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Nancy Hankin's Blog

By Nancy Hankin, REALTOR | Broker in Palm Springs, CA
  • RENTAL SCAMS ON THE RISE

    Posted Under: Rental Basics in Palm Springs, For Rent in Palm Springs, Moving in Palm Springs  |  August 21, 2012 4:55 AM  |  477 views  |  No comments

    A number of Realtors across the country are reporting a rise in rental scams. Here’s how one of the most popular scams works:

    A Realtor lists a home for SALE. Shortly after, a con artist puts this home on various websites and lists it for RENT at a VERY ATTRACTIVE PRICE, which is WELL BELOW MARKET. They suggest the renter immediately wire funds to them so they can hold the property for them. He explains he is currently out of the country, but will be returning shortly. The unsuspecting tenant wires the funds to the so-called landlord con artist….and that’s the last they will ever see of their hard earned funds!

    How can you prevent this from happening to you or your loved ones?  Here are a few suggestions:

    · Drive by the property and check to see if there is a FOR LEASE SIGN on the property.

    · Call a Realtor and ask them to verify the owner’s name.

    · Always deal directly with a Realtor.


    Most importantly
    , if you suspect you have come across one of these scams, REPORT IT to the Board of Realtors in your area and to the authorities. If you do not take the time to REPORT it, you are leaving the door wide open for these scams to continue.

    Let’s spread the word. Start with the media in your own areas. BLOG it and scream it from the rooftops. These scams are definitely on the rise, but working together to “police” our cities, we can help put a dent in the pockets of these scammers.

    Ha this happened to you?  What happened as a result of it?

    IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my “red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

    Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor
    Nancy Hankin

  • Catch Me If You Can; THIRTEEN THINGS YOUR BURGLAR WON'T TELL YOU and more!

    Posted Under: Crime & Safety in Palm Springs, Moving in Palm Springs, Home Ownership in Palm Springs  |  July 31, 2012 6:19 AM  |  617 views  |  No comments

    I recently listened to Frank Abagnale Jr tell his life’s story which has been profiled on TV, in the movies and in many books. Abagnale was the con artist, who was later hired by the FBI to help them learn many of the “tricks of the trade.” If you saw the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” you’ll know who I am referring to. These stories were all based on Abagnale’s life.

     

    The reason I mention this is simply to alert you to the dangers lurking around many corners. Most of us are “everyday people, living everyday lives, but not everybody you meet can be trusted. Con artists and burglar’s seem to be particularly busy during financially hard times, and these last years have certainly been a challenge to all.

     

    Perhaps it’s time to alert you to the dangers that could lay ahead if you aren’t more vigilant in your everyday life. Here are but a few to be careful of:

     

     

        THIRTEEN THINGS YOUR BURGLAR WON'T TELL YOU
     
      

     
    1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
     
      2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
     
      3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
     
      4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..
     
      5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
     
      6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.
     
      7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom - and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
     
      8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door - understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.
     
      9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)
     
      10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
     
      11. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.
     
      12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.



    13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at http://www.faketv/.com/ )
     
     
              
    8 MORE THINGS A BURGLAR WON'T TELL YOU  
     
     
    1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
     
      2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.
     
      3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.
     
      4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?



      5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.
     
      6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.
     
      7. To you
    , leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.
     
     
    8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.
     
    Sources:
    Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , and Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs http://www.crimedoctor.com/ and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis , who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

     

    IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my “red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

    Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor
    Nancy Hankin



  • Important “Moving Information” for Everyone

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Palm Springs, Home Selling in Palm Springs, Moving in Palm Springs  |  June 5, 2012 9:13 AM  |  441 views  |  No comments

    I received this in an email from a company called the Move Advocate.

    How to Avoid a Moving Horror Story

     

    · Few things are scarier than a long distance move. We have all either heard or experienced a moving horror story at least once. And for those who have experienced it you know it can feel like you are trapped in a Halloween haunted house. Here are some helpful tips that you can utilize to minimize any scary situations in the future instead of just hiding your eyes behind your hands and anxiously waiting to get through it.

    • Don’t get a quote over the phone or internet: A big mistake that consumers make when planning their move is obtaining a quote over the phone or the internet. Any quote obtained in this manner is a non-binding quote. The only way to obtain a guaranteed or binding quote is to have a visual survey of your household goods by a reputable mover. If you choose to accept a quote over the phone or internet you are setting yourself up for a nasty scenario when the mover shows up at your new home and demands more money.
       
