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  1. #1
    Senior Member 1987's Avatar
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    Good estate agents web sites in USA?

    I am looking for good estate agents web sites in USA. It could be your favorite, stylish objects or something else.

    Inspiration. In Sweden (almost) all estate agents converge at this site:
    http://www.hemnet.se

    But they also show the objects their own sites. Like for instance the bourgeois and classy:
    http://skeppsholmen.se/en/valkommen

    Is there an equivalent for these sites in the U.S?
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    realtor.com comes to mind.

    tizeye would know for sure (unless he doesn't want to divulge any trade secrets ). I say this because I've got a SIL who is a Realtor and she's constantly making claims that info found on zillow and other sites can't be trusted and that only she (and other Realtors) have access to accurate information.
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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    There are a number of agents who do estate sales in Little Rock. I like estate sales because everyone is looking for the fancy stuff and I'm there for the pots and pans, blenders and kitchen knives. Estate sales rock. Besides, going to one is like a biography of the deceased.

    There is EstateSales.net and EstateSales.com. The .net is a locator service mostly, the .com seems to have a little more product featured.
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    There are a number of agents who do estate sales in Little Rock. I like estate sales because everyone is looking for the fancy stuff and I'm there for the pots and pans, blenders and kitchen knives. Estate sales rock. Besides, going to one is like a biography of the deceased.

    There is EstateSales.net and EstateSales.com. The .net is a locator service mostly, the .com seems to have a little more product featured.
    Gotta love the English language.

    The OP isn't looking for personal effects but real property- type of structure, number of bedrooms, price range, does it have a yard*... the first link the OP provided is essentially the same thing as Realtor.com.

    *Odd how the Swedes call the outdoor space a yard like we do instead of "garden" which is how the folks in the U.K. refer to it. Then again, it could just be my browser translator...
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  5. #5
    Senior Member tizeye's Avatar
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    Most of the world learns British English as their second language. Estate Agent is the American equivalent to real estate agent.

    As far as "universal" sites, there are quite a few with the biggest being Realtor.com, trulia.com, Zillow, and others. There are several problems with them which will discuss later. Best, if you identify an area you are looking for establish a relationship with one tied t the local MLS (local listing service.) Those are the ones that are most accurate. The others get their data through third channels and many times it is outright wrong. Likewise, valuation estimates from Zillow are all over the board. The tide is changing and there is a move afoot to keep data from the 3rd party vendors. They have huge google rankings which is what people with page 1 search returns. What they don't see in the seedier side. Their business model is to get the data into their platform for free, then sell it back to the same agent that provided it...and if that agent doesn't pay (borderline extortion), then sell it to someone else who will. That friendly agent offering to help with the property, if not the listing agent, hasn't a clue about that property and begins researching from square one when you contact them just as your personal friend who is a realtor would do. (Deceiving the public who think they actually know something about that property).

    Then of course, there is the scare tactic of why you don't want to work with the listing agent...hyper focusing on the fact that the seller is their client. But that is a whole different issue. It is all about the leads that are generated...not about the sale of the property...and who can gain the. The sale of the property will happen and it doesn't matter if you buy that property (both sides 6% total) or buying a similar property that better meets your needs (3% plus 3% when the original property sells - and even repeat for greater gain while the original property is still listed). There is no incentive on the listing agent's part to force a buyer into a listed property as an unhappy buyer that feels taken advantage of will not refer their friends - and worse, may blast them over the internet. Referrals is where it is at. as the easiest client to attain without massive marketing.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member 1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tizeye View Post
    Most of the world learns British English as their second language. Estate Agent is the American equivalent to real estate agent.

    As far as "universal" sites, there are quite a few with the biggest being Realtor.com, trulia.com, Zillow, and others. There are several problems with them which will discuss later. Best, if you identify an area you are looking for establish a relationship with one tied t the local MLS (local listing service.) Those are the ones that are most accurate. The others get their data through third channels and many times it is outright wrong. Likewise, valuation estimates from Zillow are all over the board. The tide is changing and there is a move afoot to keep data from the 3rd party vendors. They have huge google rankings which is what people with page 1 search returns. What they don't see in the seedier side. Their business model is to get the data into their platform for free, then sell it back to the same agent that provided it...and if that agent doesn't pay (borderline extortion), then sell it to someone else who will. That friendly agent offering to help with the property, if not the listing agent, hasn't a clue about that property and begins researching from square one when you contact them just as your personal friend who is a realtor would do. (Deceiving the public who think they actually know something about that property).

