Sunday, March 9, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
While a few U.S. Olympians in Sochi, Russia, are celebrating bringing home the gold, their real estate families back at home are making room on the mantle for their prestigious awards.
That seems to be a familiar storyline in Park City, Utah, where a number of members of the Park City Board of REALTORS® are watching as their sons, daughters, and brothers compete in the Winter Olympics. They’ve got a lot to be proud of: Two Olympians with real estate families in Park City have taken the top honor for their events, while a third isn’t coming home with a medal — but she landed in the history books.
Barry Van, GRI, AFR, BPOR
Keller Williams Park City Real Estate
Daughter: Lindsey Van
Lindsey’s Olympic results: Ranked 15th, Ski Jumping Women’s Normal Hill
Lindsey Van might not have had the greatest showing at her event on Feb. 11, but she can still claim victory. This was the first year ever that ski jumping — traditionally a male sport — was open to female competitors at the Olympics. And Lindsey was one of the trailblazers who helped to break the barrier.
A few years ago, she was one of several plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought against the organizers of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. At the time, only men were allowed to compete in ski jumping events at the Olympics, and the plaintiffs argued that the policy was a violation of their rights. The lawsuit wasn’t successful, but the Olympics Committee announced in 2011 that a female ski jumping event on the normal hill would be hosted at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
“I’m glad that it’s an event, but they still need to add the large hill and team event,” Lindsey’s father, Barry Van, says of the International Olympic Committee’s role in opening up ski jumping events to women at the Games. “Work’s not over.”
Still, he’s celebrating the accomplishment Lindsey made this year. He says he’s even used her status as an Olympian in some of his real estate marketing materials. Heck, maybe she could even use it to her own advantage in real estate. After all, she might have some skin in that game.
Lindsey is a licensed referral agent, having gotten her license in 2004, Barry says. “I sent my brother and daughter to real estate school so they could get their license, because this is important stuff you need to know,” he adds.
But does that mean she’s eyeing a future in real estate?
“Probably not, but who knows?” Barry says. “She keeps her license current.”
Steve and Blaze Kotsenburg
Summit Sotheby’s International Realty
Son, brother: Sage Kotsenburg
Sage’s Olympic results: Gold medalist, Men’s Snowboarding Slope-Style
Sage Kotsenburg took home the first gold medal of this year’s Winter Olympics, and his family couldn’t be more proud. His father, Steve, and brother, Blaze, both agents with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty in Park City, have been celebrating Sage’s win with their REALTOR® friends and family.
“It’s still crazy with all that has been going on since Sage won the gold medal — but a good crazy,” Steve says. “I think we’re still speechless and taking it all in.
“The REALTOR® community has been very supportive from here in Park City and all over the country,” he continues. “We have gotten emails from other REALTORS® from around the U.S. and celebrating with us. It’s amazing and means so much to us to hear from them, and also that they share this with us as a fellow REALTOR®.”
Sage’s brother, Blaze, says he was just excited to see Sage go to Sochi and represent the talents of his snowboarding community back home. “Park City is built around the skiing and snowboarding lifestyle, so it means a lot to the whole town that Sage brought the gold home for snowboarding,” he says.
Though both Steve and Blaze say they don’t know Sage to have any aspirations to enter the real estate world, they’re grateful for the positive impact his celebrity is having on their businesses.
“I think we have seen a little more action in leads after Sage won, and that probably has to do with the name recognition,” Blaze says. Steve agrees that Sage’s name has given his and Blaze’s real estate businesses some attention, but added that they had no plans to include Sage in their marketing plans.
“Sage is all about having fun and enjoying what he does,” Steve says. “Blaze and I are the same with our business: We enjoy and have fun with the many people we have met, and we focus on being honest and trustworthy and doing a good job for all our clients.”
Bill Ligety, GRI, CRS
Summit Sotheby’s International Realty
Son: Ted Ligety
Ted’s Olympics results: Gold medalist, Alpine Skiing Men’s Giant Slalom
Bill Ligety, an agent with Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, was a little nervous for his son, Ted, as he set off for Sochi. Ted was a surprise winner of the Men’s Alpine Skiing Super Combined competition during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
“This year, there was a huge expectation that Ted would win at least one medal — and maybe three,” Bill says. “Ski racing is very unforgiving, and favorites often do not win.”
So when Ted pulled off winning the gold medal for the giant slalom competition in Sochi, Bill and his real estate family erupted in celebration.
“I am lucky to have many friends and supporters who have known Ted since he was born. My real estate associates got together the night Ted won for a party to watch the event on TV. The son of another associate in my office, Sage Kotsenburg, also won a gold medal in Sochi, so the town has plenty to celebrate.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
NAR President Steve Brown in a meeting yesterday with new Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt shared REALTORS®’ concern over the continued availability of safe and affordable mortgage financing and thanked the director for postponing a decrease in the size of loans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can back. Watt also postponed an increase in the guarantee fees the companies charge lenders, a position NAR shares.
“Director Watt listened carefully to our concerns and took the prudent step of delaying any changes to loan limits and the guarantee fees,” Brown said after the meeting.
NAR supported the nomination of Watt, a former U.S. representative from North Carolina who was a senior member of the House Committee on Financial Services. It was Watt’s first meeting with a professional trade group since his confirmation.
“Based on our very productive meeting, it’s clear Director Watt understands the crucial role of residential real estate to the economy,” Brown said. “We are eager to work with him and promised to keep him apprised of what our members are seeing in markets across the country.”
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
-Cancelling credit cards that you haven't used in a while will increase your credit score - Cancelling unused credit cards can actually hurt your credit score. Since 10% of your score is based on the length of your credit history, it is a good idea to keep the oldest credit card open.
-When you get a divorce, your accounts automatically divorce with you - This couldn't be further from the truth. If you have a joint account and one of the parties on the account is late, you are both late. With some types of loans, such as a mortgage or a car loan, the lender may not accept a letter asking you to be removed from the account after a divorce even if that property is going to your ex-spouse. They will need to qualify for the loan on their own before you will be removed from the account. Take this into consideration because if they don't refinance, and then have late payments, you may find yourself with some credit issues. When possible, close all joint accounts and refinance any debt separately. If it is not possible, maintain some type of control, whether it is an escrow account or at least access to information to make sure the accounts are paid on time. Don't assume.
-You have to make a huge financial mistake for your credit score to be negatively affected - You don't have to be fielding collection calls at all hours for your score to suffer. In fact, one late payment can be detrimental, sometimes upwards of 110 points off your credit score. For one late payment!! Also, something as simple as opening up a few store credit cards for the promotional discount can make you look like a credit risk.
-Short sales are better than foreclosures - the assumption is that a short sale is actually better for your credit score than a foreclosure. But in reality, they have the same effect. It is certainly better for the neighborhood housing prices than foreclosure, but from a credit score perspective, there is no difference.
- Do not dispute items with the bureaus online. This is the worst thing you can do when trying to help your credit score because when the user signs up, they are agreeing to the disclaimers (which everyone does NOT read) stating that once the information comes back, they are agreeing to whatever results the bureaus decide. There is no going back and disputing again.