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Zillow - And A Story Of Great Customer Service - 12/31/07 04:13 PM
ZILLOW. There are lots of stories, rumors, whatever. But this story is all fact. I recently started posting my listings on ZILLOW. Due to the intricacies of computers, the Internets, The Google and maybe even the space time continuum, whatever, there was a small snag. I won't even go into the details; suffice it to say that it was a very minor blip. So, I went on Active Rain, searched ZILLOW, and found Spencer Rascoff, so I shot him an email. And guess what? In about an hour, I had a response. Not an automated response, but a real response, written by Spencer (14 comments)
Earnest Money Deposit's - Are They The Norm Everywhere? - 12/30/07 11:38 AM
I recently got a call from an agent who indicated that she was about to present an offer on one of my properties. We had quite a nice conversation, and we reviewed, while on the phone, what I assumed were most or all of the pertinent details of the offer. Shortly thereafter, I got the offer via fax. As I reviewed it, I was a little surprised when I got to the part about the "Earnest Money Deposit." It was blank. Ok - oversight. No big deal. I call the agent, and get the explanation. The client, who is approved for 100% (37 comments)
Blogging - How Do You Keep Up When You Have More Than One Blog? - 12/28/07 12:21 PM
I am somewhat new to Active Rain, and I am somewhat addicted. Ok - I am all the way addicted. I have learned a lot about marketing on the web, blogging, SEO, and all sorts of stuff. As I look around to see what others are doing, I am amazed at the marketing genius of some members, and I wonder where they find the time. I see some that have more than one blog. I struggle to keep up with one. Is there some magic trick to writing a blog and having it filter to other sites? If so, what are the (14 comments)
Real Estate Is Not A Part Time Job - 12/28/07 09:16 AM
First, I have to admit, this blog was inspired by a post Patricia Kennedy did this morning, as well as one done by Scott Daniels. Reading these two very fine posts made me think about all the times that I have trouble getting in touch with agents when I either need information or clarification, or I perhaps have some information that I need to present to them. I did not include the term "timely" when I used the word information; I consider all information timely when it comes to servicing my client. Lately it seems that quite often I will call an (27 comments)
Active Rain Civility - Lets Change The World ! - 12/27/07 08:07 AM
One thing I love about Active Rain is the level of civility. As a general rule, everyone is extremely polite and supportive. You can ask any question, no matter how trivial, and get loads of answers, and no one will ever tell you it was a stupid question. No one will ever be in a hurry and blow you off. No one will (as far as I know) promise to follow up with you and not do it. You can put your opinion, business philosophy, marketing idea, or anything else, out there and you will never be ridiculed. Imagine if we could (8 comments)
While there is no crystal ball out there, this information can hopefully give you a snapshot of the market in the Fredericksburg Region over the last 4 years. Kevin McGrath The Wallace & McGrath Team Coldwell Banker Elite "Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area" www.fredva.com www.seehomesinva.com The above chart is for informational purposes only. Information is assumed to be reliable but not guaranteed. Please consult with a realtor or other professional before making any financial decisions. (0 comments)
The Best Present I Got This Year - And Boy Am I Shallow............. - 12/26/07 10:48 AM
Ok - beware - this is really going to sound superficial, and let me preface this post by saying that the best present I got this year was seeing the smile on my kids faces in Christmas morning, and the time that I got to spend with friends and family. But I got one present that really made my day. I work both from home and from the office, and I use, as many do, a laptop. One thing that I really hate is the whole packing up thing when I move between the two. Turn off the laptop, wind up the (16 comments)
My Short Active Rain Christmas Poem - 12/25/07 09:11 AM
Twas the night before Christmas And all through the office Not an agent was stirring Not even one named Douglas All the buyers were home Tucked Into Their Beds With Dreams of New Homes Dancing Through Their Heads Soon they will finish With the Christmas festivities And rush to the phone With all their proclivity For new homes they do want And agents they need To find that new house That has all that they need So be ready for the call The bell that will ring With all the good fortune That next will bring Merry Christmas To All Of My Fellow Active Rainers Out There Kevin McGrath Fredericksburg Virginia (11 comments)
Traditional Selling Season - A Thing Of The Past? - 12/23/07 09:11 AM
