Caution: High List Price Ahead

Very through – good article for buyer who’s looking for a house to call home

Todd Crooks Homes Blog

Sold Rider Pic

The Sellers Market                

Currently in the Seattle area we’re in the midst of a bonafide “seller’s market”. A seller’s market is typically defined as a shortage of available homes to buy, compared to the available buyers in the market. It typically shows levels below an inventory of six months worth of available listings. In other words, Most listings are moving in less that six months, start to finish. Last year, the number went as low as 2% in March and didn’t get that much better for buyers in December when it raced all the way up to a meek 3.7%. In March, a Zillow.com study put Seattle as the #5 ranked seller’s market in the US. That can be rough for a buyer competing for a home against other offers.

That said, just because a price is set on a listing doesn’t mean it’s a price worth agreeing to. There are a couple…

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What to Expect From a Lender in Closing

Trust me.

I am currently going through underwriting with my lender. This is a 5% down conventional loan on a $415,000 house.

Oh yes they call your boss. (or your HR)
Oh yes they ask for your employment verification form.
Did your parents help with the downpayment? Oh yes they want to know how did they make that money and they want to see their bank statements too.
Are you self-employed? Oh yes, they need twice as much documents as that a regular employee.
Did you use inspection report to bargain with the seller? Oh yes they want a contractor to sign a letter saying everything is okay, and they will fix that this week.
Conditional approval? Congrads, they are going to come back for more.

Have you borrowing!

(I am so doing seller financing from now on.)

Landlord – are you terrified of vacancy?

Oh yes you do.

A good landlord should:
– have a professional accounting system (so you know your money is being recorded properly)
– have a legal binding lease agreement (so you know your rights are protected)
– have a move-in & move-out inspection form (so you don’t have to argue about carpet cleaning/junk removal)
– have a reliable handyman (so you know the service is fair and trust-worthy)
– is available to gossip with you when needed!

🙂 Befriend your landlord!

(Landlords, these conditions applies to you as well.)

You Can Be Whatever You Wish – TAKEN ACTION NOW!

I went to my second REAPS (Real Estate Association of Puget Sound) meeting this past Sat. It was a whole day event featuring Mr. Louis “Lou”Brown.

To be honest, I did not feel I learned much on the “premier” public event on Thursday night where Lou gave a brief introduction on himself and his products. But I knew there is always something I do not know and what we need now is open up ourselves to different business models. Thus I set my alarm to 6am, and start driving at 7am. 
Do you listen to KUOW? I am a fan. When I heard this story I literally had tears in my eyes… 

Meet The 11-Year-Old Campaign Manager Stumping For Cambridge Candidate

  

Most of the time, volunteers for campaigns become active in politics during college, but in one local election, a volunteer is starting much sooner.

When a political candidate has little political experience, everyone around her has something to add, some experience to share, or some intangible to help the campaign.

Take, for example, Joyce Gerber, who is running for the Cambridge School Committee, and needed help analyzing voter data: 

“I had just posted a job description at the Harvard School of Government, because I was looking for someone to help me with my campaign. I knew what I needed.” 

What Joyce didn’t know is that her next volunteer didn’t drive, couldn’t vote, and stood as tall as her elbow. She bumped into a neighborhood kid, Zev Dickstein, an 11-year-old 5th grader. Zev is a political wonk beyond his years, whom Gerber had met volunteering for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. 

“We had a little discussion, we had a policy discussion. And he sent me a very nice email and said he would love to be my campaign manager,” she said. 

That’s right; campaign manager. 

Gerber told him she would talk to his mother, who signed off, and Zev soon began knocking on doors for Joyce’s school committee bid, just as he’d done for Warren’s campaign. 

Zev said he learned a lot from Warren’s campaign. 

“I learned how to canvass, I had no idea in the beginning,” he said. “And, I learned what people thought of campaigns.” 

In the cynical, political world it might be easy to see Zev, The Campaign Manager, as a mere gimmick. But, the boy has been doing the grunt work that thousands of campaign workers do all across the country every year: 

“I create voter lists to contact, I do strategy, I helped with the Web site, I created the campaign literature. Luckily the election, I mean it’s mostly in the summer.” 

