Bed and Breakfast, anyone?

October 30, 2014 Leave a comment

There are many things I still hope to do in my life! I don’t know what the future holds, I have some guesses but that’s all they are.

One of those guesses? I might own a Bed and Breakfast someday! Think about it, you buy a quirky, historic and/or beautiful property somewhere with extra rooms and nice grounds. You turn it into a business by having guests stay with you and you provide some meals and activities, great customer service and an experience they won’t soon forget. Sure this whole venture could go horribly wrong, and be fodder for clever TV shows like Portlandia, but assuming it doesn’t, owning a Bed and Breakfast could be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

If your love of Western Americana, history, and Arizona sunsets needs a place to hang your 10 gallon cowboy hat, check out this great Bed and breakfast Listing in Tombstone Arizona. Yes, that Tombstone. The one where the Shootout at the OKCorral Happened. The one with the dirt road main street full of western history and modern day convenience. A place where you might just see people dressed in period clothing and maybe even some cowboys having a shootout reenactment.

http://www.flexmls.com/share/DVPq/301-N-8th-Street-Tombstone-AZ-85638-

At less than $75 a sqft this property looks like a value. There are 50 pictures in the listing and a detailed description. To find a real estate agent that specializes in Bed and Breakfast properties just contact me here. Enjoy your stay, Yeehaw!

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Is Tucson Having a Fix and Flip Flop?

October 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Yesterday a real estate investor walked into my office and asked if any of the owners with our property management company have run down houses that they need to sell. his approach was good and would generate business for our agents as well as provide one type of solution if an owner needs to sell.  He told me he has been buying, flipping and holding properties for 30 years and said it’s hard to find good deals right now. His business model is to pay all cash and close in as little as 3 days. Sure he needs to buy at a discount, but for some sellers the need for a simple and fast cash sale is more valuable than trying to get full market value for a run down home.

With bank owned homes at the lowest levels since 2010 and short sales drying up in Arizona due to changes in tax consequences for the seller the market for investors has gotten smaller. As I talked about in a previous post, on a national level investor purchases have slowed creating a dip in the real estate recovery.

Sometimes the best investment strategy is to stay liquid and see what happens next, which it appears many real estate investors are currently doing. Contact me to find an investment specialist in your real estate market.

Check out the latest real estate data for the Tucson market: http://tucsonrealtors.org/tar-v2/statsSept2014.pdf

If you like, leave me a comment and tell me about the market where you live.  How are the real estate investors feeling in your neck of the woods?

Thanksgiving, Unplugged

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

Real estate agents have a really hard time disconnecting from their technology. Not that this is unique to our industry. Anyone who works a job or owns a company where time is of the essence and things could be happening at anytime wants to be available… anytime. It’s wonderful that I can reach out to respond to people within minutes of them asking for help finding a real estate agent, but it can also have me impulsively checking my phone at all hours or feeling phantom vibrations when I think my phone is ringing in my pocket and it’s not!
My family recently started a new policy. One night a week we disconnect from technology. No tablets, phones or TV. We eat dinner together, play games or read books. If the Tucson weather is nice, we will go play in the yard and feel the cool breeze on our skin. It’s wonderful to be off the leash. Do I miss an email or phone call sometimes. Yes I do and it’s totally worth it! The blog post below makes a case for a tech free Thanksgiving. Making everyone be together without the internet involved? How traditional!

A lot of people think they can’t live without their digital devices. But this Thanksgiving many are planning to turn off their smartphones, notepads, laptops, desktops, tablets and phablets in order to have a more traditional Thanksgiving.

This is no mean feat, since studies have shown that many modern people suffer classic withdrawal symptoms when they are deprived of their connected devices. Take away their tech, and people can become anxious, depressed – unhinged, even.

However, Thanksgiving is supposed to be about people, first and foremost. You know, the warm, breathing ones that are in the room with you — as opposed to the distant ones who are calling, texting and emailing you.

It is in that spirit that The Foresters Tech Timeout survey of 1,021 Canadians was recently commissioned.

According to the survey, 45% of these Canadians indicated that “wired” behavior during the holidays is annoying. Most (69%) of…

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Worlds Largest Residential Pool and It’s House is for Sale in Texas

October 7, 2014 Leave a comment

worlds largest pool texas real estatePicture taken from HERE

Check out this luxury home and it’s pool.  Or, I should probably say check out this luxury pool and it’s home! Go figure it’s in the state of Texas which is known for liking things BIG including their big economy which is even more robust from the recent American energy boom. This Texas sized pool is perfect for a Texas sized personality.  Someone who values their recreation as much as their reputation.

To be introduced to the listing agent or to find a buyers agent for Texas estates please contact me here

557 County Road 451 – El Campo Texas 77437 – listed at $5,000,000

  • Pool has w/6 waterfalls, a 21 ft. water slide, swim-up sunken bar, outdoor kitchen,a 28 person hot tub, Florida palm trees, & a 500-foot adjustable-speed lazy river to name a few
  • Main House:7312 Sq. ft,/5 bedrooms/4.5 bathrooms/Study/Gameroom/Media/Circle drive/Barn w/2 Apartments above/ and a guest house.
  • Exceptional opportunity to own this Amazing Texas property w/the Largest Residential Pool about 45 minutes from Houston! 10 min. from Wharton Regional Airport

See the Keller Williams listing page here: http://www.kw.com/homes-for-sale/77437/TX/El-Campo/557-County-Road-451/3yd-HARMLSTX-54793029.html

See the Zillow page for this property here: http://www.zillow.com/homes/557-County-Road-451-.dash.-El-Campo-Texas-77437_rb/

Selling Houses with Kids – Maybe Even Gracefully?

