Posts Tagged ‘condo apartment’

Labor Day

September 6, 2016

While you are enjoying the last official BBQ of summer please don’t forget the American worker.

The first Monday in September is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the workers. Workers have made the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. They are the backbone of this great country.

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement. (adapted from US DOL)

Soon it will be time to winter fertilize and re seed the lawn. Trim the hedges and possibly the trees. What else could you, my dear reader be looking at? You could clean and touch up. Make certain the gutters are free of debris, if the caulking around the windows, is cracked or missing fill it in or replace as needed. When is the last time you cleaned your dryer vents? Is the dryer taking longer and longer to dry the clothes. Perhaps the vent is clogged.

With the weather being what it is time to think about painting. If you are wanting to sell in spring you may not want to wait for spring. It is amazing to me how many people will spend hours washing their car, every week in some cases, and not spend any time taking care of their home. So be a Dagwood, work in the yard, have a dagwood for lunch that day as you enjoy the fruit of your labor as fall approaches. And enjoy a good game of football, whichever you like.

Parts of this article came from original columns from 2009 and 2010. My goodness, have I been writing that long. Certainly doesn’t feel like it. All the Best Richie Rich

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Title Insurance…What is it Good For?

August 18, 2016

My goodness! I am feeling slightly beat up and tail dragging. I sold a home that had a cloud on title and it took a lot of extra work, about 20 hours, to get it resolved. Now I can hear some of you saying, “So what, look how much you get paid”! Well yes I do get paid however this was an additional 20 hours of work that I did not get extra compensation for. Try working at your regular job and then work Saturday and Sunday and a couple of nights for no extra pay and see how you feel.
The work I did for my buyer was work that I did not need to do. Work and a goal I achieved when the title company and bank said I could not do it. They said it would take 12 weeks to get it done after we gathered all the information and submitted it completely and correctly. COMPLETELY? AND CORRECTLY! Oh my goodness!
I got it done in 2 weeks. The main reason I got it done is because I met a neighbor who, like me, cares about his neighbors. You see he and the seller discovered that they both had trouble. His driveway was on the sellers property and the seller’s shed was on his. The neighbor filed a claim, title insurance came in and at no expense to the seller, fixed the problem. Or so we thought…
The title company or the attorney had forgotten to get the lien waivers from the banks. You see, when a bank gives you a loan it is for the whole thing. So you cannot sell or trade some of it without their permission. Even though the land exchanged was equal in size and no money was exchanged the lenders must still give their approval and sign releases. UGH! Now we had a problem.
I am grateful I knocked on the neighbors door and we talked. He had filed the claim. When I ran into a dead end with his title company he called me and said “no way”. He had the name and the number for the title person who would let us close on the property. I called our title company and gave them the updated information. We were able to close, just 1 week late. Thank goodness for good neighbors. Thank goodness they had the correct title insurance to fix the problem. Not all do. Title companies, what are they good for? Just like other insurance agencies, as long as you have the proper insurance, they help protect you. All the Best Richie Rich

Sales Etiquette

August 18, 2016

There are certain things that the public should expect when dealing with sales people. Perhaps I am old school however here’s what I think.
When you are the client and you go out to eat or have a drink the sales person should pick up the check. Now I do have clients who insist on buying me the meal. It’s a dance and we both appreciate each other.
A sales person should dress professionally. Flip flops and baggy shorts are ok for the buyer however not for the sales person. Dress for success, dress the part is important in creating a good first impression. Most of us would have a hard time if the auto mechanic was wearing a tuxedo.
A sales person should be on time. Sounds simple however you would be surprised.
A sales person should be courteous. Yes, please and thank you. Really shouldn’t we all do this?
When a business person answers their phone or when they are initiating a call they should identify themselves. Not just hello and leave us guessing if we got the right person. Or who is this calling me.
A note about cell phones and texting. When you are with a sales person they should be with you. They should not be on their phones unless it is about you and they are trying to get an answer for you.
A sales person should be prepared when they meet you. They should not be winging it.
They should have time for you. They should answer your questions and help you understand the process. Not just make the sale.
Traditions such as these are guidelines we should follow. Not rules set in stone. I think good etiquette is always in style. I happened to watch the movie Kingsman this last week. The quote I loved best “manners maketh man”. All the Best Richie Rich

