Don’t call me, really!

Real estate companies are leading the pack in prosecuted violations of federal and state do-not-call laws, which are intended to protect telephone owners from unwanted commercial solicitations.

A federal agency issued its first citation to a home loan company that allegedly violated the federal no-call rule. California’s attorney general has sued a mortgage broker and a home improvement company for allegedly making illegal telemarketing calls.

Business interests fought a hard battle against do-not-call laws, but they lost and enforcement has begun. It’s now time for real estate companies to respect the fact that millions of consumers have spoken: “Don’t call me,” they said, “I mean it!” –Marcie Geffner

A wouldda, a couldda, a shouldda and $2.50 buys you a latte

Well there you go, compare an investment in Homestore in the last year with the S&P, Nasdaq and Dow and HOMS comes up a big winner.

How does a 500 percent return for Homestore sound versus a 25 percent, 16 percent and 15 percent return from investments in the big exchanges. Not bad Mr. Long, you are making some investors very happy. Friday, HOMS was up another 8.73 percent.

We suspect there are some brokers with regrets who sold their Wolff-days options at Homestore lows, say around 50 cents. Ouch.

HUD would have a field day…

Until recently, I assumed New York was the most exclusive real estate market on the planet. But then I visited Tunis, Tunisia, over the holidays and learned a few things from my family who moved there last year. Although my relatives still pay less for a brand-new, four-bedroom penthouse apartment than I pay for my one-bedroom flat in an old Berkeley house with slanting floors, they told me that foreigners in Tunis automatically pay higher rent than natives. And that’s just an unquestionable matter of fact. Here in the U.S., such practices would warrant a pair of cold handcuffs and a hefty fine for violating Fair Housing laws. But let’s agree to disagree anyway. –Jessica Swesey

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