CHANGE IS IN THE AIR

Pending sales dropped for the second straight month, according to data. One more drop and we can officially call it a trend. But does this surprise ANYBODY? It shouldn’t. I currently have seven buyers…SEVEN…and cannot find anything for any of them, though prices range from $150,000 to $685,000. Data published during the first quarter indicated that our existing home inventory declined by 60% over last year. I think it was higher than that.

I complained loudly last year about investors buying up inventory that would otherwise be there for first time buyers, a trend that effectively pushed that group of buyers firmly out of the market. In a few cases, first time buyers were able to go up in price, but generally not; in other words, the market was squeezed from the bottom by investors. I thought that was incredibly unfair to young people trying to buy a home, because that’s an exciting feeling, taking that step to home ownership, and this group of buyers happens to be one of my favorite.

So, investors pushed people UP in price to where first time buyers were in the $220,000 price point to START, thereby wiping out most young buyers from the market. Because investors gobbled up lower price points, stress was put on the next price plateau until that group of homes was eliminated from the market. That happened very quickly, in part because existing homes sold fast, and people SELLING in that price point often couldn’t move up in price due to lack of inventory. So they stayed, and are staying, put.

All along, us real estate agents were able to funnel clients to new construction to circumvent the dearth of resale homes available. You know the result of that. Builders are now completely overwhelmed with buyers desperate to find housing. Waiting lists are being used and LOT PREMIUMS (once a rare thing) are now the order of the day, and now huge. Lot cost has become an add-on. And buildable lots are being put out for BIDS. So now in new construction, you start out overpricing yourself in the market, just to get a lot to build on. And then you have to be able to afford the house that goes on it. Example: A 2×10 board that used to cost 8 bucks is now 32 bucks. Want to guess how that effects new construction?

There has been a desperate charge by agents to find creative ways to get clients even under contract, and the result has been increasing and increasing due diligence amounts being offered to entice sellers to accept offers. This is a dangerous practice for people without tens of thousands of dollars to risk OR buyers who can just afford to do repairs no matter what. In other words, you had better not expect to walk away if you put up a huge due diligence because that money is at RISK. Period. There are other ways to find homes to buy, and I’m doing all of them. But it’s time consuming and the return on effort is low. It’s there, but low.

I hate to say that I wish interest rates would go up, but as bad as that sounds, it will probably have to happen to stop this insanity. I believe we are about to see the market flooded with short sales and foreclosures because of the Covid effect, which brings back memories of 2008. It’s a scary time out here for those of us who are the boots on the ground, so to speak.

SO…if you are planning to buy OR SELL actually, don’t expect things to happen quickly. Be careful how you handle due diligence. Get someone to help you think it through carefully and KNOW YOUR RISK, on both sides of the table, before you take that leap. My fervent wish is that sellers will stop looking at due diligence as a cash-grab, and help this crazy market un-inflame. We don’t have a ‘hot’ market right now; we have an INSANE market, and an insane market is unpredictable and dangerous. I’ve never seen ANYTHING like it, and I don’t like it AT ALL. I can’t predict the future, but I can tell you that it’s not going to be good in real estate. Not without some ‘rule changes’.

So let’s be careful out there. And, first time buyers? Are you there? I am patient and I will work with you as long as it takes. And as of now, it could be years. But you have to know that under 200 thousand, the homes are statistically nonexistent. That means, one pops up on a rare occasion, but it’s largely uninhabitable.

So while you pour over the internet looking for a house you like and can afford, KEEP SAVING YOUR MONEY. And as for due diligence, just know you’ll have to put about 2% of list price right on the table, up front, to even have a shot at getting a house, but you will get it back at closing. Just don’t walk away.

And call me.

I’m at Coldwell Banker Advantage at Wake Forest NC. Ask for me. Let’s talk.

Driving the ‘Highest and Best’ Term into the Ground

You know…it bothers me when I hear real estate agents or builders talking about ‘highest and best’ in terms of money they want you to pay. That term is NOT meant to indicate your best offer, your strongest offer, the best you can EVER do, or please pay more than you can afford offer. What they SHOULD SAY is, “You have 24 hours to amend/improve your offer.” Amend, improve, change the terms, WHATEVER. But NOT ‘highest and best’. That’s a red flag of ignorance of what you learned (or rather did NOT learn) in your real estate classes.

