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
Obama vs. Alito? - 01/29/10 06:42 PM
There is a lot of press being devoted to Supreme Court Justice Alito's negative response during the State of the Union address. According to Obama, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law with respect to federal campaign financing. The reality is that the law he alludes to actually only dates back to the 1970's although Theodore Roosevelt pushed for it back in 1907. Perhaps more importantly, the law that he seems so concerned with is one that he legally ignored in his campaign. Presidential campaigns are allowed to use Federal funding for valid expenses of both a primary, and general (12 comments)
Just Who is calling the Shots, and how much does a vote cost? - 01/28/10 07:38 PM
The recent supreme court ruling allowing for Unlimited Free $peech by corporations got me to look up just what the cost is for a vote in Congress these days. I limited my findings to just the key parliamentary positions. Obviously there are a few elected officials with high name recognition who command the same attention due to their committee assignments, but for now I think this might show enough of a trend for people on both sides of the aisle to see who is really calling the shots. Below is a breakdown of lobbying dollars received courtesy of OpenSecrets.org
Nancy (11 comments)
A Letter to our President from a WWII Vet - 01/27/10 03:12 PM
I came across this bit of news quite by accident, but I found the letter very compelling, especially when you take into consideration who the author is. This letter was written by retired Navy Master Chief Harold Estes. a 95 years young World War II veteran living in Hawaii.
Harold's service to the Navy is currently honnored by an annual award - the BMC Harold Estes Leadership Award . Harold has the good fortune of recognizing his position in life allows for him to speak his mind freely without worry about "being Marginalized" by politicians or the media. I would like (4 comments)
Bribes = 25% of GDP! - 01/25/10 08:01 PM
We all complain about corruption in government, but we forget we are a society built on the Rule of Law. While we are all here blogging our political viewpoints, we tend to forget just how lucky we are to be able to voice these opinions. A recent UN study shows how much worse things are in Afghanistan, where 2 decades of the absence of law has resulted in the industry of corruption making up one quarter of the countries entire GDP. The corruption has become so pervasive that a recent United Nations poll found 59% of Afghans consider it the number one problem (7 comments)
Hold Yourself Accountable! - 01/25/10 02:08 PM
Sorry if the title of this blog seems a little intimidating, it is actually nothing like that. A Realtor let me know about a really timely website that I thought others would find useful, and interesting. The website is www.futureme.org and is a site that allows you to send yourself an email in the future. Many people I know spend a significant amount of money on coaching, when all they really use it for is to have someone follow up regularly on their activity, and goal setting. The majority of my associates already know what they need to do, but they struggle (4 comments)
The Real Question is Why? - 01/23/10 07:51 PM
In Washington State we are lucky enough to have the option of electorate sponsored Referendums. This past November, Referendum 71 made the ballot. Referendum 71 was a bid to overturn a recently passed bill here known as an "everything but marriage," or Domestic Partnership law. This blog is not about the merits, or lack thereof concerning gay marriage. The issue I'm addressing here is a challenge that arose from this legal process, that the United State Supreme Court has agreed to hear. Those in favor of gay marriage who view the current law as merely a stepping stone in their fight for full (6 comments)
Puyallup Home Buyer advice - Employment - 01/23/10 06:04 PM
Puyallup First Time Home Buyer Seminar - Part II Employment Now that we have covered the area of credit, we need to look at the remaining factors of a home loan Pre Approval for my Puyallup, Tacoma, and Pierce County homebuyers. Part II covers Employment requirements. I am sure that the majority of those reading this would find it to be just plain common sense that steady employment or income is a standard requirement for approval on any kind of mortgage loan. The only real issue is the definition of "steady." Typical programs (VA loans, FHA loans, USDA loans, and most (0 comments)
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics - 01/22/10 08:07 PM
A friend of mine alerted me to an article that I had missed in the Wall Street Journal last week. First, let me apologize for missing the opportunity to pass this one on in a more timely manner. This is the kind of Real News that never makes it to the front page of large circulation newspapers, and never sees any air time on the national, or local news. Very few economists will ever expose the manipulation of statistics in use by government for calculating important economic news. However, in his paper Don't Like the Numbers? Change 'Em Michael J Boskin explains (6 comments)
I ran across a rather disturbing report today. The CBO released "Policies for Increasing Economic Growth and Employment in 2010 and 2011." According to one of the charts, we are looking at many more States than just California with severe budget shortfalls. When you take these kind of numbers together with declining tax revenues resulting from decreasing consumption and increasing unemployment it is hard to see just how we will pull off any kind of real recovery.
