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Take Your Realtor Seriously

I am a Realtor. My wife is a Realtor. Together we lead The Schuett Team of Keller Williams Bellevue Realty. Maria and I have had a long and deep passion for the real estate industry.

My passion didn’t begin until about 1994 when my wife, at that time, had earned a very large commission check at her job as a television station advertising and marketing specialist. She insisted that we should take that money and buy a home. We were both young and didn’t know what we were doing. But we found a home that suited us. We bought it. We improved it. And after only a few years we moved into a house double in size. And we did it without selling our first house. Instead, we kept it as a rental. We only sold it when we wanted to buy a new home in a new location only 8-9 years after buying our 1st home.

It’s important to note that after buying our first home we had almost no money at all. There was nothing left in savings. We lived paycheck to paycheck, as the old saying goes. But because we had bought a house, we started accumulating wealth.

The Realtor we used to buy our first house was a fast talking Filipino woman who was the sister of a co-worker of mine, a co-worker who was one of the most skilled salespeople I have ever known. It seemed she was from the same school, because she sold us, and not in the most honest manner. She convinced us to make an offer on a house…”before we lost it to someone else.” We hadn’t been sure about the house. But the idea of losing it propelled us into making an offer. The house had been on the market for three months. In negotiating our offer the seller demanded a 90-day close. We were not in danger of losing the house. The Realtor was just tired of showing us houses and wanted us to find something so she could move-on to someone else.

When we bought our second house about 3 years later we chose another real estate professional. This was a friend and co-worker who had just started his real estate career and was only doing it part-time. We wanted to help him. The house he showed us and we eventually bought was way outside the geographic area where we had asked him to look for homes. I still remember being upset as I followed him in our car to an unknown address. As we got further and further outside the area we wanted I was thinking, we might need to find someone else to help us. Then we saw the house and I loved it immediately. It checked all the numerous boxes I’d asked to be included in what we were looking for…except location.

Six-to-seven years later we were on the move again. For the sake of our children we felt we needed a more blue-collar neighborhood rather than continue to live with the the snobby, nose-in-the-air people in the community we had chosen. The former co-worker I hired for our second home search was no longer in real estate. So we chose someone with no referrals or references whatsoever. I don’t even remember how we found her. But she was located in the geographic area we wanted to consider. We ended up firing her after finding a house we liked without her help. She had repeatedly shown us homes that didn’t match our criteria and she didn’t find the one we did like, something I never understood, and understand even less now that I’m a Realtor myself. We ended up hiring a buying agent which came recommended to us by the house’s listing agent. Probably not the smartest move in the world. I don’t even remember their name. I think they were a woman. But I don’t even remember that.

At this point a the age of about 39, with my wife, I had bought 3 houses. The first two we kept as rentals for a period of time, before selling each. The first house was sold by a listing agent I have almost no memory of. They were chosen almost entirely because their brokerage office was close to the house we were selling.

Our second house and second rental was sold before we had to face the Capital gains tax for having lived outside it for three years. I do remember the listing agent. We chose him because he was a cut-rate agent and listed our home for only a 4% commission rate. I also remember this independent brokerage was out of business shortly after the real estate collapse of 2009. We did far more research in the choosing of a Realtor this time. Including the cut-rate guy two other agents submitted listing proposals to us. Each of the other two substantially underestimated the ultimate selling price of the house. The cut-rate guy submitted a proposal that would list the house at substantially more than the other two proposals. And even though we had to lower the price after a couple weeks on the market, we still sold it well above what the other two agents proposed listing it for. I don’t know what they were thinking.

Sadly, the third house was sold due to a divorce from my wife at the time. We hired a family member as our listing agent. And while they did a good job with some things, including the listing price, we weren’t completely satisfied. But being a family member we kept our concerns to ourselves.

As a divorced, single, self-employed man I was able to buy my own house less than two years after my divorce. I had one criteria in finding my buyer’s agent; I was looking for someone who would return the favor and do business with me and my marketing company. To make a long story short, this agent reneged on his promise to give me some business after my new home was purchased.

I was married to my beautiful wife Maria three years after my divorce. She was already a Realtor, and due to her urging I got my license too, in order to help her build our real estate business. Together we bought our current and what I hope will be my last home nearly 2 years ago.

