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  Wednesday, 14 Aug 2013 | 9:59 AM ET

Housing recovery radar: The next 18 hot spots

Posted By: Cindy Perman
German | E+ | Getty Images

The housing recovery is starting to heat up—so much so in some areas, the "b" word—bubble—is starting to pop up.

"Nationwide, the housing market is not in a bubble. But there are probably some markets that are at risk for getting into bubble territory if they continue at the pace that they're going," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

In a recent report from Realtor.com, the towns seeing the hottest recoveries, based on factors such as inventory, median list price, days on the market and search activity, were primarily on the West Coast, with six of the top 10 in California. Six months ago, eight of the top 10 were in Florida. So, is the recovery, like the settlement of the U.S., moving east to west?

»Read more
  Sunday, 11 Aug 2013 | 3:00 PM ET

Mom, my teacher is a zombie!

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
Source: Chris Irvin
Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Good afternoon, class. My name is Carl and I'll be your teacher today. Oh, by the way— I'm a zombie.

Eeeeeeeeeek!

From the TV show "Walking Dead" to the movie "World War Z," zombies are hot.

(Well, technically, they're cold. But they're burning up the charts!)

»Read more
  Friday, 9 Aug 2013 | 7:22 AM ET

Arggggh! Companies with the hardest job interviews

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Darren Robb | Taxi | Getty Images

It's your worst nightmare: You're on a job interview, they ask you a question and you don't know the answer. Your heart races. Beads of sweat begin to form. C'mon, don't blow it — THINK!

Fun as it is to just show up and panic, it's better to be prepared for the worst. Well, job site Glassdoor.com is out with their annual list of the Top 25 most difficult companies to interview with.

It's like having an older brother who gives you pointers on what to expect from Miss Renkins' calculus exam.


»Read more
  Wednesday, 7 Aug 2013 | 10:22 AM ET

The new housing hot spot is ... what?

Posted By: Cindy Perman

These real estate markets are heating up

Paul J. Richards | AFP | Getty Images

Signs of the housing-market recovery are everywhere, from galloping mortgage rates to rising home prices and all those "under contract" signs popping up around the neighborhood.

Nationwide, homes typically sold in 83 days in the second quarter, 14 percent faster than a year earlier, according to Realtor.com. At the same time, the median list price rose 5.4 percent, to $196,000, and the number of homes on the market dropped by more than 10 percent.

Even some states hit hardest by the recession, including Michigan, California and Nevada, are starting to see their housing markets rev back up.

"Detroit has made remarkable progress in the last year, shrinking its inventory of unsold homes by more than 26 percent and becoming one of the most balanced markets in the nation," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, the parent of Realtor.com. "We'll be watching the inventory levels in the months ahead, but if this past quarter is any indication, Detroit won't be giving up without a fight."

Realtor.com is out with its list of the Top 10 Turnaround Towns for 2013. Several metrics are used to develop the list, including inventory, median list price, days on the market, and weighted search and listing activity on Realtor.com.

Do you think Detroit made the list? Did it top the list? Click ahead for the full list of the Top 10 Turnaround Towns for 2013.

By Cindy Perman
Posted 7 August 2013

Follow Cindy on Twitter @ponyblog.

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  Monday, 5 Aug 2013 | 10:05 AM ET

Trying to create a 'Sharknado' with ... T-shirts?

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Source: Syfy Network

The Holy Grail for Internet advertising is the viral video. And while many an executive has uttered the words "we think this thing can go viral"—few actually know how to tweak Web weather patterns to create a "Sharknado."

(Read more: Sharknado! Syfy's latest flick is causing a frenzy)

Well, the guy who rose to online stardom during the recession by starting a business as a professional T-shirt wearer thinks he knows. It's something he calls "an Internet advertising flash mob."

The idea is that, instead of just one guy wearing a company's shirt and generating buzz about the brand on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites, you get 500 or more people putting on a shirt and hitting the social media circuit—multiplying the buzz.

