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... as the weather turns - 10/31/09 10:05 AM
Okay all. As the weather begins to turn toward Winter, here in the Midwest, I thought it might be an appropriate time to remind agents how to view/show their homes during the colder months. A few reminders of things that are important to note during the winter months. As the Listing Agent: 1) If you use a lock box, please make sure that the lock box is "protected" from the elements... so that they don't "Freeze". Placed on the door knob is okay, if protected by a storm door. Placed outside on the water spigot (where drips of water will encase (25 comments)
It's that time of the year again; time to set our clocks back an hour, return to standard time, and "gain" an extra hour. That means this Sunday, November 1 at 2:00 am, Daylight Saving Time officially ends until its return on the second Sunday in March, 2010.Since 2007, Daylight Saving Time has actually been four weeks longer, thanks to the passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005 (which my car hasn't yet caught onto). The Act extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks in an attempt to save 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced use of (15 comments)
Why does the sun lighten our hair, but it darkens our skin?Why can't women manage to apply mascara with their mouth closed?Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"? C'mon, if they were truly psychic.Why is "abbreviated" such a long word?Why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"? Shouldn't they have perfected it by now?Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavors, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?Why is the man (20 comments)
When do you use your lower back? - 10/29/09 08:04 PM
You use your lower back when you... ____ raise your hand to use the remote to change the channel. ____ turn to look over your shoulder. ____ sneeze. (small sneeze, big sneeze... doesn't matter) ____ get in and out of the car. ____ wipe your behind. (that's right.. I said it) ____ laugh. (titter, or belly laugh... doesn't matter) ____ walk up stairs. (one or two, or 3rd floor walk-up, d.m.) ____ walk down stairs. (more stairs?) ____ walk at all. (oh, yeah!) ____ reach across a table. (can you hand me that?) ____ hand a client a pen. (here!) ____ (15 comments)
we're doomed, I say... we're doomed! - 10/27/09 11:27 AM
Just in case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed due to stupidity, here are some actual label instructions that appears on consumer goods.On a Sears hairdryer: Do not use while sleeping. (but that's the only time I have to work on my hair).On a bag of Fritos! .You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside. (the shoplifter special)?On a bar of Dial soap: "Directions: Use like regular soap." (yeesh... i hate to think about "irregular" soap.)On some Swanson frozen dinners: "Serving suggestion: Defrost." (but, it's "just" a suggestion).On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom): "Do (30 comments)
there was a Turtle, a Lizard and a Rabbit.... - 10/26/09 08:21 AM
It's now been four years since my older sister Chelley was taken from us. It's odd, losing a sister, as those of you who've also lost close family members can attest. They say time heals all wounds, and while time does make it better... I don't think the wound is yet healed. As my brother-in-law once said, regarding the death of his Father. "It doesn't get better... it just gets different". Chelley died from AML (Acute Myloid Leukemia) at the ripe old age of 53. She'd battled the disease valiantly, but in the end, she ended up right where she didn't (16 comments)
Ingredients for a Good Week. - 10/25/09 09:53 AM
There are lots of ingredients that go into creating a good week. So let's see if we can identify what went into mine this week. 1) Writing an accepted contract. Yep, that's part of a good week. But does that make it a good week? Not yet, more ingredients necessary I wrote an offer... the offer was eventually accepted, at a price that made my clients very happy. 2) The accepted contract will be a quick close. Nah, that doesn't really make my good week... doesn't hurt, but doesn't make it yet either... let's mix in some more. 3) I had (13 comments)
how far will we go for a closing? - 10/23/09 07:23 AM
The weather is butt-ugly out there, this morning. And it's this morning, of course, that I have to drive to Naperville for a 10:00 closing. Now I know that most of you have no idea what the relational distance from Evanston to Naperville is... Picture the distance from Chicago to Seattle, and subtract about a mile and half. Well, not really... it's only about 45 miles... But Chicago Expressway and Tollway miles, that in this morning's Rush-hour-storming-rainy-dark weather, should take me about 2 - 2-1/2 hours. Yeesh! So, 2 hours... to the closing... 2-3 hours FOR the closing.... and another 2 (24 comments)
who likes short-shorts? - 10/22/09 08:09 AM
Okay, here is a photo from an inspection that I completed last night, on a condo that I sold. I took the photo with my cell-phone, and it was inside a darkened cabinet, so I know that doesn't make it very easy... but honestly... even if it were crystal clear... I think you'd have a rough time figuring this one out. Anybody want to take a guess as to what you're looking at?? It definitely doesn't meet code, and will assuredly have to be replaced before my client moves in. I'm personally stunned that it was installed like this... and that (20 comments)
the Home Buyer's First Rule - 10/21/09 03:13 PM
DECIDE HOW MUCH YOU'RE WILLING TO PAY. Not how much the home you like is priced. Not how much of a discount you feel you should get... or should "deserve" in today's market. Hopefully you've been out home hunting before you found this "one" that you want to buy. You know how much other homes were selling for. You know how much the homes that were much nicer than this one, were listed for. And hopefully, you also know how much some of the "closed" for. That should give you a good sense of what this one is worth. Your friends, (9 comments)
How I lernt sumpin' new or how being a smert-ass came back to bite me in the buttocks. - 10/21/09 11:00 AM
So, as many of you do, I pop back and forth between Active Rain and several other forums. On one of those other forums (which rhymes with Julia) a gentleman asked if having a 'detention pond' behind a house, might affect the value of the property. Several Realtors responded to the question, with their thoughts on yea or nay, each of them repeating the phrase 'detention pond'. I, having never heard of a 'DEtention' pond, but certainly having heard of 'REtention ponds', made my typical smert-ass reply, and commented a little tongue in cheek with: "Okay... I'm surprised nobody has picked (17 comments)
(Left) Lyonel Feininger, 1871-1956Carnival in Arcueil, 1911.
