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Showing posts from May, 2013

Will the "Good Life" Be Ready When You Are?

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The Life of Riley was a TV show from the 50’s starring William Bendix but the title’s origin came from an expression meaning that a person was living the “good life.” Most people envision themselves living the good life by retirement but don’t really have a plan to get there. There’s a rough rule of thumb used to estimate how much net worth a person would need by the time they retire to generate a certain income. The target annual income is divided by a safe, conservative yield to determine the investable assets needed. A person who wanted $100,000 annual income generated from a 5% investment would need investable assets of $2,000,000. If a person had $500,000 now, they would need to accumulate $1.5 million more by the time they retire. If it was estimated to be 15 years away, they would need to save about $100,000 a year, each year until retirement. It is a sobering example that could be depressing without a plan. It might be easy to say, “I should have started sooner” which may be t…

Breathe Easy

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The benefits of regularly changing the heating and air-conditioning filters are obvious to homeowners; the real challenge is creating a system to make sure it gets done.  A reasonable schedule would be to replace it with a new one-inch pleated filter every 60-90 days. Households with shedding pets should consider replacing them every month. Some people change their filters every month when they pay their electric bills.  A simple system would be to set a recurring appointment on your calendar like Outlook or Google. Filters trap dust, mold and bacteria which can directly affect the air quality and play havoc with your allergies. When a filter is dirty, it prevents proper airflow and allows dust, dirt and allergens to blow through your home. Changing your filter regularly helps to avoid maintenance, improves equipment life and produces increased energy savings. When shopping for filters, it’s understandable to look for the best bargain but the cheapest price may not be the best choice.…

Whose Commission Is It?

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One of the most common reasons buyers want to deal directly with the seller is because they feel they can save the commission. It’s a valid consideration but interestingly, it’s the same reason the seller isn’t employing an agent.Both parties cannot save the commission. The buyer feels they have earned it because they’ve had to find the home, determine its value and negotiate with the seller. They had to arrange their own financing, title and inspections. The seller equally feels that they have earned the commission because they too have had to research value, financing and title work.  They have incurred all of the marketing expenses and have invested hours upon hours to be available to show the property, hold open houses and answer inquiries.  There is certainly value in all of the things that buyers and sellers are willing to do.  However, only one person can save the commission assuming the buyer and seller can reach a written agreement. The Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers surv…

"Please take our offer..."

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It’s interesting that the housing climate has changed so quickly. Some buyers, who think they’re still in the driver’s seat, find the market is now going up and they’re losing the home that they really want. Multiple offers are increasingly more common and buyers are frustrated because even full-price offers don’t guarantee that they’re going to get the home. In an effort to personify a contract offer and add emotional appeal, buyers are including a personal letter to the seller. In most cases, the seller wants to maximize the net proceeds from the sale by getting the highest price with the least expenses and an assurance that the home will actually close on time without surprises. When a seller is faced with multiple offers that may be close to the same net, an emotional appeal might make the difference in them accepting a particular offer. That’s where the letter comes in play. It should be a relatively short letter that gets to the point. The tone of the letter should be humble whi…