No Match Due to a ruling by a federal judge in Northern California, the U.S. government will not be able to implement a new Department of Homeland Security measure that would force employers to fire an employee within 90 days of receiving notice that the employee's Social Security number did not match records with the Social Security Administration. The matter will now go to trial.—E. Butterfield
Come Fly With Me Incentive Real Estate (IRE), a broker in Southern California, is referring buyer prospects to builders that are participating in a program through which buyers earn up to 250,000 air miles with the purchase of a new home. IRE earns a “success-based” fee once the sale is contracted. Buyers can choose from up to four airlines and can redeem miles for travel or selected merchandise. —J. Caulfield
Latin America America's Hispanic homeownership rate is 48 percent, but California's is only 44 percent, according to a recent study by the California Building Industry Association (CBIA). But the CBIA says the Golden State will grow by more than 14 million people by 2030 and nearly 80 percent of those will be Hispanic. The state must produce 4 million homes and apartments to meet that demand. —S. Zurier
Ten Grand Scheme What would the average home buyer do with an extra $10,000 in their construction budget? Respondents in a recent survey by Knoxville, Tenn.–based Shelton Group said they'd opt for granite countertops (26 percent), higher-efficiency HVAC units (24 percent), energy-efficient kitchen appliances (21 percent), additional tile or hardwood (21 percent), and indoor air purification systems (18 percent).—J. Sullivan
Sprawl Study Suburban sprawl is an often-overlooked cause of climate change, warns a group of urban planning researchers in an Urban Land Institute report that says global warming can be slowed only by changing development patterns to reduce the American public's dependency on automobiles. The report, “Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change,” calls for developers to build more compact, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.—S.Z.
SOURCE: BALIMORE SUN
Click and Drag Seattle's housing market has weathered the downturn fairly well, but that hasn't stopped hometown heavyweight Microsoft from feeling its effects. The software giant reportedly took a hit when it sold the former Connecticut home of its CFO, Chris Liddell, at a loss during the last fiscal year. The closing price of the home, which Microsoft acquired as part of a relocation deal when it hired Liddell in 2005, was unspecified, but was lumped in with a $2 million relocation expense on the company's proxy statement.—J.S.
SOURCE: SEATTLE TIMES
Net-work A real estate brokerhas launched Zolve.com, a MySpace-type Web community for real estate professionals to help them streamline the client referral process and expand their influence. Brian Wilson of Colorado Springs, Colo., debuted the site in October with 2,200 members worldwide.—P. Curry