    Then of course, there is the scare tactic of why you don't want to work with the listing agent...hyper focusing on the fact that the seller is their client. But that is a whole different issue. It is all about the leads that are generated...not about the sale of the property...and who can gain the. The sale of the property will happen and it doesn't matter if you buy that property (both sides 6% total) or buying a similar property that better meets your needs (3% plus 3% when the original property sells - and even repeat for greater gain while the original property is still listed). There is no incentive on the listing agent's part to force a buyer into a listed property as an unhappy buyer that feels taken advantage of will not refer their friends - and worse, may blast them over the internet. Referrals is where it is at. as the easiest client to attain without massive marketing.
    Thanks. So americans says "real estate agent". The title brooker was aslo mentioned on the realtor site.

    Yes this market is full of scamers all over the world. But the first part you described doesn't exist here (in Scandinavia).

    It's fascinating how the homes of the more expensive objects at realtor are presented. Extremely generic. Like that is what they think is what rich people like. Very low personality compared the homes sold here. Most photos you see for sale here displays the actual furnishing of the ones who are moving.
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  7. #7
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1987 View Post
    It's fascinating how the homes of the more expensive objects at realtor are presented. Extremely generic. Like that is what they think is what rich people like. Very low personality compared the homes sold here. Most photos you see for sale here displays the actual furnishing of the ones who are moving.
    Here, real estate pros feel that what you want to do is to allow the prospective buyer to imagine the home as theirs. So that's why the generic look. Apparently generic decor is not as inhibiting to the imagination as real decor.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member tizeye's Avatar
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    Broker is the licensed level above real estate agent, and by law all real estate agents work under a broker. Some brokers also manage their own personal listings and are called "competing" brokers as they compete with their agents for business, but most manage groups of agents and they, as part of the office/franchise receive a cut in the commission. Ironically, agents are not employees of the broker, but independent agents working under the umbrella of the broker.

    Having a little trouble interpreting your English about expensive listings (objects???) that realtors (perhaps realtor,com???) present. Extremely generic. I would attribute that to the cookie cutter style of Realtor.com where one size fits all. Also, looking at Realtor's individually, they basically are cheap and take low quality photos with their iphone, no tour/video and give self serving rationalizations why they don't use professional photographers. I have seen some very low quality presentation of high end property owned by famous people. Unfortunately, I can't find a link quickly. Only a handful of Realtors have the capability to do both - real estate and photography/video.

    Here is one example of a realtor that does his own photography and video. I am not at that level (yet). http://www.steamboatsmyhome.com/ His website is amazing, including a video blog.

    I am both a Realtor who also created a photography business. I do have one current listing but it is vacant land...and I actually got 25 photos (the maximum MLS allows) and a virtual tour on it which is unheard of.

    These tours are examples of what I have shot for other realtors and represents my photography (and video). Many of the stills are used in the MLS listing and the short video clips (my weakness) embedded in the tour are practice as I gain the skills.

    http://tours.imagesforrealestate.com/160853?idx=1 This one sold (went to contract) in 4 days at greater that asking price and should close next week.

    http://tours.imagesforrealestate.com/139550?idx=1 This one is a very small "starter" home. The appraiser couldn't believe the quality of the photos, and tour in a low value home.

    http://tours.imagesforrealestate.com/168602?idx=1 This one I just shot yesterday and hasn't been listed on MLS yet.

    One thing to understand. Photography, video, virtual tours and staging in America typically comes out of the Realtor's pocket where elsewhere in the world, the owners pays for it. The Realtor recoups it when the home sells - but it also cuts into their profits so the tendency is to minimize the cost. Also, if the property doesn't sell, they are totally out of the costs, so the tendency is to not risk it. Typically, I don't shoot staged homes. They are either the owners (or tenants) property or vacant.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tizeye View Post
    Broker is the licensed level above real estate agent, and by law all real estate agents work under a broker. Some brokers also manage their own personal listings and are called "competing" brokers as they compete with their agents for business, but most manage groups of agents and they, as part of the office/franchise receive a cut in the commission. Ironically, agents are not employees of the broker, but independent agents working under the umbrella of the broker.

