"It's my blog and I'll delete your comment if I want to..." BUT WHY? - 07/30/11 11:16 PM
In the three years that I've been on ActiveRain I think I've only had two of my comments deleted by the blogger.
The first time was a good spanking that I deserved. In my comment, I uploaded an editorial cartoon I found on the internet. Although I received permission to use it, the blogger didn't want to take a chance and deleted my comment. I later found out her stance on copyright issues.
This time, the blog is about ipad apps. I commented that Brad Andersohn said Zillow now has a mortgage calculator app, and I provided the link.
What did I do
Why I chose real estate when I was jobless, homeless and friendless - 07/30/11 05:23 AM
Did I choose real estate, or did it choose me? It seems that there were signs that this would be my ultimate and final profession, but I was too blind to see it.
Love of architecture
As a little girl, I was fascinated by the models that my playmate's architect father would have of a house or building he was designing. And no, I didn't look at these models as doll houses.
In college, I had a moment of insanity when I thought I could make it in Fine Arts. In the library, I'd wander from the Art and Humanities section of the
Don't stop believing - 07/29/11 01:36 PM
Seems like today, more than ever, we need a reason to believe that things will be all right.
Maybe Congress and Senate will have an aggreement soon for the debt ceiling challenge. Maybe the economy will bounce back. Maybe jobs will be created. Maybe the real estate market will recover and people will once again say they've accomplished their version of the American dream by owning a home.
Watching this clip of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" on the Today Show....I want to believe! Look at how the audience joyfully sang along. Don't stop believing!
And if you want to sing
DOCUSIGN: Raved about it, and ranted when banks didn't. - 07/28/11 04:52 AM
So long ago....I became an evangelist for Docusign
I can't even remember how long ago I've been using Docusign. But I will take credit for being the first in my previous company to use Docusign, and even convinced a few to try it. Shortly afterwards, our broker decided to make it available to everyone in the office --- the first one in Alameda CA to do so.
During a Bay Area real estate Tech Faire --- it may have been 2008 or 2009, there was a Docusign booth. Docusign wasn't quite as well known then, but when I stopped by
WHY HOMES DON'T SELL....Or DON'T SHOW, DON'T SELL - 07/27/11 05:52 PM
Why Homes Don't Sell It bears repeating over and over again, in every which way-- top reasons why homes don't sell.
There are certainly a ton of information (and opinions) out there. But they all come to these critical factors.
This is the single most important reason why not.
The majority of realtors and their buyers will hear about and see your property shortly after it is listed, say within the first 30 days. If it stays unsold after a period of time, they will begin to wonder is something is wrong with it.
When you overprice, you may miss
RATS! Buyer inspector found rat droppings, but seller inspector didn't. Should we be concerned? - 07/27/11 02:06 PM
The sellers and the previous buyers provided their own property inspection and pest inspection. After the first buyers backed out, my buyers wrote an offer, but were countered on my buyers' insistence on a regular buyer investigation period.
The sellers couldn't see the justification in my buyers asking for the regular buyer investigation period much less getting new inspections, but agreed to meet us half-way. They and their listing agent couldn't fathom why the selected inspector needed 4 hours to inspect a home with less than 1500 sq ft.
A VERY GOOD AND THOROUGH INSPECTION
My buyers hired an inspector with
Just because sellers already have inspections doesn't mean my buyers shouldn't get their own - 07/27/11 05:43 AM
Recently in two separate cases. my buyers liked properties whose sellers were smart enough to engage their own inspectors. Therefore, there shouldn't be any surprises, right?
My buyers acknowledged the reports along with their offer. But we kept the standard buyer investigation period of 17 days (in California) because the buyers wanted to get their own inspections.
The listing agents and their sellers were surprised. Why are you getting new inspections when they have already been done?
Well heck, why shouldn't my buyers exercise that prerogative?
