Help Me Out Here

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I’m sick of propaganda.  By that I mean ‘news’.  

How does pushing for the complete annihilation of a race of people in ANY way equate to EQUALITY?  In my many IQ points, annihilation means DOMINATION, ERADICATION, violent elimination.  Stop telling me you are tired of all of the KILLING while you are KILLING people.

What we witness now is a perfect illustration of the eradication of LOGIC from society’s loudest mouths. And correct me if I’m wrong (I’m not), but logic comes from intellect and a mature brain.  Forgive me (don’t care) if you’re twenty years old, but your brain isn’t even fully developed and I’m not interested in having you design my future.  You can certainly contribute, but you don’t have the ingredients to build that logic all by yourself.  Sorry, not sorry: TRUE.  If you don’t believe me, keep reading and then THINK about what you read.  It’s called reading comprehension.

By the way, why would anyone want to completely destroy a foundation, when they’re just going to have to rebuild it?  We live in one of the greatest countries on earth.  If you don’t believe me, TRAVEL.  GO.  SEE SOME OF THE PLACES YOU THINK you want our country to be like.  I’m telling you, you will not like it.  You will sigh a huge sigh of relief when you board the plane to bring you HOME.  And I’m willing to bet that the majority of people who are whining the loudest have never been anywhere.

Stop trying to destroy the very thing that gives you the rights you have.  Take a LOOK at the super rich telling you that the super rich are BAD.  Watch the ones so old they can’t walk a straight line, trying to relate to you.  Am I in a nightmare here?  Does an old, super wealthy group of white people telling you how to live your life have ANY idea how it feels to worry about making ends meet?  Let me help you: NO, THEY DON’T GIVE A DAMN about you as long as you hand over your money to THEM.  You guys had better wise up about this shit.  These old coots have never worked a day in their lives!  What they do is get YOU to do the work and give THEM the money. HELLO??

Oh they’re going to give you a check?  Oh so they get to decide your worth, right?  Can you be bought so cheaply??

Am I the only one who wonders how much STOCK these people own in the companies whose products they force you to buy?  Is there any common sense and logic out there, to make anyone question the ulterior motives??  Oh you think one of the tech giants would make a good dictator?  There’s no such thing as a GOOD dictator.

It’s time for people to start using logic.  Time for people to start ferreting out the truth, find out whose bank account is going to benefit from the next ‘mandate’.  Why bank account?  Well because it’s all about the MONEY, ladies and gentlemen.  That’s what our ‘leaders’ are now: Greedy, power hungry, and so strong they keep grasping the desk long after someone else should have been using it.  You’ve seen it: That blank stare in the middle of the sentence.  On the INSIDE they’re saying, “Oh shit, I forgot what I was saying.”  These are the ones telling us what to DO.  And I bet they’re all wearing Depends!

We are not in a dictatorship yet, people, and if you want to know what one looks like, investigate the dead dictators, or even the live ones who routinely make people disappear from the earth.  Then think about this:  What if you were one of the ones locked in a concrete box for eternity.  See that’s another sign of zero logic.  People who want a dictator can’t even imagine being one of the ‘bad’ ones.  Fifty fifty chance, folks.  Fifty fifty.  And there are people HERE who came from Socialism.  Ask them what it was like. And don’t forget to listen.  First hand account if you actually ask one of them.

And the day will never come when a journalism graduate is going to tell me what words I can and cannot say.  This is a nightmare, isn’t it?  An SUV cannot ‘accidentally’ drive into a parade.  There was a PERSON in that car who DELIBERATELY drove the SUV.  It’s a nightmare, I know it.  Please wake up please wake up please wake up.

If you are not thinking about this stuff, you are being manipulated and controlled because you are gullible and your brain is smooth.  And if you get your way don’t you dare bitch to me.

What Can Make Me Feel Better?

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Better than what?  I know you guys.  MY people are witty and smart.  And besides, that’s what I would ask.

Well let’s think about it.  It has been a tough two years.  I’ve had Covid-19, had to replace my HVAC system in my house (the whole thing), had to have emissions work done on my car, worked in a crazy real estate market, refinanced my house (I think that was last year, who can keep up?), I’ve worn masks, sanitized, washed hands, stopped going to church aka petri dish, AND had a kidney stone…I need some RELIEF.

So this morning, I was watching YouTube and saw violent protests!  I know!  And guess what?  They were not in America!  Oh, I forgot where they were, maybe Austria, and the protests were about a lockdown due to the flu.  And you know what?  In a strange way I felt better.  Why? You ask?  Well because it’s not just us  acting crazy and fed up, that’s why.  You know affiliation is a strong circumstance; marketers use it all the time.  If somebody else is doing it, it must be okay! So yeah, I felt a teensy bit better about ‘the world’.  Sounds warped, doesn’t it?  And yet, I still feel better.

Then I watched a couple of youtube videos about Queen Elizabeth in her colorful outfits, and I thought, “Awww, she’s just adorable!”  And I felt better.  That lady loves color as I do!  Looks better on her, but still, it makes me smile to see her colorful outfits with hats.  She rocks ’em.

And…I’m seeing Christmas lights everywhere!  Before Thanksgiving!  People say they look happy and I agree, so I say, “Decorate away!”.  And I feel better every time I see Christmas lights up early, so happy, in fact, that I say out loud, “Awwww, CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!”

