How Virtual Reality is Making Home Buying Easier Than Ever

If you’ve ever gone househunting, you know how draining it can be. While staged homes are beautiful, it’s nearly impossible to imagine how the same space would come together with the addition of your personal touch. The end product can be hard to imagine, but thanks to advancements in augmented and virtual reality, the property buying experience is being redefined.

 

These developments have revolutionized how creative digital agencies and partnering companies develop apps that allow users to virtually visit property listings from anywhere in the world. And that’s only the beginning of what AR and VR can and will do for the real estate business. For example, integrating voice recognition technology into the experience can allow users to visit a virtual listing in entirely new ways. Here are a few other ways AR and VR are impacting this industry.

 

Viewings on Your Own Time

 

Home buying used to be an exhausting process that could take weeks. If you had a busy schedule, it could be nearly impossible to schedule property tours, and some days could involve driving around all day just to see a handful of listings. Online searches could be just as problematic; it’s hard to get a real feel for a space if you can only view it in 2D on your computer.

 

Thanks to new breakthroughs in AR and VR, programs now exist that allow the user to ‘visit’ the potential spaces in 3D. Apps like matterport include listings that are recorded in 3D, giving an accurate feel of both the space and flow of the space.

 

Soon, you will be able to connect your phone to a VR headset and do a ‘walk through’ of the property from wherever you are. This will save time and energy for the buyer, allowing them to visit many more properties than if they were going to in-person open houses.

 

Imagine the Finished Space

 

Picturing yourself in a new location is difficult, especially when you’re unable to envision all of the different possibilities. This is even more relevant with spaces that are in the process of being built, or are in desperate need of repairs.

 

With the help of VR technology, buyers can better visualize the anticipated end product. Not only that, but also these new apps can also help determine the cost of these changes. This can be a total game changer for someone who’s unsure about their purchase and needs just one more push in the right direction.

 

The real estate industry has also developed technology that allows clients to upload photos of a space and add home furnishings from an existing digital catalogue. If you happen to have a VR headset, you’re in luck: apps even exist that allow you to perform walkthroughs of the rooms so you can decide how best to decorate your new space.

 

The Future of Property Buying

 

One of the most exciting developments of this new technology is that it allows a customer to view a property in any location, from anywhere. For someone moving to a new city that isn’t able to visit beforehand, these new VR tools could prove invaluable. Additionally, changes could be made on virtually designed spaces, cutting down on the need for time-consuming physical rebuilds.

 

As for the future of these VR tools, there will only be more opportunities to streamline the industry. Things like home inspection and selection could happen completely virtually, expediting property purchases and consolidating the entire real estate industry. As AR and VR become more accessible and commonplace, a whole new world of opportunity will open for potential buyers.

 

Submitted by Catherine Metcalf ([email protected])

President Trump’s acting immigration enforcement chief abruptly announces retirement

The Trump administration’s acting immigration enforcement chief abruptly announced his resignation Monday, even though the President has tapped him for a permanent post.

Thomas Homan, the acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, confirmed he will retire by June in order to spend more time with his family. Homan also took a sweeping parting shot at news outlets.

“I am humbled and inspired by the 20,000 American patriots who serve this agency and protect our nation, increasingly in the face of unfair and false criticism from politicians and the media,” Homan said in a statement.

Trump tapped Homan to become the permanent ICE director in November, but his nomination has been held up in the Senate, where Democrats have voiced concern about his hawkish stance on immigration.

Homan was first appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2013.

The acting ICE director has been a strong proponent of Trump’s hardline immigration policies, and arrests of undocumented immigrants with no criminal records have spiked under his tenure.

Like Trump, Homan has pushed for an aggressive application of immigration law.

He has advocated for removing all immigrants living in the country illegally, whether they have a criminal record or not. He drew widespread rebuke after he said last summer that undocumented immigrants “should be afraid.”

Georgia authorities re-examining December arrest of Desmond Marrow after arrest video surfaces

The lawyer for Desmond Marrow wants the charges against the ex-NFL player dropped, as Georgia authorities promise to take a fresh look at his December arrest.

