Sportscaster Joe Buck Quickly Snags a Buyer for His Luxe St. Louis Home

The sportscaster Joe Buck made quick work of his home in St. Louis, MO. After just four days on the market, the $3,295,000 mansion has received multiple offers and is now in “pending sale” status.

Buck, 51, purchased the property in the Ladue area back in 2013, for $2.36 million. Eight years later, the pristine property has been impeccably updated to suit a family of sports fans.

The co-listing agent, Julie Buck Brooks, a relation of Buck’s, adds, ”The property is situated on 6 private acres in the heart of Ladue—which is not something you find every day. The fantastic outdoor room, with a stone fireplace and pool, provide ample entertaining space.”

The 10,269-square-foot residence features six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms on three levels. Close to the city’s exclusive Bogey Golf Club, the estate features an open living plan and an idyllic outdoor setup.

The co-listing agent, Megan Rowe, calls the property “the epitome of luxury.”

She adds, “This home is incredibly popular, due to the unique floor plan. It’s hard to find a luxury home with a ‘ranch’ feel, which provides an open floor plan and main-floor living.”

The high-ceilinged entry flows naturally into the living room and formal dining room. The sunny great room includes a fireplace and two sets of French doors leading outside.

A large eat-in kitchen is equipped with a center island, breakfast bar, and built-in banquette. The office on the main level—which currently showcases the award-winning sportscaster’s multiple Emmys—includes built-in bookshelves and a unique barrel ceiling.

The private master suite, a spacious escape, offers views of the grounds, a luxury bathroom, and two walk-in closets. Four en suite bedrooms are on the main level, and two upstairs, along with a family room.

On the lower level, an owner can easily host game-day parties in a lounge area with a wet bar and wine cellar, as well as a full bathroom. The two exercise spaces should satisfy any fitness-minded owner.

___

Watch: Golf Legend Greg Norman’s FL Estate Is Truly Epic

___

Outside, the perks include a patio with a stone fireplace, built-in grill, pool, and spa, all overlooking the grounds.

The family hasn’t moved far. Last year, Buck and his wife, Michelle Beisner, reportedly upgraded to a massive estate nearby for $4.5 million.

The son of the late sportscaster Jack Buck, Joe grew up in the St. Louis area. He announces for Fox Sports, providing play-by-play commentary for the NFL and MLB. He also serves as the play-by-play announcer for the World Series. Beisner is a feature reporter for ESPN.

Rowe and Buck Brooks, both with Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty, hold the listing.

Source: realtor.com

Former Dodger Mark Ellis sheds Scottsdale home with a batting cage

Mark Ellis, the veteran Major Leaguer who spent two seasons with the Dodgers during his long baseball career, just wrapped up a deal in the desert, selling his amenity-loaded mansion in Scottsdale, Ariz., for $6.4 million.

It’s a hefty profit for the second baseman; records show he paid $1.2 million for the land in 2007 and finished building the nearly 10,000-square-foot showplace five years later. It spans an acre in Silverleaf, a gated community nestled at the foot of the McDowell Mountains with celebrity residents over the years including rocker Bret Michaels and pro golfer Geoff Ogilvy.

Even during quarantine, it’d be tough to get bored at the compound, which includes a sports court, swimming pool, spa, in-ground trampoline and an exercise room with a batting cage, rock-climbing wall and steam shower.

Advertisement

Vaguely Mediterranean in style, the home features a tan exterior that opens to voluminous living spaces with vaulted ceilings, neutral tones and hardwood floors. Marble tops the tiered island in the chef’s kitchen, and the two-story great room is overlooked by a playroom with sliding farmhouse doors.

Six bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms and a wine cellar complete the interior. Outside, highlights include a courtyard, ivy-covered dining area, spacious turf lawn and chandelier-topped cabana with a fireplace.

Ellis, 43, spent time with the Athletics, Rockies, Dodgers and Cardinals during a 12-year career in which he hit 105 home runs and 550 RBIs. His .991 fielding percentage is the fifth-best in MLB history for a second baseman.

Silverleaf Realty held the listing. Cindy Marquardt of Realty Executives represented the buyer.

Source: latimes.com

Braves Shortstop Dansby Swanson Snags $1.6M Atlanta Estate, Sells Georgia Townhome

The Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson has purchased a new home base in Atlanta for $1.63 million. He picked up his new digs in November 2020.

The brand-new build initially landed on the market in June 2020 for $1,695,000. The price was shaved down to $1.67 million in the fall, before Swanson managed to negotiate an even lower price to seal the deal.

Set on 1.3 acres in the city’s Sandy Springs area, in an older but quiet neighborhood, the brick estate was completed in 2019 by John Willis Custom Homes.