Did tell you my phone had to have a new SIM card?  Wellllll it did.  Got it today.  My phone is behaving marginally better, and just marginal improvement makes me feel a teensy bit better.  Is there hope for this phone (iPhoneX).  No. Not on your life.  But for now, I feel a teensy bit better.  By the way, Douglas, my Verizon guy, was amazing!  Made me smile while sitting in the Verizon store.  Now that’s talent.

I’m reading a book called Molecules of Emotion, about the mind-body connection.  Lots of stuff about eastern medicine and the psychology of healing.  Fascinating.  But the good thing is, I read that book while having a quiet lunch in a nice little restaurant with good coffee, and I felt so good taking that break.

Lots of little things to feel good about here, and I’m just scratching the surface.  Life can be tough, but nobody said it is supposed to be easy.  The trick is noticing the things that bring joy and acknowledging them.  And of course, once you start listing the things that make you feel better, you never, ever, reach the end of the list.

Things are better when we believe our life is good.  Life is better when we understand that when one thing doesn’t work out, something better comes along.  I say, things tend to go the way they’re supposed to.  So.  This Thanksgiving, think about what can make YOU feel better, and maybe, just maybe, the first things will be the turkey on the dinner table and the people with you.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

The Word is LEARY

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I just finished another continuing education class about marketing, and it’s all about being up to speed with current trends, being ready to roll at the drop of a hat…you know how it goes.  Well, here’s something you won’t hear about, future and contemporary agents: GRAMMAR and correct use of LANGUAGE.  Listen, if you can’t spell or you consistently use the wrong word, or the right one out of context, you are not going to get my business.  Period.  By the way, if ‘like’ is used every third word as you speak, goodbye.  Like, gone!  If you’re going to present as a professional in a difficult profession, then present as a professional.

I just heard a statement, or more accurately, PART of a statement, about how certain people are ‘weary’ that they may blah blah blah.  The blah blah blah part comes because I didn’t pay one iota (that’s a little teensy punctuation, often used with ‘jot’; or a greek letter) of the REST of that statement because the word is LEARY, not ‘weary’!  Can I just say that this level of frustration comes through because almost nobody, NOBODY these days even knows the word ‘leary’.  Leary means ‘wary’.  It means ‘suspicious or fearful.  That person was LEARY that they may…and finish the story.  In other words, nobody is WEARY over something about which they may be fearful or suspicious. They are either LEARY, or they are WARY.  Too bad nobody’s going to actually read this.

The problem here is that if people misuse those words, it’s a sure sign they have not ever READ them.  They are just repeating what they either head from another nonreader, or what they THOUGHT they heard, and never bothered to look up the word.  In other words, this person is operating from a position of hearsay, and hey, that’s inadmissible in a court of law.  If your client asks a question and you say, “Well, I heart somebody SAY….”, you may have lost that client (and you should)….unless they operate from the same position.

Okay so you don’t like books?  Well there are words in print on the phone and computer too.  I’m just pointing out that there are people out here that hold you accountable to the standard  you claim to represent, and that with us folks, you don’t get by on the skin of your teeth.  Oh wait!  The class talked about how clients hold us accountable.  Okay then.  GRAMMAR!

You can tell a lot about the level of service you’re going to get by listening to how your leader speaks.  Seriously.


It’s Not a Housing Crash…

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Question:  Is there a housing crash coming?

Answer: No.

Don’t be fooled by what is around the corner, folks.  There ARE going to be a lot of short sales and foreclosures popping up in the feed, but that’s not a housing crash.  What you will see happening is due to an ECONOMIC slide, due primarily to Covid shutdowns, but also to people having been paid to stay home and not work.  Business have gone belly up because of this cash-strike (my terminology), and so has their income production for past employees.  Here’s a good illustration of how, when something seems to be too good to be true, it isn’t.

Remember when there were rental and mortgage payment moratoriums?  Well those are over. And NOW we face the music.  It has always been a really bad idea to forgo making your rental or mortgage payment, but in some cases, this was unavoidable.  I understand that some mortgage companies said they could tack on the payments to the end of the mortgage (I never believed that), and if that is true, then those folks should be fine.  But what I hear more often is that the banks will require pretty much instant catch-up on those skipped payments as soon as the homeowner goes back to work.  Well we all know how that’s going to work, if it’s true.  People were hurt financially by the shutdowns but the banks…well, they’re gonna want to get paid.

A short sale is a mortgage holder allowing the homeowner to sell their home for less than they owe on it, and those are just around the corner.  You can smell them.  Certain conditions have to be met in order to qualify for short sale status, and just know that in the PAST, you paid taxes on the amount that wasn’t covered by the short sale, as though that was actual income to you for that year.  It was a bad time for a lot of people.

People walked away from million dollar homes in the 2008 crash; but this isn’t that.  THIS one is going to be a true accounting of how many people were financially injured by the shutdowns, and I have no doubt that it will be shocking.  It will be a sad thing to watch, to say the LEAST.  But know, when it  comes, it’s not a housing crash.  And then, I implore you, sit down, be quiet and THINK about what brought this on.  If you keep asking “why?” at the end of each conclusion point, you’ll be taken back to one place.

Remember that there is still a housing shortage, there are still people clamoring to buy, and the real estate market is not crashing, has not crashed.  So don’t panic, and remember, if you think you could be heading to short sale territory, PLEASE talk to a financial advisor to find out how you can avoid that place.  It’s tough to recover from a short sale or foreclosure.  There could be a better way.  Don’t give up without investigating.

For those of you thinking of making a good deal during this next crisis, remember your gain is a direct correlation to someone’s great loss.  I’m dreading this.  I don’t like to see people in pain.  But I am a short sale and foreclosure specialist, and I can help with your listing.  But first I’m going to try to help you find a way not to go there.  That is a promise.

