Category Archives: Events

Real Estate Pros Host Workshop for Fixer-Uppers

Moxie Realty Group LLC hosts “So . . . You Want to Buy a Fixer” at TreeHouse

On Thursday, May 28, Moxie Realty Group LLC, along with co-hosts TreeHouse, Austin Title, and Austin Inspection Services bring you an evening of the truth about what to expect when you buy a property and fix it up.

This is the second time this year Moxie has worked to provide a great forum for learning about the pitfalls, plateaus, and pinnacles of fixing up a property. From finding a property, to getting financing, to getting the work done—this candid group of professionals, including a renovation financing expert, will provide information and answer questions about what it takes.

Justine Smith and Mishell Kneeland, also known as the Moxie Ladies, have both been involved in extensive renovations projects—Justine was even featured on an episode of Flip That House for moving a home from South to East Austin—and will share their different perspectives on renovation tolerance. “I was lucky,” Kneeland says, “I only had to please myself. Justine and her husband had to agree on what to do, and had to do it while keeping toddlers out of wet paint!”

The renovation loan specialist will share important financial considerations and timelines. Whether you want to buy a fixer for your own home, or as an investment, there is a renovation product available for you.

One of the great things about fixing up a home is that you can make some truly eco-friendly decisions, and have a chance to put your own stamp on your home. There is nothing like having the freedom—whether your style is minimalist or over-the-top. Kneeland’s home “office,” which she calls her “Chinese jewel box,” features red lacquered cabinets and a black chandelier she brought back from a trip to Amsterdam and beautiful light fixtures she shipped from a trip to Marrakech.

Come for the refreshments and door prizes and leave with your own renovation plan. Come early and browse the wonderful products available at TreeHouse

At a Glance
Who: Moxie Realty Group LLC, TreeHouse, Austin Title, Austin Inspection Services
What: So . . . You want to buy a fixer?
When: May 28, 2015, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: TreeHouse, 4477 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78456
Contact: Mishell Kneeland,, 512.965.5463 or Justine Smith,, 512.970.0681…

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LGI Homes Named a Texas Top Employer

LGI Homes is proud to announce that it has been named one of 2012’s “Best Companies to Work For” by Texas Monthly magazine. The award acknowledges LGI Homes’ ongoing commitment to the integrity, happiness and success of its workforce, and honors the company’s achievements in sound workplace policies, philosophies and practices. LGI Homes will formally receive the award at a ceremony during the Texas Association of Business’ 2012 Annual Conference in Austin early next year.

The “Top Employer” designation comes during a banner year for LGI Homes, in which it has placed over 475 new homeowners into its communities—a company record. Despite difficulties in the homebuilding industry, LGI Homes continues to break through monthly and quarterly records with its popular communities and new homes in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. This success has been driven by the company’s unwavering dedication to offering quality, affordability and value to its customers, in superior locations that offer the best aspects of urban and suburban lifestyles. 2012 will see LGI Homes expand this business model to new markets in Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona.

About LGI Homes
Founded in 2003, LGI Homes is one of Texas’ most robust homebuilders, named one of the nation’s fastest growing companies by INC Magazine, and lauded by its industry for its groundbreaking marketing techniques and ongoing sales success. The company was also recognized as a New Home Quality Award winner for its communities in the Houston area. For more information about LGI Homes, please visit LGI Homes’ Company Blog or our main website

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Ligne Roset is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Wanted Design NYC

Ligne Roset is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Wanted Design NYC, a fresh and exciting addition to Design Week, held in New York City. This creative platform for international designers, architects, and manufacturers to discuss and share exciting, inspiring and innovative ideas will take place from May 13 through May 16.

Ligne Roset will be honored by the presence of Philippe Nigro, who will present some of his pieces introduced earlier this year at IMM and Maison et Objet.

