Winning Bloggers for Carnival of Real Estate

Welcome to the 52nd Carnival of Real Estate Winners! We had some winning bloggers for the Carnival of Real Estate.

Sacramento Real Estate Voice had the awesome pleasure of reading an incredible amount of the Country’s best blog articles all involving some form of Real Estate…and then choosing the winning blogs.

The rules are posted on The Carnival of Real Estate website and sadly, some very good articles had to be eliminated since the rules were not followed. 

Chance cards were not given out.

 For those that followed the rules, I liken this to Monopoly. The game of strategy and finesse. It may have been a long time since you sat down at the kitchen table and played this game but let’s give it a whirl, right now.

You remember when you had to select the icon that represented you, don’t you? That translates in today’s world … how do you represent, you? What area of Real Estate are you presently working in?

This contest included Mortgage Professionals, Inspectors, Vendors and Realtors all vying for the opportunity of winning the Carnival of Real Estate and being presented right here on the Sacramento Real Estate Voice.  There were some very late night table games going on and I must say somewhat exhausting. I wondered if the game would ever end.  Everyone played, hard.

As a Judge, while reading quite a few blog articles, you look for originality and creativity, something that sets the writer apart from the others. Just as in monopoly these winning bloggers strategized and bought their houses, rented them out and turned their blogs into hotels.

But they didn’t stop there they added photos and links to their blog articles, gave examples, analogies, advice and hooked the reader with what they own…their ability to write, feel and project. The winning bloggers made it simple for those NOT in the business, to understand, and entertaining to those in the business.

As in monopoly where you seek to gather and own the best properties, the blogger seeks to find their voice, struggles to bring the topic to the reader in such a way as to entertain while at the same time bringing the facts into light. Sometimes, it’s not easy to write about a subject that may be technical and yet make it fun for the reader. This is an art, something to strive for and work towards… just like buying those properties and exchanging them to gather more like-kind.

All towards being the winner…

Now, I know you are wondering when I will tell you who the winners are and we are getting quite close to the people who managed to follow the rules, stay out of jail, used creativity and originality to win, we really are.

It was a tough decision since there were 7 tables playing and 30 bloggers all buying houses, rentals and hotels while madly exchanging properties. The person at each table who ended up with all the cash, hotels and the top properties are the Top Blogging Winners here!  

Congratulations to each of you. You won fair and square! 

Each Table Winner represents:

  • 3 Real Estate Professionals
  • 1 Vendor
  • 3 Mortgage Professionals 

Now, Sacramento Real Estate Voice is ready to reveal the winners…   I will sit back and relax after reading all those great blog articles that were submitted to narrow them down to the Best of the Best for you!  Some may have wanted only 1 winner, but since I am the Judge…I did it my way.   Here they are…

At table #1,  Representing the Realtors, our winner is…

Stephanie Edwards, a Real Estate agent in Spring and Woodlands Texas wrote a great blog article about the steps involved in purchasing property with a great analogy which made it a fun read and a great journey.

Here is a snippet of her winning article: Pack Your Bags For The Journey Ahead

Every Real Estate transaction is like a Journey

For this trip I, as a Realtor, will be your tour guide.  As a team we will overcome obstacles thrown our way and make it to the top of the Mountain, your new home.  There are several members of our team.  You as a buyer or seller, myself the Realtor as a tour guide, the Lender that in a sense holds the map, and many others that will represent Landmarks along the way.

To make it to the top it is important to know the team.  It is important to find team members that are the most qualified to lead you.  Let’s go through a list of team members you will need and what assets they will bring to the team.

