Monday, May 14, 2007

Pest Control

From the Sacramento Bee:

Thousands of unsold and empty houses in the Sacramento region are fast becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes. As the region's housing slump creates more vacant houses and a growing excess of homes in transition between buyers and sellers, Culex mosquitoes that can spread the West Nile virus to birds, other animals and humans are thriving in uncared-for swimming pools, garden ponds and yards flooded by broken sprinklers, said David Brown, manager of the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.
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Sacramento Association of Realtors spokesman Greg Vlasek said there are 9,672 houses for sale in the mosquito district's Sacramento and Yolo counties coverage area alone. Nearly 1,400 have swimming pools.

The district is calling in a new cavalry in its war on mosquitoes: real estate agents. "As you show homes for sale or visit unoccupied properties, please assist us by reporting unmaintained swimming pools, ponds, fountains etc. to the district," states a letter being e-mailed to 6,500 agents today by the district and the Sacramento Association of Realtors.

Brown said the plea -- a first for the district -- follows growing numbers of complaints from Sacramento and Yolo county residents about algae-filled swimming pools, small kiddie pools, spas and ponds in their neighborhoods.
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The glut of houses that are empty or for sale is aggravating what's already expected to be an earlier West Nile virus season than last year.
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As real estate agents add mosquito patrol to their duties, there are more than 14,000 homes for sale in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties...The rising number of foreclosures is also emptying out more houses in the capital region...Add to that a large but unknown number of empty houses owned by investors.
From 60 Minutes (also video):
For realtors, the six percent commission is sacrosanct. It's remained in place, even as the price of homes has quadrupled over the past 25 years. But as correspondent Lesley Stahl reports, things are beginning to change. What happened to travel agents, stock brokers and book sellers – the encroachment of the Internet – is beginning to affect real estate agents. And the sacred six percent is under assault from online discounters.
...
Glenn Kelman may look like a bike messenger, but he’s an Internet entrepreneur, the president and CEO of Redfin. "Real estate, by far, is the most screwed up industry in America," he says. "And we feel like things that Amazon or eBay or Yahoo have done of other industries, we can do for the real estate industry."
From freeerisa.net:
The portal to this information is a network of blogs created by individuals who are not trained economists but are passionate about housing. These bloggers have growing conviction that a historic bubble in U.S. housing has just begun to deflate. With the help of thousands of readers who add content daily, they report real estate transactions and trends straight from their local markets – from the bottom up. A myriad of observations and contributions, continuously filtered through the Bubble Blogosphere, form a mosaic that may become a model for a new school of populist economic research.
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The Bubble Blogosphere is attracting a growing audience of people who share values that are mainstream, not extreme. Bloggers and their fans believe the housing bubble was created by excessive speculation, easy credit, greedy mortgage companies, and many gullible or careless buyers. In their view, people should not buy houses they can’t afford, debts eventually must be repaid, governments should not bail out borrowers, and flippers get what they deserve.

10 comments:

Gwynster said...

Lander,

I'm glad you caught the Blogger article. It was a good read until the very end.

norcaljeff said...

It's about time the RE industry monopoly on fees is coming to an end. I see that title, appraisal and other misc RE fees will be lowered as well with on-line competition, I couldn't be happier.

Perfect Storm said...

No reason to use a real estate agent. Anbody who does is getting ripped off.

Perfect Storm said...

Time for all the housing bubble bloggers to attack the NAR on their monopolistic polcies. David Lierah watch could be changed to NAR watch and posters can begin a campaign to get other bloggers to contact state and national politicans. Time to put the NAR out of business.

Perfect Storm said...

Real esate agents spend 5% of their time selling homes and 95% trying to get new clients. Real esate agents for the most part are useless. On line selling of real estate will replace real estate agents in a couple of years.

Patient Renter said...

I would have preferred if 60 minutes showcased a few different companies in its piece, but that's how these things are. Nevertheless, it was great to draw attention to the subject.

Gwynster said...

City facing $4.5 million budget shortfall

http://www.sacbee.com/101/story/179829.html


So the state, the county, and the city are singing the housing bubble blues.

Perfect Storm said...

One to Lie Awake at Night

At the end of 2006, there was $12,588,200,000,000 outstanding in household debt -- defined as consumer debt and mortgage debt combined. But there was only $11,065,500,000,000 in personal income for 2006. (Those are trillions of dollars.) If the United States spent none of its personal income for one year on "trivial" things like food, shelter, taxes, and medical care, it would still be inadequate to pay off our car loans, home mortgages, credit cards, and other personal indebtedness. This was not true as recently as 2003.

Source: U.S. Federal Reserve and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

nicole said...

"In their view, people should not buy houses they can’t afford"

Yeah, those crazy bloggers with their practical views... lol

Patient Renter said...

Anyone up for some good entertainment? There are 124 pages of bitterly angry comments on the cbs news website about the story on Realtor commissions:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/11/60minutes/main2790865.shtml?source=mostpop_story#ccmm

I am wondering how some of guys who post here feel.