Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
Underwriting Guideline Update: Collections, Charge-Offs, Judgments, Garnishments & Liens - 09/29/10 11:23 PM
Good information for the folks here in our area. You may want to fully peruse this info and then give us or your favorite lender a call to see what help may be available in the way of help to get your problems fixed. Via David Krushinsky (Mortgage Professional - Phoenix, AZ - NMLS 202115): Conventional, FHA and VA mortgage loans in Phoenix may soon become harder to obtain for those with a troubled credit history. Currently, a borrower with up to $5,000 in collections may still eligible to purchase a home in Phoenix, in many cases. The new guideline change could also affect current Phoenix home purchase (1 comments)
Septic Systems - 09/29/10 09:01 AM
Since there are lots and lots of septic systems out here in our area I thought this was pretty useful and would be quite handy for our readers to have as a reference for their files. Read it and print it out for the future or check to see if you should address anything in here right now. Via Fred Hernden (Superior Home Inspections): Septic Systems Septic systems treat and disperse relatively small volumes of wastewater from individual and small numbers of homes and commercial buildings. Septic system regulation is usually a state and local responsibility. The EPA provides information to homeowners and assistance (3 comments)
Have you ever noticed how life tends to make us revisit parts of our past? Such was the case a couple of weeks ago when we volunteered to help a friend by picking up his son at the airport. There are two commercial airports in Houston and one is WAYYYYYY across town accessible only by an antique freeway and many questionable streets. That was of course the one this young man was flying into. Because we wanted to be sure to be there on time and the aforementioned freeway is almost always fraught with delays, we left from Tomball about (4 comments)
9 Things not to forget to do when you move - 09/28/10 01:07 PM
Excellent advice! Most of us get completely caught up in everything around us and sometimes forget the basic stuff that we really need to do. Via Sharlene Hensrud (RE/MAX Results - HomesMSP.com): It's easy to get so caught up in moving your 'stuff' that you forget some other important tasks that are also part of making a move. Here are some tips on what not to forget to do. UTILITIES Most people don't forget this one, but it's important to contact local utilities for gas, electric, water, trash removal, etc. Tell them your closing date... they may also ask for the name (1 comments)
When is it a question, and when is it YOUR BUSINESS? Of all the lessons learned from a career in Real Estate, the ones about communication are without question, the best.
In the late 1970s, I was given a referral who was moving from Chicago to Houston. After our first weekend looking at homes we had determined one important thing. This client was going to need a short term lease. Perfect! A class in Creative finance the previous week had taught me the techniques to do a Lease Purchase. This eliminated the need for the people to move two (0 comments)
One of our blogs last week expressed the frustration with the “demise of courtesy' at the hands of a large national mortgage company. Said company had put our clients through incredible hurdles supposedly in search of a loan on their dream house. Seven weeks of hurdles and then came the email to the title company from the mortgage company that the loan was dead. No one had the courtesy to tell the buyers their loan had been rejected or why... To date that still has not been done.
What has been done since that first blog, was the back (3 comments)
Although I did not know it at the time,my introduction into Real Estate in the late 1970s opened doors that I never would have found on my own. One blessing in particular came in the form of eye surgery for my middle son. He had an eye that traveled as he attempted to focus on any one thing. This created a vision problem that was not getting any better as he aged. With the vision problems also came anger. He did not know that he was angry, or why, but his behavior showed that he WAS angry. Not being able (2 comments)
When Buying A Home, Get a C.L.U.E. - 09/25/10 09:47 AM
Very important information for you as a consumer. Most people don't think about this one little item but if you don't it could become a very big item later down the road. It's something you need to consider before you buy. Via Kathryn Maguire (Rose and Womble Realty Company): When purchasing a home, whether it is a foreclosure or a "regular" sale, it can be very important to be aware of the insurance claims that have been brought against the property. This information can make a big difference in whether or not the home is a viable alternative for a buyer. There are (2 comments)
Grand Lakes Community, Montgomery Texas - 09/24/10 05:51 PM
Have you ever thought you might like to live in a gated community out from the hustle and bustle of city life? How does the idea of driving country roads to get to an area where the roads pitch and roll, and beautiful vistas explode at the crest of each new hill sound to you? Roads come with gentle ditches on each side in a natural green hue dusted with occasional wild flowers. Lush forests appear as patchwork in the landscape with everything from spreading Oaks to ground hugging palmettos competing for your attention.
