Monday, March 31, 2014

Home with a Tennis Court

I played tennis growing up and I love the sport.  I plan to play until I'm 95 :-)
When I was about 12 years old growing up in Idaho, my father prepared an area, had pavement laid and then ordered some 50 gallon barrels of coating.  We squeegeed the coating on the soon to be tennis court.  It seemed like 50 layers back then, but I think it was actually only three.  We dug out and holes and put in the net posts and the posts for the chain link fence and then installed the fence.  Finally we painted the lines.  Actually I then put up some plywood, painted it green with a white stripe at the correct height, so I could practice when alone.

After high school my parents moved to Utah and within a couple of years my dad had an area prepared for a contractor to come in and lay down pavement and we went through the same process again.

I've got it on my list to do the same thing at my home for my children to grow up learning to play tennis.  I haven't got it built yet, but....

Well following the world of great tennis champions, like Pete Sampras who in his 14 years as a professional tennis player won 14 grand slam singles titles.  He was awesome on the lawn at Wimbledon winning seven championships.  Anyway, I don't want to bore you so for the real news Pete and his wife Bridgette recently wrote a check for $5,996,000.00 for a Bel Air estate;  check it out on Trulia:  Tennis Great Pete Sampras Buys Bel Air Estate.

"Dating a tennis player is risky. Love means nothing to us"
Brian Olsen, WWR

Millennials Prefer.....

One thing that I have not been very good at in my mind is to keep me in my proper age category of a Generation X.  I more often feel like a member of the baby boomer generations which ended as per sociologist the year before I was born.

A recent article describes the Millennial generation and it is kind of interesting.
Millennials Prefer Cities to Suburbs, Subways to Driveways

Though boomers are wanting to down size, many aren't able to because their millennial children are living at home longer.  A neighbor recently told me his son is on the 18-90 plan:  when his son turns 18 he has 90 days to vacate the premises.

I don't know if I'll be that harsh.  In fact having my daughter and her husband live with us for about two months was kind of nice and I won't even suggest it was because I knew there was end date.  I've missed having them here.

Enjoy your pigeon hole!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Tree House For Sale

What kid doesn't dream of having a tree house. I've had various tree houses in my life and I keep promising my children a tree house...that's a different blog.

Anyway, two of my favorite movies are Swiss Family Robinson and Disney's Tarzan, because they both have awesome tree houses.

I don't have a tree house listed for sale yet nor have I had a buyer looking for a tree house.  Unfortunately tree houses aren't as abundant her in these mountain deserts.  However, I have found some really cool tree houses that you may want to check out on my pinterest board called "Living Trees".

Follow Brian Olsen's board Living Trees on Pinterest.

I hope you enjoy!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Homes with a View

One of the top criteria I consistently hear from buyers of real estate is that they want property that has a great view of the mountains or of the river or of the valley, etc.  Views can make a huge difference in the value of a property.  Take the same home in one area and put it on a mountain with a view or on the beach with a view and you will be able to increase the price possible by some 30-60%.

I love spring not just because of the new growth that is beginning and how green everything becomes, but also because of the cool view right next to my home of the deer that come into the field to graze.

Deer in Field - Wallsburg, UT

There is also not many views better than a beautiful sunset such as this one from my front porch.

Sunset - Wallsburg

With both of those, I think the greatest view is watching my children, nephews and nieces playing and enjoying the great outdoors and beautiful surroundings that add to their view.

Water Games

What do you see out your window?
Enjoy the view!!!
Brian Olsen, WWR

National Flood Insurance Program - Revisited

I haven't seen the movie Noah, but I did just learn a few new things about the flood insurance program which is important to me as a realtor to keep my clients informed.

This is the update on the National Floor Insurance Program and the law which President Obama signed on Friday.  I previously commented that the law puts on hold any increases for homeowners, however a news story on KSL, Impact of Flood Insurance hikes on Utah Unclear, says, "...homeowners face annual premium increases as high as 18 percent...Businesses and people owning second homes...will see increases of 25 percent..."
Rivers in Wallsburg

This is a tough pill to swallow and NAR estimates that 40,000 home sales were stalled or cancelled from October 2013 - January 2014 because of the confusion of this issue.