With five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms on 4,529 square feet of living space, the open floor plan is designed for entertaining. There are cozy living spaces both inside and outside. The layout features a walk-out backyard, with a covered patio and outdoor fireplace for colder evenings.

Newly constructed estate in the Sandy Springs neighborhood of Atlanta
Newly constructed estate in the Sandy Springs neighborhood of Atlanta

realtor.com

The dining room and paneled study have plenty of natural light streaming in. The family room features a fireplace flanked by custom built-ins and a wet bar, and the room overlooks the spacious and private yard.

In the chef’s kitchen, there’s a gigantic marble island, custom cabinetry, stainless appliances, and a large walk-in pantry. The kitchen opens to the breakfast room and family room. A guest bedroom completes the main level.

Upstairs, the master suite offers a designer bathroom with a walk-in shower, oversize tub, and double closets with a dressing area. There are three more en suite bedrooms on the upper level.

___

Watch: ‘Bull Durham’ House in NC Is Actually a Historic Gem From 1880

___

Additional features in the home include a home office, mudroom, and powder room. The unfinished basement is ready for personal touches and is already equipped with plumbing.

Before picking up the new construction, the player had purchased a Sandy Springs townhome in 2019 for $572,000. In December 2020, he took a slight loss, when he sold the place for $553,700.

The 2,016-square-foot townhome features a white and gray palette, an open plan, two bedrooms, and 2.5 bathrooms. A comment on Reddit from a delivery driver for Uber Eats told how he delivered the baseball star a small buffalo chicken pizza at the townhome about a year ago. Stars, they’re just like us!

Condo that Dansby Swanson sold in December
Condo that Dansby Swanson sold in December

realtor.com

Apparently, the Atlanta native also maintains a home in his birthplace of Kennesaw, GA. He purchased the four-bedroom build in 2017 for $315,000, bought through an LLC he is associated with.

Swanson, 26, also owns a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo with 1,300 square feet in downtown Nashville, TN. He picked up the place in Music City in 2015 for $530,000.

He grew up in Cobb County, GA, where he attended Marietta High School and played basketball and baseball. He made his big league debut in 2016 for his hometown team. Now heading into his sixth season with the Braves, the slugging shortstop has become a fixture in the infield.

Swanson was represented by Shanna Bradley with Ansley Atlanta Real Estate for the purchase of his newly acquired home and for the sale of his townhome.

Source: realtor.com

6 Best Live TV Streaming Services of 2021

After a long day at work, you probably just want to come home, settle into some comfy clothes, and catch up on your favorite shows without any fuss. But between network outages, rising cable company costs, and frustrating satellite dish issues every time there’s a storm, traditional TV service can be more stressful than relaxing.

If you’ve ever wondered if there’s an easier, better alternative, there is: TV livestreaming services.

With the popularity of on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, some people have forgotten about live TV altogether. But if you’ve been hesitant about cord-cutting because you want to be able to watch a live sports game or flip through the channels on a whim, livestreaming services like Sling TV and Philo can scratch that itch.

Livestreaming services bring your favorite shows to you in real time, just like traditional TV — but without the high monthly bills. Once you’ve decided to cut the cord, the only thing left is to choose the livestreaming service that meets your needs.

Which Live TV Streaming Service Is Right for You?

The sheer variety of livestreaming options is a TV lover’s dream come true. However, trying to choose among them can seem more like a nightmare. Of course, you could just sign up for every available service — but the cost would quickly add up to far more than you’d pay for cable.

To get the most for your money when shopping for a livestreaming service, think about what types of shows you want to watch the most. Then compare different services based on the types of content they offer and which streaming devices you can use to watch. Based on these details, you can choose the service or services that give you the best bang for your buck.

1. Sling TV

Sling TV offers streamers an experience very much like a slimmed-down version of cable TV. It provides various channels, including sports networks, country- and language-specific channels, and plenty of traditional cable channels, such as A&E, Disney, Bravo, ESPN, and the Food Network.

Sling’s simple-to-use interface and Cloud DVR capabilities make it an appealing choice for customers looking for an easy, inexpensive live TV option.

Pricing, Packages, & Add-Ons

Sling offers two basic plans. The company bills Sling Orange, which costs $30 per month, as a good choice for families and sports fans. It provides 33 channels, including all ESPN networks, Disney, and Nick Jr. With this plan, you can only watch one stream at a time.

Also $30 per month, Sling Blue offers a selection of 45 channels geared more toward news and entertainment. Its offerings include NatGeo, SyFy, Fox News, and MSNBC. This plan allows you to watch up to three simultaneous streams on different devices.

