Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
Living Small: Bring out the GOOD Stuff - 06/27/11 08:45 PM
As many of you have already heard, I plan to be living in a much smaller place in a few weeks, and putting my big house on the market. Do you remember the email/tale/tear-jerker story that went around a few years ago, and crops up now and then that goes something like this . . . " . . . woman dies young, leaves small kids and family behind. While cleaning out her stuff, they find a drawer of really nice linens and lovely clothing, labeled "for good"." You know, the things we tend to squirrel away, to keep them nice, (11 comments)
Design Merge: How Do You Pull off Traditional Furnishings to Get Closer to "Spa"? - 06/27/11 12:02 PM
I need some design help, or inspiration, or hand-holding. :-) I hope to be in a new, much smaller space in a few weeks, hopefully a condo, but perhaps an apartment while I find the perfect new space for my family, closer to all things work/school/play than my current suburban home in Northwest Austin. If I had to start from scratch, with no furnishings at all, I would go for a very clean look with straight lines, black or dark brown casegoods, and subtle, soothing colors on the walls that make me think "spa", like sublte blue-greys, or pale greens, maybe (9 comments)
Small Living: Paring Down the Books - 06/27/11 01:46 AM
One of the hardest things about deciding to Live Small, is whittling down a huge book collection. As in, reducing the collection by about 90%, into two bookcases. And that includes cookbooks, and a vast collection of fantastic kids' classics, architecture and design books, and ones on history, art and photography. In our next home, we'll have one large black library bookcase with glass doors and one 30" wide 6' tall maple bookcase in my daughter's room, and no other bookspace at all. As I pull each unread book off the shelf, particularly the classics I was going to read "soon", (10 comments)
Check Your Phone Bill for Fradulent Charges - 06/20/11 04:05 PM
I wanted to share a very frustrating story with you. I noticed my home phone bill, a line used solely for in-coming faxes, was increasing, and the automated payments I had set up to pay it monthly from my bank were no longer covering the balance. I pulled it up and found numerous monthly $14+ charges, from a company called PaymentOne.com. Someone (not me) had signed up for a work from home scam, given MY number, which according to this company, had "authorized" them to charge my phone bill monthly - for NO ACTUAL SERVICES PROVIDED. As the account holder, I (12 comments)
Your Real Estate WordPress Blog: In a Perfect World - 06/17/11 01:19 PM
If I were going to do it all over . . . I would: 1. Buy the entire StudioPress Theme package for whatever it currently costs. Oh, I actually DID do this, and have used at least six of the themes on niche sites. Some of the BEST money I ever spent. Access to their support forum is ESSENTIAL! I think I paid $180-ish in late 2009. 2. Use the AgentPress Theme. This theme ROCKS. As you learn more CSS, you can do all sorts of good stuff to make it your own. 3. Get familiar with the StudioPress support forum. They (25 comments)
Kristen has written a great post about giving your sprinkler system a little TLC to help use less water yet help your plants get MORE of it (instead of the sidewalk, or the driveway!). Texas is experiencing a massive drought, a massive dangerous drought, so we all need to be extra careful with the water we choose to use. Please stop by Kristen's original article and give her some good words.
Via Kristen Ueckert 817-422-3322 Keller Texas Real Estate (Ueckert Realty LLC): As my car registered 100 degrees outside today, I thought, "Daaang, this is the perfect weather for a (3 comments)
Austin Farmers Market at the Triangle - 06/16/11 01:04 PM
The Austin Farmers Market – Triangle is the place to be if you love fresh produce. You will find Triangle Park at The Triangle at 4600 Lamar (46th Street and Lamar), with plenty of free parking at surface lot next door and The Triangle retail parking garage down the street. The Austin Farmers Market at the Triangle is on Wednesday Austin Sustainable Food Center Farmers’ Market at The Triangle Open Year-Round, Rain or ShineMarch – September, 4 pm to 8 pm – WednesdaysOctober – February, 3 pm to 7 pm – Wednesdays Take Your Whole Family to Support Texas Growers Your kids will (8 comments)
Railroad Tracks and The Neighborhood: 5 Things That Matter in Texas - 06/16/11 12:58 PM
Should You Steer Clear of the Railroad Tracks? Do you know where your kids are? Is your home on near the tracks? Or, are you considering buying a home with tracks close by? Are you wondering if the tracks will make a difference in the value of the home? In a word, yes. Railroad tracks can have an impact on value – because the tracks can impact the desirability of the property. It depends on how much the tracks actually impact the property. You may have already noticed that homes really near tracks where the tracks aren’t commuter rails, are less (6 comments)
Buying FBSO Land in Texas - 06/16/11 12:51 PM
FSBO Land – A Way to Avoid Transaction Expenses? Do you want to buy land in Texas? Have you been looking to buy land directly from someone, instead of looking at land listed in the MLS, or with a local real estate sales company? Buying land on your own, directly from the current owner might be one of the biggest mistakes you ever make.
