Archive for December, 2010

FreeLuxe, Freemium & Paidium-Three Business Models in Search of a Consumer

An over promoted business idea of recent times is that “free” is the path to riches.  This concept approaches a thought bubble. While only a handful of companies (e.g. Google and Facebook)  have achieved  widespread adpotion and success by offering free services, the success of these companies has spawned a disproportinate amount of attention on a new business model – the  “freemium” model. Top technology blogs like  Venture Beat, Giga om, Silcon Valley Watcher and Tech Crunch have covered the topic, Freemium conferences have been held and a pop culture book  “Free: The Future of a Radical Price” was a best seller (and top free download).

This attention may be misguided.

There are critical distinctions among the oft touted freemium, ”freeluxe”  and “paidium” (both newly coined terms by me!) models that should be considered. Perhaps, too many companies choose to pursue the freemium  model instead of  the paidium model due to the hype over” free”. Perhaps, too many companies chose the freemium route because they don’t see the one significant difference between the freemium and freeluxe models. Perhaps, too many companies choose the freemium model because of the marketing and sales challenges of the paidium model.

As a result of these miscalculations, many good new products are perhaps being brought to the market in the wrong way and there may be a  misallocation of (venture) capital as is often the case when bubbles, thought or otherwise, are prevalanet.

Here is a review of the three models.

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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on December 27th, 2010 under HomeGain, Market Trends

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Holiday Haiku Challenge

Here is my attempt at a holiday haiku:

Goal: Learn to snowboard
Oh crap I’m falling again
Get used to it buddy

Who can top that? It shouldn’t be too hard…..Happy new year!

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Posted by: HG Blog Admin on December 23rd, 2010 under HomeGain

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HomeGain Releases 4th Quarter 2010 California Home Values Survey Results

California real estate professionals and homeowners have a more favorable view of the direction of home values and of President Obama’s performance as President than their nationwide counterparts.

Earlier this month, HomeGain, one of the first companies to provide free instant home valuations online,  released the fourth quarter results of our nationwide home values survey of over 1000 HomeGain current and former members and 2300 home owners. The survey asked their opinions on home prices and what they thought of President Obama’s performance as President. On this real california-state-flower-poppyestate blog we published the 4th quarter 2010 national results as well as the complete 4th quarter  2010 regional results, including commentary from real estate agents and brokers.

Today we are releasing the California home values survey data. In the coming days we will be releasing home values survey data from Texas, Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Arizona, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and other states.

The 4th quarter  2010 California home prices survey data reflects some changes from the 3rd quarter 2010 California home values survey. Sixty-eight percent  of surveyed agents indicated that their homeowner clients thought that their homes’ values had declined in the prior year vs. 52% who so believed in the third quarter. HomeGain also asked homeowners directly the same question. Fifty-six percent of surveyed homeowners thought that their homes’ values had declined in the prior year vs. 50% who thought so in the third quarter. (see question 1)

Fewer California home buyers are of the view that homes in their state are fairly valued, with 19% believing so in the fourth quarter vs 35% in the third quarter survey vs. 38% in the second quarter 2010 California home prices survey vs. 30% in the first quarter 2010 California home prices survey and 25% in the fourth quarter 2009 California home prices survey. Sixty nine percent of California home buyers currently believe that homes are over priced vs. 69% who also so believe nationally. (see question 3)

In the current survey 42% of California real estate agents and brokers expect home prices to fall with in the next six months vs. 41% who so believed in the third quarter 2010 California home prices survey. Fifteen percent of California real estate professionals expect home prices to rise in their state over the next six month vs. 14% who expected so in the third quarter 2010 California home prices survey. Only 12% of real estate professionals nationwide believe that home prices will rise in the coming six months. (see question 6)

California homeowners were slighly more optimistic on the direction of home values in their state than California real estate professionals. Twenty five percent of California home owners expect home values to rise in the next six months, 29% expect them to fall and 46% expect them to stay the same.  (see question 6)

Nationwide, President Obama’s approval rating among surveyed real estate agents and brokers dropped to 32% in the fourth quarter. Forty-four percent of California real estate professionals somewhat approve or strongly approve of Obama’s performance as President vs. 43% in the third quarter  California survey vs. 44% in the second quarter, vs. 55% in the first quarter and 57% in the fourth quarter of 2009. Fifty percent of surveyed California homeowners approved of Obama’s performance. (see question 10)

Set forth below is the fourth quarter 2010 real estate professional and home owner California home prices survey data along with the third quarter 2009 and 2010 real estate professional survey data along with the fourth quarter 2010 national home prices survey data: (click on each question to see complete results):

  1. Have home prices increased, decreased or stayed the same in the last year?
  2. On average, what do homeowners believe that their home is worth?
  3. How do buyers feel that homes for sale are priced?
  4. What is the average difference in price between what sellers believe their home to be worth and the amount at which the home gets listed?
  5. What is the average difference in price between what a home is listed at and what a home sells for?
  6. In the next six months, will the values of homes in your market increase, decrease or stay the same?
  7. What percentage of homes for sale are foreclosures in your area?
  8. What is the average home price in your area?
  9. What percentage of your clients are first-time buyers?
  10. How do you think Barack Obama is performing in his role as President?

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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on December 22nd, 2010 under Home Prices, Home Values, Home Values Surveys, HomeGain, HomeGain Market Data, Polls, Regional

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Real Estate Radio With Louis Cammarosano 11/29/2010

On Monday November 29, 2010 , Louis Cammarosano, General Manager of HomeGain, was a  guest on the Real Estate Radio show on The Big Talker 1580 AM, hosted by Ryan Sloper.