You can access some channels on both plans, such as HGTV, AMC, CNN, TNT, Lifetime, BET, and BBC America. However, if you want all the available channels from both Orange and Blue, you can sign up for both services at once. The Orange + Blue package allows you to watch up to four simultaneous streams. It also comes with a free month of Showtime, Starz, and Epix.

Sling also offers numerous add-ons for $5 to $10 extra per month. Options include Spanish and other foreign-language TV programming, sports, news, movies, lifestyle programming, kids’ programming, and outdoor pursuits. You can also add individual premium channels such as Showtime for $3 to $10 per month.

All Sling packages include 10 hours per month of free cloud DVR. That means you can store up to 10 hours of programming at a time in the cloud (online) to watch later.

Sling also provides access to a library of thousands of movies and TV shows on demand. One extra perk is Sling Watch Party, which lets you video chat with up to three friends or family members as you watch the same show from your own homes.

What’s Missing

None of Sling’s packages includes ABC, Animal Planet, CBS, MLB Network, MTV, Nickelodeon, PBS, or VH1. HBO also isn’t available, even as an add-on. Sling Orange doesn’t include Bravo, Fox, FS1, FX, MSNBC, NBC, or USA Network, while Sling Blue doesn’t have the Disney Channel or ESPN.

Another limitation of Sling TV is that, while you can store shows in your cloud DVR, you can’t download them for offline viewing. That means if the Internet goes down, you lose access to your TV service as well.

Compatible Devices

The Sling app works on computers and mobile devices running iOS, Android, Fire, Chrome, and Windows 10. It’s also compatible with most dedicated streaming devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. If you don’t have a streaming device already, you can get a free AirTV Mini when you prepay for a two-month Sling TV subscription.

You can also view Sling content on Xbox One and some LG and Samsung smart TVs. And if you pair any of these devices with an HD antenna, you can watch all your local channels at no extra cost.

When to Choose It

Sling TV is the best option for those who want to save the most cash on their TV services but also want to keep major networks like ESPN, Fox, and NBC.

Sling is also a sound choice if you like to watch on the go using your mobile device. However, it’s worth noting you can only stream Sling Orange on one device, so if you have a family or a multiperson home and prefer the ability to stream on multiple devices at once, look into one of the other plans.


2. Hulu + Live TV

Hulu is a well-established name among on-demand streaming services, and they’ve recently added a live TV option to their spread. This new service, Hulu + Live TV, bundles livestreams with Hulu’s existing on-demand service.

Pricing, Packages, & Add-Ons

For $55 per month, Hulu + Live TV gives you ad-supported access to over 65 live and on-demand channels. Its channel lineup includes ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN, CNN, HGTV, the Cartoon Network, and the Disney Channel as well as local channels available in your area. There’s also an ad-free version of the service available for $61 per month.

In addition to the live channels, subscribers also gain full access to the thousands of shows and movies in the Hulu streaming library. If you don’t want this on-demand content, you can subscribe only to Live TV, but that only saves you $1 per month.

You can customize your Hulu + Live TV service with a variety of add-ons. For instance, premium channels such as Starz, Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax are available for $9 to $15 extra per month. You can also expand your choice of channels with the Entertainment add-on ($8 per month), which provides additional news, entertainment, and lifestyle programming, or the Spanish add-on ($5 per month), which gives you a selection of popular Spanish-language channels.

The standard Hulu + Live TV service allows two simultaneous streams and includes 50 hours of cloud DVR storage. However, you can expand these capabilities with add-ons. Enhanced Cloud DVR ($10 per month) gives you an additional 150 hours of cloud DVR storage. It also allows you to skip over ads in your recordings and stream them anywhere on any supported device.

The Unlimited Screens add-on ($10 per month) allows you to watch on an unlimited number of screens at home and up to three screens at once while on the go. You can add the Enhanced Cloud and Unlimited Screens add-ons as a combo for $15 per month.

What’s Missing

The Hulu channel lineup varies by area. Depending on where you live, you might be unable to get AMC, BBC America, BET, Comedy Central, MLB Network, MTV, NBA TV, NFL Network, Nickelodeon, PBS, or VH1.

Additionally, the basic service excludes the Cooking Channel, Discovery Family, DIY Network, Science, any premium channels, or any Spanish-language channels. While you can get these extras through add-ons, it starts to get pricey pretty quickly. And you can’t skip commercials unless you purchase the ad-free package, which adds another $6 to the cost.

In the past, there have been many complaints about Hulu’s terrible interface, which many users found confusing and hard to navigate. In May 2020, Hulu rolled out an updated interface intended to make navigation and show discovery easier. According to Mashable, the new interface is an improvement, but the format for individual show pages is still a mess.

