Carnival of Real Estate

Oddly the winners of the Zillow sponsored Carnival of Real Estate, did not win for the posts submitted. In fact even though I had two week’s worth of posts, there was almost NO winner of “The Carnival of Real Estate”. Did you ever watch The Oscars and wonder why there has to be an award for “Best Picture”, when none were actually worthy of the title of that category? Has there ever been an announcement “Sorry, no ‘Best Picture’ this year”?

Technically I should have TWO winners, since I am judging posts from both the week of August 28th and October 5th…and I do have two “winners”…but no”winning posts”.

“Winner” #1 is:

YG&B of “Foreclosed to Fabulous: A Journey Into Home Rehab”  I LOVE this writer, who is apparently a woman who possibly lives in Atlanta. Clearly not tooting her own horn, she says “I work for a non-profit that endeavors to take these houses from foreclosed to fabulous.” Her journey is well written, with fabulous details into the thought process on selecting which homes to buy and how to renovate them, and even some frustrations as to why no one may want them when they are finished in this post titled: “Crappy Old, Crap Crap Market. Crap” Her endless journey to find “a place to pee” in “4 Facts of Life of Low to No Margin Real Estate Work” is both funny and TRUE!

So Ms. YG&B, the post you entered did not win…but YOU clearly did.

Winner #2 is :

Bill Zoller, who submitted what appears to be his first and only post on US Inspect – Federal Pacific Panels and Are They a Danger?

Bill ends his post with: “I encourage each person reading this document to go to the links I’ve included and do further research. And, please communicate to your business community, as a realtor, home inspector, electrician, handyman, etc., the presence of these types of panels must be removed/replaced. No other remedy is satisfactory.”

I especially liked that Bill highlighted the point that an inspector FINDING a problem is not good enough! The remedy is hugely important! How many times do we as agents see the exact same problem when the  homebuyer later sells the house?  Does a roof leak need a patch or a new roof? Does a hazardous electric panel need a few tweaks or full replacement? A home inspector points out problems. But it takes all of the people in the room to take that red flag and provide the appropriate and “satisfactory” remedy to the problem at hand. “It was that way when I bought it” is NOT a satisfactory response by a seller to a home inspection problem. So make sure the remedy fits the problem…or you may end up paying for that oversight as a buyer, when it is time for you to sell.

Honorable Mention #1:

Patrick of cashmoneylife –  Entry: Are Money Merge Accounts a Great Way to Pay Your Mortgage Quickly, or Are They a Scam?

There are many interesting posts on cashmoneylife, and so I give this post “honorable mention” to highlight the blog itself (if anyone can find a last name for Patrick, please let me know). Be sure to read the comments on this post, as many are of equal value to the post itself.

Honorable Mention #2

Jay Thompson of The Phoenix Real Estate Guy – Entry Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension: Yet Another Bill Introduced

When I want to know what is happening with the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, I go to Jay Thompson’s blog. There is no answer to the question, but Jay has been keeping us up to date on what exactly is not happening since back in June. To find out what is and isn’t happening…you have to read Jay’s post. I was especially impressed that Jay called Senator Isakson’s office, further proving that if you want to know what’s happening with the Homebuyer Tax Credit…stay with Jay on this one.

A few words about the other entries and entrants:

Reminder: You are supposed to submit your BEST (one) post written within the last two weeks.

NOT a DOZEN posts, written by someone else, that you hope to take credit for…

Not 5 posts, all of which amazingly warrant the name of your town in the post title, and first sentence, and repeatedly throughout most every blog post you “write”! That may make the Search Engines notice you…or not…but it clearly is “bad” blog writing.

A good rant is often noteworthy. But whining, whining, whining about smelly houses, or buyers who are “too reluctant to pull the trigger”, or why people think they can buy a house without “consulting a REALTOR”…is just getting old.

I understand the need to monetize a blog. But when there are FIVE ads between EVERY sentence of the post…well, I just give up on trying to find the post amid the sea of advertisements.

The winner is a gem of a writer, with so many excellent posts and observations that I couldn’t possibly highlight all of them. If she ever writes a book I’ll be the first one in line to buy it, and the first one in line to meet her and have it autographed. Mucho Kudos to Ms. YG&B!

CoRE #106 – We have A WINNER!