Here’s what that term ACTUALLY means:

The definition of highest and best use is as follows:The reasonable, probable and legal use of vacant land or an improved property, which is physically possible, appropriately supported, financially feasible, and that results in the highest value.

So, if you own a parcel of land, or a building or house, and once it was in the middle of nowhere, and THEN the town expands and envelops that parcel, THEN that parcel’s ‘highest and best’ use might not be residential anymore. It might now be best used for commercial. That could mean more money for you and it might mean that once homey dwelling gets bulldozed to make room for a big old gas station, IF that results in a legal use of the property, a more profitable use, supported by the surrounding land use, you get the idea.

THAT’S what highest and best means, and if your agent uses that term in ANY OTHER WAY, fire them.

Due Diligence in Real Estate

Due diligence means ‘do your job, make sure what you are trying to buy is worth the money you are paying.’ You do this by hiring inspectors AND by looking at the property yourself, with an eye for flaws or better yet, hidden ones.

Look, the NC offer to purchase clearly says that the property is being sold ‘AS IS’. The seller is not even required to enter into a DISCUSSION with you about repairs. So the burden is on you, buyer, and that comes with a big check from you for the right to conduct your ‘due diligence’. That could include but not necessarily be limited to, home inspection, roof inspection, HVAC inspection, wood destroying insects inspection, crawl space inspection, well and septic inspection, radon inspection, structural inspection, a survey….you get the idea. And while you’re at it, stand in the yard and see if all of the rain water is going to wash right into your yard. I tell my clients, “You don’t want to be in the bottom of the bowl”. Look around.

In NC, if a home is listed in multiple listing service, with a couple of exceptions, the seller is required to provide a seller’s disclosure, which OSTENSIBLY would reveal any problems with the home. It would be nice if we could rely solely on that document; however, and I know this will ASTOUND you: Sometimes sellers are not quite honest about things that are wrong with the home they are selling. AND, there’s this little column on the disclosure that is for “no representation”. I like to call that “I don’t know and I don’t care” choice, but that’s probably too harsh most times. What it really means is that the seller really doesn’t KNOW. That part is used a lot of times when the question is about plumbing pipes, for example. Many folks really DON’T know what kind of pipes are in the home. And the ‘no representation’ choice definitely applies to rental properties where the seller hasn’t lived in the home, for example, or an inherited property where the heir truly doesn’t know the details.

What this all means is that you, buyer, should just INSPECT INSPECT INSPECT, regardless. NC is a ‘buyer beware’ state, as we say, but in reality, all states are. You must do your homework, folks. Nobody really can do that for you. Sorry not sorry. If you are able to purchase an entire HOUSE, you should also be capable of getting some good inspections done. Unless you just don’t have to worry about it. It is, after all, your choice. If I am your agent and you waive inspections, that’s going on record with your signature, because…that’s only fair.

Look at fences with squinty eyes, wondering whether that neighbor’s fence is actually on the lot you’re buying, OR whether the fence you’re about to buy is ‘encroaching’ (hate that word) onto THEIR land. Oh yeah, that involves lawyers. Need I say more? That speaks to the value of a survey. You should get one done.

You should expect to pay 1200 bucks or more (particularly if you survey and do structural engineering inspections), BEFORE you buy. Obviously, the more inspections you order, the higher the cost. Most inspectors will ask to be paid for their services at the time the service is provided; some will wait to be paid out of closing proceeds. But regardless of whether or not you close, you owe that inspector. So yeah, you’ll have to fork over some money up front, EVEN if you’re doing 100% financing.

I don’t need to tell you that buying a house is a big deal, but I’m gonna. Buying a house is a big deal. So you will truly need to inspect well before you finalize the deal. That’s what DUE DILIGENCE is for. It’s your time to inspect the home and land, even to see how the sun strikes the kitchen counters in the morning, how the house ‘feels’ when you stand in the hallway, whether you think the puppy will like the yard, all of that. So good luck! Buying a home is exciting and it is also fun if I am your agent. And if I’m your agent, you’ll learn a lot too.

