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      Compass Contemplations for Wednesday

      In George H. W. Bush's famous "thousand points of light" nomination acceptance speech on August 18, 1988, he called for a "kinder, gentler nation" specifically referring to volunteering and giving back. In his lifetime it is estimated he helped raise around $1 billion for various charities. As we all know, this past week President George H. W. Bush passed away. While you may or may not have agreed with his politics, one of his principals everyone can relate to - especially at Compass where Robert made this a cornerstone of his future vision for the company - is the concept of working together and giving back.

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Airbnb will soon announce that it will begin selling multi-unit buildings and houses next year, according to Fast Company. Called Backyard, is "an endeavor to design and prototype new ways of building and sharing homes," extending and bolstering their services to architecture and urban planning. Backyard could start offering small existing dwellings, according to the report, and could also sell energy-efficient building materials, stand-alone homes and multi-unit complexes. Airbnb has more than 5 million rental listings on its platform, across nearly 200 countries.


      DID YOU KNOW?  Microsoft regained its stature as the world's most valuable company after losing the title for 16 years, beating out APPLE whose stock price has dropped badly over the past few weeks. Apple lost the top spot after 6 years. GE used to have this title....(CNBC)

      DID YOU KNOW? Home price appreciation continues to moderate following a half-decade of strong growth. Market fundamentals, however, are vastly different than the pre-crisis period in the mid-2000s. US equities delivered a strong week despite the sharp oil price decrease with the S&P 500 jumping nearly 4%: lower-than-expected PCE inflation data and signs that the Fed may be easing their rate hike plan....which would be good for real estate. (Seeking Alpha)

      Hallways in Your Home

      Hallways

      Often I am amazed at how overlooked some hallways are. These are the hallways within homes and as well as those that lead up to apartments. Too often a hallway is treated like a neglected cousin, and in doing so a tremendous opportunity may be overlooked.

       

      Yesterday while approaching an apartment I noticed the hallway from the elevator to the apartment was simply bland at best. Maybe this was part of the architect's 'vision', and maybe this may read well in a publication, but from a human perspective I found the experience somewhat depressing..... and a lost opportunity. That 'lead-up' that a hallway provides to an entry or the transition to another room or set of rooms has the ability to set a tone or build up excitement of what is to come. Hallways should be viewed as (mostly) narrower rooms, not wasted space.

       

      So what can be done to enhance a hallway? Smaller art pieces are perfectly suited to this setting, the kind that you'd like to view close-up. A collection of family/friend photos works well too, especially artfully displayed. Take note of the flooring, the lighting, maybe a wall covering that sets a more intimate and inviting message? Maybe a wider internal hallway has the capacity to house a small home office? Hallways are decorating opportunities, not unusable annoyances. They can be decorated beautifully and also engineered to accommodate specific uses.

       

      Look closely at all hallways, especially those that lead up to a home: they often set the tone for a showing as the rooms are revealed. First impressions matter. Pauses between rooms matter too.

       

      Have a terrific Tuesday!

      Compass Contemplation for Monday

       

      Just a few more days left in 2018 - but not that few:  go out and enjoy them and know there are amazing opportunities lurking. EVERY day matters.....make today count!

      DID YOU KNOW?  "They" say inflation is around 2%, yet in a big city like New York, I suspect it may be much higher: Beginning New Year’s Day, New York City cab riders south of 96th Street will pay a $2.50 fee 24/7 on the most traffic-clogged streets in Manhattan, bringing the starting rate for a ride to $5.80. Those hailing an Uber or Lyft will have a $2.75 surcharge. This is supposed to "curb congestion", yet anyone with half a brain knows its purely a disguised tax to pay for the MTA. (WSJ)

      DID YOU KNOW?  It's a crazy world out there.... who would have expected:  Paintings created by Artificial Intelligence at Art Basel Miami? Riots and mayhem in Paris before Christmas? Tornadoes in December in the Midwest? Qatar quits OPEC? 

      DID YOU KNOW? Apple plans to wait till at least 2020 to release a 5G i-phone. (Bloomberg)

      DID YOU KNOW?  Is a "Santa Rally" in the works? With a truce in the China-US trade war, you never know.....

       

      I spent most of this past Thanksgiving away with my partner's 89-year old mother who was in a rehab facility recovering from a fall. One of the magnificent nurses told me the thing she enjoys most about her job is hearing all the stories of her 'guests' and learning from those who are near the end of their lives who have lived full, rich experiences that only a full lifetime can deliver. So as we bid farewell to the US's 41st president, here are some positive life lessons I'll take away from George H. W. Bush's life that are worth repeating:

      1.   It's all about 'we' not 'me'. Give credit to those around you for your successes. One human is not capable of great things without many others.

