Trump’s 247 Days Of Golf Costs Millions In Taxpayer Dollars

Trump is essentially profiting off of playing golf and taxpayer dollars are going directly into his “personal slush fund.”

Quibi Short-Form Videos Coming to Mobile Phones

Is short-form video the future of entertainment? Jeffrey Katzenberg, former chairman of Walt Disney studios, co-founder of DreamWorks Animation, and the brainchild behind Quibi (pronounced “kwibee”), thinks so. In case you haven’t heard, Quibi — short for “quick bites” — is an app built to deliver high-quality, short videos to your mobile phone for watching while you’re on the go and time is limited — like when you’re sitting in a waiting room or standing at a bus stop.

Before you write off Quibi, consider this: There’s big Hollywood money behind it, and it is not a repository of cat videos and amateur clips. No, Quibi will feature original content created by big-name directors and starring A-list actors when it launches in April. (Did you catch the Super Bowl commercial?)

The goal is to create theatrical-quality content that will attract younger viewers who have an ever-shortening attention span as well as appeal to anyone who has a few minutes to watch an entertaining video. With a typical budget of a $125,000-a-minute, “Quibis” will have same high production as a Hollywood film.

In his keynote speech at CES 2020, Katzenberg said Quibi has “set out to tell Hollywood caliber stories in a whole new way, on a platform that has become completely ubiquitous — the mobile phone. Our vision is to

5- to 10-minute chapters that fit perfectly into every moment of your day. We aim to give you big stories in quick bites.”

Katzenberg says inspiration for Quibi came from the Dan Brown novel The DaVinci Code, which is divided into 5-page chapters instead of 20- to 40-page chapters. The short chapters make it easier to read in short spurts without having to put the book down in the middle of a chapter.

Likewise, Quibi breaks a movie into a number of 7- to 10-minute chapters that will be released weekly. So a 2-hour movie might be broken into 12 or more chapters. And whether it’s an episodic TV show or a movie, segments are written to end at a logical stopping point to ensure a natural progression as the story is told. It’s not a new concept. For years, TV producers have had to break shows up into 10-minute segments that go between commercial breaks and do so without losing viewer interest.

Innovative Filmmaking for the Mobile Phone

Apart from being short, Quibis are created specifically for playback on a mobile phone. Scenes are shot to be viewed on a small screen and the video is optimized for the best possible image and sound.

To make on-the-go viewing as convenient as possible, Quibi created a unique “turnstile” feature that makes it easy to switch between viewing in landscape and portrait (vertical) modes and get video that fills the screen in both positions.

Turnstile is innovative and clever. Both portrait and landscape videos are delivered in the same stream. The view you are not watching streams as a low-resolution “sidecar” that becomes full quality when you turn your phone to ensure a seamless flow of action as you switch from one position to the other.

Another way Quibi is taking advantage of the mobile phone format is by delivering content at specific times during the day. The After Dark series created by Steven Spielberg, for example, will only be available after sunset and before sunrise because your phone knows what time it is.

Original Content

In the first year, Quibi’s original content will include 175 shows and movies plus 8,500 bits including news briefs, unscripted documentary shorts, and sports highlights.

Content will fall into one of three categories: Movies, unscripted episodic documentaries, and a catch-all comprising news, sports, and lifestyle shorts.

Movies will be presented in the short-chapter format described earlier and, as noted, feature some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Here are some examples.

Director Pete Farrelly (Green Book, There’s Something About Mary) has created The Now starring Bill Murray and Dave Franco (Now You See Me) about a young man with a troubled past who has to learn to live in “the now.”

A Quibi remake of The Fugitive, starring Kiefer Sutherland and Boyd Holbrook, is also in the works. In this updated version, Holbrook plays Mike Ferro, who is on the run after being framed for an explosion on a train in Los Angeles.

Most Dangerous Game, starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz, is about a terminally-ill man (Hemsworth) with a pregnant wife. To take care of his wife, he participates in a dangerous game that could pay $24.5 million…if he can survive the 24 hours.

