Friday, December 31, 2010

Why? Why? Why do we do what we do??

I've wondered this often.  Why DO we do what we do? Maybe I can best illustrate it with some thoughts and stories instead of a real answer.....
When I was young-not that I'm old, but some would say I'm not really young anymore-I used to have a group of friends that I would hang out with.  We were all renters. We lived in a world of thinly spread white paint, nail holes filled with toothpaste, drafty windows, yard sale chairs and crappy appliances. Then we bought a home.  Not much of one, but it was ours.  A strange thing happened; all our buddies started hanging out at our place. It was where everyone felt comfortable-I think because it was owned by "one of us", not a faceless landlord who hated fixing things. Because we took the time to paint it with the things we held dear... our paint, our photos, our decorations.  Regardless of the price we paid for it, or how much it may be worth in 10 years, it was a HOME.  A place where we would live, love and be together.  It was an extension of us. It represented life..... our life.

NOW, we do everything we can to help others feel that same way.  We love helping someone begin their dream. We've been there and want nothing more than to pass it on. We are real.....  We are confident that we are doing the right thing.  We will tell someone if buying a home isnt a great idea for them. We will pass up an easy payday if it's not the right thing for our client. Not many other offices can look in the mirror and truly say that. We believe in what we we do and know this attitude will see us through.......

Bottom Line?......  Technology will only take you so far... Using statistics will only impress the ones that dont know the truth..... Those things are hollow without having your heart in it.  This office HAS their collective heart in it. Our focus will always be on our clients........... and improving their lives............

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010-A Year of Activity

The year is almost out and like many, I like to try to look over my shoulder at all the things that have happened in the last year for this company.  We have had some great things-like our annual dinner supporting the Loaves and Fishes group-that make me choke up with pride for having been involved. This is a great organization supporting truly needy kids.  I am so proud of our office for stepping up to make this dinner happen. We have been involved in many activities through the year-Ag Timber Parade (we got Becky to come with us), EOLS Parade, Union County Fair and the food drive to name a few.  Haley became engaged to a great guy, as did Sharron.  We are so happy for them both and puff up with pride as we watch their lives evolve. They are awesome people and great agents and we cant say enough good things about them. Ron has hit the ground running and will be a very productive agent in the coming years.  Cindy, as usual, has had a choke hold on the market in Halfway and Richland. She is our "hard work" example to follow.  Nobody works harder than she does.  Bob has quietly built himself a super business by going out and taking excellent care of his at a time.  Jon has established himself as the farm expert in our office and one of the funnest personalities in the group.  Marlena came to us this year and has folded into the group as though she was here all along. We are so thankful for how well she has recovered from heart surgery early in the year. Holly, as usual is the one who loves her work and "mother hen's" her clients.  She just might show up on your doorstep with chicken soup if she hears you are sick.  Shawna and I have had some real challenges over the last year, but they seem small in comparison to all the great things we have gotten to experience because of the amazing agents we have and the awesome clients we deal with. It's hard to call this work when you are helping out so many people that we cherish.  We are ready to move forward with what is looking like an outstanding year, but not without being incredibly thankful for all we have received in the last year. Thanks to our families and our agents that we love and most of all to our clients. Without them we would not be able to spend our time working at something we really love to do.  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Maybe I Should Wait to Buy........Maybe Not!

So, you are getting ready to buy a home.  You've been watching the real estate news on TV (we always pay more attention to the things that we are interested in) and it has been telling us how bad things are.  Well, maybe for everyone else, but not for you as a buyer.  Hmmmmm.  Maybe, in spite of the advise of your agent, it would be smart to wait.  Maybe see if the bottom falls lower. Maybe the rates, although at record lows, will fall even further.  Wouldn't it be cool if we could buy at the REAL bottom of the market? Maybe, maybe, maybe.....  So, what happens if things don't get better-and get a little worse instead?  What if the rate goes up-even a little?  What really is the cost of trying to outsmart the market?  Well, if the rates go up by 1% (when they are near 4.5%, that's sure possible) it wipes out a 10% drop in the price of a house. That means the $100,000 house you wanted to buy will have to drop to $90,000 to make up for the 1% rate increase that happened while you were "waiting for the market to bottom out".  The 1% rate increase is pretty likely-do you think the 10% price drop will happen too?  Nope, not very likely........  In fact, a 1% rate increase is 10 times more likely than a 10% drop in prices...  OK, so knowing that, what are you waiting for???  There is good inventory,  great rates, best pricing in years.......  Are you going to be the one who waited too long looking for the "perfect deal"?  Now is the time, friends.  And just like all other good things, it won't last forever. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our Agents-What They Are All About

I was at a conference not too long ago in Washington.  It was one of those things where realtors go to learn some things to get better at what they do. As I was walking through the hotel lobby, I overheard a Mom and daughter talking.  I assumed the daughter asked who all us people were.  I heard the Mom say "They are real estate people".  It made me think.... I am so proud of the agents in our office.  They work really hard to make sure they aren't seen as just "real estate people".  We know a home is the most important purchase most people make. We are aware that most consumers know it too. We want to make sure we remember everyday that this is the most important decision many people make.  The last thing they need is "a salesman".  We need to make doubly sure that what our client buys is sound.  That the price is right.  That we have guided them past the pitfalls that can break them later.....when it's too late to walk away.  We try to understand our clients.  In our mind a cop protects the law.  A farmer feeds people.  A real estate agent nurtures the dream of home ownership.  We are guardians of something very important to the ones we serve.  This belief guides every action we take.........  If you need someone to understand the stress-the fear-the risk of buying a home instead of treating you like a budding young paycheck.............  come see us.     

