Nothing will motivate a man to move forward faster than knowing what's behind Him.

Archive for the ‘Miser’ Category

Home Buyers Beware

It’s A Racket

If you remember the housing bubble, then you should remember when it burst.  Well get ready for Housing Bubble Burst Part II.

Your “Buyer’s” Agent

Fresh out of a Seminar, the job of the agent is to close the deal.  They are brokers.  They are closers,  they don’t make any money until the deal is closed.   So, make no mistake, your buyer’s agent is all about the money.  He/She is all about their commission.   One thing you need to understand is that the more they sell the house for the more money they will make.    Some offers never make it to the seller because of the commission factor.   Each agent has a minimum that they are willing to work for and it’s all in the price of the house.    Very seldom do a buyer actually get to see or haggle with the owner, in fact you may or may not see them at the closing.

This agent is ready and willing to write up and offer and take your “earnest” Money.   Never, and I mean never give anyone any money unless that house is exactly the way you want it.   This is not a handshake deal, they have your money and all you have is a promise.   This agent don’t own this property, yet they will make excuses about the property.  They want to close.    They want you to like the property enough to give up the money, even though there are problems.   I will get into property conditions in a future publication.  The buyer’s agent will  likely not know anything about the house you want to see.  Check with the listing agent to see if the property is available, your agent may not know. There is absolutely no reason for an agent to show you a property that has already been sold.   If this happens, immediately find yourself another agent.    The listing may be sold and just not updated on the Multi-listing Service (MLS).   Unless they are willing to do the foot work for you, you are basically on your own.   You tell  “your” agent how much you have/qualified for, how many rooms, bathrooms, square feet and all the things you want in a home.  Besides,  buying a home is the most important commitment you will make, second only to marriage.   Keep in mind that being a  real estate agent does not require a college degree.  Getting a  real estate broker’s license is easy.   All is needed is 90 hours in classes.    A Real Estate agent do not take an oath with their hand on a bible vowing to give you the best deal you can get.  That being said, you will at least one time end up at a house that is nothing like the house you told the agent you wanted.   You are not paying for their services, so why should they go out of their way for you.  That is the attitude you should have.   Besides,  they see you as a person that is under the illusion that you are some day going to actually own a home.

You need to research the real Estate laws in your state.  Then consider agents has already attended that seminar  found some loopholes and end runs around them. There are a few things that you should realize.    You will never own your home free and clear.  There will always be property taxes, where the county levy against you according to the value that they think it’s worth.  This method incorporates two ways of increasing your taxes.   One in which the county just outright increase your tax rate, and other is when they increase the taxable value of your home.   Tax Levies in some counties and cities are put to a vote.  This is sometimes disguised on a ballot as a temporary tax that will expire in a few years.   In a few years it is put back on the ballot as not raising you taxes, in which I might add is the year that the initial levy is to expire and your taxes would go down.   In any case there would be a value assessment done and home values would be raised to accommodate the taxes needed.   Are you getting the feeling that you might need some Vaseline?    Then there is eminent domain, where the city, county, state or Federal government can come in and take your property just because they found a use for it.   More Vaseline anyone?

A Real estate agent is on the same level as a used car salesmen.   They don’t own the property, they don’t know much about it,  they only know how much it is and where it is.  I can’t stress this enough, they want to sell it to you by any means that they can.    If they have their way you will hit the ground running and in a few years your home (for what ever reason) will be back on the market.   That is their lively hood,  recycling homes.      Ask your potential agent “how many newly built homes have they sold?”     If none then, your agent is Entirely in the home recycling business, and we all know how vicious and cutthroat the recycling industry can be.