The Demise of Courtesy.... One more nail in the coffin. Is this any way to do business??? Never in our combined 54 years of real estate have we seen anything so bizarre as the treatment this buyer got. The lender communicated very poorly if at all. Plus this is one example of why you should always try to get your clients to use a lender you know can get the job done rather than letting them pick one themselves. Of course we know that some clients have to do it their way. We have lamented the demise of common courtesy (6 comments)
The name is a little of a misnomer since we're right her in South East Texas pretty near the Gulf Coast. And, it only snows her maybe once every 10 or 12 years ever since I was a kid. But here goes..... Discover the lovely woods around Large acreages with typical country varietyof large and small homes on lovely asphalt and gravel ribbons of roads criss- cross the land.
There is an opportunity currently available in this lovely laid back area. On a parklike 6+ acre tract is a brick doll house with a wrap around porch. There is (2 comments)
Way out west from Downtown Houston is a road with a personality all its own. We do not know for sure, but we feel that it is highly unlikely that the area has any crime problems. This is due to the fact that this gravel road has serious holes that are large enough to lose a Volkswagen in. Any attempt at any speed going down “Binford Circle” would be to threaten your front end suspension with complete annihalation.
Binford Circle comes off of Binford Road, which comes off of FM 2920 just before you get to Hwy 290. (1 comments)
Thinking about Buying a Home or Refinancing soon? Read on and be better prepared when applying for your new Mortgage ...
The news and blogs are currently filled with stories regarding the huge and sometimes overwhelming demand for documentation during the mortgage lending process. Much is presently being made of the number and kind (0 comments)
One of my first clients was one of my children’s early teachers. This delightful lady let me sell her house after she had gone through a painful divorce. A kindly couple had befriended her and taken her and her children into their home. These folks had tried unsuccessfully to sell their house through a large National company. They had learned that the company did not make as much difference as the agent that one chooses.
My first visit to the house gave me a pretty good idea why the house had (3 comments)
Priorities - 09/18/10 04:28 PM
Today we took some time to visit a friend at M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital. That place beings new meaning to the concept of State of the Art. Even the parking procedures are so high tech state of the art it's a little intimidating to park. But, I'm thinking that when we go back tomorrow to visit, it won't be quite as intimidating. Texas Medical Center is one of the best Medical facilities in the world. It was home to pioneers in the field of Medicine like Dr. Michael DeBakey the heart surgeon and too many others to name. Due to the (2 comments)
If you have driven down FM 1960 lately you are aware that the margin of error as well as your ability to make turns into businesses on the left hand side of the road have been eliminated.
UGLY and pretty much useless concrete esplanades and curbs have been created and placed where there was open space and painted lanes. Painted lanes do not prohibit turns, nor do they jar alignment when a neighboring car gets too close to you and pushes you over. Paint also does not create serious ugly.
There has been talk about creating beauty in (4 comments)
The very first customers I worked with were a delightful couple. They had stable income and realistic expectations. I was not the agent I now. Due to my inexperience, 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 equip me to serve the needs of anyone. I knew the basics of how to open houses via lock boxes, to research (3 comments)
WHY IS THE BANK FORECLOSING IF I AM DOING A SHORT SALE (OR LOAN MODIFICATION)? - 09/16/10 08:49 AM
A lot of useful information for those thinking that a Short Sale or Foreclosure might be in their future. Probably the article will generate more useful questions that you may have and need to consider before the train runs over you. Via Richard Zaretsky, Florida Real Estate Attorney (Richard P. Zaretsky P.A. - Bd Certified Real Estate Attorney): Why does the bank file and aggressively continue a foreclosure suit even though you are negotiating a short sale or modification of the loan? This is a most often asked question and although I have visited the question before; the concept of the lender dealing separately (2 comments)
It is always an amazement to us that so many agents in our business want to turn the negotiation process into an adversarial sport.
Lets talk about that! Each of us represents a party to a transaction. The process was designed to look out for the best interests of each party. In the beginning, we draw up an offer for the party we represent. We bring the offer to the sellers agent. The sellers agent talks to the seller and they make a counter offer with what they feel will work best for them.
