Music, the Universal Language

Music, the Universal Language

  This past weekend I went to the Pilgrimage Festival. It is a 2-day music festival, right here in the city of Franklin, Tennessee. There were 25,000 people, in over 90-degree humid heat with very little breeze, Ubers were expensive, there were long lines for food and drinks, and it was awesome! The whole weekend, I saw two police officers besides those directing traffic and they looked very bored. I didn’t see one of the 25,000 attendees causing a scene, getting upset, or being arrested. The crowd was diverse.  Straight, gay, singles, couples, all nationalities, all races, all religions (even a guy dressed like Jesus). The bands ranged from those playing children’s tunes to Southern pop/rock, to alternative, to classic R&B, to new independent bands making their own genre. Everyone had a great time and everyone was there for one thing – MUSIC. A friend recently told me a story about traveling with a band playing in a country that was war torn, where the language was not English and the crowd could barely understand anything they were saying. The people were oppressed but when the band played a classic Eagles tune, the entire audience sang the words in one voice. Music is a tremendous a language that causes political lines to be crossed, makes people color blind and brings masses together in a spiritual way that has nothing to do with religion. I typically write about the real estate market but our world needs more good news. Our world needs more music. Whatever you like to listen to, there are others just like you. Whatever transcends time and space for you and takes you back to a simpler time in your life, others will join you. Whether you’re turning on the radio, performing it, meditating to it, or are sitting out under the stars at a farm in the middle of Franklin, Tennessee watching some of the most skilled of their time, music can be the glue that holds us together when nothing else can. Next time you pull up next to a car and the driver is obviously singing the same song that’s coming out your speakers, sing along and wave. Play something soothing when the baby won’t sleep – it may not help the baby but it probably will you! If we can embrace each other’s taste in music, maybe we can learn to embrace each other, no matter our differences. And, come to think of it, having music on while you’re trying to sell your house can be helpful too. Sorry, had to do...

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Are You Getting a Flu Shot?

Are You Getting a Flu Shot?

  Do you get a flu shot to prevent you from getting the flu? What if you would have never gotten the flu and didn’t need to take the shot? What if you would’ve been just fine but since you got the flu shot, you ended up getting the flu? It’s kind of the same thing when my clients asked me if they should get their house pre-inspected before putting it on the market to sell. A lot of people do it. And most of the time it turns out great. Buyers love the fact that they feel the sellers are being proactive and correcting any issues prior to selling it. Sellers like the fact they are not surprised at the 11th hour, during a sale, with potentially costly repairs. However, the other side of that is the inspector finding a huge laundry list of items that, in his opinion, need to be addressed. Another inspector may not see it the same way but there is a little thing called “disclosure”. If you know of things that are wrong with your property, you have to disclose them, especially if you don’t correct them. In the same way that you would likely be better off getting a flu shot if you were in a high risk category, you want to have a professional take a look at anything you are pretty sure needs some attention. If all your neighbors had damage on their roofs because of a storm, you might want to get a roofing inspector to take a look. Buyers and Sellers can also think inspection items are of different importance. I have had many Buyers tell me they weren’t concerned about something that the Seller thought would need to be fixed immediately. So, what if a buyer would have said they would buy the house as is? What if their inspector never found some of the items your inspector did? What if your inspector was wrong on some things? See how getting the flu shot could actually cause you to get the flu? A pre-inspection could actually cause issues that you never would have had otherwise. I’m not saying that they are a bad idea at all. There are some very valid reasons for getting a pre-sale home inspection. You just need to be aware of the other side before you make the decision. And, by the way, I’m not getting a flu...

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Rain, Rain Go Away

Rain, Rain Go Away

  With all the recent hurricanes, rain is on the forefront of people’s minds. Rain and water can do a lot of damage to a home. Here are some common issues from water and some ways to make the rain, rain, go away.   ROOF LEAKS Find a reputable roofing contractor. I have a great one that will do free inspections. If they find anything that needs to be repaired, they will let you know so you can fix it for a lot less than if you waited until you have water coming in through your kitchen ceiling. Sometimes a fix can be as simple as making sure there are no exposed nail heads. If you keep up with the regular, smaller repairs, you can extend the life of your roof and save yourself money overall.   GUTTER DOWNSPOUTS Gutters are supposed to catch water and direct it away from your house. There are a few things that need to happen to make sure they do their job correctly. They need to be sloped correctly. Water should not sit in the gutters. If it can’t get to the downspouts, it can flow over the top and get into your house in a number of ways. Gutters need to have downspouts. This may seem like common sense, but I have seen plenty of water spilling out onto a patio or in a yard from the second story because there was no downspout attached. Another important element of downspouts is that they divert the water away from the house. They can only do this if they flow out to a splash block (turned the correct way) or if they extend or are buried out into the yard, far enough away from the house. Gutters need to be clean and free of debris. Again, if water can’t flow freely in and out of the gutters, it can’t do its job. Clean them out regularly – more if you have trees near your roof – or get a guard of some sort to keep debris out.   BASEMENTS AND CRAWL SPACES This is a biggie. CHECK YOUR CRAWL SPACES!!! I have seen more sales fall through because of water/moisture issues in a basement or a crawl space. Here in Tennessee, we have humidity. If the slightest bit of water gets into a basement or crawl space, you are asking for trouble. Learn how to properly use and operate your basement and crawl space vents for your area’s conditions. If you have water, get it out. Mold can start to grow and water can ruin and rot materials that are designed to insulate and support the structure of your home. There are many solutions,...

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Falling Temperatures and Falling Prices: 5 Tips for Selling Now

Falling Temperatures and Falling Prices: 5 Tips for Selling Now

  Last week it was in the 80’s. This week it’s in the 70’s and I’m driving with my windows down. Falling temperatures can often times mean falling home prices as well. We are seeing this currently in our market. Spring came early this year. We were seeing houses fly off the shelves starting in early March. That was great for the intense Spring/Summer market we had but now that schools are back in session, and the temperature is falling, we are seeing a bit of a slow down as well as falling prices. Over the summer, I didn’t see many price reductions. Buyers were buying whatever went on the market, within reason. They knew that if they didn’t scoop it up, someone else would and Sellers knew they could get by with pricing it high because it was going to sell. Unfortunately, there are still those Sellers who didn’t get in the market a few months ago and they have heard about how much houses sold for in their neighborhood or how much money their friend made on their house and they think they can do the same thing. In some cases they can, however, Buyers in the market this time of year, typically aren’t as “desperate” to get into a house by a certain time so they take their time, and they hold on to more of their money. Sellers need to make sure they are realistic with their pricing and their expectations. Sales typically take a little longer than they do in the warmer time of year. They also can see that the Buyers aren’t as eager to pay top dollar for their house like the guy that bought the house next door. There are always exceptions, of course, but generally, Sellers will need to have a little more patience and be a bit more negotiable now.   Tips for selling in falling temperatures: Hire a Realtor or make sure you know the exact recent sales price of homes around you. Word of mouth is NOT the best way to price your house. Just because your neighbor said the guy down the street sold his house for “x” doesn’t mean he had all the information. What kind of financing, if any, was there? Were there any Seller concessions and what kind of repairs did the Seller have to make prior to closing? Just because a house in your area sold for “x” back in February, doesn’t mean you can sell yours for that or more. Appraisers like to use comparable sales within 3 months time. If they need to stretch it, they will go back 6 months but if there are other comparable sales that are...

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