»Read more
  Thursday, 27 Jun 2013 | 4:18 PM ET

An 18-Hole Mini-Golf Course in the Office? Yep

Posted By: Cindy Perman

Some people take the team on a retreat to mini-golf or some other fun activity but if you're LinkedIn, you build the mini-golf course IN the office.

The professional-networking site started a fun contest to boost employee morale: A cube off! (It's kind of like a dance off, only with less dancing and more decorating your cube.)

More than 200 teams from around the world competed, transforming not just their cubicles but entire sections or floors. The results involved everything from Pokemon to pirates (yar!), palm trees and a hammock, a playground complete with swing set and an 18-hole mini-golf course. Employees voted on which ones they liked best and 11 awards were given out, including "Funniest," "Best Decade," "Out of This World" and "Most Transformed."


»Read more
  Tuesday, 25 Jun 2013 | 2:35 PM ET

US vs. Canadian Bankers: The Ultimate Smackdown

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Canada Eh!
Getty Images
Canada Eh!

Fewer sporting rivalries are more riveting than when the U.S. takes on Canada in hockey. Pit the two nations against each other when it comes to making money and —

OH, IT'S ON!

Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" did a piece last night on U.S. financial reform and it turned into a super smackdown … the ultimate clash of titans … U.S. vs. Canadian bankers!


»Read more
  Friday, 21 Jun 2013 | 4:01 PM ET

These People Have the Best Jobs in the World

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Best Jobs in the World

Well, it's official! These seven people have the best jobs in the world. They won Australia's "Best Jobs in the World" contest, where they were looking for everything from a wildlife caretaker to a chief funster.

Each of the jobs takes place in a different state or territory of Australia and involves a six-month contract with a salary package of A$100,000 (US$92,000) including all accommodations, food and expenses.

Their initial application involved a 30-second video and a test of their ability to generate buzz. (Watch the winning videos.)

Then, they headed to Australia for a one-week test — call it the Olympics of tourism. The events included — no, not balance beam and uneven parallel bars — reviewing Perth's best restaurants, attending VIP parties and festivals in Sydney and feeding the kangaroos on Kangaroo Island.

»Read more
  Friday, 17 May 2013 | 4:27 PM ET

Chief Funster? Yep, That's a Job

Posted By: Cindy Perman
Source: Tourism Australia

From the land down under that brought you the "Best Job in the World" — island caretaker! — comes a contest for, not one, but SIX dream jobs: chief funster, outback adventurer, park ranger, wildlife caretaker, taste master, and lifestyle photographer.

Each of the six jobs takes place in a different state or territory of Australia and involves a six-month contract with a salary package of A$100,000 (US$97,200) including all accommodations, food and expenses.

Tourism Australia received a whopping 620,000 applications from 196 countries. Naturally, chief funster (which involves reviewing festivals and events) was the most popular job, with 20.2 percent of the applicants going for that one, followed by wildlife caretaker with 19.9 percent and park ranger with 17.5 percent. The others got about 13 to 14 percent of the applications.


»Read more
  Tuesday, 28 May 2013 | 1:52 PM ET

Power Rundown: Stronger Housing Data

New housing data shows prices in 20 cities rose at the fastest rate since 2006. CNBC's Cindy Perman and Robert Frank discuss. »Read more

About Pony In Here Somewhere

  • The news can get a little heavy sometimes, with debt crises, vicious markets and crappy earnings reports. So, we dispatched our crack reporter, Cindy Perman, to find some levity amid all this seriousness. Why a Pony? To be clear, there were no ponies harmed in the making of this blog. The blog’s name, “There Must Be a Pony In Here Somewhere,” comes from an old joke, a favorite of Ronald Reagan’s, that essentially means, with a pile of you-know-what this big, there MUST be a pony — a bright side — in here somewhere!

Contact Pony In Here Somewhere

 

  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

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