About Voices Member
.... When I was a kid growing up I can remember being with my great Grand Daddy many times, I can remember running up and down the long hallways of his house and how much fun it was for me as a kid ... He explained to me that he didn't own the building .. and no, he didn't even own those long hallways I thought were so much fun because he shared it with everyone else .. it just wasn't his house and he had to pay "rent" every month to live there -- when you're only 7, it just doesn't "click" ... - But the one thing that did "click" when I got older, was a statement he once made: **.. rent is the penalty you pay for not owning your own home ..** So I studied the market and looked and listened and spent hours in the court house pulling records... I would drive around neighborhoods seeing how different streets affected prices, how intersections changed time frames and markets .. distance of schools, zip codes and how colors of houses, different seasons and the number of children and size effected resale ... I would knock sellers doors and just ask them questions, and most of the time they'll tell you "everything" .. When my buddies and I were watching football games on a Sunday I would sometimes leave at halftime and drive the snowy streets of Cleveland and check-out an open house or two and listen to the clatter of conversations and how different agents would promote, push and prod their product. I also learned quickly how most folks bought houses -- and how most folks got $old houses with false stories, low tones and high prices ... I also made it a point to know every lender in the area so I wouldn't have to depend on a realtors lender -- this way I saved thousands in closing costs and even more on rate. The 2 most important items when buying or selling real estate - accurate information and patience .... do your research, do your homework .. Educate yourself .. taking a very basic community course is an excellent start .. buying real estate isn't rocket science, it's not a mystery, it's only mystical to small children .. but it will be a "very expensive mistake" if you don't spend time and do quality research .. The more a savvy consumer knows, the less opportunity a realtor has to take advantage of any situations - and the more they will save. Keep in mind, agents are on a straight commission .... You as the buyer.? you're on adrenalin, emotion and a far flung roller coaster ride that will cost you thousands more if you're not doing your homework 3 or 4 months in advance. In 1979 I purchased my first home for the unheard of price of $64,500 and then sold it 4 years later for a fair amount, then I knew it was easy -- and the local agent called it "dumb luck" ... Since then, many things have changed ... we lived in Florida for 20 years, I got lucky and was able to buy my own boat dealership instead of being an employee of one .. I also bought and sold 39 homes there, and then bought, developed and sold 4 separate condominium complexes in three different parts of the Sunshine State .. In the late 1990's and things were rolling along, there came a feeling that the Carolinas were awakening ... I bought and sold 12 properties and 7 homes there .. and last year, a 97 acre track that I bought and developed with some guy named Gary Player, which was wonderful because I'm an avid golfer - I play to an 8 handicap and I get to play almost everyday .. So I know about builders, contractors, agents, brokers and their attitudes and their ways - good and bad ... unfortunately for the consumer, mostly bad .. it's a commission driven business, not a social event. Since then I've become a consumer advocate .. especially now, after watching many hard working people get sold a bill of goods, instead of a bright future.. -- Getting information from a realtor doesn't always make it "good" information or accurate (or honest) .. and in some situations, they're not even close ... remember, they want the quickest direction between point "A" and point "B" - you just happen to be in the middle.. so be aware. Always do your research before interviewing your next agent(s), you'd be surprised .. you probably know more about the market then the agent .. especially nowadays. That all said... I'll never forget what my great Grand Daddy said many years ago: **.. rent is the penalty you pay for not owning your own home ..** Well I never did, and either did he .. after I sold the second house in Florida, I bought him his own. - and the local realtor called that "dumb luck" too. ;^) -
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