Ghost Bidding

Once your (Buyer’s) Agent have summited a written offer to the listing agent, you may be contacted by your “buyer’s” Agent and told that they have gotten a lot of offers for the house and suggest that you raise your offer.  It’s not like you are at auction and can see who you are bidding against.  In fact you may be bidding against yourself.   The agent works on a commission and the more the house sell for the higher the commission.   It’s not in their financial best interest to get you the best price.   Don’t be a glorified lollipop (sucker) and fall into the real estate trap.   You are making an  offer, they will either accept it or a better offer.   They will not tell you how much the other offer is.  You will only know how much the property sold for after the agents close the deal and all is paid.   Never consider it as losing a bid, you made an offer, you did not enter a bid, this is not an auction.   You didn’t lose anything.  You still have your money, and you are not burdened with an over  priced home.  As is the case and the result of so many foreclosures today.    Most people don’t realize that they not only have to pay for the home but has to maintain the home.    Buying an overpriced home don’t leave any wiggle room for maintenance, upgrades and improvements.    Don’t allow your “buyer’s” Agent to get you bogged down with promissory notes.

Definition of “Promissory Note”

A financial instrument that contains a written promise by one party to pay another party a definite sum of money either on demand or at a specified future date. A promissory note typically contains all the terms pertaining to the indebtedness by the issuer or maker to the note’s payee, such as the amount, interest rate, maturity date, date and place of issuance, and issuer’s signature. The 1930 international convention that governs promissory notes and bills of exchange also stipulates that the term “promissory note” should be inserted in the body of the instrument and should contain an unconditional promise to pay.

Submitting an Offer

They love to ask the question “Are You Approved”?” and “how much are you qualified for?”.    Never tell them how much you are qualified for, tell them how much you are willing to finance.    Just because you qualify for 400,000 do not mean you have to go out looking for a home for 400,000 even though the $ signs and % signs are flashing all through the agents head.

When the offer is written by a good realtor, a realtor that truly represents you will go in under the asking price so as to have some wiggle room for negotiations.  Most offers, if for the asking price will require the seller to pay all closing.   If your agent can’t accomplish that, then immediately get yourself  another agent.  It will be in your best interest to require that they accept your offer by a certain time of a certain date.   if they do not accept it by the stipulated time and date given, proceed to recover your earnest money immediately.   No further negotiations on your part is required.    If your agent suggest that you resubmit an another offer,  if you chose to do so, do so without any earnest money.

Insure that there is a stipulation that the property will be vacated by the closing date.   At closing, you will be responsible and liable for the property. Allowing the owners to occupy the home after closing without contract could  subject you to liabilities and damages to the property that you would be hard pressed to recover from.  It’s not worth it.     There also should be a stipulation that all trash is to be removed.    Also should be stipulated that any and all personal property that is left behind will be forfeited by the owners and shall immediately become the property of (You) the new owners.

Don’t be surprised after a couple of offers, your agent email or text you that they will no longer represent or work with you.    Don’t be offended,  they realize that you are not a glorified lollipop (sucker).

A professional would not allow it to get to this point.   A professional would work with you and only show you homes within your criteria and within your means to pay.    They would not expect you to settle for less or over extend your budget.    A professional will find you a home, write up a reasonable offer, insure all the paper work is done to present to your lender close the deal and move on to the next buyer.

If you listen to some agents closely, you would think they are representing the seller.     These UNPRO’s are urgently trying to close the deal, even at your expense.   Besides, you are  actually the only person in this deal that is spending money.    Any money being spent by the seller is only after they are paid or comes out of the price of the home.

Remember,  you are the one that will have a mortgage, you are the one that will have the liability and responsibility after closing and the seller and broker is paid.   You are the one that will have to pay taxes, maintenance, upkeep and improvements over the next possible 30 years.    Buying a home is not a speedy process, so don’t allow any agent to rush you into something that’s  going to take you 30 years  to get out of.  Don’t worry about the one that got away, think about it as the one that got out of your way.

Always be mindful of what your mortgage payments will be.  Keep in touch  with your lender so you will be apprised of the interest rates.   Go over your financing to see what you maximum payments will be.   Just because you qualify for a certain amount don’t mean you need to spend that amount.