In summary, through the purchase of five homes and the sale of five homes (Maria and I also sold our rental which had been her home prior to our marriage), I’ve made nearly every mistake in the book in hiring a real estate agent. I hired friends and relatives of friends. I’ve hired close family members. I’ve hired cut-rate agents. I’ve hired agents we’ve ultimately fired. I’ve hired agents that promised financial reciprocation. And I’ve hired agents having done almost no research on them or others at all. And in all cases (aside from the family member) I never heard from any of them ever again. Until Maria and I sold our two houses and bought our current one on our own I never got my house at what I thought was a particularly good price; and never sold a home for what I thought we should. In the case of selling the homes we have sold there was always an urgency that made selling them at less than best prices necessary. A good agent could and should have helped us with that.

When making one of the biggest decisions of your life, hiring someone to be your Realtor just because they are family, or a friend, or because they promise something they won’t put in writing is not the best approach. Wisdom and experience should be your measuring sticks for who represents you in deciding to buy or sell a home or investment property. When you look into a Realtor’s background and judge their knowledge you will make a better decision than by just having a friendly connection.

If I were President

Being President’s Day, or as it’s formally called, Washington’s Birthday, I’m inspired to opine about the things I would do were I to hold the highest office in the land. This is offered mostly in fun since I will never be President, and most of my ideas would never get off the drawing board.

One of the first things I would do is address the climate change issue.

Is climate change real? Is it man made brought on by the industrial age? Honestly, I doubt it. Human’s have been living on this earth for millions of years. Our industrial pollution has been in existence for less than 200. And yet we are to believe that 200 years of industrial pollution could end this earth as we know it by 2030? Come on! I tend to look at the earth as a shaggy dog with fleas. As soon as us fleas (humans) get too prevalent and destructive that great big dog will scratch and shake us off like we were the insignificant insects that we are. We aren’t going to destroy the earth.

However, I am smart enough and humble enough to admit, I may be wrong. I’m not a scientist. I don’t know. AND NEITHER DO YOU!

What I do know is this, pollution of our earth, air and water is bad. And nobody of any political party would ever say otherwise. And broken down to its bare essence the climate change activists simply want to eliminate pollution. Right?

I posted the above video because I think it is unquestionably the most effective anti-pollution marketing campaign in the history of environmental awareness. It’s from the 1970s. If there is a better, more effective anti-pollution message please tell me. I haven’t seen it.

So, if I were President I would make the Environmental Protection Agency be eliminated or nearly eliminated. Stopping climate change and pollution and specifically industrial pollution should be done this way. All regulations and requirements telling people and business how and what to do as it applies to pollution would be taken off the books. They would all be replaced by the following: “DO not pollute the air, earth, or water. If you do you will clean it up at your own expense. And if you don’t clean it up we will penalize you financially out of existence and the individuals most responsible may spend some time in jail.” That’s it. No more government intrusion. Just a hard standard by which we are all expected to abide.

Then I would have the EPA establish specific language detailing “what is pollution”. These standards could change as new challenges and information become available in our growth and evolution. But, ultimately, the government would be out of the business of telling us how to do whatever it is that we do.

If I were President abortion would be legal up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy. If you don’t know that you are pregnant, or whether you want the baby or not 4-5 months into the pregnancy, I’m sorry, but you’re having that baby. Science is perfectly clear that at that point (20 weeks) that fetus is alive. It’s thinking. It’s moving. It’s receiving oxygen from its mother. It’s a human being. And killing it is murder. It always amazes me the hypocrisy of the left on this (and so many other issues). When it comes to climate change the Left jumps up and down swearing we need to trust science (some science). But when it comes to abortion science is thrown out the window, and its all about a woman’s right to choose (never mind the rights of the baby…or…for that matter…the rights of the father who also created that baby).

Gun Rights: Our Constitution guarantees our right to be armed. Period. Discussion over. The government can keep their hands off my guns until they amend the Constitution. However, that doesn’t mean some steps can’t be taken to allow for our safety by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists, or revolutionaries who aim to do us harm. If I were President, I kind of drift towards the Chris Rock view on gun control. Let people have as many guns as they want. Just tax the shit out of ammunition. I’m only partially kidding. While I wouldn’t really tax the shit out of all ammunition, I might set a standard by which any ammunition purchased over and above a reasonable level necessary for your own self defense would face an increasingly higher tax. The more you buy, the higher the tax.