October 3, 2014 Leave a comment

My living room stays clean for maybe 1 day, if I am lucky. There is almost always dishes in the sink, there is always dirty laundry. There are odors, stains, splatter and stickers. Sound familiar? You must be a parent!

My oldest is 5, and my twins are 3. The thought of having to stage my house to look good for a sale is…. Intimidating? How about terrifying? Yes, terrifying is better.

From a real estate “expert” and parent here is some advice.

  1. Breathe – Take a deep breath, it’s going to be OK
  2. First impressions matter a lot. If you feel like you can’t keep your whole house clean and tidy when a buyer will be coming through focus on the first impression areas most.

Make sure the front of the home is tidy and free of random things. It’s OK to have toys or personal items on the front porch or in the yard, just try to make them look ‘in place” rather than strewn about.

Make sure when a buyer walks into the home that they have a good first view. Really try to keep the living room (or whatever room they enter into) clean and uncluttered. This segways into my next point…

  1. Clutter is your enemy! You know what I am a big fan of? Storage bins! If you have a lot of “stuff” go buy some storage bins and just keep your stuff in there. Clean, simple spaces, with only a few select personal affects make for a calm room where buyers can see past you, to your home itself.

It’s much better to walk in to a room with 3 plastic storage bins pushed against a wall than an epic Star Wars lego battle scene or the leftovers of the stuffed animal tea party. If an agent calls and says they will be there in 15 minutes to show the house, just start throwing stuff in those bins. The house will clean up in a snap.

Garage it! If you have a garage, use it for more than parking! I have never once showed a house where the buyer was turned off by walking into a garage with boxes floor to ceiling. I have had plenty of buyers check out upon seeing a messy living room in an otherwise nice home.

  1. Use the kids to your advantage. Odds are if this house was appealing to you with the idea of raising a family there, it will also attract buyers that want to have kids there to. Make the back yard look like the prefect play area. Make sure things like tree houses, playground equipment, water toys or sports equipment is staged and in good working order. Help them to see the potential.
  1. The little things matter. Before your home goes up for sale spend a little money to fix the easy stuff. Kids are hard on the cosmetics of a house. While all your major systems are probably working great, it can be the small things that make buyers nervous. Fix broken outlet covers, small holes in the dry wall, damaged bedroom doors, missing grout in tile floors, crayons on the wall, stains on the carpet etc.

The list goes on…. And on and on and on. There are plenty of good blogs that can give you more specific ideas to stage and prep your home for sale. I’m no expert in that, but in my 10 years in real estate I have showed hundreds, maybe thousands, of homes to buyers and I have seen them fall in love and/or run away from many homes for the exact reasons listed above! Good luck you hard working parents, persevere and you will succeed in your real estate goals.

Contact me anytime to find a good agent in your area that can tell you the best way to prepare your home for a quick sale.

When the Good Faith Estimate Doesn’t Match Your First Estimate or Initial Fees Worksheet

October 2, 2014 Leave a comment

Imagine your 3 days away from moving into your new house. You have navigated the rough waters, making it through price negotiations, inspections, the appraisal, and have provided a small mountain of documents to your lender. All that’s left is to sign the loan and title docs and wait for closing. That’s when it happens. You get to the title company and are presented with a HUD-1 form to review (This form lists all the costs and credits itemized). Most everything looks right except there are certain loans fee’s that are wayyyy more than you expected. What happened?! Mortgage expert Carolyn Warren explains how this can happen in this informative article…

Ask Carolyn Warren

GFE3 HELP! My GFE doesn’t match the original estimate or fees worksheet that my loan officer gave me. What can I do?

This is a good question and one that home buyers ask me. Here are two reasons why you might see a different origination fee on your official 3-page Good Faith Estimate.

Two Reasons Why Your GFE Might Be Different Than Your Fees Worksheet

1) Look to see if the loan officer split up the origination fee on several different lines in the upfront estimate. This often happens when the origination fee is high and not competitive with a fair market fee. I saw this again earlier this week when a home buyer used my consultation service.

On the upfront worksheet, there were four fees:

an origination fee,
an additional underwriting fee,
an additional processing fee,
and an IRS tax transcript fee.

These four fees were added together on the…

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A Poem About a House

October 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Where this came from I don’t know.  My last poem was a long time ago.  Enjoy this poem made for you, with tea or crumpets, whiskey to.

A house is more than just a home.

Creaking stairs and hidden bones.

It’s a place to rest your head,

As tired bodies slip into bed.

Dreams of family come to bear,

Extra bedrooms no longer there.

Breakfast cooking in the morn,

Wild eyed kids run through the door

Off to school, a nearby walk

Now mom can have her peaceful thoughts.

Keeping cool, in summers grip.

No snow in here, come coco sip.

As kids grow up and fly away,

Parents may decide to stay.

That bedroom turns into a den

Hammers, nails and steely grins

The carpets all turn into tile

Fresh paint and fixtures, counter tops

Landscape dreams with river rocks

A house renewed and made just right

An investment in a better life.