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Why Is My Water Heater Backdrafting? - 08/31/10 12:45 PM
While I have never seen this particular event happen here in Texas I can see the logic and physics of how and why it might happen. So from that regard I think it's something we need to be aware of and check for the potential at any home we have clients for... (at least we should ask the inspector to check it out)... Same goes for improperly drafting fireplaces, which are a little more difficult since we don't get much opportunity to burn in them here in Texas. Via Minneapolis Home Inspections - Reuben Saltzman (Structure Tech Home Inspections): I find a (0 comments)
And it all began! Many, Many moons ago! - 08/31/10 12:36 PM
Thirty years ago in people years (not dog years), the very first customer I had worked with were a delightful couple with stable income and realistic expectations. We looked at a myriad of homes and these people, who we will call "Bob and Naomi" for the story, came to me right after I had gotten my license. Real Estate licenses, I soon learned, were licenses to get into trouble. The classes I took did not nearly equip me to serve the needs of anyone. I knew the basics of how to open houses via lock boxes, to research for the wants (3 comments)
How many times have I won the Lottery This Week - 08/30/10 07:43 PM
Who among us hasn't won a foreign lottery lately or received an offer (in strict convidence of course) from someone you never heard of and they don't know you? Why just this week I have won at least 6. Man.... those people over there love me. Someone has apparently been entering me in all these Lottos online. It's getting hard to keep up with which ones I've won. I'll probably have to hire an accountant just to keep up with where I need to go to get the money! I am soooooo lucky..... I must have won 50 or 60 million (8 comments)
Places to stop and eat while looking for a place to live! - 08/30/10 04:45 PM
Even the best of cooks enjoy an evening or lunch out occasionally. Tomball offers a huge variety of eateries. From the usual fast food to international delights there is sure to be a place to thrill your palate. One of the great delights is that there are an assortment of places that cook like your mama did! If not like she did cook, perhaps like you wish she would have. If you are fond of the good old fashioned fare such as Chicken Fried Steak, Meatloaf, Fried Catfish or just the classic Grilled Cheese you can find it in a Tomball (0 comments)
Understanding FHA 203(k) Program: Part One - 08/28/10 05:20 PM
If you are thinking of buying a fixer upper a 203K loan might just be the loan you need. Take a quick read here. Via Deborah Garvin California Mortgage Financing (Capital Empire Funding, a subsidiary of Gateway): FHA 203(k) Renovation Loan....Easily the Most Underused and Least Understood Mortgage Product Available
The opportunities for utilizing the FHA 203(k) program abound in the current market; however, there are very few consumers or agents taking advantage of the opportunity. The reasons for the under utilization of the program expose a couple areas of misunderstanding:
1). The 203(k) program has been in existence and available (0 comments)
Real Life in Tomball! aka "The Hometown with a Heart" - 08/28/10 05:12 PM
Just a short 29 miles Northwest of downtown Houston is a piece of what may be considered American Nostalga. Think of it as shades of "Leave it to Beaver, Andy of Mayberry and Ozzie and Harriet all rolled into one small town. Add to the charm the fact that it is an easy drive of every convenience known to modern day man. This well kept secret became known to me in the early 1980s courtesy of my fledgling Real Estate career. In addition to care and transporting of three young sons, giving them horseback riding lessons entered the daily mix. The (0 comments)
The Danger of Being OVER Connected. Facebook Places. Argh! - 08/28/10 11:02 AM
You just might want to read this one carefully before you use things like Facebook's Places or FourSquare. Unbelievable. Via Bart Wilson (Voyager International): Here's the dark side of Facebook PLACES. It just went live on Wednesday last week -- so the Bartman decided to give it a whirl. I was celebrating a killer July sales month so I decided to have a dinner party and I invited some of my younger friends in their 30's. All of them iPad, iPhone, or Droid toting, digitally connected REALTOR colleagues. We headed over to Blue Corn Cafe off Jefferson and I-25 for blue margaritas. (1 comments)
I don't need an agent because I'm buying a new home from a builder - 08/27/10 11:34 PM
Points to ponder. And when you finish pondering give me a call! Via Nevin Williams, Conventional,jumbo & FHA (First Priority Financial,specialize in jumbo & conventional): Get real! Why would I want to have an agent act as a middleman when I can deal with the builder? I can get the house for less because there will be no commission to pay. Why should I lose thousands of dollars just to have you walk in with me? If you are a home buyer how often have you thought this? If you're a Realtor how often have you heard this? When the cat is away (1 comments)
A Positive Experience with A Retailer - 08/27/10 10:43 PM
This week we have been having a problem with the IPod connection to our car radio. After going to Best Buy here in Northwest Houston Tomball area we were directed to a little place called Car Toys. On arrival I discovered that they do a lot of dealer installs of radios, gps, etc. and had in fact done a lot of installs for the dealer from which my car came. Well, as luck would have it they could not find where they had done the actual install in my car but being the gentlemen that they are they stepped up and (2 comments)
Selling Your Home.....De-personalize It - 08/26/10 05:38 PM
