advice: Can You Afford That House? - 05/14/08 06:19 AM
                          
Before you start searching for your dream home, you first need to determine a price range you can afford. According to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), depending on the consumer's current debt ratio, most people can typically afford to pay 31 percent of their gross monthly income for mortgage payments. For example, if you earn $50,000 annually, then your monthly income is about $4,167. Thirty-one percent of that is $1,292.
There are several online tools to calculate a monthly mortgage you can afford using factors such as your current monthly expenses, down payment and the interest rate. You can also … (2 comments)

advice: Avoid These Seller Mistakes - 03/15/08 08:02 AM
You want to get the best price for your home, plus sell it in the least amount of time. In a buyers' market such as the one emerging now, homes will take longer to sell. Therefore, it's important that you make the right moves at the very beginning of your homeselling process to remain competitive. Here are some common traps that many homeowners fall into and how to avoid them.
 
1. Over-pricing - It's easy to think your home is worth more than the current market may support, particularly after the long run-up in home prices. Since home prices have cooled … (5 comments)

advice: Where's Waldo in the Real Estate World? - 03/09/08 06:16 AM
In many parts of the country, selling your home right now can seem a little daunting.  There are many more homes on the market and many of these are foreclosures, though not always in the droves that the media talks about.  At least not in many markets.  This attention to real estate has in many ways traumatized buyers into hiding in the cave till the news gets better.  This is not a wise choice from a financial standpoint or an investment standpoint and has many shaking their heads as to why more people are not purchasing during this opportunity period.
If you are trying to … (4 comments)

advice: Dealing with Stress! - 03/07/08 05:45 AM
                          
Ah, how true it is.  We all have stress at different times in our lives and in our professions, but the ways we deal with it vary from person to person.  Some deal with it with what I call the short fuse, meaning it doesn't take much to set them off.  Others the long fuse which are the people that let their stress build up over a period of time and then go off.  Then there is that person that like me (for the most part) use the stress to motivate them to excel.  Don't get me wrong, I started … (6 comments)

advice: Yes, I Scan and so Scan You! - 02/28/08 04:57 PM
How many boxes of old files do you have sitting in your basement, garage, office, attic, storage building, or in the trunk of your car.  For those of us in the real estate business, we are told to hang on to all of our files for a minimum number of years.  Well, if you have been in the business awhile, the boxes pile up.  Once in awhile you even have to go back through them to find a document that a client needs and can't seem to locate.
Do you want a better way of handling this conglomerate of old paperwork?  Scan … (7 comments)

advice: Good News, BAD NEWS - 02/27/08 09:00 AM
In preparing to write this blog, I was trying to find a picture to post at the top to emphasize something that has often troubled me.  Many of the posts on AR and other blog sites along with the media always seem to get the most attention from the bad news and not so much on the good.  When I looked for the picture that expressed my concern, I found it almost immediately.   Once again BAD NEWS is emphasized.
What is it in our make up that makes us crave the down side of almost anything in life?  We all profess to … (3 comments)

advice: Wow! A Great Stapler to add to your Workstation! - 02/20/08 05:14 PM

Have you ever had one of those staplers that either never stapled properly or you had to hit it with your fist to get it to staple through more than 2 sheets of paper?  Well, no more!
I recently purchased a new stapler for my office because my electric stapler stopped working properly.  The replacement is made by PaperPro and is absolutely wonderful.  The company sells different varieties that will staple from 15 - 60 pages of paper with no more than a touch of 2 fingers.  They are spring loaded, somewhat like a staple gun but with a lot less pressure … (0 comments)

advice: This House STINKS! - 02/20/08 03:33 PM

 I mean really stinks!  Ok, so we've all been to those homes.  Sometimes it's the pets.  Sometimes it's the kids.  Could be the trash can or possibly the last meal that was cooked.  The odors that take place in the home are many times not as noticeable to the homeowner because they are there all the time and grow accustomed to some of the odors.  Especially true with cat odors.  How many times have gone to an OPEN HOUSE and upon entering, wish it had been OPEN for a couple hours before you got there.  I mean every door and window open.
Often it … (16 comments)

advice: The Real Estate Market Will Boom On April 1st, 2008! - 02/18/08 07:00 PM
The World Will End, April 2nd, 2008!  Wouldn't it be great if we could know all?  Probably not!  Everyone throughout the country is talking about what the real estate market is doing, has done, will do and all have their twist on the reasoning.
The bottom line is, the real estate market runs in cycles.  Always has and always will.  The recent circumstances surrounding each cycle have been different.  Some have been caused by the depression, others by the inflation index, or interest rates.  The latest cycle has been affected and effected by two causes.  One, being the loan programs that enabled … (7 comments)

advice: Strategies for Selling a Vacant Home - 02/17/08 03:22 PM
As the real estate market continues to stabilize, sellers may find that their property remains on the market significantly longer than the days of "list today, sold tomorrow." There is also more competition for buyers. So, it can be frustrating to put your home on the market, expecting a fast sale, only to find that after six months you're still waiting for an offer. This is especially true if you need to move quickly and leave your unsold home vacant.Besides creating a marketing challenge, a vacant home can also be a target for vandalism. Here are strategies you can use to … (5 comments)

