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Grass, Beagles and Real Estate

When I purchased my home, I discovered during the home inspection that there was not a timer on the sprinkler system. At the time, this didn’t seem like a particularly large problem as all I’d need to do was walk outside to turn on the sprinklers myself. The flaw in the thinking was forgetting that I am, at heart, an idiot. That first fall, I got ambitious and put down a winter lawn in the backyard. Until a couple of weeks ago, it was the only winter lawn that graces Casa Dalton for a number of reasons, none of which […]

Public Service Announcement for Home Sellers

In the world of real estate, I’m pretty good. In the world of household repair and landscape, I’m more or less inept. But even I can do the one think that any seller looking to sell a home this time of year ought to consider: plant a winter lawn. What you see on your right is a before and after shot of a yard seeded with winter rye grass last Friday afternoon. In the span of a week, thanks to a bit of watering, what once was dirt now is grass. (In deference to the beagles and their, um, needs […]

HARP Revision – Some Additional Info

Here’s an interesting aspect of the changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program, better known as HARP, according to a story on Fox Business: Those who bought a house as their primary residence but now hold the property as an investment will be able to refinance through HARP at an additional cost. In other words, those folks who became unintended landlords over the past handful of years when they were unable to sell now can refinance. Mortgages sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before May 21, 2009 are eligible for the program; those who participated in the HARP program […]

HARP Finally Comes to the Phoenix Real Estate Market

Let’s jump into the Wayback Machine to February 2009, when President Obama visited my alma mater, Dobson High School in Mesa, and unveiled the Home Affordable Refinance Program. At the time I wrote: The overall goal is to modify loans in manners that allow homeowners to remain in ther homes rather than face foreclosure. Eligibility is limited to mortgages on primary homes (no second, vacation or investment properties) and appears to be limited to situations where the first mortgage is no more than 105% of the value of the home. You don’t need to be behind on your payments to […]

Sounds of Silence

Advice on how to begin a blog has been a cottage industry the past several years. You can’t swing a proverbial cat by the proverbial tale and not hit someone who will tell you of all the fun and profit to be had through social media (blogging, Twitter, Facebook) and tell you how to get started and claim your piece of the proverbial pie. The advice may be well-intentioned (and possibly lucrative for those teaching classes and webinars and the like) but it’s also ill-timed. You see, the challenge isn’t getting started, at least not past the first dozen posts. […]

Looking for Value? Talk to the Paw!

Among the more silly shows I watch are Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, where viewers are guaranteed to see paranormal specialists continually seeing things just off camera. (For in-frame chills, check out the trailer for Paranormal Activity 3; I’ve not turned off my lights since seeing the “Bloody Mary” clip.) Almost every episode has a scene where our intrepid explorers hear something, ask the presumed ghost to make the noise again and then, if the sound’s happened twice, ask the now nagged spirit to make the noise yet again. Seriously, these people are dead. Isn’t twice enough? Can’t we cut […]

Tick tock tick tock tick tock …

… the clock continues to run and yet there is no response forthcoming. State statutes account for this situation though I’m not certain whether it’s best to invoke the rules. Thursday evening I submitted an offer on a short sale on behalf of one of my clients. Since then, I’ve called to make sure it was received. I’ve sent e-mails. And yet there’s no word from the listing agent indicating that they are alive, much less that the offer has been presented to the seller. According to the state, I can go to the seller’s home and present the offer […]

Hot or Not: A Tale of Two E-mails

I find myself wondering today whether I suck or not. I can handle all the talk of sales data being published, even though it will have zero context as to what may constitute “good”, and I can deal with the idea of online agent reviews, though I know people tend to be much more bold hiding behind a keyboard than they are in real life. But today’s examination is a tad closer to home … Here was the day’s first e-mail: Thanks for the update. I had a chance to talk with Kim last night about finding a home here […]

Of Redfin, Brad Meltzer, ESPN, MLS Data and the Freemasons

To gear up for this season’s debut of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded, I DVR’d last season’s episodes and spent a chunk of the weekend working my way through them. (It was the episode on Confederate Gold, that first caught my interest in the spring and led me to start reading his novels, some of which I’ve reviewed on my Today’s Reading List site.) Some has been interesting but most episodes remind me of life caught in the 24-hour news cycle – throw a thought out there, corroborate it with nothing in particular, then take off running with it as if it’s […]

Focusing on the Task at Hand

Here’s what happens on a day when I find myself staring at the computer screen, trying to settle on a topic for today’s post just in case someone’s still reading this blog: a sideline reporter (a profession I easily could live without) explains how a pitcher for the Texas Rangers picked up a book for the first time since high school when he didn’t make the team’s postseason roster a year ago. Set aside the idea that picking up a book is a task of last resort. The book itself dealt with the idea of focusing on the task at […]