NewsFeeds 1.12.10

Richmond-area boat shows to combine (Times-Dispatch)
The Virginia Boat Show’s producer has canceled the event, originally scheduled for Jan. 22-24 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Affinity Events, the show’s owner, will instead combine the downtown show with its Richmond Boat Show on Feb. 19-21 at the Richmond Raceway Complex in Henrico County.

Norfolk firm purchases office building in lower Manhattan (Virginian-Pilot)
Taking advantage of depressed prices in commercial real estate, Harbor Group International just became New York City’s newest landlord with its purchase of a 25-story lower Manhattan office building for $107 million.

A Future That Doesn’t Guzzle (NY Times)
at the opening Monday of the big Detroit auto show, the internal-combustion engine seemed almost passé. The world’s automakers unveiled a number of hybrid gas-electric and battery-powered models, several of which might not be available for years to come.

Critics say new home-appraisal rules drive down values (USA Today)
Starting Feb. 15, mortgage brokers will no longer be able to order appraisals on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). For consumers, that is supposed to mean home appraisals will more closely reflect a home’s value. The reason: Brokers who may profit from a loan being approved won’t also be choosing appraisers, who may feel pressured to declare a higher value. But organizations such as the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Appraisal Institute say the change, along with other efforts to reform the appraisal industry, is hurting consumers and appraisers.

For sail: 200 homes on a cruise ship (LA Times)
About half of the cabins on the $1.1-billion Utopia, set to launch in 2013, will be offered as permanent residences ranging from about $3.7 million to $26 million.

Firms Hold Fast to Snail Mail Marketing (WSJ)
U.S. consumers received about 5.2 billion pieces of direct mail in the third quarter of 2009, a 27% decline compared with 7.1 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to Mintel Comperemedia, a research firm that tracks direct-mail marketing. However, some entrepreneurs who were quick to write off direct mail as too pricey or passé are finding it’s not so easy to dismiss.

9 Businesses You Can Start In Your Pajamas in 2010 (Inc.)
A look at some of the hottest industries for home-based businesses.

Richmond-area boat shows to combine (Times-Dispatch)
The Virginia Boat Show’s producer has canceled the event, originally scheduled for Jan. 22-24 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Affinity Events, the show’s owner, will instead combine the downtown show with its Richmond Boat Show on Feb. 19-21 at the Richmond Raceway Complex in Henrico County.

Norfolk firm purchases office building in lower Manhattan (Virginian-Pilot)
Taking advantage of depressed prices in commercial real estate, Harbor Group International just became New York City’s newest landlord with its purchase of a 25-story lower Manhattan office building for $107 million.

A Future That Doesn’t Guzzle (NY Times)
at the opening Monday of the big Detroit auto show, the internal-combustion engine seemed almost passé. The world’s automakers unveiled a number of hybrid gas-electric and battery-powered models, several of which might not be available for years to come.

Critics say new home-appraisal rules drive down values (USA Today)
Starting Feb. 15, mortgage brokers will no longer be able to order appraisals on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). For consumers, that is supposed to mean home appraisals will more closely reflect a home’s value. The reason: Brokers who may profit from a loan being approved won’t also be choosing appraisers, who may feel pressured to declare a higher value. But organizations such as the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Appraisal Institute say the change, along with other efforts to reform the appraisal industry, is hurting consumers and appraisers.

For sail: 200 homes on a cruise ship (LA Times)
About half of the cabins on the $1.1-billion Utopia, set to launch in 2013, will be offered as permanent residences ranging from about $3.7 million to $26 million.

Firms Hold Fast to Snail Mail Marketing (WSJ)
U.S. consumers received about 5.2 billion pieces of direct mail in the third quarter of 2009, a 27% decline compared with 7.1 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to Mintel Comperemedia, a research firm that tracks direct-mail marketing. However, some entrepreneurs who were quick to write off direct mail as too pricey or passé are finding it’s not so easy to dismiss.

9 Businesses You Can Start In Your Pajamas in 2010 (Inc.)
A look at some of the hottest industries for home-based businesses.

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