Creations designed by Philippe Nigro include Inseparables and T.U., and some of the new pieces making their debut Stateside will be Passio, Cuts and Stripes. Inseparable is a multifunctional piece which can act as a sofa end table, seat or simply a foot rest. The table can be slotted into the footstool or kept separately. The T.U. table also demonstrates a versatile quality as it has reversible top panels which can be flipped to show different materials and colors or can be altered in terms of width and height to suit the room or occasion. The sofa Passio is the introduction to our new outdoor collection. Its inventive design was conceived for indoor living, but the choice of materials allows it to be enjoyed outdoors. Nigro’s signature themes of intersections and interlocking elements are apparent in the arms and back. His passion for repetition and variation continues with the bookcase Cuts and with the pendant lamp Stripes.

In conjunction with Wanted Design, Ligne Roset’s Soho showroom will decorate its window with Ploum, one of the most exciting pieces to come out of IMM Cologne 2011. Designed by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, this will mark the first time Ploum will be seen in North America.

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China International Luxury Property Show Graces Shanghai announces the dates for the China International Luxury Property Show, which will take place from September 17th to the 19th, at the Shanghai International Convention Centre in Shanghai.

The event will showcase all that’s new and exciting in the luxury real estate market. Featured properties include villas, timeshares, hotel apartments, and luxury waterfront developments. There will also be representatives from banks, finance, property funding, shared properties, and related services such as interior design, architects, and consultants.

Thousands of Chinese and international visitors are expected to attend this year’s show. Most will be individuals interested in purchasing high-end properties. Celebrities, top level executives, and the cultural elite looking for the best available properties in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond will be present at the event.

Exhibitors scheduled to participate include real estate agencies, brokers, property fund managers, apartment and penthouse complexes, property managers, financial institutions and advisors, luxury real estate developers, resort properties, hotel and restaurant owners, interior designers, property investors, and more.

Lek Boonlert, head of marketing for, sees the China International Luxury Property Show as a chance for industry professionals to bring together fantasy and reality under one roof.

“The luxury real estate market in Asia is thriving despite the global economic downturn,” Boonlert said. “At, we anticipate a strong turnout at the China International Luxury Property Show from those who can afford these world-class properties and those who simply wish to whet their curiosity about how the richer half lives.”

Booking an early reservation at a cheap Shanghai hotel is a great way for budget-conscious travellers to gain access to the event.

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Tu Bloom Designs Livens Up The Gift Lounge At This Year’s 52nd Annual Grammy Awards

On January 31, 2010, the world will watch the 52nd Annual GRAMMY ® Awards. For the three days leading up to Music’s Biggest Night ®, Mr. Tu of Tu Bloom designs will be the featured floral designer at the official backstage Gift Lounge. Distinctive Assets felt he was the right designer to beautify this year’s Lounge with an elegant grand entrance piece along with vibrant table pieces. Tu Bloom will also be providing GRAMMY presenters and performers a gift card so that they too can experience the power of an enchanting garden.

Since he was 8 years old, Mr. Tu, president and owner of Tu Bloom Designs, has been captivated by the life inside of a garden. He has a natural talent for envisioning a magnificent design and bringing it to life by catering it to the gardens owners’ lifestyle. He brings colors and textures together that simply take your breath away.

Tu Bloom Designs Livens Up The Gift Lounge At This Year's 52nd Annual Grammy Awards

Tu Bloom, founded in 1998, has grown to be a nationally known garden design corporation. Servicing Chicago , Los Angeles , New York and Miami , Tu Bloom can enrich anyone’s home, garden or landscape. They offer their service all year round for every season because a lively rich garden should never die. You can contact Tu Bloom for your beatification needs at

The 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on January 31, 2010, at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live in high definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

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For Sale By Owner Meets Online Dating has just launched a revolutionary concept in for sale by owner home sales modeled off of popular online dating sites. But rather than matching people with their dream date, aims to match buyers with their dream home. Using sophisticated profile based matching, is as much an “emotion engine” as a search engine, including criteria such as buyer tastes and preferences into the home search process.

The primary deficiency with most online real estate sites, is that they focus too much on brick and mortar and pay little attention to the emotional aspects of buying a home, which are sometimes the greatest motivating factors when making a major purchase. Eric Little, the site’s founder said “the motivation behind creating came from first had experiences both as both a buyer and seller. As a buyer, I was frustrated that the intangible elements of my home search were largely overlooked. A house that looked great on paper often fell far short when viewing in person, especially when it came to personal preferences such as the type of neighborhood”.