Listen, if you think you’re teetering on that edge, give me a call and let’s try to do some good old fashioned problem solving.  


I’m Brenda Briggs, realtor/broker, Coldwell Banker Advantage 919-210-6113

On Grief

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This is going to be one of the posts which has nothing to do with real estate.  It is just me, thinking about an important issue that’s being slanted, misrepresented and corrupted, relative to the definition of the word or condition we call grief.

As I have said, I spend most of my TV time watching Youtube videos and reading nonfiction books, staying as far away from mainstream media as possible, as that venue has become completely owned and adulterated by nearly a single point of view, often at complete odds with the actual ‘mainstream’ schools of thought.  Much of media is now owned or ‘sponsored’ by pharmaceutical corporations, in fact, and if you find that unbelievable, please do your research.  You will find it to be true and it should give you pause, at the very least.  We are being herded like sheep into a corral where we hand over money to the super wealthy, as in corporations, as in stockholders, while the very ones picking our pockets are railing against ‘the wealthy’.  I can’t believe this is happening and that the mules on the cart path are just doo-dee-dooing along with the ‘program’.

I think that Scientific American article I read about how humans would breed ourselves out of existence was true.  That article said the average IQ would continue to decline to the point we were too stupid to come in out of the weather.  Well they said it more eloquently, more scientifically, than I just did.  Still, I believe I am seeing that paradigm unfold before my very eyes. 

I’m hearing the phrase ‘mental illness’  a whole lot, and from a particular couple who are pushing into media in order to survive financially, in my opinion.  Easier than getting a j-o-b.  This whole concept of mental illness is being coupled inexplicably with grief, in this case over the death of a family member who died decades ago by the way.  This couple are working very hard to get us to believe that grieving over the loss of a loved one is a mental illness.  Oh my God.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about a time in my life when I was in deep grief as well, and felt as though I was being chased around by people trying to lock me away due to ‘mental illness’.  It is as though more and more people are determined to have no emotions other than HAPPY! and never feel any pain because…there’s a drug for that, side effects be damned.  Ah, folks, pain is the signal that something is wrong somewhere, and if you don’t feel it, well…you can do more damage.  But I digress yet again.

Life is not supposed to be easy.  Life is complicated and intricately woven together with other lives and a profusion of circumstances over which we have no control.  So yeah, shit is going to happen, and resulting emotions will ebb and flow.  That is what we call normal.  There seems to be an effort to erase that word as well, but the truth is still the truth, and emotions are normal.

Merriam Webster dictionary defines grief this way: deep sadness caused especially by someone’s death; a cause of such suffering.  So yeah, grief doesn’t HAVE to be related to death, but there are events in life that feel like death… like divorce, the end of a family, a safe home, an important relationship.  It is normal to have grief in those situations too.

I heard, on one video, a person say that this person grieved more than the other person, both children of the deceased parent.  Well, no, talking head, they grieved ‘differently’.  And it is important to know that sudden, extreme grief effects people differently psychologically, depending on the age of the one grieving.  A nine year old will react differently than a 30 year old, and it is my strong belief that a person in puberty is MAY BE damaged more by grief than any other age, because of the stage of BRAIN development at that age.  And no, I am not a doctor, don’t even play one on TV, but I do pay attention, and I am a data collector.  So I see what I see, over and over and over.  In my PERSONAL observation of grieving people, the ones who are hit hard in puberty tend to get stuck there, psychologically, unless they have some really good support through the darkness of grief.  And for goodness sake, the one who seems to be ‘grieving less’ is STILL GRIEVING, so don’t hang that person out to dry.  Try to do a little research about grief and get it as right as you can from the perspective of support. 

In an article by Michael Merschel, he writes: Grief can reinforce brain wiring that effectively locks the brain in a permanent stress response, per Dr. Lisa Schulman.  Reference

How grief rewires the brain and can affect health – and what to do about it

By Michael Merschel, American Heart Association News

So yeah, grief is complicated.  It, in and of itself, is not a mental illness.  It is an emotional response to loss.  And it can be dealt with and it is important that it IS dealt with.   Any ‘spectator’ as I called the ones labeling me, should understand that grief is a perfectly normal response to loss, and that it NEVER goes away.   Rather, it shrinks back into the shadows until something triggers the memory of it.  Those triggers become weaker and happen less often over time, and I am talking years.  Therefore it is important for ‘loved ones’ to step up and offer support, a presence in the darkness who is there to keep the grieving one safe, to give them someone to lean on.  And it is important for the ‘spectators’ to understand that some of us grieve quietly and undemonstratively, while others wail and gnash their teeth, so to speak.  Grief is personal.  Pay attention and offer help accordingly; mostly not assuming that just because a person is quiet they are A-OKAY!  Just because a person in grief is not screaming does not mean they are not suffering.  And spectators need to allow the grieving person to grieve in their own personal way for as long as it takes, even if it is ‘inconvenient’.

I used to equate grief with dusty closed boxes in a dark attic.  If you want to get well, YOU have to go into the attic and turn on the light. See the boxes, and then with your big girl panties on (or big boy as it were), start opening the boxes one by one and examining the contents.  By facing the dark attic, putting light on it and examining the contents, one can conquer grief and REALIZE that grief is not a monster called ‘mental illness’.  Rather, it is much smaller, much more manageable, more ‘normal’ in the light.  But there can be a lot of boxes up there.  Could take a while.