Listen to highlights of the show!

Introduction (1:11)

Ryan and Louis discuss home prices, home affordability, the desirability of home ownership and whether a home is an asset and whether home purchasers are “investors” or merely “home owners” (3:18)

Louis and Ryan discuss whether it’s a good time to buy a home, whether the U.S. economy should be driven by the housing market, whether the increase in consumer spending bodes well for the housing market and whether a home is a consumer item (3:00)

Ryan and Louis discuss foreclosuregate and its potential impact on the housing market, what government does to influence the housing market, the value of a good real estate agent who won’t necessarily tell you “now is the best time to buy a home” (6:06)

Louis and Ryan discuss why interest rates in the U.S. are heading higher, why QE2 is “kicking the can down the road” and why spending cuts may not be inevitable (2:06)

Louis and Ryan discuss the future of the mortgage interest rate deduction as a deficit reduction solution and the potential impact of rising property taxes and debate whether taxes need to be raised (5:23)

Ryan and Louis discuss QE2, the high levels of U.S. Debt, the direction of interest rates, the value of the U.S. dollar, the impact of the job market and income levels on home prices and other factors impacting home prices and the negative impact that foreclosures may have had on the psychology of younger potential home buyers  (7:56)

Ryan and Louis discuss the relationship of income levels  to home prices and why all real estate markets are local (0:44)

Louis discusses the impact of foreclosures, foreclosure gate and shadow inventory on the banks, the economy and the real estate market (2:27)

Louis discusses the tools that are available on HomeGain.com to home buyers and sellers looking for real estate information (4:35)

Ryan and Louis wrap up the show (0:47)

Real estate radio interviews also available on Youtube

About the Real Estate Radio Network

The Real Estate Radio Network® is a nationwide alliance of real estate related professionals with a common objective: delivering the timely truth about local Real Estate Markets over local radio stations.

The Real Estate Radio Network brings hard-working and ethical professionals in a community together.  We provide the media and forum necessary for Consumers to learn the truth about important aspects of their financial life, which is mostly centered around their biggest investment, the home they live in.  The Real Estate Radio Network® brings each radio program to the audience with a “live and local” show hosted by well-respected members in the local Real Estate and Financial community.

About Ryan Sloper

As a highly motivated mortgage consultant, with more than nine years of mortgage lending experience, Ryan Sloper has acquired a solid understanding of the local and national real estate markets. Ryan has been investing in residential and commercial real estate for the last 5 years, where he has first hand knowledge of what it takes to be a successful real estate investor. Ryan also hosts a weekly radio show, Real Estate Radio, which airs every Monday on 1580 AM in the Washington, DC Metro Area. Real Estate Radio also streams live nationally @ http://whfs.cbslocal.com/shows/real-estate-radio-with-ryan-sloper/

Louis Cammarosano

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Posted by: HG Blog Admin on December 20th, 2010 under HomeGain, HomeGain on Real Estate Radio, Louis Cammarosano on Real Estate Radio

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HomeGain Releases 4th Quarter 2010 Virginia Home Values Survey Results

44% of Virginia real estate professionals think home values will remain the same over the next six months

At the end of last year, HomeGain, one of the first companies to provide free instant home valuations online,  released the fourth quarter results of our nationwide home values survey of over 1000 HomeGain current and former members and 2300 home owners.  The HomeGain survey asked their opinions on home prices and what they thought of President Obama’s performance. On this blog we published the 4th quarter 2010 national results as well as the complete 4th quarter  2010 regional results, including commentary from real estate agents and brokers and homeowners.

Today we are releasing the Virginia home prices survey results today.

Set forth below is the fourth quarter 2010 real estate professional and homeowner Virginia home prices survey data along with the 4th quarter 2009 and 2010 real estate professional survey data along with the 4th quarter 2010 national home prices survey dataClick on each question to see complete results:


  1. Have home prices increased, decreased or stayed the same in the last year?
  2. On average, what do homeowners believe that their home is worth?
  3. How do buyers feel that homes for sale are priced?
  4. What is the average difference in price between what sellers believe their home to be worth and the amount at which the home gets listed?
  5. What is the average difference in price between what a home is listed at and what a home sells for?
  6. In the next six months, will the values of homes in your market increase, decrease or stay the same?
  7. What percentage of homes for sale are foreclosures in your area?
  8. What is the average home price in your area?
  9. What percentage of your clients are first-time buyers?
  10. How do you think Barack Obama is performing in his role as President?

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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on December 17th, 2010 under Home Prices, Home Values, Home Values Surveys, HomeGain, Polls, Regional

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Should A Home For Sale Be Decorated For The Holidays?

Home stagers will tell you to keep your home attractive but neutral when hoping to sell quickly. It should be appealing to potential buyers and also allow them to envision themselves, their style, and their possessions in the home. How does that translate to holiday decorations?

Do wreaths, lights, trees, and holiday figurines have a place in a well staged home? How should you advise your clients when listing their homes around the holidays?

From a practical standpoint if your client is hoping for a quick sale, holiday decorations are one more thing to pack when it’s time to move. This helped me make the decision to leave everything tucked away in the attic when we sold our house this time last year. It helped that we were traveling for Christmas and my daughter still got to enjoy decorating the tree with Grandma. Someone who will be home for the holidays might prefer to keep up the annual traditions to minimize the disruption the family is likely experiencing with a house on the market.

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Posted by: Anna Platz on December 16th, 2010 under Home Staging, HomeGain

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