In regard to selling a property, Little said “as a home seller attempting to sell by owner, I was discouraged that there was no good way to reach out proactively to interested buyers. I am proud to say the selling tools provided by offer home sellers the ability to proactively reach out to interested buyers, representing an unprecedented advantage for motivated home sellers”. – ecoogle

Combining an intuitive and interactive interface between buyer and seller, along with unparalleled advantage of the exclusive seller tools, may prove to be the future of for sale by owner home sales. Experience the revolution for yourself at

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Housing the New Majority: 78 Million Seniors

If you are looking for an idea with legs, take a closer look at this mashup: 78 million new senior/baby boomers “coming of age” in the next 20 years and planned cohousing communities of 50+ adults sharing independent lifestyles and solid financial health.

Architect and author Charles Durrett’s recently released book Senior Cohousing Handbook comes at a time of high interest in greening, sustainable housing and affordable living concerns. Durrett’s new book is a comprehensive guide for baby boomers wishing to continue vibrant, active lifestyles.

Senior cohousing is ready for the fast growing baby-boomer demographic — healthy, educated and proactive adults who want to live in a social and environmentally responsible community and maintain a quality lifestyle while stretching their dollars further into the future.

Durrett is the leading cohousing architect. His awards include the United Nations World Habitat Award and the Best of 50+ Housing Award. He coined the term cohousing, introduced the idea to the U.S. and is currently the U.S. leader in the field as an architect and consultant.

I caught up with Chuck Durrett between project meetings and book signings and quizzed him on the “hows and whys” of senior cohousing.

Q: What are some of the unique characteristics of senior cohousing communities?

A: One word: proactive. These communities are filled with individuals who are choosing to take control of their destinies through planning, not leaving things up to chance. For instance, accommodations are made for shared caregivers to live on site and long-term mobility and access issues are examined. Just the process of thinking things through as a group changes cohousing participants, preparing them with realistic views of their future.

Q: What are some senior cohousing benefits?

A: Emotional well being, saving money through shared services and community and maintaining independence for much longer than is commonly possible.

The biggest factor by far is living with kindred and having a number of close friendships. But it cannot be overlooked that cohousing costs significantly less than other senior facilities and gives the longest possible independent lifestyle—good for living a full life and conserving financial resources

Q: How does cohousing reduce an individual’s carbon footprint?

A: Cohousing takes an individual out of the single home mindset. Top of mind: better lifestyle, greener lifestyle. Seniors realize that it’s really okay to leave their ranchette and move closer to town knowing they will be living with people they are comfortable with and that they are creating a home they can easily maintain for the next 20+ years.

Last year Americans drove 5 billion miles caring for seniors in their homes (Meals on Wheels, Whistle Stop Nurses, and so on). In our small, semi-rural county in the Sierra foothills, Telecare made 60,000 trips in massive, lumbering, polluting vans-buses – usually carrying only one senior at a time – schlepping a couple thousand seniors total over hill and dale to doctor’s appointments, to pick up medicine, or to see friends.

In our cohousing community of 21 seniors, I have never seen a single Telecare bus in the driveway. In cohousing it happens organically by caring neighbors: “Can I catch a ride with you?” or “Are you headed to the drug store?”, etc.

This alternative is much more fun and inexpensive for all involved, and much less damaging to the environment. For instance, Wolf Creek Lodge, a new senior cohousing community about to start construction, has 30 units to be built on 1 acre within walking distance of downtown Grass Valley, population 12,000.

Senior cohousing is a mind shift that is not just greener—it makes a better life.

Q: How does cohousing effect my retirement planning?

A: Cohousing is a proactive, realistic way of addressing issues. Really, it’s an ultra-responsible approach to assessing how to provide for one’s own future. Everyone in the process is dealing with understanding that mortality is real and that aging successfully means examining the whole person benefits—economic, emotional and physical well being. Cohousers choose to place themselves in a fun, life-affirming and embracing community.

The big thing here is that by living independently longer, money is saved at every juncture, so by taking control, resources can go much further. Turns out that an independent, quality life costs less than facilitated retirement.

