Great New Technology To Help Get Your Home Sold!

What is a Home Inspection?

Buying a home is a big move. Literally! So, before you sign on the dotted line and make the home legally yours, it’s important to know exactly what you’re inheriting from a previous owner.

The best way to avoid surprises down the road is to have a licensed professional conduct a home inspection. In the video below, Jessica Edwards with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage walks us through what is involved in a home inspection.

Your real estate professional is there to help you throughout the process and make sure that these tasks are taken care of on your behalf.

Ready to start your search? Visit my website to find out more about me or to discover your dream home.

Why Educating Your Children About Real Estate Matters

Educating Your Children About Real Estate - Do You Do It??

I think it’s important to Pay It Forward.

I don’t know why I feel this way, but something tells me that helping people will pay off in spades.  I don’t really believe in subsidizing folks however; I am more about teaching them how to think, and I specifically enjoy working with older kids and young adults (11 – 15).  One of the local schools in my town approached me about doing a 4-day finance class as part of their summer camp.  I had worked with many of their students in different capacities before, and the president of their board thought that the kids would dig a class all about how to make money…

Good For Them

Incidentally, I want to give the school props.

They are a charter school and as such they can pretty well do whatever they think is best for the kids.  In a national educational system that simply doesn’t seem to make any effort to recognize economic realities, realization that a financial intelligence class is good for the kids is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Not only that, but reaching out to someone who is outside of the teaching profession and is an actual entrepreneur who has not had a job for years, also speaks volumes…:)

My Plan

Well – the kids loved the experience more than I could have anticipated.  My plan for the class was to simply use the Cash Flow game by Robert Kyosaki to underpin a discussion of the basic aspects of personal finance.

On Monday, the first day of class, I planned to cover concepts such as:

  • Why people need a job
  • Why it may or may not be the best and safest way to generate income, and
  • What other ways we can earn money if not a job.

Two things happened that I did not expect.  First, while discussing the concept of income and how we need income to cover expenses, when I posed the question of what else we can do for money if not a job, one of the kids answered – build an ATM…

WOW – isn’t this the truth?!  As you can imagine, this opened the Pandora’s Box.  Naturally, the kid that verbalized the idea of an ATM actually meant a mechanical money-dispensing ATM, and naturally I had some fun with that.

We talked about it, but in the end, having been unable to translate the principal of building an ATM into real terms for the time being, we started the board game.  Things remained quite confusing when the first day of camp came to a close…

On The Way Home

I left for the day, and on the way to the car I checked my e-mail.

A message had come-in inviting me to do a walk-through at one of the properties I am considering for my syndicate.

Shoot – I thought to myself.  I had been hesitant to commit to doing this camp specifically because of how much time I spend on the road now days looking at deals, and what I was afraid of happened – I needed to skip the class next morning since I could not miss the walk-through…

I came home kinda disappointed and did what I always do – asked my wife what to do.  Patrisha is wise beyond her years.  She let’s me do whatever when it comes to real estate finance and acquisition, but she takes the lead on everything else and I never argue…

She said – why not make a field trip out of it; it’s what this class is all about anyhow?

Keen sense of the obvious – that’s my wife.  I called the director of the school; she called the children’s parents; it was done.

Related: 6 Ways to Teach Your Children About Building Wealth

The Trip

Next morning I picked three kids whose parents signed the releases and we drove for a little over 1 hour each way to walk this apartment community.  We were there for about 3 hours.

They heard me speak to the realtor, the property management team, and the maintenance supervisor.  They heard me ask questions relative to the operations of this “ATM” – yes, during the car ride to the asset, I tried my best to explain to the kids that this building, if I buy it, will be my ATM…

They sat quietly while I reviewed the updated version of the OM and the latest set of financials.  They listened while I asked questions of all present.  Then we walked every vacant unit and discussed things with the maintenance supervisor.  They saw units that were off-line and in shambles, and others that were rent-ready but vacant.

On The Way Home

We left after about 3 hours.

Needles to say this was an eye-opening experience for the kids.  On the way back, they asked me how much I would pay for this property, and I told them.  They asked me how I could afford so much money, and I told them that as well.

I explained to them that this property is akin to an ATM not just for me, but for my investors as well…things were beginning to make sense now, and the kids couldn’t wait to get back to the game J

The Moral of This Story

The next two days in class we continued playing, and the children were really into the game.