Compatible Devices

Hulu + Live TV runs on all major streaming devices, including Chromecast, Apple TV, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, and some Roku and Roku stick models. It also works on Android, iOS, and Fire mobile devices, and you can view it through a Web browser on PC and Mac computers. Other supported devices include the Echo Show smart speaker, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and certain LG and Samsung smart TV models.

When to Choose It

If you already have a Hulu account and enjoy their digital library, upgrading to Hulu + Live TV for your live content could be a good value. Hulu + Live TV is also worthwhile for cord-cutters who don’t want to miss out on broadcast television. In addition to their original content, Hulu allows you to stream current shows from ABC, Fox, and NBC, older shows from CBS, and the entire “Seinfeld” collection.

However, if what you really want is a lighter version of cable TV, Sling TV offers that experience for less money.


3. AT&T TV Now

AT&T used to offer two livestreaming services. One, known as AT&T Watch TV, is no longer open as a stand-alone plan to new subscribers. (Existing customers and those who have a qualifying AT&T Unlimited plan can still use the service.) The other, formerly known as DirecTV Now, has been reborn as AT&T TV Now.

AT&T TV Now offers the widest selection of packages in the live TV market, with prices ranging from $55 to $183 per month. Reviewers like its intuitive interface, which will remind many users of traditional cable TV. However, one of the original DirecTV Now’s biggest selling points — the inclusion of HBO with every plan — is no longer a feature, making its value a bit questionable.

Pricing, Packages, & Add-Ons

The introductory AT&T TV Now plan, called Plus, offers 50 channels for $55 per month. It covers the basics for both kids and adults with ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox,  CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, BET, Comedy Central, ESPN, the Disney Channel, Hallmark, MTV, Nickelodeon, and VH1.

Premium movie channels — including HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz — are available as add-ons for $5 to $15 extra. You can also add Spanish-language or international programming.

For $80 per month, you can get the 60-plus-channel Max package. It includes Cinemax and HBO Max, with other premium channels available as add-ons for $5 to $11 per month. It also adds more sports coverage, such as the Olympic Channel, Tennis Channel, and Golf Channel on NBC.

Other packages offer more specialized content. For instance, Optimo Mas ($86 per month) has 90 channels with added Spanish-language programming. The top-of-the-line Premier package ($183 per month) has more than 140 channels, including all the premium movie channels.

Plus, Max, and most other plans available on AT&T TV Now come with 500 hours of cloud DVR storage. You can store a show on the cloud for up to 90 days. These plans also allow up to three simultaneous streams on different devices.

What’s Missing

You can get premium content on AT&T TV Now, but you’ll pay a hefty price for it. To get A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, Discovery, HGTV, History, and Lifetime, you must choose one of the higher-end packages, such as the 65-plus-channel Entertainment plan ($93 per month). And PBS isn’t available on any plan.

For extra sports content like the MLB Network, NBA TV, and NHL Network, you need the 105-plus-channel Xtra plan ($124 per month). And some sports channels, like NFL Network and NFL Red Zone, aren’t available on any plan.

Compatible Devices

You can stream AT&T TV Now on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Google Chromecast streaming devices. It also works with Samsung smart TVs from 2017 or later. For watching on the go, it’s compatible with Apple and Android mobile devices but not Fire or Windows. You can watch on the Web using the Chrome browser (version 58 or later) or Safari (version 10 or later).

When to Choose It

All AT&T TV Now plans, including the basic Plus plan, include some channels that aren’t available on either Sling or Hulu + Live TV, such as Nickelodeon, MTV, and VH1. For those who want premium movie content, the Max plan offers two premium channels and more cloud DVR storage than Hulu + Live TV.

However, for those who just want the widest variety of content at the best price, other options offer subscribers more bang for their buck.


4. YouTube TV

Don’t confuse YouTube TV with the original YouTube, a free forum where users can share their own videos. It still exists, but the newer YouTube TV is a completely different service with different content and features.

It offers a robust assortment of channels, up to six accounts on a plan, and unlimited cloud DVR storage — a rare feature among livestreaming services. And according to PCMag, both the TV interface and the DVR features are easy to use.

Pricing, Packages, & Add-Ons

YouTube TV currently offers only one package. For $65 per month, it provides access to over 85 channels. Its channel lineup includes AMC, CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN, the Food Network, Fox News, FS1, HGTV, MSNBC, the NFL Network, Nickelodeon, and TNT along with the basic network TV channels — ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and PBS. Many of these networks also offer on-demand access to recent episodes of shows. Additionally, it provides access to local stations that vary by area.