It would be great to meet you. I am always honored to help buyers find their dream home.

Have a LOVELY day.

Brenda Briggs, Coldwell Banker Advantage

Time to get TINY

We have lagged behind the tiny house movement in the past, but we are catching up. Yes, I said tiny house MOVEMENT, and if you don’t know what that is, you’d better wake up. Tiny houses are up to 400 square feet in living space, are usually on wheels, are often set up to be ‘off grid’, are almost always ADORABLE, and the interest is growing almost by orders of magnitude.

Why would anybody want to live in such small space, you ask? Well, ask the teachers, the IT professionals who work from the tiny home, the retirees, who are looking to downsize and save a lot of money (actually everyone does), and the people who crave a sense of community over materialism. That sentiment is growing. People are tired of living in a fire ant bed, and some of these tiny home communities have community garden spaces, natural areas to share, some have picnic areas, places to barter goods or sell art, you name it. By the way, most tiny house dwellers are highly educated; a large percentage have masters’ degrees. But whatever the case, there is a huge wave of interest in this phenomenon, which started a LONG time ago. Some people live in less than 100 square feet, some go up to 400. And their bank account is much larger, let me just say.

In case you wonder, some of these homes have granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, walk in showers, dishwashers, the list goes on. Many find they actually CAN live without a microwave oven, many have telescoping windmills attached and solar panels. Most have a wifi booster. So it’s not like camping, folks. Not at ALL. And by the way, some builders build these homes for people with chemical allergies, or even EMF allergies. The builders are very good at what they do, and are very green and very consumer conscious. Most tiny homes are custom builds, so you get what you want.

In college, I studied the influence of age ‘cohort’ (fancy word for group), usually defined by decades. What became clear is that peoples’ values change by the decade, almost on cue. Thirty somethings are all about building, buying, going and later having kids, very self focused often. Forty somethings are all about raising kids and growing careers and they begin to contemplate how they fit into the overall universe. But seniors (over 55)stop placing value on material things and money, and focus on home and family, and they are most aware of their impact on others. That’s it. Many current tiny home buyers are approaching that age.

Imagine a home with SIX lights. Count the ones in your house right now. So there’s that savings right out of the box. Yes, tiny houses have an average of six lights. You can add lamps. Appliances are smaller, space is at a premium when it comes to storage, so you can’t have a bunch of stuff…that you would otherwise spend money on, but you CAN put full size appliances in if you want. It takes peanuts to heat and cool such a small space and if you put solar panels on top, goodbye light bill. Your carbon footprint is smaller, your cost to live is minimal, you tend to spend more time outside in nature, and you get to feel like you again, without all of the stress of accumulation.

You know, many people live in vans now, did you know that? That’s ANOTHER movement. Tired of the spot after three days, start the engine and move along; see the country. People from all walks of life are becoming more ‘green’ aware, seeing the advantage of not being a conspicuous consumer, and most tiny house owners have NO…ZIP…ZERO…NADA…mortgage, whether they live in a camper, a schoolie, a van or an actual tiny house. That’s life changing, folks. Oh and let’s not forget the innovative ones who build phenomenal homes from SHIPPING CONTAINERS. Yep, some are breathtaking.

Do people with kids live tiny? Yep, some do. And some folks with kids live in schoolies, which I forgot to say, is an old school bus converted to a house on wheels. Really guys, you have to catch up on this stuff.

Go to Youtube and check out Tiny Houses, though. People ALWAYS smile when you talk about them, and there’s a good reason for it. They are usually uniquely stunning, they represent a freeing and relaxing lifestyle, they represent a sense of connecting with community and getting back in touch with nature, all good stuff. Our NC zoning and planning departments need to get on board and get ready. This IS the way we’re heading.

Life After Cutting the Cord

Wow, it has been years since I stopped paying high cable bills. I just have internet, and not through the ‘cable’ companies either. My internet performance is actually BETTER than it was with super high speed internet through Time Warner. Right, super high speed. Joke! See how long it has been? I cut the cord when Time Warner increased my bill and then increased it AGAIN when I called to complain. Good old no-customer service Time Warner.

