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Archives of real estate blog entries for December 19, 2008
Featured blog posts
HOW AR FRIENDSHIPS BROUGHT ME A FINE REFERRAL & NEW FRIEND - 10:35 AM
A few months back, Burke, Virginia Re/Max associate, Terry Rudman, asked AR Super Star, Brian Block, an Alexandria, Virginia Re/Max associate, if he knew someone in Dallas who could help her daughter find and buy a home. Brian suggested she contact me, so that began one of the nicest friendships I can ever recall having -- Terry's daughter Kathryn and me. And that's not to say that Terry and Brian aren't up there in that category, too. Well, I posted a blog on AR when we found what would be her new condo, so it's time for an update. Yesterday, with the (29 comments)
Finally I have Power!! - 10:33 PM
After 8 cold dark days I finally have my power back. On Thursday December 11th New Hampshire was hit with an Ice Storm that knocked out the power to over 400,000 homes. Many of those people continued to live in cold homes and managed the best they could without running water. They always thought the power would go back on any minute. It never did. Some bought generators and tried their best to function. Others went to hotels or stayed with friends. During that time my main vehicle of communication was my cell phone and Twitter.com. Those affected by the (47 comments)
A Day to Remember--Paying it Forward - 10:33 PM
A Day to Remember--Paying it Forward Saturday I participated with my Rotary club's traditional 'bell ringing' for the Salvation Army at our local Harris Teeter store at the Arboretum. It was a chilly afternoon but, my friend Pat and his son and I, dressed in layers and drank plenty of hot coffee & hot chocolate from the coffee shop next door. The people came in droves into the grocery store (why I never go on Saturdays)!
What impressed me was that this year, unlike the others that I've done this, we had people donating large bills and many more (38 comments)
Buyers: Consider a Title Search BEFORE Writing An Offer to Purchase a Bank-Owned Property - 10:39 PM
With the ever changing real estate market and the number of foreclosures growing minute by minute, Buyers and their agents should be aware that there have been several instances in Central Florida where the lender has not filed the foreclosure properly; and as a result, are not truly able to sell the house you may want to buy. According to the FAR/BAR contract in Florida, title companies must have the title policy to the Buyer's lender at least five days prior to closing...which is normally an ample amount of time to clear up anything minor...but, often times, title searches for homes that (36 comments)
WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS PREVIEW: Somewhere on the mountain are my lost customers - 04:41 PM
This summer, when I was on floor duty, a couple came in to the office to inquire about vacant land. They had an RV, wanted to camp on the lot, and wanted the lot to already have water. We checked the current listings and found several that might fit their needs. "Would you like to go see some of them?" I offered. Hubby: "No" "Since we're here we might as well go look at "at least one", said his lovely bride of 35 years. Hubby': "No" "Well, we're already all the way up here, so I think we should, we can (68 comments)
Things I Learned in New England that have Saved my Life (and my Mood) in the Snow - 10:45 PM
Since the news this morning stated that much of the country is going to get a huge whammy of a snowstorm, I thought it might be appropriate to share some things that I've learned over the years that helped me make it through. These tips range from bundling up to driving with the goal of getting home at night when visibility is low, but over the years, I've used each and every one to reach my bed safely and warmly at night. Clothing Tips: Keep a pair of socks in your desk - you can always toe off wet shoes, but (25 comments)
These sad and shocking statistics came out today about Bay Area home prices, further tarnishing what was once some of the most coveted (and most expensive) real estate in the country: The median price for a home in the Bay Area has plunged an astounding 44.4% from November 2007 to November 2008. Also shocking: 47.6% of Bay Area homes that sold in November had been in foreclosure at one point during the previous 12 months. And the last statistic, not that shocking because I am, after all, in the mortgage business: 20.6% of loans were FHA loans. Last year (39 comments)
I had a one night stand with Google - 10:13 PM
I confess that I have been pursuing Google for nearly a year now, doing everything I could to get noticed. Sometimes I got a nod, or maybe a flirtatious wink, but more often than not, I would find Google spending time with others leaving me to wonder what a girl has to do to get a little Google love. Hey, look at me! I have value! I have worth! I'm embarrassed to admit that in the beginning, I even paid for a little of that love. But I knew there had to be a better way! So I had a total (42 comments)