In Survive, Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) and Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton) have survived a plane crash on a remote mountain. They must work together to find their way to safety.

Flipped is a comedy about a couple — Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson — who love to watch home renovation shows. While renovating a house, they find $500,000 in a wall and use it to become stars of their own home renovation show. Unfortunately, this brings attention from members of a cartel whose money they found (Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, and Arturo Castro).

Academy Award-winning director, Guillermo del Torro (The Shape of Water and Pan’s Labyrinth) is working on a zombie movie and Sam Raimi, who directed the Marvel Spiderman series, is working on a project called 50 States of Fear that will feature horror stories from each state.

At launch, unscripted episodic documentaries will cover more than 120 subjects from food to fashion, cars, and other niche interests. Barkitecture is a series about extravagant dog houses.

The news, sports, and lifestyle shorts category will feature content produced for Quibi. NBC News will stream a morning and evening news brief and BBC will stream one news show per day at noon.

ESPN is producing a sports highlights show and there will be an e-sports show about competitive video gaming.

Lifestyle shorts include a talk show with Rachel Hollis, The Daily Chill for meditation, and a Last Night’s Late Night round-up show.

Quibi’s Daily Essentials are like cliff notes for news, sports, and TV. You may never have to watch a complete show again.

Despite its short form, Quibi isn’t free. A monthly subscription with ads will cost $5/month and an ad-free subscription will run $8/month. The app is slated to April 6.

Be Like BOB!

Posted in About the Author Life by Being BOB. No Comments

The 10 Things Every Millennial Needs To Know Before Buying A First Home

Millenials are getting ready to buy their dream homes. Image Via: Wettling Architects

Millenials are getting ready to buy their dream homes.

Right now, millennials might have a reputation of crazy twenty-somethings not quite ready to settle down. But, a recent report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University found that “the number of households in their 30s should increase by 2.7 million over the next decade.” Ready or not, the millennial boom is coming.

Whether you count yourself in that demographic or are just a first time home buyer. There are some topics in the buying process that are essential to know before taking the plunge.

We’ve compiled a list of the ten most important things that everyone new to the housing market needs to know. Look them over and keep them in mind as you start your housing search. You only buy your first home once, so let us help you make it count. These tips will help you find a home that’s the right fit for you.

1. Hire a Professional Realtor

Let’s all admit it. Real estate agents often get a bad rap as swindlers. It’s because of that stigma – and the thought of saving a few dollars – that keeps many people from using them. However, listening to the hype may cost you more in the long run.

Your first time in the real estate market can get confusing. There’s lots of legal negotiation and large sums of money are often involved. There is no reason to add on the stress of having to navigate through the transaction alone, especially since if you decide to go it alone. Hire a professional to assist you.

A qualified professional can help you sort through the industry terms that make up the majority of contracts and inspection reports. They do the leg work of setting up showings and act as your advocate during the transaction so that you’re free to focus on preparing for your move. In the middle of all that craziness, you’ll appreciate the extra assistance. A real estate agent will help you find rooms that you can picture yourself living in.

2. Look Realistically At Your Budget

Your budget is the first thing that you need to look at when getting ready to buy a home. After all, it determines which properties you see and you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you miss out on the perfect house because you’re not sure how much you can spend. Or, worse yet, find yourself falling in love with a dream home you can’t afford.

Budgeting is the way to make sure that you only look at houses that you can feasibly and comfortably. Doing so will help you save time and help you get into your new property much faster.

Sit down and budget your income versus expenses. Try to settle on two amounts: One figure that shows the amount you’d be comfortable spending monthly and another that shows your absolute maximum. You can use a budget calculator to help, if necessary. Try to figure out exactly how much space you can afford.

