After Stepping Away, Now Stepping Up To The Plate

Daughter Nicole & Dad Brent

You may notice some changes to this site – and to the direction being taken. After two years of studying and learning a new trade, that of Realtor, my lifelong calling of journalism has drawn me home.  An undergraduate of Georgia State University in Atlanta, I am the proud father of Nicole Weber, a professional actress. I am currently a teacher at the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, working closely with young journalists in the production of OU Nightly and OUr Sports Pad. I am also pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Journalism so that I may be better positioned to expand myself professionally in the future.

While I am currently “inactive” as a licensee of the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission, I am staying close to the business with my friends and producing videos of properties for sale and being built. So please keep an eye on this page for updates on the industry as well as properties I am documenting through Weber Creative.   Please check out my other sites, brentweber.wordpress.com Postcards from The Web, which gives my thoughts on area happenings as well as reviews on movies, theatre and more. For sports fans, please subscribe to The Sports Guy Scorecard Scribblings From An Ordinary Journalist which features local sports updates as well as videos and anecdotes from my career as a sports journalist with CNN, FSN and the Thunder.  You can find out more about my career and my book “The Sports Guy” at weber-creative.com . I do my best to remain active in local charities, the arts and theatre. I live in Nichols Hills with my two dogs, Murphy and Billy, and two cats, Chester and Stella. 

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3101 Castlerock Rd, #18: Offered by Linda Almaraz

For more info on this home listed at 229,000 in gated Fountaingate near Quail Creek, please give me a call or email.
Brent Weber 405-348-4422 brent@brentweberhomes.com

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You Can Do It! Terrific CNN Story About A Young Couple Buying A Home

http://i.cdn.turner.com/money/.element/apps/cvp/4.0/swf/cnn_money_384x216_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=/video/pf/2011/10/24/pf_hd_millennials.cnnmoney

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Greater OKC Performing Arts Are A Selling Point

This entry first appeared on Paradigm AdvantEdge’s company web-site, Paradigm Edge.

When I first relocated to the Oklahoma City area in 2007, I had little knowledge nor much in the way of expectations with what I would find in regards to extracurricular activities. I knew there were great college sports teams here, (and the NBA wasn’t yet here), but what would I find in terms of the entertainment that sustains cities socially over time, aka The Performing Arts?

What I found – and what people new to the area should be encouraged to explore – is a region with world-class performing arts centers in OKC and Edmond, top-notch theatre companies at the Lyric Theatre and City Repertory Theatre, a young and vibrant ballet company in Oklahoma City Ballet, a world-renowned OKC Philharmonic and terrific arts museums and more.

A quick look at web-sites for the Oklahoma Arts Council, and Allied Arts will find calendars and more for events and happenings. The improvements in Downtown Oklahoma City at Myriad Gardens and the expanded Water Stage, permanent home to Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park summer season, and the nearby new-found home for Carpenter Square Theatre show that Greater OKC continues to support and find avenues for success in the world of performing arts. In Edmond, the spectacular Armstrong Auditorium provides a terrific compliment to the OKC Civic Center in terms of state of the arts venues as well. And in nearby Guthrie, the Pollard Theatre has long hosted an important performing arts company.

There are many other theatre, performing arts and collegiate groups to mention. Ghostlight, Reduxion, OKC Improv and more. I try to post as many revues and happenings as I can on my blog Postcards From The Web but suffice it to say – you should never find yourself or your family bored on a weekend night in Greater OKC.

Blog by Brent Weber, Paradigm AdvantEdge Realtor. More of Brent’s blogs and info can be found at brentweberhomes.com or weber-creative.com or by emailing him at brent@brentweberhomes.com .

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From CNN Money: Home prices inch up in August, according to S&P/Case-Shiller – Oct. 25, 2011

Home prices inch up in August, according to S&P/Case-Shiller – Oct. 25, 2011.

 

 

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Home prices continued a winning streak in August, the fifth straight month of price gains, but remain lower on a year-over-year basis.

“Even though the [year-over-year] rates are improving, national home prices are still below where they were a year ago,” said David Blitzer, a spokesman for S&P.

A gauge of home prices featuring 20 major cities, the S&P/Case Shiller index, reported Tuesday that prices rose 0.2% in August but were still down 3.8% year over year.