As tough as this change is to accept, I believe it is a necessary step and should actually be followed up with terminating the federal program and switch any such insurance programs to the individual states.

The state of Utah is the 34th most populous state, so maybe I should figure that the overall burden of costs of the nation flood insurance program is born by a lot of other people other than me.  However, this should not be a program run by the federal government, which is probably the most inefficient way to run anything outside of the military.

If the federal government can eliminate subsidies for the flood insurance, private insurers may enter the market which is a much more efficient process.  Though it would be tough for the private industry to enter the fray, because it will only participate in such a market if a profit is possible, which is why private industry is much more efficient than government because if they can't earn a profit they go out of business.  At least the direction things are going the private industry will have a chance at some point versus the way it is now, there is no chance for private industry to compete.

What do you think?
Brian Olsen, WWR

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Trains, Planes & Automobiles

Waahoo, "Durable Goods" orders in the month of February increased 2.2% to $229.4 billion as per the Commerce Department figures released earlier today.  The experts anticipated a measly 1% increase, so the economy must be doing great, right?  Right?

Durable goods are the things we buy that are expected to last a bit longer, like cars, planes, refrigerators, computers, etc.  So if there are more goods being sold than expected, over twice as many, that would mean more manufacturing, which means more employment, which means higher incomes, which means more people buying real estate (it always comes down to buying and selling real estate, just in case you were wondering).

I hate to rain on the parade, but I think the U.S. economy has a little way to go before it is chugging along at a reasonable rate.  If the transportation orders which include airplanes is excluded from the report, then February's orders were only a growth of .2% compared to .9% in January.  So does this mean less of everything, including buying of real estate?  Is the stock market going to tank?  Will Twinkies go away for good this time?

I wish I knew, however this guy has some pretty good information on his website including easy to read charts that may help you decide what is happening and where the economy is or isn't Durable Goods Report: February Was a Mixed Bag.

Good luck with your own predictions.
Brian Olsen, WWR

Coaches Homes Answers

How well do you know your coaches homes?

1. What coach has a property listed for sale in Bal Harbour, FL?

B) Rick Pitino, his 6 bedroom, 6.5 bath is listed for $3,995,000.

2. Where does Tom Izzo coach for the Michigan State Spartans have a vacation property?

A) Spring Lake, MI

3. What couch had to lower the listing price of his 10,000 square foot home?

C) Lon Kruger's Las Vegas home price dropped from $5 million to $4.5 million

4. The coach for what team lives in a 1,500 square-foot condo that he purchased for $2.15 million?

A)Tommy Amaker lives in a 1,500-square-foot condo located in Boston.

5. The coach of what team purchased a brick home for less then a million dollars?

B) Shaka Smart payed just less then a million dollars for his Richmond estate.

For more random facts about coaches vacation properties checkout

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March Madness Coaches & Real Estate

I know I should be working during this break in the March Madness, but we have already discussed this in an earlier post, so be sure to check on March Madness 2014 and now for some trivia!

Do you know anything about the coaches homes of your favorite team?

1. What coach has a property listed for sale in Bal Harbour, FL?

A) Tommy Amaker
B) Rick Pitino
C) Jim Larra├▒aga

2. Where does Tom Izzo coach for the Michigan State Spartans have a vacation property?

A) Spring Lake, MI
B) Spring Lake, NJ
C) Spring Lake, UT

3. What coach recently lowered the listing price of his 10,000 square foot home by $500,000.00?

A) Steve Alford
B) Shaka Smart
C) Lon Kruger

4. The coach for what team lives in a 1,500 square-foot condo that he purchased for $2.15 million?

A)Tommy Amaker
B)Tom Izzo
C) Shaka Smart

5. The coach of what team purchased a brick home for less then a million dollars?

A)Steve Alford
B) Shaka Smart
C)Lon Kruger

Round Valley & Wallsburg

May I tell you again how much I love living in Wallsburg, Utah.  I took my 12 year old son to the town meeting on the first Thursday of this month as part of a requirement for the Boy Scouts Citizenship in the Community merit badge.  It was a great meeting and was good for him to see five people that were able to discuss town issues and come to agreement on the path to follow.