Q: What kind of start-up process is involved?

A: First off, contact a cohousing company. They will find out what considerations and requirement are needed for your specific area. They will also be able to guide you in forming a group.

Next, read the book. Then start talking to friends. Host a presentation in your town, secure a site. You may already know some of your new cohousing neighbors.

Hear Durrett speak about how the 50+ population is redefining its future by applying cohousing concepts.

Contact Charles Durrett by calling The Cohousing Company at 530.265.9980. Visit:

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One Day Waterfront Sales Event – August 29, 2009

The Sailing community in Coastal North Carolina. Very protected, .5 to 2.5 acre homesites, nice breezes, friendly atmosphere. Share stories with fellow sailors and cruisers at our clubhouse inspired by the lifesaving stations along the Outer Banks. Just off the ICW with direct ocean access and deep water with 40′ to 60′ foot boat slips.

One Day Waterfront Sales Event - August 29, 2009

Community located near Oriental and New Bern. If you’ve been thinkin about a lifestyle on the water, now is the time. With planned completion for Fall 09/Spring 10 we are still offering our remaining homesites at pre-constrution pricing and for this one day only event, 5 waterfront homesites will be offered at an additional price reduction.

Event begins at 9am and features property tours by land, or see the property by water on a 40′ sailing yacht. This is not an auction.

Visit our website to register for this event:

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Perspective International Unveils Fractional Property Guide

Officially launching July 1st, the new Fractional Property Guide has been unveiled in preview mode to enable system checks and prospective advertisers to get a feel for the new service. The site can be viewed at


“Whilst there are several other excellent websites that provide property listings for fractional ownership, we have been compelled to produce ours through demand f r o m our consumer magazine readership which reaches more than 42,000 prospective buyers each month.” Says Paul Mattimoe, CEO of Perspective International.

Owners Perspective Magazine ( which launched in print in January 2009 has taken bold steps to bring the shared ownership industry to the general public, and in a matter of a few months has negotiated distribution deals with leading UK supermarkets, travel and property shows, selected hotels and resorts and shortly will add airport lounges across Europe to its already significant monthly reach of 42,000+ readership.

“It is essential for us to continue to differentiate ourselves f r o m competitors, and our offline reach is the key ingredient here. We don’t really base our online advertising platforms on “hits” or “impressions”, we simply provide direct enquiry forms and let each advertiser monitor the return on their advertising spend with 100% quantifiable results.” Comments Mr. Mattimoe.

Over the past few months, readers of Owners Perspective Magazine have favoured the articles relating to Fractional Ownership and have actively interacted with current advertisers for more information. The Fractional Property Guide, which resides within the main website, rather than a standalone website, is designed to harness the high traffic of the magazine to provide highly targeted and product educated, fresh purchase enquiries for fractional property developers.

The online enquiry forms offer the consumer the chance to request brochures, inspection visits, enquire about available inventory and request a telephone call, whilst also providing the developer with full contact details as well as other useful qualifying information.

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A Joint Venture Has Relaunched Newskys As A Fractional Ownership Property Portal

A joint venture has relaunched NewSkys as a fractional ownership property portal – and Richmond Green Group have combined their knowledge and experience in the overseas property sector to create a platform offering visitors the very latest in fractional news, advice and opportunities…

A joint venture has relaunched NewSkys as a fractional ownership property portal – and Richmond Green Group have combined their knowledge and experience in the overseas property sector to create a platform offering visitors the very latest in fractional news, advice and opportunities…

The world of fractional property and shared ownership is growing exponentially and reflects that – relaunching as the place to find all of the latest fractional ownership investment and lifestyle opportunities.

NewSkys is a winning mix of ’s technical and online marketing experience and Richmond Green Group’s knowledge of the fractional ownership sector through its consultancy business RGM Fractional.

The concept of fractional ownership is a sensible, affordable and common sense way of owning property abroad and NewSkys aims to bring both potential buyers and existing owners in touch with the most up to date news on the world of fractional ownership.

It also showcases a large selection of fractional schemes through an extensive and detailed search.

Dan Johnson, Director of said, “This brings together two of the biggest hitters in terms of overseas property marketing.

