Happy IN your home

August 20, 2008

I help people buy new homes for their families. I saw a quotation a couple days ago that reminded me of why I do what I do. The quote by G.K. Chesterton was posted on Gretchen Rubin’s blog, The Happiness Project. Here’s the quote. 

“There are no chains of houses; there are no crowds of men. The colossal diagram of streets and houses is an illusion, the opium dream of a speculative builder. Each of these men is supremely solitary and supremely important to himself. Each of these houses stands in the centre of the world. There is no single house of all those millions which has not seemed to someone at some time the heart of all things and the end of travel.” –G. K. Chesterton

Of course I want you to be happy with your home. But I want more for you. I want you to be happy in your home.

Stay in touch. Ask me questions. Request information. Tell me about big, transitional events in your life—your son’s graduation, your daughter’s big victory, your once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

I got to know you pretty well when we bought your home together. I’m still interested. Let me know how you are doing.

Your home is important. I think this song by Cathy Fink captures it. 

HOME by Cathy Fink 


Everyone needs a place that they like to call home

There’s a sweet melody that embraces your heart

And waltzes you back to your home

A long day at work

A long day at play

A place you feel safe at the end of the day


There are places to go and people to see

Adventures to travel we know

A world full of wonder awaits you and me

But nothing quite calls me like home

A bird in its nest

A whale out at sea

There’s a place in this world that’s just right for me


There’s a home that I live in where soup’s on the stove

And my key’s the right fit for the door

But wherever I travel, wherever I roam

My heart keeps the beat of my home

A long day at work

A long day at play

A place you feel safe at the end of the day



Copyright 2000, Cathy Fink,

Used with Permission

From the CD: “All Wound Up”, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer & Brave Combo



Mortgage Insurance? What’s that?

July 29, 2008

My colleague, Mike Marshall (aka Home Buyer Advocate Mike) has written about the mortgage insurance tax break extension in his blog. He includes some links and a video with excellent background information. Worth checking out.

Will the REAL exclusive buyer agent take one step forward? Not so fast there Mr. Trad.

July 29, 2008

Not long ago our good friend Jon Boyd posted this useful definition of a true exclusive buyer agent (EBA) on one of his blogs.

Home buyers seeking the best home at the best price and the best terms and who want to make the best use of their time, energy and money in the process should pay close attention to the subtle, but critical, distinctions between EBAs and our trad* brothers and sisters.

A genuine exclusive buyer agent offers home buyers an authentically better alternative to conflict-of-interest challenged traditional real estate practitioners.

[*”Trad” here refers to traditional real estate brokers and agents whose companies represent both buyers and sellers–sometimes in the same transaction. (It’s a nickname–not a pejorative.)]

In Ohio, if the BROKERAGE lists homes (represents home sellers), then neither the broker nor any of his or her agents can honestly call himself or herself an exclusive buyer agent.

11 things NOT to do if you need a loan to buy a home

January 29, 2008

Boston Exclusive Buyer Agent Ronn Huth offers some great advice for potential home buyers in his recent blog post, “Applying for a Real Estate loan? 11 things NOT to do…

Lenders like stability, continuity and consistency. Avoiding the pitfalls cited in Ronn’s post will improve your chances of obtaining the loan that will help you buy the home of your dreams.

As Red Green says, “We’re pullin’ for you.”

Despite 2007 real estate “annus horribilis,” Ken Harney says there’s reason for hope next year

January 18, 2008

wizard hat Prominent Real Estate columnist Ken Harney recently put on his economic prognosticator wizard cap and came up with this heartening forecast.

I’m inclined to agree with him–as long as our government doesn’t interfere too much with the natural healing process of the market.

Like this. ‘…The administration must focus on the housing crisis and declining home values. “We should take immediate, commonsense measures to prevent unnecessary foreclosures to preserve the economic value of our nation’s homes,” Schumer said.