I have read a lot lately here on AR about the recent drop in interest rates. Good, bad or indifferent, that is not the purpose of this entry. The purpose of my entry is to remind other mortgage professionals (and REALTORs who care to know or do include interest rates and/or payment in advertisements) that there are certain Federal Laws and State regulations that must be followed!!!! Anyone heard of the Truth In Lending Act of 1968 aka: TILA? I'm not a certified trainer and this is NOT an exhaustive list of (40 comments)
Christmas Card Lemons... to Lemonade - 12:00 AM
Am I the only idiot on the planet who can turn a simple Christmas Card mailing project into a full-time job? My plan... send out Christmas cards to my local Denver SOI (sphere of influence) and toss in my hot-off-the-press Referral Directory magnet as an extra-special holiday gift for my friends (hey, I sprung for the xtra large magnet at over $1 each!). Simple enough... Well, it's been anything but. One thing after another created delays in my sending-out-cards process - first, the cards I bought (and addressed & stamped) weren't big enough for the magnet (remember, I bought the xtra large (48 comments)
5 Things Agents Should Avoid with Homebuyers - 12:22 AM
Over the past couple of weeks I've been helping a friend look around for a new condo here in the Chicago metro market. While he's currently just window shopping and hasn't entered into any serious talks with potential sellers, he's your ideal buyer - especially during this slow housing market. His credit score is over 800, he has about $65,000 saved for a down payment, and he has a steady, well paying job. With that said, I was shocked by the treatment we had received when we both contacted some listing agents to show us their properties. Don't get me wrong, (97 comments)
Advertise Online ONLY What You Are Willing to Answer - 12:03 AM
Advertise only what you are willing to answer. A tried and true sales/marketing 101 basic that needs to be a refresher course in Web 2.0. I look around these expanding social networks and see many faux pas committed among real estate professionals, real estate coaches, real estate speakers, real estate service providers, and marketing and sales folks. Unresponsive behavior. It is an especially strange sight to see from social networking and marketing trainers. I have seen an abundance of preaching when it comes to providing the consumer with information and being responsive who I have seen turn around and not practice (71 comments)
What is Active Rain you mumble to yourself as you decide to join the network based on a link you found on google (on page 4) After spending 10 minutes on Active Rain, you wonder if the home page is that belonging to a certain Mr.Proxy. After joining the network you log off (85 comments)
What Are We Telling The Consumer About Ourselves? - 10:40 PM
I recently had the opportunity to meet with and show homes to a very knowledgeable retired military gentleman from out of state. I had received a request for information on one of my listings and I was on it like a package of 's. I sent him all I could within an hour of the request. We talked a few times, emailed several times a day, he flew in the next week to see the property and wrote an offer. That simple. We'll be closing on his $250,000 bargain in just a few weeks. As I'm driving him out to the property (50 comments)
R.A.I.N. Radio VIRTUAL Holiday Bash (Did YOU Hear What Brad Said???) - 12:12 AM
IF you missed the R.A.I.N. Radio VIRTUAL Holiday Bash today...with (host) Brad Andersohn, Bob Stewart, Rich Jacobson and many other special callers... YOU MISSED A WILD AND ROWDY GOOD TIME!!! Not ONLY did you miss the FUN games, INCREDIBLE (and I do mean INCREDIBLE) prizes and ROCKIN' chatroom experience...you ALSO missed ActiveRain's newest boy band (The ActiveBoys) singing 'Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer'. It was...well...it made me...I mean...there are NO WORDS that can adequately express the feeling that came over me when they were singing. You absolutley MUST experience it for yourself!! CLICK on the PHOTO for a little (57 comments)
Being a REALTOR is the BEST Job in the World - 12:28 AM
There is a bit of sarcasm and humor in this post. If you don't like that, or you think it might put a crimp in your day or attitude, better move on. You've been warned.
Being a REALTOR is the best job in the world. There are lots of reasons why this is so. Let's count the ways. You are accorded special privileges and honors, being a member of the profession that repeatedly is ranked #1 or #2 - so what if it's the list of most distrusted professions. Now that's an honor. You get to choose your own salary, (85 comments)
This Was Never A Relationship-Your E-Mail Drip Campaign Is Killing Me! - 09:48 PM
I don't know about you but I am a marketer's dream..I sign up for just about anything..that's right FREE..... e-books...demo's and trials of software. Now when I sign of for these FREE items...I know somehow...someway..I will be solicited... I don't have a problem with it and I expect it... BUT your E-Mail Drip Campaign is killing me!
