Tracking trend lines and decoder rings

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What ever gave you the idea that you could turn to one source for all the answers about what is going on in real estate today? If you read several newsletters every week and everything in the primary news outlets plus watch some pundits on TV, you might be exposing yourself to half of what you would need to know to consider yourself an expert.

And in case you were going to ask, I am not an expert and do not support anyone making big decisions based on what they might read in this blog. I am a student of real estate and have been same for several decades. I know so much more now than I did in the 1970’s when I first looked at houses to buy. But you know its kind of funny; now I am certain I do not know enough, while back then I was fairly sure I knew enough to sign a 30 year note and mortgage. If you want to sleep at night and not tremble when asked about your financial condition during that next IRS audit, ask lots and lots of questions. And ask someone you know and trust what the really good questions are to ask in the first place.

The list of things you might never know enough about includes: what a lender will do when a borrower goes into default – what a borrower should do if they cannot keep current on scheduled payments – what a homeowner should do if they learn the neighbor’s improvements encroach into their property – when a good time is to protest property taxes perceived as being too high – why lenders want you to pay taxes and insurance into an escrow account that they control – what kind of insurance is minimal and what, though extra cost, should be considered – who should be named in your will – should you put your primary residence into a family trust – what is radon – do good fences make good neighbors – and the list goes on. If you are an owner now, become a scholar and learn all you can about your home and its clarity of title and its integrity of construction and its zoning and its value and its replacement value – and the list goes on. If you are considering buying a home, the list of questions to ask is almost endless. Keep asking until you are satisfied that you have learned everything you need to know before purchasing. After you close on the purchase, you won’t care as much and will not expect to have to keep learning until a problem arises and you find out something you had no idea could become an issue. Maybe you have a residential water well and it goes dry. Maybe you have a flat roof and it starts leaking (IF it would ever start raining, we could find out which roofs are good and which need work). Maybe you have that Entran product in your home and it starts to fail. Maybe you are alarmed to see a neighbor adding a second story that you thought was not allowed.

Take time to differentiate between actual facts you can verify & believe in and that decoder ring that flashes green when it thinks you should buy the object you are holding in your hands. When it comes to jewelry, call a jeweler. When it comes to real estate, contact a Realtor that is striving to become an expert and is a student of the industry.

Posted in Posts & Updates.

The writer is a 68 year-old young man engaged as an active REALTOR (associate broker) with Keller Williams, in real estate sales and management in the Santa Fe NM market area. My career has been in and around the real estate industry for more than 35 years, ranging from mortgage lending (interim, commercial, residential); residential property management and leasing; shopping center development and leasing; real estate sales; sales training; title insurance as an executive and an escrow officer; various management positions; consulting and other related activities. That plus a bunch of banking experience including our family-owned Bank of Santa Fe in the 1980s. Where has the time gone?
My background means you have my working knowledge of the entire transaction process at your disposal. That comes with honesty and no bullshit.