Memorial Day and Real Estate

May 26, 2017

Come on Rich, Memorial Day and Real Estate, really? We all know you sell real estate, but really, a National holiday?

Well my dear readers read on. If you look back at the wars, fights, skirmishes we have had they all had real estate involved . From no fly zones, usually over a land area, to the Marine Core Hymn real estate is involved. From the Shores of Tripoli, where we went after the pirates where they lived, to shouts of “hold the high ground fellas” real estate was involved. The first fight this country ever had was to protect our real estate and the minerals, trees and riches that came with it. Others wanted it and we fought to defend and protect it. Along with our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Some of these American soldiers now own a small piece of real estate overseas. According to ( by the end of WWI thirty thousand, that’s 30,000 American soldiers were buried overseas. By the end of WWII over fifty thousand, 50,000, American soldiers. This does not include those MIA- Missing in Action. I did not find statistics for Korea or Vietnam of soldiers buried overseas however the number of soldiers buried overseas from WWII is close to the total number killed in Korea (appx 50,000) or Vietnam (58193) [WIKI]. If we add together all the US Soldiers who have died in wars up to January 2007 over 1 Million, (1,000,000) [WIKI] Another 6,393 have died from 2007-2010.

What I am truly saying readers is please don’t forget to remember the real reason behind the holiday. To honor and most importantly , REMEMBER those fallen soldiers who have paid the ultimate price in defense of our homes, our land, our worldly possessions, our liberties, religions and beliefs. So hang the flag with pride from your home, tell your children why we do this, say a prayer or observe a moment of silence.

Thank You Councilman

February 3, 2017

The other day I saw a news story that frustrated me. I did not know the answer, just that I was frustrated. So, what do you do, Well I talk to my neighbors and friends. So I did. On social media. I know I know, read the story.

The story was about ice on the sidewalks blocking the paths of kids trying to get to school. Since it was in my city I shared it. When the Councilman saw it he immediately stated he had no idea it was so bad and asked that I report it to the special link the City had set up. I couldn’t figure out how to and told him so. He said he would take care of it.

I was frustrated because as a kid I walked to school all the time. Elementary school was 5 long blocks away. 5 streets to be crossed. The homeowners and shop keepers kept the paths totally cleared. If not; the neighborhood let them know which way was up. Sanitation workers would come by and clear the intersections with shovels so we could walk. I thought there was an ordinance here that said we had to do the same here. I was shocked to hear there is not.

After the Councilman said he would take care of it I said I was frustrated because I did not know what the answer is. Who should clean it and keep it clean. I understand the frustration after shoveling when the plow comes by and buries everything you just cleared. He replied “the answer is, it will be cleared by tonight.” Amazingly, it was. The crew sent did an awesome job.

That Councilman did a great job. He made a commitment after a bold public statement. He made it happen.

I thanked him on social media. I thought about thanking him in a handwritten note to the City Council. Not good enough I say, so I choose to publicly thank him here for stepping up when he saw a problem in our City and getting the job done.

THANK YOU COUNCILMAN CAVENER! Luke Cavener, Luke, I appreciate what you did that day. The crew worked late and hard because you helped make it happen. All the Best Richie Rich

A Promising Future, Spring is Near

January 27, 2017

I was reading a story about my friend on FB. She has had her struggles with many things growing up and is currently a single Mom working to make it on her own. She recently lost her job due to downsizing. Right now, many are thinking, she’s probably living off my dollar. Unemployment, subsidy for her kiddo and so on. Not so fast I say. Here’s what she did: 37 applications filled out in 1 day. 7 interviews the next and BAM! A J-O-B that she started the next day. She does not know how much I admire her for this. Well Done Kiddo, Well Done.

As I listen to the birds chirping, with 10 inches of ice on the ground, they are singing a song. Spring is near, so is your future. While things may look bleak right now, spring is coming and things will get better. If things look bleak to you, do what my young friend did. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again (I think this may make a song). We live in the greatest country in the world. I fully believe we can change our lives and do more here than anywhere else. We don’t have to accept our lot in life, we can make it better, if we choose. No one will do it for us, some will help us, yet we need to do it. Ask for help, accept what comes your way and keep pushing forward. Or lay there and wallow in your self-pity.

