Diana Olick is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, currently serving as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the author of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com. She also contributes her real estate expertise to NBC's "Today" and "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams."
Prior to joining CNBC in 2002, Olick spent seven years as a correspondent for CBS News.
Olick began her career as a local news reporter at WABI-TV in Bangor, Maine; WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and KIRO-TV in Seattle. She joined CBS in 1994 as a New York-based correspondent for the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" and "The Early Show." She also contributed pieces to "48 Hours" and "Sunday Morning." During that time, she covered such stories as the World Trade Center conspiracy trial and the Boston abortion clinic shooting.
In 1995, Olick was assigned to cover the Midwest as a Dallas bureau correspondent. In the three years she was there, she covered all forms of natural disaster, including the crash of TWA Flight 800, the JonBenet Ramsey murder mystery and was the exclusive correspondent for the trial of Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols. During that time, she also took a temporary assignment in CBS' Moscow bureau, where she chronicled the brief presidential campaign of Mikhail Gorbachev.
In 1998, Olick was reassigned to the New York bureau and then immediately posted to Bahrain for the buildup to a possible second Gulf War. A year later, she went to Albania to cover the U.S. military buildup during the conflict in Kosovo.
Upon her return, Olick was reassigned to CBS' Washington bureau and the Capitol Hill beat. During Campaign 2000, Olick covered the Senate campaign of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and later joined the Bush campaign as a special correspondent for "The Early Show." That fall, she was named Supreme Court correspondent; her first case was Bush v. Gore.
Olick has a B.A. in comparative literature with a minor in soviet studies from Columbia College in New York and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
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I'm blogging to you from the J.P. Morgan Basics and Industrials Conference in mid-town Manhattan, where I've never in my life seen so many freaked out CEOs. I say this only because not nine months ago I attended a similar UBS conference, where the Homebuilder CEOs and their CFOs and their PR reps and their baggage handlers and their mother-in-laws were all fighting with each other to jump in front of our cameras to talk about the recovery shining brightly ahead in the housing market.
Thanks to all who wrote in with your Open House stories this past weekend. Please keep them coming, as the more we get, the more we know! Anonymous in NJ writes: Ridgewood is a high tax suburb with good schools and a great downtown. But it seems like the bloom is off the rose as far as fast moving residential real estate. There's nothing moving in the 8-1.5 million range despite what a lot of the brokers are saying (they are all drinking the same coolaid!). Oddly, there seems to this denial factor with sellers too.
We all know real estate is local, and try as I do to focus in on as many different metro markets as I can, many of you are on my case for allegedly over-generalizing the market. I am, therefore, in response, attempting to launch a new feature that better gauges housing, neighborhood to neighborhood, market to market. Alas, I am but one reporter, and much as I’d like to get out of town more often, I can’t get everywhere, and thus I am soliciting your help.
In a tough housing market, where sellers are bleeding cash out every window as they try to unload their homes, and realtors are fighting within their own ballooned ranks to eke out a commission, the issue of realtor rebates is getting, well, more confused than ever. Realtor rebates are cash incentives to buyers or sellers that help realtors to get the sale, but some argue they can mislead buyers, skewing the true value of the real estate transaction and could raise the possibility of fraud.
It’s not exactly the newest trend, I mean, after all, "Eloise" did live at the Plaza Hotel, but more and more I’m seeing ads for “Residences” at some of the ritzier hotels around town; specifically, at the new-ish Ritz Carltons in Washington, DC. And so it was only a matter of time before there would be trouble.
I'm starting a new Monday feature: Monday Morning Quarterbacking, the Sunday alternative sports pages (no not the girl sports pages… all my friends are married already). I'm talking about the real estate pages, and the ultimate fighting sport, the Sunday Open House.So, despite the sheets of pouring rain, I skidded over to a house in my neighborhood of Chevy Chase, DC -- no, not Maryland, as every cab driver would have you believe. This is under the district line, so you're not paying for great schools.
I'm so glad the heady days of big builders building big McMansions are waning. Thank goodness nobody is buying into those over-sized, over-priced, over-the-top entry foyers that lead to oh-so-great great rooms that nobody can possibly fill with enough friends or furniture. Thank goodness, because Shlomi Gal-On now has the model business to build on, now that minimal is mod.
Every now and then, I like to buck my New York City roots and pretend for a moment that I might be an optimist. It happened this morning, while I was reading the monthly Housing Affordability report from the National Association of Realtors. Apparently, Americans are spending about 22.3% of their monthly incomes on their mortgage payment. That's down from a high of 25.1%, back in July of last year.