YouTube TV doesn’t offer any upgraded packages, but it does offer a few add-ons. For an extra $10 per month apiece, you can purchase additional premium channels, including HBO Max, Showtime,  Starz, and Epix. For $3 per month, you can get the Sports Plus add-on, which includes extra sports channels, such as NFL RedZone, Fox College Sports, and Stadium.

You can also use YouTube TV to watch any video available on regular YouTube. Many of these videos are ad-supported, but you can avoid the ads with a YouTube Premium subscription, which costs an additional $12 per month.

A subscription to YouTube TV includes up to six individual accounts per household, each with its own personalized watching recommendations and live guide. Users can stream up to three shows simultaneously. One major perk of YouTube TV is its unlimited cloud DVR storage. Each account has its own library, and you can store shows for up to nine months.

What’s Missing

The channel lineup for YouTube TV varies by location. Depending on where you live, it may not include A&E, History, or Lifetime. Premium movie channels and NFL RedZone are available only as add-ons.

Additionally, there are a few places in the United States where YouTube TV isn’t available at all. However, over 99.5% of U.S. households can use it. Enter your zip code on the YouTube TV website to see if it’s available in your area and which channels it includes.

Live TV programming on YouTube TV comes directly from content creators, many of whom include ads in their programming. Most of the ad revenue goes to support the creators of the videos. You can’t fast-forward through these ads while watching a livestream, but you can when watching a stored show on cloud DVR. Also, if you pause while watching a show, you can fast-forward until you catch up with the live version.

Compatible Devices

You can stream YouTube TV to a standard TV set using a Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, or Xbox One. It also runs on select smart TVs from Roku, Vizio, Samsung, and LG and on any Android TV, AirPlay for Apple TV, or Google Smart Display.

For on-the-go viewing, YouTube TV is available as an app for mobile devices running Android L or later and iOS 11 or later. You can also watch directly on the Web at tv.youtube.com. This site works best in the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome.

When to Choose It

YouTube TV offers just about everything you’d expect from a cable or satellite TV subscription at a lower monthly price. It’s an appealing choice for cord-cutters who want access to all their favorite cable TV shows in one simple package.

However, it’s pricier than many other TV livestreaming services, so it’s only worth the cost if you really need its full array of channels and features.


5. FuboTV

FuboTV started as a service that livestreamed soccer, which is called “futbol” in Spanish. Over the years, it has expanded to include more than 100 live channels with a heavy focus on sports. It has numerous sports channels as well as news, entertainment, and lifestyle content.

Pricing, Packages, & Add-Ons

Fubo offers a choice of three packages. Its basic Family service ($65 per month) offers 118 channels. The channel lineup includes ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, A&E, AMC, BBC America, Bravo, Comedy Central, the Disney Channel, Food Network, HGTV, Hallmark, Lifetime, and Nickelodeon. It also comes with plenty of sports channels, including ESPN, CBS Sports, and the NFL Network.

This package provides up to three simultaneous streams and 250 hours of cloud DVR space. You can test it out for seven days free before paying.

Upgrading to the Elite plan ($80 per month) gets you an additional 46 sports and entertainment channels. It includes the DIY Network, MTV, Nicktoons, Logo, Stadium, and NBA TV. With this package, you get up to five simultaneous streams and 1,000 hours of cloud DVR.

The Fubo Latino package offers only 32 channels for $30 per month. It focuses on Spanish-language content, with channels like NatGeo Mundo, Univision, Galavision, and Zona Futbol. It also provides 250 hours of cloud DVR, but it allows only two streams at once.

With any of these packages, you can get add-ons to expand your capabilities. For instance, adding Family Share ($6 per month) to the Fubo Latino plan boosts your simultaneous streams to three, and Family Share Max ($10 per month) increases them to five. With Cloud DVR 1000 ($17 per month), you can bump up your cloud DVR space on the Family or Latino plan to 1,000 hours. You can also add premium channels such as Showtime and AMC Premiere and various packages of additional foreign-language, entertainment, or sports channels for between $5 and $20 per month.

What’s Missing

None of Fubo’s packages include NFL RedZone. You can only get it by purchasing the Sports Plus with NFL RedZone add-on for $11 extra per month. BET is also unavailable with any of the packages, although BETHer and BETSoul come with the Elite plan and the Fubo Extra add-on ($6 per month). HBO and Starz aren’t available on FuboTV, even as add-ons.

Also, unlike many TV livestreaming services, FuboTV doesn’t offer any on-demand content. However, its generous cloud DVR allotment means you can easily save the game to catch later if you can’t watch it live.

Compatible Devices

Fubo runs on all the major streaming devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Chromecast. You can also watch on certain Samsung smart TVs, Xbox One, and iOS and Android devices with the Fubo app. On a computer, you can watch online using the Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari browsers.