My own Grandfather came over from Germany. He was forced out by his family who feared the Nazis. They couldn’t get everyone out so they sent him. He hated it. He longed to return. As things got progressively worse over there he kept going. He had 2 jobs to support his family. He worked as a super in NYC. A super cleans the buildings, puts out the trash and feeds the furnace if needed. They also make minor repairs. For this they get a place to live and a small stipend. He also worked at Nathan’s in Coney Island. He did this to support 5 kids and his wife. They all pitched in.

A success story about 2 individuals doing what they can to survive in conditions that are not ideal. A very promising future for us all. Spring is near, rebirth can begin. Chase the American Dream with everything you have, everything HE gives you, and keep moving forward. God Bless, Richie Rich


You Can’t Judge a Home From the Pictures

January 20, 2017

You can’t judge a book by its cover or a home from the pictures. As a Realtor part of my job is to make certain the homes I list for sale look good in the pictures. This is especially true when folks are looking online. When I do a good job, people look at the home. Once of the nicest compliments I receive is when someone says, it looked so good in the pictures. To help me accomplish this I use a videographer as well as a photographer. They do truly amazing work. Thank you SP Digital.

I was reminded of this when I ordered a book from an online source. When it arrived I was surprised and somewhat disappointed at how small the book looked like in real life as opposed to what the picture showed. I was further reminded when a friend called to ask my thoughts on someone buying a home sight unseen except for pictures. I suggested that if it wasn’t a person buying it as an investment I would be quite uncomfortable. I guess I should have listened to my own advice and gone to the bookstore.

When I first got in the business I was working a million dollar land deal with out of state investors. In talking with my broker I said I could never understand how someone could buy a property without ever seeing it in person. I still feel that way, even more so with homes. However I have seen and heard of many buyers never physically going to a home before making an offer to buy. Very scary for a seller, what happens when they show up to inspect your home or move in and they don’t like it? Or something was edited out of a photo or video; YIKES trouble for the listing agent as well as the buyers’ agent. I may have heard of a lawsuit or two. I have also visited homes where the photos did not do it justice and my clients got a very good deal. The price was great, the neighborhood worked and when we actually walked through it, WOWZA!!!

So while it is good to start with an online search, please visit the home, in the daylight and see if you do like it. Sometimes you may be disappointed however sometimes you find a jewel in the rough. All the Best Richie Rich


Rich’s 2017 Predictions in Real Estate

January 13, 2017

2016 has come and gone. The numbers are in. So let’s see how I did. I predicted an increase in sales price of 2-4%. The numbers show an increase in average sales price in Ada County of 5.76% and a median increase of 6.94%. We did better than I anticipated. Still I love that it was not double digit increases. Slow steady growth is good for all. I predicted an interest rate of 4-5%. I nailed that one, atta boy, I do give myself an atta boy when I earn it.

Residential resale led the way in pricing up 6.27% on average,6.81% median sales price increase. New construction prices were flat at -0.06 on the median sales price and -0.38 percent on average. Yes dear readers those were both minus signs. New construction however boomed in number of sales, up 37.99% WOWZA up 38% and residential resale in Ada County was up 8.22%.

So, what do I see for the future? Great question. I see interest rates staying the same 4-5%. If we get too much inflation than it may go higher however I don’t see that happening. If rates go up to 5 and beyond, it is still a great rate and people will continue to buy. The government will try to do some things to help, such as tax credits however most first time buyers will not appreciate the benefits until they file their taxes. So, remember First Time Home Buyers get the cycle going. If they stop all sales will be affected.

I believe average sales price of homes in Ada County will stay steady at 4-6%. Inventory levels will remain on the low side which help drive prices up. Even though prices are going up buyers are remaining patient and adapting their buying power to find a home that meets their budget. They are stretching a little more and are comfortable that they will not be house poor. They want homes in good to great condition. No fixer uppers at this time. All of this will combine to keep prices steady and not runaway.

What do you think will happen? If I had a crystal ball I would be retired and somewhere warmer right now. Happy House Hunting, All the Best Rich

Statistical information provided by Intermountain MLS.