After they tried to give me ‘free stuff’ to keep me as a customer and told me my NEW monthly bill amount, it was HIGHER. I had to laugh. I said, “Does this actually WORK for you? Are people really that stupid?” She didn’t say it, but the answer was, of course, yes. And I of course canceled my service. And there was one more nail in the coffin of my belief that people were basically pretty smart.

So I cut the cord, bought a Roku box…yes, it was a little tiny box then. And I got an antenna for both of my TVs. So I have Amazon prime, I killed Netflix, I have Roku (free) and antenna TV (also free). I don’t have TIME to miss the cable shows I thought I couldn’t live without. I can stay completely happy watching YouTube videos if nothing else, and free antenna TV (remember THAT?) is great. I get about 21 channels just from that. Roku has free movies that they add to each month, and if I WANTED to watch sports, which I don’t, I can get that on free TV.

So, I’m very happy and a lot richer because I cut the cord. In fact, I’m working on cutting back again…hence axing Netflix. That’s a start. But long story short, life without cable is BETTER. Anything they offer I can get right on my laptop, and what I pay for internet is way cheaper.

Understanding Value in Real Estate

Okay, I’m crusing around online again. BIG MISTAKE. So here GOES.

I think we can all agree that buying that perfect English Cottage home you’ve always wanted can actually be a nightmare if the home is falling apart under your feet. Even if you got it at a steal of a deal, a money pit can literally ruin you. It pays to know what you’re getting. That’s what I mean about value. Make sure you know what you are GETTING and what you are NOT GETTING, before you make a decision.

The same is true of your real estate agent, or even better, whether or not you WANT one. Yes, we live in an age of technology, and yes we can do most things electronically. But that’s not the purpose of your real estate agent. Your real estate agent can do all of the tech stuff you want, but don’t you want to know WHY you’re doing it? Wouldn’t you think it was a good idea to understand those e-forms you’re signing? Even better, wouldn’t it be nice to know why you need them? Oh, and who works for YOU? Is it that person telling you you don’t need an agent? Careful now, because often they work for the OTHER GUY. Nobody wants to leave cash on the table, so be careful about whom is representing YOUR INTERESTS. In other words, make sure somebody IS. CAN’T TELL? Call an agent.

Oh, yeah, remember that plumbing inspection you decided you didn’t need? Who do you call at midnight when you can surf in your house? ME! You don’t get to cry if you decided you knew everything and you didn’t need an agent or wouldn’t listen to the one you had.

People get wrapped round the axle about commissions, but did you know…God I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve said this…the AGENT does not get that check! THE AGENCY, make that AGENCIES (plural) get that. When you seek the aid of a real estate agent, you’re hiring the benefit of their companies, with all of the expertise and tools to guide you through one of, if not THE, biggest financial transaction you’ve ever done. It pays to have a leader who knows the ropes and can guide you well through them. And every time you think we don’t earn our money, just text us and ask what we did for you today. Most of us will say, “You mean starting at midnight?” Because that’s often the case. While you are sleeping, we are often working for you. It’s not unusual for me to send out emails at 1 am. Oh and by the way, that nice magazine you get long after you closed? It came from me. Free to you, by the way. You’re welcome.

And yes, there are all KINDS of websites you can poke around in, but let me tell you, if it was that easy, there wouldn’t be licensing requirements and continuing education (ad nauseam) requirements and each year, a ‘general update’ with, in part, the latest and greatest potholes to watch out for. And, if it was that easy, everyone who took the licensing test would PASS. THEY DON’T. Listen, real estate agents are not just there to open the door for you. We work hard, all the time. We sleep with our phones and our laptops, and we get calls at midnight from clients having meltdowns sometimes. We get calls with pop-up questions, and we drive THOUSANDS of miles on your behalf.

