Eugene Bostick and his brother Corky have shared a farm on a dead-end road in Fort Worth, Texas since the 1940’s. Over the recent years, a lot of people have dropped off stray dogs in the area. Somehow, many of them find their way to the Bostick farm, looking for a home with a warm heart. Fortunately, they found it!
Not only have the lucky pups been provided food and room to run, they also get a treat that very few will ever have the chance to experience.
They get to go out on the town in a train!
This gold-hearted man decided he could create a doggie transport by mimicking something he saw being used to transport rocks.
They get so excited about it, they jump in as soon as they hear Eugene hooking up the tractor, and stay in for the duration of the ride!
These little guys must feel like they’re in a parade. Now check out the video below to see this “chew chew” train in action!
Via Texas Famous
According to a recent study by Zillow, owning a home is more affordable than renting in most metro markets across the United States.
According to the study, renters pay an average of 29.1% of their household income towards rent, while homeowners only pay an average of 15.4% towards their mortgages. This means renting eats up nearly twice as much of your income as owning a home.
Data Source: Zillow
Thanks to rising rents, homeownership is becoming a more sensible option across the nation, and renters are taking notice. According to the National Association of Realtors’ Realtors Confidence® Index, 39% of homebuyers from October 2016 to November 2017 were renting at the time of their purchase, which means that 39% of buyers made the transition from renter to homeowner. And many of them did so without breaking the bank on a down payment. In fact, 61% of first-time buyers made a down payment of 6% or less.
If you’re currently renting, it’s time to reevaluate your situation. Why throw away nearly 30% of your income on rent when you can spend almost half as much and have a home to show for it?
Fill in the blank…
“I have a _________…”
I’m about 100% sure I can guess what word you chose.
Was it “dream”?
Good chance it was. We all know this line from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous speech. So when we hear those first three words, it sort of naturally comes to mind.
But what many people aren’t aware of is how much he affected the lives of real estate agents, buyers, and sellers.
It was his death that gave Congress the last push needed to pass the Fair Housing Act, back in 1968. It’s pretty involved, so I won’t get into it all here, but to put it simply…
This was put in place to ban racial discrimination in housing. You can’t be refused the rental or purchase of a house, based upon your race.
Seems simple enough to most people now. A given, if you will. But it didn’t happen overnight. And believe it or not, it still can and does come up.
But guess who’s a big part of making sure this Act is followed…
On the front lines, it is people like me. Real estate agents. We’re tasked with making people aware that discrimination based upon race (and many other things) are not acceptable, and we must refuse to work with anyone who wants to do so.
And I am proud to be a part of this ongoing history.
Just figured I’d take this appropriate moment to pay him some respect, and give you some insight into how much more responsibility a real estate agent has than meets the eye.
That’s all for now…
…and may your dreams come true,
P.S. While my dream of helping people find their dream home is certainly not comparable to Martin Luther King’s dream…
Owning a home has become a huge part of the American Dream.
Please know how seriously I take this career. And how much heart and soul I put into helping people find their dream home.
If you know anyone dreaming of finding a home, please have them give me a call… I’d love to be a part of helping make their dream come true.
(Or maybe you even have a dream we should talk about…)
Let’s face it, everyone either knows a real estate agent, or is connected to one through six (probably less) degrees of separation. Between friends and relatives, and the stereotypical representation of real estate agents on television and in pop culture, the general public has a adopted some assumptions about agents that are very far from the truth.
Here are ten things that people assume about real estate agents that just aren’t true:
1. They make “easy money”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. The only people who could ever possibly make the case that being an agent is an easy way to make money are those who have never done it. It’s hard, uncertain work, with many instances of months wasted on a deal that doesn’t ever close. The only thing easy about it is reading the Lighter Side of Real Estate.
2. They are required to show you houses even if you’re not pre-approved
There are definitely agents who will show you houses without a pre-approval (or at minimum a pre-qualification), but an agent is not required to, and most experienced agents probably won’t. The ability to qualify for financing dictates whether or not a deal is even possible, so an agent is simply saving you from disappointment (or worse) by asking you to get pre-approved.
3. Zillow is more accurate than they are
It would be wonderful if Zillow (and similar websites) were accurate in their home valuations, but if you compared their results to actual appraised values, in most cases you’d burst out laughing. Real estate agents want you to get as much money as possible for your house, but oftentimes reality gets in the way. Trust your realtor to give you a fair market assessment for your house…at least more than you trust Zillow.
4. They make huge commissions
The popular real estate flipping shows on cable, and Million Dollar Listing have given everyone the impression that real estate agents are rolling in the dough. Most real estate agents wish that this was true, but reality is much different. The median US existing home sale price in December 2016 was $234,900, which means after splitting the commission and paying their broker, an agent took home about $3500 on the transaction, not including all marketing and related expenses. As a monthly income, this adds up to about $40,000 per year. Not exactly huge.
5. They’re an unnecessary evil
Many people have made the argument that real estate agents are unnecessary and are merely an impediment to a more efficient “For sale by owner” model of real estate. The best way to eliminate this misconception is to try selling your house yourself. There is nothing more sobering than desperately Googling state and federal real estate laws as some unkempt stranger is knocking on your door asking you questions about your FSBO house.
6. They’re sleazy
Unfortunately, real estate agents have joined the ranks of lawyers, politicians, and salespeople in some of the public’s assumptions about their trustworthiness. The financial collapse of 2008 exacerbated this perception. Thankfully, the market correction also weeded out most of the unsavory elements in the business. The truth is, real estate agents are honest, hardworking people, making a living like any other profession. And just like any other profession, there are a few bad apples that unfairly give the others a bad name.
