Dave Miller Real Estate, by Shepherd Realty

Dave Miller's Blog

Can a Dragon Write a Blog?

Posted on 07/18/2012

By Dave Miller

I bought a Dragon. Now what? Do I slay the Dragon or train him to be useful? In this day and age where technology has moved to the realm that it is, sometimes we need to train the old dog. At times the easy way to train the old dog is by giving it a new tool.

I am a very cumbersome typist. I hunt and peck. I hunt for the letter then I peck at it. Over the years I’ve gotten fairly fast at pecking. Emphasis on fairly! So I’ve came to the conclusion that I need to learn how to type faster. I was mulling over the idea of taking a typing course. Then right on time, Fred Pryor called me about a course on speed-reading. I signed up. Next they tried to sell me on a package deal. They have a program where you buy a year’s worth of courses for $199. You can take any course that they offer. Plus they have online courses. I thought it quite a good deal. So I signed up.

I decided to find out what they have in typing courses. I searched. And I looked. None. So I called the lady, and she searched also. She found nothing. So now I’m back to square one. I have a year’s worth of Fred Pryor courses and nothing else.

So I looked for some alternative methods. I knew of one all along. I just never knew if I wanted to take that step. But I did.

I bought a Dragon. Dragon Naturally Speaking.

So this blog I wrote by talking. Which as many of you know comes quite naturally to me, talking that is. My hope is that this will make it easier for me to update my blog. And many other things. The real question is still should I rather have taken a typing course than rely on some device that I just talk to? I’m afraid I know the answer. I should take the typing course. But I do know that I am far better off producing material by talking than not producing material at all. So this is the step that I take right now: I will talk to my computer and have it write for me.

Related Post:

Get Closer to Your Asking Price

Posted on 07/16/2012

By Dave Miller

Is the real estate market getting stronger? Here is a graph that would support that claim. This either supports it or tells us a whole other thing. This could mean that the sellers are being more realistic with their asking price.

This graph is Lancaster County home sales for the last year. It is saying the average home is selling at 93% of the asking price vs 90% in Feb of 2012.

Pennsylvania Landlords and Smoke Detectors

Posted on 07/14/2012

by Dave Miller

Do I really need to put smoke detectors in every room in the house that I’m renting out? That question came to me yesterday. I said boy I don’t think so. But I’ll look into it.

So I dug up my old real estate books. I didn’t find what I wanted there. I went back to good old Google. Not that Google is old. But it sure is useful. I found an article on landlord-tenant laws in Pennsylvania regarding smoke detectors.

Here’s what I found:

 § 3800.130. Smoke detectors and fire alarms.

(a) A facility shall have a minimum of one operable automatic smoke detector on each floor, including the basement and attic.

(b) There shall be an operable automatic smoke detector located within 15 feet of each bedroom door.

(c) The smoke detectors specified in subsections (a) and (b) shall be located in common areas or hallways.

(d) Smoke detectors and fire alarms shall be of a type approved by the Department of Labor and Industry or listed by Underwriters Laboratories.

(e) If the facility serves four or more children or if the facility has three or more stories including the basement and attic, there shall be at least one smoke detector on each floor interconnected and audible throughout the facility or an automatic fire alarm system that is audible throughout the facility.

(f) If one or more children or staff persons are not able to hear the smoke detector or fire alarm system, all smoke detectors and fire alarms shall be equipped so that each person with a hearing impairment will be alerted in the event of a fire.

(g) If a smoke detector or fire alarm becomes inoperative, repair shall be completed within 48 hours of the time the detector or alarm was found to be inoperative.

(h) There shall be a written procedure for fire safety monitoring if the smoke detector or fire alarm becomes inoperative.

So this is what Google told me. But what does that really mean? I don’t know. I found it on the Internet, that does not make it true. Well, it looked official. My stance is this: I make no representations that this statement is true and/or currently the law.

If this is the law, then it looks as if we need to have at least one smoke detector on every floor. That’s a minimum. Plus, we also need to have a smoke detector within 15 feet of every bedroom door. So if you have a hallway and you put the smoke detector in there and all the bedroom doors are within 15 feet, I guess that’s sufficient for that floor.