I love the colours and the motion... the surreal vista, with the aquaduct and curious yellow row homes... What a fun scene.
right: Mrs. Elvis admiring a colourful painting. She's very bit as much of a piece of art, as
the canvas she's viewing.
LeftPierre Bonnard1867-1947 Earthly Paradise, 1916-1920 Muted pastels, sleepy, dreamy... unabashed nakedness, ahh... such is the life...
the Pritzker Pavillion at Millenium Park - 10/20/09 09:17 AM
On my recent trip to downtown Chicago... we walked Millenium Park. Our walk brought me to this vantage of the Millennium Park bandshell... the Pritzker Pavilion. It's an impressive site... designed by world renowned artist / architect Frank Gehry. Millennium Park has come to be as much of a symbol of Chicago as the former Picasso statue, and is the showpiece of downtown Chicago. If you get a chance, come see it. As you can see, there are speakers suspended over the entire grassy area, where people can sit on blankets to experience any of the concerts. Because the speakers are (10 comments)
Not wanting to be left behind... (take that Clint Miller)... I, too, decided to reblog Mr. Stigliano's recent post about his time spend in Sin City. I figure that any stink that sticks to Clint and Matt, might just rub off on me!?
Via Matt Stigliano (RE/MAX Access): photo courtesy of ChicagoGeek It already feels like it was weeks ago. I landed in San Antonio late last night from my trip to BlogWorld 2009. This morning it already feels like it was a long time ago. So much fun had in such a short space of time always seems (3 comments)
Over the weekend, my wife and I had the opportunity to visit the new wing of the Art Insitute of Chicago. We first walked through Millenium Park, where we encountered a lovely young couple... freshly engaged and excited... we crossed the bridge from the park directly into the new wing. We started on the third floor, which contained a phenomenal collection of masters. Sometimes, when visiting an art museum, one piece of art generates a visceral response. You find yourself drawn to it, for an unknown reason. All roads lead there. While this was a quick visit, this one (9 comments)
Nancy, Mina and the evergrowing smile... send 'em a congratulations!! - 10/18/09 03:40 PM
Yesterday we went down to the Millenium Park in Chicago. Mrs. Elvis and I went along with another couple. We'd been to Millennium Park before, but we had an event to attend that evening, and thought we'd spend the afternoon at Millennium, and then experience the new wing at the Art Institute of Chicago (future blogginses!). As part of Millenium Park, the Lurie Gardens are set up to display the best of indigenous plantings for the Midwest. It's a beautiful garden, and the perfect setting for beautiful things. And that is precisely where we encountered Nancy & Mina. They were chatting (45 comments)
it'll happen just when you least expect it, and when you stop trying - 10/18/09 10:44 AM
I was beating myself up the other day (a part-time hobby of mine... okay, okay...a FULL-TIME hobby), because I was blogging my brains out, and oddly enough hadn't picked up any recent subscribers. They don't like what I'm writing.... they don't like me.... sniff, sniff. In fact the "those who truly appreciate Alan's frantic ramblings and need their regular fix" (aka subscribers) were staying away from "from a Sow's Ear" in droves. So I wrote a couple of "subscribe to me" posts... trying to draft some of the standers-by.... accomplishing an entire TWO new subscribers. I finally gave up and said (28 comments)
Buyer's Paralysis is Over! - 10/16/09 03:14 PM
Buyers have been paralyzed with fear for years. They've been staying away from homes in Droves. Sitting on the sidelines, waiting for ... well, waiting for... * Sellers to come to their senses* the market to hit the bottom* Economists to tell them it's okay to buy* Prices to return to 1999 rates* Interest rates to drop below X %* Common Sense to return and any number of other landmarks... lots of them were just sitting waiting for some "unknown".... Well, whatever it was, whatever they saw.... whatever they were waiting for, must have arrived, because buyers in my area are (12 comments)
it's just too hard. - 10/15/09 09:48 PM
In our regional meeting today, our management strongly suggested, that we should begin paying attention to SEO. For those of you who haven't been paying much attention, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The idea is to do things that increase your visibility by search engines, such as Yahoo, Bing and virtual unknown Google (is there some requirement that in order to be a search engine, you have to have a weird name?) Now, I'd never given it much thought, so I listened carefully. They suggested using keywords in our profiles on ColdwellBanker.com and ColdwellBankerOnline.com to bring us up higher in (19 comments)
Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce... special orders don't upset us... - 10/15/09 02:44 PM
