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11 March 2011

Week in Review: What We Liked From the Week That Was

This weekend, please remember to “spring forward” your clocks to Daylight Savings Time. Fortunately, there has been no springing forward of foreclosures.  Some believe that increased pressure from state attorneys general on lenders to address laws violated when they processed foreclosures may have caused the dramatic 27 percent decrease of filings last month compared to a year earlier.

What could use a spring forward, however, are short sales.  According to the California Association of Realtors, fewer than three out of every five short sale offers in the Golden State result in a sale.  Although this survey was California-specific, experts in many other states have reported similar situations, calling attention to what they dub a “flawed” process.

Perils of this imperfect process may soon be featured in advertisements. In an aggressive tactic, homebuilders have started to call attention to the negatives of buying foreclosed homes versus new.  For example, being prepared to face unknown repairs from damage found in foreclosed homes.  Do you think this tactic will be effective?

Ever wonder which state in America is the happiest? According to Gallop’s well-being survey, Hawaii tops the list (yes, l am in a great mood around white sandy beaches and crystal clear water, who isn’t?)  Wyoming’s big sky earned the state the second place slot, while North Dakota, Alaska and Colorado rounded out the top five.  Did your state make the list?

The results inspired The New York Times to find the happiest person in the world based on factors correlated with high levels of well-being. Gallop determined that the title would go to an Asian-American male, who is a religious Jew, self-employed, living in Hawaii, married, has children and receiving a household income of at least $120,000. Meet Alvin Wong, the happiest person in the world. What a title!

New York’s Fifth Avenue made the list of the top 10 most exclusive streets in the world

While we are on the subject of cheerfulness, owners need to keep their homes (and wallets) in high spirits. As a reporter with Bankrate.com points out, neglecting home repairs that would cost $200 or $300 today could result in “expenditures of $3,000 or even tens of thousands next month.” Yikes.

At $60,000 per square meter, it is no surprise that New York’s Fifth Avenue made the list of the top 10 most exclusive streets in the world.

I am off to Austin, TX for SXSW Interactive.  I will be blogging from the event for Inman News.  Please check it out – and comment – if you get a chance!

In closing, our thoughts are with the residents of Japan, Hawaii and all areas threatened by the earthquake and tsunami.

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