Gov. Beshear authorizes 23 member tax reform commission

February 13, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: General, Legislative 

Twenty-three Kentuckians, representing a broad spectrum of public and private sector experience and all corners of the state, will serve on the new Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform, Gov. Steve Beshear announced today.

The Commission, to be led by Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, will work over the coming months to develop recommendations to make the state’s tax code more responsive to the ups and downs of the economy, as well as to make taxes more equitable for Kentuckians. The revisions should allow for tax revenues that are adequate to address the needs of the state’s citizens and businesses. Read More.

Buying an old home? Top defects to look for

February 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Q: Buying a house worries me. I don’t know what I should be looking out for! I know that the older the house, the more likely it is that the wiring, plumbing and roof might be out of date, and the paint could even have lead in it if it’s old enough. I have been looking at houses and like a handful of them, but obviously don’t want to pay for an inspector for all of them. Help!

A: The fact is, you’re simply not going to be able to rule a home all the way in — or out — without paying for an inspection. Your best bet is to generally select the home on which you want to place an offer based on its location, basic specifications and how well they fit with your wants and needs, and the price you are able to negotiate for it. Read More.

5 rules of QR codes

February 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Technology 

When used correctly, QR, or Quick Response codes, are exactly that—instant, direct and an extremely efficient means of delivering content to a potential consumer. QR codes definitely have the “cool” factor. Unfortunately, for many companies, the use of QR codes ends with this cool factor, never allowing them to fulfill their potential as a valuable marketing tool. Here are some basic, good-practice measures that can take your QR campaign to the next level, harnessing the power to put your content in the hands of the consumer. Read More.

Foreclosure settlement nets KY nearly $59M

February 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Legal, Mortgage 

Kentucky will get about $58.8 million as part of a roughly $26 billion national foreclosure settlement, state attorney general Jack Conway announced Thursday.

The settlement, with five of the nation’s largest banks, will provide relief to consumers who were foreclosed upon, principal write-downs and refinancing to homeowners who hold mortgages that exceed the current value of their homes, and payments to states for ongoing consumer protection programs, according to a news release. Read More.

3 tips to make this year your best year yet

February 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Are you wondering how to break through your own glass ceiling and make this year your best year yet?

Here are 3 tips to help you be at the top of your game:

1. Cultivate a positive mindset, no matter what:
Did you know that your success depends on your mindset, not on the economy? Here are some things you can do that make sure that you are thinking positively. Read More.

7 low-cost ways to get financially organized

February 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Real estate can be hectic and keeping organized with no clutter can be a challenge. So use these tips to cut through the chaos and put order in your financial life. You know it can give you the gift of more time and less stress. It’s also bound to save you some money.

Don’t know where to start? Not a problem. This article gathered top organization, design and money experts to share seven tips to help you bring order to your financial life – without spending a bundle. Read More.

Top tax deductions for real estate pros

February 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Now that we’ve entered tax season, it’s time to think about tax deductions. Almost everything you buy for your real estate business is tax deductible, so long as it is ordinary and necessary and the cost is reasonable.

These deductions can really add up. For example, if you buy a $2,000 computer and use it for your business, you could deduct the full cost from your taxes. If you were in the 28 percent federal income tax bracket this would save you $560 in income tax.

In effect, you’d be getting a 28 percent discount on the computer. The catch is you must really be in business and use the computer or other item you buy for the business. You can’t deduct personal expenses. Read More.

3 recession-inspired home remodeling ideas

February 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

A soft economy prompted some homeowners to take a new look at their existing footprint. Even as housing-market conditions turn a little brighter, many homeowners still opt to stay put and update their current quarters instead of selling at lower prices.

The numbers prove it. Remodeling industry sentiment, as tracked by the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodeling Market Index (RMI), hit a five-year high in the fourth quarter.

In many cases, these decisions are fiscally motivated and reflective of the times, but the following remodeling trends may be here to stay. Read More.

Broker pulls listings from third-party sites

February 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Marketing 

San Diego-based ARG Abbott Realty Group has taken a very public stance in its decision to immediately stop syndicating listings to third-party websites — including Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com — with Jim Abbott, the company president and managing broker, explaining the decision by his 25-agent firm in a YouTube video posted Thursday.

The company’s action echoes a similar move announced in November by Edina, Minn.-based Home Services of America subsidiary Edina Realty Inc., a brokerage company with about 2,100 sales associates and 60 offices. Read More.

Not sure I agree that pulling them from Realtor.com is such a good idea.  What do you think on the decision?

Unemployment rate hits 8.3%

February 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Good sign for real estate? What do you think?

In the most impressive surge for the job market since the middle of last decade, the United States added 243,000 jobs in January, far more than economists expected. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest in three years.

Lower unemployment is a positive a sign for President Barack Obama’s re-election hopes. Still, he’s likely to face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any post-war president.

Hiring accelerated across the economy and up and down the pay scale. The high-salary professional services industry added 70,000 jobs, the most in 10 months. Manufacturing added 50,000, the most in a year. Read More.

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