The offer then comes (5 comments)
A Cat Named Kitty Pooh! A Day in the Life of a REALTOR! - 09/14/10 10:43 PM
The first company I worked with had a policy of having an agent from our company accompany on each showing of one of the company listings. The theory was that the listing companies agents should know every property we represented and be prepared to present the best features and answer any questions that the showing agent might have. On one such accompanying adventure there was a cat involved. The instructions had been that the kitty would be secured in the half bath downstairs. We were not to show that bathroom until the second showing when the homeowner would remove the cat (1 comments)
About a year ago we were given a referral. It was a lovely couple from out of the country. The husband was being transferred in by his companies administration. We were given the pleasure of showing these folks homes in an area they had predetermined that they wanted to live in. On the second day we found the perfect house for them. It was new construction by one of the most recognised builders in the area. For that matter they were one of the best in the nation. This house was everything the transferees had told us they wanted. The (2 comments)
Congratulations, you missed the $8,000 tax credit - 09/12/10 10:53 PM
Thanks Jim!..... For those of you who are afraid to jump in and buy a home now that the tax credit has expired you need to read this little article by our pal Jim Lee from Knoxville. The information applies here just as well and makes perfect sense! Via Jim Lee, REALTOR®, Knoxville, Tennessee (Realty Executives Associates): No, I'm not being facetious or implying you're a dummy because you haven't bought a house yet.
In fact, just the opposite; waiting until now to buy has saved you thousands of dollars more that than measly 8 grand credit a lot of your (2 comments)
Ranch Country, Hockley TX, Tried and True! - 09/12/10 10:20 PM
Could Ranch Country, in Hockley Texas, provide an investment opportunity for you? It has worked for others and it may be that opportunity is knocking again. This is now a tried and true investment. In the mid 1980s Ranch Country was a subdivision wayyyyy out from Houston. There was a recession (read; oil bust) going on, not that different from the one we are experiencing now. Interest rates had spiraled up to 17.5%. The adjustable rate mortgage was a fairly new product. People failed to understand that although the monthly rates started out low, they would suddenly go up, up, and (0 comments)
Nine years ago our world as we knew it changed forever. People we did not know and who did not know us had carefully planned an attack which cost 3,000 Americans their lives. Of those 3000 we lost, there were children, men, women and elderly from all economic walks of life. Poof! Gone!
Americans united for a few days. Pettiness was done away with and priorities were established. We grieved together and consoled one another. For a little while the America our forefathers fought for, gave up their lives and fortunes for, functioned as the United dream they had (1 comments)
When IS IT TIME TO BUY a home? There are a lot of reasons to consider it right now! The selection is good, the interest rates are inching up but still a lot lower than they have been in the past. And, some sellers are very anxious to sell.
If you have a stable income and fairly good credit, it may be that now is a good time to buy. It s a way to let the place you are living in also provide you with a potential investment. Think about it. You are paying to live somewhere. There (4 comments)
A checklist of things a Seller can do before the home inspector arrives - 09/11/10 11:00 AM
This is a fine list of things that you can do as a seller to prepare your home for sale. While it's certainly not all inclusive it will make a great start toward to releiving your frustration after the inspection is completed. Certainly there will be lot's less things that a buyer might want to negotiate over. Via Russel Ray, San Diego home inspector (Russel Ray, Property Consultant):
A checklist of things a Seller can dobefore the home inspector arrives Doing as much as possible before the Buyer's property inspection helps ensure that escrow goes more smoothly. Following is my "checklist" (5 comments)
How Do You Choose a Real Estate Professional to Work With? - 09/10/10 10:47 PM
In our rapidly changing world, choosing a REALTOR whom you like and trust to represent you in the buying or selling of a property is a difficult decision. In our combined 54+ combined years of Real Estate practice mostly around the Tomball area in Northwest Houston, we have heard many horror stories about experiences people have had when buying or selling. We know that there are many lovely people in this profession. There are also as many different personalities, and ways of doing business as there are people. So, when it is time for you to choose a REALTOR to work (0 comments)
If you have decided that you wish to make a move soon, we would like to help!
To that end, we offer 10 tips for being successful Home-sellers. These are gleaned from having sold properties for a combined 54 years between the two of us. Most of those years have been in the greater Tomball area of Northwest Houston.