This is something we always tell our clients. Some listen and some don't. Maybe if someone else tells you you'll listen! It's important! Do you or don't you want to sell your home? Listen Up!! We are telling you the truth!! Via Dave diCecco (Coldwell Banker United): You have your home on the market to sell. The home is priced compettitvely for the area, it is clean inside and has great curb appeal. Potential buyers looking at your home has been good to great but you are getting no offers...Why? Chances are your home is to personalized. When a buyer walks into your home they are aware (1 comments)
Can you believe it? It's almost Labor Day Weekend again! - 08/26/10 05:14 PM
It seems like the year just started and here we are approaching Labor Day again. Where has the year gone? This year has just been a blur and for the most part we spent it working our fingers to a nub! How about your? I suppose the good news in all this is that everyone's kids are back in school as of this week and within a few short weeks we'll begin to see cooler weather..... (here in Houston that translates to low '90s and maybe upper '80s but I'm not complaining that's better than 104.) The news media outlets say (0 comments)
Does HUD owe you a refund for an old FHA loan? Here's how to find out. - 08/26/10 05:00 PM
You might find this to be helpful. Finding ways to reclaim lost money is always a good thing. Via Sally Dunbar Fair Oaks Homes for Sale (Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks ('burb of Sacramento) CA): If you have ever had an FHA loan, Uncle Sam may owe you a refund. HUD has been stepping up efforts lately to identify people who have a refund due, but have not collected. "Could that be me", you ask? Let's find out. Go to HUD's website at www.HUD.gov and look for the FHA LOAN REFUND program. (You guessed it, my link will take you right there!) Enter either your (1 comments)
You Mean We Can't Just Put An OFFER In?!?! A Basic Step by Step Guide to Buying a Home - 08/26/10 10:06 AM
Buyers! Take a look at the ideas here. These will go a long, long way toward making your buying experience much more enjoyable. Via Brian Black - Fishers, Carmel, IN REALTOR (Kucic Associates Realty - Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, IN): I was originally going to title this post directed more towards first time home buyers, but lately its occurred to me how even previous home buyers need a little extra help understanding the process of how today's real estate transaction will take place. While it is extremely tempting to dive right into looking for houses and going through them with a REALTOR there are (2 comments)
Stop and Think before You plan to Change Your Credit Scores!!!!! - 08/26/10 09:40 AM
Things for you to consider regarding your credit and scoring. Via Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage: Credit is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES IN getting a loan today. Time and time again, I'm called by a client who says "I PAY MY BILLS ON TIME, BUT MY PEOPLE SAY MY CREDIT STINKS.... Maybe I'll just pay off my credit cards today..... No, No, No, No Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!" Truthfully, there is more to a credit score than just making your payments on time or paying off your credit. In fact paying off all your credit today could be a bad move. Needless to say, I've broken (0 comments)
Get it in writing, get it in writing, get it in writing! - 08/26/10 09:13 AM
We must all maintain a contemporaneous trail of writing so that folks don't develop a memory of convenience. Via Richard Weisser Coweta Fayette Real Estate: Trust is a wonderful quality. It is very satisfying to have enough faith and confidence in a person or a company to take them at their word. And most of the time, everyone involved in a verbal commitment really does mean to keep their word and to stick to it. The problem is more one of fading memories. As time goes on there is a good likelihood that one or both parties committed to a verbal agreement simply forget the details (0 comments)
You want to sell you home, then here are more rules.... - 08/24/10 07:26 PM
Thinking of selling your home this fall? Now that the kids are back in school and you have a little time to devote to thinking about the move here are a few items that you simply must take to heart BEFORE you go on the market. Via Barb Van Stensel, Realtor - Chicago, Illinois (Keller Williams Lincoln Square): Today, I arrived early at one of my listings. I was an hour early! That's a little to early to arrive for a showing but here's what I came upon when I went to the house:
The lawn wasn't mowed in the last week (0 comments)
5 Tips for Saving Energy in the Family Room - 08/24/10 07:16 PM
Some more excellent advice. You can save a little money along the way and that means a lot today! Via Zars & Rogers REALTORS®: The fun-a video game console, TV, DVR, DVD, and stereo system-that your family room provides comes with a price. By reducing standby power, using rechargeable batteries in remotes, and replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, you could save up to $130 a year in energy costs. And if you're in the market for a new TV, you can save even more energy by being flexible on the type you buy.
1. Reconsider that plasma TV. The three biggest (0 comments)
Here We Are Worried Sick about Calling, There They Are Just Volunteering Information - 08/24/10 11:58 AM
More good information. Don't give us or anyone else too much personal information until we have formalized a business relationship. Identity theft is rampant. Protect yourself. Via Loreena Yeo, Realtor® Frisco TX Homes www.316teamREALTY.com (214) 783-2210 (3:16 team REALTY): I'll just share this story based on my personal experiences, being on both sides of the fences. Then, hopefully, this lesson will serve a good reminder to you (and me) to better protect ourselves.
