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ANNOUNCING A NEW GROUP: NUTS AND BOLTS (of Real Estate) - 09/29/09 02:43 PM
It struck me how much we mentor one another, whether we are in the same company or not. We share ideas and make suggestions to one another. So why not, here on ActiveRain where we do the same thing over the internet, share and mentor one another.
Announcing the newest AR Group: NUTS AND BOLTS (of Real Estate) intended to share ideas, scripts, letters, forms, checklists, you name it, related to our profession. We do this in an informal way through our blog posts and with our responses and chatter. So why not just do it (4 comments)
OODLE.COM is another platform for SYNDICATION. - 09/22/09 04:02 PM
Many of us strive to get out listings out before the buyers so we can make our sellers happy. No brainer. To do this is sometimes the issue we stumble over. Internet syndication is the sharing of information from one site to another. OODLE.COM allows this with TWITTER.COM as an example. Another is POSTLETS.COM which allows for many other sites to carry your listings for FREE. Folks talk about IDX or Internet Data Exchange as a way to have your MLS listings on other sites. Say NAR for example. IDX is rather straightforward, however you have to (5 comments)
Get Ready to Buy: It is a process and requires attention to detail - 09/22/09 10:46 AM
Buying a home is a long, complicated process, especially for first-time home buyers. It is not something I would recommend you do alone. I remember when we bought our first home. OMG!!! It was stressful and caused me much anxiety. So if you are considering buying your first home, or any home for that matter, it is my suggestion you team up with a professional real estate agent. No, I am not just saying that because I am a real estate broker. It's really true! Here in Texas, we are required to stay current with the law and keep our license (2 comments)
SELL YOUR HOUSE TODAY.....if the PRICE is RIGHT! - 09/21/09 03:23 PM
Yes, we are in a buyer's market here in San Antonio. Actually, for much of the nation. Does that mean you cannot sell your house as you had planned? In a word, no. There are many houses here in San Antonio that have sold this year. Even in a buyer's market. It is not because the San Antonio real estate agents work miracles, even though sometimes it seems like it. It is because the right price on a house for sale means it will sell in short order. Pricing is an art in real estate. Listen to your agent. (0 comments)
BUY THEN SELL -- SELL THEN BUY -- HMMMMMM - 09/20/09 06:41 PM
When you are looking to downsize or upsize your home, you have a decision to make. To buy first, then sell the existing home or, sell first then go out and buy a new home. Clients often want their agent to tell them what to do. That is not what an agent is contracted for. We are not part of the buying or selling of a home. Agents are contracted to market property or to assist in locating suitable property for a client to buy. We educate, provide information, discuss options, build scenarios with possible outcomes and do market research. We do (0 comments)
You have now found the right house for your family and want to place an offer. This is where your agent will assist you in making the right offer. Sometimes a full-price offer is the right choice. Other instances require slightly more or less. Rely on theexperience of your agent to guide you. Once the offer is accepted and you enter the "option" period the process becomes critical. Remember thesaying about real estate "location, locations, location?" During the option period it is "inspection, inspection, inspection." Even on a brand new house, an inspection is well worth the cost. Finding a (0 comments)
With the help of your real estate agent, the search for your new home begins. You already know where you want to live and the type of home. Your agent will target the location and type of home in your price range based upon your preferences. In the case of pre-owned homes, your agent will set up showingappointments. Take your time! Emotions run high at this stage. Excitement can cost you money and regret if not controlled. Ask questions of your agent. They know the answer or will get them for you. Also, DO NOT fall in love (0 comments)
Now that you know what your credit score is and how much home you can afford, the next step is to decide on a new home or pre-owned. Both have their advantages. A new home comes with a longer guarantee. A pre-owned home is in an establishedneighborhood with mature trees and near schools. A new home built to yourspecifications has everything the way you want it. With a pre-owned home, youhave to make some concessions. This is a personal decision you will live with so take your time. Next look for a real estate agent. This is (0 comments)
For many, buying a home is the realization of the American dream. It isnot as simple as buying a car, refrigerator or other consumer item. This isserious business and requires patience, research and honesty. First, a home buyer must be honest with themselves. Is a home purchaseaffordable given the current family income? How large of a home can youafford? Is your credit rating going to allow you to get a mortgage? Thesetough questions are the first place to start and necessary for the right, honest answers. If you do not know your credit score, DO NOT pay (0 comments)
Home inspections are a MUST when you purchase a home - 09/12/09 06:46 AM
You love to hate ‘em...home inspectors that is. They are a somewhat strange group of professionals here in Texas and throughout the country. Many real estate blog entries either praise them or ... . They provide a service to both the buyer and seller in a home transaction. An inspector works for the buyer. Not the buyer's agent. The buyer! I was at an inspection once where the inspector, somewhat peeved at the seller's agent who was asking too many questions, reminded the agent he worked for the buyers. And this is a great tool to have when buying (7 comments)
PITI - so important yet so misunderstood - 09/12/09 06:41 AM
We have a saying in real estate that goes something like " PITI...pity we all have to pay off our mortgage." Trouble is, if you are not in real estate, the joke is lost. PITI stands for Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance. When you say "mortgage payment" you refer to PITI. It is the whole enchilada as they say. Principal refers to the money your borrowed. Interest is the amount per month you agreed to pay on the outstanding balance of the loan. Taxes are whatever the local government says you must pay each year for your property. Finally, insurance (6 comments)
YOU MAY THINK THIS IS CRAZY BUT IT AIN'T - 09/11/09 09:59 AM
We all know how foreclosures hurt individuals and their families. Well you need to know they hurt you too, especially if you are trying to sell you home. Real estate agents us comparisons in recent sales (usually 6 months history) to help you make the right sale price. This is called the Fair Market Value (FMV) which takes in a number of considerations. When a home is foreclosed and sells at a lower than FMV, just think what this does when you price your home for sale. So what to do. Well, this is the crazy part. If (4 comments)
FAILURE TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL - WHAT'S IN YOUR PLAN?? - 09/10/09 01:50 PM
Well folks, 2010 is almost here. Do you know where your plan is? You know what plan I am talking about, don't you? Your 2010 business plan. Can't get there without it! Few have ever enjoyed the sweet taste of success without a plan on how to get where they wanted to go. We are the same with real estate as any other business. Either we plan our business out each year or we are indeed planning to fail.