We talk to inspectors for you, attorneys, surveyors, plumbers, roofers, handymen. We arrange inspections and make appointments with attorneys, we crawl under houses and into attics, and we do A TON of paperwork. We take classes and attend meetings to stay on top of changes, to real estate, to lending, to title insurance, to warranties. To mold, to radon, to septic systems and new construction. We grease the wheels of the process so you just show up and sign; we take the heat for you and the stress too. We are ALWAYS working behind the scenes for you, just to make sure you get a good VALUE in the transaction. So when you think we don’t do much, think again. You are able to think that because WE did all the work for you. The easier it was for you, the BETTER your agent was.

It costs MONEY to buy a house. We get to be the ones to tell you HOW MUCH. Somehow, that makes US the BAD GUYS. We didn’t TELL you to buy a house. We didn’t make the rules and laws, but somehow it is OUR fault you get to pay for your inspections and the attorney and title insurance and homeowners’ insurance. We control the rotation of the Earth, didn’t you know?

Marketing. Ah marketing. I have seen THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of HORRIBLE pictures of homes that have sat on the market forEVER. If your agent puts crap like that online for the galaxy to see, well you get what you deserve. Oh and if it was YOU who took the pictures? God help you. You have embarrassed yourself before the entire galaxy. And beyond. Good agents take marketing your home very seriously and you will not see dark, dingy photographs out there to ‘showcase’ your home. It just won’t happen. Oh, you can take your own photos? Give me a call about that in about 5 years. There is VALUE in professionally done photos and professional marketing that YOU don’t pay for.

I work in an industry where we are OFTEN treated like ambulance chasers. I have worked in industry, retail, science, management, on farms, in factories, and in real estate and NOTHING is as hard as real estate. Nothing. Real estate is 24/7, non stop, and people think they can automatically treat you like garbage when they get stressed. NOT ALL THE TIME, but a lot of times. People don’t handle stress well, and in a real estate transaction, somebody’s gonna be moving, which is stressful. Who gets the flack? The real estate agent, many times.

So in case you are wondering, there is VALUE in what I do. I give up my weekends for you, my holidays, my sleep; I take heat from attorneys and inspectors and lenders; I take all of the heat you throw at me and endure the knives in my back, undeserved I might add, and I still get you to the closing table and I STILL give you a very nice closing gift. Why? Because real estate agents are in this business because we like to HELP people. Even the prickly ones.

Yes. We have every bit as much value as the next worker you pass on the street. And in case you’re wondering, many of us are engineers, scientists, accountants, airline pilots, bankers, retired VPs, golf pros. So yeah, we have brains too. And you’re fortunate to have us in your corner, and I mean that.

The Value of a Real Estate Agent Referral

Hi everybody. I hope this post finds you well. I just wanted to do a quick post to remind potential real estate buyers or sellers about the value of a referral.

Keep in mind that agents, we boots on the ground, know a LOT about the market, other agents and agencies, and we get to know YOU. If your agent isn’t bothering to get to know you, they’re not very good agents and you’re not being served as well as you could be. Period. Remember that we are licensed in the STATE of NC, not just a single town. When your friends and family decide to make a move, your agent knows you and can find out about your friend or family member by actually talking with you about it. Then we have the connections to find an agent who will serve your friend or family member best IF we are not able to. And remember this also means out of state referrals!

Let me give you an example, and I don’t want to hear anything about stereotyping either. I live in this world. A senior buyer or seller is VASTLY DIFFERENT from a young or first time client. It takes an entirely different skill set to work with seniors. Seniors are far more cautious; they often are in a limited income situation; and they don’t always understand the structure within which the process happens. You’ve got to watch their budget and you have to not rush them! Young people, on the other hand, because they often have no experience with the process, need a LOT of information and guidance. They are revving the engine and we had better be able to keep up. Fascinating. It’s labor intensive, to use that phrase, but one of my favorites. I love young folks with ambition and drive. It gives me a good feeling about life in general. BUT…the two genres are different. And there’s every situation between, by the way.

So, let us find an agent who will help you best. We have a referral network, and when I call my folks, they are WONDERFUL about finding a good match. It might be a patient and compassionate agent good with seniors, or it might be a young firecracker who can jog beside first time buyers through the technical points of a transaction. We know our people and we can help you find the perfect match.

Give us a shot. We care about you having a great experience.

