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Category Archives: Alachua property

FSBO’s MUST BE READY TO NEGOTIATE

If you view all the things that happen to you, both good and bad, as opportunities, then you operate out of a higher level of consciousness.”~ Les Brown

FSBO’s Must Be Ready to Negotiate | Keeping Current Matters

Now that the market has showed signs of recovery, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their home on their own (FSBO) without using the services of a real estate professional.

Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation. In most cases, the seller is not. The seller must realize their ability to negotiate will determine whether they can get the best deal for themselves and their family.

Here is a list of some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they decide to FSBO:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
  • The termite company if there are challenges
  • The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
  • The town or municipality if you need to get the COs permits mentioned above
  • The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges on the house your buyer is selling.
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale

Bottom Line

The percentage of sellers who have hired a real estate agent to sell their home has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Meet with a professional in your local market to see the difference they can make in easing the process.

HOME OWNERSHIP RATES: ARE THEY CRASHING?

“You can make all the excuses you want, but if you are not mentally tough, and you’re not prepared to play every night, you’re not going to win. “ ~ Larry Bird

 

Homeownership Rates: Are They Crashing? | Keeping Current Matters

The Census recently released their 2014 Home ownership Statistics, and many began to worry that Americans have taken a step back from the notion of home ownership.

Easy… Chicken Little

The national homeownership rate peaked in 2004, representing a 69.2% of Americans who bought vs. rented their primary residence. Many have noticed a decline in rates since then and taken that as a bad sign.

However, if you look at the national rate over the last 30 years (1984-2014), you can see that the current homeownership rate has returned closer to the historic norm. 2014 ended the year with a rate of 64% just under the rate in 1985 and 1995.

Homeownership Rates Historically | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

With interest rates and prices still below where experts predict, evaluate your ability to purchase a home with a local real estate professional.

“SHORT SALE” Great Starter Home!

“SHORT SALE”  Great Starter Home!

This is a great home for the price.  The neighborhood is excellent and the lot is one of the larger lots in the area.  All in all,  this little brick gem is a great deal! I sold this home to the owners originally, and now it is time for them to move on.  So here I am selling the home once again. It is adorable and whoever buys this home will be very happy in it as my sellers are. To view more pictures of this home click on the link below.

“SHORT SALE” Great Starter Home!.

DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE!

“For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news.”  – Gloria Borger

You hear the bad news everywhere you turn. It’s on the television, the Internet, the radio and in print headlines. A lot of negative coverage has been devoted to today’s housing market.  What you don’t hear is the good news about the real estate market and the many reasons why the current real estate market may be beneficial to you.

Bad news sells newspapers and gets high television ratings; therefore, the media has no reason to report the upside of today’s real estate market to the average American. This is where I come in. For example, did you know that approximately 30 percent of homeowners own their home free and clear?

The current market also affords some great opportunities for those looking to purchase a home. First-time homeowners, move-up buyers and investors can all benefit from low home prices, and historically low-interest rates, making now a great time to lock in a long-term mortgage. Also, the large selection of homes and low sales prices make it a great buyer’s market. And did you know that if you buy in a rural area –Alachua, High Springs and Newberry qualify as rural areas –  you may qualify for a USDA loan, which is a 100% loan – a “no money down” loan.

Ultimately, though, these favorable conditions will go away. As inflation rises, so do interest rates. If you are looking to become a homeowner, you need to strike while the iron is hot!

SHORT SALES – WHAT ARE THEY?

“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.” – William James

First of all, a short sale is not short!  For the general public, that is a misnomer, but for a bank that is an accurate statement.  You see, a short sale falls short of what is owed.  For example: in 2005 you purchased a lovely 4 bedroom, 3 bath home on 10 acres for $425,000.00.  Suddenly this year you lost your job and decided it was best to unload the home and go back and live with mom and dad.   You hired an appraiser – good move on your part to do that up front – and couldn’t believe what you read when you saw the appraiser’s report.  “It’s worth how much now?”  Say it isn’t so.   There isn’t enough equity in the home to do anything with and your thinking -“How am I supposed to come up with over $125,000.00 to give to the bank, just so I can sell?”.