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Home Sweet Home Program

So, have you heard about the Home Sweet Home Program?  Many haven't-in fact I hadn't heard about it until a couple months ago.  What an interesting program this is for many of you.  I haven't used it yet, but I can see where it may be an awesome program!  In a nutshell, this program is partnered by the Oregon Banker's Assn and the Oregon Assn of Realtors for low and moderate income Oregonians earning lass than or equal to 100% of the area median income and are trying to purchase a home.  This money is in the form of $2000 grants disbursed by local lenders to be applied toward down payment or other out of pocket funds needed during the purchase of a principal residence home.  If you are looking to buy a home and have done like most of us-----struggled to collect enough cash to put down on a house------this program may be for you.  Contact any of the RE/MAX Realtors for more information.  We all work hard at taking great care of our clients.  You see, we don't spend our time trying to impress you by comparing ourselves to the other offices.  We choose to be honest, highly skilled and hard working and let our work speak for us.  Come see us.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Old Friends

Aren't old friends the best?  Sometimes we forget just how much we love those precious few friends that are REALLY our friends.  You know, the ones that will support you when you try, pick you up when you fall, cheer you on when you are succeeding.  They are the ones you that you would do nearly anything for, a) because you love them and, b) because you know they would never hesitate to do the same for you.  I saw one of my old friends recently.  He just showed up out of the blue at a party we were having for the office.  I hadn't seen him in what seemed like forever, but it didn't matter.  We are like two people that just know what to say to the other.  His life is going so well-which wasn't always the case-and in his true form, he is now doing all he can to help other people to improve their lives.  He is a wonderful guy, been around the block and has incredible wisdom and passion for life because of it.  Ya know, isn't that a big part of what the Christmas Season is really about?  Passing along the love in our lives to the ones around us?  Take the love that was born with us and give as much of it away as possible?  Go see your old friends...... it will be the highlight of your day.... and theirs........

Friday, December 10, 2010

DEQ and Woodstoves

Many of you may already know this, but if not, it may be worth checking out. The DEQ is coming out with some new guidelines regarding existing woodstoves and the sale of homes in Oregon.  Any non certified woodstoves must be removed from the property prior to closing of the sale on the property.  Senate Bill 102 passed by the 2009 Oregon Legislature requires homeowners to remove, destroy and notify DEQ of any uncertified stove at eh time of home sale.  They are still working some of the rules including procedures for sellers to verify the stoves have been removed and destroyed.  If you think this may affect you, contact one of our agents to discuss whether this may concern you or not.  We are always looking to find ways to keep our clients informed on the latest rules and regulations as they are available to us. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Be a Safe and Savvy Shopper

The Christmas season is upon us and for many, the shopping frenzy is underway.  With it comes buying decisions, possibly planning shopping trips out of the valley and, for many of us, it will be an online buying experience.  Fifty eight percent of consumers are likely to purchase a gift online this year.  If you are one of them, here are a few ideas to make you a more "Safe and Savvy Shopper".
1) Make sure your security systems are up to date and running on your computer and only shop trusted sites.
2) Use a price comparison site such as to compare pricing. 
3) Don't click on the BUY button before you've looked for coupons and promo codes.
4) Read the retailer's privacy policy. When you fill out the online profile, retailers gather information about your shopping habits so they can target ads to you. Your web browser allows you to limit or prevent sites from installing cookies.
5) Only use sites that offer a secure transaction.  Look for a padlock icon or "https" in the check out page web address.
6) And finally, ask your friends and family. If they have used these sites and have had a bad experience, they will surely tell everyone they can.  If you hear a horror story-SHOP SOMEWHERE ELSE!!

Make your Christmas a great one....... And have a Safe and Secure Shopping Experience..

Friday, December 3, 2010

Listing During the Holidays-A GREAT IDEA!!!!

Many of you would really like to sell your home, but are reluctant to be listing during the winter months and more specifically during the Christmas season.  I used to think the same thing.  Maybe I can provide a few interesting ideas that will help you in deciding maybe this really isn't such a bad idea......... in fact it is really a GREAT idea!  Here are a few good reasons to consider:
1) The competing inventory is usually lower.  Many people take their properties off the market for the winter, so your home stands out better to the serious buyers.  Your odds of selling may actually be better this time of year!!  Also, a flood of new listings will happen in the early spring, and the increased supply without a substantial increase in demand may actually make prices drop.  To sell for the most money, now may be the best time!
2) Only serious buyers are out in the winter, so fewer people are running through your house, but the ones that DO look are usually serious.
3) Your home will show better during the Holiday season.  I know my home FEELS much better this time of year with the warmth, the decorations, tree, etc.
4) People stay home more during the winter, so internet searches go way up this time of year. With all the online marketing RE/MAX Real Estate Team provides, your chances of selling are better in December and January.

Give these great ideas some serious thought.  If you are truly interested in getting the most money for your home in the shortest amount of time, calling RE/MAX Real Estate Team and listing during the winter months is a really GREAT IDEA!!!!