Last Thursday I attended our precinct caucus meeting, which in my opinion is the grass roots way of electing representatives that our forefathers who founded this nation envisioned.  It is where those that want to be involved in the community can represent other like minded people.  Unfortunately many in our state want to switch the power of elections to those with money and the finances to advertise and campaign via the media, without the necessity of actually getting out and pounding the pavement to meet people and discuss ideas.  This change is promoted as necessary to increase people's involvement, which it will not do and you need only look at states that switched from the caucus system to direct primaries and see how involved the populous is.  A better question would be how many more people really do any due diligence and research the people that are running for election versus look at an add or see a flyer and it persuades them to vote for a certain person without any vetting of that candidate.

I'm grateful my son is learning somewhat about politics at an early age and I realize it is dependent upon my wife and I to teach him so that he is able to educate himself and not be swayed with every wind that blows.  No better place to start learning than here in the easy going town of Wallsburg.

Make your vote really count!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Monday, March 24, 2014

March Madness Standings

Phew, we have a break for a few days.  A break from what, you ask, a break from needing to keep tabs on multiple NCAA basketball games at the same time plus get on the bracket contest website and see if I'm in first place yet and then realize that the site manager hasn't updated it yet and the last game ended over five minutes ago.  I'm hoping I can relax a little and actually get some work done before the games start up again on Thursday.

I'm sure the stress of my teams not winning is what has contributed to my not feeling well, so I may miss some work today and possibly even tomorrow.  Hopefully I will be better on Wednesday to work again.

Now some of you may be concerned about the production footprint we are causing by promoting a March Madness bracket.  However, let's not look at the glass being half empty, but let's see it as half full.  Think of the joy and hope that is created with the opportunity that so many people have throughout the country that "their" team may win it all, let alone the possibility of winning a prize of some sort.

Seriously, though, most companies say that March Madness has a positive impact or no impact, see the Orlando Sentinel article, The March Madness myth about productivity

So whether you made it to work today and will tomorrow or Wednesday, just make sure you check in to see where you are ranked in our little March Madness bracket contest:  March Madness 2014.

Helping Productivity, One Bracket at a Time,
Brian Olsen, WWR

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Questions & Answers of Buyers & Sellers of Real Estate

We all learn by asking questions and in Real Estate there is always a lot of questions to be asked on either side of the deal.  As a realtor my goal is to be a resource for my clients and so I'm always asking questions of others to be able to then provide the information to my client so they may make an educated decision.

Cara Ameer with Coldwell Banker has put together some of the most popular questions asked in Real Estate at her blog, The Most Popular Questions Asked in Real Estate.

Feel free to send any real estate questions my way and I'll do my best to provide you the most accurate information.

Take care,
Brian Olsen, WWR

"All you've got to do is own up to your ignorance honestly, and you'll find people who are eager to fill your head with information."  Walt Disney

Science of March Madness - Home Affordability

This might be a new one for you and you may still have time to enter your office March Madness bracket challenge.  Base your picks on the most affordable housing.

Coldwell Banker has put together the brackets and the winner of the most affordable homes and thus the soon to be winner of the NCAA basketball tournament is....check it out here Coldwell Banker

Brian Olsen, WWR

"Our goals can only be reached through the vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act.  There is no other route to success."  Stephen A. Brennan

Which March Madness Bracket to enter

So this is my first year to do a March Madness contest as a realtor.  I've entered many over the years and I've actually won a prize here and there.  If you still want to enter my bracket challenge you have until noon today (Mountain standard time) to get you picks in and you have a pretty good shot at winning a price.  Now the prizes aren't too pricey, but I think any of them would be fun to have.

If you really want the big potential prize, you probably entered the Quicken Loans billion dollar March Madness challenge.  However, you might want to also put some money down on a lottery ticket, since you would have "the same odds of winning the lottery 35 billion times in your life as you do in picking the 63 games correctly".  Here is an interesting article with the odds of winning the billion dollar challenge, Odds of Winning the Quicken Loans Challenge.