You can negotiate you loan and try to get the payments lowered or you can try to sell for as much as you can and hope the bank will not hold you responsible for the deficiency.  Lot’s of luck! Nowadays most banks want everything they can get and they will bleed you dry.  Have you seen all the new banks going up around town.  Not just little structures but Big, MONUMENTAL, BUILDINGS.

I often wonder if all the money they make goes back into building these large structures.

Anyway, some banks are trying to help the homeowners  – a little late, but I guess it’s better late than never.  These banks are giving incentives to the homeowner to sell. The banks are not just asking anyone to sell, they are contacting people who are in imminent danger of losing their home to foreclosure. These incentives are:

  • Funds for relocating in the amount of a percentage of your unpaid balance.
  • Bank paid for appraisal
  • Closing costs paid by the bank
  • No deficiency judgement for the unpaid balance of the mortgage.

Pretty sweet deal, if I do say so myself.  This is a great deal not just for the seller, but also for the buyer because the prices are very competitive. I have 4 of these short sales myself.  The only catch is they go on the market for 120 days and if they don’t sell in that amount of time they get foreclosed on.

So, if you know anyone looking for a great deal on a well-kept home in Gainesville, FL, please contact me utilizing the “Contact me” sheet on the tab above.

THOSE DAMN YANKEES! pt.3

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”  –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I guess I’m not as young as I used to be.  I thought I would finish my post about those damn Yankees yesterday evening, but I fell asleep at the computer.  I guess I’ll wrap it up this morning before I start my day.

Before I wrap this story up, there is a very funny incident I will try to describe.  As a city slicker, I never thought any animal had a personality except cats and dogs.  Living on a farm has taught me otherwise.  Most of the goats were real sweet.  Some liked to get attention, and a few were skittish. The young goats were very animated and the males were, well, they mostly thought of just one thing – mating!  But I found out that these goats did have individual little personalities different from one another.  I found it thoroughly amazing.

Back to the funny incident.  When goats freshen, unlike humans who are flat on their back in a hospital seeking assistance from a doctor, they usually don’t have any problem.  This one goat was especially nimble.  She had given birth to one kid and after checking out that kid and verifying that all was well, she went about her business of walking around and eating.  Well she wasn’t quite done and as she was walking around, another goat started coming out, but not all the way.  This little one was partly out – the head was out and the sack was broke.  Mama was grazing when she suddenly heard a baby call out to her. She turned around, called back but didn’t see any baby.  Once again the baby call out – baa, baaaa, and mama turned around again and called back but didn’t see a baby.  Now mama was getting panicky and started looking around for this baby that was calling her more and more.  She ran back to the pen to check on the baby she gave birth to, and it was sleeping soundly.  Suddenly she hear the cry again, baa, baaaa, turning around and calling back she still didn’t see a baby.  By this time Rob and I were on the ground in tears laughing so hard.  She was quite a sight – a normal goat head on the one end and a little tiny head sticking out of her rear on the opposite end.  Each one calling the other and not seeing the other.  Luckily with each baaaa, baaaa, the little goat came out a little more and finally finished his journey in the pen next to his sibling.  Mama looked at us when this second goat appeared as if to say, where did he come from?  I wish I had my camera with me at that time, it would have been a great shot.  But of course this happened over the course of a few minutes and I would have missed the whole thing had I gone for my camera.

Eventually our daughter grew up, got married, had a baby and moved away.  Farming and taking care of animals became harder and harder. The chickens were the first to go, not that we ate them or got rid of them, – the coyotes took care of that for us.  One by one we would find a dead hen in the pasture with its stomach ripped wide open and the entrails scattered around.  Not a  pretty site.