7 Critical Mistakes When Buying Land You might think buying land directly from the current owner is simpler – less paperwork, less red-tape. What you don’t know is that the paperwork, and, yes, the red tape, (3 comments)
Texas Appraiser Licensing: Who is in Charge? - 06/15/11 07:07 PM
Texas Appraiser License and Appraiser Regulation Appraisal practice regulation in Texas is handled by The Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB). TALCB was created by an act of the Texas Legislature in 1991 to license, certify and regulate real estate appraisers in Texas under state and federal laws. TALCB regulates five classifications of appraiser licensing: Certified General Real Estate Appraiser Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser State Licensed Real Estate Appraiser Provisional Licensed Real Estate Appraiser Appraiser Trainee (required to work under the sponsorship and supervision of a state certified appraiser). Education Requirements for Real Estate Appraisers Minimum Appraiser license educational (0 comments)
Date of Death Appraisal for Texas Estate Taxes - 06/15/11 03:14 PM
Determining Fair Market Value for Estate Taxes When someone dies, it is necessary to value all of the assets of the person who has died. This includes real property such as real estate. A date of death valuation determines the Fair Market Value of real estate as of the date that the owner died. This property valuation is used to determine if a federal estate tax return is due to the IRS. It also determines if taxes are owed. This is part of what is sometimes referred to as the death tax. The valuation of the property is also used to (3 comments)
How Much Home Can You Get for $1025 Per Month in the Greater Austin Area? $1025 per month can cover the mortgage, taxes and insurance on a $150,000 home in or around Austin, Texas. That assumes you have good credit and can put down 20%. The Estimated Numbers for Buying a $150,000 home for $1025 Per Month $120,000 mortgage at 4.75% Fixed-rate mortgage for 30 years $3,900 a year for property taxes (2.6% of $150,000) $900 per year for home owners insurance If you have less than 20% to put down, or your credit isn’t the best, there are still (2 comments)
How to For Sale By Owner in Austin Texas - 06/15/11 02:02 PM
Do You Know How to FSBO? Some homeowners choose to try to sell their homes For Sale by Owner (FSBO, pronounced "Fizz-Bo") before enlisting the assistance of a real estate agent. Although fewer than 25% of FSBOs properties sell, if you're not in a hurry to move on to your next place, you can try your hand at marketing your property on your own. How to FSBO Get Organized Do Your Research Get Your Home Ready Know Your Legal Responsibilities Enlist the Services of Professionals You Trust Practice Makes Perfect The Big To Do List for a FSBO 1. Get Organized (2 comments)
River Place Austin Texas: Gracious Hill Country Living Search for homes in River Place, Austin Texas Limestone, mixed stone, custom iron work doors and gates, sweeping Hill Country Views.
All of these and are more are par for the course for homes in River Place, off 2222 near 620 at the western edge of Austin, Texas. River Place Home Sales for 2011 As of June 12th, 2011 for River Place in Austin Texas: 40 properties have sold since January 1st, 2011 9 homes are under contract (pending or pending, taking backups) 31 homes are currently for sale Of (0 comments)
Social Bookmarking: Do You Digg it? - 06/13/11 06:28 PM
I have a confession to make. Although I keep a tight schedule for SEO activities for my businesses, I have all but completely neglected the social bookmarking sites. Yeah, I've heard we should use them. It has just been that One Extra Thing that pushes me over the edge into screaming "TOO MUCH TO DO!" Nevertheless, today I took the Social Bookmarking plunge. I signed up for: Reddit.com Digg.com Delicious.com StumbleUpon.com And spent two hours fiddling with them. And then decided my teenager needed something to do other than sleep all day. Now, she's off to the movies with friends (4 comments)
What's Happening to Decency? - 06/12/11 05:28 PM
Leslie makes some very good points in this Active Rain article about Decency. Sometimes we think we can hide behind our keyboards and not have to be as responsible as we would be if we were dealing with people face-to-face.
