Archive for the 'Localism' Category
Great find on Shadow Cove! New Home for Sale – Lake of the Pines, Auburn Ca. continue reading…
Never interrupt your client when they are talking themselves into making an offer.
More listening, less talking about how smart you are.
Make the “ask,” then stop talking.
After you win, stop talking.
The more you talk, the less chance you have of making a sale.
The more you talk, the greater likelihood that you will make a mistake.
Don’t say that you “know” something when you are just giving your opinion.
From Stranger in a Strange Land
Jubal: What color is that house?
Mariam: The side that I can see is white.
Another New Listing in Lake of the Pines ~ Auburn, Ca. continue reading…
Home For Sale Near Beach at Lake of the Pines, California continue reading…
“Just Listed” Sweet Life on Huck Finn Pond – Lake of the Pines Auburn, Ca. continue reading…
Mold is everywhere. It’s in every breath you take and in every breath you will take for the rest of your life. Mold is in every house you have ever lived in or will live in. There will always be mold spores floating around your home. How did they get there? You brought them in, on your shoes, your clothes, your hair, your food. They blew in on that delightful fresh breeze through your open window.
When should you be alarmed about mold in your house?
- If it is present at extremely high levels.
- If you or the members of your household are ultra sensitive or hyper allergic to it.
- If it is a species of dangerous mold.
Dangerous mold. There are a couple of dangerous molds, but they are surprisingly rare. I have only come across one verified instance in my real estate career. I am talking about the dreaded stachybotrys, or misleading “black mold.” I say misleading because most species of mold are black.
Where does dangerous mold grow? A warm place where there is a continuous supply of moisture, a dripping pipe inside a wall, or a low spot under a house where water accumulates and stays there all year round, the attic where an unconnected bathroom exhaust pumps hot, wet air every day.
When should you have a test performed to determine the mold levels in your house?
- Test when an expert tells you to test. I am not an expert.
- Test when you see or smell suspicious black stuff.
Who do you call? You call a professional environmental testing company, and my preference is to call one that does NOT bid on the remediation of their own findings, and which does not recommend a remediation crew. No conflicts of interest.
What does the testing company do? Their main tests compare two or more air samples. They take an air sample from outdoors near the house to set a baseline for the immediate environment. Then they take one or more air samples inside the house for comparison. The outside sample and the inside sample(s) should be similar. If “suspicious stuff” has been pointed out, they may also take a physical swab for identification.
Air samples and physical samples go back to a lab for analysis. A rather lengthy report is generated that usually includes:
- descriptions and levels of the fungal species present
- the testing company’s recommendation for remediation protocols.
If remediation is recommended, the testing company will return (at additional cost) to re-test.
How much does the testing cost? Here in northern California, the environmental testing company I use charges $200 for the visit plus $100 for each sample, of which there are a minimum of two. If you want to add the basement, another $100. The attic? Another $100. Two swabs? $200 more dollars.
You will spend $400 for the simplest two-sample procedure that answers two questions:
- Is there too much mold in the air of my house compared to established norms?
- What kind of mold is it?
The testing procedure is surprisingly quick. I can usually get the Sacramento-based inspector out within 48 hours, get a verbal report on the phone the next day, and the writing report from the lab on the following day.
OK, students. There is going to be a test. Put away your blogs and websites. Take out a piece of real paper and a pencil. STOP! DON’T CHEW ON THAT PENCIL! DON’T YOU KNOW THERE’S MOLD ON THAT PENCIL?
Another Upcoming Local Event Near Lake of the Pines, Auburn Ca ~ Larry Diehl & Friends Acoustic Concert is coming May 31, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
This event will take place at the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center at the State Theatre. continue reading…
Upcoming Event Near Lake of the Pines, Auburn Ca. ~ Auburn Spring Home Show is coming this weekend May 17th – 19th 2013. This event takes place at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. continue reading…
Rent it or flip it?
Last year the answer to this investor question was simple. Rent it. My investor clients would buy cheap foreclosures, fix them up a bit, and rent them for 10+% cash-on-cash return.
This year the small investor environment has changed. Prices have gone up; those cheap “fixers” have mostly disappeared. We can still find properties that return a more modest 5%-7% but now, because home prices are rising and the inventory is low, you should be looking at the advantages of taking short-term profits by buying, fixing, and re-selling as soon as possible.
What should you consider as you make the decision, rent it or flip it?
- Short-term profits vs. long-term profits
- Risk of a market downturn if we hold and rent
- Tax consequences of each strategy (a topic unto itself)
- Holding costs during remodel
- Landlord skills vs. remodel skills
- Fun. Yes, fun. Which is more fun?
- Use of profit.
What does that mean? Use of profit. Suppose you decide to flip the property, and after all costs (buying, holding, remodeling, selling, taxes), you net a modest $35,000 on a little ranch home flip. I give you a check for $35,000. After taxes. Net. Profit. $35,000. So what? What are you going to do with it?
- Pay bills?
- Buy another “flipper” and do it again?
- Put it in the bank? (No!)
- Go to Bali for 6 months (My vote!)
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