Now, back to the point of all of this.  IF we suffer a loss, it is normal to grieve, and that grief is never going away, and it can cause permanent rewiring of the brain.  Why?  Because the worst grief causes us to look deeply into our connections in life, the ones still there, and do a thorough assessment.  Things change when you do that.  Trust me on that one.  Grief opens your eyes to things you may have never seen and forces you onto a completely different path, one without that loved one you lost.  Grief forces your insights inward, too, turns the mirror right back onto you, and makes you tell yourself the truth, and that is hard.  Still not a mental illness, folks.  But you might think so if you are are a permanent victim with a tendency to whine for the pacifier.

We seem to be turning into a society of victims, of pity seekers, of people in search of excuses for inappropriate behaviors.   Heads up:  There is not always “a pill for that”.  Sometimes you have to stand UP, face your pain, understand it is there for a REASON, and go about finding how to mitigate it.  That might be art, it might be walks in the park, it might be talking to someone you trust, it might be exercise, it might be meditation, all of which I highly recommend.  I wrote a book.  It focused my mind and kept me from picking at the wound.  Most of all while we are standing up, we need to give ourselves PERMISSION and TIME to grieve.  It is a PROCESS through which one must go, and it does get better.  And remember, grief doesn’t HAVE to come from the loss of a person; it can be from other types of loss.  So get busy with the process of healing yourself!  Yes, it helps to have others, but YOU have to be proactive about your own life!

That is, unless you choose to sit down and whine for pity.  My God you have to have as a goal, letting go.  You have to, at some point, stop hugging grief and welcoming it as a permanent resident.  I, as you may guess, have ZERO patience with that kind of behavior.  And this idea that because you lost a parent you have permission to tear down the world, particularly that of others, is just plain pathetic and frankly, unintelligent.  When someone says they had nobody to reach out to?  That’s a pity ploy.  There is ALWAYS someone, or many someones, THOUSANDS of someones, whom you can reach out to.  The difference is this:  If you are on the pity pot, you expect others to run to you while you sit and snivel; but listen up:  It is your job to reach out, your job to seek to release it.  Unless you are 7 years old or a pity seeker.  By the way, nobody can ‘make you feel better’.  That would be your job.  

And finally, remember that stress is a killer.  It makes all of the sense in the world to find a way to mitigate the stress of grief.  In my opinion and that of actual doctors, it is true that stress can and will kill you.  Not saying you have to go dancing, but you can paint your bedroom or rearrange furniture…or write a book.  Get busy.

And for goodness sake, STOP calling grief a mental ILLNESS.


The Truth is Out There…

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Here’s one for you: I’m just going to give you the information from science and you can think it over and make up your own mind. 

What a crock.  The atomic number for Nitrogen is 7.  You don’t get to think about that and choose your own number.  If you step outside that third story window, you’re gonna FALL.  DOWN.  You don’t get to make up your own mind about it! Gravity works.  Period.  There are many truths out there that you just have to believe, otherwise there is no foundation upon which to stand or build.  But we live in a ridiculous period of “everybody gets to make up his or her own reality”.  I used to say, “Kill me now.”  Today, nobody thinks that’s a joke and people are so MAD.  But what a ridiculous idea that every single person gets to decide whether or not the atomic number of Nitrogen is 7.  

I used to work in science, every day, all day.  There were certain chemical reactions or material facts that I used, depended upon, from which my analysis stemmed.  Truth.  Science is the pursuit of truth.  Now when I reached my conclusions, ultimately there would be a dollar amount associated with it, either for my company or for the company who bought the optical fiber we manufactured, or for a vendor who maybe supplied bad raw material.  I didn’t have to be involved in the money or politics, thank GOD; but, the answer was the answer and corrective measures went from there.  Nobody had to mull it over and see how they wanted the answer to feel, or how THEY thought it should be, and there were no politicians NEAR my lab.  Again, thank God.  Okay, let’s be honest.  Remember that word?  There were probably ‘politicians’ around in white coats, wanting to scratch and claw to the next level on the hierarchical ladder, but they were usually on the other side of the lab door.

Were my analytical results sometimes unpopular?  You bet your ass they were, but they were the results.  And if I didn’t know the answer by virtue of analysis, I SAID THAT.  Wouldn’t it be nice of some of the talking heads out here today would look us in the eye and say, “Sorry folks, we just don’t know what the side effects will be, but in 5 years we will know and we will pay you if your leg falls off.”  Hey, it wouldn’t be fun, but it would be the truth, right?  

I know, you’re wondering what a leg is worth. hahaha.  Don’t worry, these folks have enough to pay you.  It’s part of the plan.

I think the problem is that politics and money are the most important goals now, replacing Truth.  Now, we don’t know who supplies raw materials, or even the finished product many times.  We don’t know the credentials of the person who gives you that pill to take.  I used to say, “Somebody had to graduate at the bottom of the class.”  And that was when I assumed there was an ACTUAL college degree somewhere.  Today, we don’t know for sure, and we don’t know how much that person actually LEARNED if there WAS a degree, because these days, it doesn’t really matter.  Everybody gets one! Don’t believe me?  Watch how much BAD GRAMMAR is on your NEWS broadcast today.  Ask a random person to read a paragraph.  It’ll make your head explode.  What is the plural of phenomenon?  How do you pronounce corroboration?  Do you know someone who says, “I seen it?” I rest my case.