Your Realtor– Or myself if you choose me to be on your team.  Your Realtor will be your guide toward each plateau and use their expertise to keep the pack moving forward instead of falling behind or going downhill.  Here are some of the plateaus for buyers and sellers:

Be sure to read the rest of this winning blog article

Table #2, Representing the Mortgage Industry, our winner is …

Brian Brady, America’s Mortgage Broker with a Wall Street background from San Diego, CA has written a well thought out article explaining loans, specifically ARMs. This is easy to understand for the consumer and very insightful. An article you may want to keep and review later when needed. Below is a snippet of his winning blog article….San Diego Mortgage Advice: Call to ARMs

Adjustable rate mortgages, ARMs for short, are the most misunderstood, misused, and maligned financial instrument.  The have been abused by consumers, Realtors and loan originators alike these past 3-4 years and are now the subject of national scourge.  Much like our Second Constitutional Amendment critics, the ARM critics are usually misinformed and preying upon the fear of catastrophe. 

These inexperienced mortgage sales people or “loan hacks” as I like to call them, are banking upon your fear of catastrophe.  Loan hacks sold you ARMs in 2003 and negative amortization ARMs in 2005.  After they ride the fixed rate mortgage trend, they’ll move on to reverse mortgages. They lack original thought and critical analysis.  They’ll sell you any loan that is on the front page of USA Today.

Be sure to read this winning article further at America’s Mortgage Broker

From table #3, Representing the Mortgage Industryour winner is…

Tim Abbott, Mortgage Planner at Patriot Funding wrote his Carnival Blog about the Mortgage Industry and what the Rules and Guidelines are that must be meet. Tim lets the reader know what a Seller can and cannot pay for on behalf of a Home Buyer, and why.  Tim sets a very interesting stage with a former client which happens by the way, quite frequently to a lot of us. A good read and something to learn from. Below is a snippet of his blog article… Look into the Minds of Madmen 

For the purposes of today, we are going to journey behind the curtain into the mortgage industry. As simple as it may seem, the mortgage industry is infinitely more complex than most people realize. There are many rules, regulations, and guidelines that we follow that are not an arbitrary set of circumstances that some wizard (pay no attention to that man behind the curtain) has created. Rather, they are the result of years and years worth of experience and statistical probabilities. At the heart of any guideline discussion the essential question is: (if you are the bank) Will this loan perform?

There is certainly some give and take in the application of many of the rules and guidelines, but in some instances there is very little flexibility to be had. One such situation with little flexibility is seller concessions. There are three things a seller may pay on behalf of a buyer – points, closing costs, and prepaid items. Nothing else. The seller is not able to give any concessions or credits directly to the buyer for repairs, allowances (paint, carpet, etc), or down payment assistance.

 To read the rest of this winning article go to, A Better Mortgage

Table #4, Representing a Vendor in the Real Estate Market, our winner is…

Stan Humphries, (unable to provide photo) from Zillow who is the Vice President of Data & Analytics who wrote a very enlightening blog article about Politics and Real Estate. Stan shows how they are related with maps and some insightful statistics. I call it the Red and the Blue of Real Estate and Politics. Definitely worth the read and stirs up some thoughts. I think you’ll find his article thought provoking.

Below is a snippet of his blog article All Politics is Local: Blue States Beat Out Red States in Home Values 

Ready for some more Internet history? If so, tune into CNN (or at CNN.com) tonight for the first-ever CNN-YouTube debate where the Democratic candidates will field questions sent in by regular ‘ol users — citizens of the U.S.! — via YouTube. (The Republican candidates will face the same procedure next week.) There is a lot of speculation about how things will go; will the candidates gang up on Hillary? Will we see a new side of some of the candidates in the more relaxed setting? Whatever your political leanings, there is no denying the Internet is changing politics and perhaps how this election will go.

With this election top of mind for many, we here at Zillow started thinking about how politics impacts our world of real estate. At the risk of re-opening old wounds, we took a look at the 2004 presidential election, in which Republican incumbent George W. Bush squared off against Democratic challenger John Kerry. As we know, Bush won the election with 51% of the popular vote and carried 31 of the 50 states.