Shorten the investigation period
The sellers countered my buyers to shorten the buyer investigation
"I'm proud to be an American"....believe in it, show it, stand by it! - 07/25/11 04:14 AM
A story caught my eye today:
Marine's parents sued over sign of support in their Bossier City front yard The Times reports that the Gardens of Southgate filed the suit this month against Timothy and Jodi Burr, who have lived in the subdivision since 2006. The Burrs placed a large multicolored banner with a picture of their 20-year-old son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Corey Burr, and the phrase "Our son defends our freedom" in January after Corey Burr was deployed to Afghanistan.
I couldn't help but feel a wave of anger. Sure, HOA have rules. But for goodness sake, have a
How to write a good (or bad) offer on an REO (bank-owned) property - 07/24/11 01:57 AM
Some REO agents are very good at what they do, and provide concise instructions on how to submit an offer on an REO (real estate owned or bank-owned) listings.
These guidelines were pulled and combined from various instructions from REO listing agents and asset managers….so this is further testimony to the importance of writing the best and highest offer.
GUIDELINES TO WRITING AN OFFER ON AN REO PROPERTY
Seller/Lender calls all the shots Offer is negotiated with an asset manager Some terms may be deleted from the formal contracts mandated/sanctioned/prepared by the State Association of REALTORS Conversely, some
REO preferred lender: I have the lender in my back pocket should something go awry.... - 07/24/11 12:57 AM
A buyer of an REO (Real Estate Owned or bank-owned) property was required to be preapproved by the bank's (or is it the listing agent's?) preferred lender. Regardless of what they say that the buyer isn't required to use the preferred lender, it's an additional step in the preapproval process and in submitting an offer for an REO.
But what sounds a bit shady is when the REO lender says to the buyer
"Keep in mind that I have the relationship with the listing agent and the Bank ABC REO manager support in my back pocket should something go awry. Bank
God Bless America. Proud to be an American - 07/22/11 03:25 AM
As a naturalized citizen of this great country, there is one song that always makes me cry: God Bless America. Whether I sing it, hum it, hear it...i start crying. I am so grateful to be here, and so thankful that I am now an American.
And when this particular clip from America's Got Talent was posted, I had to see it. I missed this particular segment, and I am so happy that Nellie posted this.
This is so unbelievably beautiful. Definitely one to see over and over again.
Thanks, Nellie. And GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Via Nellie Lytvinenko 919-210-9992 Raleigh
Forget pepper spray....use your smartphone as your weapon! - 07/20/11 02:13 AM
Ladies and gentlemen, choose your weapon
In case you missed it, here's a fabulous article from the July 2011 issue of REALTOR Magazine:
"Feeling threatened? How to use your smartphone as a weapon."
We've all had moments of discomfort before...the dangers are very real. So in addition to using our head, there are apps that are recommended.
This app asks your phone at predetermined times "Are you OK?" If 2 questions are not answered, the app will automatically contact people you designate. And then its GPS feature provided via your smartphone will provide your location.
Why do short sales fail? - 07/19/11 04:51 AM
Last year, I showed a large house which was offered as a short sale at the time. This property was in contract at least twice, but just came back on the market as a foreclosure. My clients were surprised and wanted to know what happened?
What happened, indeed? Why did the short sale end up as a foreclosure?
In California, 3 out of 5 short sales close escrow, or 60% of total. It could be a number and/or a combination of several things.
Property owner couldn't prove or didn't qualify for a real hardship. For short sale purposes, hardship could be
ActiveRain Photo Blogger – Animated Blogging Tutorial using PaintShop Pro - 07/18/11 04:57 AM
What's old is new again!
Read a blog by Myrl Jeffcoat about taking time off to enjoy rafting down a river in Sacramento. She posted a fabulous slide show --- and naturally, it was fascinating.
Someone asked how she did it, and she said she wrote a tutorial about this --- in 2009!
Heck, it's new to me...and I'm sure others will be just as happy to learn something new! Hence, a reblog.
Via Myrl Jeffcoat (Real Living Great West Real Estate):
Real Living Great West Real Estate(916) 635-0420http://www.myrljeffcoat.com
Looking for foreclosures? Where to go in Alameda County CA - 07/18/11 01:01 AM
Where are the foreclosures in Alameda County CA?