We are erasing truth from our existence.  How is that happening?  Well, if there are over 7 billion people on the planet and each one gets to design ‘reality’, we’re talking about complete, annihilatory chaos.  How do you like that word?  I had to look it up, but I DID look it up because I trust the dictionary.  Apparently this computer does not because it underlines the word in red.  See how this works? hahaha.  AND YET there is no alternative spelling.  Too funny.  My computer must FEEL like that word does not exist but it shrugged off the correct spelling.  But again, I digress.  

We live in a time where, if I do not agree with your perspective, you get to beat me up, or set out to ruin my reputation, get me fired, kill me. And it gets right back to truth.  What happened to TRUTH?  And why is YOUR opinion any better than mine?  Oh, this is why we used to talk or even debate.  Debate is not a bad thing, people.  Usually at the end of a debate, everybody is still ALIVE and there are no burning buildings.  By the way a debate is not one person badgering and bludgeoning another person into thinking exactly as they think.  Debate usually leads to other things to consider on the path to truth, which is often entirely or in part different from any of the prior opinions.  THIS is how we grow, how we progress.  No dead bodies, no burning buildings.

Truth is based on the word ‘trust’.  If you look at those words long enough they will start to look strange.  Trust: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something; dependence on something future or contingent : HOPE (From Merriam-Webster dictionary).  Oh great, now we get HOPE into the compost heap.  That’s waning as well and now we know why.

Because of the incessant blitzkrieg of internet information (not usually true), we have NO idea what to believe or whom to believe anymore.  Most of what is posted is opinion…including this blog, by the way…and everybody has one.  Each and every person has an opinion about everything.  So it is your job, if you care, to …wait for it… seek the truth.  Oh hell, that sounds like work.  Yep.  It is.  And if your only source is the internet?  You have no credibility.  When I got my chemistry degree, my professor said, “You don’t have to know all of the answers, you just have to know where or how to find them.”  So, I never memorized the periodic table of elements. hahaha.  But I did know where to find it.  

Listen, there are people, entities out there who have figured out how gullible we are, how easily we fall for lies, how to manipulate us into badgering and bludgeoning others into THEIR way of thinking, which is this:  I want your money, all of it, and I want to control your life.  It feels like an effort to destroy our country but if you’ve ever LEFT this country, you’d want to come back, trust me.  Oops, trust.  But most of the people who want to annihilate the country don’t know what it’s like in other countries that are rubble and dust.  Something to think about.

Here’s another something to think about:  Are the ones badgering you invested financially in the thing they are trying to force you to buy, adopt, fund, drink, swallow?  These days, the politicians have huge amounts of stock in the companies they are trying to force you to TRUST.  Think.  How is this talking head going to benefit financially by controlling my mind?  GREAT question.

Look around you and maybe ask yourself why you’re so angry all of the time and ask yourself if you really like that persona.  Scientists are saying that such behavior can make you more susceptible to disease by the way.  There’s a lot of TRUTH that says rioting, screaming, burning things, fighting, being angry all the time…can make you more susceptible to cancer.  Read the book by Dr. Gabor Mate.  It’s eye opening.  Just saying.  And think about this:  If there are those who want to CONTROL society, whom do you believe will be the first ones in cages?  Oh yeah, the rabble-rousers who can’t be controlled. hahaha.  Better think about that.  I’m actually laughing.  We are such a mess.  Can’t even call us a society.  I am actually laughing because I still have hope.  It hasn’t been killed off yet.  That’s my science brain at work.  I know the truth is out there.  How to get 7 billion people to be open to other ideas?  That’s the kicker.

The bottom line is that there is an effort to erase truth, by people who want to confuse you, take your money, or want to take your power away from you, or okay, all of the above.  Sometimes a very small group with really loud voices can force you to adopt THEIR truth, which could be destructive and dangerous.  It is important, in other words, to understand the implications of trust, truth and hope.  These things matter to stability, safety, survival.  How am I going to tie this in with real estate, you might ask?  Watch this:

Look your lender in the eye, don’t ‘go online’.  You could be talking to a big hairy scammer in somebody’s basement who is not telling you the truth, who wants your info so they can take your money.  Look your real estate agent in the eye.  Ask questions, seek the answers you need, see if she knows the answers, see if she ever says, “I’m not sure but I can find out.”  Now that’s an honest person, a TRUTHFUL one.  You’ll know whether or not you can TRUST that person.  Have a conversation, an AUDIBLE conversation, because you can tell a lot about a person by listening to their voice.  And you can draw a plethora of wrong conclusions from text messages.  Look, I love texting and emailing and DMs and IMs and l-m-n-o-p’s, but how can I tell if I want to work with you?  By talking with you and by looking you right in the eye.  Until I see you and hear your voice, I don’t know if you’re a 10 year old kid having a bit of fun at my expense, in somebody’s basement. hahaha. Why are scammers always assumed to be in somebody’s basement?

Stay with me, still linking this to real estate.  Watch this:

I can help you find a great home where you can feel safe and secure while you find the truth.

Is that good, or what?  Call me.

I am Brenda Briggs, broker/realtor, Coldwell Banker Advantage, 919-210-6113. 

Should I Wait for the Market to Settle Down?

Photo by Quu1ed1c Bu1ea3o on

It’s a great question right now.  Listen, I’m an experienced agent and this market scares ME sometimes.  The speed is unfathomable and the effect is like that of being on a tricycle on one wheel speeding downhill.  There’s no time to think.  When my clients ask me whether it is a good idea to wait, I’m torn.  Part of me thinks waiting would make sense, because rushing toward anything but ice cream doesn’t thrill me.  But then reality sets in and I think rushing isn’t so bad.  Here’s why.