We are never going to get money out of politics. People have been trying forever, and like a slow leak the money finds a way in and its flow only increases with time. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that money, in the form of political donations, is a form of free speech. And aside from the wacky Bernie supporters, and other extreme leftists, do we really want to eliminate free speech in our country? In our lives? Hell no. So, while we can’t eliminate money in politics we can sure do more to eliminate graft. If I were President I would seek legislation eliminating campaign contribution limits. Forget Citizens United. This would be open freedom for each and everybody to help elect whoever they wanted. However, I would have all contributions be required to be made public. All income tax filings by politicians would be required to be made public. And ALL elected officials would be banned from voting on any bill, ordinance, or resolution that directly or indirectly effects those who donated money towards their election. Money isn’t the problem. Money in exchange for a vote or a policy position is a problem.

If I were President I would save hundreds of thousands of dollars by making English the official language of our country. All documents would be published in English. I don’t have any hateful feelings or discriminatory feelings toward non-English speaking people. If Spanish were the overwhelming dominant language spoken by our citizenry I would advocate for Spanish to be the official language of our government. I just feel you have to put some expectation on people to take care of themselves, and that includes learning the language of the country you have chosen to inhabit. I would also prohibit your permanent entry into this country unless you spoke English or were immediately enrolled in a course to learn it. But, we can’t be cold hearted. If we are going to expect people to learn and understand the English language it is up to us to provide an easy means by which they can do it. I would pump whatever amount of money is needed into educational programs from which non-English speaking people could learn to read and converse. An added benefit of English as our official language is that it would further dissuade illegal immigration by non-English speaking peoples.

Our infrastructure is falling apart. Roads and bridges and water transmission pipelines and aqueducts, electrical system transmission are almost all 50-100 years old. Some are older. Every President in memory has promised to address infrastructure. None have. Ultimately, Congress puts up the stop sign because of the massive cost. But here’s the thing, the long we wait the larger the problem becomes and the more expensive it becomes. If I were President infrastructure repair and replacement would be THE top priority. I would decree that no public monies could be spent on any new infrastructure unless it was to repair or replace old infrastructure. And if it’s brand new, addition private or public funding must be provided to repair or replace infrastructure that needs the work. I would authorize the Office of Management and Budget to audit the entire U.S. budget to find and eliminate wasteful spending. And I would find the money through cuts in that which isn’t necessary.

If I were President wasteful spending would be another top priority. I would operate with a zero-sum budget in order to get a fresh start. Programs that should otherwise be funded by the private sector would be gone forever. Foreign aide would not be based on what was spent last year. And no foreign aide would be provided to any country that has antagonistic views of the U.S. And no funds would be provided for NATO or any other organization or treaty unless fellow members or treaty signers were pitching in their fair share.

Lastly, if I were President I would seek a line-item veto capability, which may require a Constitutional Amendment. The line-item-veto is available to Governors of 44 of our 50 states. It’s a hedge against slipping unwanted and unnecessary spending or restrictions into a bill that otherwise would become law. Opponents argue that it makes the President too powerful. But I would argue, that it’s too late for that argument. The President is already the most powerful person in the world. And much of what can be accomplished legally with a line item veto is already being done…often times illegally.

To me, there is so much more I would do if I were President. But I’m not. And I never will be. While I admit to being Conservative with a lean toward Libertarian you have to admit I don’t completely fit the mold. There are some things in this blog that would have me drummed out of the Republican Party. And there are some things, a lot more things, Democrats wouldn’t touch. But, if you were the one writing this blog…don’t you think the same would be said of you?

Thanks for visiting.

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Democrats and Media have been Lying to you for Years

The final report by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is in and it’s as much of a vindication for President Trump, his family and his campaign staff as could be hoped for. The fact that the President and everyone on his campaign were found to not have been guilty of collusion with Russian (or anyone else) and found to not be guilty of obstruction of justice comes as a huge surprise to many CNN and MSNBC viewers in this country.

Source: Media pulled off big con with Russia collusion story – Washington Times

President Trump and to a lesser degree the Republicans in Congress have gotten more done, more victories than could have been imagined given the unprecedented opposition he has faced. While he continues to frequently stick his foot in his mouth with his boorish and at times childish Tweets, he continues to get the work done of the American people. He continues to strive for exactly what he was elected to do.

