WARD 3, WARD 4 AND WARD 5
WARD 3, WARD 4 AND WARD 5
MAYOR OF DC CITY WIDE ELECTIONS —– WARD 1 & WARD 2 ——
Future Mayor of Washington, DC —- Council member Muriel Bowser —- April 1, 2014
More residential, possibly no retail for proposed Bloomingdale project
Michael Neibauer Staff Reporter- Washington Business Journal Jun 17, 2013, 11:32am EDT
The developer of a planned-unit development at Florida Avenue and Q Street NW, approved by the D.C. Zoning Commission six years ago, has returned to the panel with changes that might result in more residences and no retail.
Florida & Q Street LLC, led by developer and gas station purveyor Eyob “Joe” Mamo, is proposing to add residential units, reduce the height of the building, halve the number of parking spaces and possibly convert the retail space to residential “if it cannot be leased for retail uses.”
The application was filed May 31, days before the scheduled June 15 expiration of the PUD approval. In 2011, Mamo received a two-year extension after citing a lack of financing “due to the volatility in the industry” and increasing construction costs.
The developer of 1600 N. Capitol St. now proposes 85 to 95 residential units instead of 65 to 85.
The building will top out at 72 feet, instead of 86 feet. It will include 41 parking spaces on one underground level, as opposed to 84 spaces on two levels. And it might not include any retail if the 5,000 square feet of dedicated retail space in the cellar cannot be leased.
The project, roughly 2,200 feet from the entrance to the New York Avenue Metrol station, will be marked by a six-story tower and a raised entry plaza, a “decorative crown” and roof decks pointing toward the Capitol. It was designed by D.C.-based Bonstra Haresign Architects.
The Zoning Commission has not yet scheduled a hearing date.
Farewell 3% mortgage rates
By Les Christie @CNNMoney June 6, 2013: 10:19 AM ET
In the past month, rates have been on the rise and they are expected to continue to climb
This week, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped another 10 percentage points to 3.91% and are up from 3.3% in early May, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Meanwhile, those seeking a 15-year loan received an average rate of 3.03%, up from 2.56% — a record low.
“It’s unlikely that rates will ever be that low again,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist.
Those who didn’t take advantage of record-low rates have missed the boat — at least for now. Here are three reasons why.
Related: Best deals on real estate
The Fed is going to stop bolstering the housing market. The Fed has kept rates at rock-bottom levels by buying up to $85 billion a month of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. That has enabled lenders to sell mortgage loans at low interest rates and recoup their money immediately — plus profits.
“Up until recently, expectations were that the Fed would begin to taper purchases of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and Treasury bonds late in 2013, but that timeframe appears to have moved to September, possibly sooner,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, a mortgage information company.
Related: McMansions are making a comeback
If the Fed stops purchasing the securities, private investors will have to pick up the slack. For investors to do that, the loans will have offer a better payoff. And that would mean raising rates for borrowers, said Duncan.
The economy is no longer reeling. During the recession, the Fed lowered its short-term interest rate to near zero in order to stimulate the economy. But now conditions have improved considerably since the economy emerged from recession four years ago. As the economic revival gains traction, it is creating a tailwind for interest rate increases, according to Gumbinger.
Low rates happen when the economy is in distress. But now, the market believes the economy is getting stronger, said Wendy Cutrefelli, a vice president in the Mortgage Banking Division of Bank of the West.
Study Shows Benefits of Social Media for Real Estate Marketing and Sales
Originally Posted by Home Buying Institute
If you are reading this, you’re probably one of many real estate agents wondering if social media websites and social networking are worth your time. Should you incorporate Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest into your real estate marketing plan? What can you expect to get out of it, in terms of business leads and ROI?
These are valid questions, and the answers aren’t easy to come by. In many ways, the success or failure of a social media marketing program comes down to the execution – not the tools themselves.
But a new study highlights the value of social media websites for salespeople. In short, salespeople who use these tools are more successful at selling than those who don’t. This study gives real estate agents, brokers and firms more reason to consider social media as a real estate marketing tool.
Study: Social Media as a Sales Tool
The study, featured in a recent Forbes article, was conducted by Jim Keenan, a widely cited authority in “social sales.”
I know what you’re thinking: Here’s a guy showcasing the value of the very services he provides to clients. It’s a fair point. In fact, the entire article reads like a thinly veiled puff piece with questionable data at its core (we are not told about the size of the study group, or other pertinent details that typically go along with surveys).
At the end of the day, we have to trust that Forbes did some kind of vetting of the study and its author. But I digress.
Here are the key findings:
Of course, much depends on the manner in which these services are used. Saying that social media will improve your sales is like saying a telephone will make you salesperson of the quarter. They are only tools. It’s how you use them that counts.
Let’s shift gears and talk about real estate marketing.
A Strategy for Real Estate Agent Marketing
The above-mentioned study pertains to salespeople in a variety of industries. But it’s entirely relevant to real estate agents in particular. Realty professionals can bring social media into their real estate marketing programs in a number of ways.
