Posts Tagged ‘weather’

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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School Has Begun

September 6, 2016

Hello Everyone, SCHOOL HAS BEGUN, there will be traffic delays, people running late. School buses will be making stops. Don’t forget to stop yourself when the bus does.

Also remember that our police officers will be out helping us to remember to slow down in school zones. As we all should. There will be new drivers on the road, new kids in drivers ed wondering, should I change lanes or not. Please try and be patient and not have a road rage incident.

I myself will be trying to say kids, kids, kids every time I stop at a stop light or red light before I turn. Just trying to remind myself that the munchkins will be out and about and I need to raise my level of awareness.

All of this is a great reminder that summer is winding down and fall is about to arrive. I certainly enjoy the cool mornings; just wish the smoke was gone. Summer has been great and I am looking forward to fall, soup and stew, football and futbol.  How about you?

Real Estate is still doing well. Homes are still selling, rates are low and life is good. As we begin the fall rituals keep in mind there is still plenty of time to enjoy your backyard spaces, start planning fall projects or just kick back and relax like a sleepy old tick hound on the front porch. 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

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

I Prefer Milder Temps

August 1, 2016

I am a fair weather fisherman. Really hot temperatures or cold drive me indoors. As does rain and snow. I prefer brisk mornings that warm to about 70 in the afternoon. The heat these days is just draining my energy. I like to think I am not the only one. Yet I still sell real estate in this market so what should home owners do if their home is listed for sale?

Keep everything green!!! Get out a hand sprinkler and water brown spouts as needed. If need be double check the sprinklers. I had to replace 2 valves and a controller the other week. Many times we defer maintenance only to realize HEY perhaps that is why the grass is not green. If the flowers you planted have died; don’t try to save them, replant new ones.

I cannot stress the importance to keep your house cooled. I suggest to about 75-78* if you can. Many times we try to save energy only to use more trying to cool our home later on. Not when selling please. Nothing makes me and usually my clients want to leave faster than a hot house. Leaves us wondering if the a/c even works.

When I am showing homes to prospective buyers I try to bring extra water bottles. I had one client who, upon learning I love Fiji water, would bring me some every time we looked at a home. For those times I could not bring water I always appreciated a note that said, help yourself to some cold water. Sometimes it was in the fridge, sometimes on the table. Either way I always did appreciate it. Does it help you sell your home? Not really however if a buyer wants to make an offer they are already thinking these are good folks selling.

So keep cool my dear readers. Work in the early mornings, find shade and comfort for those hot nights. Your home will sell; it may just have to bake a little more. All the Best Richie Rich

Curb Appeal

July 26, 2016

Whew, I am hot! When did summer arrive? We are at least 20 degrees above average. If you are selling your home or getting it ready to sell add water. Fast! Nothing helps sell a home as much as curb appeal. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines curb appeal as the visual attractiveness of a house as seen from the street. To me curb appeal is the difference between someone wanting to go in your home and look and looking just because they are there. SAY WHAT Rich?

Allow me to explain. Many a time I have a buyer in my car and we head to a home. When we arrive the buyer says. “Uh, Uhm” I ask if they like it and they say “NO, however let’s look anyway since we are here.” I am here to tell you I have never sold a home to a buyer that so disliked the outside they were hesitant to look inside. Even though the interior is amazing. Curb appeal counts.

Rich, really, I don’t want to remodel the front of my home. I get it. I am not asking you to unless it is falling down, however that is another discussion. I am asking that you clean it up and dress it up.

Are the trees blocking the front of the home. Perhaps we trim them to allow a view of the home. Are the shrubs blocking the windows? Let’s remove them and put in a flower bed. Is the grass gone? New sod time. Is the front of the home a blank slate? Let’s put some flowers in pots and hanging baskets and add some relief to the home that you can leave or take with you.

What about the driveway/walk way. Is it broken? Seal the cracks, most stores sell a tube product that works great.

Is the walk way clear of obstructions? Is it cracked and in need of a makeover? Perhaps you have no walkway, let’s add one. Are hoses put away neatly?