Flipping…

Well, these days you hardly get the ‘flip’ in before the house is grabbed in mid-air. ‘Toss’ is probably a better word. How about “Toss This House”. My goodness, there’s a mad rush for ‘existing’ homes all over the US, with each available home having many, many interested buyers. Multiple offers is the norm. I hate it.

Yep, I’m a real estate agent, but I also appreciate a fair, balanced market. This market supremely favors the wealthier buyers, and my first time buyers are literally shoved aside or intimidated out of even trying. My heart goes out to the excited buyers who have saved and worked on credit score, diligently trying to get out of the rental lifestyle into homeownership. I see, time after time, their optimism turning into disappointment, as their ability to offer above lists price and bring the difference to closing, kicks them out of the running. OR, they are reduced to shopping through the inventory of homes where you can see the ground through the floor, or where outdoor carpet has been flung onto the floor inside. It is ridiculous.

Here’s why this bothers me…in PART…why this bothers me. One day, and you know I am right, people who pay 10, 15, 20 thousand over list price are going to get stuck with that house when the market falls. Think about this: If you offer more than the appraised value right out of the gate and THEN the market falls (or crashes), then you need to sell? Oh boy. You will have to bring that extra you paid out BACK to the table again as the seller, and possibly more, just to be able to sell a home you now have to list BELOW market value. I’ve seen this happen; I lived through a market crash with people who HAD to sell for jobs or family reasons, cashing in tens of thousands of 401K dollars, just to get rid of their home. I understand this is a free market and all of that, and I am a capitalist. But I have also “lived in the future” to a great extent. I tend to view my life as today + ten years out. I’ve been pretty doggone accurate too. And I’ve found that things tend to work out somehow. But the number of home being sold above appraised value deeply concerns me. I’m going to be the one going to listing appointments and giving bad news time after time. I’ve done it; I don’t like it.

Anyway, I started out talking about my young buyers or firsts time buyers and how hard it is to see them getting cut from the running. I hate it and I don’t think it’s fair. So. House tossers. How about this? How about you try buying some smaller homes, putting fewer bells and whistles in them, and giving the entry level buyers a doggone chance?? Spend less on the downstroke…buy TWO! Make them cute and comfortable, safe and warm, and sell them at a price the entry level buyers can afford. And sell them to a owner, not an investor, and give them a chance. YOU had one; why not pay back the opportunity? I say you can spend less up front and still make a profit. In other words, my little first time buyers can live without granite and top of the line appliances. They know they can upgrade that stuff later.

Anybody? Anybody? It is not all about the money, is what I am saying. Man can’t live by bread alone. That’s not me; that came from somewhere else.

Closing Down America for Takeover

It’s early. I’m watching a show about Covid of course. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE?? I just found out that there was enough stimulus money in Michigan for every family who lost income due to business shutdowns, to receive SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. Holy crap! That’s enough money to make it okay to be shut down for two months. (The restaurant owner thought it was twenty thousand). BUT…the money went to special interests, NOT to the people of that state whose businesses lost income. He was LIVID and I don’t blame him! Can it be true that our tax money is just being exchanged among government employees and lobbyists while we are being driven to bankruptcy? You bet your ass it can. AND APPARENTLY it IS! Look at who runs for political office these days. This crap started with a blue freaking dress. If you don’t know what that means, you live under a rock.

This sounds like China. If government takes away our options and our money, we will HAVE to depend on the GOVERNMENT for income. That means you’ll have to be a smooth brain coward in order to get bread and milk money. The REST of us will disappear. You know, the ones who do the work. I’ll be gone for sure.

I don’t CARE which ‘party’ (they need to change that word to ‘nightmare’) is in the White House. I care about AMERICA and our rights and freedoms. Who would have thought that Communist China would become a model for a FREE country like ours? And if we’re so terrible, WHY on God’s earth is everyone trying to take us over?? Have you thought about that at ALL?

There is enough money to make this ‘lockdown’ stuff work for the benefit of the people, but guess what? Government does not WANT it to work. How can our rights be stripped away if they do anything to make this benefit the people? Right! It’s about power and money people, and the government of this day want to take both away from us. I believe there are a few old codgers who need to go AWAY.

