Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Recent Article on the Nation's Housing Market

Here's a new article in Investor's Business Daily about the housing market and the relocation industry.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006


New RFID passports are coming

I passed through San Francisco's International airport last week and noticed that they are now testing passport controls for those with RFID's. There's been some concern in the press about these new passports. The RFID(radio frequency), which can be read without having to physically handle the passport(much like when someone walks out of a retail store with clothing that hasn't been demagnetized), but the jury is still out on the downside of having one of these. I'm personally a fan of getting my passport stamped, but I'm still tempted to see what the new technology is like.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Novelty of a 30 year mortgage in Canada

While some Americans may refer to Canada as the 51st state, in the mortgage industry the American's hardly have anything in common with our northern neighbor. This article mentions that 30 year mortgages are quite uncommon and from what I understand, 5 and 7 year mortgages are much more common. Unlike the US, Canadian banks cannot resell mortgages and simply service the loan, like it is done in the US. So while the Americans are testing out those 40 and 50 year loans, the Canadians are testing out 30 year loans.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Putin feels effects of global relocation

Russia's President made headlines today around the world today. Rather than speaking on topics such as Iran, gas supplies to Europe, and nuclear issues, he devoted a good portion of his speech to the declining population of Russia and his proposed solution. Russia has experienced a marked decline in population since the changes of 1989. He is proposing a larger subsidy for 1st born children and now a subsidy for a second child. This would hopefully counter the effects of immigration(which was very limited prior to 1989) and the declining birthrate. There are a few interesting graphs in this article. It's worth a look if you're not aleady registerd.

Monday, March 27, 2006


April Anniversary of 1906 Earthquake

Since the 100th Anniversary of the 1906 earthquake is just a few weeks away, I thought I'd post this old postcard I've scanned in. The earthquake wiped out a large section of San Francisco(almost all of the downtown, except for this one section in the photograph). Quite a few were left homeless and many rebuilt their lives elsewhere.

Every year you can get up very early for the commemoration (I actually went a few years ago) and listen to some of the survivors retell their place in the earthquake. This year's anniversary will likely gain much more attention.

Friday, January 06, 2006


Bay Area Housing becoming more affordable?

Things are definitely cooling off with the housing market in the San Francisco Bay Area. To spotlight a particular statistic, the median closing house price in San Mateo County has fallen from a peak of $922,000 in April 2005 to $820,000 in December 2005 according to Creekside Realty. The median is determined by looking at all the homes that sold, and finding the house where there are just as many homes sold above that price, as below that price. It's not an average.

It will be interesting to see whether this will continue to be a trend or if it's just a short term phenomenon. But either way $100,000 is nothing to sneeze at.

Most newspapers tend to focus more on year to year changes, so we may not see this in the press until April or May. The median closing price in San Mateo County in December 2005 was still above the December 2004 price, so many may still report increases in home prices.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Best Workplaces for Commuters

We're now officially a Best Workplaces for Commuters employer. We've had a number of people in the office telecommuting for a few years(some as much as 70 miles, and others working and being a Mom(of which being a Mom is quite a lot of work in itself)), so I think it's just the next logical step. It seems that with Treo's, Blackberries it's very easy to work from home or anywhere else. And with gas hovering at $3 it makes a lot of sense!

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