Overall, the market is treading water and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to suspect that’s going to change soon.

“As long as the economy remains weakforeclosures are still a problem and lending standards stay stringent, we’re not going to see much movement in home prices,” said Mike Larson, a real estate analyst for Weiss Research.

“You just haven’t gotten yet the rocket fuel needed to send housing soaring again,” he said.

Among individual metro areas, Washington saw the biggest gain — 1.6% in August. Detroit and Chicago were close behind at 1.4%. In the past 12 months, Washington prices have gone up 0.3%. In Detroit prices were up 2.4% since August 2010, more than any other area.

The Atlanta metro area recorded the steepest decline, down 2.4% for the month. Year-over-year prices were off 6.3%. Minneapolis home prices recorded the worst 12-month drop of 8.5%.

The home price report comes on the heels of changes in the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) announced Monday by the Obama administration. The changes will enable many homeowners to refinance high-interest mortgages more easily, making their monthly payments more affordable. The plan should enable some to avoid default.

Ed Mermelstein, a New York-based real estate attorney, broker and developer, doubts that the HARP changes will have much impact on home prices or sales.

“The economy and jobs have to come back. That’s what’s going to help the housing market,” he said.

Larson pointed out that even if they work as planned, HARP’s main focus is helping existing homeowners stay in their homes; it won’t spur new sales.

Newport said he thinks that housing market weakness will continue improving.

How to rescue the housing market: foreclosures

“The key reason is that more distressed homes are coming onto the market and will be selling,” he said. “That tends to drag home prices down.”

Fiserv, which provides real estate financial analytics to industry, is projecting a further home price decline of 3.6% through the end of June 2012.

If that forecast comes true, it would mean home prices will plumb a new, post-bubble bottom over the next nine months, down 34% from the mid-2006 peak. To top of page

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Clinton Talks Housing On Letterman

Clinton Talks Housing On Letterman.

Former president Bill Clinton was on Letterman the other night.  Watch this clip to see Clinton’s take on what he believes the government should do for housing to get the economy moving.

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Lenders Are Making More Loans

Lenders Are Making More Loans.

While the growth has been modest, banks are starting to make more loans again, The New York Times reports. Yet, the lending does tend to favor the strongest corporate and consumer borrowers, the article notes.

With more stringent underwriting criteria the last few years, many borrowers have expressed concern over the increasing trouble in qualifying for a loan today.

But “the narrative that banks aren’t lending is incorrect,” Timothy J. Sloan, Wells Fargo’s chief financial officer, told The New York Times. “Lending is strong, and based on what we’re seeing,”  it will “continue to grow.”

Citigroup, for example, recently announced loan growth in the third quarter compared to a year ago in nearly all of its businesses.

The growth in loans is likely due to record-low interest rates and more borrowers seeking cash on their credit lines, experts say.

However, home lending still remains down. Mortgage and home equity loans have dropped more than 6.2 percent since peaking in late 2007 and early 2008, according to Federal Reserve data.

“I don’t think the lending window is open near enough to what you need to see to get the economy growing, businesses expanding, and to bring the unemployment rate down,” Bernard Baumohl, the chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group, told The New York Times.

Source: “Banks Start to Make More Loans,” The New York Times (Oct. 17, 2011)


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Extend the ‘Shelf Life’ of Your Outdoor Living Space

Extend the ‘Shelf Life’ of Your Outdoor Living Space.

Sadly, summer is officially over. However, if your home is currently on the market, now is not the time to bring your outdoor living space to an end for the year. If you do that, you’re taking away one of the selling features of your home.

At one time, buyers were just looking for a decent-sized yard.  Today, on the other hand, they are reaching beyond just the basics. Buyers want attractive outdoor living spaces that they can use for both entertaining and relaxing. The longer you can keep this area set up for showings with outdoor furniture and accessories, the better.

You guessed right — the photo of the staged outdoor space. Can you see yourself dining al fresco, curling up in a wing chair with a good book, or sitting by the fire with a cocktail?

The staging of this patio created three separate living areas within the space. In fact, each of these separate areas portrays a different lifestyle vignette; the goal being to present a certain level of comfort to potential buyers.