Take a look at the 3-year view of the sold detached single family residence properties in select cities of Alameda County CA
Even prestigious Piedmont CA has had its share of foreclosures. In some cities, the surprise is not that there are foreclosures, but how many they were compared to total sales.
ALAMEDA, CA - Forecosures as a percent of total sales gradualy increased every year.
25.8% of sales are bank-owned in Q2 2011 22,3% in Q2 2011 21.2% in Q2 2009 1.1% in Q2 2008
BERKELEY CA - Foreclosures also figured in this university
Newbie investor: Buy High, Sell Low! - 07/15/11 02:26 AM
CLASSIC. It's a newbie real estate investor's biggest mistake: BUY HIGH, SELL LOW!
At the height of the market, people who dreamed of themselves as Donald Trump in the making rushed to buy real estate investment properties. After all, the real estate values are rising at a dizzying pace. Why, it's more than double digits appreciation in less than a year! Must get on the wagon, now!
It seemed like the right thing to do, especially since the stock market was reeling from dot.coms turning into dot.bombs. Real estate is brick-and-mortar investment. Must be a solid investment.
2008. Plop, plop. Fizz,
5 Common Misconceptions About Social Media - 07/14/11 01:04 PM
This is a must-read.
Social media can't/won't replace the marketing tools one employs in the business. But it certainly plays a huge part --- if done right.
Rich brings this into focus in a very direct way. Much appreciated.
If you haven't read it, do. Then go to Rich's blog and give him a huge ATTABOY!
Via Rich Jacobson Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker (WindermereRE/West Sound, Inc.):
"Social Media Won't Help.....if You Suck!"
This post is the 2nd part of a series of articles I am publishing based on a presentation I gave at ActiveRain's RainCamp here in Seattle.
If you missed
Would You Take an Overpriced Listing? Yeah, Me too! A Change of Heart - 07/14/11 04:28 AM
This is a situation many realtors will debate for a long time.
Take an overpriced listing...let it sit for a long time. Is that good publicity to have your sign so prominentley displayed on a listing that isn't moving>
Turn down the listing. Have some other realtor take it. Then watch that realtor reduce the price multiple times over a period of time. And eventually sell it -- for even less than what you originally proposed.
Antonio has done a good job laying out this problem. Go to his blog and give him an attaboy!
Is it really a buyer's market if there is an offer date and it results in multiple offers? - 07/14/11 03:47 AM
At the height of the market, when buyers were scrambling to buy a house, where they competed with other buyers and didn't think twice about overbidding, it was quite common for listing agents to specify an offer date. And more often than not, they will also receive multiple offers.
That was then. This is now.
2011. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A BUYER'S MARKET
Yet, we're encountering situations where the listing agents specify offer dates...and get multiple offers.
Even stranger, they get multiple offers on short sales!
Where? In Upper Rockridge, in Montclair, in Crocker Highlands --- all very
Blogging about local events turns you into a "great resource for the community" - 07/13/11 05:40 PM
As part of my effort to share information about local events, I blogged about the FOOD FIGHT! East Bay Food Fight among top chefs and top 40 restaurants.
East Bay Food Fight benefits the Society of St. Vincent de Paul's Kitchen of Champions Culinary Training Program - providing pathways out of poverty. Inspired by DC Central Kitchen's Capital Food Fight, we bring the food industry's best talent together to support the community.
GREAT RESOURCE: Moi?
I woke up this morning with an email (via Active Rain)
Subject: THANKS for mentioning East Bay Food Fight (Sent via Activerain)
Fidelity Agent: Still a wow tool to calculate monthly payments, closing costs, cash needed to buy, and more! - 07/13/11 03:57 PM
After I reformatted then changed the hard drive and motherboard on my computer, I had to reload my programs. One of them is a MUST HAVE TOOL that I use on my ipad, iphone and computer. I've been using this since 2008, and can't be without it.
It's Fidelity Agent
I've blogged about this before, and I want to revisit why it's important to me. I am often asked by clients any combination of the following questions:
How much house can I afford to buy? I don't want to go over a certain amount per month How much are our closing costs?