This is AMERICA, people. Not CHINA. Not North Korea. If that’s what you want, GO THERE. Please, go. You’ll soon be sniveling and begging to come back, and that’s IF you don’t ‘disappear’.

I woke up from a sound sleep and thought, “Holy shit, we ARE China!” Already the ‘news’ is controlled by the government. The ‘news’ is now a propaganda machine! That’s CHINA! THAT’S NORTH KOREA! Already the internet is being taken away from us, people. Think Twitter, think Facebook, think Youtube. Starts with little censorship events, but it is THE INTERNET BEING TAKEN AWAY FROM US. If you don’t know what I mean by that, you’re living under a rock. And you are one of the sheep the power mongers love. You’ll be sorry.

Okay, say that’s good with you. Then one day, I AM THE ONE who gets to decide what YOU can post online. OH GOODIE, right? hahaha. That’s EXACTLY how it will work. If you support this takeover and think you will benefit? I’m laughing my ass off. You will mean NOTHING. None of us will. That’s how a dictatorship works.

But the program: It showed a restaurant owner who is defying the ‘rules’ by staying open against Michigan oppression. He is being fined a grand a day and will end up in jail, I’m sure (the government of MI is being called a ‘regime’). Smoke is coming out of my ears. Just this week a pub owner in Staten Island was JAILED for trying to save his business and keep income coming in to his household. He declared his establishment an autonomous zone, but I guess that only works for SEATTLE. According to him, they fined him 15 grand first, rescinded that fine, went to a grand a day, revoked is liquor license at which time he made his establishment free to all (with a donation). Ultimately they arrested him. IN AMERICA. I was sorry I was too far away to go there for dinner. But you couldn’t PAY me to go to “NY of China”. Not enough money on EARTH. So much for ‘The Big Apple”. It’s going down and it should, for putting up with this crap. Wait for it.

Statistics say that the ‘average’ restaurant can survive 27 days without income (I was surprised it was that long), and YET rich politicians (not a scientists among them) are talking about a SIXTY day LOCKdown, when all information WE GET says a ONE OR TWO week quarantine is allllll you need. Does ANYBODY but me see the absolute ridiculousness in all of this??? If a two week shutdown would DO IT, why are they talking about SIXTY DAYS? And government is threatening LOCKdown well into spring 2021. Two operative words: Threatening and Lockdown. Do you even have a pulse? Can you even IMAGINE the future if this crap continues??

In other words, they are implementing orders that are GUARANTEED to ruin American families. The comment was, “It didn’t work for the businesses so they are coming into your homes”. This is being called a grand social experiment, designed to see how far they can push before people revolt. So far, people are laying down. I’m ASHAMED that we are surrounded by smooth brains with no ability to look at this stuff logically, and I am ashamed of the cowards that surround me.

If a restaurant chooses to stay open, everyone in that establishment UNDERSTANDS THE RISK and is willing to accept it. I think the law calls that “assumption of risk”. And every patron who goes IN also knows and accepts the risk. Welcome to America. If are scared, YOU stay home. How about that??

Yeah, I can hear the crybabies talking about how we ‘will take the virus to other peeeeeople”. Well not if YOU ARE LOCKED DOWN. If you lock down, you’ll be safe, RIGHT? Only the zombie contaminants will be out working and providing your services. Hey, one of us might deliver your DRUGS and your GROCERIES. Bet you’ll be good with THAT. And…wait for it…we’ll be alive!

If there’s a fire, I walk towards it to see if I can help. I am not a coward nor a sheep. This is America. If restaurants want to open, I will go. I will give big tips to the wait staff and try to help the establishment survive. The commentator said, “They can’t even stop a Walmart looting; how will they stop an entire community?” EXCELLENT QUESTION, MISTER TALKING HEAD. And ESPECIALLY when the POLITICIANS do NOT follow the rules they impose on us. WAKE THE F**K UP! If it is safe for THEM, DUH HUH HUH, IT’S SAFE FOR US!

By the way, FOUR HUNDRED people in the community around Mac’s Pub in Staten Island showed up to protest and support those owners (most without masks). I hope they stay and invite all of their friends. The two young guys who own that establishment are working hard and providing a service to their community. They are NOT digging into YOUR WALLET for money to live. They do not want to be living under a dictatorship. GOOD FOR THEM!