Another way to add curb appeal is dress up the front door. Fresh paint, new hardware, perhaps a knocker.

These are some truly basic ideas that you can do whether you’re selling or not. It is not too hot yet in the mornings to get these done. The weather is supposed to go back to normal. So get it planned, get it done before summer really arrives. 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

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2015

It is that time of year, Valentine’s Day. Rich, I hear you say, what does this have to do with real estate? Well, I’ll tell you. I am trying to decrease sales of homes from couples who forget Valentine’s Day. Or, at least some of them who forgot. Fellas?

Do you recall when you first met your bride? You would do anything to see them. Sit next to them, actually listen to what they have to say? And now, you sit on your lazy boy, by yourself and fall asleep mid sentence. Romantic, you ask? Yes, I say. It is truly romantic as you are headed into true love, each of you accepting the other for who they are. So, that is why we have Valentine’s Day. A time to show the world, and I mean their friends, how much you love your spouse, partner, significant other, etc.

I feel it is my mission to make every person who works with, and knows my bride, to want to go home and slug their partner right in the nose!

So Rich, what have you done? Ooh, love this question. I have had quartets show up and serenade her, roses delivered one at a time with a different message on each card, flowers, candy, balloons, gifts from the kids, dinners both out and cooked by me, out for lunch, and over decorate her work place, to name a few.

Hey Rich, what are you doing this year? Not telling, I say.  Remember, I want to have everyone else go home and be mad at their partner. However, here is an idea. Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday. Going to be hard to get a reservation this late, so what about starting on Friday? A night out, a weekend getaway, flowers to the workplace, a stretch limo picks you both up before you both go out and then drives you home after the night out. Get the family together Saturday for brunch. Oh, the list goes on and on.

We should tell those we love, that we love them all the time. Telling someone you love them, and meaning it, is a huge morale booster. When my children get me oh so angry and we argue, at the end of it I tell them I love you and I expect to hear it back from them. The message is simple. We can disagree, fight; yet no matter what, I will always love you. I do the same with my bride. I tell her I accept her as she is and I am not asking her to change. Learning to accept others as they are can be a tough thing to do. Happy Valentine’s Day, from my home to yours, All the Best Richie Rich

Happy New Year

December 30, 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, I am reminded of several great accomplishments. The Coaching System I use suggests there are 5 Circles that help determine who we are. I will share them here in no particular order.

Personal – I started working out again. I strength train and do aerobics in the pool as well as Yoga Namaste

Family – My kids are growing up so fast. Both teenagers; one driving and dating. A new life experience that I am enjoying. My wife graduated from College. Thank you Boys and Girls Club and University of Phoenix. We were blessed by you many times over and hope to pay it forward as well.

Spiritual – My relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has grown deeper this year. I choose not to share much in this area.

Financial – Now that we are out of the depression/recession that has been rocking our universe, I find I am struggling less and living more. What’s not to love?

Business – This has many faces. I still write for the Valley Times. Thank You, Frank. You are an awesome editor and offer great support. Thank you, my dear readers. I am always amazed that people read my articles and send me messages about them. Or talk to me about them when we meet. In real estate, I again set new personal bests for me. Thank you all for your help and support. I also brought on an assistant. Pam, you do not realize how much your help means to me. Thank you so much. In addition to having a Coaching, system I have brought on a personal Coach. Robin [sic] the goal has been set with you. Now let’s achieve it. In the community, I was asked to serve as a Commissioner on The Historic Preservation Committee. I trust and I pray that I serve the people well. Thank you, Mayor Tammy, for asking; Lila for suggesting me, Jaycee and Bill for your advice and help, and the rest of the Commissioners and Chairman for your support, advice and direction. What a great Team I am included in.

Oh?? What’s that you say? My New Year’s Resolution? I choose to use my coaching and training to reach new heights. To give me the time and ability to do the things in life that are fun and exciting to me, while running a successful business. To live …the good life. All the Best Richie Rich


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