For the last 40 years, our government has been borrowing money to "invest in our economy," but we have had to borrow more (11 comments)
Who knew Active Rain would one day claim the FHA Commissioner as a member? - 01/20/10 04:36 PM
As I was perusing the blogs on Active Rain the other day I saw a blog with a picture of David Stevens the current Commissioner of the FHA on the side. It did not click at first, I just thought someone had used his picture to promote their blog. Then today I saw the same photo, but actually took the time to read the blog because I had posted a blog earlier on the newly released policy changes requested by FHA. What a surprise when it actually sunk in that this was indeed the FHA commissioner blogging on Active Rain about (5 comments)
HUD announces policy changes for Puyallup FHA buyers - 01/20/10 02:12 PM
It will soon cost more to buy a home in Puyallup, Tacoma, and Pierce County using FHA financing because of four new policy changes announced by HUD this morning. The changes include an increase of the Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP), a minimum credit score to qualify for 3.5% down payment option, a decrease in allowable seller concessions, and increased enforcement of FHA lenders. HUD's first step is to raise the UFMIP from 1.75% to 2.25%. The UFMIP is typically added to the loan amount so anyone buying a Puyallup Home for $200,000 will have a loan balance almost $1,000 higher than under the previous guideline ($4,342 (0 comments)
Brown declared winner in MA - 01/19/10 08:37 PM
According to MarketWatch, Scot Brown has been declared the winner in Massachusetts -"Complicating" Barack Obama's proposal for health care reform. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/republican-brown-wins-mass-senate-race-report-2010-01-19-2125560 Break out the Champagne! (21 comments)
Puyallup Home Buyer advice - Credit - 01/18/10 07:27 PM
Puyallup First Time Home Buyers Seminar: Part I - Credit Once you have made the decision you want to buy a home there are a number of things to consider. Perhaps the most widely known, but misunderstood factor is personal credit. . This article will address what goes into the credit score, what is considered good or bad credit, and what actions have positive effects on your credit score. First off, I want to address what is, and what is not part of a credit score. Personal credit scores are really just a tool to predict the likelihood of a person (1 comments)
Is Martha Coakley "Running Scared?" - 01/18/10 04:09 PM
According to the title of a Boston Magazine article she is. http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/running_scared_martha_coakley/page2 The article states: "she had paid roughly $30,000 to people on her payroll who had the ostensible job of helping with her AG run in 2010. Only problem is, these people are also helping her now with her Senate campaign. Coakley has publicly called the allegation petty politics, but she also quietly moved $35,000 from her state campaign coffers to her federal ones. The Federal Election Committee has taken the complaint from the state GOP under review." Many will say $30,000 is peanuts, and that this is a dead (16 comments)
Are the Big Banks violating RESPA on Short Sales? - 01/15/10 07:30 PM
According to Diana Olick of CNBC, three of the nation's largest banks: Citi, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase, stand accused of seeking "off the books" compensation for the release of second liens in order to facilitate short sales. In a short sale situation where there is incomplete satisfaction of the first lien, the second lien holder has no right to any compensation other than from the "good will" of the first lien holder. According to Olick's investigation (which is based mainly on information gathered from Jeremy Brandt, who runs several companies facilitating the short sale process, along with Kayte Gentry (8 comments)
The "Kennedy" seat, and Health Care - 01/15/10 01:40 PM
Tom Bemis at MartketWatch posted an article today claiming that DC Democrats should hope that Brown wins in Mass.. This must seem like blasphemy to those on the Left who worship at the Kennedy altar. After all, health Care was one of Teddy's favorite causes, and having his former seat be the one responsible for putting a halt to this so called "reform" is inconceivable to the Leftist elite in Boston. According to the article, Democrats face two choices: 1.) Delay Brown's seating in the Senate until Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi ram healthcare through, or 2.) Seat Brown and then (13 comments)
Numbers are In - Federal Reserve "Earns" over $46,000,000,000 for 2009! - 01/12/10 11:27 AM
In a year that should go down in history as the Great Bailout of 2009, where the Federal Reserve went from holding less than $500 Billion in Government Debt, and Mortgage Backed Securities to $1.8 Trillion. That is $1,800,000,000,000 - it seems to have more impact when you see all the zeros lined up like that. The Fed "earned" over $52 Billion from the servicing of these debts. The "profit" is being reported as over $46 Billion which was given back to the US government per the terms of the Federal Reserve Act.