What to Ask A Home Inspector

August 18, 2016

Home inspections are a critical part of the home buying process. Don’t skimp out here. Inspectors are now marketing directly to buyers trying to get more business. Here are some questions to ask a home inspector prior to hiring them. HUD (Housing Urban Development) finds it so important they have a list of questions you can use. The Feds believe it is so important that when you get a loan from them there is a whole page as to why you should get an inspection. Here are my thoughts.
Prior to hiring:
1- How much does it cost? Let’s just get this out of the way. Simple enough most are around $300 bucks however depending on the extras the price goes up. Extras Rich? Yes, well, water and so on. If your home is larger than there can be additional fees as well.
2- Can I attend the inspection? Most inspectors cringe here and ask that you join them at the end of it. I say if you want to be there with the inspector and crawl the attic and crawl spaces have at it. If not then meet them there and go over the findings.
3- Are you insured and what does it cover? Follow up with if something pops up that should have been caught what remedies do you offer? Some have insurance for this; some offer a warranty, others you get the fee back you paid.
4- How have you been trained, what kind of experience do you have? How many inspections have you performed in the last year? Ask to see their last report, look for buzz words, see below. These are great qualifying questions.
5- Look at the report, what are major areas of concern? How easily can these be indentified? Some inspectors say all the window seals have failed (Buzz Word), rather than a particular window has moisture, sweating or fogging. Seals fail, is there water? Apparent break in attempt (buzz buzz) rather than door is damaged where lock is. Is there a police report or did the previous person forget their keys. My all time favorite? MOLD ooh, mold can be everywhere in all homes. Some mold is the bad kind; some is not and has been there for years.
6- How bad is it… really? A good home inspector should be able to discuss the report with you and offer insight on to how bad the damage could be. If they say you need to hire a specialist for everything they noted why hire them to begin with.
Of course you could ask your Realtor for a recommendation. Chances are they know a couple of good ones. All the Best Richie Rich

What Happens When A Seller Won’t Sell

August 16, 2016

Now everyone who reads my column knows I am a Realtor, not an attorney. If you want legal advice please consult an attorney. Now you also know whatever I say next is going to be really good so hang on. What does happen when a seller chooses not to sell?

In the purchase and sales agreement it says the buyer automatically gets their earnest money back. The seller is also required to pay for costs of title insurance, a whole bunch of miscellaneous expenses and attorney fees. Sounds reasonable so far and then comes the next part. This payment does not waive any of the buyers lawful rights or remedies. SAY WHAT! YES it means there may be more the buyer can do. What can a buyer do? Well…

The buyer can pursue legal action and sue for specific performance. The WEX Legal dictionary defines specific performance as A contractual remedy in which the court orders a party to actually perform its promise as closely as possible, because monetary damages are somehow inadequate to fix the harm.  Most commonly ordered in cases involving real property and rare chattels. If you want a better definition Harvard has a 39 page report you can read. Basically the court will order the seller to sell.

WHAT! Is this like eminent domain? No. The court can order the seller to sell the property under the terms of the contract they agreed to, no eminent domain. Why can’t the seller just give the buyer some money? Pay for all the damages Rich? Well, I’m no attorney; however I believe that the Court does it to make the buyer whole. Every piece of property is unique and because of that the Court believes the only way to make the situation right is to make the seller complete the deal. I am certain there is a very legal reason why this occurs based upon years of law. As the definition says, it is done because monetary damages are somewhat inadequate to fix the harm.

To be honest my dear readers I have heard of this being done. I am not certain why a buyer would choose this path however it is their right under the law. Next week, what happens when a buyer doesn’t buy? All the Best Richie Rich

STEPS TO BUYING YOUR NEW HOME

August 11, 2016
  1. MEET WITH A TRUSTWORTHY REALTOR. The truth is no matter which Realtor you choose you must make a connection with that person. Ask them if they are a full time Realtor or if they earn their living another way. How much time do they have to work with you? When are they available to go look at homes?
  2. LENDERS: After selecting the right Realtor for you, have the Realtor help you choose a lender. The Realtor should be able to suggest several types of loans to you that may meet your needs. The lender will help decide which works best for you. The loan officer will ask you to fill out an application:
  • If applying for a VA loan, please bring a copy of your DD-214,
  • Be prepared to account for the source of funds of your down payment and closing costs.
  • Bring federal tax return (2 years), if self employed also bring profit and loss statements, and balance sheet for the last

two years.