Think about dating someone you barely know..do you start full force with force..or do you court them and let the love bloom? Usually when the pace is too fast..and the feelings are not mutual..you end up parting company..cut off..it's over..the end! Drip (17 comments)
A few years ago, I decided to get away from the snow in Nashua, New Hampshire for the holiday and visit my friends and family in Tulsa, Oklahoma. For over twenty years, on Christmas evening, we gather at my cousin Sue's home for a holiday dinner and gift giving. It is an established tradition that one person is designated by uncle Lenn to be "Santa's helper" and pass out a gift to a family member.
As the gift is opened, the other family members look on -- and then another family member will receive a gift ... and (27 comments)
Builder Incentives Cannot be Tied to Mortgage and Title Companies Anymore - 09:17 AM
My broker forwarded me an article this morning that talks about Builders and their affiliations with Mortgage Companies and Title Companies, and how those affiliations are set to change come January 16 and into 2010. Currently, when buyers go to a Builder's community, the builder tries to say something along the lines of, "If you use my mortgage company and close at my title company, I'll give you $5000 for closing costs." The buyers always perk up. I usually turn around and ask the builder to write into the contract that the builder's mortgage company must match or beat a good (8 comments)
Tracking "Missed Opportunities" to Help your Business - 09:38 AM
My office was having our company holiday lunch a couple of days ago. I'm always up for some free food! I happened to be a little early for lunch, but thought I would check to see if some food was already out so I could eat and run. Ooops, I walked into the office meeting... I tried to duck out, but was caught. My broker brought me a chair. I didn't go to the office meeting because I'm moving and didn't feel like I needed to spend an hour talking about office issues and meeting the new in-house mortgage company. I (18 comments)
Property Tax Assessments and Arbitration - 11:19 AM
Most people disagree with the Property Tax Assessment on their property when they're mailed out each year. Many people don't know that there is something you can do about it. The first step is to walk into your Appraisal Districts office and ask to speak with an appraiser. This does not usually require an appointment. If you don't like what the appraiser has to say, the second step is to fill out a form to meet with the county's Arbitration Review Board. Watch your deadlines because you usually only have 30 days to do both steps 1 and 2. If you don't like (9 comments)
Growth Leader is NOT the product people would like to think it is by reading people's blogs about it. Not a single person has posted anything negative about the site. Are they scared to be honest because they're receiving FREE leads! Of course they're scared! Before I go further, I would like to preface this blog with the fact that I've been a huge HouseValues supporter for over 4 years and I was one of the original test guinea pigs for the Growth Leader system since back in June 2008. I had huge success with the leads generated and their (71 comments)
Discover Northeast Los Angeles: The historic, eclectic and diverse communities of Northeast Los Angeles grew from the gentle valley and hillsides along the Arroyo Seco, stretching in between Downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena. The neighborhoods are now cross-cultural and dynamic, but much of their character can traced to Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Arts and Crafts Movement celebrated individualism, creativity and pride of craftsmanship as a rebuttal to the Industrial Revolution , and as a counterpoint to Victorian formality. The spirit of the Arts and Crafts Movement continues today as a vital (0 comments)
When was the last time you looked at your Profile? - 08:16 PM
This is really for the old timers (Old timers=anyone here greater than 3 months) but newbies will benefit too! More so for those that have been here awhile. Why would this be more important to someone has been here awhile? Well mainly it is because they probably haven't touched their profile page since they set up their account. What is My Profile Page and why is it so important? Well it is your business card here on ActiveRain and Localism. It can be a powerful tool in your SEO Strategy on the web. In fact, My Profile Page shows up in lots of Google (8 comments)
I think I'm stuck in a Short Sale time warp!!! - 04:04 PM
Hi folks. It seems like only yesterday that we started hearing about short sales, foreclosures and financing issues. That's why I was a little surprised when I fouind this post that I posted in December of ........2006!!!!! No wonder I'm tired. Three blind mice, three blind mice......blah blah blah. Lately, as anyone knows who has been reading my Blog, I have been dealing a lot with short sales and pre-foreclosure listings. Since I am not an attorney and cannot give legal advice, I always recommend to these Sellers, that they seek competent legal counsel. Most do. In addition to this, I (27 comments)
Los Gatos real estate list prices: some are up, some are down - 11:59 AM
Are prices holding their value in Los Gatos? The answer really depends on what segment of the real estate market you're viewing. List prices are generally faring pretty well among condominiums and townhomes on the market in Los Gatos. There remains variation between price quartiles and zip codes, though. Among houses for sale in Los Gatos, it is also mixed, with some significant difference based on whether the property is in the 95032 or 95030 zip code, and whether it falls high or low on the price points of available homes. To get the whole story, please (0 comments)
