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September 06, 2007

NPR Talkshow Alert: The Subprime Mop-up

OnPointRadio.org, a nationally syndicated talkshow on NPR, is hosting a program NOW entitled, "The Subprime Mop-Up." If you live in Greater Boston, you can listen to 90.9FM from 9-10am this morning, Thursday, September 6, 2007, or the rebroadcast tonight from 7-8pm. Beyond Boston, you can also listen to the program LIVE online now or access the audio anytime later at your convenience:
Aired: Thursday, September 06, 2007 10-11AM ET

Program description:  The Subprime Mop-up

If you thought the subprime mortgage mess was behind us, think again. In the next year, another two million adjustable-rate mortgages are scheduled to reset from low "teaser" rates to household budget-busting new highs.

Foreclosure rates are already soaring. In some regions, whole neighborhoods risk going under. A credit crunch backlash has markets around the world in turmoil.

Now Washington is girding to weigh in.  But who, if anyone, should be bailed out?  Who punished?  Who reined in?

This hour On Point:  homes, high-rollers, and moral hazards in the subprime mop-up.


Housing economist Karl Case just ducked a question on the implications of the subprime crisis on housing prices nationwide and Congressman Barney Frank just finished speaking.  The complete line-up of guests include:

  • Rep. Barney Frank, Democrat from Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee
  • Karl Case, professor of economics at Wellesley College and co-author, with Yale's Robert Shiller, of the Case-Shiller Index, the leading database of U.S. housing sales
  • Michael Mussa, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and former member of President Ronald Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers
  • Michael G. Ciaravino, Mayor of Maple Heights, Ohio, a city hit hard by foreclosures

10:32 AM in Foreclosures, Real Estate Bubble, RECALL: Real Estate Consumer Alliance | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Are paper files & walk-in real estate offices obsolete?

Recafe_1995 Twelve years ago, The Real Estate Cafe was founded as a walk-in, internet-based, housing information center -- to our knowledge, the first in the country (see story below.)  Over the next five years, 1995-2000, we amassed a mountain of paper files, some in the 1,200 square foot body of the cafe and more in the basement.   

Even though The Real Estate Cafe has operated virtually in recent years, we continue to amass mountains of paper.  About 20 boxes of paper, mostly marketing materials from recent real estate conventions and newspaper articles, are ready to sorted, filed, or tossed today.  Approximately 50 files boxes are already in deep storage.  While we rarely access paper documents in "active" file cabinets, we constantly update digital files on The Real Estate Cafe's intranet.

So our question is three-fold:

1.  Is paper filing obsolete?

2.  Are walk-in real estate offices obsolete?

3.  If real estate brokerages reorganized to operate virtually, would savings be passed onto real estate consumers, both buyers and sellers, in the form of lower commissions, rebates, or fee-for-service business models like The Real Estate Cafe?


Buying A La Carte
Bill Wendel's Latest Venture, The Real Estate Cafe, Aims To Be The Buyer's 'guardian Angel'

Source: Boston Globe | Date: Sep 10, 1995 | By: Mary Sit, Globe Staff

...Called The Real Estate Cafe, it is a self-service information...[reducing] costs by having consumers do some of the work themselves.

09:07 AM in Change Agents, Commission Reform, Fee-for-service, Inside The Real Estate Cafe, Savings & Rebates, Tech Trends, Writing tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack