Posted in Features on September 11, 2007
Despite the funk that the subprime crisis has brought down on Wall Street and financial institutions, this sector represents only one portion of an entire industry. Some financial analysts such as James DiGeorgia, 21st Century Investor publisher, advises investors to keep an eye on the real estate industry as an opportunity. And, savvy homeowners or those who seek to purchase houses as residences or as investments might be wise to stay on top of some of the best names in the industry. Who knows where real estate will go from here?
To find an answer, we’re treating you to the top 100 bloggers who focus on every real estate subtopic from appraisals to the title industry. You won’t find real estate listings in this article, although some blogs focus on individuals who work in real estate and others focus on consumers. Please note that the blog numbering is not meant to be a ranking–each real estate subtopic is simply listed in alphabetical order, with blogs then listed in alphabetical order within that topic.
Topics Covered in this List
Appraisals | Entertainment | Green Ideas | Homebuyers | Home Improvement | Doom and Boom | Investing | Marketing | Mortgage Brokers | News | Niche Markets | Technology | Title Industry
Only a handful of appraisers maintain blogs, but each one of the choices below represent appraisers who have years of experience in their field.
- Appraisal Scoop: Brian Davis has been a residential real estate appraiser for 23 years. He originally created the Appraisal Scoop blog to counter much of the negative press about appraisals from the mainstream media and real estate blogs. Davis and his guest authors contribute articles on business management, appraisal technology, industry news and market analysis.
- Matrix: Launched in August 2005, Matrix is an attempt to cull together items of interest or relevance in the real estate economy through Jonathan Miller’s neutral position. Miller is a real estate appraiser with more than 20 years of real estate experience.
- Soapbox: Soapbox is meant to be an industry resource, a repository of information that can help inform, annoy, educate and motivate, change.
- Table Talk with Apella: Resource for homeowners, real estate professionals, lenders and investors. This blog is supported by Apella Real Estate Business Solutions, a company that services the nation through a network of appraisers and home inspectors.
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Doom and Boom
Many real estate investors have been keeping one eye on the implosion of the subprime market. The following blogs are dedicated to this subject. Some are pessimistic and others are seeing a light at the end of the subprime tunnel…
- Blown Mortgage: Morgan Brown, Chief Operating Officer of New Day Trust Mortgage in California, provides his insights, news, tips, and more on the housing and industrial mortgage industry.
- Housing Doom Housing Bubble Blog: Debi Averett and John McLeod offer current information about the housing bubble, the mortgage industry, and horror stories for your edification. Although the focus is on Phoenix and Tucson Arizona, the content is relevant nationwide.
- Housing Boom: A focus on how to buy or sell a home during a tough market. The author states, “Is there a Housing Bubble? Is Real Estate still a safe investment?
I don’t have these answers, but I do have a whole lot of evidence that realtors are resorting to ‘unusual’ tactics to drum up business.”
- The Housing Bubble: Ben Jones examines the home price boom and its effect on owners, lenders, regulators, realtors and the economy as a whole nationwide.
- Dr. Housing Bubble: The doctor is in the house, and he’s analyzing the housing bubble from an investor’s perspective.
- The Real Estate Realist: Reality “burns a little going down at first,” but pessimism sometimes brings on dark humor. You’ll find that humor here and more from Kevin Branson, a certified residential real estate appraiser who sees the imploding bubble as just the end of one party with more to come.
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Some people who work in real estate businesses aren’t all that stuffy. The following list provides some examples of agents and more who have a life outside business and who want to share their little obsessions with others.
- Grow a Brain: Hanan “The Human Vacuum” Levin, co-owner of ‘The Champion’ Real Estate Company in Riverside, California, provides insights into thousands of unique sites gathered from all corners of the internet. Grow-a-Brain links are grouped into 100 plus categories from advertising to Zen and more.
- Big Time Listings: Keep up with your favorite and not-so-favorite stars with real estate information about the rich, the famous, the movers and shakers, and the “soon to be convicted” at this site.
- Rants, Raves, and Real Estate: Spencer Barron is a entrepreneur, investor, and realtor currently living in Denver, Colorado; but, before this gig he was a graphics specialist, designer and project manager for a commercial architecture firm. He’s also interested in Internet technology and start-ups, so his blog covers a wide variety of topics. While this blog is geared toward other realtors, the homebuyer or seller can learn a trick or two from this site as well.
- Sellsius: Joseph G. Ferrara and Rudolph D. Bachraty III write on everything to do with real estate with an eye to entertaining their readers.
- Unusual Life: Marlow Harris lives in Seattle, and she’s interested in the juxtaposition of real estate and art. Therefore, you’ll discover unusual homes, amazing architecture, strange places, and fascinating people at her blog.
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As a realtor, investor, homeowner, or homebuyer, you might be interested in some of the newest innovations in environmental architecture and design. The following blogs provide ideas and inspiration for a greener habitat.
- Apartment Therapy: Don’t let the title fool you. Although this blog attempts to save the planet, “one apartment at a time,” the authors bring resources to light that would delight any homeowner.
- Equity Green: A real estate tax advisor who focuses on public REITs, homebuilders, energy companies and real estate transactions (including like-kind exchanges), conducts an exploration of everything green as it relates to real estate.
- Green Build Blog: Green Build Blog posts about everything related to green building, with some entries devoted to answering readers’ questions.
- Green Buildings NYC: Stephen Del Percio, a New York attorney and a LEED accredited professional, attempts to stay on top of the latest news and developments in green building through his gbNYC blog. His site also links to the Green Buildings sites in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Miami.
- Inhabitat: Future-forward design and a daily source for innovations in sustainable architecture and green design for the home.
- Jetson Green: Preston D. Koerner focuses on advance trends in green building with an eye to the confluence of modernism and environmentalism.
- Living Green: Aaron Doyle, who believes that “everyone should be able to experience the pride and privilege of homeownership,” shares her thoughts on energy, environmental, and health issues that affect real estate today.
- Offbeat Homes: The unique, odd and freaky homes of today and tomorrow is brought to you by a freelance environmentally conscious Jennifer Chait.
- Sustainable Cities Blog: The CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities in New York City blogs about moving cities toward sustainable practices.
- Sustainable Green Communities: Ram Shrivastava, a CEO and professional engineer, writes on environmentally friendly building design with discussions on climate change, green roofs, flood control, storm water recycling, LEED compliance, and alternative fuels.
- Treehugger: This blog attempts to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information. Although more of a lifestyle-type blog, the focus is on living environments.
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Are you ready to buy a home? The following blogs provide information for buyers. Although some blogs are geared toward other agents, the homebuyer will find some interesting insider insights in those blogs as well.
- Barbara Corcoran Ink: Barbara Corcoran, real estate entrepreneur, addresses real estate interests, concerns and questions. Her advice is mainly focused on home buyers and home owners.
- For Sale By Locals (A New Real Estate Approach): A blog that is an offshoot of the “For Sale by Locals” Web site. Entries include business information, tips, and advice on how to work with online real estate services.
- Home Buying and Selling Blog: About.com’s Elizabeth Weintraub brings her home selling (and buying) experience to her blog. Wientraub is a real estate agent, but she’s also lived all over the country from Maine to California and once even built a home in Mexico. She operates on the principle that “every American deserves to own a home.”
- Hotpads: If you’re in transition between homes, check out this site for information about available apartments, rental houses, sublets, and roommate opportunities. If you’ve got a place, there’s someone out there who wants to rent it. This blog provides news, guides, tools, and promos for the site.
- Luxury Home Digest: Roberta Murphy, editor for The Luxury Home Digest, is a real estate broker in the coastal San Diego market. However, her blog covers a wide range of topics related to fine living and real estate, including trends, markets, furnishings, tastes (including fine wines) and relevant gossip.
- Real Estate Journal: This Wall Street Journal guide to real estate helps homebuyers arm themselves with the information they need to get the most for their money. Readers can browse entries on everything from mortgage rates and residential market trends to relocation and economic issues, home improvement ideas and advice on buying, selling and enjoying a home.
- Trulia Blog: A Trulia employee blog where company happenings, real estate industry news, and other items are posted. The truly useful part in this site is the Trulia residential real estate search engine that helps consumers search for homes for sale, trends, neighborhood insights and other real estate information directly from hundreds of thousands of real estate broker Web sites.
- Zillow Blog: Zillow helps consumers make smarter real estate decisions by providing them with access to the same information and tools agents use to value homes. Additionally, homeowners can take advantage of the Zestimate™ home valuation as a starting point for anyone to see – for free – for most homes in the U.S., discussions, and post homes for sale for free.
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No matter if you need to pump up that curb appeal to sell a home, or if you want to improve the home that you intend to keep – the following blogs will help you to make your residence a healthy investment choice. While there are hundreds of home improvement sites out there, we chose these four for their ease of use and for their attention to detail.
- Charles and Hudson: Charles and Hudson want to help you remodel, renovate, and beautify your home. This blog is a web magazine that’s dedicated to DIY enthusiasts who seek the latest tools, techniques, and designs for home renovation and remodeling.
- Construction Deal Update: If you’re a homeowner and you need help navigating the world of home improvement, then visit this site for help.
- Fixer-Upper: We picked this blog because of its unpretentious charm. Mindy and Teague, two DIY homeowners, take you on a journey as they remodel their residence. The fact that Teague has a degree in interior design and owns a residential construction and remodeling company doesn’t hurt!
- Helpful Advice for Home Construction Improvement: Todd Fratzel, a building superintendent and structural engineer with extensive experience in structural design and home construction, brings tips and advice to the person who wants to improve their home construction technique.
- Home Improvement Ideas: Luxury housing trends, technologies, and products are tracked through this blog. The tips and advice are unusual, and the merchandise is fantastic.
- Home Staging, Rants & Ravings: Craig Schiller, a professional home stager and founder of Real Estaging (Chicago), is behind this property merchandising and home staging blog.
- House in Progress: A DIY couple started this site to keep friends and family apprised as they continue to restore their bungalow. Their site was recently listed in Chicago Home Magazine as one of the five best online home improvement Web sites.
- Shakadoo: Shakadoo is a site written and created for those who love their home, no matter if it’s a castle or a condo. You’ll find several “shaks” that deal with home interiors, building, renovation, and more.
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Anyone who purchases a home is purchasing an investment. But, some homeowners are long-term investors, and other homeowners wish they could be day traders. The following blogs cover the gamut between the two extremes.
- Altos Research Real Estate Insights: Real time real estate research and housing observations provided by Altos Research. Customers and readers include real estate agents and brokers, and home buyers and sellers. Their information currently covers western states, Chicago, Houston, and Tampa, Florida.
- America’s Mortgage Broker: Brian Brady, an old-school-turned-high-tech mortgage broker, wants readers to learn how mortgages provide wealth.
- BawldGuy Talking: Jeff Brown, of Brown and Brown Investment Properties, reaches first-time buyers to million-dollar property owners with this blog about real estate investing blog and “Purposeful Planning” articles.
- Bigger Pockets: Two real estate investors and a journalist provide readers with information on how to invest in real estate in today’s market.
- Building an Empire: Trisha Allen is 32-year-old full-time real estate investor and realtor has been investing in real estate for over four years. She brings her personal insights into the ups and downs of building a personal real estate empire.
- Counter Intelligence: The Real Estate Cafe Weblog: A consumer advocate’s guide to saving money and recreating the residential estate industry online. As nationally recognized consumer advocates, The Real Estate Cafe has been pioneering new business models that help home buyers and sellers save billions of dollars for more than a decade.
- Equity Scout: Christopher Smith, founder and managing director of EquityScout.com and its parent company Paladin Equity LLC, provides market insights, economic evaluations, and talkes about the process that his company goes through to understand the needs and wants of real estate investors.
- Flipping Rich: Sunny Yee and Derrik Dyka’s Flipping Rich investment blog brings “interesting” investing ideas to their readers.
- Housing Derivatives: Applications and economics for the U.S. housing market, brought to you by Traditional Financial Services, Inc. a broker of OTC housing and commercial real estate swaps and options.
- Landlord Shmandlord: This is a blog about being a landlord and investing in real estate.
- The Real Estate Economy: Paul Kaihla argues that real estate is a fundamental building block of the economy, and this blog uses it as its organizing principle.
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While the following sites focus on individuals who work in real estate, consumers can learn much about how the market works through these blogs.
- BRER Real Estate Marketing Blog: Build Real Estate Results (BRER) and Getting It Write, Inc. offers tips and tools that will give your real estate business a competitive edge.
- Joeann’s Blog: Resources, articles and thoughts on being a productive and creative real estate agent from Joeann Fossland, a new agent coach.
- Personal Insights on Web 2.0, Blogging, and Business: Drew Meyers. a Zillow employee, provides his insights on how to utilize the ‘new’ Web to promote real estate business.
- Real Estate Marketing Blog: Tim O’Keefe helps real estate agents create more leads and sales through market analysis and definition. This work is translated in to keywords agents can use that focus on bringing more traffic to Web sites.
- Real Estate Toolbox Podcast: Since 1996, Brian Rodgers has authored over 10 books and real estate systems. Brian’s passion is creating the ultimate tools and success systems to help any real estate agent achieve a high level of success in their real estate business while maintaining proper life balance.
- RealtyBizCoach: RealtyBizCoach.com site is part of the Morningstar Coaching Network, which is a privately owned network of sites devoted to helping small businesses succeed. RealtyBizCoach.com provides real estate agents with articles, tips and advice on how to market and grow their business.
- The Real Estate Tomato: The Real Estate Tomato is not just a real estate marketing blog. Jim Cronin built it to be a hub to help the real estate community to better understand how to embrace the technology available to them.
- Transparent Real Estate: Pat Kitano, co-Founder, Managing Principal of Domus Consulting Group, authors Transparent Real Estate. The blog reflects news, but also Kitano’s management consulting firm working with real estate brokerages and Web 2.0 companies to develop technology marketing strategies, and with venture investors on new business models.
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Even when real estate markets are bursting a housing bubble, people want to know more about mortgages. Individuals who are immersed in the mortgage industry provide the following blogs, and they provide their insights on this sector for the real estate industry and for consumers.
- Housing Wire: This blog is focused on the mortgage banking industry. This site also hosts the industry’s first Real Estate Blogging Awards, called the REBAs.
- Lending Clarity: Marc Brinitzer, from Big Valley Mortgage (California), brings his insight into mortgage lending.
- Loanbark! Mortgage Blog: Purchase and refinancing mortgage advice for consumers.
- Mortgage Broker Coaching: David Porter, a semi-retired mortgage broker and multi-millionaire, brings this new blog to the mix, where he wants to help mortgage broker owners and experienced loan officers create their dream mortgage practice.
- Mortgage Dead Pool: This blog lists the mortgage companies (banks, lenders, wholesalers) that are going bankrupt.
- Mortgages Undressed: Larry Cragun, a real estate and mortgage professional of nearly 35 years, exposes mortgage facts and provides a directory of real estate agent referred loan officers.
- The Mortgage Fraud Blog: Mortgage fraud news, video and audio reports, and a discussion board rounds out this comprehensive blog on frauds in the mortgage industry. This blog is supported and funded by the The Prieston Group, a diversified mortgage risk management consulting company.
- The Mortgage Reports: Mortgage Planner Dan Green blogs on mortgages, markets, and other items of interest.
- The Truth About Mortgage: Mortgage advice, tips, help, refinance info, mortgage calculator, lender rates, home equity line of credit information.
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The following blogs provide the best real estate industry news on the Internet. Even if you’re not in the business, these sites can keep you apprised of real estate trends and insights.
- Bloodhound Blog: “BloodhoundBlog is everything you wish were in Realtor magazine – but isn’t.” Lenders, investment experts, and other real estate agents bring daily must-reading news, advice, and tips for real estate professionals everywhere.
- Hot Property: Follow the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets from BusinessWeek. This blog was a finalist for a 2007 Inman News Innovator Award.
- Inman News: This site features a variety of residential and commercial syndicated columnists, and licenses content to 250+ major daily newspapers and 50,000+ Websites. Inman News also offers information-based products and services for real estate leaders, technology professionals, and consumers. Finally, Additionally, Inman News produces a variety of annual conferences for the real estate, mortgage, title, and technology industries.
- Little Pink Houses: The contributors to this blog bring extensive backgrounds in real estate, journalism and law to an industry that is “starving for impartial, knowledgeable conversations about what really goes on in the real estate business.”
- Nubricks’ Property Abroad Blog: Nubricks is an informational site, which publishes news, reviews and opinions, some of which are based on accurately reported factual information. Developers, property enthusiasts and marketing agents worldwide visit for a daily dose of overseas property news and check out the latest happenings from the world of international property development.
- Realblogging: “A real estate blog by the real estate industry for the real estate industry.” Numerous agents bring news, advice, tips, and more to the real estate industry.
- real/diaBlog: Danilo Bogdanovic, buyer and relocation specialist, bring’s tomorrow’s real estate trends to this blog.
- Real Estate Shmoozer: Real estate news, views and shmooz from Ladin Ventures, LLC, commercial and residential real estate brokerage, buyer and tenant representation, consulting, management and real estate development.
- RealtyTimes: Real estate news, buying and selling advice for consumers, and money-making tips for Agents, brought to readers daily by an array of experienced writers who offer a variety of perspectives and ideas.