By the end of the last day in class, all but 1 player had made it out of the “rat race” onto the fast track – the doctor was the only one left behind, which in and of itself was educational.  The janitor won, and so did the teacher, but the doctor was carrying too much debt for all of those toys.

We parted after four days.  I am a teacher in my heart – I always have been.  I get off on seeing the look in someone’s eyes when they wrap their brain around something for the first time.

It’s exciting, and I saw a lot of looks like this over those four days.  Those kids left knowing something that most of their classmates and many of their parents may never comprehend, and that is this:

Work hard to build your ATM.  Don’t work hard to be the ATM!

Conclusion

I think it’s important to pay it forward.

Brian and I are taking a serious look at the building the kids and I saw, and if everything is as it seems for now we’ll probably make a run for it – I’ll keep you posted.

Related: Real Estate Investment Advice From Warren Buffett

In the mean time, I encourage everyone reading this to reach out into your communities and to pay it forward.  Just by being here on BiggerPockets you are in the top 10% of financially intelligent people in this country, and you should give back.

And Joshua, if you are reading this, perhaps it would be a worthy project to put in place some type of an outreach to school-aged children here at BiggerPockets.  This happens to be something I feel passionate about, and while I can and am doing what I can on my own, together we can make a much greater impact!

-Taken from blog.coldwellbanker.com headlines from BiggerPockets.com

Memorial Day Tribute

flagThe United States Army. The Marine Corps. The Navy. The Coast Guard. The Air Force. These five branches of the military are comprised of courageous men and women who serve our country daily. They could be your son/daughter, sister/brother, a parent/grandparent, a neighbor, or a complete stranger. Regardless, they are the individuals who take an oath to protect us, our homes, and the lives we have grown accustomed to, while sometimes giving up their own. Each year, we honor these fallen men and women on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day originated after the Civil War to commemorate Union and Confederate soldiers who died during that time period. Originally referred to as “Decoration Day”, as it was common practice to decorate soldiers’ graves with flowers, the name gradually changed to Memorial Day after World War II and was extended to include all Americans who have died while in service. Today, many people visit cemeteries and memorial sites to show their thanks and gratitude for departed military members. Others volunteer to place an American flag on grave markers in national cemeteries. Current and former Veterans march in local parades to represent their late peers. However one chooses to recognize this national holiday, it is truly a time for reflection.

We recently heard from Ron Denbow, a Vietnam Vet and manager with Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty in Medina, OH, who took time to explain what the day means to him.

Drafted into the Army in 1970 immediately after college, Ron served in active combat in Quang Ngai and in the Quang Tri Province.

Upon returning to the States and working briefly in manufacturing and construction, Ron decided to pursue a real estate career. Understandably, he has a passion for helping military Veterans and their families though his work with Fisher House in Cleveland.

But this weekend is special. Ron honors the memory of friends and other soldiers privately or participating (sometimes with his grandchildren) in the local Memorial Day activities and attending events at the VA National Cemetery in Rittman, OH.

However, Ron doesn’t want to be thought of as a hero.  And he doesn’t want the focus to be on him. But the reality is when you look at Memorial Day from Ron’s eyes, we all get a different view of what the holiday really stands for.  It is truly about the fallen military members and their families.

“We didn’t do it for the money, the glory, the benefits or the recognition,” he said.  “We just served to the best of our abilities when the country called upon us to do so.”

Thank you Ron for allowing all of us to take an extra moment to honor the men and women who have served and died in the line of duty. We will do our duty to keep your memories alive.

How To Get The Most Out Of Visiting An Open House

Open House season is almost upon us as soon many a home seller will open their doors for home shoppers to have their own private walk through. While many an open house sign will be seen on street corners across the country are they really worthwhile?

In this segment from NBC’s Open House, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agent, Sandro Dazzan, talks about a few misconceptions of open houses and how to make the most out of your open house experience.

5 Things You Don’t Need In Your Home In 2014

2014Welcome to the New Year. Now that we are over half way through January, It’s now time for everyone to tell you what you should be doing this year to improve your life, your career, your feelings, your indigestion, etc.