  • Alimony and child support information (divorce decree for verification) may be required.
  • Last 4 pay stubs
  • Current statement(s) from banks, stock funds etc

 

  1. Find a home, write an offer, and write an earnest money check. EARNEST MONEY: This      represents your sincerity in the attempt to purchase and is refundable if the offer is not accepted. This money is kept in a trust fund account and is not turned over to the seller until called for by the contract. You will receive credit at closing for it.

 

  1. Once the purchase agreement has been accepted by the seller, the lending institution you have chosen will be contacted to process a new loan. An appraisal will be ordered.

 

  1. Escrow will be opened at a title company. An escrow is an arrangement in which a disinterested third party (Title Company) holds legal documents and funds on behalf of buyer and seller, and distributes them according to the buyers and sellers instructions.

 

  1. A home inspection will be conducted. If necessary repairs will be negotiated and completed

 

  1. You will be asked to name an insurance agent as a policy will be necessary prior to closing escrow.

 

  1. With the help of your lender and the title company they will provide an approximate dollar amount that you will need prior to the close of escrow.
  2. Moneys required at the close of escrow (down payment, closing costs, etc.) should be in the

form of a cashier’s check.

 

  1. When all the necessary papers have been signed and the moneys received, the documents are

recorded. The escrow officer will make the necessary monetary disbursements. Once documents have been recorded, title to the property (ownership) has changed hands.

all the best, Richie Rich

DIY

August 4, 2016

I decided to try and tear the roof off of my home so the roofer can install it. I wanted my kids to help to learn from the experience. Ooops I did not really think this thru. See when I was a kid I did things like this however I forgot I have a bad back, no roof for me and my daughter is recovering from a knee injury, no roof for her. So my son is up there by himself. I accept what he has done and say good job. No one is there to show him how to do it. I couldn’t ask for a better kid. A quick reach out to friends and no one is available. I guess earning some summer money is not worth the trouble. If only there was an app to do this. Hmmm
So what’s a guy to do? Well I will hire some labor. I managed to find Paul and he is amazing as is Ashlee at Labor Ready. Thank you to both.
I had a problem and I solved it. It did not go as planned. It cost more and there was room in the budget for it. What a great learning opportunity for myself, my clients and most importantly my family. They learned Dad is not so perfect, can apologize and does not give up when we hit a road bump. Many people today expect life to be perfect and nothing should go wrong and if it does somebody owes them for it. Wrong on all accounts. Life happens and our attitude dictates how we feel. I could have stomped my foot and yelled at the world. What good would it do? Everyone around me would be angry and not as effective. I choose to accept what goes wrong and find a solution. Not a blame. So keep in mind that as you DIY things around the home it is good. Anticipate there could be problems and be ready with a plan. When I planned the roof repair I anticipated that we may need help. I had a plan, I followed the suggestions of others and it worked out. I was open and ready when we hit a snafu. It is a good thing. The experience for my kids is awesome. I could not be prouder of them and the lessoned learned. And I get a new roof. The added expenses would be the same if someone else did it. So go ahead and do it yourself. Stay calm and the rewards are awesome. All the Best Richie Rich

Location Location Location

August 2, 2016

In helping to determine value of a home we must consider the number 1-3 rules of real estate. Location Location Location. According to the NY Times this phrase has been in use since 1926. So what things negatively affect a location, a neighborhood? NAR (national Association of Realtors) did a study and determined the following items negatively bring down a home’s value. These things are not surprising, we know what they are. How they change values may surprise you. The top 5 are #5 Cemetery -12.3% #4 Homeless Shelter -12.7% #3 High Renter Concentration -13.8% #2 Strip Club -14.7% and the number 1 factor that has negative impact on your home value is A Bad School -22.2%

To read the complete article go to http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/things-that-affect-your-property-value/

A lower value does not mean a bad neighborhood.