First, as we have already seen…are already SEEING, because the trend forming now…interest rates are going up.  In this competitive bid market, every dollar counts when you are trying to win the day, and every uptick in interest rate lowers your home search price.  Every drop in home price means you have MANY more competitors.  Homes below 400K are getting hard to find, at least the ones without ‘issues’, in many cases.  And if YOUR price point dropped, so did that of your competitors, so the race will be more fierce.

For my clients, I advise them to make the financial adjustments that will allow them to stay in the hunt, to take advantage of low interest rates.  I’m not a financial person, not an accountant, not (thank goodness) a wall street employee, but I think we are heading for an economic correction like we have never seen in our lifetime.  

I don’t think we’re heading for a “real estate crash”.  Not even close.  Demand is too high and supply is too low for that situation to occur.  No, I think inflation is going to bite us big, I just don’t know when.  Common sense tells me we’re heading that way, and filling my car with gas confirms my assumption.  I’m not an accountant either, but I do know you can’t buy a dollar’s worth of anything with a dollar that is now worth 40 cents.

Then we have rising prices for everything from food to gas, and we have supply shortage of everything from PET FOOD to cars.  When this shoe drops, it’s gonna hurt.  So waiting is actually a bad idea.

Most of my clients are not moving for the fun of it; they are moving because of a need to position themselves for the future, whether it be for the next leg of the journey or for settling into the end of their journey.  So the need is there; that’s not going to change. So what I am saying is this:  

Go ahead.  Don’t wait.

And I know I beat this one into the ground, but hire an experienced real estate agent.  This is a brand new market/economic condition which CAN be navigated effectively, but your agent must know what all of the moving parts ARE and how they bump into one another and change things.  Your agent MUST know how to protect you in this unprecedented, fluctuating, expensive market.

Speaking of pet food shortage:  Mess with my pets and we’re going to have problems.  But it seems that’s also happening.

Call me and let’s talk about it.  

I’m Brenda Briggs, Broker/Realtor  919-210-6113

Coldwell Banker Advantage, Wake Forest NC

Forgiveness is Waning

Hello again!  As you know, if you’ve read my posts, not all of them have to do with real estate directly.  My goal in part is to let people get to know me before they call on me.  If you don’t like what I say or how I say it, then you may not want to work with me, and that’s okay.  That’s exactly what I am going for here.  Not everybody likes everybody.

So I was watching Youtube this morning, as I always do while having my coffee, and I saw a surprising title.  I assumed the video would be quite different from what it actually was….of course.  But it got me to thinking about forgiveness.  Universally, that’s been on my mind quite a bit lately anyway, a message to ponder:  What happened to forgiveness?

This Youtube video was about yet another person ‘resigning’ his post, because he made a mistake.    Well, as you may know, my REAL job, the one I was passionate about, was science.  In science, the goal is ‘truth’.  And oh my goodness, can you even guess how many mistakes you make on that journey?  You plan the approach you want to use to get where you think you want to go, and then you start out designing the steps, the items or chemicals you use, the timing of valve changes, the temperatures…ALL of that, and then you go.  And you mess up, and you go back and figure out why and you tweak the process.  And you go again.  Now I’m not talking about recipe followers; I’m talking about the ones who develop processes or invent the tools you want to use.  It’s a process of mistakes, restarts, more mistakes, and eventually, success.  Look at that pipette in your hand.  Think about how hard it was to get that right.  Think about how many times the inventor had to tweak the invention process.

You know, that process often involves using the same old tired process (or tool), until you stop one day, put your hands on your hips and say, “There’s gotta be a better way.”  That was the first step in my invention of a wonderful bit of lab equipment that not only made my life easier, but also saved my company a lot of money.  It involved the use of ultra high purity helium.  Wanna take a guess how much that costs?  Well the old tired process wasted that product and I could see dollars going into the air.  Ridiculous.  I drew the equipment idea on a napkin the first time, and then I thought it through, made changes, etc., and it was eventually sold in the manufacturer’s catalog.  But it wasn’t perfect when I drew it on the napkin.  I had to start somewhere and go from there.  And I didn’t demand the resignation of the first designer of that wasteful system.  

The point is, nobody on this earth, or even in this universe, is perfect, folks.  People goof up, and that’s normal.  It’s a part of the growth process, the learning process.  Yes, in some cases you don’t want to experiment. Think doctors.  But still, ask me if I know of any doctors who made a mistake.  Yep.  Sure do.  Even in life and death situations. They were not asked to resign, by the way.

Let’s think about this.  You know about the Dyson vacuum products, right?  Over FIVE THOUSAND failures before it was right.  Now, everybody loves Dyson products.  What if the inventor had given up or worse, been forced to ‘resign’.  Walt Disney was fired from a job because he lacked imagination.  I’m laughing at that one.  What if he had been vilified?  Henry Ford was bankrupted before he came up with the iconic Ford product.  What happened to believing in people, even when they show their humanity?  And think about this: There was no podium of shame where people announced their resignation.  I’m kinda tired of seeing that.  This idea of public humiliation for being human is barbaric, unintelligent behavior, and just plain stupid.