To Be Continued and Updated……….Continue to Part II

The Solar Energy Equation

power needed x 2 = inverter power

if you needed 250 watts

250 X 2 = 500

500 would be your inverter power

inverter power / 500 = batteries @ 100ah

500 / 500 = 1 battery @ 100am

if your inverter power was 750-1000 watts you would want 2 batteries @ 100ah

if your inverter power was 2000 watts you would want 4 100ah batteries.

solar panels =  90 watts x 100ah batteries

if you had 1 100ah battery you would want 90 watts of solar panels to be useful  

keep in mind that 15 watts = approx. 1 amp.   an ideal charging rate is 10 amps which is about 150 watts.  

if you had 2 100ah batteries you would want 180 watts of solar panels.

Don’t get me wrong, you can have a 45 watt solar panel system but don’t let your battery go flat 11.9 volts you will be days on end to top off your 100ah battery


The ideal beginner solar system would be 500 watt inverter, 1 100ah battery and 90 watts of solar panels.   


My Solar Transfer Switch

This is my Solar Transfer Switch, I made it to switch from house current to my solar panels during peak rates.

Give Yourself a Tax Break (Tax Cuts For The Rest Of Us)

You can’t depend on a politician to give you a tax cut.  He may appear to give you a tax cut while putting money in your right pocket while at the same time,  taking it out of your left pocket.  He will lower your taxes with one hand and raised them with the other hand.  The really bold ones with lower your taxes by 10% and in one place and raised them 15% in an other place.   Got to watch those politicians.   The are a “Smile in ya face, frown at ya back” breed.   Besides, the way they see it is, all you gave them is your one vote, the other guys, you know the lobbyist, gives them millions to serve their client’s (big business) cause.

Tax cuts for big business, well, we need to learn a lesson about how big business do business.    For instance, if big business need more capital, they will appeal to legislators via Lobbyist for tax breaks.   Well my friends, the buck stops with you.   If you don’t do business with these companies they won’t have a tax to cut.

The old conception that businesses will provide more jobs with these tax cuts has not been proven.  After 10 years the jobs  has not came to reality.   The economy is slowly sinking yet these tax cuts for big business are still touted as the remedy to pick this economy up.

Here is a concept,  eliminate the tax cuts, everybody pays their fair share.   When those companies make so much they stop production, other companies will pick up production therefore hiring more employees to keep up production.   It’s called sharing the wealth.   Take a 10 million dollar company  with tax breaks for instance,  why not have 2 five million dollar companies with no tax breaks.   Or even better have 4  2.5 million dollar companies with no tax cuts.    Face it, if a company gobbles up another company with tax cuts, it not only have it’s own tax cuts but the company’s tax cuts that it consumed.   Then after 6 months if not immediately, the layoff  begins, the trimming starts, yet the tax cuts stay in place.

Unlike big business, you don’t have lobbyist.   Oh, you mean your senator,  congressman or governor, lol.   They are the ones being lobbied by big business.   Big business is filling your elected official’s pockets with millions of dollars of your money to do their bidding.   Here’s how it works,  taxes are collected from you and big business.  Lobbyist on behalf of big business, stuff the pockets of senators, congressmen and governors so they will pass legislation for tax cuts,  local taxes (utilities, car tabs, gas tax, sales tax, property tax) are raised to compensate for the tax cuts for the rich and big business.  Oh, and because big business don’t pay their fair share, a lot of social programs take a trip out back to the chopping block.

Now, it’s our turn.  let’s give ourselves a tax brake, yes that’s right, brake as in stop, slow down, discontinue.  BRAKE.

Take your utility company for instance.   They will provide you with tips on how to save energy.  Some will even come out and check your home for air leaks that your heat or AC may escape.   They will do this out  one side of their mouth and at the same time apply to the utilities commission for a rate hike out of the other side of their mouth.

As soon as you hear about a utilities rate hike, immediately start thinking of ways to cut back usage and stick to it.

1. Put plastic over your window.

2. Insure that doors are well sealed.

3. Turn off lights and heat  in rooms that are not being used.

4. Turn you water heater down to 120 degrees.

5. Consider washing the dishes once a day.

6. Set up a solar charging station for your electronics. You may want to consider setting up a small (45 watt solar system from Harbor Freight).   Use a power strip (one with an on/off switch) that will accommodate  those wall chargers.   When not in use turn the switch off.  Those wall chargers consumes energy any time it’s plugged in even though its not charging your electronic device.  Keep all chargers in one drawer, using clear zip lock baggies to put each one in.  Lable them if needed.