The  goats all had names – females had individual names and wethers all had the same name – bar-b-que!  We had regular customers who came to purchase the wethers and eventually all we had left were females.  One day, after an unusually long period of rain, we sold off the remaining herd.  Why did I mention rain you ask?  Well, when it rains a lot, the goats need to be wormed more frequently, and that was a very tedious task that required at minimum two people, and at best three people. With our daughter married and gone, it became a task neither my husband or myself wanted to do.  I usually had to do it alone because he was at work and if I waited for him to have a day off, it felt to him as if he didn’t have a day off.  So we decided to sell the remaining herd to a farmer about 30 miles north of us.  It was a relief to not have the daily task of feeding and corralling the goats, but soon the rear pasture became overgrown again.  We opened the goat pasture back up to Max, our stallion, and during the winter months the rear pasture looked good.  But each summer would bring more and more weeds until even during the winter there were lots of weeds left.  Now with Max gone, it will become a jungle again.

Today a friend will be bringing one of his friends by to check out our rear pasture.  He needs another pasture for his cows.  I guess he has more cows than his land can handle.  I’ve never had cows nor been up close to a cow before.  Cows don’t seem to be very intelligent, but I’ve been told they too have personalities.  I guess I’ll find out if he decides to rent our pasture.  If he ends up not renting out pasture, in the spring we will plant pines. At least the smell will be good and the future sale of the wood in 15-20 years will be something to look forward to.

So, I guess having been down here for 21 years and not planning on leaving or returning to the north makes me a damn Yankee!

THOSE DAMN YANKEES! pt.2

“Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.” –  Oscar Wilde

Last night I got so tired I decided to finish my post today, but I forgot to change the publish date.  I woke up this morning to find a half published post, so, here is “the rest of the story”.

Where was I, oh yes, goat milk.  I learned that you don’t milk a goat in anything but stainless and store the milk in glass only.  For some reason, plastic imparts an unpleasant taste to the milk.  Once I got this technique down, and of course, keeping the rear hooves from either stepping in the bucket or knocking it over, fresh goat milk became a staple in our home.  I even began drinking milk again, like I did as a child. As I got older I stopped drinking milk because I became lactose intolerant.  Goat milk on the other hand, has smaller fat molecules, and therefore is more easily digested. And if you think what is sold in the stores as goat milk tastes good, you’re in for a real treat when you taste fresh goat milk.  It’s really really good! So, now I didn’t have to worry about running out of milk either.

I did draw the line at making butter and cheese. After all, butter will freeze well and cheese lasts a good long time.  So here we had a little farm going, why not grow vegetables too.  My husband roto-tilled up about a quarter of an acre and we planted Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers of all kinds, eggplant squash and various herbs. I also had fruit trees – peach, pear, grapefruit, orange and lemon.  This was starting to be fun.  I even had a section of beautiful antique roses growing and boy, were they beautiful and odoriferous.

Little by little we added more goats, meat goats – two milk goats was all I wanted to milk .  We purchased a few Spanish meat goats along with some Boar goats and of course a buck to keep all the nannies happy.  Then I found out that when the nannies freshened – gave birth, – I would have to eventually wether – neuter – the bucks or they may mate with their mother. Neutering was not a pleasant thought to this city girl, and even more unpleasant to my husband.   This process of banding the testes of a male goat or sheep is called wethering.  I guess it’s called that because when the process is all said and done, at first glance one doesn’t know whether they are looking at a male or female goat.  All kidding aside, or should I say joking aside, this was not my favorite task although not a difficult one.  Soon ten goats became twenty, which became forty and so on untill we were up to seventy-five goats. At this point the rear pasture was pretty much cleaned up.  When we started with goats the rear pasture was so overgrown, there were weeds taller than me.  By the time our goat numbers reached 75 the rear pasture looked like a golf course.  It is at this point that I found out a full-grown goat can squeeze through a hole in the fence the size of  a quarter.

