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RE Ohio


by David Falter on 11/28/20

I prefer to listen to audiobooks, podcasts and people that are far more advanced in life and investing.  To elevate your mind you need to listen to what is new. hard and uncomfortable if you want to grow as a person.  Life is tough and I at time admit where I just don't want to get out of bed.  That alas is not living.  One of the huge factors in life is your finances.  It's not easy, at times its down right scary and you don't know what your going to do.  If you can, try to control your emotions and realize that is exactly what they are, emotions, they don't make us.  What we observe and how we react and what we do with that information makes us who we are.  It doesn't mean we are correct and it doesn't mean that the opposing side is wrong.   It is just how they were raised, what they believe in life and that controls their thoughts and therefore their reality.  I feel silly for saying this but hey I'm just a person so here goes.  As a kid and even currently I am amazed of the power of the mind and perspective.  Sometime when a body part is cold or warm such as a hand or foot I place it on an opposing body part that is the opposite sensation.  Such as a warm hand on top of a cold hand ect.  I focus on how cold that hand is.  Freezing, clammy damp exposed to a cold breeze.  Then I focus how warm the other hand is protected from the wind, nice and toasty in my coat pocket.  Naturally you take both hands and try to warm the other one up.  If you think about it though you are actually cooling it down or is it the other way around.  Then if I take a second and slow down assumptions on how I feel is my warm hand warming my cool hand or is my cold hand cooling off my warm hand?  Then I focus on the sensation myself and observe that literally in a split second my mind focuses on the cold feeling and a split second I focus my mind on the warmth... Nothing has physically changed, I am just standing there.  So what does your mind and thoughts drift to then is your hands cold or warm.  What I'm getting at is everything changes with thought and observation and how a person relates to it.  If you can elevate your thinking and observations and realize there is no right or wrong answer there is only how YOU perceive the world, your surroundings and your environment.  Everything is based on your hope and what you see, observe and think.  Be aware of your thoughts because they will lead to your future.  2020 has been a rough year, economies have yo-yoed, quarantines and loss of jobs, illness and death and things are just plain scary.  I can't wait for 2020 to be over... I personally had to put my dog down, deal with nasty anxiety and panic attacks, wrecked a bike and have been in and out of hospitals for tests and observations, as part owner of a construction company we had to deal with work not getting done because of covid and the stress of how it affects my partners, owners, bankers workers...everybody.  2020 has been shit.  Also I recently got married, now I have step kids!  I have expanded my real estate business and been kicking but and 2021 looks to be a great year!  The construction business is gaining momentum again.  I going to sell the bike in the spring and get a different toy.  No matter what political party you belong to it gives me hope that through all the term oil that Americans still care strongly about there country.  That we have a vaccine in record time.  In all of history of mankind we are at the peak of healthcare, wealth, the maximum potential to pull people up and help one another.  We are living at the best time in human history!  These are just my observations though.  I'm not right or wrong and neither are you if you disagree.  I just people would use their heads instead of their emotions. 

Overvaluing from the Columbus Dispatch

by David Falter on 10/15/20


Owners prone to overvaluing homes


Do you know what your house is worth? Would you concede that there is a chance that your estimate of its value might be higher than what a buyer would pay?

A new statistical study published in the Journal of Housing Economics found that, on average, homeowners “overestimate the value of their properties by about 8 percent.” Tapping into federal databases, researchers concluded that overvaluations are likely tied to erroneous owner estimations of the capital gains they have accumulated in the house.

The latest Quicken Loans study found a “widening gap” on average across the country between what owners think their homes are worth and the actual market value.

Nobody can blame owners for thinking optimistically about their homes’ value. It’s human nature.

But here’s a question I recently asked real-estate appraisers in different parts of the country: Other than the obvious emotional attachments that color our perceptions of our homes, where do we tend to err in estimating value?

Top of the list: unrealistic expectations about how much the improvements you have made to the house will add to its resale value.

Because you have paid the bills, you know precisely how much you sank into a kitchen remodeling, bathroom upgrades, landscaping and a new roof.

Consumers “may think they can get back what they put into” improvements through the years, said Tom Horn, an appraiser in Birmingham, Ala., “but it doesn’t work that way.”

Annual real-estate surveys consistently show that dollar-for-dollar returns are rarely the case. The 2015 Cost-vs.-Value study byRemodeling magazine and members of the National Association of Realtors found that many expensive improvements don’t come close to paying off what they cost.

Based on national averages, a major kitchen remodeling that cost almost $57,000 would return just 67.8 percent — or $38,485 — in resale value. A backup power generator returned just 59.9 percent; a home office remodeling, 48.7?percent.

A closely related issue: over-improvements of your home compared with the neighborhood norm.

Don Boucher, an appraiser in the Washington, D.C., area, says he sees it all the time: Owners sink tens of thousands into a gourmet kitchen in a neighborhood where nobody else has installed such luxury.

When you renovate a kitchen or any other feature of your house to a level typically seen only in communities where homes cost double what they do in yours, you aren’t going to recoup that extra expense, Boucher said.

Another example of where owners get off-track, according to appraisers, is that they install personal but costly items that most potential buyers don’t need or want such as an indoor lap pool or spa.