Try to figure out exactly how much space you can afford. Image Via: Allen+Killcoyne Architects

3. Prioritize Your Wish List

We all have a wish list for our for our future dream homes. Whether it’s a gourmet kitchen or fabulous outdoor pool setup, odds are you know what you want and exactly how it should look. We’re happy to tell you that can take some your wish list with you when looking at properties, just not all of it.

When it comes to looking at real estate and especially when you are looking at starter homes, prioritization is key. You may not get every item on your list, but if you narrow it down to the features you absolutely need, you’ll likely end up happy with the result.

So make two lists. One with items that are absolutely necessary like the number of – bedrooms and bathrooms in a home – and another for nonessential items that would make you happy to have in a home. Focus on finding properties that check off all of the items on your first list and think of items on the second list as added benefits. Decide which features – like layout – are necessary in a home.

Decide which features - like layout - are necessary in a home. Image Via: Flow Home Staging & Design

4. Focus on Location

As for what should top your wish list, location is absolutely key. If you think about it, it is the one feature of your new home that absolutely will not change. Since you’re unable to alter it in any way, take the time to make sure that it will suit your needs for many years to come.

Before putting an offer in on a property, do your homework. Map out how long it will take you to get to work or school. Check the proximity to all essential spots like grocery stores and pharmacies. Make sure you’re happy with the amount of nightlife in the area.

It may be a good idea to have a few target areas in mind before meeting with your real estate agent. That way, he or she will be able to target your home search to properties that fit your needs. Make sure you’re home’s location is one of your favorite features.

Make sure you're home's location is one of your favorite features. I'mage Via: Chioco Design

5. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Once you’re finally get to start the showing process, it’s exciting and overwhelming. You’ll be seeing a lot of houses rather quickly. Sometimes it can be hard to separate one property from the other and to pick out the features you like the most.

In an effort to keep everything straight, many first time buyers have a tendency to identify properties by focusing on the small details – a wallpapered dining room or some vinyl flooring in the kitchen. But, continually focusing on the small details can hurt in the long run, if you decide not to move forward on a house because of them.

Instead, every once in a while, try to force yourself to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Is the house structurally sound? Does it require any monumental repairs? As long as those things are okay, small details like wallpaper can be fixed later down the road. Don’t let small details like a lack of upgrades turn you off a house with the perfect footprint.

Don't let small details like a lack of upgrades turn you off a house with the perfect footprint. Image Via: A+B KASHA Designs

6. Go In With Your Best Offer

Real estate is one of the few areas where sale price is still up for negotiation. Unfortunately, this means that many people, especially those like first-time home buyers who may be working on a lower budget, go in to the buying process with the mindset that they can try and score a deal on their new property.

However, by doing so you may actually be setting yourself up for disappointment. If their is another offer on the table, submitting an offer that is far below the sale price will almost certainly put you out of the running. Even if there is no other competition for the property, a super low offer may insult the sellers and they could decide to reject it as a result.

When you’re thinking of what price you’d like to put forward, ask yourself how you would feel if you received the same. If you would turn your nose up at an identical offering, consider going in a little higher.  This particular piece of advice comes with one caveat. If you absolutely love the property, go in with your best foot forward. However, if you feel lukewarm about the house, feel free to try and score a deal. When making an offer, put your best foot forward.

7. Gather All Your Inspection Information

It’s true. Home inspections are optional. Some people choose to skip them to avoid paying the upfront costs. However, especially when it’s your first time buying a home, we do not recommend skipping them. In fact, we suggest you gather as much inspection information as possible.

This is because inspections can often reveal hidden issues like expensive repairs. Plus, since buyers are still able to walk away from the transaction during their inspection timeframe, if you find that the repairs are too much to handle, you will be able to move on to another home that better suits your needs.

However, if you opt out of your inspections, you are essentially agreeing to take the home in its current condition, whatever that may be. If you happen to find a major issue later down the road, it will be your responsibility. Whenever possible, get the information upfront. Remember to collect documentation from all your inspections.