Footage of the Dec. 2 arrest went viral over the weekend, seemingly showing Marrow lose consciousness in a scuffle with police, in which his head is slammed into the back of a truck.

No resistance. No struggle, a lawyer for Marrow said at Tabernacle of Praise Church in McDonough, Ga., Monday morning, according to video posted by a local reporter. And then the next thing you see is Desmond being flipped … screaming for his life and choked until hes unconscious. That is unconscionable in our United States of America.

Marrow, who previously playedfor the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans, was heard telling officers: Im not even fighting back.

Video shows cops slamming ex-pro football player to the ground

Once the then-29-year-old football player is on the ground, a Henry County police officer puts his arm on Marrows throat.

“I can’t breathe,” he tells the officers.

Henry County Police Chief Mark Amerman said the video raises “serious concerns.”

“Over the course of this investigation, there was an initial use of force investigation, Amerman said during a press conference Monday. Sometime after that, I found new facts that disturbed me greatly. Thats why I ordered the investigation.”

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Amerman said his department is checking dash cam footage and additional cell phone video in order to get a comprehensive view of what happened.

A police report, obtained by CBS affiliate WMAZ, claimed Marrow started following a car after someone in the vehicle threw a cup of coffee at him.

A cop followed the two cars to a parking lot in McDonough, located outside of Atlanta, where Marrow was in a heated argument with the other car. A witness, according to WMAZ, heard the former defensive back threaten he was going to shoot them.

Marrow told the Daily News last week half of the four felonies he was charged with were later dropped.

In social media videos of his church appearance Monday, Marrow explained why he waited nearly five months to release the video.

I had to be quiet because I had four felonies, he told the crowd. Im actually a calm person in the way my parents raised me.

With News Wire Services

John Kelly reportedly called President Trump an idiot during meeting

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly called President Trump an idiot while questioning his intelligence on policy issues during a meeting.

Kelly has referred to the President as an idiot multiple times in private, four officials told NBC News.

In one meeting with other White House officials about the border wall and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Kelly blurted out the insult, NBC News reported Monday.

He doesn’t even understand what DACA is. Hes an idiot, Kelly reportedly said, according to two officials present in one meeting. Weve got to save him from himself.

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Three White House spokespeople told the network Kelly was, in fact, concerned Trump would agree on a soft immigration deal, but dont believe he disrespected the President by calling him an idiot.

The President talks to a lot of people but no one talks to him more than the chief of staff, one spokesperson told NBC.

Kelly fired back against the report saying he has a strong relationship with Trump.

I spend more time with the President than anyone else and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship, Kelly said in a statement. He always knows where I stand and he and I both know this story is total BS.

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I am committed to the President, his agenda, and our country. This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administrations many successes, he continued.

CNN also reported Monday that Kelly said Trump was “becoming unhinged” during a national security meeting in March that included Defense Secretary James Mattis.

In January, Kelly told Fox News that Trump was uninformed when he promised his supporters a border wall during his campaign.

Trump pushed back,tweeting, The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it.

Chris Christies Bridgegate legal tab now costing taxpayers more than $15M

Chris Christies shadow continues to loom across New Jersey as the states share of the George Washington Bridge scandal that plagued the former governor climbed above the $15 million mark.

The new total reflects billing by a data forensics firm, Stroz Friedberg, that topped $4 million, including $700,000 last year and $60,000 this year, according to The Associated Press.

The cost could increase because the digital records must be retained during an appeal, the report said.

The state had already paid $9.1 to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a law firm that produced a report clearing Christie of any connection to a political payback scheme that closed lanes to the George Washington Bridge and created a traffic nightmare in September 2013.

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Taxpayers also footed the $2.1 million bill to law firm King & Spalding, which employed Christie’s former personal attorney Chris Wray. Wray is now director of the FBI.

That tab does not include the more than $1 million spent by the Democratic-led legislature to investigate.

Federal prosecutors also spent money to investigate.