Denver Home Prices Fall Dramatically in November - 11:12 PM
Buyers are in the catbird seat again this month, that is, if they can get a mortgage. Prices take a slide but credit is still tight even though rates are the best they've been in awhile. Figures for the Denver real estate market for November 2008 show steep declines in prices, in number of homes sold versus last month and last year at this time, and number of homes currently on the market. Area economic experts predict that prices will continue to fall, possibly into 2010. But metro Denver is still in a better position economically than most. Average single family (0 comments)
Never Considered a DOUBLE CROSS a Good Thing! - 07:57 AM
It has always amazed me how often the meanings of words have been morphed into something totally different ... sometimes even the absolute opposite of what had previously been the case. At one time, if someone described you as "bad", you likely would not have been pleased. Today, most people under under the age of 25 consider a "bad" reference as something to be proud of! A "web" used to be something created by "spiders"...today's web, however, is simply crawled by them. It used to be that contracting a "virus" meant you had to stay home in bed; then a virus (0 comments)
Short Sale Tale Part 29 "We'll Think it Over....MAYBE after the Holidays....." - 07:06 AM
We met with a seller the other day who had been self employed...business partners left...the sales person touted as successful was stealing him blind with artificial travel expenses...health problems....and the list continues...the hardship deepens....and the foreclosure notice sent. We explain a Short Sale after we determine that there is no other way unless he wins the lottery...there is no hope to re-finance, the lender has been uncooperative and a short sale is his best alternative to a looming foreclosure. "Well, with the holidays,...we are really busy and maybe we could list by the middle or end of next month." Oh Yicks...Tis (5 comments)
Creative Housing Approach? - 09:21 PM
I heard an interview on the radio this afternoon with a gentleman in Miami-Dade County. He is involved with an organization that helps find housing for homeless families. He has come up with an interesting approach to the foreclosure mess. There are a number of possible reactions to this approach and for some reason, I expect some of you, will have several of them at once as I did. As Realtors and homeowners we know that having a lot of foreclosed houses standing empty in your neighborhood does nothing good for property values. It can create dangerous places for children as properties deteriorate and (2 comments)
2009 License Plate Requirements in Arizona! - 02:48 PM
As of January 1, 2009, all vehicles in the state of Arizona MUST clearly display in which state the car has been registered. All of those cutsey license plate "frames" saying - who knows what - frequently cover the top of the plate that displays the state. There will be no exceptions - fines will be imposed - therefore, stand behind your vehicle and check it out! Can you clearly see the name of the state, or is it partially obscured? As I've been driving around since I became aware of this new law, I have been noticing how many of (5 comments)
My Christmas MeMe - What DO I Want, Really? - 03:45 PM
For this meme, I can thank Laura, Kat, Jesse, and a couple of others that have so kindly included me in this opportunity to share what I want for Christmas with the following rules: (to "borrow" Laura's colorful list): You have to name one gift you would like to have on Christmas. It has to be an object. We all want happiness for Christmas. If you could pick one single gift out for yourself-what would it be? Remember-it has to be something you can touch and hold.... Once you have done this, name five people or more and send this to (39 comments)
Great Falls Plaza: Off Algonkian Pkwy, across from Lowes Island
So Just What Do Low Rates Mean for You? - 11:28 AM
So rates are low. I'm sure you've heard that by now! Rates are below 5%, lower than they have been in at least the last 30 years says Freddie Mac in an article they released yesterday. But what does that mean to you? Well, it could mean that now is a good time for you to refinance. I may mean that now is a good time for you to move. And, I may take some heat for saying this, but it may mean nothing at all to you. If you plan on owning you current home for several more years and (2 comments)
I had been talking to Brad Andersohn about blog background colors and borders, since the way to achieve this simple, yet REALLY COOL look has changed. As we looked for an HTML command to solve the issue, I took a search through ActiveRain to see if there was anyone who had solved this problem. I had typed "Background color" in the search box in ActiveRain to find blogs about the topic. Search result after search result looked like this, after I clicked on each link:
(The post I just pasted was one of over 630 search term results for this (9 comments)
I have been a Point2Agent member for about 4 years now and I have had a Professional level website for almost 2 years.
I LOVE the drip e-mail, the statistics, the back office....
I am increasingly frustrated by lack of:
Better drip e-mail letters Lack of Handshake fuctionality (dealing with those who break the rules...and those I want to have relationships with) Lack of DROP DOWN menus for the websites Lack of better (newer) templates for the websites So far I have poaid over $600.00 to Point2Agent.....and I keep hearing "More things (14 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.