage people to refinance, freeing up more spendable income
All-in-all, these are great bits of information that should excite everyone.



We have a good problem, but it is still a problem.

I have to laugh, because I just brought this point up with some friends of mine, sure enough a few days later CNBC posts an article about it. The point I told my friends was that “We have a good problem, there is so much work right now that contractors can’t keep up with it. Those that have been searching for work are TOO busy. Of course, it is still a problem, because now people have to wait for the projects to finish up, and it interferes with their daily routine.” Sure enough here is the article the mentions the national trend that we feel on a local/regional level:




Take a moment to read it, and let me know what you think.

Day at Greenfield Community College

Today, I have the honor of speaking at my former school Greenfield Community College, (GCC). I was invited to speak in front of an E-Commerce class, with the expectation of discussing driving traffic to a website. My former Professor, Kathy Vranos was the one who invited me in. As I reflect on my time spent at GCC, I can clearly remember the times I spent in her classroom. I was actually fortunate to have her for a professor in 4 different classes, and I was driven to learn, and exceed my limitations thanks to my relationship that I shared with her. I have to laugh, because no matter how long or short the classes were, she never had enough time to share what she knew because she had such a wealth of knowledge in every subject she taught. She was always willing to listen, and give me feedback whenever I had a question for her. I only hope when students take her classes that they realize what a talented and enlightening professor that they have at their fingertips in such a small community. Hind sight shows me that I was very fortunate to have her, and when she took the time to invite me back to speak in front of one of her classes there is no way that I would pass that opportunity to speak for her class. She has devoted so much time enriching my education, the least I can do is take a couple of hours out of my day to be there for her. I only hope that I can encourage her students to challenge themselves, and find out who they really are through the education that she provides.

If you are on the fence about buying a home, here is something for you to consider.

Home ownership is certainly not for everyone. Testimonials from people I talk to on the street, in the grocery store, the coffee shop or any social scene tend to have a variety of feelings about the “American Dream”. For most of our lives, the American Dream has been pushed onto us as college, then marriage, then house, then family. Owning a house has become one of those very debatable subjects within the American Dream since Globalization has taken over. Globalization means many things but one subject it covers is job/employment mobility. People must be ready to get up and move to where ever their next job may be within a years time. With that in mind, the idea of making payments on a property for 30 years doesn’t make sense, so they decide to rent a place with the freedom to leave after their year commitment has expired.


If you consider yourself a numbers person, and are thinking of being in an area for 2-5 years, here is an interesting article to look at.


Buying a home beats Renting



Housing vs. Jobs

I was scrolling through the internet and came across this report, I thought it was interesting. Check it out for yourself.




Some interesting terms used in this report.

  • Mortgage availability, (the ability to qualify for a loan)
  • Jobs market, (unemployment rate, and job creation)
  • Mortgage rate, (are we heading to 3.5%?)
  • Underwater mortgages, (people owing more on their home then what they can sell it for)
  • Distressed market, (foreclosures and clearing of bad debts)

All of these are interesting terms, and I think it draws some comfort and discomfort in the market. With the mortgage rates at historic lows you would expect more people to be jumping into the housing market, however the stipulations attached to getting a loan are becoming harder and harder to meet making mortgage availability difficult for an average home buyer or first time home buyer, (average home buyer being someone who has some experience, maybe looking to sell and buy again).


Jobs are important as well, but we saw a very strong first quarter this year, (about 200,000-240,000 jobs per month added). I personally believe that people will start to settle down with jobs they can make a career out of, or areas that they can call home. With this happening there will be added stability to the employment and the discussion will shift from job creation to job stability, (hopefully keeping an unemployment rate between 3.5-5%)


The final matter is underwater mortgages and distressed homes. This is one of the things I appreciate about capitalism, the market will correct itself. There are people who gave loans when they shouldn’t have, and there are people who took loans when they shouldn’t have. This is certainly not an easy topic to talk about, but there are enormous lessons to be learned from all this and hopefully as a country we will learn and move forward. Venture capitalists will benefit the most from others mistakes, but I think they have put themselves in position to benefit through hard work, studying, and of course a little luck.


Stability? Good investments? Cash is king!

I just saw this report and I thought it is very interesting. I have been discussing this topic with friends and gained a better understanding as to what is going on in the world, and why people are acting this way. Unfortunately I view this as the rich getting richer! This is what happens when people see opportunity and seize it.


Click here for the report I am talking about.


I think this is a sign that some of the bad debts are coming off of the market and the market as a whole continues to gain health again. The Pioneer Valley has not experienced as much volatility as the rest of the nation but we are experiencing some strains. As long as places like the Chamber of Commerce promote business and Kringle Candle creates jobs the area should be alright.


I also have seen growth in areas like Easthampton on the business side, after watching what was done to the Eastworks building I hope that more and more buildings will be utilized in that way. Either way I confidentially think the worst is behind us.



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