Please visit Leslie's original post and give her some good words. Via Leslie Ebersole (Baird&Warner Real Estate St. Charles IL): "I'm trying not to let my personal failings get in the way of work". Yesterday on CCN I heard beleaguered Congressman Anthony Weiner claim that his personal problems are just that, personal, and that he wants a cooling off period from public (1 comments)
Condo Loans and Condo Financing – Tougher to Get? Yes. A condo loan requires both the buyer and the condo association to qualify. Even a highly qualified buyer may not be able to purchase a condo, if the condo development is not as financially stable as a lender requires. Some Austin Condos Won’t Qualify Austin has a lot of condos, including older developments and newer ones dotting the downtown skyline. In August of 2010, the Austin Business Journal reported on the failure of the Pecan Place Condominiums near 183 and Texas 45 in Northwest Austin. Half of the 29 townhouse (3 comments)
DoFollow Blogs: FollowList Has Lots of DoFollow Blogs You Can Use - 06/12/11 03:04 PM
A while ago, Rich Cederberg wrote a great post about DoFollow WordPress Blogs that I re-blogged. We've had just a few Active Rain members add their own DoFollow WordPress blogs to the list. If you have one, please visit that original post, add your own blog in your comment, and check out the other member's blogs, too! In the last 18+ months, I've spent an inordinate amount of time looking for DoFollow blogs in search of those all-important, but frequently-elusive backlinks. Backlinks are essential for increasing your website's ranking in the SERPs (Search Engine Page Results). Some of the ways you (8 comments)
Trash to Treasure: uncommon OBJECTS in Austin, Texas - 06/11/11 11:39 AM
South Congress in Austin, Texas: Where the Cool Kids Hang Out We've been browsing the local small shops this week, especially those on South Congress. SoCo, for those not from Austin, is the ultra-hip, ultra-funky, ultra-happening spot south of downtown. There is stuff in them thar stores you won't see any where else - ranging from very urban, locally-made wares, to throw-back stuff cleared out of grandma's attic that is now all hip again. Which reminded me - sometimes one person's trash is another person's treasure. Sometimes, one person's individual thing can become part of a really cool collection when it (7 comments)
Curb Appeal: 7 Tips for Lasting First Impressions for Austin Texas Home Sellers - 06/09/11 12:10 PM
Curb Appeal for Selling Your Austin Texas Home You only have a few seconds to make a first impression on buyers who see your home. Make those seconds count. Two Places Homes Buyers Will See Your Austin TX Home Home buyers in Austin Texas will see your home in two ways: Online: Most home buyers start their search on-line. Make sure your photos show your home in the best possible light. If your home doesn't look good on-line, most buyers won't even bother to see it in person. When They Visit: If you've already made a good on-line impression, you get (6 comments)
Does the Appraiser Care How Neat Your Home Is? The short answer is: it depends, maybe or yes. Most of us know that when you put your house on the market, it needs to look and be as spiffy as possible. For this reason, many of the resale homes we appraise have been de-cluttered and carefully organized to present the best possible image to potential buyers. Stuff Gets in the Way De-cluttering and deep-cleaning your home can also be beneficial to the appraisal process because a home packed to the gills with stuff, albeit fabulous stuff, is hard to (7 comments)
Downtown Round Rock: There IS such a thing When most of us think of Round Rock, we think of new subdivisions, Dell and, well, new subdivisions. More specifically, subdivisions built since 2000, clustered on either side of I-35, North and Northeast of Austin. According to the city’s web site (which cited the US Census Bureau), the population of greater Round Rock doubled between 1990 (30,923) and 2000 (61,136) and almost doubled again between 2000 and 2009 (105,412). With that many people flocking to this ever-growing area, it’s easy to focus on the new shopping centers and sprawling subdivisions. Did you (1 comments)
The Option Period for Buying Real Estate in Texas - 06/08/11 02:16 PM