    • Don’t wait too long to line up a mover: Allowing time for a visual survey, receiving a written and binding quote, and reserving a truck for your move takes a lead time of 4-6 weeks. Although moves can be arranged in a shorter period of time, many consumers find that their choices are limited by availability, especially in the busy summer months. In our current real estate market many homes are taking longer to sell, but once sold are closing very quickly. The time to obtain estimates for your move is before your home sells so that you are prepared when it does.

    Relocation wants and needs  

    • Don’t misrepresent what you are moving:
      It is very important to show the surveyor or estimator everything you are planning to move. If you forget to show items in a basement, garage, attic, or off-site storage unit and then add those items at time of pick-up, your estimate will no longer be binding. In the same vein, if you commit to packing your own items but don’t have time to finish, the van line will pack your items and charge you for the service. If you are uncertain of whether you will be taking something, or are not sure if you will have time to pack everything, ask the surveyor to put the items or service in the estimate. If you decide not to take something, or do not require the packing, the cost will be adjusted downward.

    • Don’t agree to paying a deposit up front: Reputable movers do not ask for payment up front to reserve trucks or dates. This is a classic red flag in moving. A reputable mover will expect payment upon delivery.
       
    • Don’t select a mover based upon price rather than reputation and service: If a mover gives you a price that is significantly lower than other movers it is likely that you are being low-balled. If a surveyor has underestimated your weight in order to give you a lower price you may find on moving day that the moving truck does not have enough room for your shipment. This is called an overflow. An overflow means that your items will not all travel together, will not all arrive at the same time, and will generally just cause you a big hassle. Another way to lower cost is to compromise service. Look for a competitive bid from a professional mover who is certified and reputable. Although price is an important factor, don't base your decision on price alone.

    If you know of someone who may be planning a MOVE in the FUTURE, please pass this on.  And remember to give me a call or email me if you are thinking of buying or selling your home, I’m here to help in any way I can.

    The Move Advocate works with the nation’s most reputable movers and can arrange for multiple and binding quotes from quality service providers. A dedicated coach will answer questions and be an advocate throughout the move process to assure that your clients' moves are the best they’ll ever make. Call them today at 800.617.1918 to discuss your moving needs and to obtain multiple binding quotes at no cost and with no obligation.

    What have you learned in moving?  Let us know below.

    Why is your life style so important?

    Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply. 

    IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my “red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

    Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor
    Nancy Hankin

  • PLANNING A SUMMER VACATION….BEWARE!

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Palm Springs, How To... in Palm Springs, Moving in Palm Springs  |  May 1, 2012 8:33 AM  |  686 views  |  No comments


    I recently came across an article given to me by my exterminator company.  It was discussing BED BUGS! UGH!  It went on to say that BED BUGS can hitch a ride on your luggage or bags during travel. They suggested emptying your suitcase in the garage when you got back home, then putting everything in the laundry and wash things on the HOT Cycle and drying in a HOT Dryer.

    My first inkling was to toss the article away. But curiosity got to me so I decided to look up BED BUGS on the Internet. Here is what I discovered.

    You should be an assertive detective. No, it doesn’t feel polite to go up to the desk and say you think your room might have bed bugs. But wouldn’t you rather do that than get bitten or, worse, bring them home? The bed bug situation, unfortunately, forces us to set squeamishness aside and talk about gross stuff. So, as soon as you get in your room (before opening your suitcase, even to take out your toothbrush!) inspect like crazy. Don’t just take the sheets off the bed, strip it down to the mattress. Look for the telltale black spots and darkish stains around the edges of the mattress.

    You’re unlikely to see the bugs themselves, which are a clear color and tiny, the size of sesame seeds. But you can see their “leavings,” a disgusting combination of their shells and bits of blood from their human dinner. Check upholstered chairs, too. If you see anything at all, ask for another room, preferably on another floor. If you see anything suspicious in that room, try a completely different wing or, if possible, another hotel. This is really the primary bed bug prevention strategy available: check, look again, and leave if you see anything.

    Travel Prepared. The last thing you want to do is arrive and start worrying about bed bugs. Take the worry out of travel by bringing protective supplies, including plastic bags to store your clothes in (those air-lock travel bags do double-duty by making extra room in your suitcase, as well as keeping bugs out.) Don’t be tempted to hang your clothes in hotel closets or leave them strewn over chairs, unless you’re 100-percent certain the room’s bug free; bed bugs are now known to favor upholstered furniture and yes, they can climb walls. Put your suitcase on a luggage rack and pull it out from the wall.

