Richard Stein – Realtor®, Douglas Elliman, GREEN, SFR, CBR, eCertified®

Local Agent, Worldwide Marketing – Douglas Elliman Real Estate formerly Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate

How FCC Plan to End Net Neutrality Hurts You

The Federal Communications Commission released a plan Tuesday to reverse net neutrality rules, a move that the National Association of REALTORS® is concerned will make it harder for real estate companies, multiple listing services, and property data aggregators to provide their services in a cost-effective way.

Learn More About Net Neutrality

Visit nar.realtor/net-neutralityfor information about what the rules mean to your business.

Read NAR’s argument to the FCC in support of net neutrality rules.

“We are looking carefully at the FCC’s plan to reverse net neutrality, which has been an effective and proven way to ensure a level playing field for businesses that depend on a neutral online playing field,” NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall said in a statement. Small and large players in the real estate industry could be affected if internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon create fast and slow lanes of web traffic based on financial arrangements they’ve made with content providers.

NAR is part of a coalition of business interests that support existing net neutrality rules as the most fair and competitive form of internet regulation. Current rules prohibit internet service providers from throttling or slowing web traffic to some sites while giving faster services to other sites that have entered into financial arrangements with them. The FCC is expected to vote on the plan—which was proposed by its chairman, Ajit Pai—in mid-December. Should the commission vote to reverse current rules, proponents of net neutrality are expected to sue.

NAR sent comments to the FCC in July urging it to maintain net neutrality. “NAR supports open internet rules that protect American businesses and consumers by preventing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) not only from blocking, throttling, or discriminating against internet traffic and prohibit paid prioritization arrangements, but also interconnection issues and other anti-competitive practices,” NAR said in its comments.

—Robert Freedman, REALTOR® Magazine

Where Owners Forget to Lock Their Doors

A burglary occurs about every 20 seconds, and some homeowners may be making it too easy for intruders. A burglar may knock on the door first to check if a resident is home. Some will then test the doorknob—if it’s unlocked, they’ve got easy access. 

In a survey of 1,000 consumers across the country, home security review website SafeHome found that many residents lock their doors, but many also forget to do so. For example, residents in the Northwest and Alaska were found to be the most relaxed when it came to locking doors. On the other hand, the Southeastern part of the country was much more vigilant: 81 percent say they always keep their doors locked. The South also had the highest number of burglaries in the U.S., according to 2015 data.

The following chart displays the percentage of Americans who always lock their doors:

Here are some more findings from the survey:

  • 78% of respondents living in an apartment building locked their doors, which is the most of any housing type. More than 70 percent of respondents living in single-family homes, townhomes, and houses in gated communities said they lock their doors. Mobile homeowners tended to lock their doors the least, nearly 20 percentage points less than those who live in an apartment.
  • Gun owners were 11 percentage points less likely to lock their doors.
  • 83% of respondents who didn’t know their neighbors always made sure to lock their doors. On the other hand, those who knew their neighbors very well were 18 percentage points less likely to lock their door than those who had strangers living next door.
  • People with large dogs are less likely to lock their doors than people with any other security feature. People with dogs may be relying on their dogs for extra security.

“Locked doors can deter a burglar looking for an easy-to-access home,” according to the report from SafeHome. “Whether you live in a gated community, share your home with a large family, or even live in a relatively safe neighborhood, be sure to lock up.”

Source: “Lock Your Doors,” Safehome.org

6 Outdated Features in Your Clients’ Homes

Home buyers say they want the latest design trends in their next property—but 70 percent admit to having outdated features in their current house, according to a new consumer survey by home builder Taylor Morrison. The most common of these outdated features are:

  1. Linoleum floors (40 percent)
  2. Popcorn ceilings (29 percent)
  3. Wood paneling (28 percent)
  4. Ceramic tile countertops (28 percent)
  5. Shag carpeting (19 percent)
  6. Avocado green appliances (8 percent)

“This is why real and virtual house hunting is so popular,” says Taylor Morrison Chair and CEO Sheryl Palmer. “We all love to daydream and envision ourselves in a beautiful new environment. But keeping up with ever-evolving preferences for paint colors, home features, new technologies, and how we expect to use our homes over the years is difficult. We also know that home interior preferences vary by generation, by home style, by region, and even by city.”

Taylor Morrison found that the features home buyers say they most desire are:

  1. Better energy efficiency (62 percent)
  2. Personalized floor plans (58 percent)
  3. Easier maintenance (56 percent).

Also, the interior features home shoppers called most essential are:

  1. Wood flooring (65 percent)
  2. USB and Ethernet ports (44 percent)
  3. Whirlpool tub (36 percent)
  4. Sun room (34 percent).

Source: “Home Is Where the Shag Carpet Is?” BUILDER

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