When to Choose It

For hardcore sports fans, FuboTV offers access to all the sports you want for less than the price of a cable TV package with extra sports content. However, if sports aren’t your primary interest, FuboTV’s high cost makes it a poor value.


6. Philo

If you just want the basics at a reasonable price, Philo TV is definitely worth a look. This inexpensive, no-contract service offers both live and on-demand content, simultaneous streaming, and unlimited DVR. Its channel lineup isn’t as substantial as most, but it’s hard to beat for the price.

Pricing, Packages, & Add-Ons

Philo TV has just one basic plan: 63 channels for $20 per month. It focuses primarily on entertainment and lifestyle channels like A&E, AMC, BET, Comedy Central, the Cooking Channel, Discovery, Hallmark, HGTV, Lifetime, Nickelodeon, and VH1.

Available add-ons include Epix for $6 per month and Starz for $9 per month. You can try out the service for free for one week before subscribing.

With a Philo account, you can create up to 10 individual profiles and stream content on up to three screens at once. You can also record as many shows as you want on Philo’s cloud storage and keep them for up to 30 days. All you need to get started is a broadband Internet connection, a supported device, an email address or mobile number, and a payment method.

What’s Missing

Philo definitely isn’t the right choice for sports fans. It includes no sports channels, and even the major broadcast networks — ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and Fox — aren’t represented here. It’s not a suitable choice for news, either, as it doesn’t include CNN or any other major news network. The only news channels are BBC America and BBC World News.

Compatible Devices

Philo works on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Chromecast via Android. You can watch it over the Web on a Mac or PC with Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari. There are also apps available for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets.

When to Choose It

This service is a solid choice for channel surfers who just want to lie back and be entertained at a bargain price. If you don’t mind the lack of news and sports content, you can get livestreaming cheaper with Philo than with just about any other livestreaming service.


Final Word

There’s no one best TV livestreaming service. Everyone’s needs are different, so it’s a question of choosing the right provider for you.

Consider what general type of content interests you most, what specific channels are must-haves, what other features you need, and how much you’re prepared to spend. Then choose the service or services that give you the most of what you want at the best price.

If none of the current services seem right for you, don’t despair. The market for streaming services is an ever-changing one.

Several networks have introduced their own livestreaming services that provide access to their content and nothing else, such as HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock Premium. And existing services often drop off the market — such as PlayStation Vue, which ended in January 2020. So if there isn’t a perfect livestreaming service for you today, there could be one tomorrow.

In the meantime, don’t forget that there are other ways to amuse yourself without cable TV. You can also get your video entertainment from on-demand streaming, old-fashioned DVDs, or network TV with an antenna. Or you could explore other alternatives, such as music, books, computer games, and tabletop games.

Source: moneycrashers.com

What mortgage lenders can learn from the Oakland A’s

Mortgage lenders and professional sports franchises have a lot more in common than you might think — mergers and acquisitions, recruitment, branding and star players, to name a few. But their most important connection is their need to always stay competitive and prioritize their customers’ experience. 

Today, we are in the largest mortgage market in U.S. history, surpassing the previous record of $3.8T+ set in 2003. But many lenders are understandably too busy processing the high volume of business coming their way to recognize that this trend won’t last forever. In fact, according to a Freddie Mac forecast, the 2021 origination numbers are expected to decline by more than a trillion dollars. When that volume drops in just a few months, mortgage lenders must be ready to compete with innovation and experience.

In 2020, the average time to close a mortgage loan was between 45-50 days. The most frequently cited reasons for the prolonged process are the ‘new’ regulations imposed by the CFPB back in 2015, the appraisal standards and title-related unexpected delays. But these reasons hide one of the biggest contributors to the delays, namely, ingrained inefficient processes driven by their technology platforms.

These different legacy systems are not configurable and don’t communicate with one another, leading to data-integrity issues, heavy reliance on paper checklists, and an overall inability to collaborate. This creates an environment where the mortgage lenders are serving the technology instead of the technology serving them.

Skimming through job recruiting websites, you will find that many mortgage lenders are pumping up their hiring volumes these days because the amount of manual work needed to originate a loan in 2021 is unfathomable.  


Leveraging eClosings to effectively manage increased loan volumes

With record-low rates and the increased loan volume, lenders must streamline workflows and accelerate time to close. Evolving to full eClosings can help lenders process more loans at a faster pace without overwhelming their resources.

Presented by: SimpleNexus

So how can mortgage lenders create a new and improved norm? By leveraging the right tools and technology, lenders can dramatically reduce loan origination time, thus allowing more loans to be processed and ultimately increasing customers’ satisfaction. The MLB Oakland A’s and the NBA Dallas Mavericks offer a window into how to do this.