Oh dear! It sounds so good, doesn’t it? But in the long run, it’s not. (BAD SCHUMER, BAD BOY!)

Mr. Schumer’s ideas are likely to cause more harm than good by delaying normal–and needed–and inevitable–market corrections.

Notwithstanding B. F. Skinner’s fall from grace, it can be reasonably assumed with a significant level of confidence that behavior reinforced (through a lack of negative consequences) will be behavior that is repeated.

Bad loan originators will be emboldened to return to their greedy, irresponsible ways and eager, ignorant, impulsive borrowers will flock to them faster than a clutch of Park of Roses ducks attacking the last crust of bread on the pond.

Eager, ignorant, impulsive borrowers.

In the end, there will be no escaping the negative consequences of all the ignorant, irresponsible and criminal behavior that precipitated this giant financial imbroglio. But, like an oil slick, its reach is far and wide but not all that deep. The economy should be strong enough to withstand the stress and recover just fine.

Locally, housing market values never shot up like they did in other regions of the country in recent years. Consequently our home values are not likely to suffer the big losses that are now evident in portions of Florida, Arizona and California, for example.

Columbus area home buyers–be not afraid! The nexus of flush inventory, “friendly” sellers and favorable interest rates around here is the best that it has been for a long time and is not likely to be repeated for some time to come.

Just one caveat…you will probably need somewhat decent credit to get in the game. (About that, more later…)

What “Trads” Teach Their Young, Part II

August 2, 2007

Walter Sanford, ace real estate trainer, is heard from again.

One of our sharp-eyed clients wrote recently to comment on another of Mr. Sanford’s training articles. (Please see our July 25, 2007 post in this blog “What Trads Teach Their Young” for a description of the other.) This training piece appears in a recent number of the magazine billing itself as “The Magazine for Real Estate Sales and Management”.

Mr. Sanford once again addresses himself to the thorny issue of how to cope effectively (read: profitably) with home buyers. The target audience is traditional real estate practitioners (“trads”).

Martha writes,

I thought “the hoop system” was a garment women wore under their skirts in the mid 19th century, but according to an article written by Walter Sanford in The Real Estate Professional entitled “How Deeply Should You Commit To Buyers In Your Real Estate Business Plan?”, it has nothing to do with fashion at all.
It is instead a series of hoops the dog-like buyers must jump through to deserve the attention of a busy real estate professional. Mr. Sanford lets us know that if and only if “…the buyer can make it through all the hoops, then they are motivated and worthy of the very best service that I can supply.”
Thanks for giving us your very best service even though we were not worthy.

Thank you, Martha for noticing “the difference”!

What “Trads” Teach Their Young

July 25, 2007

We’ve long said that “trads” are focused primarily on the marketing and selling of property and have little expertise, experience or inclination for effective buyer advocacy.

What are “trads”? “Trads” are traditional-style real estate companies, agents or brokers that routinely represent both buyers and sellers at the same time. Most of the real estate companies and agents you are familiar with qualify as “trads”.

A training article was recently published in Realty Times® that is very effective at conveying the “trad” approach to buyer representation. (Realty Times® promotes itself as “…the leading Real Estate News site on the Internet…”)

The author, Walter Sanford, is a longtime and well respected traditional real estate practitioner and trainer (“…one of the most requested trainers in real estate…”).

Although the focus of the article (titled “When Do You Hire a Buyers Agent/Assistant?”) is about possible hiring strategies, it’s hard not to be impressed by the fact that as Mr. Sanford addresses, one after the other, the important factors relating to the subject, the quality of service or level of representation for buyers is not a major element or concern—in fact, it’s never even mentioned!

In this gentleman’s real estate world, buyers seem to represent little more than cargo to be “carted around”. e.g.“…Maintain buyer’s assistants and agents as salaried individuals and use them in the most labor intensive part of the buyer’s system, which is running the buyers around.”

One can only imagine the fate of “…class “B” and “C” buyers…” Yikes!

And some say there is no difference. Ha!