To some folks these things are not negative. In Queens NY we lived near cemeteries all the time. Nice neighborhoods however no developer was looking to build the newest Trump Tower there. A lower value does not mean a bad neighborhood. Have you ever looked at a home and said if this was over there instead of here it would be worth so much more. Location Location Location

This brings up another quote that people don’t often say but truly mean, Not By Me. A new fill in the blank wants to open up and we hear great idea, we could use another one, just not in this neighborhood. Wouldn’t it be better over there? It’s not that people don’t understand the need for such services, they believe it will have a negative impact on their home and lifestyle. When a fast food chain builds in your back yard and smell from the grease scents your home or a parking lot hosts 18 wheelers waiting to unload with parking lot lights shining bright all night we may all go there however we don’t think, I’m glad this new place is not by me, until the next one is ready to open right in our own backyard. Then we go into full swing, jamming the City council meeting trying to fight off this newest development that dares to change our way of life. What were they thinking? How could they? Happy House Hunting, don’t forget, location location location. All the Best Richie Rich

Voting on the West Ada School District Bond Issue

March 8, 2015

The bond vote is Tuesday March 10th. Please get out and exercise your right to vote. I have heard several opinions on the matter. For the nays, the Board is top heavy (too much management), how come they don’t take pay cuts. The teachers make way too much. We can have bigger class room sizes. For the ayes, we need the rooms, kids don’t even get lunch because they run out, and teachers deserve raises.

All of the above are passionate discussion points. However I believe we should looks at other issues. Since this is my column, I choose to share my thoughts on it. I know I know You can’t wait to hear.

Despite what some elected officials say our schools are doing poorly in national rankings. I have a hard time thinking a major business will move here when the kids will need to attend the worst schools in the nation. Rich, what is your point? It has been proven that smaller class sizes result in higher learning. Vote Yes!

A trusted friend that works with children on the local and national level once told me that prison population estimates are based on what is going on in 3rd grade. Good gravy!!! I think smaller class sizes result in children at risk having a better chance of success and staying out of prison. Vote Yes!

Eagle Middle School is 250 students over capacity. Lake Hazel Middle School is 452 students over capacity. Heritage Middle School is 162 students over capacity. New construction in these areas is going well. New construction pumps lots of money into high paying jobs in economy and is helping the country get out of the recession. More homes mean more students, Vote Yes!

The bond will add 2 middle schools, 1 elementary and finish the remodel at Meridian High School. 1 middle school and the elementary are south of I84, the other middle school will be in Star. All underserved areas of our community that are experiencing growing pains. Vote Yes!

I have walked the halls of Meridian HS. It desperately needed a face lift. How a room, building look have an effect on the student and their ability to learn. Vote Yes!

The levy rate decreased this year. If the bond passes the levy rate remains the same. SAY WHAT RICH, we saved money? The rate does not increase? Damn straight! Vote Yes!

All the Best Richie Rich

What Warm Weather

March 3, 2015

The weather certainly has been a touch warmer than normal. What to do? Well, there’s always yard work. Especially if you are selling your home or thinking of selling. We had an early snow and there were lots of leaves trapped and they should be removed. Weeds are starting to sprout, as well as some springtime flowers. You may want to stop in at your favorite garden shop and see how to get rid of the weeds and protect the flowers. There are also some flowers you can plant that should survive this time of year.

You want to get your lawn ready to go. Seed, fertilize etc. If the house needs paint, you can start scraping it. I personally believe the weather has to be above 50 degrees to paint; however, there are other thoughts as well. If the fence needs repair, you can do that now.

On my own home, I am moving a fence line. I dug, okay okay, my son dug 5 post holes by hand and commented on how easy it was. I told him because of the wet weather digging is easier. By the time I ran to the hardware store for poles and cement, he was ready. I saved the cost of a power posthole digger. Plus, the manual labor was not so hard for a teenager to make him resent it. How lucky am I?!? Now that it is somewhat rainy and cooler, I can hang the new fence and stretch it without waiting for the posts to be installed – 1 month ahead of schedule.

Also, builders are sinking foundations in the ground. That is always good to see. New home construction always adds money to the economy especially with good paying jobs. Plus, new home buyers also need to purchase things such as blinds, carpeting, lawn and garden items, new furniture and the list goes on and that all helps the retail industry.

So enjoy the warm weather while it lasts. Get out in the yard now, so you can relax and enjoy it during the late spring/summer time.  All the Best Richie Rich


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