Potential buyers might even plan to remove it, giving you nothing in added value in their offer.

And in California, for example, lush landscaping that requires large amounts of water also isn’t adding as much to the value of homes as it previously did given the drought conditions and water restrictions, said Gary Crabtree, an appraiser in Bakersfield, Calif.

Finally, appraisers say owners might not understand the valuation dynamics of their local market.

Owners frequently estimate value based on the square footage of the house, said Glen Kangas, a Los Angeles appraiser.

“In my area, land value is really high,” Kangas said, “so sales with larger lots have a higher price per square foot.”

But owners of below-average-sized lots erroneously apply that higher price per square foot to their home values, he added.

Bottom line: Without access to key data such as recent comparable sales and accurate information on appreciation rates, it’s difficult to know exactly what your house is worth. If you really want to know, consider hiring an appraiser to perform an independent valuation or talk to multiple real-estate agents who specialize in your neighborhood.

Kenneth R. Harney covers housing issues on Capitol Hill for the Washington Post Writers Group.

What is a good Return?

by David Falter on 09/08/20

It's been a busy summer and it doesn't look like its going to slow down for awhile.  Driving back from a current rehab I heard a commercial on the local radio station.  The commercial spot was from a local bank offering 4% on a 20 month CD.  I almost choked and got a bit annoyed by this.  Step back a bit and think about that return.  What is inflation currently?  3-4% but that doesn't include groceries or gas.  Things we need everyday have gone up in price and so has demand.  If you add food, gas and the 3-4% inflation you are looking at more like 5-6% inflation or more.  Basically if you put your money in this advertised CD you would be LOSING money, not making it.  To keep your head above water you should be making roughly 7-8% returns.  If you actually want to make money you should be getting 10% returns or higher.


by David Falter on 08/10/20

You don't have to look to far to find news about real estate markets.  It's easy to get caught up with everyone's opinion and thoughts.  The smartest and best thing you can do is to know your market you live in or will be buying a house.  How long are they on market?  What kind of condition are they in when they sell?  How is the neighborhood?  Is the area up and coming, flat or going downhill?  Are people working?  That just some of the few questions that you need to investigate.  

A small town is not the same as New York city or LA.  A small town is not the same market as Toledo Ohio.  A small town is not the same market as the next town over that is 10 miles away.  And a market is not the same as from one neighborhood to the next.

Inspections, Inspectors & Appraisals

by David Falter on 07/27/20

There are two different kinds of inspectors and two different kinds of appraisers and knowing the difference between the two is very important.

Many people now days will get a government loan vs a more traditional loan from a bank.  With government loans (USDA, HUD, RURAL ect) every property gets appraised for its value.  The caveat of it though is they also act as inspectors.  Essentially they do both...somewhat.  They will either do a drive by inspection and not even get out of their car!  Or they will make the extra effort and walk around the house.  When they do this they will be looking for handrails, GFIs, that the windows are working and the HVAC works.  Then the government appraiser TELLS the owner what they need to do to fix and sell their property to another person.  

The other type of appraiser is a bit different.  This type you hire personally.  They will do almost the same thing as their Gov't counter parts but will be a bit more through and you will be treated as person not a number or a peice of paper on someones desk.  Also and most importantly you will have a CHOICE of who you hire.  These appraisers only do one thing...they appraise.  They don't try to inspections.

That brings me to inspections.  I know all about the ins and outs of this part because I WAS an inspector and owned the inspection company.  Just like every industry their are good apples and bad ones and a few in between.  To become an inspector in a Ohio all you need to do is say you are one.  There are no state requirements or license. Someone could literally wake up and say they are one.,  If the person to try to do a good job and become a decent one they will go to school for a bit and take some classes.  At these courses inspectors are literally told to find issues with a house no matter least I was.  "Find and report as much as possible and make the client feel like they are getting their monies worth".  Common sense is thrown out the window.  The reason why this is taught is because of it being a very sue happy society.  If an inspector misses the smallest thing he could be summoned to court.  Knowing this do you think they will be skittish and weary of what they are inspecting?  Its common place for them to literally make nothing into something.  

Be careful who you hire.  I just recently had house that I was in the process of selling.  The buyer hired the 1st inspector who answered the phone.  He had at least three things in his report that was completely incorrect or just plain ludicrous.  A toilet was leaking and rotting the floor...wrong.  Wood is try and solid and toilet HAD leaked in the past.   Back porch should have more support and if termites get to it it will weaken the floor...wrong.  Termites can not tolerate sunlight and the porch was above the ground by 16".  Plus if I added more support that would just give the imaginary termites more wood to chew into.  The inspector recommend that a solid foundation should be installed or the structure could has been standing for 50 yrs plus with no issues.  Then he also stated the garage roof wasn't supported...wrong.  I framed it in, it is supported and the inspector should have seen that since he took a picture of the framing.  Long story short the inspector was trying to do a good job but failed on some of the report.  The buyer was excited to move into their 1st home but got scared because of the inspection and I lost a sale of a property.  One person made themselves look like a fool, and a couple lost out on the american dream.