7. They’re uneducated
This misconception really gets under most agents’ skin, because not only do many agents have degrees (and advanced degrees in quite a few cases), but the knowledge required to pass a real estate exam is substantial. There are many people who are unable to get their licensing because of an inability to pass the licensing tests, which makes the concept of an “uneducated” agent laughable.
8. They want you to pay more for a house so they can make more money
If you truly looked at the math involved in calculating real estate commissions, you’d never utter this falsehood again. An agent getting you to pay $10,000 more for a property will net that agent approximately $150, which barely covers the cost of gas required to drive to and from your appointments. The truth is that an agent absolutely wants you to buy a house. What’s not true is that they want you to pay more for one.
9. They’re mostly part-timers or bored housewives
If you ask the average person to describe the archetypal real estate agent, they’ll probably say it’s an older married woman who is looking for something to do in her free time. Ugh. This is stereotyping at its finest, and ignores the hundreds of thousands of male agents, the hundreds of thousands of full-time agents, and the hard-working primary bread winners that make up the real estate workforce. Sure, the stereotypical agents do exist, but they’re the exception to the rule.
10. All they want from you is the deal
Yes, agents want your business. But true professional real estate agents want to be your lifelong real estate advisor. They want you to think of them whenever you or your family and friends have any real estate questions. They want to see you and talk to you more than once a decade, and they want to make sure that you remember your interactions with them as being absolutely delightful.
Listing sites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Craigslist have become the go-to source for many buyers and sellers (particularly people attempting to buy or sell property on their own) to get information about the market, view properties, and connect with property owners.
But while most people believe these listing sites are a reliable source of information, there’s actually quite a bit of misinformation that can throw a wrench in your home search or sale.
Here are the three things real estate apps commonly get wrong (and how you can avoid them while selling or buying your home):
1. Not all postings are real
One of the biggest problems on most real estate apps is that they don’t require any verification from the people placing listings. So essentially, anyone with an internet connection can post any listing they’d like — including listings that are completely falsified.
There are an immeasurable number of fake listings on these sites; posters either use the “bait and switch” method, posting photos of one property when they’re really selling another (one New York real estate company was caught red-handed using celebrities’ properties in a highly publicized bait and switch scam in 2015), or create a completely fake listing in hopes of gathering people’s personal information for marketing purposes or, in some extreme cases, identity theft.
For these reasons you may waste a lot of time and energy looking through and engaging with fake listings, which can keep you from finding real listings — the kind that could end up being your dream home.
2. Not all postings are up-to-date
Another big issue with these sites is that often times, listings aren’t updated. So a listing you see for sale might have actually been sold the previous week or a listing that reads “sale pending” might actually be back on the market.
This failure to update is a bad situation for both buyers and sellers. As a buyer, it means you might get excited about a home only to find out it’s already been sold or you might pass on an amazing home, thinking it’s already been sold… only to find out after the fact it actually was available. If your listing is out-of-date as a seller, it means you could miss out on potential buyers thanks to inaccurate information.
Without up-to-date information, it’s impossible to effectively manage either the search or the sale of your home. But unfortunately, when you work within these types of real estate listings sites, you’re pretty much guaranteed out-of-date information.
3. Property information is often incorrect
On top of fake listings and out-of-date listings, many listings on these sites are just flat out incorrect. And this can be a big problem for both buyers and sellers.
As a buyer, you want to know what you’re getting into when you look at a property. But if the information is incorrect — for example, the listing states the property is 4 bedrooms when it’s really only three or that the home sits on 2 acres when it’s really only 1 — you’ll end up wasting a lot of time looking at properties that don’t actually fit within your parameters.
As a seller, not only will incorrect listing information waste time by connecting you with buyers who are looking for something different from what your property has to offer, but it can actually affect the price of your offers. Zillow, one of the top real estate apps, offers a popular feature called “Zestimate” which estimates how much a property is worth whether it’s on or off the market. Anyone can access this information, including potential buyers. And buyers use Zestimates as a way to come up with offer prices.
Unfortunately, Zestimates are often inaccurate. In fact, they’re off by an average of 8% nationally, which is a pretty shocking disparity.
Apps and listing sites readily admit their information might not be accurate; most all have a disclaimer page stating that information on their site may be inaccurate and encouraging potential buyers or sellers to verify all information independently.
Moral of the story: when you deal with real estate apps, you’re also going to be dealing with a lot of misinformation, which can derail your home sale or search.
What to do instead
As you can see, real estate apps aren’t your best bet when it comes to buying or selling a home. You’ll end up wasting time and energy on fake or out-of-date listings or inaccurate information. That’s why it’s always best to work with a real estate agent. Agents have access to the most up-to-date, accurate information through the MLS, which will ensure that as a buyer, every home you see is exactly what you expect it to be, and as a seller, every potential buyer that comes to tour your home will know exactly what they’re getting into.
The best website to use though in my opinion is my website! Go to http://jaymattlin.realtor and search to your heart’s content and contact me when you’re ready to take that next step!
Whether you’re prepping your home for sale, or plan on enjoying it for years to come, getting it into tip-top shape should be a high priority. A priority, mind you, that doesn’t have to break the bank. Here’s a list of 18 satisfying home upgrades that you can perform yourself with little to no specialized knowledge or experience.