While everyone shares their advice for the new year, I wanted to share things you shouldn’t worry about adding to your home in 2014. You may agree. You may disagree. But either way I welcome the discussion. So here we go.

 

1. A Blu-Ray DVD Player

All those Blu-Ray DVDs you got back in 2009. Sell them on eBay immediately. Blu-Ray’s will soon be obsolete as we move further into the world of digital entertainment. My bet is in the next few years they become discontinued as digital movies and on-demand service become the primary means of enjoying Hollywood in your home.

2. A Home Phone

If you’re paying for home phone service, stop reading and call up your phone company and cancel. Chances are you’re not paying much for it, but it’s still an unneeded expense. Cell phones have already become the primary means of communication in our homes and the trend is sure to continue in 2014. But what about for emergencies? You’re better off buying a disposable cell phone with a limited minutes plan on it and storing it in your kitchen. Chances are you won’t use all the minutes on it anyway. Another excuse used to be that home security systems required a home phone line. Nowadays many security companies can connect to your home’s internet service and ping your cell phones for emergency. Be sure to call and inquire if your security service offers that.

3. A Smart TV

Much like the Blu-Ray, the Smart TV will become obsolete. I know, I know. Every TV manufacturer is touting one and this year’s Consumer Electronics Show will have millions of Smart TV’s on display, but I’m telling you don’t buy one if you have an Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Xbox, Playstation,  or Roku. The user interface on Smart TV’s is far from user friendly and most of them offer nothing more than what you can experience with any of the devices I just listed connected to your TV. All you want in your TV at home is an exceptional picture quality. Your DVR, gaming system or entertainment add-on can offer better experiences and the same breadth of services as a Smart TV.

4. A Drip Coffee Pot

Unless you have a Starbucks-sized, high-end drip coffee maker that allows you to make espresso, coffee and lattes, you don’t need drip coffee pot. Get yourself a Keurig and enjoy your coffee in an instant without it tasting like instant coffee.

5. Full Price Cable TV

You will read a ton about how you don’t need cable TV in your home. You could be a “cord cutter” and just use YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc. for your home entertainment. That’s true. You could as long as you no longer have a desire to watch live sports, awards shows, local news, or just enjoy a good channel surf on a Sunday afternoon. What you should do is cut the cost your paying for cable. You don’t need to pay full price as many cable operators are seeing a decrease in subscribers. Many of them are willing to offer deals and discounts to keep existing customers from switching to another company or cutting them all together. Now is the time for cable negotiations if you’re not quite ready to cut your TV service all together.

Spread Some Cheer!

Holiday-Post

At Coldwell Banker Real Estate ’we believe‘ in home and all the infinite ways it helps us feel, grow and connect to family and our communities. Home is a special place to us all no matter the date on the calendar, but it holds a special place in our hearts come the holiday season.

Among other things, the holidays usually offer us a bit of time to slow down and mindfully reconnect with our family and friends. Whether we’re busy at school or at work, the few days off or quieter days in the office offer us all opportunities to recharge the batteries and come together each holiday season.

Inextricably tied to each of the joyous holidays we’re so excited for is ‘home‘. For the weary travelers catching red eye flights “back home”, to the football we’ll watch, Thanksgiving feasts that will be had and Christmas Trees and Menorah’s that will be lit; home is at the heart and center of our holidays and thoughts. We’ll give thanks for the homes we have and the loved ones in them and give a special thought and even donate to the less fortunate.

As the champions of home and our belief in the emotional equity we all get from them, the holidays are an extra special time for us at Coldwell Banker Real Estate. So to officially kick off the holiday season, we’ll be spreading some holiday cheer by sponsoring two of the most iconic holiday related events on television this year: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Christmas Tree Lighting in Rockefeller Center!

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has become ingrained in the fabric of how we celebrate the holiday, with this year marking the 87th time Santa Claus and famous floats will march down New York’s streets! The extravaganza at Rockefeller Center on December 4th will mark the 81st time the world’s most famous Christmas Tree will be lit. Many will brave the cold to attend these fantastic events in person, but most of us will be watching from home preparing turkeys or lighting our own trees…here’s to home and a beautiful holiday season spent with loved ones.

Cheers.

The Christmas in Rockefeller Center Extravaganza will air on NBC on Wednesday, December 4th at 8pm EST.