“We have nearly a decade of online experience in the sector and coupled with the expertise of RGG in the fractional sector, it should make for a powerful combination of skills.

“Our role will be to ensure the Newskys site has great visibility online, both in terms of natural search and pay per click – two areas where we know we can out-think, out-flank and out-resource the competition.

“By the end of the summer, Newskys will already be well on the way to establishing itself as the leading online vehicle for marketing fractional ownership property to the UK audience,” added Mr Johnson.

Drawing on the expertise of both organisations, the editorially driven site will cover all aspects of shared ownership with regular news bulletins f r o m around the world, a weekly email newsletter, property listings, destination updates, buying advice, buyer experiences and details of upcoming events.

Trevor Little, former Editor of Overseas Property Professional, will manage content for the portal – which went live on June 22nd.

Xavier Wiggins, CEO of Richmond Green Group, said, “We aim to offer the widest selection of fractional ownership opportunities f r o m global destinations.”

For more information on UK and overseas properties and the market in general, please visit is a property website that was founded in 1999 as an online resource for buying, selling and learning about property. It now receives as many as 300,000 visits per month and advertises over 50,000 properties in nearly 90 countries, which are listed by over 500 partner organisations.

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Property Marketplace Lead Galaxy Has Re-Launched And Now Allows You To Bid For And Buy Qualified Customer Sales Leads From A Dedicated Call Centre, Affiliated Sites And Property Portals

Calling all property agents and developers! Property marketplace Lead Galaxy has re-launched and now allows you to bid for and buy qualified customer sales leads from a dedicated call centre, affiliated sites and property portals.

You may think you can’t get much for £1 these days, but Lead Galaxy is proving that old adage wrong – selling leads for as little as £1.

Whilst the value of a lead varies drastically – depending on its age and how specific it is to the target market – traditionally, the cost of leads from portals haven’t reflected this, with one set price covering all.

Lead Galaxy recognizes that an older, more generic lead is worth less than a highly targeted one and its new tiered costings reflect this – allowing you to get the most for your money. Leads range in price from £1 to £25 for a highly targeted, brand new lead.

Lead Galaxy‘s intelligent search engine matches profiles to partners based on the country, location, type and price range that the customer is interested in.

Once the system has identified all the partners with matching profiles, it sends the lead to the highest bidder. This continues until the partner either runs out of budget or is outbid by another agent.

If there are no bidders, the lead goes into the ‘Buy Leads Now’ system, where it can be purchased for a price that decreases as the lead ages.

Dan Johnson, Director of leading UK and international property portal and new owner of Lead Galaxy, said, “Lead Galaxy fills a clear gap in the market for a low hassle, low cost way of generating sales referrals for any kind of property sales business.

“I’m a huge advocate of business efficiency and the ease with which people can set up profiles or buy leads, without having to spend hours listing dozens or even hundreds of properties should make it an appealing route to market for a lot of time-stretched companies.

“With our global distribution network, the throughput of leads is going to be exceptionally high, meaning that most companies will see their sales potential increase significantly by signing up to the service,” added Mr Johnson.

Why buy?

Check out our top ten reasons to join the Lead Galaxy network of advertisers:

1. Generate sales leads quickly with minimal outlay
2. Save time by not having to list property online
3. Open an account with a minimum of just £10
4. Browse the latest unsold leads availability list
5. Buy leads instantly online from only £1 each
6. Create profiles to compete for new customers
7. Set your own bid price for different types of lead
8. Opt-in to call centre, portal and web partner leads
9. Control your own daily, weekly or monthly budget
10. Use the free CRM system to manage customers

Throughout the month of July, new customers can open an account with Lead Galaxy for £10, a reduction from the normal minimum account balance of £50. Visit or call +44 (0) 207 952 7653 to find out more.

For more information on properties in the UK and overseas and the market in general, please visit is a property website that was founded in 1999 as an online resource for buying, selling and learning about property. It now receives as many as 300,000 visits per month and advertises over 50,000 properties in nearly 90 countries, which are listed by over 500 partner organisations.