Now, I do say this, we are looking at the minimum requirements here. We look at the minimum to see what is required and not what we insist on doing, and no more. I hope not. I would rather see more than the minimum, and that your conscience is to provide safety for your tenant. So what do you need to clear your conscience? How many smoke detectors would you put in your own house? Consider these questions and those may be your answers.

Why be a minimalist when it comes to life safety?

Negotiating a Get Rich Slow Scheme

Posted on 06/01/2012

by Dave Miller

The easiest way to get rich quick is to accumulate wealth slowly. Well then, how does one accumulate wealth slowly?

First you need a plan. A solid, well thought-out, practically applicable plan.

This requires a solid plan, to preserve your precious capital, as you do not want to go backward. The retaining of capital is a key element of moving toward your goal. If you lose your initial capital you must not only gain it back but also recoup the lost time.

It must be well thought-out; you do not want to be jumping on some quick get rich band wagon that is ready to go bust.

The plan must be feasible. Over the ages three areas have proven successful; real estate, gold, and businesses. Most wealthy people own one of these three.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, just like your Daddy told you. But nevertheless get some baskets and fill them with eggs. Many people use that line to delay saving and investing.

The real estate basket is the topic of discussion today.

Enter John Schaub and his book Building Wealth One House at a Time.

Building Wealth One House at a Time – John Schaub

This book focuses on strategies for creating wealth through real estate by starting small – and making the right moves. Nationally known real estate expert and speaker, John Schaub, learned his craft in the best way possible–on the job, and through every kind of market. He published a great book titled Building your Wealth one House at a Time. In it he shows you how to buy homes with little money down using private or owner financing. By doing this he eliminates the whims of the banking world. The lender he says, is more concerned about getting his money back than earning high interest. In Chapter 6 he tells you to do what it takes to make the lender happy, over secure if you must.

Click this link to read an article I also wrote on keeping the your lender happy.

He recommends only single family dwellings, no fancy shmancy highfalutin projects. Just solid homes the typical family desires and can afford to live in.

The part that hit home for me was that he says buy one home a year. No more. He warns of the dangers of diving headfirst. By waiting a year to purchase your second investment property you will learn innumerable lessons before plunging in.

John uses two people to accumulate wealth; his renters and his lender or investor. His lenders allow him to buy the home and the renters pay for it. In the meantime he is accumulating wealth. Renting to long-term tenants, with financial incentives to pay on time.

By using leverage, i.e. owner financing, investors or the bank, he can purchase a home that otherwise he would have needed to walk away from. This then allows him to have a renter paying down on the mortgage. But remember, leverage is a two-edged sword. It can help you accumulate faster and it can take you down even faster. You must carefully consider the amount of leverage you are comfortable with and what makes sense in your situation.

Building Your Wealth One House at a Time is very concise yet an easy to read book. It lays out a blueprint that is easy to follow using graphs and figures.

Unique is his approach to focusing on buying houses in good-quality neighborhoods while simultaneously creating positive cash flow properties. John uses the Goldilocks theory when choosing a neighborhood: not too expensive and not too cheap. Go with a neighborhood where prices are just right.

Buy his book today. Read it. Implement a plan. Take the first (I know this is the hardest one but do it anyway) step. You will not get rich quickly but you will most definitely be headed in the right direction.

Now for the good news! John Schaub is coming to town. Well, rather to a town in New Jersey. Iselin.

John is presenting a one day class called “negotiating secrets of a Professional Buyer”. Saturday June 23 2012 from 9:00 to 4:00pm. You can register here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/3199047437 I plan on being there so I hope see a few of you there. If anyone is interested in carpooling from Lancaster County just call me. Cell number 717-656-0749. Currently four of us are heading there. Join us.

A quote from John’s site:

John has survived, prospered, and helped his students to make money in every market since 1975. Come learn how to recognize which opportunities are right for you today and for the next five years at this most interesting time in our history. Get ready for an exciting and profitable future!

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I Dont Want To Fix Anything I Just Want To Sell!

Posted on 05/19/2012

Home staging tips for realtors and homeowners.

via I Dont Want To Fix Anything I Just Want To Sell!.

I’m waiting to see one of these in action.