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Blog Posts in 2006

  • To List Or Not To List

    An excellent broker (and irreplaceable friend), asked me to address the alternatives available when a Realtor is asked to market distressed property. This article is the result of my struggle to derive from the circumstances some rules that might be useful. To the extent these comments assist, please receive them with the understanding that my effort is to help, not hinder. If you find the ...
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  • When You Smell Something Odd

    I received a call from a real estate owner whose property is listed for $ 1.1 million. She had just received a verbal offer for $1.5 million, but with the condition that she pay back to the Purchaser $350,000 cash “outside the closing”. If she agrees to pay back $350,000.00 to the Purchaser, the Purchaser’s agent will prepare the offer in writing. Quick math will show that the owner was to make an ...
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  • What Title Insurance Does Not Do

    In a prior article I wrote about title insurance. A reader asked whether all title policies are the same and whether, because you have a policy, you therefore have good title. My answer was, not on your life. The exceptions schedule attached to your policy is hand tailored for each closing, and what one hand gives (the coverages page), the other (the exceptions page) may take away. Remember that ...
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  • What Now?

    Last week I wrote about the proposed Okaloosa County sales tax and its hopeful (by me) impact on transportation facilities. Again, I proved my political sagacity by jumping on a position supported by only a minuscule percent of the voters. I accept the vote, not because I want to, but for the umpteenth time in my life, because I have no choice. The question that leaves us with, however, is, what ...
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  • One Percent Sales Tax

    Age has given me a perspective I never had. I know now, for instance, what happens when we eat, every day, a little more than we exercise. Over time our clothes begin to creak and give way to the pressure of too much stuff in a too small a container. Yet we lie to ourselves again, because to do is easy, and there’s no one really looking. Okaloosa County has done just that. If our County had grown ...
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  • Are All Title Policies The Same?

    Unfortunately, I seldom get questions from articles written in this space. My office assures me that is probably not because no one reads these articles, though I suspect otherwise. Even though I am ecstatic to have the question asked, I promise I did not plant the question and I am glad it occurred to someone that it was important. The question was from a purchaser who had been promised at a ...
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  • The Dumbest Thing We Do Every Day

    Every day we look at a contract. We either write it, we read someone else’s contract and try to understand it, or someone reads our contracts for the same reasons. Part of the frustrating reality of a contract is that it is almost impossible to write one of any complexity at all and have any two people agree on what every part of it means. This article is about the dumbest of all contract ...
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  • To Exchange Is Minimum Professional Advice

    This article has two messages. The first is for our mutual benefit; the second is intended for Realtors. First, the matter of real estate closing, and our mutual advantage. I see too many closing documents, including closing statements, that have some aspect of their content that contains a glaring, stupid error. Sometimes the error is mine; sometimes someone else should claim it. But the intent ...
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  • Do You Really Need A Lawyer?

    I wish I could say we are entering a time of financial and real property uncertainty. Unfortunately, that is not true. We know too much to claim uncertainty. Houses and condo units are sitting on the market with high mortgage balances, probably with increasing interest rates, and many of those were purchased at prices which were never sustained by the rental market. Now that the market has ...
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  • Affordable Housing Myth

    Be careful what you ask, because you just may get it. We ask the BRAC gods to shine upon us, and they did. Turn the page. There are those who believe they can make the answers simple. Re-thing density. Change requirements for concurrency. Get on with building, and we worry about the niceties of planning and bringing infrastructure up to day some time in the future. The temptations for the ...
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  • "Affordable Housing" : At What Cost, And To Whom?

    Our community will be known not just by it’s waterfront homes and ocean-front condominiums, but by the houses we are about to build, which the vogue is to call “affordable housing”. It isn’t our right, as those who got here first and already have our waterfront, to insist that others cannot live here unless they have comparable homes; nor is it our right to create regulations for the construction ...
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