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Regus Plc – 2009 Interim Management Statement

At the Annual General Meeting which was held on 19th May 2009, John Matthews, Chairman of Regus, the leading global provider of outsourced office spaceserviced officesvirtual offices and meeting rooms, gave the following Interim Management Statement covering the period from 1st January 2009.

“I am pleased to report that Regus has made progress and that the Board is satisfied with financial performance, given the difficult trading environment.

Revenues for the four months to 30th April 2009, (at actual exchange rates) were £387.0m, an increase of 16% over the £334.5m achieved for the same period last year. The number of actual workstations has grown in the first four months by 1,485 to 160,606 with 16 centres being opened, including our 18th centre in Manhattan, Pune in India, Hangzhou in China, and Warsaw in Poland. We have also opened offices in two new countries being Paraguay and Macau, bringing the total number of countries we operate in to 75.

We continue to generate cash with our net cash balance increasing to £227.6m at 30th April 2009. This is despite the strengthening in sterling which reduced our net cash balance by £5.5m and £18.0m being spent to develop our business. Our net cash balance has however benefited from a one off receipt of £18.5m. Subject to shareholder approval at the AGM we will be paying the 2008 final dividend of 1.2p per share on 29th May 2009 to shareholders who were on the register on 1st May 2009 Market conditions remain tough. We are continuing to see pressure on occupancy and price which is impacting net income, although this is partly being offset by the additional revenue opportunities arising from our portfolio of recession busting products and the benefits of our ongoing cost reduction programme. In these more challenging markets we remain confident of our future; we are in the number one market position, we have a truly international spread, we have a flexible business model and we have a strong balance sheet.”

This interim management statement contains certain forward looking statements with respect to the operations of Regus. These statements and forecasts involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend upon circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward looking statements and forecasts. Nothing in this announcement should be construed as a profit forecast.

About Regus
The Regus Group is the world’s leading provider of pioneering workplace solutions, with products and services ranging from fully equipped offices to professional meeting rooms, business lounges and the largest network of videoconference studios. The Regus Group delivers a new way to work whether it’s from home, on the road or from an office.

Over 400,000 clients a day benefit from Regus Group facilities spread across a global footprint of 1,000 locations, in 450 cities and 75 countries which allows individuals and companies to work wherever, however and whenever they want to.

For more information, visit

Clients such as Google, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Nokia and Accenture join thousands of growing small and medium businesses that benefit from outsourcing their office and workplace needs to The Regus Group and allowing them to focus on their core business.

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Sente Mortgage Home Finance Expert Kenton Brown And National Speaker Kenn Renner From Buyaustin.Com Will Present A Free Home Buying Seminar On April 16th

It is a fact that some of the greatest opportunities for buying a home are currently available based on three major factors: 1) Home Loan Rates continue to be at historic lows, 2) There is a $8000 Federal Housing credit available to 1st time homebuyers, and 3) It is a “Buyers Market”, which means there are some tremendous bargains out in the Austin real estate market right now. This is an incredible time for prospective home buyers to quit paying rent and to achieve the dream of homeownership.

Planning ahead allows potential homeowners to have the knowledge they need to get a great deal right now. Those that attend this seminar will learn the ten steps to homeownership and how they can get their $8,000 “gift” from the Government. This workshop will focus on fundamental and simple to understand concepts that empower those that attend with practical knowledge to be able to make prudent decisions when it comes to homeownership.

Two of Austin’s top real estate and finance industry professionals will present this free Home Buying Seminar on Thursday, April 16th from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. at the Renaissance Hotel in the Arboretum. The seminar presentations will cover key strategies to help homebuyers understand and succeed in today’s extremely competitive and constantly changing market. Highlights of the seminar include:

– The 10 steps to home ownership.
– Details on the 8,000 Federal housing credit.
– Move Assistance Programs (MAP’s).
– How to Renegotiate leases and tell landlords goodbye?
– The “Truth” about mortgage financing.
– What programs are available to buy your home?
– Negotiating to get the best deal.

The workshop format will help attendees uncover their dreams, goals and visions of homeownership. This seminar will explore concepts such as how to choose a Realtor ™, Builder, or Loan Consultant and what to look for when selecting trusted advisors. It will also provide detail about the mysteries of credit scoring and how to be truly“pre-approved” so that a great deal on a home purchase can be negotiated. There will be opportunities to visit with a select group of market expert professionals both before and after the seminar.