- The REALTYgram Blogger: A weblog digest of news, articles, and essays about events and trends impacting the real estate market, brought to you by real estate agent Frances Flynn Thorsen.
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The following blogs focus on condos, real estate for the elderly, women, overseas markets and more.
- Christian Real Estate Network Blog: The CREN blog is dedicated to real estate news, advice, and insight, with a special emphasis on real estate specific marketing and SEO techniques for budding real estate marketers.
- condoDomain: The reader will find topics that include architecture, new condo developments, mortgage and financing, condo-hotel, design and other categories that deal with urban metropolitan markets around the US & Canada. This blog attempts to connect condominium buyers, brokers and developers.
- New Condos Online: This blog is quickly becoming a relevant resource on the internet for buyers to find and compare new condos, pre-construction condos, condo conversions, town homes, and lofts across the country.
- No Limits Ladies: Two women who blog about personal finance, to starting and being in business for yourself, as well as investing in real estate and paper assets for women of all ages.
- Overseas Property Blog: This international real estate investment blog has been offering free, reliable international property news and research since March 2005. The contributors offer objective in-depth analysis of global real estate markets and property investment products.
- Real Sage Advice: Although this blog focuses on the Twin Cities real estate market, their entries on aging issues and senior housing apply to all real estate markets.
- The Private Islands Blog: Private islands for sale, island resorts and exotic islands world-wide brought to readers by “The Islomaniac,” president of the Islomaniacs Society and Owner of Coldwell Banker Morrison’s Private Islands.
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The list below focuses on individuals who work in the real estate industry, but homeowners who seek to sell can learn about what agents today need to know through some of these blogs.
- The Future of Real Estate Technology: An extremely useful blog initiated and written by Loren Nason, who runs a technology concierge service called, “Your Local Tech.” They work only for real estate agents and home users, and the blog is to help answer common questions about software and hardware used in the real estate industry.
- Mike’s Corner: Michael is the President of 360Podcast, LLC, the parent company of MLBroadcast.com. He has been involved with the development of web software, marketing and listing enhancement tools for real estate since 1995. This site brings Web 2.0, marketing, technology, and news to the real estate industry.
- Real Estate Blog Lab: A former computer programmer and database administrator, who also is involved in real estate, created this blog “lab” for other agents to talk about topics like SEO, tools to enhance the blogging experience, and advice on how to work with WordPress and other real estate Web tools.
- Real Estate Technology Tips: Jason Ungo enjoys exploring ways to empower real estate agents using his background in technology, education, and real estate. His blog focuses on constant experimentation of code and design with personal thoughts, mostly related to real estate technology.
- Real Estate Zealot: Mark Eibner, real estate broker, is a technology evangalist, ready to persuade readers that “Technology will not replace real estate brokers. Brokers with Technology will replace real estate brokers.”
- Realty Thoughts: A team of real estate technology providers talk about web applications for real estate agents, investors, and the public to use when dealing with real estate.
- Smart Use of Internet in Real Estate: This is a blog for people who believe in the smart use of Internet in the real estate industry, brought to you by Magnus Svantegård, a product manager who believes that that real estate industry can be more efficient.
- WellcomeMat: If video is doing to real estate and local business what MTV did to the music industry back in the 80’s, agents need to follow this blog. The site offers advice on how to produce videos, lists regional videographers, and shows videos of homes for sale.
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Like the appraisal blogs, there are just a handful of title blogs operated by individuals experienced in this field. They offer their expertise in frequent postings so you can stay informed.
- Title-Opoly: This blog’s author plead guilty to federal conspiracy charges stemming from property flipping and mortgage fraud in 2003. Now, Ed Rybczynski is a highly regarded public speaker who travels nationally to give presentions to groups of title agents, corporate executives, mortgage brokers, elected officials and other concerned groups.
- TitleRep: Jeff Bernheisel brings information on how he markets his business.
- Clearing Title: Dave and Francine bring their expertise as land transfer and title experts to the table through this blog.
- Landrecs: Jeanine W. (Jeanne) Johnson has worked hands-on in the private sector for over twenty-five years as a closer, examiner, and abstractor (searcher) for a real estate company, a builder and title insurance underwriters and agents. She is now a professional author, consultant, trainer and speaker about Title Industry issues.
- My Closing Space Blog: – Damon Redmond believes that consumers are entitled to know how what title insurance is and how the industry works. This site is dedicated to title insurance education.
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