i turn REALTY into REALiTY

My $0.02 Category

Top 10 Real Estate Websites

top-10-logoDisclaimer:  The websites presented are my own opinions, and not the results of some analytic gobbledygook.  The determination and ranking of these sites is completely random (with the exception of #1).  I will share the links to each of these sites along with my reason for inclusion in the list.  With no further ado, let’s take a look, shall we? Read the rest of this entry »


Update: Left Hand Meet Right Hand

May I Introduce You To A Bank With Two Left Hands?

This is an update to my previous post about the infamous AofB transaction that I’m currently working on.

9/23/2011 – Bank finally sends FHA appraiser out to the property.
9/24/2011 – Appraiser contacts me asking for the Purchase & Sale Contract because the bank mistakenly sent him the wrong contract (someone else’s deal?)
9/26/2011 – FHA Appraisal is received by AofB who then tells our mutual client that the appraisal came in $12,000 lower than the purchase price.

Hmm… The last appraisal (from the now failed conventional financing debacle a few weeks ago) came in at value.  Has the market dropped that much in 2 weeks?

What’s even more frustrating is that the bank doesn’t seem to care, because hey, that’s just how the market is, right? Read the rest of this entry »


Left Hand, Meet Right Hand

HandsFrustration Is The Mother Of All Ideas

At least that’s where I get many of my topics…  Today’s blog post  is about a bank which we’ll call AofB for short (the names have been changed), an entity that I’m currently battling on behalf of a buyer client who unfortunately, chose them as his loan source.  Let me start at the beginning of this ordeal and walk you through the scenario.

It all began one summer day when a prior client (I say prior in that I helped him purchase and subsequently sell a condo in Seattle many years ago before he relocated out of state) called and asked for my assistance in another home purchase, as he’s relocating back to WA.  The search lasted all of one afternoon by which time he had selected his future home (after viewing 6 other properties). He felt bad that it took him so long to make a decision (this same client looked at 2 homes last time before making his decision).  I love clients like him! Read the rest of this entry »


Dear Mr & Mrs. Seller: We Love Your Home But…


Why Buyers (and Realtors) Love REOs

Let’s face it, there are a lot of homes for sale right now.  It seems you can’t drive down the street in most neighborhoods without seeing a For Sale sign.  In Woodinville, WA the city that I live, there are 229 homes for sale (208 homes, 21 condos).  Of those homes available, 12 are bank owned properties (5% of the market).  Contrast that with the number of homes currently under contract (99 homes PENDing), of which 18 are bank owned.

Why do REOs sell quicker than other homes? If you ask the general public, they would answer “Because they sell for less than market value!” My answer would be “Because they are priced appropriately for the market, based on the current conditions”.  If you read my answer carefully, you’ll notice that there are distinct differences between the two statements, but those differences can dictate whether you stay or go. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , ,

Would you buy this house?

Ugly Home

But He’s Got A Great Personality!

Just when I thought I had run eHarmony parallels into the ground, up pops another great article!  This most recent eHarmony article spotlighted a user’s dilemma about dating a man who met all of her criteria except one.  He was the perfect man for her but for the fact that she wasn’t physically attracted to him.  She asked if she was being shallow by placing so much emphasis on physical appearances. Read the rest of this entry »

Looking for a 2bdrm/2bth + outgoing Realtor

Find a Home and a Date!

Find a Home and a Date!

Save Time – Date Your Realtor?

I realize this post has absolutely nothing to do with the actual business of real estate, but since I’m hot off the heels of my last eHarmony blog post, and recent conversations with fellow real estate agents centered around their dating life, I started thinking: Could Real Estate replace eHarmony as the new way to meet your next love? Read the rest of this entry »

eHarmony & Real Estate

oddcoupleShe’s Out Of My League

Okay, let me say up front that yes, I do sometimes read these relationship emails that come spamming across my computer.  And yes, I do find the topics entertaining as well as informative from time to time.  I also think that, like many things in life, there are parallels to be found across broad and diverse topics.

Take this most recent article on eHarmony for example. It used the 2010 movie “She’s Out Of My League” as the premise for their article, so I figured I could use their article as the premise of my blog post!  Imagine this headline from eHarmony – Should You Date Someone “Out Of Your League”? This was an interesting article that touched upon several things to consider when assessing a potential date/mate. You can read the relationship article HERE.

Now, imagine that same title as a real estate article with a few words replaced.  It could become the headline I’ve written below.  In fact, I’ve used eHarmony in the past as a starting off point for another blog post.  You can read that prior post HERE.  Hey, when the well is dry, you still gotta find water somewhere, right? Read the rest of this entry »

Garbage In, GarBage Out!

FlowchartBack when I was still in school, I thought seriously about being a software programmer.  I took many programming classes, and to this day, still remember the phrase (GIGO) that my instructors instilled into my little brain. My takeaway from that phrase was that no matter how good my programming skills may have been, it would never be good enough to correct or convert bad data (input) into good, meaningful results (output).


I’ve created the new acronym above that describes the current situation that I’ve been seeing lately. First let me define the term and then I’ll explain the circumstances under which it is occurring.

GDIGO – Good Data In, Garbage Out. How does this happen? Bad programming? Laziness? Unscrupulous marketing ploy by competing real estate companies? Maybe a combination of all of these factors??


A buyer client is looking to purchase a condo in Seattle, WA. He emails me a list of MLS numbers (this is how properties are indexed in our Multiple Listing Service) that he’d like for me to investigate on his behalf.  I pull up the information for him and see that 90% of the homes on his list have either sold or expired, rendering the list useless to him, and a waste of time for me. Read the rest of this entry »

The Great (Condo) Depression


This past week I attended another real estate auction with a client who was interested in purchasing a condo that was being sold. I was very familiar with many of the condo complexes that had units on the auction block and it stunned me to see the final bids for many of the units.  This got me thinking about a generalization that I’ve heard many times over the years.  It goes something like this: “Condos tend to appreciate slower in a rising market, and depreciate faster in a declining market.”  I don’t know if I agree with the appreciation part, and I haven’t done the actual analysis so I can’t state for a fact that this dictum rings true, but I have seen the declining side of the market and can state (at least anecdotally), that this part appears true. Read the rest of this entry »


I Dreamed a Dream

Susan Boyle

I attended a real estate class this past week and like many seminars, a good portion of the time was spent on motivational messages. I’ve helped clients buy and sell real estate for over 15 years, and in that time I’ve experienced my fair share of pep talks. Most of them seem superfluous to me.  I have always believed that motivation needs to come from within.

However, when the speaker played this youtube video, I was floored. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,