8. Keep A Level Head When Negotiating

Once you’re under contract and headed to the settlement table, every decision becomes a negotiation – who will shoulder the cost of repairs, what items will get left behind, even when settlement will be. The best thing that you can do in these situations is to work at keeping a level head.

It can be easy to get over invested in getting your way, particularly when making a decision that you are truly passionate about. But, remember that successful negotiations work on a system of give-and-take.

Stand your ground when you believe that you have a cause and try to do so in a polite and respectful manner. However, don’t underestimate the power of striking a compromise or ever conceding on issues that aren’t so important to you. You never know when that act of good will may be returned by the sellers. Prioritize during contract negotiations.

9. Don’t Tackle Every Improvement At Once

This is the biggest mistake that many new homeowners make. While it’s sounds like a great idea to get all of the annoying construction out of the way at one time, taking on too many improvements at one time is a sure way to become overwhelmed with your new home before you’ve even truly had a chance to unpack.

Instead, only focus on the repairs that are absolutely necessary to make your home livable. Then, live in the space for a few months before taking on any cosmetic fixes. Living in your home may open your eyes to better repair scenarios than you had originally envisioned.

Then, when it’s time to tackle those upgrades, take on one project at a time. Remember, presumably you’ll be living for at least the next few years, so you have time to make your mark. Update the rooms in your home one at a time instead of all at once.

Update the rooms in your home one at a time instead of all at once. Image Via: Jason Arnold Interiors

10. Aim For Resale Value

Let’s be honest for a second: It’s very unlikely that your first home will end up being the home you live in until you become old and gray. In a few years, you may need to relocate for a job or your family may grow.

That’s why when buying your first home you should focus on resale value. While it’s obviously important to find a home that you love, you should also focus on finding one that will appeal to others, if you need to sell it in the future.

As for what counts as resale value, think about things that appeal to the younger generation – first-time homebuyers. Things like proximity to shops and restaurants, curb appeal, and neutral upgrades tend to have mass appeal. Focus on making improvements that will add resale value to the property.

Focus on making improvements that will add resale value to the property. Image Via: Axis Mundi

Buying your first home is exciting, nerve-racking, and downright terrifying all in one. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we are here for you every step of the way. We’ve compiled a list of all the thing’s that millennals – and those who love them need to know before entering the housing market. Keep them in mind as you search for your first home and beyond. After all, you never outgrow good advice.

Millennials, what questions do you have about the housing market? What are you looking for in a home? Let us know in the comments below.

Do you want more space when you retire?


When you think of the home you’ll retire in, a new house may come to mind. Or maybe you’re contemplating moving to your favorite vacation spot or somewhere closer to friends and family. 

With so many choices, how will you know what’s best for your lifestyle? 

Here are three questions to consider before making a move for retirement:  

1. Will you relocate? Maybe you have a favorite beach town in mind for your retirement, where you can relax year-round. If so, be sure to account for the price of moving and the costs of your new community. If the cost of living is higher, make sure you have enough money saved to live comfortably.

2. Should you downsize or upgrade? The kids have likely moved out, so you could opt for a smaller house or condo. But a more substantial property may offer additional space for visitors and hobbies. Think about what’s best for your family, then consider sitting down with a financial planner to evaluate your assets to be sure you can afford your options.

3. Is the timing right? If you’re not quite ready to retire but thinking about moving, it may be better to buy property while you still have a steady income. On the other hand, you can take your time looking if you start after you’ve left your job. Either way, explore your options to ensure you’re making the most of your investment and your retirement.

Is retirement in your near future? Are you ready to start looking for a new home? Reach out today to discuss your next steps.

Posted in Events Life Listings Real Estate by Being BOB. No Comments

Renting vs. buying: Where do you land?


You’ve always been told that owning a home is the ultimate American dream. 

Imagine renovating your master bath into a mini spa or choosing your favorite appliances for your dream kitchen. Or just getting to repaint whatever room you want. Plus, there’s the potential for financial gain when you own.