Summer is a time when most 11-year-olds are in camp, in a pool, or riding their bike to a friend’s house. But Zev has his time management down pat. 

“I do my violin when I get home, then I work on the computer for Joyce. It’s really busy,” he said. 

In politics, sometimes you need luck to fall your way. 

This Sunday, when Zev helps Joyce kick off her campaign at a Cambridge block party. This 11-year-old will also be performing magic tricks.

Zev Dickstein, credit Anne Mostue / WGBH

This 11-year-old campaign manager made my morning. It is the type of “motivational injection” that last me a whole week.

There I am, sitting in the middle of a whole room of people from all ages. Many of them had already owned more than 5 houses at the moment, some even holds more than 15 properties. On one side, I wish I could understand and absorb as much as they would do, because I know the more you practice, the more you would value continuing education. On the other side, I am so proud of myself perhaps being the 5th youngest person in the room, and I know – WE ARE DOING THIS! Not tomorrow, not next year – TODAY. NOW. 
Good news, I am closing my very first deal with the help from my wonderful realtor Mrs.RoJane Maybee. Tomorrow is my first inspection, and I already have renters coming to check out the house! 🙂 It’s all happening! I LOVE IT. 
Please stay in tune, and I would like to share something I learned from Lou last weekend with you shortly.

5 Networking Mistakes Almost Everybody Makes

Have you made these mistakes before? Of course! I probably learned each and every one of them in the hard way! Read on and do not trip over where I did!

5 Networking Mistakes Almost Everybody Makes

By: Jeff Haden.   Jeff Haden worked in manufacturing for twenty years and is a bestselling ghostwriter and featured columnist for Inc.com.

Everyone tries to network. Few people do it well. Most make the same basic mistakes.

Here’s what not to do when you want to expand and leverage your network:

1. Try to receive before you give.

The goal of networking is to connect with people who can help you make a sale, get a referral, establish a contact, etc. When we network, we want something.

But at first, never ask for what you want. (In fact you may never ask for what you want.) Forget about what you can get and focus on what you can provide. Giving is the only way to establish a real connection and relationship.

Focus solely on what you can get out of the connection and you will never make meaningful, mutually beneficial connections.

When you network, it’s all about them, not you.

2. Assume others should care about your needs.

Maybe you’re desperate. Maybe partnering with a major player in your industry could instantly transform red ink into black. No one cares. No one should care. Those are your problems and your needs.

Never expect others to respond to your needs. People may sympathize but helping you is not their responsibility. The only way to make connections is to care about the needs of others first. Ask how they’re doing. Ask what could help them.

Care about others first; then, and only then, will they truly care back.

3. Take the shotgun approach.

Some people network with anyone, tossing out business cards like confetti and sending connection requests like spam.

Networking isn’t a numbers game. Find someone you can help, determine whether they might (someday) be able to help you, and then approach them on their terms. Carefully select the people you want to network with.

And keep your list relatively small, because there is no way to build meaningful connections with dozens or hundreds of people.

Networking is like marketing: Targeting is everything.

4. Assume tools create connections.

Twitter followers, Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections are great—if you actually do something with those connections.

In all likelihood your Twitter followers aren’t reading your tweets. Your Facebook friends rarely visit your page. Your LinkedIn connections aren’t checking your updates.

Tools provide a convenient way to establish connections, but to maintain those connections you still have to put in the work. Any tool that is easy or automated won’t establish the connections you really need.

Use a tool to help make an initial connection, but then go old school to make a real connection.

5. Reach too high.

If your company provides financial services, establishing a connection with Warren Buffett would be awesome. Or say you need startup capital; hooking up with Mark Cuban would be awesome.

Awesome… and almost impossible.

The best connections are mutually beneficial. What can you offer Buffett or Cuban? Not much. You may desperately want to connect with the top people in your industry, but the right to connect is not based on want or need.

You must earn the right to connect. Find people who can benefit from your knowledge and insight or your connections.

The “status” level of your connections is irrelevant. All that matters is whether you can help each other reach your goals.