Either way, I hope you enjoy the tournament and if you actually win the billion dollars, there is a great 60 acre estate in Park City that I'd love to help you close on and it would be a mere drop in the bucket listed at $44,000,000.00, Park City Estate.

Have fun!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Don't forget to register for some March Madness fun before 12:00pm Thursday!!

March Madness
If you or any friends and family follow college basketball or even if you don't, we have put together a March Madness Bracket Contest this year for anyone that would like to participate.

The first game is Thursday evening and the contest closes at noon, so don't delay.

There is no age limit to enter the contest but please only fill out one bracket per person. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3, #48 and last place. (please make sure you enter your mailing address correctly) Prizes will be mailed to the address you provide. 

The Prizes are
1st Place- $100 J&G Grill at St. Regis gift card
2nd Place- $50 Kneaders gift card
3rd Place- $10 Subway gift card
48th Place- $25 iTunes gift card
Last Place- $50 Zupas gift card

 To register now and enter your picks, click on the following link or copy and paste the entire link into your browser:

If your email program has wrapped the link to multiple lines, make absolutely sure that you enter the entire link EXACTLY as shown above or your picks may not be registered correctly.
Not responsible for missed emails, untimely or forgotten emails, upset and frustrated participants, unreliable mail service or people that know nothing about basketball and win by pure luck.

Good Luck!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Names in Luxury Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Previews, Sotheby's and Christie's are all common names in Luxury Real Estate. Have you ever wondered what the differences are?  Here is some information from a recent Coldwell Banker study.

In 1933 Coldwell Banker Previews International became a name in luxury real estate. 
In 1976, 43 years later, Sotheby's Internatonal Realty became a name in luxury real estate.
In 1995, 62 years later, Christie's international Real Estate became a name in luxury real estate. 

Now being around for so many more years Previews has had a lot of time to become a well known name. But not only has Previews been a part of the luxury market for 40+ more years but they also have an amazing worldwide network. 

Previews has a total of 82,200 total agents 
Sotheby's has a total of 12,900 total agents 
Christie's has a total of 25,000 total agents

When you work with a Coldwell Banker Agent you are working with a network that has 57,000 more Agents then Christie's and 69,000 more Agents then Sotheby's. 

All of this is pretty amazing right!   81 years in the business and 82,200 Agents world wide. But lets take a closer look. 

Preview has offices across the globe, in the United States alone there are 2,375 offices. 

Preview has a total of 3,100 offices worldwide! That's over 2,400 more offices then Sotheby's (660 total offices) and over 2,100 more offices then Christie's ( 920 total offices) 

If you want to work with a network of people around the globe, and have the comfort that anywhere you move you can have a great Realtor, give me a call and I can help you find a competent, reliable and friendly realtor for your next real estate transaction.  

Make it a great day!

Brian Olsen, WWR 

Playhouse House

When my oldest children were young there great-grandpa built them a playhouse. The playhouse is simple and when it was brought to us the interior was unfinished and in the 10+ years we have had it, the playhouse the interior has remained unfinished. I'm not sure if that is due to the fact of never getting around to it or that that my children just love building in it. Since it only has the 2x4 framing inside my children nail things to the walls, build shelves, install hooks, etc.. They get to build to there hearts content and I don't worry about any holes in the drywall.

Recently I listed a home for sale in Provo and during the time that the seller has owned this home he built a playhouse on the backside of his garage.

Now if you want to see an amazing, finished playhouse check out this video (I am not providing a video of my children's unfinished playhouse). It might give you some ideas to create your own playhouse.  I don't think that playhouses like this come cheap.

Dream Big!

Brian Olsen, WWR

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March Madness Friendly Competition

March Madness
If you or any friends and family follow college basketball or even if you don't, we have put together a March Madness Bracket Contest this year for anyone that would like to participate.

The first game is Thursday evening and the contest closes at noon, so don't delay.

There is no age limit to enter the contest but please only fill out one bracket per person. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3, #48 and last place. (please make sure you enter your mailing address correctly) Prizes will be mailed to the address you provide. 