advice: Inexpensive Marketing for New Agents (The Final Chapter) - 02/13/08 04:49 PM
Final Chapter for this series anyway.  More thoughts and ideas coming soon.
In the past posts, we have discussed different methods of marketing yourself with less cash outlay than commercially printed material.   Now that we have our post-cards, newsletters and data base set-up, let's put it to work.
There are several areas we can use all the tools you now have at hand.  Postcards can simply be mailed to our farm and/or sphere.  The same with newsletters.  In my humble opinion, let me just say in 11 years in real estate, I have received 99% more business from my sphere of influence (people … (6 comments)

advice: Inexpensive Marketing for New Agents (Part III) - 02/13/08 07:10 AM
We've covered a few topics in my previous articles, now let's take on one more.Brochures!Many experienced agents will have mixed views on whether you need one or not.  Any marketing tool you use can have benefit.  A lot depends on how you use the tool.  First let's talk about going about creating the brochure and then discuss how we can use it toenhance and draw clients to us.Designing a brochure is similar to designing the newsletter.  Create the brochure with one of the same program you did the newsletter with depending on what is already on your computer.  Typically they will … (6 comments)

advice: Take This Community and _______ It! - 02/12/08 07:24 AM
Teach
Wouldn't our community be a better place if we all decide to fill in the blank with Teach.
When thinking about ideas for my next blog, I thought about my life and my career.  Was I doing enough?  Enough for me?  Enough for my community?  I know there are a few that think, I just don't have time and to that I say "hogwash".  I never use that word, but it seems fitting here.  We all have time to do the things we want, we just have a hard time prioritizing some of the things we should do.  How can we teach our … (9 comments)

advice: Does Your Hobby Enhance Your Career - 02/08/08 04:05 PM
Many Realtors have associations that they belong to in addition to their real estate careers.  Does your hobby or volunteer work enhance and solidify your career?  It should!
My particular "hobby", and I use that term somewhat lightly, because it is really more of a commitment to lifestyle, is singing with a Barbershop Chorus.  Now I know many of you are already thinking "Oh No" and I must admit, before joining with this chorus, I had some of the same preconceived notions of what Barbershop singing was all about.  Let me tell you the story of how it came about and then … (3 comments)

advice: Realtors and cell phones - 02/08/08 05:51 AM
Have you ever had the pleasure of calling an agents cell phone to be greeted by their voice-mail?  Sometimes the voice-mail message starts out with 2 minutes of music before their message starts and tells you why they are not available.  Some don't even mention their name or their company name.  Others state that if you are calling for XYZ real estate or some other part time business they are involved in (usually some MLM business) to leave a message and they will get back to you.
Remember when using your cell phone as a business contact phone, you should either answer your phone … (4 comments)

advice: Waiting To Buy a Home or Wishing You Could Sell Yours? - 02/05/08 06:16 AM
WHY?
That is the question that should be asked.  Many of todays buyers are saying they want to wait to see what the market does before they act on purchasing their new home.  The media certainly has helped in creating this fear.  The problem:  The market has been sluggish and a lot of foreclosures have skewed the appraised values.  In many cases, there is an increase of inventory on the market and in some cases this can be a year to 18 months worth. 
While this can certainly cause some sellers to cringe, it should be a calling sign to buyers, that … (0 comments)

advice: A Home Shopper’s Must-Haves and Wish Lists - 02/04/08 02:50 PM
Shopping for a home is an exciting adventure and it's easy to get lost in a sea of dazzling for-sale homes and all of their fabulous amenities - which can cause you to temporarily forget that a large backyard is your top priority. To keep yourself focused, take time to identify and organize exactly what you're looking for in a home by creating thorough "must-have" and "wish" lists before you begin home shopping. You may also want to make a third list that details your dislikes.
To get started ask yourself these questions: Which items and features must your home have? … (0 comments)

advice: Need Extra Space? Try Storage - 02/04/08 07:12 AM
If lack of space for your belongings is an issue for you, off-site storage may be the right solution. You don't have to be a pack rat to find yourself needing extra space. You could be renovating a room and need somewhere to house the contents. Perhaps you need to move into smaller quarters temporarily while you're waiting to move into a new home. Or you may need to create a spacious look for your home while it is on the market. Renting storage space is a pretty simple process, especially when you plan ahead. Here are helpful tips for choosing … (1 comments)

advice: Make Sure You Have a Marketing Plan - 02/04/08 07:10 AM
Only for the rare few sellers, simply placing a "For Sale" yard sign on the front lawn creates a line of traffic filled with potential buyers. If you want buyers to see your home, you've got to find them. The key is marketing. To get the most exposure for your home, you should have a marketing plan with clear objectives and specifically outlines the resources that will be used to reach potential buyers.
Each marketing plan should be designed around your property and capitalize on its most desirable features. Therefore, you need to be honest with your real estate professional about … (0 comments)

advice: How Important is a Home Inspection? - 02/04/08 07:08 AM
Should a buyer get a home inspection for a home they are buying? Should a seller order a home inspection prior to putting the property on the market? There are advantages for both.
Simply put, a home inspection is a visual examination of both the physical structure and major systems of the entire home including: walls, ceilings, floors, decks, exterior covering, the roof, foundation, insulation and ventilation, plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning. It is not an appraisal to validate the value of a home, nor a pass/fail exam. A third-party inspector will give a report on the physical condition and … (0 comments)

 
Mike Gambino, GRI (Prudential Patterson Realtors)

Mike Gambino

GRI

Florissant, MO

More about me…

Prudential Patterson Realtors

Address: 7451 N. Lindbergh Blvd., Hazelwood, MO, 63042

Office: (314) 506-6700

Mobile: (314) 313-6624

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