Now many of us have had professional success in other fields before we entered real (3 comments)
One of my agent contacts notified me of a referral. Great news! Always appreciated. The request was for a nominal referral fee if the transaction came to fruition. No problem, my friend. Always happy to assist. So, being the ever diligent real estate agent, the call to the prospective client was made. From the beginning, following introductions, it was apparent this was not going to be an easy process. As the prospective client was not preapproved, my sage advice was for him to talk with a lender or his personal banking institution to see where he stood (0 comments)
IS IT JUST ME OR DID I MISS THE MEMO??? - 09/07/09 01:11 PM
Glad to be an active ActiveRainer and enjoy reading most of the blogs. It is always appreciated when something new is discussed and it teaches you something. One thing has been noticed of alte which is of some concern in recent blogs. At the end of each new blog submission, we are asked if the material is ours to distribute. This keeps us honest and within the law. My observations have been folks are taking someone else's written piece and posting it in their blog. Two concerns here. One, it is not material owned by the person doing the (9 comments)
Real estate is a profession. This indicates those who ply the trade are professionals. While it is true some are more professional than others, we all have agreed to maintain a high degree of ethics in our professional life. Scruples, which means knowing or appreciating right from wrong, is not heard very much these days. More often than not, most believe if you get away with something then more power to you. This must not be, cannot be the case in our real estate profession or the mindset of real estate agents. Today, it was an unfortunate (5 comments)
AGENT MANTRA: EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE - 09/06/09 11:17 AM
Many folks want to be told what to do when buying or selling a home. If that is what you are looking for, ask a family member. A real estate agent is going to provide answers to questions-not make decisions. Real estate agents are there for their clients. They are the closest you will ever come to having an indentured servant. Agents under contract have fiduciary responsibility for their clients. Everything they say or do is in the client's best interest. Now some reading this are shaking their heads because they have had far different experiences with agents. I (2 comments)
GETTING READY TO SELL: THREE LEVELS OF PREPARATION - 09/06/09 11:10 AM
This may seem like something intuitive, however for many folks it is not. You have to get ready to sell your home: Physically, mentally and financially. The hardest part is the mental or emotional adjustment a seller must make in preparing to sell their home. This is a tough time, no matter the circumstances. There are memories in all homes and leaving the physical space where those memories occurred is tough. It will help with small children to start discussing the move early on. If you can create some excitement for them, it will also help. Make moving an (0 comments)
FROM THE TRASH HEAP RISES HOUSING - PHOENIX COMMOTION - 09/06/09 10:46 AM
In today's newspaper (yes, they do still exist) is an article on a man named Dan Phillips (64). He had an idea and started his current company, Phoenix Commotions, using materials one would find in our trash heaps and landfills. Located in Huntsville, Texas which is in East Texas for those confused by the sheer size of our part of heaven, Phillips has thus far built 14 homes. They meet the local building codes and are not meant as "hippie" dwellings. Made from about 80% reused materials, these homes have design reviews by Phillips wife of 40 years, (0 comments)
New Texas Requirements for Home Inspections Outside of Municipalities - 09/05/09 09:27 AM
The Texas Residential Construction Committee has adopted new rules governing the inspection of new home construction for those areas outside of municipalities and therefore, outside of their jurisdiction for building codes. This is great news for home buyers in Texas. CHAPTER 307, SECTIONS 307.1 - 307.7, RELATING TO INSPECTIONS OF HOMES IN AREAS WITHOUT MUNICIPAL INSPECTIONS directs inspections by licensed inspectors and parameters to be followed, along with punitive action if these requirements are not met. This could be a long post if my goal was to bore my readers to tears. Given the entire Order of Adoption is linked in this (0 comments)
AVOID FORECLOSURE _ TURN YOUR HOME INTO A TEMPORARY RENTAL - 09/05/09 09:23 AM
This is a tough time for some home owners to be sure. Getting into a hole with your mortgage makes it seem like the sky is falling. There is one solution which may work for some. For those who may have a close relative with extra room, relocating from your home and turning it in to a rental may save you from foreclosure. Yes, this is a tough solution to a problem, however it is better than foreclosure. Moving into temporary housing with a family member and getting a tenant will solve an immediate problem-losing your home. This (2 comments)
SAN ANTONIO MARKET AND ECONOMY REMAIN STRONG - 09/05/09 09:19 AM
Regardless of how you look at the San Antonio market, it looks good, especially compared to some locales. The recent statistics and forecasts indicate we have been slowed by the economic downturn, yet not stopped. The median price for homes is down. The sales of homes has slowed. We are still building new homes and those on the market are moving. Prices have softened. Sales are not as brisk as 18 months ago. This is an indication of the economic freeze due to tight money. Lenders here, as elsewhere, are not as quick to approve a loan application. It (0 comments)