Happy Holidays to all ! As I try to "spool it down" for the holidays, I find it difficult. Oh, I can relax, I can kick back with a cold beer. But agents keep looking at my listings! Ain't it grand? Here is it, Sunday morning, two days before Christmas, and my phone is ringing, and has been ringing steadily since Friday. Was it like this last year? If so, it has fallen into that vast wasteland of blurred memories I carry around in the round thing that is attached to my shoulders. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday, and (7 comments)
Prepayment Penalties - Are They Fair? - 12/19/07 10:17 AM
Prepayment penalties - all part of the mix in the current "mortgage crisis". Should they be allowed? Are they fair? I wonder if there is a correlation between credit scores and prepayment penalties? If I go to a big name lender with a 700+ credit score, and this lender tries to slip a prepayment penalty in on me, I can walk away; I can get a loan anywhere. So my guess would be that this type of borrower does not have to deal with this issue much. If I have a low credit score - lets say 620 - the picture for me (14 comments)
I know, I know, print is dead. But for the sake of this blog, lets assume that it is not. I mean, it can't be completely dead; I still see the real estate magazines in stores, and I still see ads in the papers every week. So, when you run an ad, do you run it with a price? One side could say that with no price you might get a call, and with that call you might get a client. A call capture sort of thing. On the other hand, do consumers see an ad with no price, and don't (11 comments)
All I Want For Christmas - My Real Estate Wish List - 12/17/07 05:24 PM
Dear Santa, I don't want much for 2008; here is my list: #1. When I receive an offer on one of my listings, I would like the contract to be completely filled out, and legible. #2. When I call a fellow agent and leave a message, I would like to get a return call in a timely manner. #3. When an agent decides to skimp on the electronic lock-box and go with a combo box, and the combo calls for numbers, I would like to not see only letters on the dial when I drive all the way out to the house. #4. When an (31 comments)
My Computer Is Sooooooo Slow Sometimes - But Why? - 12/16/07 09:16 AM
When I am surfing the web, sometimes I am clipping right along. Sometimes I feel like I am on a dial up connection. Why the difference? It it: My computer - do I need more RAM? My computers processor? My Internet Service Provider slacking? My router slowing down the process? Is it Windows in general? I would love to fix the problem, but everyone I ask has a different answer. Short of having a meeting in my living room and inviting, so they would all be there at the same time and could not blame each other, the following people: The President of Gateway Bill Gates The (18 comments)
The Empire State Building - A Lesson For Our Times - 12/13/07 05:49 PM
Yesterday we took our son to NY City for the day. What a city ! One of the highlights was the Empire State Building. 102 stories tall. For forty years it was the tallest building in the world. Built in 1931. In 1 year and 45 days. Stop and think about that for a minute. In 1931, with 1931 technology, a 102 story building was open for business in 1 year and 45 days. In contrast they are widening the road that runs past my neighborhood. About a 1 mile stretch. It is a 3 year project. 1 mile of road widening in 3 (11 comments)
Ok - no movie stars, but it really is a fantastic pool. This classic colonial in Spotyslvania Counties Crown Grant features 4 bedrooms, a spacious master suite, granite counter tops, rear deck, fenced yard, and again, a really great in ground pool. Convenient to Rt 95 for commuters, this one is worth a look. Kevin McGrath The Wallace & McGrath Team Coldwell Banker Elite "Selling Homes In The Fredericksbrug Virginia and Surrounding Areas" www.fredva.com (6 comments)
Ok - I'm just kidding. Go ahead and buy it. It really is pretty nice. Located in the Black Walnut Acre neighborhood of Rhoadesville, Virginia, in beautiful Orange County, it has a certain country charm to it. Three bedrooms, a family room with a fireplace, a nice sized master bedroom, a detached three car garage (with power), and a rear deck that over looks a swimming pool. All this on almost two acres of land that backs to woods. Kevin McGrath The Wallace & McGrath Team Coldwell Banker Elite "Selling Homes The Fredericksburg & Surrounding Areas in Virginia" www.fredva.com (4 comments)
Mortgage Bail Out - I Do Know One Thing For Sure - 12/10/07 08:03 PM
So the bail out program is out there. Unless I am mistaken, one of the complaints about the mortgage loan process was that it was too confusing for the average citizen to understand. In reality, it was too confusing for almost anyone to understand. Maybe the guy that actually wrote all those rules and regs gets it, but I am not convinced. Since the details of the bail out program became somewhat public, I have been asking. Here, there, and everywhere. For an explanation, any explanation, as to how this will really solve anything. And.................silence. Nothing. Not one single person has been (6 comments)