Last week, a man according to him was SoAndSo from Citibank Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Investment. He got my number from the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. He wanted to (4 comments)
Is Your Home Overdressed? Maybe it needs a "Make Under" - 08/24/10 10:27 AM
Excellent advice!! Couldn't have said it better!!! Take heed. Via Tessa Skeens - Hampton Redesign (Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign in Fort Worth TX): Happened to be home when Oprah was on this afternoon. The topic was Makeunders. Women who needed less not more. But this also applies to homes. Nate Berkus did a room Makeunder and it inspired me!Every home that goes on sale needs a makeunder. The less of you, the quicker your home will sell. The bigger and more spacious your home looks the higher it's perceived value. This means it's really important to edit your stuff so (1 comments)
Buyers, Don't Throw Your Realtor to the Sharks. He Really is on Your Side - 08/23/10 09:53 PM
Some thoughts to consider and I didn't come up with them but I thought they were worth bringing up. Via Jane Peters Los Angeles Living, Los Angeles Homes (Penn Properties): I know it can get frustrating when you are looking to purchase a home, or even lease one, and you just can't seem, to find that perfect place.Who do you blame? Let's see. Who is directly in the line of fire? Oh yes, your realtor!They have not shown you a home you would consider buying. Question: Why is that do you think? Are they holding back? Did they find it and buy it themselves? (1 comments)
Right of Offset..Yet Another Trick Up The Lenders Sleeve - 08/23/10 09:21 PM
Not sure if you can do this in Texas but if the idea concerns you I think you should check with your bank first thing tomorrow morning. Sounds like one of those things that should require disclosure in 14pt bold type before your signature on any loan papers. Via Bob Hertzog (Summit Home Consultants): Right of Offset..Yet Another Trick Up The Lenders Sleeve Folks, this is scary stuff. Yesterday, I received a call from one of my clients, telling me that her bank recently withdrew money out of her account to pay part of her missed mortgage payments. We are in the middle (2 comments)
How Does Foreclosure Work? - 08/23/10 03:58 PM
Good information. Via James Foxx (ForeclosureDeals): Every mortgage loan comes with a clause that allows the bank or lender providing the loan to repossess the homeowner's property if they do not make adequate monthly payments toward their mortgage. These clauses are also backed up by state law. In the event a homeowner fails to pay their mortgage debt off in a timely manner, the bank or lender will begin the process of foreclosure. It's important to remember that foreclosure proceedings are often subject to unique state laws, so it's always important to look into foreclosure laws in your own state. In most (1 comments)
Get To Know Your Air Flow - 08/21/10 11:12 AM
Common sense advice folks! Always be sure you get the right size filter then look on the filter for the arrows on the side of the filter. The pointy end of the arrow should always point to the wall or the ceiling depending where the filter gets installed in your house. Via Jay Markanich (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC): It is probably true that on half the home inspections I do the filter is installed backwards. It is important that the filter be installed the right way! Why? Because one side is stronger and meant to handle the air flow's pressure. There (0 comments)
Weird things going on around us.... - 08/08/10 04:18 PM
Let's see, the national news reports that the economy lost 131,000 jobs in July but that the private sector gained 71,000 jobs. But the unemployment rates stayed at 9.5%..... Hmmmm..... smoke and mirrors? There is evidence all around that the economy is ill. But, the people that I'm seeing out and about are still spending money like there is no tomorrow. Seems to me some of the folks ought to be a little more cautious. But, that being said, Houston's economy seems to be pumping. Everywhere I look up here in Northwest Houston and Tomball there is a lot of new (6 comments)
Where has Summer gone? - 08/07/10 08:42 AM
Seems like summer just started and here we are nearing mid August! I see everyone hurrying around getting last minute things done before the kids trundle off back to school. We were attending a home inspection yesterday and the seller popped through to change clothes and load up one of his kids to haul him off to move in at school for the fall semester. Mom's were every where in the aisles at Office Depot buying school supplies. There's almost a palpable excitement in the air. Well by the adults anyway because some of their day will be freed up a (1 comments)
A comment for Seller's trying to Sell a Home. - 08/02/10 08:44 AM
While showing a few homes to a new client yesterday up in the Conroe TX area (but it could have been anywhere) I was graphically reminded of a very serious matter for sellers who really need to sell. This BUYER was completely turned off to a couple of the properties that might have worked for her EXCEPT.... the properties were absolutely FILTHY. And I'm not talking about a little dirty I'm talking FILTHY. PEOPLE......!! If you expect to sell home you need to clean it up and clean it out! At a minimum have any trash and debris removed from (2 comments)
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