The cost is free for the seminar.

To register online visit: or call/text 512-423-5626

About Kenn Renner:
Kenn Renner ( is a national speaker on the subject of real estate and goal achievement. His popular presentation “The Highway Seminar” ( is based on his up coming book “The Highway – Purpose, Goals & Priorities” to be published this spring. With over twenty-five years in the real estate business, he is one of the top brokers in Central Texas with over $80,000,000 in closed sales in the past three years. Kenn can be reached at 512-423-5626 (call or text)

About Kenton Brown:
Kenton Brown is Sr. Vice President of Sente Mortgage ( one of the top mortgage companies in Austin. He is also a part of Sente Learning, ( which is an educational forum designed to help business professionals succeed and achieve autonomy through tactics, strategy, planning and action. Kenton offers his unique insight and perspective by tapping into his twenty-five plus years in the finance industry. He can be reached at 512-637-9900.

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Immigrants To Help Fix The Housing Market in US

WSJ is currently running a very interesting article about the possibilities that can be opened for the housing market in this country should the immigrants and potential new comers be allowed to buy houses motivated by the permanent residency offered in return. We are noticing more and more voices lately in support of this hypothetical program as this is believed could possibly prevent or slow down the property’s values from dropping further down. 

The Obama administration should seriously consider granting resident status to foreigners who buy surplus houses in this country, says WSJ in its article.

This makes more sense than the president’s $275 billion housing bailout plan, which Americans greeted with a Bronx cheer.

The federal bailout forces taxpayers to subsidize overextended homeowners who bet on ever-rising house prices and used their abodes as ATMs, and it doesn’t get to the basic problem — the huge inventory of excess houses. We estimate that 2.4 million houses over and above normal working inventories are left over from the 1996-2005 housing bubble. That’s a lot, considering the long-term average annual construction of 1.5 million single- and multi-family units.

Excess inventory is the mortal enemy of house prices, which have already fallen 27% since the peak in early 2006. WSJ also predicts another 14% drop through the end of 2010 if nothing is done to eliminate the surplus.

A better idea is to offer permanent residence status to the many foreigners who are clamoring to get into the U.S. — if they buy houses of minimal values (not shacks). They wouldn’t need to live in those houses, but in order to remove the unit from the total housing market, they couldn’t rent them. Their temporary resident status granted upon purchase would become permanent after, perhaps, five years, if they still owned the houses and maintained clean records. The mere announcement of this program might well stop the ongoing collapse in house prices, especially in cities such as Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix and San Francisco, where prices are down 40% — but where many foreigners like to live.

Each year, 85,000 H-1B visas are granted for foreigners with advanced skills and education, and last year, 163,000 petitions were filed in the first five days after applications were accepted. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation estimates that as of Sept. 30, 2006, 500,040 residents of the U.S. and 59,915 individuals living abroad were waiting for employment-based visas. Many would buy homes if their immigration conditions were settled.

These people tend to be highly productive. In 2006, foreign nationals residing in the U.S. were listed as inventors on 25.6% of the patent applications filed in the U.S., up from 7.6% in 1998. A Council of Graduate Schools survey found that in the fall of 2007, 241,095 non-U.S. citizens were enrolled in graduate programs. Some 55% were in engineering and the biological and physical sciences, compared with only 16% of U.S. citizens. In 2007, more people on temporary visas received doctorates in physical sciences and engineering than U.S. citizens.

There is a high correlation between education and incomes, and in today’s uncertain economic climate, many wealthy foreigners desire U.S. resident status just as a number in Hong Kong secured residences in Singapore and Canada before the British handover to China in 1997. They rapidly became over a quarter of Vancouver’s population, and brought in billions of dollars to buy houses and make other investments.

We could benefit from such an influx. Merrill Lynch estimates that in 2007 there were 10.1 million individuals in the world, 7.1 million outside the U.S., with at least $1 million in financial assets that totaled $29 trillion. If new immigrants bought the 2.4 million excess houses at today’s $184,000 median price with funds from abroad, they would bring untold billions. The immigrants would also buy consumer goods, pay taxes, and start many new businesses.