Look, this OMG YOU MADE A MISTAKE YOU’VE GOT TO RESIGN OR BE FIRED culture is just ridiculous.  How did we become ultimate judges and jurors for others’ imperfections when WE are imperfect?  How did this behavior become acceptable?  Whom do we think we are anyway?  One of the worst things one can do to another is judge them without all of the data. Why?  Because you will ALWAYS view that person through the lens of YOU.  I find that almost all people label others through themselves, without studying that person as THAT PERSON, with their heart, their brain, their spirit.  Image someone into ‘extreme sports’ judging a librarian.  Well the librarian is gonna RESIGN.  Nobody else is you except you.  So…stop being so harshly judgmental.  You’re getting it wrong.  You just are.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean we give that person permission to wreak (yes, not wreck) havoc on the world.  It means we understand that success is a process.  It’s going to have failures that teach us something.  Here’s a good quote, I think from Henry Ford: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”   Implication: You keep going.

Here’s what Maya Angelou said: “You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated.”  Implication: Don’t give up and don’t take it to mean YOU are broken.  Life is imperfect in and of itself; how can the players in it be perfect?  We cannot.  So stop acting like we can.

This idea of mistakes being the end of us has become so ingrained in our pea brains that we RUSH to the podium to resign.  No, to apologize and resign.  I haven’t reached the day I will apologize for being human.  I’ll say I’m sorry for the mistake, but you will not see me looking downtrodden and guilty for being a human being.  Yeah, there are times when something comes to light that makes a person worthy of being fired, but that’s not usually an attempt to be successful.  That’s usually a character flaw on a grand scale.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  You can take this to the bank:  If I choose to do something, anything, on purpose, you can bet your last buck that I’m doing the best I can to be successful at it.  So don’t even think about coming at me.  And I think that’s how most people are.  I don’t know anyone who sets out to screw up.  Nobody seeks to fail.

We live in an age where ‘tolerance’ is preached, screamed from the mountaintops.  But that usually means YOU tolerate ME.  I think that’s the death of forgiveness.  It stems from rabid judgement, an activity which none of us has the right to do.  So I think we should look at the Youtube video title, have our little judging reaction, and then investigate.  Find out the facts, which by the way will always lead you to other sources if you are fair minded.

I remember the song/mantra, “Give peace a chance”.  Well peace often involves being less harshly judgmental and looking at the whole picture, rather than the part you didn’t agree with.  And forgiveness is a choice; it doesn’t always feel good and it’s definitely not instant.  The forgiveness part is easy, you just choose to DO it, and then you work through the emotions while you watch to see whether or not the same behavior pops up again.  If it does, that changes things.  But remember Dyson failed over FIVE THOUSAND times before he made your life easier.  And think about this:  How can a group of people ever reach consensus if a line is drawn in the sand right away?  They cannot.  This type of behavior creates tribal behavior which then leads to win/lose.

Yeah, this has to do with forgiveness.  Less harsh judgement.  Understanding that not everyone is like you, thank God.  We are unique beings, also thank God.  I don’t even want to think how life would be if everybody was just like everybody else.  Remember forgiving others is a choice, not a way to make you feel better.  And forcing someone out if his/her job because of a mistake is throwing us back to cave times.

Settle down people! hahaha.  That’s what my father used to say to us when we got rowdy: SETTLE DOWN! 

Real Estate in Uncertain Financial Times

There’s always something to make us go “hmmmm”.  These days, watching the news makes me hide in my closet.  This is going up, this is going down, debt ceiling is being raised beyond sight, no it’s not, yes it is.  OMG America is running out of food, building supplies, clothes are getting so thin you can see through them because fabric is so expensive (that’s funny, isn’t it?).  Stock market is going up, it’s going down, buy, sell.  Interest rates are going up….are they?  Yesterday this house was active, now it’s pending.  Why did the price go up?  Are they really stabilizing?? I thought I saw some go DOWN in price.  I can’t keep up.

So let’s just assume we are going into uncharted territory yet AGAIN, and put on our thinking caps.  Why?Because there’s not a doggone thing we can do about the financial ‘climate’, but we can absolutely navigate it.  Listen, I have stocks, and I’m not selling.  I’m buying, in fact.  But I do look at analysts’ reports as a guide.  These reports are educated guesses, right?  But there are a couple I trust and they are my true north on the rare occasions my charts don’t guide me exclusively.  Yep, I’m a chart person.  Don’t really need to know what the  stock is; I just look at the chart and go from there.  It works, too.

But REAL ESTATE, I sigh.  Okay there are some charts you can use, a lot of them in fact.  But listen, these days you also HAVE TO HAVE A STRATEGY, a strong one.  It becomes more and  more complicated as the weeks go by, and you MUST have an agent who understands ALL of the moving parts and how they fit together or bump against each other; and your agent HAS TO KNOW how to maximize your financial asset goals in light of these influences.  In other words, better grab some experience, folks; this is serious business.  And you’d better put on the big person (can’t say girl anymore) panties and learn how to handle some risk.  That’s just plain fact.  If you don’t have the stomach for it, then wait it out.  But waiting it out?  The real estate train is going to leave you in dust and diesel fumes, ladies and gentlemen.  You get the point.

So your agent should ask you: “What is your financial strategy?”  Now listen, we are not accountants, but if your goal is to buy a cheap house and flip it, that’s WAY different than finding the most house you can buy so you can stay there until you die.  There was probably a better way to say that, but you get the idea.  Still, and regardless, your agent SHOULD KNOW what you really aim for financially, with respect to this real estate transaction.  And by the way, a good agent can give you some good recommendations for lenders BASED on these goals.  It’s a good hand-off between strategists and guess what?  You need that.  It’s called experience and depth of bench in the career.  Ya gotta have connections.