    Having a little trouble interpreting your English about expensive listings (objects???) that realtors (perhaps realtor,com???) present. Extremely generic. I would attribute that to the cookie cutter style of Realtor.com where one size fits all. Also, looking at Realtor's individually, they basically are cheap and take low quality photos with their iphone, no tour/video and give self serving rationalizations why they don't use professional photographers. I have seen some very low quality presentation of high end property owned by famous people. Unfortunately, I can't find a link quickly. Only a handful of Realtors have the capability to do both - real estate and photography/video.

    Here is one example of a realtor that does his own photography and video. I am not at that level (yet). http://www.steamboatsmyhome.com/ His website is amazing, including a video blog.

    I am both a Realtor who also created a photography business. I do have one current listing but it is vacant land...and I actually got 25 photos (the maximum MLS allows) and a virtual tour on it which is unheard of.

    These tours are examples of what I have shot for other realtors and represents my photography (and video). Many of the stills are used in the MLS listing and the short video clips (my weakness) embedded in the tour are practice as I gain the skills.

    http://tours.imagesforrealestate.com/160853?idx=1 This one sold (went to contract) in 4 days at greater that asking price and should close next week.

    http://tours.imagesforrealestate.com/139550?idx=1 This one is a very small "starter" home. The appraiser couldn't believe the quality of the photos, and tour in a low value home.

    http://tours.imagesforrealestate.com/168602?idx=1 This one I just shot yesterday and hasn't been listed on MLS yet.

    One thing to understand. Photography, video, virtual tours and staging in America typically comes out of the Realtor's pocket where elsewhere in the world, the owners pays for it. The Realtor recoups it when the home sells - but it also cuts into their profits so the tendency is to minimize the cost. Also, if the property doesn't sell, they are totally out of the costs, so the tendency is to not risk it. Typically, I don't shoot staged homes. They are either the owners (or tenants) property or vacant.
    Great to see another Realtor on here. We went the opposite way of doing everything ourselves. We have a photographer that we use to shoot our listings that are not REO's. He does a great job. We also use Virtual Staging Solutions for vacant properties or empty rooms and they do an outstanding job.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tizeye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
    Great to see another Realtor on here. We went the opposite way of doing everything ourselves. We have a photographer that we use to shoot our listings that are not REO's. He does a great job. We also use Virtual Staging Solutions for vacant properties or empty rooms and they do an outstanding job.
    It is good to hear that you hire a photographer...and are pleased with his work. With the cost of entry rather low, sometimes it is just some guy with a camera, limited skills and perhaps over indulgence in HDR. I wish more Realtors would admit their limitations, or better use of time, and not try to take it themselves. Don't get me wrong, there are realtors that have photographic skills, but this is such a specialized niche that other photographers - wedding, portrait, etc - find it difficult as there are different concepts in real estate photography. I typically spend about an hour on site (excluding post production) for a photo shoot of the typical 2000-3500sq ft house. But I also find it relaxing and keeps my creative side stimulated.

    What makes me cringe is what is being passed off as video. Very low budget repeating the same still photos in video format, or a shaky stabilized walkthrough that is becoming more popularized by Inman and others..
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  11. #11
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tizeye View Post
    It is good to hear that you hire a photographer...and are pleased with his work. With the cost of entry rather low, sometimes it is just some guy with a camera, limited skills and perhaps over indulgence in HDR. I wish more Realtors would admit their limitations, or better use of time, and not try to take it themselves. Don't get me wrong, there are realtors that have photographic skills, but this is such a specialized niche that other photographers - wedding, portrait, etc - find it difficult as there are different concepts in real estate photography. I typically spend about an hour on site (excluding post production) for a photo shoot of the typical 2000-3500sq ft house. But I also find it relaxing and keeps my creative side stimulated.

    What makes me cringe is what is being passed off as video. Very low budget repeating the same still photos in video format, or a shaky stabilized walkthrough that is becoming more popularized by Inman and others..
    You're right about skills of some people out there. Our guy is a former broker/owner of a high end independent boutique brokerage. We usually get 30 to 35 very usable photos. Compare it to properties with ONE photo and we're looking good.

  12. #12
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Realtor is a trademark for members of the National Association of Realtors. You can be licensed as a Broker/Salesperson by your state and not be a member of NAR.

    I thought Swedes ogled for design at this site?