The Prizes are
1st Place- $100 J&G Grill at St. Regis gift card
2nd Place- $50 Kneaders gift card
3rd Place- $10 Subway gift card
48th Place- $25 iTunes gift card
Last Place- $50 Zupas gift card

 To register now and later to enter your picks, click on the following link or copy and paste the entire link into your browser:

If your email program has wrapped the link to multiple lines, make absolutely sure that you enter the entire link EXACTLY as shown above or your picks may not be registered correctly.
Not responsible for missed emails, untimely or forgotten emails, upset and frustrated participants, unreliable mail service or people that know nothing about basketball and win by pure luck.

Brian Olsen, WWR

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lawyer's and Liar's

I've always heard and I try to follow this advice, that you should always have a good attorney, a good accountant and a good investment adviser.  I've made my share of mistakes where I should have counseled with one of the above professionals.

When my brother-in-law was attending law school my son was 3 or 4 years old. My son was really close buddies with this particular uncle. After some time had passed and we often referred to this uncle who was studying to become a lawyer, one day we were talking about how this uncle needed to take a very important test to become a lawyer. A short while later my son came to me in tears and asked, “Why does uncle ___ want to be a liar?” He was so disappointed that this uncle of his was going to be a “liar”. 

After regaining my composure I explained to him that his uncle was going to school to be a 'lawyer', which may sound like 'liar' however it is not and that he will actually be fighting for Truth, Justice and the American way (or something like that). That was enough to ease his little mind.
Though I'm no longer in construction, as a realtor I realize the benefits of a good attorney and I've met a lot of new attorneys that have been excellent to work with.

Let me know if I may help you as a realtor or if you need an attorney, I would love to refer a competent professional to you.

Good Luck!

Brian Olsen, WWR

Tips for the best Mortgage Interest Rate

A lot of people watch very closely interest rates and the financial markets can have major swings due to actual or percieved direction of interest rates.

Zions Bank recently published an article on with 4 tips to getting the best mortgage interest rate. 
Tip 1: Make a large down payment

This makes it so the lender is not loaning you as much money so there is a lower risk, which will typically allow you additional financing options. Another plus is that you can save a lot of money in interest payments over the life of the loan.

Tip 2: Look into different loans

There are a ton of different loans both conventional and FHA. When my daughter and son-in-law bought their first home they used the first time home buyers loan and didn’t make a down payment. Some loans will require you to carry Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for 30 years, other loans require you to have PMI for two years and yet others don't require you to have PMI.  There are a lot of different options.  Talk to your lender and find what fits you best.

Tip 3: Compare different lenders

There are a couple different lenders that I work with. When asked to recommend a lender I give my clients a couple of options. It’s always a good idea to compare lenders. See what is best for you!

Tip 4:  Use your GFE

Ok first let me explain what GFE is. When you apply for a loan your lender has to give you a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) within three days. The Good Faith Estimate breaks down and outlines the costs related to the loan. Some of these costs might change when you close but the interest rate and origination fee will not change during your rate lock (typically 30-60 days).  Talk with your lender for more information about a Good Faith Estimate.
Have a G"rate" day!

Brain Olsen, WWR

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Draper Prison: Real Estate Dream

As a realtor it is always great to dream about new developments.  In my previous life as a commercial drywall contractor it was also great to hear about new planned developments.  As a drywall contractor we did work on both the Draper prison as well as the Gunnison prison.  As both sides articulate and discuss their support to move the prison or to leave it where it is, I have not seen as one of the arguments the cost to maintain, upgrade or expand the prison at it's current location.

If the Draper location is not expanded, I would guess that it will continue to have high costs for maintenance or to upgrade the building.

Which side of the discussion do you lean and why?  Check out what Draper City put together here; it is a pretty appealing rendering: Draper - Planned Development

Best Regards,
Brian Olsen, WWR

Legos, Not Your Parents Building Blocks

I spent over 25 years of my life in the construction industry and I'm not sure what motivated me to enter that industry, although I have always loved to build things.  Don't all children like to build things.