 To finish reading this winning article go to , Blue States Beat Out Red States in Home Values 

Table#5, Representing the Mortgage Industry, our winner is…

Tom Armstrong, equity planner at Wholesale Mortgage in Temecula, CA whose blog article brings humor to those thinking of Investment properties. Tom points out very clearly the prerequisites for determining if an investment is a “good” one or a “bad” one.  Need a laugh while learning at the same time?

 Be sure to read, The Three Rules of Plumbing, Marriage, and Real Estate Investment Properties

Here is a small snippet of Tom’s winning blog article

The Three Rules of Plumbing, Marriage, and Real Estate Investing

Everybody knows about the First Rule of Plumbing. But not everybody knows that there are actually Three Rules of Plumbing. Now plumbing is a very complicated field, with multiple acronymed building codes, UBC, ICBO, IAPMO, etc., to name just a few, and a high degree of training and education are required to be qualified to practice the trade at the journeyman level or higher. So you might think that the Three Rules of Plumbing would be highly technical in nature, but they’re simpler than you might think. And, having spent five years in the plumbing industry in my younger days, I have it on the highest authority, from Master Plumbers, no less, that the Three Rules of Plumbing are:

  • S#!t flows downhill
  • Friday is payday
  • Never chew your fingernails

Be sure to read the rest of Tom’s winning blog article at The Three Rules of Plumbing, Marriage, and Real Estate Investment Properties

Table #6 representing Realtors, the winner is… 

Kris Berg, A San Diego Realtor with her Brokers License who guests on the Bloodhound Blog wrote a satire about the ease of selling your own house. If you have read Kris before you realize while reading this article that it is a pun on FSBO’s. It certainly gave me a laugh or two.

Be sure to read I’ve Been Working Too Hard! Ask the Wall Street Journal

Here is a snippet of what Kris had to say…

Thanks to Athol for this definitive guide on how to sell your own home without all of the inherent hassles and baggage of dealing with a professional real estate agent. And, I do mean “thanks” since, being a wee-bit short on discretionary reading time this week, a Permalink has to slap me upside the head.

Kudos to the Wall Street Journal for finally giving us the bottom line on this crazy real estate transfer process. If you read the blogs or listen to the industry, or even if you have merely used an agent in the past to assist in the sale of a home, you might have been left with the impression that the process is complex, involved, and fraught with potential difficulties and liability. Even I have fallen into this trap. We can make it hard, or we can make it easy.

Be sure to read the remaining portion of this winning blog at I’ve Been Working Too Hard! Ask the Wall Street Journal

And last but not least, Table #7 Representing Realtors, the winner is…

 

Roberta Murphy, Realtor from Carlsbad Real Estate in San Diego, CA wrote a public service announcement for those home owners who are having difficulty paying their current loans and those looking for an excellent loan program. There are some stipulations but this might help save homeowners from losing their homes. Acorn Loan: Escape from the Mortgage Nuthouse, is a must read and is truly a service to the community.

 Here is a snippet of Roberta Murphy’s winning blog article.

Many homeowners are struggling to keep up with escalating payments on their mortgage loans, and feel as if they have fallen over the edge of a financial abyss.

I have written about this program before, but failed to stress it as a vehicle that might rescue many homeowners from financial ruin. At the same time, it might also help ease some of the strain on the financial markets.

Though loan limits vary from state to state, the basic guidelines for Acorn Loan program qualification remain much the same. In California, for example, maximum qualifying income is $92,000 and mortgage loan cannot exceed $500,000. To see what your state guidelines are, check with either Chase Mortgage or Bank of America Mortgage directly. It is my understanding they are the only two mortgage lenders funding these loans–and that they cannot be brokered.

To read the remaining winning portion of Acorn Loan: Escape from the Mortgage Nuthouse

 All of these winning blog articles were either funny, informative, of service and/or thought provoking.

Congratulations to each and every one of you…all well deserved!

 For Sacramento Real Estate Voice readers…be sure and read these winning blog articles, they’re worth the read but remember to come back, home to Sacramento.

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