      2.   Develop and nurture deep relationships and friendships.

      3.   Family matters. Keep close bonds with your family.

      4.   Be nice, but not weak.

      5.   Don't forget to say 'thank you'.

      6.   Do your best, try your hardest. Pay your dues.

      7.   Don't let 'losing' stop you. You cannot 'win' everything. Recover quickly. (Bounce back with passion?)

      8.   Life does not stop at 80: you can remain very relevant till the day you die.

      9.   Do that which is best for the greater good, not just you and your career.

      10. Collaborate with those who are your friends and those you compete with.

      11. Devote yourself to the betterment of others: be charitable and give back.

      12. Be humble.

      I strongly urge anyone wanting to learn through experience to spend some time with an elderly friend or relative (or stranger): you will be amazed by their stories of a full life, and it may help you put into perspective your own role here on earth.

      Have a MAGNANIMOUS Monday!

       

      Compass Contemplations for Friday

      DID YOU KNOW? U.S. consumer spending increased by the most in 7 months in October. (Reuters)

      DID YOU KNOW?  Pending US Home Sales slid 2.6% in October. Contract signings were down 6.7% compared to 2017. Pending sales rose in the NORTHEAST by 0.7%. In the MIDWEST sales fell 1.8%, in the SOUTH they fell 1.1%, and in the WEST they were down 8.9%. (MARKET WATCH)

      DID YOU KNOW? Millennial spending habits are a lot like the generations that came before them, they just have less money at this point in their lives. The group born between 1981 and 1997 has fallen behind because many of them came of age during the financial crisis. (Business Insider)

      DID YOU KNOW?  The Fed is expected to raise interest rates a fourth time this year in December but stated it would be 'flexible' on plans to raise rates. (CNN)

       

      DID YOU KNOW? The Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve have proposed loosening real-estate appraisal requirements to enable a majority of U.S. homes to be bought and sold without being evaluated by a licensed human appraiser, potentially opening the door for cheaper, faster, untested property valuations based on computer algorithms. It would increase to $400,000, from $250,000, the value of homes that can be bought and sold without a human appraiser visiting a property. (WSJ)

      The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House

      The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House | MyKCM

      Many sellers believe that spring is the best time to place their homes on the market because buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year, but what they don’t realize is that if every homeowner believes the same thing, then that is when they will have the most competition!

      The #1 Reason to List Your Home in the Winter Months is Less Competition!

      Housing supply traditionally shrinks at this time of year, so the choices buyers have will be limited. The chart below was created using the months’ supply of listings from the National Association of Realtors.

      The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House | MyKCM

       

      As you can see, the ‘sweet spot’ to list your home for the most exposure naturally occurs in the late fall and winter months (November – February). 

      Temperatures aren’t the only thing that heats up in the spring – so do listings!

      The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House | MyKCM

      In 2017, listings increased by nearly half a million houses from December to June. Don’t wait for these listings to come to market before you decide to list your house.

      Added Bonus: Only Serious Buyers Are Out in the Winter

      At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers.’ The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

      Bottom Line

      If you have been debating whether or not to sell your home and are curious about market conditions in your area, let’s get together to help you decide the best time to list your house for sale.

      The Cost of Renting vs. Buying a Home

      The Cost of Renting vs. Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

      Some Highlights:

      • Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a tough decision.
      • Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (28.4%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (17.5%), the choice becomes obvious.
      • Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you can put your housing costs to work by buying this year!

      COMPASS Contemplations for Thursday

      WELCOME COMPASS HOUSTON! And welcome especially to founding agent Mike Mahlstedt consistently one of the area's top professionals who represents the very best of Houston and our industry.


      DID YOU KNOW?  Debt for New York City has grown from $4,923 per person in 2000 to $10,113 in 2017, an increase of 105%. More than 700,000 jobs have been added in NYC during the past 8 years, an average of 87,500 jobs per year. The debt per capita of every US national is over $61,000. If the Japanese wanted to pay off their national debt, they would owe $90,345 each. Among OECD countries, Ireland, and Italy are next, with $62,687, and $58,693 respectively and Belgium, at $58,134. The OECD average of $50,245. (World Economic Forum)

      DID YOU KNOW? Will there be a cash infusion over the next few weeks from withdrawn hedge funds?  Today, most managers of hedge funds will find out how much of their stock/bond portfolios they need to liquidate ahead of time because those invested in hedge funds have to give notice by today if and how much they will withdraw. The stock market has been skittish over the past month, mostly due to rising interest rates, the mid-term elections, trade war concerns and reports on political wrongdoing that are about to come out. Many big investors stung by recent big losses that likely eroded confidence in hedge funds could possibly be asking for a lot of their money back. November 15th isn’t a hard and fast deadline but traditionally, 45 days to the end of the year has been the time when investors have had to notify hedge funds of withdrawals. Around $100 billion has been withdrawn in each of the past few years, but the stock market was mostly climbing during those years. (NY POST)