    Otherwise try these locations for classy properties and design ideas:

    http://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng
    http://www.coldwellbanker.com/luxury_real_estate_search
    http://www.christiesrealestate.com/eng
    http://www.aspensnowmasssir.com/eng
    http://www.architecturaldigest.com
    http://www.houzz.com/photos
    http://www.uli.org

    And my personal favorite:
    http://www.48104.com
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    Senior Member 1987's Avatar
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    Thanks tizeye! So you are a broker. That's even better.

    Here we only have one term. Broker = (fastighets-)mäklare. Compare stockbroker = aktiemäklare.

    Anyway over the last years housing prices in Sweden has increased very much. And nowdays you rarely if ever see any badly represented objects of more attractive style or address. And it's true as you say that here the photos etc is paid by the seller. That cost is getting higher and higher, the brokers makes a lot of money by just showing the object.

    What I mean by classic styled homes is more the modern homes of European nobility. Of course there are home styling firms here too that furnishes homes prior to photoshoot or tour. But it's not that common.
    Here is an example of what I mean by a real home. Not styled by broker or home styler:
    http://skeppsholmen.se/stockholm/van...lery&preview=0
    Inherited art and old furnitures mixed with modern quality. And as you can see, it's very very far from Ikea.

    The photos are always made with a digital SLR, with a wide angel lens, tripod, sometimes a flash targeted at the ceiling and slightly over exposed.

    You can easely find all homes for sale in Sweden in any price range by doing a search at hemnet. Ex:
    http://www.hemnet.se/mitt_hemnet/spa...ningar/5896376

    I don't find most of the american homes that attractive by their photos. I might be that I am brainwashed with a different style.
    Last edited by 1987; 01-26-14 at 03:38 PM.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member 1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
    Realtor is a trademark for members of the National Association of Realtors. You can be licensed as a Broker/Salesperson by your state and not be a member of NAR.

    I thought Swedes ogled for design at this site?

    Otherwise try these locations for classy properties and design ideas:

    http://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng
    http://www.coldwellbanker.com/luxury_real_estate_search
    http://www.christiesrealestate.com/eng
    http://www.aspensnowmasssir.com/eng
    http://www.architecturaldigest.com
    http://www.houzz.com/photos
    http://www.uli.org

    And my personal favorite:
    http://www.48104.com
    We are getting closer. I'm just amazed by the cluttered web sites. If you are goind to sell something expensive why not show it in a clean and clear way and with simple technology (no Adobe Flash) so it works almost everywhere?

    But yet again. It could be me, coming from Scandinavia and our minimalistic ways. But I do think minimalism works much better on the web. But not always in real life.
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    Senior Member 1987's Avatar
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    I am looking for an early 70s Fiamme Red label wheelset on Camp Record LF.
    Fiamme research institute: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/781480

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    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1987 View Post
    Thanks tizeye! So you are a broker. That's even better.

    Here we only have one term. Broker = (fastighets-)mäklare. Compare stockbroker = aktiemäklare.

    Anyway over the last years housing prices in Sweden has increased very much. And nowdays you rarely if ever see any badly represented objects of more attractive style or address. And it's true as you say that here the photos etc is paid by the seller. That cost is getting higher and higher, the brokers makes a lot of money by just showing the object.

    What I mean by classic styled homes is more the modern homes of European nobility. Of course there are home styling firms here too that furnishes homes prior to photoshoot or tour. But it's not that common.
    Here is an example of what I mean by a real home. Not styled by broker or home styler:
    http://skeppsholmen.se/stockholm/van...lery&preview=0
    Inherited art and old furnitures mixed with modern quality. And as you can see, it's very very far from Ikea.

    The photos are always made with a digital SLR, with a wide angel lens, tripod, sometimes a flash targeted at the ceiling and slightly over exposed.

    You can easely find all homes for sale in Sweden in any price range by doing a search at hemnet. Ex:
    http://www.hemnet.se/mitt_hemnet/spa...ningar/5896376

    I don't find most of the american homes that attractive by their photos. I might be that I am brainwashed with a different style.