At first it was just two or three goats getting out and getting them back in was fairly easy.  I shook a bucket with feed in it and led the goats back into their pen.  But the more goats that got out, the harder it was to get them back in. What would happen was they would all rush me and my little bucket of feed before I could get them back in their pen. Fifteen goats to one 5′-2″ woman with a bucket of feed – guess who wins – the goats. This was becoming frustrating because there were no visible holes in the fence, how were they getting out?

One day my husband came home from work and the goats were out again.  My husband quickly got them back in and when I came home he told me how he found the goats lounging around the front porch chewing their cud quite contentedly. He also told me how he managed to get them back in. I wondered what those darn goats got into while they were in the front yard, so I went to check things out for myself.  Well they not only got into the front yard, but also the side where our garden was. Luckily, the growing season was over and there were no tomato or pepper plants left.  But as I turned to survey the rest of the garden, I couldn’t believe my eyes, they ate the lower branches off the fruit trees – even the citrus with the thorns. Then I quickly turned to see my rose garden and all I saw were 2 inches of stubby shoots coming from the ground. –  THEY ATE MY ROSES! THORNS AND ALL!! Those *#@#*#*@*#* goats! Then I looked at my husband and told him he’d better find and fix whatever hole they were getting out of.  Later, when I calmed down, we both walked the fence line and found no holes whatsoever.  How were these goats getting out?   I had a plan – tomorrow I would watch from in the house and catch them in the act.

I think those darn goats bugged our house because they didn’t get out the next day, or the day after, or the day after that.  It was actually four days before they finally did the Houdini trick again and this time I caught them.  There was one section of the fence where erosion had left a small space between the bottom of the fence and the ground.  These goats would stick their head under the fence and wiggle their way to the other side. The fence was beginning to curl at that spot, making it even easier for them to escape. Now, how do we fix this?  We could add dirt, but the next rain would just wash it away.  We could block it with objects, but the goats will just find another spot. What to do? My husband decided to put a hot wire near the lower part of the fence, so they couldn’t rub along the fence anymore.  That worked, but we had to be careful when we went in the pen not to let the wire touch us as we opened the gate. Then of course there was the problem of walking too close to the fence when it was sprinkling rain – occasionally an electrical pulse would connect with our skin and send us shaking our head, rubbing our zapped spot and mumbling some incoherent words about goats. Such was life on the farm.

One Saturday, when my in-laws were visiting, we came home from the store to find the back field empty once again.  Together we went looking for the goats and found them two miles down the road happily eating the bushes in a neighbor’s front yard. Rob went back home to get a bucket of feed and the pickup.  The plan was my mother-in-law would sit on the back of the pick up shaking the bucket of feed  so the goats would follow and our daughter and I would try to keep the goats in line following the truck.  If you’ve ever lived in the country, you’ve probably had occasion to wait while a farmer crossed his cows  to another pasture across the road.  When farmers do this they are organized.  Usually there are a few hands on horseback guiding the herd, while there is a truck at both end of a section of road stopping traffic, and a few more men making sure no calves  stray.   Here we were, a couple of city slickers trying to get forty goats down two miles of road.  We might as well have been trying to herd cats. Eventually we did make it back, and all the goats were safe and sound.  But what a fiasco! We did make a few people laugh along the way as they slowly crept by in their cars. I’m sure we were quite a sight!

Oh, I forgot to mention the part about Max, our horse.  We had to fence off a section of the pasture for him when the young goats were old enough to venture out on their own.  Max got along real good with grown goats.  They would graze side by side without a problem. But the young goats of two or so months he thought were his very own play toys. He would pick them up by the back of their neck and toss them a few feet.  That didn’t go over very good with the mommy goats and they would run towards Max  screaming and trying to get their babies to safety. Luckily, there was another section of pasture we could fence off for Max before any of the babies were hurt by his playfulness.

Farming was soon becoming a drudge – no longer fun.

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