Since the day of his election in November 2016 the left has talked about impeaching this President. Since they didn’t have any actual proof of “high crimes and misdemeanors” they literally manufactured lies about Trump’s personal behavior and of his campaign’s colluding with a known hostile party.

The story of collusion was so ridiculous from the beginning it’s hard to believe nearly half this country was so easily bamboozled. Regarding the Russian interference in the Presidential election let’s get four things straight:

  1. Russian and/or the Soviet Union have been trying to undermine democracy in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world for decades. They’ve been involving themselves in Presidential elections as best they could since the days of Nikita Khrushchev.
  2. Investigators claim Russians spent $400,000 (that’s 400-hundred thousand) on Social Media ads to sew disunion in the U.S. during the 2016 election cycle. If true, so what? $400k is a paltry and largely ineffective amount to spend on marketing. I know. I’m a marketing expert. Additionally, much of what was advertised wasn’t in support of Trump. Almost none of it was. Much of it was in support of Bernie Sanders, the admitted Socialist.
  3. Russians did not “hack” John Podesta’s or Hillary Clinton’s emails. Instead Podesta succumbed to a phishing expedition. In other words, he was sent an email with a link that he clicked on that he should not have. Furthermore, WikiLeaks Julian Assange claims they didn’t get the Hillary emails from the Russians. And lastly, Investigators have determined that Russians tried and failed to access the National Republican Party headquarters computer’s and emails but failed due to the GOP’s security measures. (Side note: just who would you trust with your country’s security just based on this information? Democrats who were successfully hacked? Or Republicans who weren’t?)

While falsely claiming that Trump was in bed with Russians, the collusion story is far from the only lie CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and other leftist, Socialist media organizations and Democrats have spread about Trump. Here’s one: Trump called neo-nazi’s and white supremacists “fine people”. That lie has Trump labelled a racist. The problem is…he never did say it. He never called the bigots at the Charlottesville, VA rally anything but deplorable people, who shouldn’t be tolerated and who have no place in the United States.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/03/21/trump_didnt_call_neo-nazis_fine_people_heres_proof_139815.html?fbclid=IwAR14ga7lCnv6LqrSsNtC9d_8oNYIRNsVoFCSAkgH4d-NtdsTk8sLkXzjako

So? What to do now?

They only way this news of the lies and manipulation of American society can have any benefit is if enough people who hate Trump, and oppose the Conservative agenda he work’s toward finally admit that they were wrong and that they see their media and political leaders as the liars and the hypocrites that they so evidently are. Enough people must reject watching and listening to MSNBC, CNN, NBC News and reading the New York Times, Washington Post and other leftist propaganda venues. These organizations stopped being journalistic a long time ago. Rather than simply leaning their reporting toward their leftist tendencies and beliefs; these supposed news organizations have become advocates for everything we as a society used to collectively recognize as bad, evil or at least destructive. They must vote out of office the Adam Schiffs, the Nancy Pelosis, the Chuck Schumers, the AOC’s. They must recognize and embrace Making America Great Again.

I’m not holding my breath. I think the fight continues and probably gets more desperate.

Please share this blog if you agree. And please comment whether you agree or not. We welcome your thoughts.

 

Nazis, Communists, Homeless, and Bums and other Things I don’t Understand

Today’s world is becoming increasingly hard to understand. Here is a list of my thoughts in no particular order.

 

In Seattle and other cities, you have to pay to park your car on the street beside the curb for a short period of time. But you can pitch a tent on that curb and pay nothing.

 

In Seattle, and other cities, if you stay in that parking place too long you will be ticketed and have to pay a fine. But that tent can stay on that curb/sidewalk indefinitely and pay nothing.

In Seattle last year the city paid over $200-million on homelessness last year and the problem got worse. But rather than take a new approach Seattle’s City Council and Mayor are preparing to spend more and do the same things.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan proposed a plan that will provide beds for 500 homeless people each year above what is already available. But with 10,000 homeless people living on the streets of the city and the homeless population growing at 44% over the previous 2 years many more than 500 people per year who are homeless are coming to Seattle; resulting in a net growth in the homelessness population under Durkan’s plan.

The same people this week who are applauding ABC for firing Roseanne Barr (and her whole TV crew and cast) for offending people with Barr’s ugly racist Tweet about Valerie Jarrett are the same people who protested the NFL’s new anthem policy last week and protested lead anthem protester Colin Kaepernick not having a job in the NFL.