We at Rain City Guide have had the pleasure and honor to host this week’s Carnival of Real Estate.  I can’t help but remember someone saying that Greg Swann is disappointed when there is not one, single and clear WINNER of the CoRE.  Well Greg, we do not disappoint you this week.

Diane Tuman’s post on John McCain’s Houses was by far the clear cut winner, with no close second.

Congratulations Diane and Zillow Blog!  Dustin, Rhonda, Jillayne and I didn’t even have to have a meeting to discuss who the winner was to be, as each and every one of us chose the same post.  The vote was UNANIMOUS!

To the other 32 entrants I would like to point out that RCG as Judge is a tough crowd to please.  Many of the blog posts submitted were quite fine enough for a post on your blog, and yet not stellar in the sense of entering the post into a nationally recognized Carnival event.  So “good blog post for whom?” is the question of the day.

1)  If it was only of interest to people who live in your area, then it likely didn’t make the cut.
2) If it didn’t fulfill the concept of blogging from our perspective, that being to enlighten and educate someone on a topic of wide interest, then it likely didn’t make the cut.

3) If the topic was of broad interest, and the attempt to educate and enlighten fell short but made it at least part way there…then you are included in the following list of Honorable Mention.

Honorable Mention:

Dan Green on What is a Conforming Mortgage? Dan, using your own words “but that’s jibberish” I would suggest you take your post out on the street to be read by some Average Joe, and ask them if it is still “jibberish” to them.  Seems to me the answer is still a bit too insider for Average Joe to make good use of the answer.  Some numbers are missing.  The ones that a buyer needs to know before going out to look at property and insure the conforming loan option is at the end of his journey.  Great Topic!

Dan Melson of Searchlight Crusade on Rent to Own and Lease with Option to Buy Dan, this is also a Great Topic and the information provided is stellar.  Presentation could use a little work with so much crammed into one post.  Maybe some bullet points or graphics.  I was in the process of writing a post for one of our readers on this very topic when your entry came in, and held off because of this entry.   In this market, more posts on this topic will be of great importance to the masses of people who don’t qualify as a result of the mortgage loan criteria changes.  Kudos!

Matt Meyer on So You Want to be a Landlord? “More than any other time in life, NOW is not the time to play “trust me.” Never take the stated rents as fact…” Clearly one of the highlights of being the Host of this week’s Carnival of Real Estate was meeting Matt Meyer.  SugarHouseHomes is definitely going into my bookmarks.  I Love, Love, LOVE…this guy!  Do yourself a favor and go meet Matt.

Gerhard Ade on Seattle Area Sellers In Denial? To give you an idea of how tough the Judges were this week, this made the cut because one Judge said “this one is OK”.  Many were disposed of in short order with a bunch of “too short”, “too long”, “no links”, “did nothing for me”.  If we learned nothing else this week, we learned that RCG is a tough crowd to please, which makes this list of Honorable Mention that much more Honorable for those who made the cut.  The best part of this post is following the price from initial list price, to price at time of offer, to final recorded price. That is the kind of transparency that readers crave.  A bit agent-centric in parts…but overall a good topic with some good detail.

Kevin Tomlinson of South Beach Condos Blog is one of the lucky ones who can get a way with a post about local statistics being somewhat of national interest, because his niche market has lots of eye candy and Real Estate Porn.  But he blew it with this line: “I’m not going to do an analysis of $ psf because…”  Stats without commentary and an analysis by the poster…is just a bunch of numbers.  Advice? – get Brad to line up those columns.

TwoWiseAcres on Flipping Houses for Profit – A Case Study left us with more questions than answers.  But at least we stuck around long enough to have questions.  Since it is an ongoing case study, the answers will unfold over time.  Interesting Topic with some meaty content.  We highly recommend your tuning in to see the rest of this story, as it unfolds over time.

We liked the comments on Michael Bergin’s Post better than we liked the post itself.  My favorite line in the final comment (as of today) is “…IF does not sell a house.  Good value…does.”

Ro Troia’s post on House Swapping left is with more questions than answers, but did get everyone’s attention.  Ro, if you could provide a link to the Wall Street Journal article you referenced, perhaps that article contains some of the answers to our questions.  In addition to adding it to the post, if you could also put that link into the comments here or email it to me, I’d much appreciate it.  Any post that makes us want more is surely worthy of an Honorable Mention.

All those worth mentioning, are also worth reading, IONSHO.