Infinitely More Important Than Real Estate

January 6, 2008

Jaiden Tlapa

One of my colleagues, and one of the office’s most successful agents, Diane Tlapa, suffered a terrible tragedy on December 20th when her 8-year old granddaughter, Jaiden, had a horrific snowblower accident at her home in New Hampshire. She remains in critical conditions at Childrens’ Hospital in Boston. Updates on Jaiden’s progress can be found at the Ribbons for Jaiden blog. Whether you are religious or spiritual or not, please say a prayer for this special little girl. As a father, this one is very, very tough.


A Very Congressional Christmas

December 29, 2007

Congress passed a favorable tax bill just before breaking for the holidays which has generous implications for real estate. A month ago if a couple, filing jointly, sold a principal residence they could exclude up to $500,000 in gain. Single filers could exclude up to $250,000. This is a huge chuck of change and a good reason people who buy homes below market value wait EXACTLY two years to sell them after living there. Heck, I know people who move every two years just to take the un-taxed gain! This was all well and good unless your spouse happen to die.

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Evel Knievel R.I.P.

November 30, 2007


My 3 absolute favorite toys growing up were (1) My Steve Austin Bionic Man Action Figure and spaceship (2) My G.I. Joe Action Figure and camp set and (3) My Evel Knievel stunt cycle.

R.I.P. Evel Knievel 1938-2007


A Picture Ain’t Always Worth 1,000 Words.

November 29, 2007


While recently researching potential properties for some buyer clients of mine, I came across a listing with the above photo attached. Good area, decent price and it seemed to have several of the features my buyers were looking for. Although MLS allows agents to upload 30+ photos for each listing, this was the only photo attached to this listing. Seeing the remnants of snow on the roof , and knowing we hadn’t had any yet this season, I took a look at the listing history of this property. This property has been on the market for 626 days. It originally listed back on March 1, 2006. We probably had some snow back then. Seeing a listing like this iritates me for several reasons: Read the rest of this entry »


There’s OIL in them there tanks, partner! Isn’t there?

November 28, 2007

Note to any Realtors working in sub-human winter conditions like the Northeast. If you have any listings of properties that are vacant and heated by oil, check the oil tank today and if it needs filling, get the oilman out there ASAP. It’s easy to forget about these types of things when no one is actually living there. And the worst way to be reminded about the lack of oil in the tank is a fresh set of frozen pipes. Realtors in the south and west, please ignore this post and have yourself a very Green Christmas, you warm-blooded bastards. 37 and dropping here in Boston.



VRM Doesn’t Work in a Buyer’s Market

November 27, 2007

I’m amazed at the amount of VRM, or Value Range Marketing, listings I continue to see in our area despite the indisputable buyer’s market we are currently in. VRM is where a listing agent sets a “value range” for the price of the listing. My favorite is something like this…”Seller will entertain offers between $420,000 and $460,000″. Usually this is a listing that has been on the market for about 180 (or more) days and started off way back when at around $500,000. The truth is the sellers will “entertain” a warm body showing some interest in their OPT (Over-Priced Turkey). Unless you have buyers fist fighting each other and walking over fallen bodies to get their offers in first (remember those days???) VRM simply says “we want SOME KIND OF OFFER and it would be really great if it was AT LEAST $420,000….pretty, pretty please.” Read the rest of this entry »