Quite a few years back, my father and his wife moved back to the Midwest from Florida. I'd like to say that my father wanted to move back to be closer to his family... but in reality his wife wanted to move back to be closer to HER family... who lived in semi-rural Wisconsin. When driving up to visit my father, we came upon this town shown in the map to the left. The road sign said "Welcome to Mazomanie"... we thought it was a silly sounding name... and were divided as to how to pronounce this heretofore unheard of town. (23 comments)
Do you remember your first time? - 10/14/09 12:17 PM
Do you remember all the way back to your first purchase of a home? You probably weren't a Realtor back then. It was a roller coaster of emotions Do you remember how nervous you were... about EVERYthing? * What should we offer? * They haven't gotten back to us! * They countered at full price... what does that mean? * How much would that be.. per month? * Can we see it one more time? If you had a Realtor involved, they helped with some of those answers... but they didn't remove all your trepidation... you laid awake at night, staring (18 comments)
sales are moving at a snail's pace. - 10/13/09 10:54 AM
the media tells you, ad nauseum, that sales in our area (the United States) are moving at a Snail's pace. Very little is selling, they say, and when it does it takes months and months to sell. I wrote an offer for a foreclosure property on Saturday. The property had been on the market for about a week. It was in so-so condition, the floors weren't damaged, the brick structure appeared to be decent. We couldn't check anything else.. the water, electric and heat were all turned off. But this two-flat was in far better shape than many of the two-flats (21 comments)
this is it! - 10/13/09 09:53 AM
For those of you "jonesing" for a new Michael Jackson song... they are now releasing the first "posthumous" single by Michael called "this is it".
It is, of course, followed immediately by controversy as renowned singer/songwriter Paul Anka steps forward to announce that he and Michael wrote that song together, many years ago (around the time that Thriller was released)... the Jackson family was quick to correct the error. Here it is for you to listen to. I can easily understand why it wasn't realeased against "thriller". My understanding is that this song will play over the credits of his (15 comments)
Ladies and gentlemen of the rain. This post, by a relative unknown here on Active Rain, was just that good, that I thought it bore repeating. Study it carefully. Memorize it. It will come in handy one day. (or maybe more than one day).
Via Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC): I had to spend a bit of time thinking about the subtitle of this post. I think this captures the essence of what I am about to cover here. These are by no means compreshensive lists, but I think they provide a (9 comments)
hey, they can't do that.... (oh, yes they can!) - 10/08/09 03:51 PM
Okay... the remarks to the left, state that an offer "accepted by 10/15/09" will receive a $1,000 Agent Bonus. (which true to my word, if you've read me in the past, I will turn over to the buyers). This offer was posted in our local MLS. In our last "go-round" with the seller, they've indicated that at "this price", we're not honouring the $1,000 agent bonus. Now there's nothing "conditional" about this offered bonus, other than the contract must be accepted by 10/15/09. It will be. I feel somewhat betrayed, because it was part of the buyer's negotiations, knowing that they (26 comments)
Whatever! - 10/08/09 09:20 AM
You know? It is what it is? At the end of the day! Whatever! According to a recently released Marist College (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) poll, 47% of Americans surveyed found the word "Whatever" (often pronounced WHAT-EV-ER) to be the most annoying expression in the modern English Language. It was followed by ANYway at 7%, "it is what it is" at 11%, and "at the end of the day" at only 2% annoyance factor. "Whatever" is a word with some staying power. Immortalized in the Nirvana song "Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind" in 1991, and then further popularized in Clueless as the valley girls (38 comments)
a few more random thoughts. - 10/06/09 12:21 PM
I'm often a bit scared when exiting a Microsoft Word document and it asks me if I want to save any changes, of my 24 page document, when I swear I didn't make any changes at all. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means that this garment will never be clean. I hate being the one with the remote control in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. "I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of (26 comments)
Random factoids - 10/02/09 12:59 PM
Ladies and gentlemen of the Rain. Here is a list of random factoids that I have gleaned from the internet. I have not researched them carefully... they may be true, they may not... but many of them have the ring of truth. I publish this list here, just for entertainment value. Enjoy!
The second best selling game of all time is Jenga. Jenga is a Swahili word, meaning "to build." (makes sense) The name Wendy was made up for the book "Peter Pan." (I had no idea!) The Great Pyramids used to be as white as snow (24 comments)
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