BEWARE: MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE FRAUD IS ON THE RISE - 09/05/09 09:16 AM
The US Attorney General (AG) has released numbers (and some names) on mortgage assistance fraud schemes. These types of fraud are up 400% from five years ago. According to the AG, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has 2,100 mortgage fraud cases under investigation. These usually involve individuals contacting home owners and offering assistance with their mortgage...for an up front fee of $1,000 to $3,000. These are presented as "loan modifications" and are usually fraudulent. Mortgage companies are honest folks who are doing their jobs to earn a living, just like most of us. It is unfortunate, as with most (0 comments)
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS SAYS "THANKS JOLIET, ILLINOIS!" - 09/04/09 01:34 PM
What on earth is this all about? Business. And when we talk business we talk jobs. Jobs means an economic shot in the arm. And that, my friends, means more real estate business. It all comes full circle. Now specifically, what is happening has to do with the railroad. In Joliet, Illinois (close to my old home town of Mokena) Union Pacific is building an intermodal terminal which some say will double the growth opportunity in San Antonio, Texas. This will increase the the Union Pacific's capacity for container and rail traffic along with efficiencies in the Chicago operation. (2 comments)
SAVE MONEY AND INCREASE YOUR CREDIT SCORE - 09/04/09 08:50 AM
With all the turbulence in the real estate industry folks are standing on the sidelines waiting for things to settle down. Do not just wait-be proactive. You need to make sure you look great to a lender when you apply for a mortgage. Many folks are slowing or stopping the plastic at the stores. This is good. Plastic must only be used for an emergency or a necessity. Reducing your use of credit cards will eventually help your credit score by showing you have less debt to income ratio and you are paying on time, as agreed. Do (0 comments)
Of late, my opportunities have revolved around trying to locate a church for several customers and clients. You would think this would not be such a hard task. Wrong! When searching through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) one has to work very hard to find a "church." Why is that? We can locate anything else we want with ease. This, after all, is just a database search. My suggestion is for a "special" category on the MLS wherein the different cats and dogs we may need to find would be located. Like a church. Does anyone (3 comments)
FIRST IS MARKETING, THEN PRICE IN HOME SALES - 09/04/09 08:03 AM
Much has been said (by me) about Fair Market Value (FMV) and setting the right price on a home for sale. Still true, however with some modification. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research the marketing of a property has more impact on a sale than the price. This is of great importance to the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) folks who believe they are ahead of the game by going it alone. To clarify, the FMV is still very important to ensure the quickest sale possible. The condition and location of the house is also important in regards to (0 comments)
Strange day and a real strange phone call - asking for your input please - 09/03/09 06:41 PM
Well today was one for the record books. Had lunch with a friend who had an idea and wanted to bounce it off my head. And to think, my wife does not appreciate my head sometimes. Off topic...sorry. Anyway, with a great lunch and a discussion with my friend about a possible nation-wide project, church related, he had my head hurting. How? Who? How much? Marketing strategy? Seed money? The list goes on and on, not to mention language barriers. Later in the afternoon, the phone rings. A nice, friendly voice says he has a $200,000 home he (6 comments)
Should I resist the impulse purchase or give way to my male ego?? - 09/02/09 09:08 AM
While attending a meeting several weeks back my fellow broker had a new gizmo, as did another in the room. Both lauded praise on the contraption and said it was the best thing since sliced bread. Of course, my male instincts kicked in, telling me to run out and get one too. Whoa there fella! Take a deep breath and apply your hard-learned self control. My colleagues each had a new, shiny Flip video recording device with a memory stick. Now understand, this real estate professional wanted a laptop for the longest time, yet just last month made the (4 comments)
Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency - 09/01/09 07:10 PM
While we all want to save money, as real estate agents we can help customers and clients save theirs too. The government has some incentives for home owners to save some money on energy efficient upgrades or renovations to your residence. Click Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency and see what may work for you. My air conditioning company in San Antonio, Texas is giving rebates of up to $3200 here in San Antonio using the local and government rebates available. Give me a call and I will share his information with you.
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.