Sure, the photo of the patio after it was de-staged shows a great space, but you must go beyond that to capture your buyer and demonstrate how to maximize its potential.

If your outdoor space has a gas fireplace or gas fire pit, on a cool autumn day go a step further and light it for evening showings.  Set out coffee mugs or wine glasses by the fire, along with a couple of blanket throws and you’ve just created a scene that will catch buyers’ attention and make them remember your home.

It’s all about making your home stand out among all of the competition and become the home that potential buyers talk about. So don’t put away that outdoor furniture just yet!

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New-Home Building Soars 15% in September

New-Home Building Soars 15% in September.

Last month, home building was at its fastest pace in 17 months, rising 15 percent from August and posting the new-home sector’s best pace since April 2010, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

In September, single-family home building increased 1.7 percent, while apartment building jumped 53.4 percent.

Builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 658,000 homes in September. While that marks a big improvement, the level still remains only about half of the 1.2 million pace that economists consider healthy for the new-home sector.

Builders are continuing to struggle to compete against heavily discounted foreclosures and short sales that are plaguing many markets.

Building permits, which serve as a measure of future building, dropped 5 percent in September, the Commerce Department reported.

Yet, builders seem to be getting more optimistic that the new-home market is showing signs of improvement. The National Association of Home Builders reported on Tuesday that industry sentiment rose in October to 18, the highest level in over a year. However, overall sentiment about the industry remains low–any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market (a level that hasn’t been reached since April 2006).

Source: “September Home Building Rose 15%, But Permits for Future Homes Fell 5%” Associated Press (Oct. 19, 2011)

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Government SHOULD Play A Positive Role In Homeownership

Owning a home has had long-standing government support in the U.S. because homeownership benefits individuals and families, strengthens communities, and is integral to the nation’s economy, the National Association of Realtors® said in testimony today.

NAR President-Elect Moe Veissi outlined the association’s recommendations for housing finance reform before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade.

“We must be better stewards of the U.S. housing finance system if it is to thrive and effectively serve American home buyers and mortgage investors into the future,” said Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “Repairs to our current housing finance structure must be made, but we must be careful that changes to the system do not come at the expense of homeownership opportunities for middle- and lower income Americans.”

Toward that end, NAR supports H.R. 2413, the “Secondary Market Facility for Residential Mortgage Act of 2011,” introduced by Reps. Gary Miller, R-Calif., and Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y.

“H.R. 2413 offers a comprehensive strategy for reforming the secondary mortgage market and gives the federal government a continued role to ensure a consistent flow of mortgage credit in all markets and all economic conditions,” said Veissi. “Moreover, it supports the use of long-term fixed-rate mortgage products.”

Veissi testified that full privatization of the secondary mortgage market would all but eliminate products like the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and that mortgage interest rates would be unnecessarily higher and unaffordable for many Americans, shutting otherwise qualified buyers out of the market.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the bedrock of the U.S housing finance system, and without government support, there’s no evidence that this type of mortgage would continue to exist,” said Veissi. “Private firms’ business strategies would focus on optimizing their profits, creating mortgage products that are more aligned with the goals of their business than in the best interests of the nation’s housing policy or consumers.”

Veissi said that while the size of the government’s participation in housing finance should decrease if private capital is to return to the market and function properly, the federal government must have a continued role in the secondary mortgage market to avoid losing long-term, fixed-rate mortgage products and keep borrowing costs affordable for consumers.

“Continuing government participation in the secondary mortgage market is critical to ensuring that qualified home buyers can obtain safe and sound mortgage financing products even during market downturns, when private entities have historically pulled back,” Veissi said.

Recent reductions to the conforming loan limits by the federal government are already having an impact on mortgage liquidity according to early data from an NAR survey, which found that consumers who are now above the new lower conventional conforming loan limit are experiencing significantly higher interest rates and the need for substantially larger down payments.

Veissi said that the housing and economic recoveries have been slow and that activities that force economic activity to be constricted further should be resisted.

“For hundreds of years, this country has understood the value of homeownership because it helps families build wealth, supports community stability and contributes to our economy. We need to make sure that future housing policies continue to reinforce our long-standing value of homeownership, for the future of our families and our country,” said Veissi.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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