How to bid during a foreclosure auction at the county courthouse steps - 07/13/11 02:47 AM
How many times have you answered questions from would-be buyers/investors asking about where they can go to bid on foreclosures? I've always recommended that people watch the action by actually going to the County Courthouse when they're holding such auctions, and to see for themselves. Not knowing what to do and how to do it will put them in such a disadvantage when bidding against seasoned investors.Here's a video that ForeclosureRadar put together, and posted on Youtube. Next time one of your clients asks about bidding in an auction, send them this. Watch and learn!
LEAPING LIZARDS! No restart if short sale buyer backs out. Continue where you left off. - 07/12/11 05:14 PM
Can this be true? LEAPING LIZARDS!
One of the most challenging things about handling short sales is that after waiting for so long to get an approval, the buyer gets antsy and backs out. And we had to start all over again when a new offer is received. The bank's rationale, the approval is based only on the previous buyer and does not apply to the next.
Just received this email. Can't believe my eyes.
Now You Can Substitute a New Buyer for One Who Walked Without Restart
As an example of our commitment to improving the short sale process, Bank
Wachovia -- Pick A payment class action. They'd rather short sell/foreclose than do a loan modification? - 07/11/11 08:01 PM
Rarely have I heard a disparaging word about Wachovia, particularly when it pertains to short sale. But is that what they want? To do a short sale rather than help a homeowner with loan modification?
Homeowner bought her place using Wachovia's Pick-A-Payment Plan which was recently on the news because of mortgage loan class action settlement.
This article explains that
"The Pick-a-Payment mortgage loan permitted borrowers to select and make a minimum payment amount for a limited time under certain conditions. When a payment was insufficient to pay the interest owed, unpaid interest was added to the loan
Happy days are here again -- accepted offer on a listing that is NOT a short sale! - 07/09/11 09:51 PM
OH, JOY! After so many short sale deals that were fraught with pitfalls and set backs, after silent screams of anguish over the long delays in getting short sale approvals, it was such joy to finally get an offer accepted on a listing that is NOT a short sale. I feel like singing! But I'll let Barbra and Judy do it for me.
Happiness is an extended warranty for your laptop - 07/09/11 09:30 PM
Extended warranty: it's a wonderful thing!
There is hardly a day when I'm not on my computer ---- and I do work this baby to death. Although I'm not quite a Road Warrior, my laptop travels heavily, and gets pounded heavily. So each time I buy a laptop --- mostly Dell --- I always pay extra for the extended warranty.
I bought my Dell Vostro 1510 in February 2009. My warranty is good through February 2012.
I can't count the number of times I've had the keyboard replaced (this last one is only 6 months old, yet one can hardly read the letters on the keys ---
Outdoor concert at Crab Cove Summer 2011 in Alameda CA --- just one of the reasons why I love it here! - 07/09/11 05:33 PM
Last outdoor concert for Summer 2011 at Crab Cove in Alameda CA. The featured performer was Foreverland, who bills itself as "An electrifying 14-piece tribute to Michael Jackson."
Starting at 5:30 pm, under clear blue skies, cool breeze, a fabulously enjoyable 68 degrees in the sun --- everything was picture perfect!
So many reasons to love living in Alameda, the island city in the Bay area of California...this is one.
"Why do you blog?" Perhaps the better question is "Why DON'T you?" - 07/09/11 04:57 PM
It doesn't seem like it's been 3 years since I started (a lot later than some people have). Can't even remember why, but I'm glad I did. What I do remember is the barrage of questions and comments from non-blogging agents who didn't see the value of blogging, and who asked "Why do you blog?"
Brian Buffini is famous for his journals --- and perhaps that's what got me thinking to look at blogging as an online journal with other benefits.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BLOGGING? Several people posted their own reasons
What are the benefits of blogging for small business? -
Crash and idiot-proof back up ---- CrashPlan vs BackBlaze? - 07/09/11 03:43 PM
After my laptop died, and while waiting for it to be repaired (or replaced, maybe), I was glad I had backed up my documents on to an external hard drive, my Passport external drive that I bought from Overstock.com. This one has 500 gb, even more capacity than my old laptop.