After seven years of failing to reach the MLB playoffs, the 2000 season’s Oakland A’s, led by their progressive GM Billy Beane, reached the playoffs four years in a row and became the first team in the modern era to go undefeated in 20 consecutive games. 

Having limited resources compared with their competitors, the Oakland A’s re-defined their system — from their on-field strategy to the way they evaluate the players. Beane, together with the Harvard economics grad, Paul DePodesta, were the first to utilize “sabermetrics,” or baseball science, with a major league team.

The A’s’ out-of-the box thinking coupled with their new scientific approach to the game helped them realize that players and their traits were often misvalued. Beane leveraged this new data to compete toe-to-toe with the formidable NY Yankees. (This Cinderella story was the subject of Michael Lewis’ 2004 book “Moneyball” and the subsequent movie.)

Fast forward to the 2009-2010 NBA season, the Dallas Mavericks became one of the first teams in the NBA to use a ground-breaking, player-tracking analytics system called SportVU. SportVU’s technology, developed by two Israeli entrepreneurs, consisted of six computer vision cameras set up along the catwalk of the basketball arena, synched with complex algorithms that extracted enormous amounts of data from all objects on the court.

Almost instantaneously, the coaching staff had a whole new world of data about the players and the game at their disposal. A year after implementing this state-of-the art technology, the forward-thinking Dallas Mavericks won their first NBA championship, beating the heavily favored Miami Heat led by LeBron James in the finals.

What can mortgage lenders learn from these examples?

1. Data is key.

Based on a study conducted on behalf of Equifax, it seems that less than half of banking providers actually use the data available to them to understand their customers and create better experiences. The study also found that one of the reasons for the slow adoption of new technology is the heavy reliance on legacy systems, which make integrations difficult. A forward-thinking lender could take these next steps to better position itself:

  • Promote high-impact projects that drive change and create a data-sharing environment. Just as the Oakland A’s expanded their team to include a Harvard economics grad and committed to a systemic change to become a successful team, so could lenders unlock the opportunities in a data-driven world.
  • Invest in predictive analytics, smart algorithms and tools that help make better decisions. The Dallas Mavericks won the championship because they turned into a team that takes precise decisions based on comprehensive, real-time data. 

A combination of these two efforts — better rationalizing and managing the data, and employing smart analytics and/or using machine learning technology — allows lenders to shorten the time it takes to originate a loan, and create a superior experience for their customers.

2. Buy, don’t build. 

Based on Harvard Business Review research, most companies that fear competition from rivals’ innovations react by doubling down on their own R&D efforts. Nevertheless, the research showed that the most effective way to generate innovation is by using external technology – in other words, buying technology, not building technology.

This is true for mortgage lenders. Unless a lender has an in-house, experienced technology team that can create, implement, and support a project, using the right technology partner will likely result in a better project outcome. Undoubtedly, the mortgage technology vendors’ space is saturated, and finding the right partner takes time, but this is time well spent. Just ask the Dallas Mavericks and SportVU’s execs.

The A’s and the Mavs were always good teams, but what allowed them to move from good to great was their forward-thinking approach to technology, data and infrastructure. Today, if you ask any Oakland A’s or Dallas Mavericks fan where they were when their team won 20 consecutive games or the NBA championship they will most definitely remember.

Mortgage lenders might not have a championship on the line, but they can still create that same kind of highly memorable experience for their customers through technological innovation. So, the question is, are mortgage lenders ready to win?

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of HousingWire’s editorial department and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Daniel Gottesmann at daniel@elphi.io

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Sarah Wheeler at swheeler@housingwire.com

Source: housingwire.com

Former Dodgers Outfielder Yasiel Puig Sells Encino, CA, Home for $2.7M

The former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has cut another tie to Southern California. His five-bedroom home in Encino, CA, sold for $2,746,000 in early November. It originally went on the market in February 2020, with a list price of $3.2 million.

Puig wound up taking a 14% discount off his initial asking price and basically broke even on the $2.65 million he paid in 2017.

The gated estate was marketed as being owned by a professional athlete and suitable “for the discerning buyer that demands privacy.”

Located close to Highway 101 and Ventura Boulevard, the luxe, 5,279-square-foot home is within walking distance of restaurants and shops.

The living room on the large main floor has a lovely fireplace and a formal dining room, both of which have large windows with ample natural light.

The main level of the home includes a guest suite and office, and for entertaining guests in the warm California sun, there’s a beautiful interior courtyard.

