Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Earth Quake in Virginia

So ... where were you when the earth shook? Yesterday's earthquake rocked the East coast of the United States in a lot of places that do not regularly have earthquakes so it surprised many people. For some it may have been a once in a lifetime event, for me, a New Hampshire girl, not so much. I can remember having tremors and earthquakes, but up there, the earth is granite and it makes noise. You can hear the earthquake coming and going by. The hilly terrain means you will see debris fall from hills and trees so it is easier to recognize. With the threat of terrorism still all around us, I wonder how many people had that thought cross their minds? The officials all say it was centered near Mineral, VA, just 10 miles from a nuclear power plant, hello? Why is a nuclear power plant put up on a known seismic fault? Probably cheap land, huh? So now we wait for the aftershocks, which may be so small thay no one feels them. Wonder if this means we are good to go for the next 100 years! Want to know more, visit the Geological survey site link I have attached. Stay safe!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Swamp Fire !

On August 4th, 2011 lightning seems to have ignited a fire in the Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge, which is in Virginia on the border of North Carolina. Thousands of acres have been burned and crews are fighting the fire around the clock to get it under control. How does a swamp catch on fire? Swamps contain "peat" and peat is flammable.
Smoky conditions surrounding the fire are keeping residents indoors or making them take extra precautions when outdoors. Smoke has been reportedly smelled as far away as Delaware! Depending on the winds the smoke may be headed your way, please, if you have a pre-existing condition like asthma or COPD, use your medicines as they were prescribed, stay indoors and keep that inhaler or nebulizer at hand for emergencies. Watch your local news station for "smoke and air quality" updates daily. I will be praying for some much needed rain as it seems to be the only sure way to get this one under control and out! Thanks to all those fighting this fire.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Interesting FSBO Story

FSBO is a "no go" ...
(From an article in the Wall Street Journal, August 5th, 2011)

I can’t resist commenting on the story which recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal regarding Colby Sambrotto, the founder and former CEO of It seems the founding father and livelong evangelist of the concept of selling your home without a real estate agent was forced to hire a broker to sell his home after failing at what he preaches others should do.

After failing to sell his NYC apartment on his own as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO), Sambrotto hired a broker and paid a 6% commission in order to get the job done. His personal experience helps refute some of the myths Sombrotto has been espousing for over a decade. Let’s look at two of those myths:

Myth #1 – You Will Pocket More Money Selling on Your Own
Most FSBO sites say you can save the commission by selling on your own. What happened in Sambrotto’s sale?

From the WSJ article:

“The broker, Jesse Buckler, said he told Mr. Sambrotto the apartment in the Lion’s Head building on West 19th Street near Sixth Avenue was priced too low and wasn’t drawing the right buyers.

By May, it went into contract, he said, after attracting multiple offers. It closed in the last few days for $150,000 more than the original asking price.”

Myth #2 – The Internet Alone Can Sell Your Home
Many have said that, with the introduction of home search on the internet, hiring an agent is no longer a necessity. What happened to the FSBO guru when he attempted to only depend on the internet?

From the WSJ article:

“Looking to move his family to the suburbs, [Mr. Sambrotto] said he carefully staged his apartment for sale himself, and put it on the market. But after using a mix of websites to publicize his apartment, he said he had only ‘middling success’ and switched to a broker because many buyers were so reliant on brokers.”

Bottom Line
There is a reason the real estate industry has been around for centuries: it performs a valuable service.
If you or someone you know needs help in real estate, contact me.