Of course we recommend the services of a Realtor (preferably us if your home is in our area) but if you feel that you can do the job, and save the commission $$$ we will give you some (6 comments)
Tomball Texas Home to Hooks Airport and a little Flighty Entertainment - 09/08/10 10:23 PM
Are you looking for good food for lunch and perhaps some inexpensive entertainment? At the corner of Stuebner Airline and FM 2920 is a small but very efficient airport. DAVID WAYNEHOOKS AIRPORT is just about 27 miles Northwest of Houston, and just east of downtown Tomball Texas. We believe this will be for many a flight fanciers joy. The airport comes complete with hangars, a FAA Control Tower, runways, airplane related businesses and the airport building itself. Housed within the airport building is a well kept Tomball secret. It is an eatery called “The Aviators Grill.” They serve lunch to (2 comments)
Tomball TX - Better Master Planned or Not? - 09/07/10 09:24 PM
Yesterday while we were out driving the heavily wooded areas north of Tomball TX, I had an ah-ha moment. You know, those moments when a revelation hits you squarely between the eyes. The thought involved the possible roots of MASTER PLANNED AREAS.The wide open spaces where people can do more of what they please and less of what is required are becoming fewer and fewer. There are several connecting roads that bridge the country between Tomball and Rosehill, Pinehurst, Decker Prairie and Rosehill, and Decker Prairie and the Woodlands. As you drive down these roads you will become aware that there (0 comments)
Yes there is a City named STAGECOACH!! - 09/06/10 08:45 PM
Yes! Although the name, CITY OF STAGECOACH TEXAS brings to mind covered wagons, Indian attacks, and wild animals a city of than name does exist. It is north and west of downtown Tomball Texas. Here amid ancient trees are homes on acreages varying in size and style. The city also boasts two area lakes, a large park with covered pavilion, and a municipal building. It comes with its own City Council, Mayor and entire city government. Here is an opportunity to participate in your local politics, in case you are so inclined. Once people move into the city of Stagecoach, (4 comments)
BEAUTY OF THE FOREST IN AND AROUND TOMBALL TEXAS - 09/05/10 10:33 PM
Just a short drive from TOMBALL TX, is a piece of highway known as FM1488 where you can enjoy the NATURAL BEAUTY OF THE FOREST. As autumn approaches you may want to schedule some time in and or around a forested area where you can enjoy uncorrupted natural beauty. Lucky for us all there are many places in and around Tomball, Rosehill, Magnolia and Spring where there are such forested areas. There is very little like the beauty of the changing colors which can be seen in the forest. Even with the condensed seasons we find here in the Northwest Houston (0 comments)
End of Summer 2010 out in Good Old TOMBALL TX - 09/04/10 09:54 PM
Last year about this time, we were blessed with an informative seminar which was just the best way TO END THE SUMMER. But we had to brave the big city of Houston all they way from our quiet little city of Tomball TX. The teacher was a young man from Chicago, Ill. named Terry Watson. He was entertaining, (read; HYSTERICALLY FUNNY) encouraging and insightful all in one extremely energetic package. If you ever get an opportunity to see this man in person, DO it! In fact look him up on the internet and find out where he's going to be (0 comments)
Are You a Seller Looking for Help to Get Your Home Ready to Sell? Here are Some Low Cost Tips! - 09/03/10 09:18 PM
Sellers. This is well worth your time to stop, read, and consider. It contains lots of information that we will talk about when we visit with you for a our pre-listing inspection of your property. These are all commonsense items that MUST be attended if you are sincere about selling your home and your really intend to move to a new place. We didn't write it but we would have if one of our many friends hadn't beat us to the keyboard. If you have any questions we are here for you. Via Shelley Rowton (RE/MAX River City Realtors, Austin TX): Every seller (3 comments)
In our first blog about Tomball TX you were told about how TOMBALL AND IT'S ADVANTAGES became a vital part of my life. I also told you that my introduction to the area was in relocating some professional horse trainers (Goslin-Nix Training Facility) from the Memorial Area of West Houston to Tomball TX. These fine folks (who are known Nationwide) taught me many indeliblelessons. I can honestly say that they enriched my life. Being close to them was one of the advantages of living in the Tomball area for us. Because my children were active at the barn, it was always (2 comments)
What Makes a Place Feel Like Home? The Tomball Series. - 09/02/10 09:42 AM
What makes a place feel like home to you? Is it the surrounding area, or people who live close by? Does the landscape speak to you? What exactly do you want it to say? How does it make you feel? Do you like lots of trees? Do you prefer tall pines or spreading oaks? Tomball has the tall pines and a little further north Montgomery Texas has a mixture of pines and oaks and over towared Magnolia there are a lot more of the huge oaks. It makes you just want to get out and drive the country. What style does your (0 comments)
This may be considered indelicate by some, but here goes. There are just some times when common courtesy is a must!I am fully aware that my values are old and antiquated, but where I come from the Tomball area just 30 miles NW of Houston, where the people still exercise a greater degree of civility. From our first memories we are taught to be clean and continent. To deny someone the use of a facility to accomplish the relief of basic bodily functions is ,in my opinion, a cruel and inhuman act.
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.