If the Covid numbers are right, you should walk to your door and see a couple of people dropping dead in front of your house. I’m not talking about 90 year old grandma, folks. And I’m not talking about the FAKE Covid deaths. If you are already on oxygen, then LOCK DOWN! If you have risky health conditions, STAY HOME. That’s how we used to do it before there became a concerted effort to take down our country, which is exactly what this is. People have died from different flu viruses forEVER. It’s gonna happen. I had the flu once and thought I MIGHT die. I STAYED HOME AND WOULD NOT LET ANYONE NEAR ME. Guess what, all of the rest of the STATE kept right on working and going out to eat and going to see movies and visiting friends and FAMILY. DUH!

WOULDN’T it make more sense to have the cowards and at-risk people ‘lock down’ and let the rest of the world get to WORK?? Yeah, it makes sense if you have folds in your brain. The SENSIBLE thing to do is let the trembling frighted ones and the poor health ones, LOCK DOWN. Is it just me or does that make PERFECT SENSE???? This current paradigm is DANGEROUS, people, in ways we cannot begin to understand. If America goes down, can you imagine what will happen to the world? Do YOU want raw sewage running in the streets were YOU live?? Can you imagine not being able to shelter and find food in the REFRIGERATOR? Better think about it. You don’t own your home and you can’t stay if you don’t pay. If you support this shit, you’ll get what you deserve.

I know there have to be scaredy cats among us, always have been, but EVERYBODY?? Is it something in the WATER? I would love to see the faces of the diabolical assholes who are orchestrating this experiment. I’m sure they are grinning from ear to ear because they think we’re stupid. Uh, in large part they are right. And if this crap doesn’t stop, we’ll all be stripped of all rights and precious conveniences, and some of us will be “disappeared”. I’ll be gone, for sure.

There are still some voices out there who speak the truth, but unfortunately they are drowned out by liars and those who want our money and our freedom. So it becomes imperative that we use our own logic and intelligence. Good luck 10 percenters. And, didn’t Edward Snowden WARN us about government overreach? If you don’t know what I mean by that, go back under your rock.

I need coffee.

HELLO? IS ANYBODY THERE??

You know what I’m getting a lot of lately from listing agents? Nothing!

I’m a real estate agent, and some questions actually require a conversation. Let me give you an example. If you list an older doublewide, it has to have the right kind of foundation in order to qualify for an FHA loan. AND there are other requirements. Lots of them. How long has the current owner owned it? Was it a flip property? If it is, what will the profit be at the current list price? Do you have the HUD paperwork that came with the home? You know, stuff like that. Stuff that can keep MY buyer client from getting loan approval AND losing their due diligence because of your negligence. Yeah, lots of agents don’t know about this stuff. I’ve been through the wringer with agents who list a home as qualifying for FHA when it would NEVER qualify. BTW that instigates a PHONE CALL.

Nine times out of ten…NINE…nobody answers the phone. Everybody wants a text. Look, most of the time I get text messages first too, and I like that as well, but SOMETIMES, a buyer agent needs to have a CONVERSATION with you. Know how you can tell when those times come? THE PHONE RINGS. SOMETIMES it will take me longer to type the text message than a conversation takes, and you’ll have to call me anyway because you won’t understand what I’m asking for. And that’s if you even return my call. That’s ANOTHER story.

ANSWER YOUR FREAKING PHONE.

Oh that’s not cool, you say? Well listen up. There are a lot of wealthy older folks out there who not only don’t WANT to text, they don’t want to work with YOU if you don’t answer the PHONE. You’re not being cool and contemporary; you are losing business! And younger people get really upset if they don’t get instant answers. Here’s how it works: Ring ring! You say, “Hello?” It’s EASY. Give it a try.

I can hold a grudge. You don’t take my calls, wait until you call me and let’s see how that goes. I’M KIDDING. I answer my phone, I read my texts, I check voice mail, you know, I use the entire phone.

I’m not really angry; in fact I’m laughing. For now.