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
Real Estate's Far Reach to Continue to Pinch by Conor Dougherty
Highflying property prices drove the most-recent economic boom, and a collapse in real-estate values hammered it back down. Now, as the economy struggles to regain strength, real estate is expected to continue to act as a brake, rather than an accelerator.
Despite clear signs of revival in the larger economy, including upturns in manufacturing and consumer spending, the nation's market for homes and office buildings remains mired in foreclosures and oversupply. That imbalance will be worked out over time, but in the meantime, it is slowing the recovery in myriad ways.
Here's how it breaks down:
Less construction means fewer jobs. Construction is a big employer and one of the better-paid sectors for men who lack a college degree. The sector has shed 2.1 million jobs from its peak in March 2007 to April 2010. The 5.6 million construction jobs that are left comprise 4% of U.S. jobs, down from 6% when employment peaked in December 2007.
With the glut of houses, offices and malls already pressuring the real-estate market, many of these jobs will not come back for a while, putting added pressure on unemployment even as growth resumes.
Indeed, construction spending is running 13% below its year-ago level and about 25% below the boom-year peak.
Home owners who once felt rich are feeling poorer. Throughout the boom, consumers used their home equity to borrow and spend as they watched housing prices soar. The ratio of dollars taken out of homes to total personal income-a gauge of how much consumers are pulling out of their homes relative to how much they make in wages and other income-fell the last three quarters of 2009. During the boom years, that ratio got as high as 9% nationwide, according to Moody's Analytics.
While real-estate prices have stabilized, they are unlikely to regain prerecession values for years. That has left many consumers with a pile of debt but not much home equity to be used for investment or spending, a big reason why economists believe recent gains in consumer spending aren't sustainable.
"The housing market, since it was the epicenter of the crisis, is also central to the feeble recovery," says Ethan Harris, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Small businesses aren't borrowing as much. While bigger companies can access the now-recovered market for bonds and other debt, many smaller companies-which are key job generators-use the value of their own property to secure bank loans. As the value of those holdings has fallen, so too has their ability to get loans, crimping investment and hiring at a time when the recovery is gaining steam.
Some 49% of small businesses own at least part of the commercial buildings in which they are located, and the majority of them have mortgages, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. But as real-estate values have fallen, so has this source of equity, limiting how much a bank can lend them.
U.S. nonfinancial companies had $6.3 trillion in real-estate assets at the end of 2009, down 33% from 2007, according to the Federal Reserve. That drop is a big reason why corporations' total net worth fell to $12.9 trillion from $15.9 trillion over the same period.
With the value of collateral so depressed "the ability for many small employers to borrow will be constrained precisely as salesbegin to strengthen and new investments are warranted," wrote the National Federation of Independent Business in a recentreport on small-business credit conditions. Lower real-estate values translate into lower property taxes, crimping government spending. State and local governments employ 20 million police officers, teachers and other employees, roughly 15% of the work force and more than in all of manufacturing. But much of the money to provide services and pay employees comes from property taxes, which depend on property values. Even as the economy and job market recover, Local governments are cutting employees as they grapple with the worst budget deficits in a generation.
Property taxes continued to grow through the recession and recovery, in part because local governments calculate the levy based on property assessments that are often years old. Property taxes grew 5.7% to $170 billion in the last three months of 2009 versus the same period in 2008. That won't last as tax assessments catch up with reality.
In California, one of the first states into recession, Santa Barbara County saw its 2009 property taxes decline for the first time since 1978.
Property taxes "have only just begun to slump, meaning that cities and other localities will be contending with increasing budget pressure for the next several years," writes the Brookings Institution, a left-leaning Washington think-tank, in a recent report on local government.
Real estate itself is but a small share of the U.S. economy, but its tentacles are far-reaching.
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.