What is the Texas Option Period for Real Estate The standard contract for buying a single-family home in Texas contains a clause for an Option Period. The Option Period is the time during which the buyer can cancel the contract for any reason, without penalties. What You Need to Know About the Option Period The Texas Real Estate Option Period: is at the beginning of the purchase contract period (if the contract is signed on Monday, the Option Period starts on Tuesday and ends at midnight on the last day of the number of days for the Option Period) is (3 comments)
Austin Home Inspectors: Why You Need One When You Buy Your Home - 06/06/11 09:18 PM
Home Inspections are Necessary for Buying a Home You're buying a home. Your Buyers Agent says it needs to be inspected, during the option period for buying a home in Texas. You may be thinking, "$300 for a home inspection? Why can't I just have my brother take a look at it?" You Need to Hire a Licensed Home Inspector To a REALTOR®, them's scary words. When you're buying property, protect your investment and yourself and have it inspected by a licensed property inspector. Not your brother, your father, your neighbor or just yourself, no matter how much any of (4 comments)
The Ranch at Deer Creek in Cedar Park 78613: Sales Update for June 2011 - 06/06/11 08:07 PM
The Ranch at Deer Creek: Real Estate Sales Update for June 2011 Homes in the Ranch at Deer Creek in Cedar Park Texas are selling quickly for the first 5 months of 2011. What are the Homes like at The Ranch at Deer Creek? Of the 635 homes at The Ranch at Deer Creek at the western edge of Cedar Park, Texas, most were built between 2001 and 2007. Homes range from just over 2,000 square feet to about 5,000 square feet. The developers of this subdivision left many of the Texas Live Oak trees in place, which means the area (0 comments)
Square Footage of a House in Austin Texas: What Counts and What Doesn't - 06/06/11 03:47 PM
Square Footage of a House, What Counts in Austin Texas? Some spaces count. Some spaces don't. You Need to Know Your Austin Texas House Size When: Your property is showing as bigger than it really is in the property tax records and you want it corrected and/or you want to appeal your property taxes. You plan to list your home for sale and you want to be sure the size you put on the marketing material is correct. You are planning to purchase a property and the size of the home listed is bigger or smaller than what you think it (6 comments)
Buying a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) Home: 5 Things Austin Home Buyers Need to Know - 06/06/11 03:36 PM
Buying a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Home Think you are going to get a better deal if you buy a FSBO? Think again. 5 Reasons Why a FBSO Won't Save You Money When you think For Sale By Owner, you might be thinking you'll save yourself a real estate commission, and get a better priced house in the process. Unfortunately, that isn't usually the case and here are 5 reasons why: Sellers selling FSBO want to save the real estate commission. That doesn't mean they took it off the price of the house, it just means they won't be paying (5 comments)
Northwest Austin Homes: Real Estate Sales Data Through May 2011 - 06/02/11 02:35 PM
Northwest Austin Homes: Gracious Living in Austin, Texas Northwest Austin Homes are selling at a nice clip this year. For the first 5 months of 2011: 196 homes SOLD in area NW (designated by the Austin Board of Realtors MLS) 102 are in Pending status (under contract) 200 are Active With an absorption rate of 60 homes per month, this means Northwest Austin has about 3 months of inventory Median days on the market for the 196 sold listings was just 38 days For pending listings, median days on the market dropped to 3 weeks The highest sales price was $659,600 (0 comments)
Selling a House As Is in Austin Texas: 8 Reasons Not To - 06/02/11 02:31 PM
Selling a House "As Is": The Cold, Hard Truth Selling house "as is" might get you out of a lot of work. It will also get you off the list of most home buyers, and may cost you more than fixing what needs to be fixed. 8 Reasons Not To Sell a House "As Is" in Austin, Texas You know all of that work you think is too expensive and overwhelming? Buyers think the same thing - and even more so. What does the typical buyer think when they see a house that obviously needs work? Some won't even put it (5 comments)
Alison Nicklin Shuman is an Austin, Texas Real Estate Market Maven, Real Estate Photographer and real estate website SEO professional. Subscribe to Alison's blog for up-to-the-minute information on how to maximize the traffic to your website, and lure in readers with top-notch content and compelling photography.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.