The blueprint for a program to sell surplus housing to immigrants is already in place with the EB-5 visa program. Each year, 10,000 EB-5 visas for this country are available for foreigners who each invest $1 million in a new enterprise ($500,000 in economically depressed areas) that creates at least 10 full-time jobs. After two years, the entrepreneur and his family can become permanent residents.

America’s relatively open immigration policy makes this country better off than many other developed lands whose governments also must fund the pensions and health care for growing numbers of retirees. Yet there’s still a huge need for more productive and skilled people, both current residents and immigrants, who will produce enough goods and services to provide for their own needs and for those in retirement. Otherwise, entitlement spending eventually will touch off intergenerational warfare.

Granting permanent resident status to foreigners who buy houses in this country will curtail a primary driver of the deepening recession and financial crises — excess house inventories and the resulting collapse of prices. Since the people who will buy these houses will tend to have money, education, skills and entrepreneurial talents, they will be substantial assets to America in both the short and long runs.

We are joining these voices in support of a program that could permit foreigners who are looking for a way to immigrate to US buy houses in return of green cards (even though we think certain criteria should be met) since we believe this could seriously enliven our housing market. This is an area that is worth exploring in this economic downturn since many current and potential immigrants can afford buying their houses in US (without even going through the lenders), but are effectively precluded from doing so due to their unclear status here in the states. 


Cohousing – The Case for Change America’s Small House Movement

Job insecurity and the mortgage crisis are combining to drive change in America’s housing market, and cohousing is a concept coming of age.

Cohousing, which groups 20-30 individual, self-contained homes around a neighborhood plan with shared common kitchens and community spaces, originated in Denmark in the 1960’s. Brought to America by architects Katie MacCamant and Charles Durrett, this sustainable model is gaining momentum, with over 115 cohousing communities in the United States to date.

Cohousing projects are known for reducing the carbon footprint of housing in at least three key ways—green and re-used building materials; shared community features allows individual homes to be smaller, and lastly; changing behaviors to community living, which results in less car travel and localized lifestyles.

Smaller houses, shared spaces and environmentally sound building practices successfully trade out excess for improved quality of life and reduced cost of living. David Wann’s book, Simple Prosperity, suggests, “If the United States and other wayward nations are wise enough to substitute moderation for excess, our world can come back into balance, maybe just in time.” Author Wann lives in a cohousing community and has served on Cohousing Association’s Board of Directors.

The biggest benefit to cohousing though, may just be living with neighbors and the natural reduction of duplicated community resources through sharing common space, dining and chores. “Knowing our neighbors, feeling like we belong, being a part of something that we care about and that cares about us…” Chris Scott Hanson, The Cohousing Handbook: Building a Place for Community

If you are ready for Cohousing 101, the Cohousing Association of the United States is holding it’s annual conference, Growing Community, in Seattle, June 24-28. This event brings together international thought leaders, professionals, cohousing grass-roots experts, and those interested in cohousing. Growing Community features seminars, presentations and tours. Presenters include one of Denmark’s cohousing concept originators, Jan Gudmand Hoyer, architects and authors Charles Durrett, Katie McCamant, cohousing consultant Chris Scott Hanson.

Cohousing Association’s slogan “Building a better society, one neighborhood at a time” may just be the type of housing change America can truly believe in.

To learn more or register, visit, email or call 866-758-3942 (toll free) or 314-754-5828.

Event details:
WHO: Cohousing Association of the US
WHAT: Growing Community, International Cohousing Summit, Pre-Conference Workshops and Tours, National Cohousing Conference
WHEN: International Cohousing Summit (by invitation)—Sunday, June 21 thru Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Pre-Conference Workshops and Tours—Wednesday, June 24 thru Friday, June 26, 2009
National Cohousing Conference— Friday, June 26 thru Sunday, June 28, 2009
WHERE: Conference events will be at the University of Washington plus a variety of regional onsite tours
FEES: Some offerings are free; workshops begin as low as $20, full conference registration $375 ($325 for first 50 registrants)

Via EPR Network
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