I am no longer inclined to keep documents on my laptop....but there's no guarantee my documents will be entirely safe in the external drive either. And there's got to be an easier way to restore/reintall software programs!
BACKBLAZE VS CRASHPLAN This online review says
So who wins? It's CrashPlan on
It's just a "little" sale. What's "little?" Oh, under $200,000..... - 07/08/11 04:29 AM
One day, some realtors were talking about their recent sales. One agent commented that all she has at that time were "little" sales.
When asked what she meant by "little."
She said, "Oh, just under $200,000."
As we all know, all those "little" sales add up. But what would you consider as a "little" sale?
Just WHAT DOES $200,000 BUY in your neck of the woods? Real estate, after all, is local. We need perspective!
Just to give you an idea of what $200,000 buys in my area, here are some of my own listings --- all short sales ---- and where they are located. Click on the photo
iPad for Dummies--- don't laugh. Or maybe I'll just watch youtube! - 07/07/11 04:50 AM
After attending the iPad orientation class at the Apple Store, I realized I don't really know how to use this powerful tool just yet. I was thrilled to be introduced to a few tips and tricks that I am wondering what other nifty stuff I should know about this incredible machine.
Hence....I'm on a quest for the most user-friendly resources.
iPad for Dummies Cheat Sheet -
"The Apple iPad neatly combines an audio and videoiPod, an e-book reader, a powerful Internet communications device, a handheld gaming device, and a platform for apps. To use your iPad, know what the buttons and
Big Band in the Little Island of Alameda CA --- yes, we have nightlife entertainment! - 07/07/11 03:44 AM
Wednesday night is when they have a Big Band --- yes, BIG BAND, live music, wind instruments, drums, vocals --- the whole works! This is such wonderful entertainment. Price is right: order a drink (or drinks), have a hamburger or chicken wings. Get up and dance the swing or the foxtrot. HAVE A BLAST!Had such a great time tonight at Rooster's, located at 1700 Clement in Alameda CA. It's a place that at first glance some folks may call a "dive" if they haven't been inside. But we love its local color and the various venues it offers.Here's how it is
Just For Fun: Would You Answer This Help Wanted Ad??? - 07/04/11 01:18 PM
Just had to share. This is a terrific description of just SOME of the things a good REALTOR does for a client.
There are a few things not mentioned such as
Must have knowledge and skills as a neigborhood guide and can provide commentary to local areas in which an out-of-town buyer is interested.
Must have the necessary tools such a smart phone or PC table like an iPad for instantaneous access to the internet search while out and about and the client sees a for sale sign and asks about it.
Fabulous list...have to learn how to do Photoshop, though.
Via Gail Robinson, GRI, e-PRO -
It doesn't feel like July 4 without the fireworks.... - 07/04/11 03:11 AM
It WAS a special treat to watch a fireworks display on July 4. Even today, it's still a thrill IF you can find one just as goodas what we remember
In the Bay Area, CA, it seems that it's a major challenge to find fireworks display without paying to be on a venue, or battle the traffic.
CBS San Francisco provided a long list of July 4 celebrations -- -but what is worth noting is when it qualifies each event that has or does NOT have fireworks.
ALAMEDA Monday, July 4. Alameda's 4th of July Parade at 10 a.m. is the 2nd
Don't try this at home: reformatting your computer without a backup drive and another computer.... - 07/03/11 10:24 PM
Spent countless hours with remote assistance techs who were trying to find the root cause of problems on my computer.
They finally gave up....and echoed the age-old solution: REFORMAT YOUR DRIVE!
Backed up documents...
Made sure I have all the CDs, I need to reformat and reinstall...
With a heavy heart, I initiated the reformatting...
WTF? The network card wasn't found.
Using another computer, downloaded all the drivers I can find, saved them on an external drive, reinstalled them on my now dead computer. Still no go.
Other techies try....error messages. Network card not found, not installed.