Tis The Season

December 17, 2016

Bah Humbug, Tis the Season to feel grumpy, frustrated, undervalued and stressed out. Whew, relax, take a deep breath, and exhale slowly. If you are feeling the holiday blues give yourself permission to relax. Need a quick pick me up, give something away. Huh Rich? Give what away? It doesn’t matter, give something away. Need some ideas read below.

Some people feel better giving money away. You can do it. It doesn’t matter how much. Tip your favorite barista an extra buck or two and take a minute to tell them, yes talk to them, and tell them how much you appreciate their service. Pick your favorite charity and send them an extra donation. Stop by their offices and tell them why you chose them and thank them in person.

Want to do more that doesn’t cost any money. Write them a compliment card for someone. We all complain when things go wrong, let them know that they are doing something tight. Hold a door for someone. Go up to that person in the office, you know who, that person you may not want to talk with and give them a big smile. Help a coworker complete a project or a cruddy job. Let someone in a long line of traffic cut in ahead of you.

We already talked about a deep relaxing breath, take a few of them. I worked with a guy who arrives at a job where the clients were angry, frustrated etc. He would go have a cup of coffee before going in. It would frustrate the daylights out of his son who wanted to get in there and solve the problem. His Dad would say, “They have waited this long, five more minutes more won’t hurt.” He was taking a deep breath.

This is the Season of Gratitude, not attitude. Remember the Golden Rule; Treat others as you want to be treated. It is mentioned in the Bible at least 5 times. I tell my clients if I say something more than once you should probably listen. We should probably listen. Tis the Season, Merry Christmas to all, Richie Rich

Happy Thanksgiving

November 18, 2016

In the fall of 1621, the religious separatist Pilgrims held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest, an event many regard as the nation’s first Thanksgiving. It eventually became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a National Day of Thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.

In the year 1621, the Pilgrims held their first Thanksgiving feast. They invited the great Indian chief Massasoit, who brought ninety of his brave Indians and a great abundance of food. Governor William Bradford and Captain Miles Standish were honored guests. Elder William Brewster, who was a minister, said a prayer that went something like this: ‘We thank God for our homes and our food and our safety in a new land. We thank God for the opportunity to create a new world for freedom and justice.” Linus Van Pelt Peanuts in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

“a roof over our heads, heat in the home, food on the table surrounded by family and friends all Blessed by the Lord. Everything else is an extra” Rich Nesbit

So now you have some things to help you celebrate Thanksgiving. A True American holiday, founded by the Pilgrims. 2 stories to share and a quote or a prayer, use it as you would like.

As is the tradition in my home, here is what I am thankful for this year. I have a deeper more loving relationship with my bride and children. I am always thankful for all my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has given me. I am thankful for my new editor who has chosen to keep me on as a columnist.

I am thankful for all my friends at the Steelheads. What a great group.

I am thankful for my business being able to support my wife, children and the lifestyle we are leading where family is first. A true blessing. A special thank you to all who used my services and helped me reach my goals.

I am thankful for all the people in the businesses that support my business as well. Title Companies, loan officers, inspectors the list is endless.

I am thankful for the roof over my head and the food on my table.

I am thankful for you my dear readers. I am absolutely amazed how many times people recognize me and send me comments on my articles. I am and feel so blessed every time it happens. Thank you dear readers.

Happy Thanksgiving, Richie Rich

Time to Vote

November 15, 2016

My daughter turned 18 this year. On her birthday we did many exciting fun things that an 18 year old can legally do. One of the most exciting things left to do is vote. She has watched her Mom and I vote for years. This year she gets to join us.

The other night I asked her if she knew who she was voting for and if she knew the issues. “Not completely Dad” she says, “I know who I want for President.” Good start let’s look at the rest and figure it out. So we went out to the Ada County Elections clicked on voter information and view my ballot, we found our polling place via the polling place locator and pulled up our ballot. WHEW, somewhat hard to find. Got lost a few times however the journey was worth it.

We looked at the candidates and spoke about them. We argued about the issues, loved it. Dad, what if I don’t know who these people are? How do I choose? I explained that not choosing either candidate is a good option. Not the best mind you that’s why we look before we go into the booth. We research the issues. As we read them she asked “why can’t they be written in easier language?” ah the joys of politics. We talked about when we had a vote and the yes meant no and vice versa. Talk about confusing. We talked about the candidates running unopposed. “Do I have to vote for them?” no, you could write in someone else’s name.