One example would be to use Twitter as an information delivery system, providing valuable market updates to a select audience. Residents within the predefined area could follow the agent’s Twitter feed to receive information about home prices, sales data, foreclosure trends and the like.
Real estate agents can also use the networking capabilities of Facebook and LinkedIn to generate referral business from family and friends.
These are basic examples of using social media as a real estate marketing tool. Some agents are thinking outside the box to come up with more creative strategies.
How about using Pinterest as a visual relocation guide for people moving into the area? The person relocating would get an up-close look at neighborhoods, communities and other items of interest within the area. The real estate agent would get valuable exposure among prospective clients.
With social media marketing, imagination is the only limit.
Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest, Oh My
Many real estate agents suffer from “analysis paralysis” when attempting to launch a social media program. The first question, and often the biggest obstacle, is which service to use. First-timers often spread themselves too thin by signing up for every service available. The last thing you want is to spend more time managing your social media accounts than your real estate business.
Steve Strauss, author of the best-selling Small Business Bible, recommends zeroing in on one particular social media service, and then mastering it.
“Choose one,” he says. “But keep in mind that might not be your favorite or the one you’re the most comfortable with personally.”
Another common problem for real estate agents is that they don’t have anything interesting to share. The key to a successful social media marketing program is to share valuable information with an audience who can benefit from that information. The idea presented earlier with home prices and market updates is a good example.
Many homeowners these days are practically obsessed with property values in their area, especially in the wake of the housing crisis. So a real estate agent who provides news and information about local home prices should have no trouble getting people to subscribe or follow. The more valuable the information, the more attractive it becomes to the end-user.
For real estate agents, blogging and social media go hand in hand. Blogging programs like WordPress give agents an easy way to publish information online. Social networks provide an easy way to share that information. An obvious implementation would be to blog about local housing conditions, and then tweet the new blog post through Twitter, or share it through Facebook. The Home Buying Institute provides a Market Blogging service for this very reason.
Here again, imagination is the only limit.
Read more: http://www.homebuyinginstitute.com/news/social-media-real-estate-401/#ixzz2Vls8bwWs
Some traffic tickets can raise your auto insurance premiums by 22% or even more. Here’s how various violations could affect your rates.
This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.
Getting pulled over is a funny thing. No matter how old you are, you still feel like a teenager behind the wheel when those blue lights come on.
But after you get a ticket and the squad car is pulling away, you have two very adult thoughts: “I wonder how much this is going to cost?” and “Oh no! What is this going to do to my insurance rates?”
From reckless driving to not wearing your seat belt, a recent study shows just how much that ticket will raise your insurance rates.
Tickets and your insurance rates
A study by Insurance.com analyzed 490,000 insurance quotes to figure out how different violations affect your car insurance rates. Here are their findings for 14 different violations:
Reckless driving — 22% increase.
DUI (first offense) — 19%.
Driving without a license — 18%.
Careless driving — 16%.
Failure to stop — 15%.
Driving 30 mph or more over the speed limit — 15%.
Improper turn — 14%.
Improper pass — 14%.
Following too closely — 13%.
Driving 15 to 29 mph over the speed limit — 12%.
Driving 1 to 14 mph over the speed limit — 11%.
Failure to yield — 9%.
Driving without insurance — 6%.
Seat belt infractions — 3%.
It could be even worse; those are just averages. Your actual rate will depend on a variety of factors, including your age, sex, where you live, your marital status, and how long you’ve been with your carrier. You can calculate your own results on Insurance.com.
How to prevent a rate hike
Traffic violations show up on your state driving record, which is accessed periodically by your insurance company. There are a few things you can do to keep a ticket from appearing on your driving record or minimize the impact on your insurance rate.
Go to court. If you go to court, you may end up getting the ticket reduced to a lesser offense or having the case dismissed entirely. There are several reasons why a judge might dismiss your case. Among them:
The officer who issued the ticket didn’t appear in court.
The ticket contains inaccurate information.
You can prove you did not commit the offense.
Hire a lawyer. A lawyer could help your case. You’ll have to pay, but probably not much. A lawyer we interviewed charges $80 to handle a basic traffic case.
Attend traffic school. Some states allow you to keep a violation off your record by attending traffic school. You can attend traffic school in person (many have night and weekend classes) or online and you’ll have to pass a test, but it shouldn’t be difficult if you were paying attention. The fee to attend the school is usually small.
If you end up paying the fine, here are some steps to take going forward:
Avoid getting pulled over again. This seems obvious, but more violations will further increase your insurance rates. Keep your car maintained — no broken or malfunctioning lights — wear your seat belt, drive safely and defensively, and renew your registration on time.
Be patient. Some insurance companies will reduce your rate after a year with no violations. Many moving violations will no longer affect your rate after three years.
Comparison-shop for new insurance. Insurance companies treat violations differently, so another company may offer you a better rate. But don’t lie about past infractions. The company will be reviewing your driving record, even if you’ve moved to another state.