    If you’re going to New York, Ohio, or anywhere else where bed bugs are known to be, well, practically everywhere, you can also bring a household remedy reputed to keep them at bay. (No guarantees here.) These include Vaseline, which some recommend using to coat the legs and rails of the bed so the bugs can’t climb up, and an herbal spray, Rest Easy, that promises to repel bed bugs. I travel with it and spray it around the edges of my suitcase and all over the luggage rack, just in case. Or you can take the extreme measure being recommended by some and bathe the bed rails, headboard, and the edges of the mattresses in a mixture of rubbing alcohol and floor cleaner. (Seriously, people recommend this but it smells so vile you’re probably better off staying home.) When I come home from a trip, I wash everything I’ve brought with me and dry it in a hot dryer and leave my suitcase stored in a plastic garbage bag for two weeks, also with “just in case” in mind.

    There’s a lot more to say about bed bugs, but I’ve probably disgusted you enough for one day. Have you ever found bed bugs in your room or luggage?  What did you do?

     Still excited about that summer vacation? Just kidding. 

    IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my “red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

    Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor
    Nancy Hankin

  • GOLDEN TELEPHONE

    Posted Under: General Area in Palm Springs, In My Neighborhood in Palm Springs, Moving in Palm Springs  |  December 6, 2011 10:09 AM  |  1,657 views  |  No comments



    A man in Westport, Ct., decided to write a book about churches around the country.

     

    He started by flying to Portland, and started working east from there.

     

    Going to a very large church, he began taking photographs and making notes. He spotted a golden telephone on the vestibule wall and was intrigued with a sign which read "$10,000.00 a minute."

     

    Seeking out the pastor he asked about the phone and the sign. The pastor answered that this golden phone is, in fact, a direct line to Heaven and if he pays the price he can talk directly to God.  The man thanked the Pastor and continued on his way.

     

    As he continued to visit churches in Seattle, Austin, Michigan, Chicago,, Milwaukee and around the United States, he found more phones, with the same sign, and the same answer from each pastor.

     

    Finally, he arrived in California.  Upon entering a church, behold, he saw the usual golden telephone.  But, this time, the sign read, "Calls: 25 cents."

     

    Fascinated, he asked to talk to the pastor.  "Reverend, I have been in cities all across the country and in each church I have found this golden telephone and have been told it is a direct line to Heaven and that I could talk to God, but, in the other churches the cost was $10,000.00 a minute.

     

    "Your sign reads 25 cents a call. Why?"

     

    The pastor, smiling benignly, replied, "Son, you're in Palm Springs California now, and it's a local call."

    Would you like to make a comment on this article? It’s a great place for you to “let YOUR thoughts be known on the various articles written. Be My Guest………I‘d love to hear from you! Others would too! To comment just scroll down and leave a reply. 

    IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my “red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

    Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor
    Nancy Hankin

  • WHEN YOU WANT DOOR-TO-DOOR SERVICE

    Posted Under: General Area in Palm Springs, Moving in Palm Springs  |  October 5, 2010 6:25 AM  |  401 views  |  No comments

    Many snowbirds are ready to "take flight" and head to the beautiful Palm Springs Desert area. For those of you interested in SHIPPING ITEMS AHEAD OF TIME, I have some good news for you.

    Desert Runner Mail Box Plus is offering FREE DELIVERY to you after you arrive.  Just give them a call at (760) 328-7110 and they will send you Shipping Labels and tape for sending your packages to the desert. Simply affix the new label over any existing labels.

    For a Complimentary Relocation Package click here.

    Then please check the bottom left corner of your labels for package content descriptions. Put labels denoting clothes, clubs, ext on the appropriate packages, then simply call UPS at (800) 742-5877 to arrange a pick-up or drop your packages off at any UPS affiliate.

    You may notice a weight assigned to the label, this is an arbitrary number designed to shut the computer up! Actual weight & dimensions will be determined after pick-up.

    Your packages will be delivered to Desert Runner awaiting FREE DELIVERY to your desert residence when you want them, unless other arrangements have been previously made.

    Now how simple can that be!

    IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home, try searching properties on the same MLS Realtor’s use,  or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Real Estates.  I will be happy to give you or your referral my “red carpet service.”  After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner so you can celebrate!

    Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor
    Nancy Hankin

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