Today, I believe that Legos has the edge over any building block type of toy.  It is amazing what is built with Legos.  Beginning with the basic Lego and including now the Mindstorms Legos Smithsonian Magazine - Mindstorms and now there is even a Lego movie LEGO Movie Trailer

My children have always loved building with Legos and now my youngest sons are enjoying the benefit of many years of collecting Legos. They are continually building Lego creations. One of there most complex projects included a movie theater, with an arcade and a line of people waiting to get treats.

Lego House

Lego Theater

Lego Building

Lego Arcade

Some cool architecture also made from Legos is found in an article on which shows 25 landmarks made out of Legos.

Have a Creative Day!

Brain Olsen, WWR 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Life Revisions

I have a son that regularly asks me to read and critique English class papers and I'm happy to do it.  I think going through and revising a well written English paper is useful to a student to learn and improve their writing skills.

Every few years my wife and I revise our will.  As my mother always told me, that her last check before dieing will bounce, so no need to fight over her will.  We are a long ways from that, but still a revision every now and then is important.

In my work as a realtor we are consistently making revisions to contracts through addenda to the contract.

I understand that life is full of revisions, however one report that is consistently revised downward and often by a large percentage and not within a small deviation.  This initial report has the power to influence investors around the world bringing them joy and jubulation or anger and angst.  Then when the revision is made, as stated previously, often quite a large revision, hardly no one notices. 

This initial report is the ADP National Employment Report.  This report actually came out yesterday and said that 139,000 new jobs were created in February, which is below the 150,000 expected.  The January number was 'revised' yesterday from 175,000 new jobs reported initially to an actual 127,000 new jobs. 

The ADP report is consistantly revised after its intial report and as much as I believe in revising things to either to learn or to fit the changing circumstances, the ADP report to me has come to mean very little.  So if you don't like the current ADP report just wait awhile, it will likely be 'revised'.

"A life spent making mistakes is more honorable than a life spent doing nothing."  George Bernard Shaw

Make it a great day!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Biking - Roads & Trails

My nine year old son is ready to start getting new parts and fixing up his bicycle.  I think he is getting big enough that we may be investing in a better bike for him and start going on some rougher trails.

Recently a client asked about a home in Wasatch County for sale and whether it backed up to BLM or Forest land.  They want to be able to go hiking and bike riding out their back door.  Utah is a great place to find such property on which to build a home or find an existing home with close or back door access to biking trails.

One of the trails that I haven't done for quite awhile and I need to put it on my Summer to-do list with my family, that even my six year old son can handle and will love, is the Provo Canyon Parkway.  The scenery is absolutely beautiful.  The bike path is paved the entire way and if you start at the top end of the Parkway, it is pretty much downhill all the way.

Here is a great website for mountain bike trails in Utah:

I don't do the road biking, but I want to put in a plug for what looks like a great new peddle for either mountain or road bikes, if you can support it please do:

Get your bikes ready!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

***Flood Insurance Update***

On February 21, 2014 I got on my soap box and shared my feelings about the National Flood Insurance Program.  I'm not going on that tirade again, don't worry.  I am just updating everyone that is wondering and I'm sure worrying about the new legislation to increase the premiums for the NFI Program.

Wait for it, wait for it, ok here it is - the House of Representative back in Washington D.C., today passed legislation that will keep premiums down for those with real estate in flood prone areas.  Phew, that was close.  See Bloomberg among others -

Just so you don't have to search back to the February 21st blog, essentially in 2012 a law mandated that the insurance program cut its debt by charging higher premiums.  This increase in premiums actually only occurred if the property was sold, at which time the new owner would be required to pay the higher premium.

So now people can continue to live in flood prone areas with the assurance that their insurance (paid by you and I and them in part) will take care of repairs after the floods wreck havoc on their property.  I feel much better knowing that property owners do not need to think about the risks of purchasing property nor will they have to worry about the consequences.

