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In a housing boom, everyone’s favorite parlor game is trying to figure out how much their house is worth this week. My wife loves to drive around and pull the fliers out of the “info boxes” in front of homes for sale. I also have neighbors who love to spend Sundays going to the open houses held by sellers just for comparison’s sake – to see what the seller is asking, and how their house stacks up. At the same time, you can even surf the home listing sites on the Internet and do “virtual tours” of homes on the market.
But this interesting article in the San Francisco Chronicle points out that there may be a downside to the degree to which sellers are opening their homes, be it to foot traffic—and particularly to Internet surfers: Theft. The author argues that Internet surfers can zoom around listings of million dollar homes to see how much expensive artwork they’re hanging on the walls and to see how secure the house is. Interesting read…
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.