The thing about uncertainty financially is that we are, I believe, at a critical point in real estate (oh yes, AGAIN).  If you are trying to buy and can’t find your price point house, then I strongly recommend adjusting your ‘requirements’ or your ‘dreams’.  Why?  Because there isn’t time for a stroll through the homes for sale. Remember the dust and diesel fumes?   I think we may soon see some inflationary effects, and that will effect your interest rate, your price point, whether or not you have a screened porch AND a patio and fire pit…you get the idea.  Don’t ever forget that real estate, now more than ever, is in flux.  Don’t nail down ANYTHING.  Keep your options and your mind open.  Every day is the time to review your strategy to make sure it still make sense.  Your agent should be driving that effort, by the way.  And if this makes you feel better about ‘flux’, almost ALL buyers end up with a house that was NOTHING like what they first tell us to search for.  NOTHING.  The best clients actually realize and laugh about that once they find their home.

I have always worked 24/7, and that’s really a good thing for you.  I wake up at 3 am, thinking about your house.  Really, I do.  And IF you have been straight with me about your strategy and your financial goals, then I had BETTER be thinking about your transaction 24/7.  It’s that complicated.  If we viewed real estate transactions BEFORE as a train running on the rails, rumbling along, now, it’s a bullet train and the cars are bumping together as they fly down the tracks.  People are using your due diligence money as THEIR due diligence on the home they want to buy while you buy THEIRS.  So if one falls through…I can’t bear to think about it.  The housing shortage rages on; therefore, so does desperation among would-be buyers.  This doesn’t have to spell disaster; it just means your agent has more and more COMPLICATED work to do.  Remember when I wrote about creative problem solving?  Well it’s not just a good idea anymore.  It is MANDATORY.

And ‘thinking outside the box’ is not the same thing as creative problem solving, folks.  Creative problem solving involves integration of your STRATEGY into the process, and you must have one.  If you talk to an agent who never says ‘strategy’, RUN.  Or, take 10 grand out of your bank and throw it in the fire.  Same result either way.  Agents have to UNDERSTAND the world of transactions well enough to navigate you through the rapids, because that’s how it feels.  And it feels like that because that’s how it IS.

I describe it as being like riding a tricycle up on one wheel.  Now, it’s like riding a tricycle up on one wheel REALLY FAST.  But the moment all three wheels are on the ground at once?  It feels great.

So, in this uncertain economy, choose a wise and nimble agent who understands how to move quickly when things change and will TALK you through the initial pathway (it’ll change many times), be sure that agent knows what she’s talking about, and for goodness sake do these four things: 1) Choose your agent with care and intellect (not emotion); 2) Have a deep conversation about strategy and get that understanding well into your heart and mind; and 3) Put on those big person panties I talked about because you must expect some stress and be able to handle it; and 4) Do NOT ask your agent to reduce her fee for you, because you have NO IDEA of the value you are getting.  None.

What You Need if You Want to Buy a Home

I’m a real estate agent, as you may know, and I love working with first time buyers.  It doesn’t usually result in a big paycheck for me, but I get to work with some amazing people and be a part of a huge event in their lives.  I consider it an honor to help them.  But many of my first timers are sadly surprised by what they need to have in order to buy a home.  Most think they can hop on Zillow, look at the estimated price, put that amount against their income and they’re good to go.  But there’s WAY more to it than that.  Downsizers, you are also running into sad surprise many times.

First, you MUST sit down with your lender and get pre-APPROVED.  Listen, a pre-QUALIFICATION is not worth the paper it’s written on, assuming there’s paper somewhere in the process.  So be careful about the online estimators.  If I am your agent, I am going to want you to get face to face…yes, FACE TO FACE…with a lender, so they know whom you are, and so that they can be held accountable for making the deadlines to which you will contractually obligate yourself. This is critical.  The lending process is fraught with potholes, and you need to be more than a number among hundreds of numbers.  You need that lender to know your NAME and be able to put your face with it.  And I will need to be able to verify/check on milestones as the process progresses.  BUT…you must have a letter from the lender that goes WITH your offer to the seller.  That’s the norm now.

And listen, the lender is GLAD you are there.  They WANT your business.  So go in asking what they can do for YOU today.

Next: It takes DISCRETIONARY cash up front.  You have to pay for inspections and you have to put up due diligence money AND earnest money (usually), and these days you should count on 15K and up, depending on your price point.  Now please listen to this.  You will get all of that back when you close, but if you WALK AWAY, the seller gets to keep your due diligence money and that can start at 4% of purchase price on average. OMG where am I going to get that kind of money?  Well you can be gifted quite a bit.  But you’ll need to talk to that lender person, the one you’re looking in the EYES, about that.

When you find a house you like, these days, sellers don’t have to pay your CLOSING COSTS, they don’t have to buy you a WARRANTY, they don’t even have to do repairs.  In other words, don’t look for a fixer upper unless you are a fixer and you have the money and skills already on board.  The seller is not going to help you out.  Why?  There are 20 other offers on the table that won’t ask for it.

Be sure your agent knows about any class action lawsuits about construction that happened during the age of the house you seek, and ALWAYS look in the crawl space.  Make sure your agent knows what red flags to look for while you are looking at the space and placing furniture in your mind.

Don’t change jobs.  Don’t incur more debt.  Your job history is SO important, and debt-to-income is critical.  Spiff up your credit score, pay off as much debt as you can, and save, save save.  Ya gotta have some cash if you want your offer to win out against the many others.

Buyers always have a list of must-haves, but also almost always veer WAY off of that list in the end.  So my advice is to have an open mind, because…it’s going to end up that way.

Let me know if I can help you; call me if you want to just chat.  And have a wonderful day!

I am Brenda Briggs

Coldwell Banker Advantage