J V L
Member Since May 13th, 2006
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Nov 11th 2012 1:50PM It's really very simple. Your realtor does not work for YOU. Your realtor is in the business of turning over houses in order to earn a living. Trust NOTHING a realtor tells you.
Hire an INDEPENDENT (and NOT one recommended by your realtor) REPUTABLE home inspector. The cost is about $500 or so for an intensive look at the house. Before I bought my home, I hired a home inspector. He discovered that the fireplace could not be used until it was repaired, that there was no flow regulator on the water line into the house, and the water heater was useless, in addition to a couple of other easily fixable problems.
That becomes a negotiation item with your seller and his realtor. Either get the price of the house reduced or force the repairs in order to complete the sale. It's not a dream home if the repairs become nightmares!
It's money well spent, and I'd rather walk away from my "dream home" than buy a house that costs me a second mortgage to make livable.
Sep 30th 2012 2:33AM Then you have never been in a coal town. Those houses are built right next to each other, with a firewall between only a few of them. When there is a fire in any block, everyone on the block is impacted.
Usually suburbs of more recently-incorporated cities have zoning regulations, but variances can be obtained for just about any regulation, including the amount of grassy area between houses.
Sep 30th 2012 2:30AM One of my cousins and her husband bought a home in CA (most of the family live in PA). One evening, she took her children upstairs to bathe and put them to bed; her husband went to the kitchen to get a snack. At that moment, a speeding car lost control and crashed through their living room window into the living room they had just vacated.
Usually, when the government wants to put in a new ramp or lane or whatever, the homeowner is offered the current market price of their home. If that is the case, and these people decided to stay in their house, they have no one to blame but themselves. Their autistic child is THEIR problem, not the government's. Their only choice is to move--and that's the same predicament that hundreds of thousands of us are in right now. Our homes are worth less than we paid for them--even if we bought them BEFORE the "bubble."
Sep 28th 2012 7:28PM The moral of the story is: get to the airport EARLY. Allow time to go through the screening and CHECK YOUR CARRYONS.
Do NOT pack anything of value in your suitcase that will be stowed in the airplane hold.
Another good foil for women is to trash up a purse with sanitary items, a billfold with fake credit cards and one or two dollars only in it, and put your REAL wallet someplace else.
If the TSA agent tries to separate you from your laptop, bag, etc., ask for a supervisor IMMEDIATELY. Memphis, TN airport TSA are KNOWN to move you on the opposite end of the screening area AWAY from your carryon, purse, or briefcase.
DON'T BE A VICTIM. They are paid for out of TAXPAYER money.
If there are problems, get names, dates, times and CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN.
Sep 22nd 2012 1:46PM Get a good lawyer, friend. You've jumped through the city's hoops. They acted like the bureaucratic idiots they are. Sue them into repaying you for your lawyers' fees (you'll need a good team), your court costs, your time, and the money you spent fixing up THEIR blight so you could own and operate a business that would put tax money into their coffers.
Philadelphia is loaded with really good lawyers. Hire them.
Sep 8th 2012 9:48PM I would NEVER want to rent again. Rentals mean the landlord walks in and out of your home at will on inspections. Rentals mean you are not the only one to have a key to your home. Rentals mean you never build any equity. Rentals mean that the landlord can call you on Christmas Eve to wish you a happy holiday and tell you that he's selling the house out from under you. (Yes, that happened.)
I was 51 when I was able to buy my first home. I bought it BEFORE the bubble and, now that the bubble has burst, I find that it is worth $30,000 less than I paid for it BEFORE THE BUBBLE.
But it's mine. I make the payment and I do without other things, because it is my home. No one can put me out of it (except the bank if I don't pay) and no one can walk into it at will.
Sep 1st 2012 4:25PM Again, they left out San Bernardino, where houses that sold, during the bubble, for $450,000 are now worth $140,000 or slightly more, with no chance of being able to sell them, as Berdoo is a city that just filed bankruptcy, there is no real industry, and the tax base is nil due to the vast number of illegals who flock there.
Aug 18th 2012 1:56PM You get what you pay for. Hotels may include the cost of your breakfast in the room rate, but they don't really expect you to eat there. In most places, there are quite a few other options in the area and travelers prefer them.
Personally, I've had the "free" breakfast in various chains and I've found them to be, yes, mediocre, but the hot food was hot; the cold food was cold, and the milk was well-chilled. (It's a health code violation to keep milk below a certain temperature and a phone call to the local board of health would have been more efficacious than your pancake demo to clerical staff who haven't got the power to do much!)
One of the most wonderful dinners that I ever had was in a chain hotel's dining room where I met up with a life-long friend. We chose, instead of going out to some noisy place, to dine in the hotel's dining room. We were the only customers. The wait staff was polite and attentive and we were able to catch up in peace over a meal that the chef actually had time to fuss over.
Aug 4th 2012 1:07PM When I retire and sell my house, I will set it up the way I please. No Realtor is going to tell me how to arrange the furniture, what color to repaint the rooms--again, or put a lock-box on the door.
First, if you're going to buy a home that is currently occupied, then be prepared for those people to actually be LIVING there. It's not that hard to judge room size, traffic flow, etc. If you can't, then don't go looking at houses.
Second,I STILL LIVE HERE. I am NOT going to rearrange my life, my life-style, MY home--and it is MY home until escrow closes--on a realtor's whim or your personal desires. Buy the house and put YOUR furniture where you want in it. Leave mine ALONE.
Third, quit looking at the color of the existing walls. Even if they're white you're planning to paint them your way, anyway. So,look past it.
Fourth, I am NOT putting a lock-box on my home so that the hoi polloi can ingress and egress at their desire. I sleep here. I shower here. I use the bathroom here. Make the appointment for Sunday afternoon. THAT's when the house will show. If a realtor is having open houses on Sunday, then that's when my home will show. (Tip: realtors are expected to leave calling cards. But they don't watch their clients like a hawk. I have friends who've told me NIGHTMARE stories of things that have disappeared from their homes when they've used the "lock-box" on their door for the realtors.)
Jul 22nd 2012 10:13PM Yeah...rent...until the economy improves and the owner decides to sell the house out from under you and you're homeless AGAIN. You're better off in an apartment until you can fix your credit rating and save for a down payment.
By the way...how did this woman wind up with a house and a payment she could not afford after her divorce? Did she take over the house instead of alimony? Did she get her child support reduced by being given the home in the settlement?
Women make a mistake in a divorce trying to maintain the status quo. It's far better to "bite the bullet" and reduce your standard of living until you can build back up to it. It takes a little time, but it's worth it.
RENTING someone's house is a HUGE mistake. They can sell it out from under you and the new owner has no obligation to continue renting it to you unless the new owner chooses to.