Front exterior of home in Encino, CA
Front exterior of home in Encino, CA

realtor.com

Living room
Living room

realtor.com

Chef's kitchen
Chef’s kitchen

realtor.com

Dining room
Dining room

realtor.com

Family area
Family area

realtor.com

Master bedroom
Master bedroom

realtor.com

Master bathroom
Master bathroom

realtor.com

Courtyard
Courtyard

realtor.com

Pool and hot tub
Pool and hot tub

realtor.com

The chef’s kitchen is elaborate and includes all stainless-steel appliances, custom cabinetry, an eight-burner Wolf range with double ovens, three dishwashers, and an oversized island. For additional storage, there’s a walk-in pantry.

The second floor includes a lavish master suite that has a tray ceiling, sitting area, fireplace, and a private terrace overlooking the backyard. The luxurious master bathroom area includes two walk-in closets.

Just outside is a covered patio with a grill, refrigerator, and sink. The backyard is a beautiful retreat with well-maintained landscaping and has a large swimming pool and hot tub.

___

Watch: Major League Baseball Wife Julianna Zobrist Talks How to Be a Moving MVP

___

According to a report in Variety, Puig purchased the property in 2017 for $2.65 million.

In 2015, he bought an estate in Sherman Oaks, CA, for $1.8 million.

According to property records, Puig currently owns three other properties. Two are located in Miami-Dade County: A six-bedroom home he purchased in 2012 for $1.5 million, and another brand-new home purchased in early 2018 for an undisclosed price.

Puig’s third home is located in Avondale, AZ. He purchased that four-bedroom desert home in early 2017 for $295,000.

Puig, 30, didn’t play at all in the truncated 2020 MLB season. In 2019, he split his time between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians after starring with the Dodgers for six seasons.

A native of Cuba, he was the runner-up for the National League Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was named an All-Star in 2014. He’s currently a free agent.

Puig was represented by Felicia G. Morris with Searchlight Realty.

Source: realtor.com

L.A. Dodgers Pitcher David Price Sells His Florida Estate for $4.4M

The Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price has tossed his mansion in Naples, FL, to a new owner. The golf course property traded hands for $4.4 million in mid-October.

Price purchased the place through a trust in March 2018 for $4,275,000. A little over two years later, he put the home back on the market in September 2020 for $4,975,999.

It sold about a month later for $4,450,000, ensuring that the All-Star broke even on his Florida foray.

Front exterior of home in Naples, FL
Front exterior of home in Naples, FL

realtor.com

Completed in 2017, the luxurious abode offers four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms on 6,600 square feet. The half-acre grounds are accessed from a circular drive.

Located on the 14th hole of a golf course designed by Greg Norman and Pete Dye, the plush pad, known as Villa Cipriani, features decor by Norris Furniture & Interiors.

The listing describes a stylish interior with a color palette of “blues, warm gray, taupe and white,” alongside wood and tile accents.

The open floor plan offers plenty of space for relaxing with family or entertaining guests.

The home opens with a grand entrance, which leads into a formal living room, open family area, and dining room.

Grand foyer
Grand foyer

realtor.com

A snazzy gourmet kitchen leaves ample room to whip up feasts for parties. Some of the high-end features include double islands, double ovens, bar seating, a gas stovetop, butler’s pantry, and eye-catching light fixtures. Sliding glass doors extend the living space outdoors.

Gourmet kitchen
Gourmet kitchen

realtor.com

Dining room
Dining room

realtor.com

Living area
Living area

realtor.com

Master suite
Master suite

realtor.com

Master bathroom
Master bathroom

realtor.com

Game room
Game room

realtor.com

Pool and fire pit
Pool and fire pit

realtor.com

On the main level is the deluxe master suite. The master bathroom includes a large walk-in shower. A glam sitting area overlooks the pool, spa, and fireplace, which is situated on the covered veranda.

There’s also a guest suite located on the first floor. Upstairs are two additional guest rooms that access a covered balcony, as well as a game room.

Price has been busy off the field and making some real estate plays.

After his trade to the Dodgers from the Red Sox, Price celebrated with a purchase of a Paradise Valley, AZ, property from Los Angeles Angels outfielder Justin Upton for $9.5 million.

And he let go of his Newton, MA, mansion in June for $6.1 million, after asking $6.5 million in May last year. He had bought the suburban spot in 2018 for $6 million.

Price, a Tennessee native, maintains a residence in Nashville that he purchased in 2014 for just under $4 million. Completed in 2007, the 2-acre spread offers nearly 10,000 square feet of living space.

As a member of the Red Sox, Price, 35, earned a World Series Championship in 2018. Last February, the five-time All-Star was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He opted out of the 2020 season because of the pandemic.

Kelly Luck with Premiere Plus Realty Company represented Price with the sale.

Source: realtor.com