Ok - I know. Another split foyer. You've seen one; you've seen them all. But what if you haven't? What if there was one out there that you missed? One that might just be the house that has it all. Here we have: Four Bedrooms Finished Basement Upgraded Kitchen With Stainless Steel Appliances And Solid Surface Counter-Tops Natural Gas Heat Nice Flat Back Yard - Fenced Less Than One Mile From Inova Fairfax (MT Vernon Hospital) Within Very Reasonable Commuting Distance of Ft Belvoir, DC, And Other Parts Of Northern Virginia So - check it out - you might find what you have been missing - and looking for. Kevin (0 comments)
This one feels like it was never lived in. Almost new, this home features an open floorplan, with a bright and sunny first floor. Four bedrooms, a laundry center in the third floor, and a finished basement round out this exceptional deal. Located in historic Culpepper Virginia, this home is conventient to Northern Virginia, Washingon DC, Charlottsville, and Fredericksburg. Kevin McGrath The Wallace & McGrath Team Coldwell Banker Elite "Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area" www.seehomesinva.com (0 comments)
This bank owned home is move in ready. With a quick trip to the paint store, you will be all set to personalize this great rambler, and before you will know it it will be home. Only two years old, it features 3 bedrooms, wood floors, and a full basement ready and waiting to be finished. Sitting on almost one full acre, this is one that will meet and exceed your expectations. Kevin McGrath The Wallace & McGrath Team Coldwell Banker Elite "Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area" www.seehomesinva.com (0 comments)
A super deal - located in Lake Caroline in Caroline County in Virginia - almost midway between Washington DC and Richmond. Lake Caroline is a great lake community with many ammenities. With a little TLC, this home willbe sure to provide the comfort of home that one is looking for. Quite a few extra's were put in to this one. A deluxe master bath and a sun room on the back are just a couple of the details in this fine home. It also features a two car garage and a fenced back yard. Kevin McGrath The Wallace & McGrath Team Coldwell Banker Elite "Selling Homes (0 comments)
REO & Vacant Listings And The Power Company - 12/10/07 01:55 PM
Power on. Power off. A transaction that could and should be smooth, but I found out today that that it not always case. Case in point. I have a REO listing, and the power was on. Potential purchaser presented a contract, it was ratified, and all was well. Or so I thought. Potential purchaser decides at the 11th hour to back out. Of course, they do this AFTER they have called to switch the utilities. Today I get the mail, open an envelope from the electric company, and there, at the top, it says "Closing Bill." So, I stop what I am doing, call (7 comments)
There are bank owned homes, and then there are the bank owned homes that are hidden gems. This one is the latter. Great for commuters with it's close proximity to Rt 95 at the Aquia Harbor exit. Three full finished levels, with the bump outs to increase the square footage. A sitting room off of the master bedroom, a fireplace in the sunroom off of the kitchen and breakfast area. Recently reduced to $259,900, this one is worth taking a look at. All it needs is a little TLC and some elbow grease, and you will be all set. Kevin McGrath The Wallace (3 comments)
Mortgage Bail Out - I Really Wish I Could Understand It........... - 12/08/07 05:53 PM
I just finished reading a story in today's Washington Post about the mortgage bail-out program, and I still don't get it. I mean, don't get me wrong, I think helping people is good, but I just don't get this program, and I wish someone would explain it to me. So - to qualify - you have to be current on your mortgage? Ok. But - you also must have a credit score of less than 660? So I have to have to have been good - and bad? As long I have been faithful to one debtor, but unfaithful to another, I qualify? (6 comments)
Think you can't afford to buy? Well, hold on. Here it is. Only $149,900 ! Yes - it needs a little elbow grease and TLC. Yes, it is a foreclosure. But you can afford to buy. Located in Caroline County Virginia, only minutes from Rt 95, this home is convenient to both Fredericksburg and Richmond. Kevin McGrath The Wallace & McGrath Team Coldwell Banker Elite - Fredericksburg Virginia "Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area" www.fredva.com www.seehomesinva.com (4 comments)
If you are considering relocating to the Fredericksburg, Virginia area, this is one to see. Sit and relax on your spacious screen porch as you overlook the lake on those great summer evenings. And the next morning, it is only a few moments to downtown Fredericksburg to hit your favorite coffee shop. Less than a mile from Mary Washington Hospital, Mary Washingington University, and almost as close to Central Park, this is one home that will satisfy that need for a reduced commute. Kevin McGrath The Wallace & McGrath Team "Selling Homes In The Fredericksburg Virginia Area" www.seehomesinva.com (2 comments)