It’s an exorbitant expense for something that we never quite got the whole story, said New Jerseys Democratic Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg.

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The state also paid about $13,000 to the firm of Alston & Bird in 2017 to represent Christie during a citizen’s complaint over the bridge closing.

Christie was represented in the case by Craig Carpenito, who currently serves as the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.

Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director at the Port Authority, were convicted in 2016 of carrying out the plot.

They are appealing their convictions in federal court.

Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio pushing to delay Weinstein Co. bankruptcy until they get paid: report

A litany of A-listers want to make sure they get their money before the Weinstein Company goes under.

Hollywoods finest, including Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Leonardo DiCaprio, have all filed paperwork in an attempt to ensure they receive their royalty checks, according to The Blast.

Jennifer Lawrence claims shes still owed more than $102,000 for Silver Linings Playbook, while Meryl Streep says shes waiting on paychecks for both August: Osage County and The Giver, according to Deadline.

The Weinstein Company filed for bankruptcy in March after months of collapsed sales. The actors seemingly fear that there will not be enough money left to pay out the remaining debts once a bankruptcy court is done with the company.

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The waiting parties also claim they arent even sure how much theyre owed because Weinstein Company accountants failed to provide accurate information, according to The Blast.

In late March, the Weinstein Company released a 394-page document listing all of the people and companies who are still owed money, including Malia Obama, Alexis Bledel, Robert De Niro, John Legend and Jerry Seinfeld.

The production company remains in limbo six months after more than 100 women came forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault.

Correction union boss outraged over Keep Calm posters designed to reduce officer violence on inmates

The union representing city correction officers is furious over posters urging its members to Keep Calm and to hold their egos in check before using force against inmates.

The posters designed by the departments communications team have been placed on the walls of all city jails.

They were posted days after a report by a federal monitor published April 18 found that the department had failed to make any strides to reduce violent officer attacks against inmates.

Steve Martin, the monitor, pointed out that the number of officer Use of Forces (UOF) has gone up while the inmate population has gone down over the past several years.

City jails see spike in guards using force on inmates

But the union believes the posters are trying to encourage officers to avoid breaking up inmate fights or from protecting themselves.

This isnt f—ing Ford Motors, fumed Elias Husamudeen, president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association. This does nothing to reduce the violence in jails.

The signs mimic the Keep Calm and Carry On posters created by the British government to calm citizens before Nazi air attacks slammed the country during WWII.

Keep Calm and Remember Your UOF one poster reads.

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Follow the policy & make sure that if you have a use of force, it is a quality UOF, the sign adds.

Another sign cautions: Remember egos and UOF dont mix. Do you know when and how to achieve a quality UOF? Were here to help.

The union notes that the signs come as inmate assaults on staff with serious injury went up by 34% last year, from 47 in 2016 to 63 in 2017, records show.

Husamudeen said that 438 jails officers got pushed, shoved, punched or had urine or feces thrown on them last year. None of those officers used force against the inmates, he added.

But the federal jail monitor highlighted multiple cases where officers and jail supervisors used excessive force against inmates.

That includes a jail captain who hit an inmate eight times inside a holding pen and an officer who sprayed an entire intake cell full of inmates with pepper spray.

On Monday, the departments communication team defended the posters.

These signs were designed to keep our dedicated staff fully informed and to provide guidance as they perform one of the toughest jobs in law enforcement, said department spokesman Peter Thorne.

Any suggestion we are trivializing Use of Force incidents is absurd and goes against the hard work this department has done to protect our officers from injury.

Thorne noted that the department has announced a new Use of Force action plan to prevent avoidable uses of force to help create safer working conditions.

All relevant parties, including the union, he added, were offered the opportunity to give feedback before the posters were displayed.

Dave Gettleman says he received one very reasonable offer to trade back but opted for Saquon Barkley anyway

On Thursday, Dave Gettleman scoffed that any trade offers he’d received for the No. 2 overall pick amounted to “a bag of donuts, a hot pretzel and a hot dog.”

But it turns out he actually was offered some Krispy Kremes, an Auntie Anne’s and a Ball Park Frank, and Gettleman just wasn’t hungry enough to deal for premium return.