But renting has its own advantages: flexibility, a smaller financial commitment and the chance to try before you buy.

So when do you know it’s time to take the plunge on a purchase? Answer these questions to see which side of the rent vs. buy debate you might land on:

Why do you want to buy?
Sure, owning a home might be the great American dream — but is it your dream?

For some, the idea of a home where you can raise a family, be close to schools and build a community is enticing. For others, buying is a great investment. But for many, it’s about freedom: the ability to keep pets, renovate and be independent.

Will you stay in the area?
No one has a crystal ball — but knowing how long you plan to live in an area can help as you consider the pros and cons of buying. Generally, longer stays align with purchasing. 

If the thought of travel fills you with more passion than the idea of settling down in your dream property, you may not be ready for your forever home. But there’s always the possibility of turning your house into an investment property. 

What can you afford?
While renting usually costs less in the short term than purchasing property, owning a home can build long-term net worth. A rent vs. buy calculator can help you understand the costs of each option.

Don’t have the deposit for your dream home now? That doesn’t mean you can’t buy. We can work together to find affordable homes, and there are plenty of low or no down payment mortgage options.

Have questions about buying or financing your purchase? Let’s discuss your next steps. 

Securing Your Home

securing a vacant property

Do you or any of your friends own a second home? A cabin in the woods or a seaside bungalow near the beach? Perhaps a second property you rent out? If so, you’re among 7.5 million homeowners across the country. Second home ownership started booming in 2014 and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s great to have a vacation home to escape to, or a rental property to bring in a little extra money. But when you’re not there, it’s hard to know exactly what’s going on.

To put your mind at ease, here are some tips for keeping your second home safe.

Give the Police a Heads-up When You’re Away:

Local police want to know when a house is vacant so they can show extra care in patrolling the area to look for trouble. When you’re going to be away from your vacation home, just give the police a quick call and report the dates the property will be empty.

befriending neighbors

Befriend Your Neighbors:

We’ve talked in the past about the importance of community. It’s always a good idea to talk to your neighbors about when your home will be vacant. Ask them to keep a casual eye on the property and shoot you a text or give you a call about anything suspicious. This will work to make the whole neighborhood safer, particularly because nearby homes become more at risk after one burglary occurs.

Admittedly, getting to know neighbors can be tough in a vacation area. You and your neighbors might only meet a few times a year. But do your best! Offer to keep an eye on their home too, or suggest hiring a local resident together to keep an eye on the whole neighborhood.

Make it Look Like Someone’s Home:

One of the reasons vacant properties are targeted by burglars is that they’re, well, vacant. The risk of a burglar getting caught is much lower compared to an occupied home. But nobody needs to know your property is vacant. If you’re able to visit frequently, put some effort into maintaining the yard. Mow the lawn, shovel snow, and rake leaves. If you live far away, you can easily hire someone to take care of this.

A dark home is a dead giveaway for burglars of a prime target. Consider timed lights indoors to make it look like someone is home. You can also install motion lights outside the home to spook anyone who gets too close.

It’s also a smart idea to have the locks changed after you buy a place. You don’t know who owned it before you, or how many of the previous tenants kept copies of their keys. While you’re thinking about the locks, make sure to check the windows and other entrances, like a bulkhead, so as not to give a burglar easy access. You could also consider reinforcing any vulnerable windows with bars.

protecting vacation home

Install a Home Security System:

A home security system like SimpliSafe can provide immense comfort while you’re away. You can be alerted if a door or window is opened, or if glass is broken. Motion Sensors will trigger if anyone (or anything) is moving around inside the home. A 105 decibel siren will scare anyone off before they can cause damage, and local police will be on the way to investigate and secure the property. You can also monitor your property from your camera, and stay up-to-date with Smart Alerts.

A home security system protects your home from more than just burglars. With Smoke, Carbon Monoxide, Water, and Freeze Sensors, you know your property is safe from extreme weather and the elements.