      DID YOU KNOW? In the past 10 years, employment in U.S. cities has grown 7% and the number of businesses in these places has grown11%, while employment has contracted in nonmetro areas and the number of businesses there has barely changed, according to Labor Department. Five cities—New York, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco—accounted for a third of all Fortune 500 headquarters and half of Fortune 500 firms’ profits in 2017. When startups began locating in cities in the 1990s, many predicted that because the internet allowed people to work from anywhere, tech workers would scatter across the country as firms sought cheap office space. Instead, places like Silicon Valley and Seattle proved that clusters of highly skilled workers fueled innovation at a faster pace. Supercharged places that were already doing well, drew in more educated workers who wanted to live in walkable neighborhoods with nice restaurants and hip entertainment. (WSJ)

       

      Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable

      Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable | MyKCM

      Everyone knows that housing affordability has been negatively impacted by rising prices and increasing mortgage rates, but there is another piece to the affordability equation – wages.

      How much a family earns obviously impacts how easy or difficult it is for them to afford to own a home. Because of an improving economy, wages are finally beginning to increase – and that dramatically affects home affordability.

      According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) September 2018 Housing Affordability Index, wages have increased in every region of the country:

      Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable | MyKCM

      After applying current salaries, home prices, and mortgage rates to their Home Affordability Index equation, the index, though still lower than this time last year (160.1 to 146.7), increased over the last month (141.2 to 146.7). For the complete methodology used by NAR, click here.

      The percentage of income needed to own a home has also decreased each of the last three months. It currently sits at 17% which is substantially lower than historic numbers.

      Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable | MyKCM

      Bottom Line

      If you are a first-time buyer or a move-up buyer who believes that purchasing a home is not within your budget, let’s get together to determine if that is still true.

      Today is ELECTION DAY:  Don't forget to GO OUT AND VOTE!

      DID YOU KNOW? Since 1946, there have been 18 midterm elections. Stocks were higher 12 months after every single one. Every single one. That’s 18 for 18. Even though we’ve had every possible political combination in the past 72 years. Republican president years with Democratic Congress. A democratic president with Republican Congress. A Republican president and Congress. Democratic president and Congress. Since 1946, stocks have risen an average of 17% in the year after a midterm. (Marketwatch)


      "You're gonna go a little bonkers if you work 120 hours a week." - Elon Musk

      DID YOU KNOW?  It is now rumored that Amazon will split its 'second headquarters' into TWO centers creating 25,000 jobs in each.....stay tuned. What is Amazon looking for? Skilled labor, housing, public transportation and infrastructure......and a few tax break perhaps? Amazon employs 45,000 people in Seattle alone. (WSJ)

      DID YOU KNOW? Digital Real Estate is News Corp’s fastest-growing segment, contributing 44% of the total company (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, & Amortization) EBITDA, almost 4X those of the company’s other segments individually largely due to the relatively low-cost nature of the business. Digital Real Estate accounts for around 45% of the company’s value, especially notable since the segment only accounts for about 14% of its total revenues. News Corp owns a 61.6% interest in the REA Group (Australia and Asia) and an 80% interest in Move Inc. (realtor.com in the U.S.). (Forbes)

      Compass Contemplations For Friday

      Good morning,

       

      DID YOU KNOW?  These are some important dates coming up that could impact all our markets (Thanks Gordon Golub for sending!):

      • November 5: We will learn the limits of sanctions on Iran.
      • November 10: We will know the final results of the mid-term elections
      • December 1: The US and Chinese presidents will have a private meeting on tariffs and trade at the conclusion of the Group of 20 Summit in Buenos Aires
      • December 19: Will the Fed raise interest rates again? The percentage who believe this is inevitable is dropping.
      • December 31:  Will 2018 end with a deceleration of mergers and acquisitions? The all-time record for deals completed is $4.1Trillion in 2007.
      •  

      DID YOU KNOW? As of the end of October, 89% of assets that Deutsche Bank collects data on for its annual long-term study, have a negative total return year to date in dollar terms. This is the highest percentage on record based on data back to 1901, eclipsing the 84% hit in 1920. We shall see the bottom line on December 31st...

      DID YOU NOW? Softbank's Vision Fund plans to announce today that it has invested $1.1 billion into View Inc., a Silicon Valley-based maker of glass used in internet-connected windowpanes allows customers to control the level of tinting in so-called smart windows. This “dynamic glass” can help lower cooling costs and remove the need for blinds or other accessories. Sales to airports, hospitals, and office buildings have taken off over the past couple years.....will it come available to the residential real estate market to lower monthly operating costs too? (Bloomberg)

       

       

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