One last thought, if I remember Egyptian History correctly from my 2nd grade World History class, didn't the Egyptians live away from the Nile because they knew it would flood quite aften.  Yet they farmed around the Nile because it was the best soil.  So today we build homes in the flood plains and farm the desert.  Hmmmm

Stay dry!
Brian Olsen, WWR

Reading a Realtor Profile

Last week I started the process to obtain my RSPS designation by going to an eight hour class.  I figured this designation would be useful in my new career as a realtor.  Once I got to the class I learned that there are three more online classes I need to take as well as an additional full day course or designation to get my Resort and Second-Home Specialist Certification.
Well I have the first part completed and passed the test, so onward!  I'm actually glad that it is more than what I thought it would be.  When a certification is easy, it carries much less significance.

This is one of the many aspects that I really like about being a realtor, that of the continuing education requirements.  I love learning and being required to obtain so many continuing education credits is a great way to keep learning.

How we love acronyms; even the word sounds really cool!  Here are a few more of the designations I plan to obtain in the Real Estate world:

ABR - Accredited Buyer's Representative
GREEN - real estate agents with this designation have received advanced training on green building.
CRS - Certified Residential Specialist

ALC- Accredited Land Consultant

CIPS- Certified International Property Specialist

E-PRO- real estate agents with this degree have taken more classes to learn about technologies and digital tools.

CCIM- Certified Commercial Investment Member

ABRM- Accredited Buyer Representative Manager

SRS- Seller Representative Specialist

I think that is a good start, lol :-)

"Wherever we look there is a striving for deeper understanding of ever more complex problems and a corresponding realization of how much more we must learn."  Wilmot H. Bradley, Geologist

Brian Olsen, WWR

Monday, March 3, 2014

Buyers Market in Las Vegas!

All you have to do is own up to your ignorance honestly, and you'll find people who are eager to fill your head with information ~ Walt DisneyMy nephew recently moved to Las Vegas, Nevada from Utah and he got a great buy on a beautiful home.  I was pretty amazed when my sister was telling me about it.
This morning while reading the Housing Trends Update, put out by Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance Housing Pulse Tracking Survey, for February, the two states with the lowest sales-to-list price ratio are Arizona & Nevada which had a ratio of 94.9% in January.
The state with the highest sales-to-list price ratio for January was California at 99.7%.
The Rocky Mountain States came in at a ratio of 96.5% for January.

Now with that useful bit of information you may want to reconsider this humble 38,500 square foot home on 36.12 acres in Las Vegas and listed for a mere $48,000,000.00

"All you have to do is own up to your ignorance honestly, and you'll find people who are eager to fill your head with information."  Walt Disney

Brian Olsen, WWR

Saturday, March 1, 2014

No Poor & Private Property

Growing up I was taught that being able to own property, privately, is one of the greatest freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America that very few other countries allow.  I was also taught by my parents that such ownership is the greatest harbinger of wealth.
If I'm on track with what I've learned then the following statements by Bill Gates would mean that other countries wealth probably reflects their freedom to own property.
Being a realtor I look at property more often than not as real property (real estate) versus personal property (all property that is not real property).

No Poor & Private Property

In the annual Gate foundation letter, Bill Gates states " By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world". Mr. Gates also recently commented, "By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been".

According to the top economy's as of 2013 are (I've added a note by each country whether they allow for real property ownership, as far as I am aware - if I'm wrong I'm open to additional education):

1. United States (yes, however personal management rights of real property is diminishing)
2. China (no)
3. Japan (yes)
4. Germany (yes)
5. France (yes)
6. Brazil (yes)
7. United Kingdom (yes)
8. Russia (not really, though it is professed)
9. Italy (yes)
10. India (yes if living in India)   

1. South Sudan (yes??)
2. Libya (for one house only)
3. Sierra Leone (yes, however validation of land is a struggle from what I understand)
4. Mongolia (yes, highly regulated)
5. Paraguay (yes)
6. Timor-Leste (yes, only nationals)
7. Iraq (no)
8. Panama (yes)
9. The Gambia (yes)
10. Mozambique (usage rights, not real ownership) 

It appears to me that this list of top economies from CNN shows a significant commonality of private property ownership and the wealth of nations.
Best regards,
Brian Olsen, WWR

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