7. Did you know that your tv (flat screen/HDTV/DTV) consumes energy even when it’s turn off.  It would be a good idea to have it plugged into a power strip with a switch also.  Turn off the strip when away from home long periods of time, such as when you go to work, school or play.

8.  At Night, turn the heat down and put on an extra blanket, you might consider sleeping in socks and  a night cap (the one that goes on your head).

9.  Arrange it so that you can charge your cell phone, mp3 players and other electronic devices in your car when possible even if you have to use an inverter.

10. Desktop Computer….Us a power control panel to plug in you speakers, external modem and any other items.  switch off the panel when not in use.

11. On really cold consecutive days, go to the mall, library.

12. Spend days off volunteering.

If your utility company goes up on your electric bill 10%, cut back your usage 15% or even 20%.

A little motivation to save on your utilities is the fact that the higher your bill is, the more taxes you pay.

Take a look at your Light bill and see who all have their hands in your pocket

So, do you want a tax brake,  lower your utility bill.

If you pay water bill, in some areas your sewer bill is determined by how much water you use.  So, when you wash your car or water your lawn or garden your sewer bill goes up even though the water is not going down the sewer.  They too will also talk out the side of their mouths touting saving you money by offering sometimes even free shower head and faucet aerators.   At the same time, doing everything they can to raise your rates.

Support local organizations that hold car washes i.e. girl/boy scouts, school bands/choirs and other non profit organizations.

Use rain barrels to catch water for your garden and feed your animals.    A friend of mine even use rain water to flush his commode.

Do you want a tax brake, lower your water and sewer bill.

I would mention how to make the price of gas go down but the last time we did that, everyone went out the day before the boycott and filled up their tanks and the stations closed on that day and gave the employees two days paid vacation.  The price of gas didn’t go down and it was considered a miserable failure.

So, I can only say…..

1. Yes, keep your tires inflated to recommended PSI, Thanks Barack.

2. Combine trips to the store.

3.  Keep your car properly tuned.

4. Avoid sudden stops and accelerations.

5. Operate vehicle smoothly, don’t get into a position battle with the car beside you.

6. Take the extra load out of your vehicle.  i.e. golf clubs, luggauge and junk.

If your vehicle holds more than 15 gallons, don’t buy more than 10 gallon at a time, All the extra weight causes you to get less gas milage, especially driving around town.   If there were no state and federal gas tax, gas would be half the price it is now.  Did you know for instance in Washington state Owners of LP Gas vehicles pay an annual fee of 37.50 to make up for the taxes loss by not buying gasoline.   There is pending legislation  for electric vehicle owners to pay $200-$300 annual fee in addition to tab fees.

Do you want a tax brake, lower your gas bill.

Do you use your cell phone more than your home phone (land line)?   You might consider disconnecting your home phone.   You would be be surprise that how many people do not have a home phone.  There is a utility tax for your home phone service.

Look at you phone bill and see who all have their hands in your pocket.

Want a tax brake, discontinue your land line (home phone) service.

I’m saving this one for last because I know how hard it will be.   You might want to chip away at your cable bill.  Discontinue some premium channels.

Your internet, if you call your company to discontinue you internet, you may be introduced to a GREAT deal for continued service.  Sometimes this works and sometime they will attempt call your bluff.   You may have to discontinue for a few months (frown) then call up on one of those deals you get in the mail or see on tv.

Want a tax brake, lower your internet bill.

You are on your own, nobody is going to give you a tax brake.   You have to give your self a tax brake.

Brake….stop, discontinue, halt.  To be slowed or stopped.

So put the brakes on your taxes.

Start cutting your taxes today!!!

Stay tuned!!!

To Be continued………

Here is a link to an idea that will save you money.   If you try it, let me know how it works out for you.

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