    Nice photos, but isn't that a house about 20,000,000 or more Krona? That would be over $3.0 million US, which would get you a fabulous home in most markets. The average new US home only costs $250,000 or so. In my city, if you $4.0 million, you could have bought this home, sold in only three weeks or so.

    http://www.freep.com/article/2013071...michigan-tudor
    Last edited by oddjob2; 01-26-14 at 10:19 PM.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member 1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
    Nice photos, but isn't that a house about 20,000,000 or more Krona? That would be over $3.0 million US, which would get you a fabulous home in most markets. The average new US home only costs $250,000 or so. In my city, if you $4.0 million, you could have bought this home, sold in only three weeks or so.

    http://www.freep.com/article/2013071...michigan-tudor
    Fantastic place. Though the life size bronze sculptures was a bit too much
    But if we are just talking photo quality, then I must say that even "small" properties are usally very well presented here. Example, 1 room apartments in Gothenburg: http://www.hemnet.se/mitt_hemnet/spa...ningar/5897953
    Yes some of them are "arranged" by home stylers.
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  18. #18
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Nice apartment, replete with Ikea hanging lights, kitchen cabinets, chairs and sofa.

    My ex GF is a stager. This was an apt she did. Look at the flash pics

    http://48104.com/?p=116

    And here are the before, during, and after remodeling of a condo apartment I did 3 years ago in NJ near where the upcoming Super Bowl will be played. All Ikea kitchen! It is only 600 square feet, in a 175 year old building. The furniture is the tenant's.
    Last edited by oddjob2; 01-27-14 at 12:30 PM.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member 1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
    Nice apartment, replete with Ikea hanging lights, kitchen cabinets, chairs and sofa.

    My ex GF is a stager. This was an apt she did. Look at the flash pics

    http://48104.com/?p=116

    And here are the before, during, and after remodeling of a condo apartment I did 3 years ago in NJ near where the upcoming Super Bowl will be played. All Ikea kitchen! It is only 600 square feet, in a 175 year old building. The furniture is the tenant's.
    I like this detour from C&V.

    Remaking the kitchen and batroom makes a hole new apartment. A lot of work. Cool with an old building in US. It's not even that common here in the old world.
    I understand that your ar biased to 48104

    But could someone please tell me what's the deal with those collector samurai swords? I don't get it.
    I am looking for an early 70s Fiamme Red label wheelset on Camp Record LF.
    Fiamme research institute: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/781480

  20. #20
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    "But could someone please tell me what's the deal with those collector samurai swords? I don't get it. " PIZZA SLICERS
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

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    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    In my area, $1.5 Million gets you this: http://www.realtor.com/realestateand...l_PhotoGallery ...... just don't drink the water LOL
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

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    Senior Member tizeye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apclassic9 View Post
    In my area, $1.5 Million gets you this: http://www.realtor.com/realestateand...l_PhotoGallery ...... just don't drink the water LOL
    And sadly, some Realtor paid good money for crappy pictures. This is an example of why you DON'T use HDR as the primary (and sole) technique, and also it's use suggest that it was a paid shoot rather than the Realtor with a point and shoot. Notice how muddy the photos are. While overly sharpened and enhanced tonality to give a sharp edge pop, notice how blacks are not black and whites are not white. While this didn't have the white floorboards, notice the white ceilings - dark shading and green tone!

    Now contrast those with the earlier ones from Sweden that were bright and airy.
    1985 Falcon
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  23. #23
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1987 View Post
    I like this detour from C&V.

    But could someone please tell me what's the deal with those collector samurai swords? I don't get it.
    SWORDS EXPLAINED
    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2...RO01/302130126

    i was in an academic's house the other day. They had a two story library, almost 1000 square feet of bookshelves, attached to their modest home. There sat a another pair of those dang swords!

    i think after. You get an Eifel Tower, you get a pair of Samurai Swords. The library had an 8" Eifel Tower.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyager, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1

  24. #24
    Senior Member 1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
    ...

    i was in an academic's house the other day. They had a two story library, almost 1000 square feet of bookshelves, attached to their modest home. There sat a another pair of those dang swords! ...
    I have never seen samurai sword replicas in academic nor intellectual homes here. Here it's more like this. Average Joe has got this: expensive (or very expensive) stereo and surround system to the tv, whisky collection and beafy watches on display and a cool car.
    I am looking for an early 70s Fiamme Red label wheelset on Camp Record LF.
    Fiamme research institute: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/781480

  25. #25
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Glad to know I was an Average Joe once upon a time. Below is my former home theater. We had the 2006 Winter Olympics on the 9 foot screen in HDTV, just awesome! I had the cabrio for a while, but hated manumatic. Then the housing development crash happened! Still have my beefy GMT Master and a good collection of cognac and scotch; decent artwork too.



    Last edited by oddjob2; 02-14-14 at 08:01 AM.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyager, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1

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