Gettleman incredibly said on a Monday afternoon appearance on WFAN’s “The Afternoon Drive With Carlin, Maggie & Bart” that he did receive “one very reasonable offer” for the pick.

“We did have one very reasonable offer. We did,” Gettleman said.

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But not only did Gettleman balk; as he admitted on Thursday, once the Giants were on the clock at two, he didn’t even check back with any teams to see if Sam Darnold’s presence on the board would increase that trade’s value.

Gettleman sat at two and took Penn State running back Saquon Barkley instead.

“(Cleveland) went Mayfield, we were taking Saquon. It’s that simple,” he said Thursday.

Gettleman’s rationale for not trading back to WFAN on Monday?

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“Are you going to be upset if you trade back and don’t get the guy you really like, that you feel can really help your football team?” he said. “Those are things you’ve got to think about when you start trading back.”

So, yes, the Giants loved Barkley and didn’t want to lose him. Still, considering their roster needs depth, if Gettleman wasn’t going to take a quarterback another questionable move, with Eli Manning 37 years old and his skills deteriorating the GM owed it to the organization to learn all of his options before making a decision.

More than anything, though, it’s shocking that on Thursday Gettleman was asked “Did you have any significant enough offers that made you consider a trade?” and here’s what he said: “The short answer is no, not really.People call you and they want the second pick of the draft for a bag of donuts, a hot pretzel and a hot dog. Leave me alone. I don’t have time to screw around.” And then on Monday he said he had a reasonable offer and took Barkley anyway.

Donald Trump Jr. wants to know estranged wife Vanessas net worth

Donald Trump Jr. wants to know how much money his estranged wife, Vanessa, has in the bank.

A defendants demand for statement of net worth was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday.

Vanessa Trump, who married the Presidents eldest son in 2005, filed for divorce on March 15. The circumstances behind their divorce remain unclear.

While the divorce is classified as uncontested in court filings suggesting the split might be amicable divorcing couples exchange information on their assets to determine, for example, child support payments.

Vanessa Trump, 40, and her estranged husband, 40, have five children.

After 12 years of marriage, we have decided to go our separate ways. We will always have tremendous respect for each other and our families, they previously said in a joint statement. “We have five beautiful children together and they remain our top priority. We ask for your privacy during this time.

Failed Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore sues women who accused him of sexual misconduct

Failed Alabama Senate candidate and accused child molester Roy Moore filed a lawsuit Monday claiming he was the victim of a political conspiracy.

The 71-year-old ex-judge who lost a special Senate election to Democrat Doug Jones in December claims several of the women who accused him of sexual misconduct conspired against him in a politically-motivated slander campaign.

“The accusations made against Judge Moore during the U.S. Senate campaign arose from a political conspiracy to destroy his personal reputation and defeat him in the special Senate election,” Moore’s attorney, Melissa Isaak, said in a statement.

The lawsuit lists four of Moore’s nine accusers: Leigh Corfman, Debbie Wesson Gibson, Beverly Young Nelson and Tina Johnson, Isaak said during a press conference in Gadsen, Ala.

The suit charges the women “worked together” to intentionally defame Moore by falsely accusing him of sexual assault and harassment. Several of Moore’s accusers allege they were in their teens when Moore molested them.

Moore reiterated his vehement denials of the women’s accusation during Monday’s press conference.

“I never knew them,” the Republican said in his first public appearance since losing the Dec.12 election. “There is no truth to (the accusations).”

Moore’s election loss posed an embarrassing defeat in what should have been an easy Republican win, according to political pundits.

An avalanche of news reports on the shocking allegations against Moore sent his poll numbers plunging. Many of the accusers provided detailed and disturbing evidence to back up their allegations, including handwritten notes from Moore.

The combative Alabama election made national headlines after Trump stunned political observers by endorsing the scandal-scarred Moore days before Election Day.

“Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama,” Trump, who’s himself accused of sexual misconduct by nearly two dozen women, tweeted on Dec. 4.