All of us were surprised at the number of candidates running for President 8 of them. Also surprised by the CWI bond, a good thing I believe, currently serving 20,000 students. Gets my vote. The library bond is on the ballot. I vote yes, my kiddos were and are turbo readers and I think we should support reading more. Please vote yes. The Western Ada Recreation Bond for 2 swimming pools is an interesting question. Many don’t like the idea of paying to build a pool and then paying to get in. I loved playing in the neighborhood pool as a kid. However this bond would cost home owners an estimated $14.42 per $100,000 of home value, an additional couple of bucks per year. On a $300,000 home the owner would pay $3.60 per month. For many, that price is less than a cup of coffee. I’ll vote yes. Whether you agree or not, please get out and vote. All the Best Richie Rich

An Investing Idea

November 15, 2016

I have a goal to own rental properties. Might be a good fit for me considering the business I am in. As a bonus I get to see many different business models for investing in housing. The other day I heard of one that I have not seen before.

I participate in a coaching program that offers more than just sales advice. We believe in a well rounded life that includes growth in 5 different areas. Spiritual, family, business, financial and personal are the 5 Circles we intertwine and balance. The founder of the company not only tells it like it is, he practices what he preaches. During the recession he liquidated $30,000,000 that’s 30 Million in real estate holdings to keep his business alive. He had one commercial building he left empty for a year. He was able to do this using an investment system that helped him succeed. Hmmm, he has captured my interest again.

So how’d he do it you say? I’ll tell ya. He would buy a property and hold it. He would not buy another property until he owed less than half on the property. Less than half! What about leverage, what about the great deal sitting in front of you. Nope he said, just wouldn’t do it no matter how badly it fried his backside. Considering he did not lose everything like others did I have to consider what he says quite seriously.

I am reminded of a call I received on day as the recession was beginning. The buyer wanted to buy million dollar properties for $500,000. I laughed and then asked why I would not buy them myself for that price. He said I could not buy them all. I loved that response. I can’t possibly buy every deal that comes to me. I only wish I could. There will always be another opportunity. So perhaps the 50% idea is not that farfetched as it sounds.

Some investors use a cash only model, some use the 20% down, some use 20% down that they borrow and many other models. I would prefer to be an all cash investor. Perhaps 20% down and then wait and be patient might be better. Hmm time to think. All the Best Richie Rich

Haunted Houses

November 1, 2016

Spooky OOky Homes. I was looking around to see where I might find haunted houses in the area. I found several where gruesome murders had occurred. Since I am precluded by law from stigmatizing a property I will not, cannot discuss these homes. Or Haunted ones. Go online you will find them.

Per “Stigmatized properties are homes where a real or rumored event occurred that didn’t physically affect the property but could adversely impact its desirability.” That is where the courts have said that by disclosing such information will put a home in such an unfavorable light the value is adversely affected, price goes down. Both for a seller or a tenant. Some examples would include homes that are haunted, where murders have occurred and someone has died naturally or by suicide. Serious illness, such as aids, cult activity and famous adulteries are also considered stigmatizing. I say if you need to know, talk with the neighbors.

So, keep in mind, these things do not need disclosed. How about you? Could you live there? I think there is a buyer for every home. I also think someone would pay a premium for that opportunity. Not me mind you however there is always a buyer willing to buy, cost is always the issue. Time is also an issue. If the home was in the news it can take longer to sell. The mansion where the Manson Murders took place reportedly took 20 years to sell however it sold for market value. Hmmm I think I would rather have bought the Playboy Mansion. Of course, the Playboy Mansion was about 20 times the cost however it does come with Hef. According to a 2000 study from Wright State University of stigmatized homes, these home tend to sell for 3% below value and take 45% longer to sell.

It was fun looking at the homes and reading the stories behind the “haunting”. Some were gruesome murders, I would just as soon not read those stories in detail. For me the funny ones were the bars where patrons and staff had seen visions. Could be the drink I think. Still makes me smile. Have a Happy Safe Halloween, Richie Rich

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