The $46 Billion profit was a record earnings year for the Fed, beating (9 comments)
Are these words "offensive?" - 01/11/10 07:29 PM
Near the beginning of the year we get a list of words to be avoided in our advertising because they may be found "offensive." I have no issue with the idea that we should be courteous to our fellow human beings, and I understand that our society wishes to "celebrate diversity." That being said, when did Americans gain a right to not be offended? I ask that rhetorically because we can easily trace this back to the civil rights issues of the late 60's and 70's. However, it seems to me that we are taking this effort to not offend anyone (148 comments)
Economic Reality - Is America Broke? - 01/10/10 02:04 AM
I have submitted several blogs dealing with America's current economic condition, and what I consider to be a failing of the mainstream media in being honest with the American public. Perhaps it is not blatant politics, but rather ignorance that is behind the media's inability to confront reality. Hopefully, this blog will help to show why our economy is in such poor shape without requiring the reader have a degree in economics. The United States economy has been based on a "fractional reserve" banking system since 1913 when President Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law (this was pushed through Congress in Late December while (6 comments)
Employment/Labor recovery expected to be slow - Really?! - 01/08/10 07:09 PM
Today the Fed released the notes from their most recent meeting. I find the most telling statistic found in their report to be the decline in consumer credit usage. "Consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 8-1/2 percent in November. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 18-1/2 percent, and non-revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 3 percent." - http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/Current/ This is the single largest drop in consumer credit spending since 1943, when the Fed first started keeping these statistics!
We are told that economic recovery is dependent on consumer spending in America which is why (10 comments)
Just where did the Money come from? - 01/07/10 07:11 PM
Not long ago, we seemed to be on the edge of the abyss. The Stock Market was in a death spiral: Lehman Brothers, AIG, Fannie & Freddie, $150 per barrel Oil, Too Big To Fail bank bailouts, all adding up to a scenario in which Americans lost nearly a third of this country's wealth. The Dow Jones average went from pushing 14,000 to less than 7,000 in under a year. In terms of wealth lost, we are talking about Trillion$ that just "disappeared." This begs the question, if all that money just vanished, where did the money come from to bring (29 comments)
How real is our Economic Recovery? - 01/06/10 07:55 PM
The mainstream media have been pushing quite the positive agenda lately, and I just don't understand why no one is questioning these reports. The recent news releases keep painting a picture of economic recovery. Jobs Reports are not as bad as forecast, retail sales are up year over year, blah, blah, blah. The situation is far from any kind of recovery. One of my recent posts exposed the false positives of the holiday retail spending reports. MasterCard Spending Pulse, a widely used measure of retail activity ended the year with a report that Holiday sales (the period from Black Friday through (2 comments)
What really happened with Retail Sales for the holidays this year - 01/05/10 04:59 PM
One Week ago, MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse (a report intended to show the "big picture" for American retailers) reported an increase in retail sales for the period from "Black Friday" to Christmas Eve, December 24th. The Stock Market took the news & ran with another positive day for the Dow Jones, S & P, etc. Correspondingly, we saw a drop in pricing for Mortgage Backed Securities, and an associated rise in Mortgage Rates. Today, January 5th, I see an article in Market Watch (an online arm of the Wall Street Journal) with analysts stating "Retailers May Win the Game of Chicken" where the sentiment is (2 comments)
The views, and opinions expressed here represent the personal views, and opinions of Ron Brown. They are not necessarily the views of First Mortgage Company, and should not be construed as being so. They are for informative purposes only, and any persons reading them are encouraged to research there current relevance, and timeliness before taking any action.
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.