All too often, homes that are a bit older are often overlooked. This is the exception. If you have ever heard the term "pride of ownership", you will truly feel that when viewing this property. Situated on 3 wooded acres in Fredericksburg, north of exit 126 (Massaponax) it is only minutes from downtown, the VRE, Massaponax, The University of Mary Washington, and Mary Washington Hospital, this home is truly a gem. Exquisitely maintained, with many upgrades, it is truly a one of a kind property. (1 comments)
This is truly a unique property. Six bedrooms. An in-ground swimming pool. An in-law suite with it's own kitchen. Sitting on almost 2 acres, the view from every window gives you the feeling that you are miles from it all, as all you see are trees, yet you are only minutes from town. In fact, for those of you who know Fredericksburg, this home is convenient to River Rd, and from there it is a short drive to Central Park, and you never have to fight the Rt 3 traffic. Wood floors, and a family room that overlooks the pool (2 comments)
This home, located in Sheraton Hills, has just come back on the market. Less than 5 miles from Central Park and exit 130 at Rt 95, it is convenience at its best. Within walking distance of Salem Elementary School. Drive to UKROPS grocery store without having to venture out onto Rt 3. Only minutes from downtown Fredericksburg, and the VRE. It has a great fenced in back yard, wide open but with some good sized trees. An established neighborhood, Sheraton Hills is a true gem in the Fredericksburg area. www.seehomesinva.com (3 comments)
Mortgage Bail-Out - I Still Don't Get It - Someone Please Educate Me! - 12/07/07 06:09 PM
I just finished reading a story in today's Washington Post about the mortgage bail-out program, and I still don't get it. I mean, don't get me wrong, I think helping people is good, but I just don't get this program, and I wish someone would explain it to me. So - to qualify - you have to be current on your mortgage? Ok. But - you also must have a credit score of less than 660? So I have to have to have been good - and bad? As long I have been faithful to one debtor, but unfaithful to another, I qualify? (3 comments)
Somebody Please Explain This Mortgage Bailout Thing Cause I Don't Get It - 12/05/07 06:52 PM
So, John Q. Public goes down to Bob's House of Loans, and due to his subterranean credit score, he gets a mortgage with a "teaser rate". Mr. Public closes on his loan and moves into his new home. Man, this payment is great; I'm flush with cash. Meanwhile, back at Bob's House of Loans, Bob Sr. bundles a bunch of these loans together and sells them to a group of investors from the country of Narnia. Well, things did not go so well for Mr. Public. He had so much cash left over every month, he bought some stuff. Not all bad (12 comments)
HOA's & The Veil Of Secrecy - What Gives? - 12/04/07 03:01 PM
I needed some HOA info for one of my listings. No much info. Just a little. So I looked the HOA up on The Google, found their number, and gave them a quick call. Hi there, how are you, bla bla bla, my name is so and so, and I have a listing in the neighborhood, and I would just like to verify that the monthly HOA dues are in fact "X". Simple, right? Apparently not. I was informed that I would need to fax in my request. After a bit of silence, fueled by my stunned disbelief, I got their (5 comments)
Why Don't More People Vote? One Vote Can Make A Difference! - 12/03/07 05:13 PM
The Presidential election - coming at us like a freight train. Lots of rhetoric, lots of issues. This year, it seems like there are some pretty high profile issues. Are they more high profile than in recent years? I don't know; time has a way of shading our memories. But every year, the country gets all wound up, the news media gets all wrapped up in coverage, a ton of money is raised, and spent, by the various candidates, and then - only about 60% or so of the eligible voters turn out. What gives? Do people not care? Do they think that (7 comments)
Do We Assume That What Is Important To Us Is Important To Others? - 12/02/07 08:22 AM
A busy Saturday afternoon. Shopping and general errands. Traffic. Lots of traffic. Kids in the back seat. Bored kids. In the front seat, grown up discussions. Money. Career. Politics. Grown up stuff. In the back seat, well, I am not sure what is going on back there. Not really sure that I want to know. The rest of the story sort of hinges on the reader having more than a general knowledge of the early works of Elton John. I mean, the really good stuff, when Bernie Taupin was writing it. Not the Lion King years. As we were up front, conversing about (14 comments)
Do Clients Expect Convenience - And Do We Give It to Them? - 12/01/07 09:49 AM
Today I decided to switch banks. Now, for those of you who have ever undertaken this task, you know that this is not a decision reached lightly. It is a royal pain, for a number of logistical reasons, and in the end, you end up running two accounts for a while. Why would this fool make such a rash decision, you may well ask? Well, I can assure you, it was not without great thought. I have been with this bank, a major name bank, for well over ten years. Then, out of the blue, they close the only branch close to (12 comments)
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.