Roseanne can Tweet a 2a.m. drug and alcohol induced racist comment, but dozens of national political pundits across the country speak of white privilege, and white people keeping down the black man and other clearly racist claims and nobody bats an eye.

Men are repeatedly and deservedly berated for cheating on their wives. But studies show that women who work out of the home (nearly all women) cheat as much as men and nobody ever condemns them.

People drive in the right lane of a multiple lane freeway inhibiting merging traffic when no right lane exit exists for miles.

Democrats say Republicans are NAZI’s, or condemn the GOP because many Neo-Nazi’s vote Republican. But many admitted Communists and Socialist are part of and vote for Democrats. And Communists and Socialists have killed, murdered, and falsely imprisoned FAR more people than NAZI’s ever did.

Many American youth advocate for Communism, or Socialism while ignoring the historic train wreck of such societies not to mention the current, present-day examples of Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba, the Czech Republics and other authoritarian regimes like Iran.

Democrats say they are for the common people. But they actively advocate, protest and march for the removal or restrictions on the common people’s Constitutional Rights. Under fire by Dems is the 2nd Amendment, free speech as guaranteed in the 1st Amendment, free to exercise of your chosen religion also the 1st Amendment, freedom of peaceable assembly (unless you agree with them) also 1st Amendment, the sixth Amendments right to a trial by jury (choosing instead to condemn and ruin lives via mere accusation on Social media), and of course the 9th and 10th Amendments are to be ignored completely.

President Trump is hated by 1/3 of the country and at least disliked by 1/2 the country despite all the good that is coming out of his Administration such as lower taxes, a strong economy, rising worker’s compensation, record low unemployment, continued low interest rates, rising home prices, illegal immigration border crossings at 40 year lows, a renewed respect for military and law enforcement, peace talks with North Korea, recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capitol, defeat of ISIS, and more.

He’s doing a good job.

Countless people spending hundreds of dollars they can’t afford, enduring tremendous pain and permanently scaring their bodies with tattoos.

Liberals continue to perpetuate the myth that homeless people are poor unfortunate people who but for the grace of God go I; when abundant evidence continues to show that the lions share of homeless are people who by choice live on the streets bereft of personal responsibility.

One successful parent is ostracized by adult children for having imposed fair, responsible discipline in their youth; while those same children embrace the other failing parent who imposed no discipline whatsoever, lied, cheated and spent the family into financial ruin. Examples of such are wide and varied. We’ve seen it a lot.

People lament the loss of personal responsibility and family values all while church attendance continues to decline.

People are ticketed for j-walking but in Seattle you can openly indulge in drug use.

Homeless are called homeless and not BUMS which is a much more fair and accurate description because calling someone a bum is mean but calling someone homeless is compassionate.

Having compassion for the homeless is what we’re all supposed to feel according to Liberals even though compassion solves none of the homeless’ problems. We are not supposed to be tough on the homeless and expect more of them because that’s mean, even though doing so would solve a lot of the homeless’ problems.

President Trump is engaged in Peace talks with North Korea and is being criticized for engaging with a tyrannical Dictator.

Drivers do something wrong, like cut-you off, and when you honk your horn they flip you off like you did something wrong.

Men wear shaggy beards that women…for the most part don’t like…and the men wonder why they can’t get a good woman.

Slow walkers. They’re everywhere!

You smile or say “Hi” to someone who walks right by you and doesn’t acknowledge you in any way.

People not recognizing that illegal immigration is a bad thing for our country. 55% of illegal Immigrants that are here are on welfare. Those that are not on welfare are working jobs that would otherwise be filled by Americans or legal immigrants. The people whose jobs they are taking are generally the least educated and most needy in our society. And illegal immigrants are more willing to work for lower wages thus forcing the wages to remain low for everybody else…especially legal Americans.

Failing to recognize the lives of Jesus’ apostles as concrete evidence of his divinity or of their mass psychosis.

People who endure the long, cold rainy Northwest Fall and Winter and complain that its too hot after a few days of 70 or 80 degree temperatures.

And lastly, I don’t understand why those who share my thoughts, feelings and lack of understanding of today’s world won’t share them or theirs more publicly.

Thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

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